Friday, December 16, 2011

Warmest Christmas Memory

Although I've told this story before, I wanted to share it again since I won a pair of tickets to the Mannheim Steamroller concert next Wednesday for sending the story to the radio station.

My warmest Christmas memory required some serious thought.

You'd think the "best" Christmas memory would be the most unforgettable, right?

The first Christmas with my husband really was. And after sifting through countless memories created by 24 years of marriage, four daughters, almost two grandsons, and every life experience in between, I realized why I'd missed the quiet beauty and perfection behind his special gesture.

Like a lot of couples, we married young...practically right out of high school. With college on the horizon and a baby on the way (oh yeah, I'd gotten pregnant right off the bat!), Hamburger Helper was too expensive for our budget. Add to that, the Christmas holiday was fast approaching.

Hubby's boss had given every employee a Christmas tree, and the smell of fresh pine filled our small apartment. I made popcorn garlands for decoration because, well, that's all we could afford.

A week before Christmas, I came home to find our Christmas tree decked out in beautiful Hallmark ornaments. I squealed in delight, and my husband smiled shyly. "I did extra work on a remodeling job, and they gave me this box filled with ornaments. I'm sorry none of the dates are right."

He was correct. Not one ornament had a relevant date. Didn't matter. They were perfect. We started a tradition that first Christmas together, one we've followed every year since: hanging those mismatched ornaments on the Christmas tree next to others we've collected over the years. They all have special meaning, but some of them-a select few-I cherish with all my heart.

Every Christmas since has been wonderful, but when I think about that first Christmas with my husband, the memory always warms my heart.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ice Man by KyAnn Waters


Everything has a label, even love. Take relationships. There are sexual relationships—lust at first sight, friendship—friends with benefits, and romantic love—fated soul mates.

Rowan, a flair bartender in the exclusive fetish club Catacombs, subscribes to the lust-at-first-sight proposition. Being a blood slave to the vampire Theron definitely falls into that category. The pleasurable high from donating blood and the fantastic sex Rowan has with Theron definitely take lust to a new level.

But for Rowan, his relationship with Theron is actually more of the friends with benefits variety. He's not in love with Theron. Rowan doesn't believe in romantic love—and everyone knows it. That's why he's known as the Ice Man.

And then Rowan meets Brett Kirsche. Brett's recently divorced, openly gay, and intriguingly normal. Rowan wants to be with Brett—and he gets his wish. He and Brett have one night of hot, incredible, gotta have more—probably for a lifetime—sex. Rowan starts to believe in a romantic kind of love, which leads to a monogamous relationship between Rowan and Brett.

But Rowan's kept the fact he's a blood slave for Theron a secret from Brett. Can he feed Theron without sex and thereby breaking his pledge to be monogamous to Brett? And how long can he keep his secret from his lover because the truth would surely ruin the love he's finally found?

I liked the complexity of Rowan and Theron's relationship. Genuine caring on both men's part showed how difficult and endearing friendships can be. Brett and Rowan's attraction, sizzling chemistry and ultimate love connection was a satisfying part of the overall story line.

There were, however, a few issues that lessoned the enjoyment of the story for me. The first was Brett's immediate acceptance of vampires, blood slaves, and Rowan's part in that culture. The second was Brett's decision to instantly immerse himself in the same culture Rowan just fought to leave behind.

Though to be fair, both of those issues can be attributed to Brett's love and commitment to Rowan. Maybe they just hit me the same way as the ending—rushed. I definitely believe in love conquering all, but the book's fast resolution left an unresolved feeling.

Do these issues detract from the book? A little. Should they keep you from reading ICE MAN? Absolutely not. Ms. Waters has a way of working the most erotic interplay into genuinely compelling relationships—and that's why I'll read the next book in the series!

Rating:  3 stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Yearly Budget Time

Every year about this time the county has their annual budget submissions/decisions. So, in Superior Court we always have a department provided pizza lunch and the news/numbers are given to the staff. With the state and county budget shortfalls, everybody's been hit hard. We've been pretty lucky so far.

Last Friday we received notice we had a mandatory 8:00 a.m. all staff meeting this morning. Well, that set off alarms for me. When something happens that's out of the norm, I take notice. I tried really hard not to worry over the weekend and just wait for the actual news. It really is easier problem solving the ultimate issue in question.

So I walked into the meeting room this morning, and there were homemade rolls and sweetbread. Good sign. Health care contributions went up, no cost of living raise (I don't care) but NO jobs were cut!!! I'm so thankful. I have been blessed in my life, and I will never take my job for granted again!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Outer Rim by Alexis Martin


I've always wondered about space, what it would be like to fly in a spaceship and if there is life on other planets. I got a sneak preview to both questions in THE OUTER RIM.

Captain Tyvan Sheppard's ship is attacked by a Turian vessel in the Helios system. The AI program on board steers his ship toward the planet Urtopia, giving Tyvan his best chance to stay alive.

Tyvan survives the crash landing. When he awakes, he is being tended by a blue alien female. Through some gesturing, Tyvan discovers the alien is named Anaki. He's shocked to learn there's life on Urtopia, and pleasantly surprised Anaki is quite intelligent. He is healed miraculously fast by her medicine and treatment. In a short amount of time together, she learns his language just as quickly.

Urtopia becomes Tyvan's only existence. Without any way of communicating with the outside worlds, he adapts to his new way of life. His attraction to Anaki grows, and soon he realizes his feelings are deeper than he thought possible. When he discovers there are different species of beings on Urtopia, Tyvan's new life and love is threatened.

Chloe Jones is Tyven's lover. When General Braxton delivers the news of Tyvan's death, she's devastated. An investigation into Tyvan's disappearance is started by Glenn Mathias, a young Federation officer. His questions cause Chloe to suspect General Braxton is hiding information about the crash.

She finagles her way onto the team boarding a ship headed to Urtopia to discover what really happened to Tyvan. During the journey to Urtopia, she and Glenn become lovers. When they're kidnapped, they realize their investigation threatens a mining corporation's profits. They're sold to a faction on Urtopia and must find a way to save themselves or become victims of corporate greed.

Ms Martin's depiction of a future still ruled by money, power and a race for natural resources struck true. Political maneuvering between species would be expected, and I was not disappointed.

I loved the description of Urtopia and the way the planet came to life on the page. The animals and new species are creative and interesting. Tyvan's character adjusted well to his changed circumstances, and I enjoyed the humorous interaction between him and Anaki.

Chloe's character was more difficult for me to like. She grieved Tyven for a whole afternoon before she decides to go to dinner with General Braxton. He's not her type, but he's powerful and they have a sexual encounter. Then she falls for Glenn and immediately puts his life in danger by making rash, selfish decisions. Thankfully, she redeemed herself at the end of the story. You know the saying: All's well that ends well!

So if you'd like to take a quick jaunt through the galaxy, visit a new planet, and enjoy some wicked hot space sex, look for THE OUTER RIM and enjoy the ride!

Rating:  3 stars

*Review originally written for The Romance Reviews
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Monday, October 17, 2011


Caress of Fur by Corinne Davies

Sometimes the world seems like a big, scary place. Is it really that dangerous or does giving in to such fear make a possible threat real?

Mai Bennett certainly believes the world outside her building is terrifying. So she stays inside her apartment, running her website design company from her computer. But her friend Stephanie won't leave her in peace. She thinks Mai should have a real life, one that includes a man and a blissfully happy future…or at least a second date. So when Stephanie sets Mai up on a blind date with Gaspar Sofalvi, Mai doesn't suspect a thing.

Gaspar fully intends on following the directives he's been given for his date with Mai: to move slow, compliment and build Mai's self-esteem, and not have sex with her. But once he catches a whiff of Mai's scent, his plans disintegrate on the breeze. She's his True Mate—well, his and his twin brother Vencel's.

Mai's panic attacks worry Gaspar. So he has Vencel pretend to be him on a date with Mai. The date is a bust, but the twins refuse to give up. They track Mai down, apologize, and beg for a second opportunity—for both of them. Mai struggles with the idea of dating both, but gives the men a chance. (Hello, who wouldn't want to date gorgeous twin brothers, both professing you're the only woman they want?)

Gaspar, Vencel and Mai's relationship progresses, but they're keeping a secret from her—one that could endanger both her heart and her life. When some of Gaspar and Vencel's old family members arrive with their own agenda, Mai learns more than she bargained for.

I thoroughly enjoyed the world Ms. Davies created in CARESS OF FUR. Her characters are vivid and intensely charismatic. The only thing that kept the story from being great for me was Mai's unexplained panic attacks. I didn't understand how someone could be so afraid of everything just from being alone a lot—not without some other underlying reason. But others may relate perfectly.

Despite my own question, I'd recommend CARESS OF FUR to anyone looking for an interesting, intense, scorch-the-page romance!

Rating:  3 Stars

This review written originally for The Romance Reviews.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Change

Last week officially launched the fall season...though we still had warm weather here in the Pacific Northwest (almost 90 degrees). Cooler days are coming though, and the idea of changing weather makes me smile. I can't really exercise in the heat, so taking a walk when there's a slight breeze is definitely more appealing. Of course, that phase of fall only lasts a short time in my neck of the woods. Winter brings ice, snow, and 50 mile an hour winds. After Halloween, no more outdoor walks for me...which got me to thinking.

How am I going to lose the extra weight and inches I've put on over the last year? Don't get me wrong, I exercise and eat right...just not on a consistent basis. Something always throws me off track and I struggle to regain my healthy motivation and rhythm. Then I saw an infomercial (insomniac here, remember?) for The Firm workout.

The idea behind the program intrigued me.Three workouts a week, 20 minutes per workout...and eating healthy is a must. The workouts change each time and increase in difficulty. Duration stays the same. Kind of reminded me of P90X, just not as intense...which is a good thing because I can't do sustained cardio for long (congenital heart condition). Sucks, but giving in is not an option. 

I've been doing  Pilates and Yoga...and I LOVE the stretching and strength training, but I need something to help keep the weight off as I age. Have any of you seen that commercial that says a woman over forty needs to work out an hour a day just to maintain? (Yeah, I fantasized about lynching the messenger of that bad news, let me tell you!)

Anyway, I bought the program. Just waiting for it to arrive. I really hope it gets here by October 1. I'd like to start at the first of the month and track my progress. Program promises weight/inch loss...if you commit. My two youngest daughters and I are committing and are even excited to start. Hopefully, I'll have good news to report at the beginning of November.

Until then, I'll keep on keeping on. You do the same!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Review: Stay With Me by Gwen Campbell

Life throws some nasty curves, and sometimes surviving them is all about finding a safe place to lick your wounds.

Charlotte Allen is ready to start over. After a messy divorce, followed by the death of her mother, she figures a hundred acres of peace and quiet in the Northern Canadian wilderness is just the place. She can reclaim her independence and finally write her next novel…as soon as she finds someone to build her home.

She discovers a contractor, David Hadfield, in the quaint town of Barry's Bay. He's got experience, references, and wow is he gorgeous…even though she's not going to think of the younger man as anything other than eye candy. That's easier said than done when David makes it all too clear he's interested in her.

David Hadfield has been looking for his soul mate for centuries. He's read all of Charlotte's novels and feels like he knows her. When he meets Charlotte, he knows. She's the woman he wants to spend forever with. Now he just has to make her fall in love with him, accept that he's a vampire, and show her how wonderful their life together can be.

I don't usually read contemporary novels, but the paranormal aspect of this story drew me in. Who wouldn't fall for a gorgeous vampire that is looking for his one and only—especially when he wants real love with a real woman? I don't know about you, but I certainly identify with a middle aged, curvy heroine!

And then there's David. When this 250 year-old vampire uses every sexual skill he possesses to claim his true love's heart (oh, what skills he has!), the reader takes note. My heartbeat raced right along with Charlotte's. When it's revealed that our aged vampire serves as a protector of Barry's Bay by dispensing vigilante justice, David is all the more appealing.

But no relationship is without its problems. Charlotte and David must each deal with issues from their past (including an ex or two) and overcome insecurities that plague every couple.

STAY WITH ME is definitely about the journey. Getting to the destination in a story is important, but the conclusion can make or break the rapport an author creates with a reader. In this instance, Ms. Campbell doesn't disappoint. I turned the last page with a smile and a satisfied sigh.

Rating 4 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.

Monday, September 12, 2011


A couple weeks ago my husband pulled me onto his lap and gave me a hug. Now, he hugs me all the time just because, but this time was different. Sadness flowed off him. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, "Five years from now, everything will be different."

He was referring to our two youngest daughters. They'd both be out of high school and most likely out of the house. That realization makes me a little sad, but mostly I'm excited. My husband and I dated and were married after eight months.  We had children right away. I'm personally looking forward to our time together as just a couple again.

He's having a harder time with it. He explained. "We've always had children in the house. When they're gone, things will change." That made me a little worried. He smiled and tightened his hug. "Change isn't bad...just different. And I wouldn't want to be here with anyone but you."

It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what had triggered this line of thought. Our youngest daughter started high school the last week of August and celebrated her 15th birthday this last weekend. What a milestone. I took four girlfriends out to dinner and a movie. They all stayed the night. Everything we talked about was ghost stories and boys.

Though the weekend was exhausting (good grief do teenagers have unlimited amounts of energy!), it was fun. Our daughters are typical teenagers: one foot edging toward adulthood and one foot planted firmly at home. I was able to reassure my husband he didn't have to worry about things being different just yet. As much as things will change, some things always stay the same!

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm Baaaaack!


Yep, it's quiet out there. That's okay. I understand. I've been gone awhile. But as I've already stated, I'm back.

What a crazy last six weeks it's been. Occasionally my work life overruns--well--everything. The entire month of July was spent transcribing a 1,000 page appeal due 8-4. I worked all day in court, all evening on transcript and lived on four hours of sleep a night. That was a seriously long month. I met the deadline and survived.

August had better appeal. I spent two weeks on vacation with my family. Let me just say, the 17-hour (one way) drive was long but worth it. We got away from everything and everybody...and I discovered hubs planned it that way.

We stayed with one of my sisters in law for most of our trip. She has a beautiful home on the river outside a very busy, large city. Amazing view...and no internet. Yep you read that correctly. That meant no writing work for me either. The first two days I spent in withdrawals. I had email to check. Social networking sites to update. Blogs to read. I was missing sooo much.

And then I relaxed. The world wouldn't end if I stepped away from technology. Everything would be waiting for me when I got home. So I spent my days hanging with my family. We went to the beach and played in the waves after hunting for shells. We took a tour of Hearst Castle. (OMG that place and the art and history it contains is incredible...and it boggles my mind every time I think about somebody LIVING in it as a home!)

Then miracle of miracles happened. My sleep pattern improved. No stress equals 7-8 hours of straight sleep a night. I was amazed at how great I felt. The physical and creative energy came rushing back. Since I couldn't write, I plotted...and plotted...and plotted.

And when I got home, anxious to share everything, Blogger became my nemesis. I know you get me. We've all been there. I couldn't access my blog. I tried everything I could think of for three weeks. Finally, after throwing questions out on every email loop and social networking site I belonged to I got some helpful suggestions, and one finally worked.

So here I am, pledging my weekly post to you again. If I can keep to the schedule, maybe, just maybe somebody will be amused by my crazy stories and I'll make some new friends. Hey, if I can bond with someone over chocolate, anything's possible!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Somebody Write 911!

I've been so busy lately, my blog's in cardiac arrest!

Like most others, I have a full time job...two actually, if you count the transcripts I'm required to prepare of court proceedings in my off time. So that leaves little time to write my current WIP, keep up with social networks, do reviews of the books I eventually read, AND keep an active blog. You can tell from the last entry, my blog has suffered the most from lack of attention.

Not sure how to rectify that other than to try (really, really hard) to meet my goal of one post a week and occasional reviews. Try is the operative word, of course...but I'm not one to give up on a challenge.

So I give everyone permission to poke me, tweet me, leave a comment, email me or just generally give me a swift kick in the...well, you get the get my attention.

'Nuff said.

It's my lunch hour...that means I have chapters to edit. Got a schedule to keep!  =D

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review: Harvest Moon by T.M. Marie

Review: Harvest Moon by T.M. Marie
By Renee Rearden

Rating:  4 Stars

Life is unpredictable. When Myra McClure rescues a man and an extraordinary horse after a car accident during a dangerous snowstorm, she has no idea the how much her life is about to change. But Myra gets an inkling the people around her are different when she places herself between the stallion and the man named Raven.

Alex Wade, head of a Wendigo clan, has been after the banished Wendigo Raven for years. He isn’t surprised Raven showed up to kill his newest racing horse. Alex manages to stop him, but the damage is done. Raven notices Myra, and now he wants her as much as the stallion.

Myra goes to Alex’s ranch, safe under his clan’s protection. But Raven’s not the only danger she faces. Alex is a threat to her heart. His gorgeous looks and rock-hard body tempt her. His love and loyalty to his clan melt her defenses. Fortunately for the reader, her strong-willed personality often clashes with his domineering commands as the clan’s leader. Human or not, she’s not about to let any man boss her around!

As Myra struggles with her own feelings of abandonment and growing connection to the Wendigos, Alex fights the pain of losing Myra when he makes her walk away—because he won’t rick her life by trying to turn her. A pair of thick-headed, animal-crossed lovers if ever there were any!

Now, there were a couple things that troubled me. I felt Alex and Myra’s connection, for all its intensity, should have happened sooner—but maybe I’m just impatient. And Myra’s biting attitude about homeless people bothered me a little. She chose to live that way, so it didn’t seem right she had such a vitriolic response about it. Of course Myra throws every ounce of passion into what she believes, so a strong response speaks to her character.

All in all, Harvest Moon is a great paranormal read with interesting twists on the werewolf myth. I truly enjoyed reading about Myra and Alex. Their struggles were entertaining and full of emotional sparks. I’m hoping we get to see more of Alex Wade’s clan as some of the other character’s search for their own path and life mate!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous by Danica Avet

Every once in a while, the first line of a book blurb grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Check this out. "It isn't every day a fairy gets an assignment with only one outcome: her death." (See what I mean? You're asking questions already!)

Raised as a noble fey and then sold into the Assassins Guild, Noelani "Shade" Fayard has become the most feared killer throughout the veil. This kind of success could go to a girl's head. Unfortunately, she's encountered a career-ending assignment. If she kills her target, she'll serve the brutal overlord demon personally. (Trust me. Nobody wants that kind of attention.) If she fails, she'll be tortured and never released. Talk about a Hobson's choice!

Shade follows her target, Malachi Cromwell, in order to study him and discover his weakness. While watching him, she realizes he's not what she expected. His behavior toward others, relationship with his family, and goal to make up for previous mistakes forces her to question her own beliefs. Could she change things? Make a difference by opening herself to love?

Danica Avet has created a fantastic new world filled with political intrigue, interesting fey, demons and halfling characters, smokin' hot sex, and enough complications to keep readers guessing just how many bad guys are there?

I read a lot of books I like, but I loved LIFESTYLES OF THE FEY AND DANGEROUS. Shade is a heroine that glides along the razor-edged lip of danger and carves her way into a reader's heart. Who wouldn't adore a character that fights her way out of hell and conquers every obstacle standing between her and true love?

And then there's Malachi. A hunky, angry, bad boy turned sexy repentant alpha male. He's ALL man, and he knows what he wants: redemption, a life filled with purpose and love, and a mate and family of his own. Once he realizes Noelani is his perfect partner, nothing stops him from making her his.

I can't wait until the next book in Danica Avet's The Veil series comes out. After you read LIFESTYLES OF THE FEY AND DANGEROUS, I bet you'll agree with me!

Rating:  5 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews
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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

I know, the movie title is an interesting label for a blog piece but there's a reason. Keep reading.

This weekend my teenage daughters flipped through the television stations until they hit a channel showing The Sorcerer's Apprentice. They both squealed in delight.

"Why are you watching this movie again? You've already seen it?" I asked.
"Because it's a good movie," was the response.

So I started watching the movie. About ten minutes in, a great magic fight scene happened. My husband walked through the living room on his way to the kitchen and stopped. Then he sat on the couch with the rest of us and stayed through the entire movie.

"That was good movie," he declared, when it ended. He stood and went on his way.

Now to be fair, I love just about everything Nicholas Cage has starred in, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice is no exception. I LOVED this movie. But my daughters' and husband's responses got me to thinking. What is it about young adult movies or books that jump the fence and capture adults' attention?

The storyline is the obvious answer, but I don't think that it's the entire answer. How many movie trailers have you watched and thought, "Wow, I want to see that movie," or read a blurb on the back of a book and thought, "This sounds interesting," and then been disappointed because the story itself didn't live up to the description or hype?

So generating interest is more than a storyline. I think the theme of a story is the real answer. Does the main idea, the goal behind the characters' motivation appeal to children and adults? If the answer is yes, well then, you've got got the makings of a great story. Add some conflict, flowing believable dialogue, great humor, and a romantic happily ever after and,'ve got a great movie or book.

I mean really, we're all adventurous at heart, we all want to be loved, and who wouldn't want to experience a bit of magic? I'm guessing most people feel the same way. Otherwise, nobody would be making movies or writing books filled with adventure, romance and a bit of magic!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dream Walker by J.R. Thomas

Dreams—we all have them. Are they memories from our past, images of our daily experiences or visions of what's to come?

For the last year, Jay Gibbs has been wrestling with the meanings of his odd dreams. They're full of wolves, the voice of the Ancient one, and a beautiful, young woman that's captured his attention.

Jay's dreams become stranger and more intense once he graduates from high school and moves to his grandfather's ranch. He begins feeling others' emotions, and develops an uncanny connection with the wolves on the mountain. When things he's dreamed start to happen, he's convinced his dreams are really visions.

As Jay learns more about the wolves, his Cherokee background, and his family's connection to the land, he discovers he must choose between a life in the modern world he's grown up in or follow a different path and protect a timeless secret his family has safeguarded for centuries.

I enjoyed reading this paranormal, young adult story. Though the beginning was a bit confusing as to time and place, a touch of adventure and romance marked the characters' journey and led to a satisfying conclusion.

My only real frustrations with the novel were the adults treating Jay as if he were a young boy instead of a man, and some of Jay's language/dialogue seemed stilted or uncommon for an 18-year old to say.

Those frustrations aside, this is a great novel about the love of a family supporting a young man as he comes of age and faces difficult choices that require character, strength and integrity.

Rating:  3 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews

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Friday, June 3, 2011

WINNER of Memorial Day Weekend Bash~!

 Memorial Day Weekend blog tour ~!
(Stop #11)

                                   ******* AND THE WINNER IS?*******

                                                  MINDY JANICKE

Won: A striped tote with everything necessary for a relaxing afternoon at the beach: A water bottle, sunscreen, a beach towel, and an autographed copy of Moonlight Bleu!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I've been following the Blog Tour De Troops all weekend (Fri-Mon) and am humbled by the stories shared by authors and readers alike. So many of us have either served in the military or had family members, relatives, or friends that have served. What an amazing example of pride in our country and strength in our beliefs.

We, as American citizens, are blessed to live in a country with the freedom to live our lives any way we choose. Freedom of Religion allows the belief of any religion without persecution. As an author,I have the Freedom of Speech. I can write on any subject I choose without fear of reprisal. As a citizen, I have the right to Life, Liberty, and Justice. Our United States Constitution guarantees these rights.

We hear these phrases through education in school, through church, and even through pop culture. Hearing these words is NOT the same as living them. I know what these words mean, but I've not felt the power and impact of these words as keenly as the soldiers, past and present, that have lived them.

For those now actively serving, THANK YOU for protecting the life I'm blessed to have. For those that have died serving our country, THANK YOU for making the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom and love. To the families behind these phenomenal men and women, THANK YOU for supporting them in following a higher calling.

Wihtout all of you, America wouldn't be the country it is today!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Once Upon a Time in Space by Heather Massey

Global warming, pole shifts, solar storms, climate changes, earthquakes…these are just a few of the devastating events we’re told could threaten Earth. Now imagine all of these catastrophic things have occurred, and you’re eking out a living in what’s left of our dying planet or barely surviving as a pirate in space.

Raquel Donovan, known as the Siren, is the most feared pirate in the galaxy. She is a determined, gorgeous, sexy, eye-patch wearing bandit—searching for the man that destroyed her family.  Only his death will satisfy her ruthless need for vengeance.

Nick Venture (love the last name and connection to the story!) is a mechanic surviving in dismal conditions. A run of bad luck lands him in serious trouble, and then a man offers him a way out: captain a ship and crew to confirm the existence of a habitable planet. (Who could say no to helping save billions of people, right?)

I loved this story.

Let’s start with the characters. Raquel is a tough, hard-edged woman, but her merciless exterior hides a soul starved of love. Enter Nick Venture. A 6’4” blonde with the body of a god, a set of ideals to guide his actions, and the heart of a lion to fight for what he believes in. Raquel comes to admire his honorable goals. Nick longs to give Raquel all the love she needs.

And the plot? Wow, what a frightening example of Earth’s possible future. This Romantic sci-fi adventure has enough twists and turns to keep you wondering where the next space jump will take you.  And the hot, steamy lovin’ (I’ll have what she ordered, thank you!) will make the trip well worth your time.

Now, there was one thing that didn’t work for me. (Is it really an issue with a 4 star? Kinda.) It was Nick’s spiral into selfish, woe-is-me depression. Yes, he grieved the loss of his true love. But in the face of a dying planet and billions of lives riding on his success, the extended reaction was immature and he so needed to man up. (Don’t worry, he does!)

Taken as a whole, Once Upon A Time In Space is an incredible adventure that offers an exciting erotic journey where guy meets gal, guy falls in love with gal, and then tries to save the world. Who could ask for more than that?

Rating: 4 Stars

Review Originally written for The Romance Reviews
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Bash~!

******* THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED!!! *******

Welcome to the Memorial Day Weekend blog tour ~!
(Stop #11)

Grand prize: A Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice) plus 12 digital books.

Just email your quest answer for each author’s blog to enter for great prizes. Complete all blog tour stops to enter into the grand prize drawing.

Let’s get started, shall we?

I don’t know about you, but I’d love to be sitting on a beach right now. In a chair, with my toes curled in sand. Imagine the warm, afternoon sun dancing across your skin. A slight ocean breeze ruffling your hair. And a great book in your hands! (I’d suggest a copy of Moonlight Bleu!)

In fact, if you look at the picture to you’re right, you’ll see a striped tote. It’s filled with everything necessary for a relaxing afternoon at the beach: A water bottle, sunscreen, a beach towel, and an autographed copy of Moonlight Bleu!

What is Moonlight Bleu about? (I thought you’d never ask!)

Saari Mitchell sees a psychologist in order to understand why—500 years later—she’s still dreaming of her dead lover. Her shrink isn't helping, the nightmares come every time she closes her eyes, and the lack of sleep is interfering with her job at Sacred Heart Hospital. With her psychic ability to heal the human spirit on the fritz, her auric radar becomes as reliable as her spotty cell phone service.

By day, Dhelis Guidry works as a detective for the New Angeles Police Department investigating the missing or murdered women in the Full-Moon Killer case. In his spare time he hunts rogue vampires as a Tueri executioner.

Brogan Vincent is a Tueri healer. Though he could offer his miraculous talents to the rich and powerful, he has chosen anonymity and peace by only using his psychic abilities among the Tueri.

One look into Saari's tri-colored eyes and both men realize she is Tueri. One touch tells them each she's their soul mate. But can either of them protect her from the Full-Moon Killer?

Okay, time for your quest.

What generates an extreme psychic energy connection?
(Hint: Read the excerpt at

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Enjoy the rest of the blog hop starting with Cindy Young-Turner at

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Bash!

Permission to repost granted….

                               Crescent Moon Press
                        Memorial Day Weekend Bash~!

                                Three Day Blog Tour
                                           May 24th, 25th & 26th

                                   Prizes at every stop
                Grand Prize Nook or Kindle, Your Choice

            Every stop along the way will have a posted quest
                        Sign up for the newsletter or blog
   Email your quest answer to the author to enter for great prizes.
   Complete all blog tour stops to enter into the grand prize drawing
                           A Nook or Kindle, Your Choice
                             BONUS a dozen digital books

                     Full itinerary will be posted on the CMP blog.
            All stops must be completed to qualify for the Grand Prize.
You can join the games late. All quests must be completed by May 26th end of day.
                      All Winners Posted on CMP blog by June 4th.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I'm excited about next weekend. My husband's long-time friend and his wife are coming for a visit.

Now the last time I saw "Rodney" (Yes, names have been changed to protect the individual!) was at our wedding almost 24 years ago. I know, that's a long time, right?

To be fair, we moved out of town a couple of years after we got married. A few years later, we moved out of state. As you can imagine, my husband and Rodney lost touch. Well, a couple of years ago they reconnected through email and facebook. (See, Facebook can actually have a positive use!)

Anyway, after reminescing about childhood, elementary school, and then high school memories, Rodney and my husband decided we all should try to get together. It's taken a long time to coordinate schedules, but we managed to work something out for next weekend.

Now, why am I excited you ask? (That was long-winded backstory just to get to this part!)

Because after our wedding, a group of my husband's friends sat together at a table during the reception. Their topic of conversation was loud enough for me to hear. They were creating a "how long will the marriage last" pool and putting their ante into the pot. Yep, I wasn't happy about that.
But a lot of years have passed, and hubs and I are still going strong. Of course I've gotten past the immature stunt the guys pulled. Hell, who hasn't made a comment like "That'll never last." So Rodney will get a big 'ole hug and smile because he is our friend and always welcome in our home. But I am wondering if I should bring up the reception incident. I mean seriously, we won the pool!  =D

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Kissed From Beyond (anthology)

Kissed From Beyond by Keta Diablo, Amber Scott, Elise Hepner, and Stacey Kennedy

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time, communicate with a lost loved one, find your own genie in a bottle, or talk to a real ghost? If you answered yes to any of these examples, then keep reading!

Kissed From Beyond is an anthology of four sizzling paranormal stories that evolve from one common thread: an antique shop run by Mrs. Higgins. This sweet, little old lady knows every antique in the shop has a story, and she loves matching the right object with the right person.

Cradle of Dreams, A Love Soul Deep, One More Rub, and ‘Til We Meet Again are all different stories, each capturing the reader’s attention by the author’s unique voice and imaginative storyline.

Whether our heroine is traveling back through time to right a wrong from the past, reuniting with the love of her life years after his death, discovering she’s been granted three wishes from a very naughty genie, or communicating with a lost soul and granting him his greatest wish, the emotional connections these heroines make will tug your heartstrings. The amazing, mind-blowing sexual connections will set your pulse racing and your temperature skyrocketing!

Choosing my favorite story was tough. I really liked One Rub More, but I have to say, I loved A Love Soul Deep. When two people love each other so deeply the strength of that bond carries into the hereinafter, there’s no doubt this couple are soul mates.  I experienced Sara’s longing, yearning, and agony of separation. When Crew reappeared in her life, my heart cheered at their reunion. When he made love to her with such fierce devotion, I expected their hot, steamy passion to set off the fire alarm in my house! When Crew burned his memory into her, leaving her part of himself, my soul sighed with completion.

I don’t usually read anthologies. I like time to learn about characters and warm up to them. Kissed From Beyond told me everything I needed to know about these wonderful heroes and heroines—and I warmed up to them in a hurry. If you read this anthology, I bet you will, too!

Rating:  4 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.

Direct Link:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not The Luck of The Irish!

Dear Karma Gods,

I give. You win.

The last 30 days have been the most physically painful, frustrating, and irritating I've ever suffered. In case you've forgotten the list of punishing incidents you imposed, let me remind you in the hopes you'll decide I've paid my dues for whatever transgression I committed and move on.

1.   Developed excruciating pain in my right shoulder. (Thought it was dislocated.) Could not move my right arm for two weeks. Diagnosis: Tendonitis in my shoulder. Treatment: Sit on couch and take lots of Rx drugs and drool.
2.   Every USB port on laptop stopped working (in the middle of edits, I might add).
3.   Video driver on laptop disappeared (in the middle of edits I might add).
4.   Steno machine stopped working (made it impossible to perform day job).
5.   Court Reporting software disappeared (made it impossible to perform day job).
6.   Key Card malfunctioned and door shocked me. Made my hair stand on end and discolored key card (maintenance fixed door later).
7.   Car blinker bulb burned out.
8.   Car brake light burned out after fixing blinker light between auto supply store parking lot and work
parking lot.

Being a generally optimistic person, I don't complain often. So this run of bad luck is highly unusual. (Really?: The delete button on my keyboard just stopped working. *sigh*) Since I have no idea how I incurred the Karma Gods' wrath, I'd like to ask a favor. This bad-luck run seems like it might last awhile, so how about a letter of recommendation?

With my recent history, I'm sure I could get hired on as a chiller at any of the local casinos. After the money I've put out in repair costs this last month, I need a second job. So how 'bout it? Of course, you could give me a break and pick on some other poor schmuck. That idea gets my vote!

Either way, I'm still holding my chin up and looking straight ahead...I'm not going down without a fight!  =D

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review of Hunter's Moon by FE Heaton

The past, sometimes defined as "time gone by" or the "history of what went before," is something everyone has experienced. For some, however, the scars left from a long ago event last longer than others.

Nicolae is just such a person. He's retreated to a small town in the wilderness of Canada to live in peace and escape the haunting memories of his brutal captivity as a compound werewolf in Europe a century ago.

Many years of patience has earned Nicolae a place of trust among the local timber wolf pack, and he enjoys running across the mountainsides with his fellow animal brethren. During his latest sprint under the moonlight, Nicolae encounters an unusual group of hunters in the wolves' territory.

He scents blood and tracks the hunters' wounded prey. After finding an injured woman, he's startled to discover she's actually a vampire—the species responsible for his own personal nightmares. Though he considers leaving her to die and thereby quenching his thirst for revenge, he saves the vampire to protect the wolves. If humans find any mauled remains, they'll come after the wolves and exterminate them.

Nicolae's decision to help the vampire Tatyana complicates his life. The wolf pack is angered at losing the vampire prey as food, the local werewolf pack feels betrayed because Nicolae's chosen to protect a vampire, and Nicolae's own traitorous heart keeps forgetting Tatyana is a vampire—someone the Law Keepers and his conscience say he should never become attached to. Breaking that law means death.

Talk about your problematic conflict!

The plot for HUNTER'S MOON hits the forest floor running and never lets up. A group of soldiers with an ulterior motive, a werewolf pack bent on protecting their own, and enough romantic sparks to light up the night like the 4th of July keep the reader chasing each twist and turn.

So, let's talk about the characters. Tatyana is such a likeable vampire, with her desire to help others and her very human vulnerability of wanting to be liked. And then there's Nicolae. I love shifters—especially the dark and brooding type. There's just something sexy about an alpha male that loves a woman to distraction, despite his own animal instincts!

Want an action-packed adventure filled with romance? Read HUNTER'S MOON.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review originally written for The Romance Reviews

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Shadow of Guilt by Michael Davis

Are most incidents in our lives random coincidences or do things happen for a reason?
Intersecting paths have Sean Paterson and Detective Christine Sheppy asking themselves this very question.

The book opens with a teenage girl, struggling to survive in a big city. She is running from a dangerous man, trying to protect her young daughter, and looking for the one person who can keep her safe. After months of searching with no luck, one night her past catches up with her.

Sean Paterson rescues a young woman being assaulted, but before he can rush her to the hospital, she extracts a promise from him: protect her daughter. Don’t let them take her. The young girl dies, and Sean vows to keep his pledge. His struggle to uncover the mystery surrounding the girl’s existence brings his own difficult childhood memories to the surface.

Detective Christine Sheppy is called in to investigate a young girl’s murder.  She is temporarily paired with Agent Sean Paterson, and they discover a mutual attraction. Together, they search for information about the girl’s life before her tragic death. Pursuing the truth uncovers connections that force each of them to face the ghosts of their past or destroy their chance for a deep and lasting relationship.

Though some of Sean Paterson’s dialogue felt outdated and somewhat sermonized, I liked his character. He was a man of integrity and wanted to make the world a better place. Confidence and inner strength are sometimes hard-won traits, and Sean definitely earned his. Christine Sheppy portrayed a strong woman that worked hard to have a successful career in a male-dominated environment. The conflict seemed a bit stereotypical but not unheard of, and I admired her spirit and cheered her on.

The plot for Shadow of Guilt came together in a very satisfying way. A tragic death at the beginning will touch your heart and keep you turning the pages to discover who could commit such a crime. The investigation of this murder will have you asking your own questions as the characters follow clues that lead to strands of a larger web of deceit. When the final answers come to light, strong family connections and love provide a foundation for burying the past and looking toward the future.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable read filled with suspense, romance, and a testament to the strength of the human spirit, Shadow of Guilt is the book for you.

Rating:  3 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: Mast of None by Sonya Bateman

Master of None was SOOO much fun to read!

Gavyn Donnatti steals for a living, but that doesn't make him a bad criminal. He doesn't believe in murder and almost never hurts anyone. The fact that every job he plans falls apart (none of the complications are his fault) endears him even more to the reader.

Take his last job for example. Gavyn lost the item his ex boss hired him to steal. The boss thinks Gavyn's lying and plans to extract the item or information of its whereabouts from Gavyn's hyde.

Things get even more interesting when Gavyn discovers he has his own personal djinn (don't call him a genie!). The situation is ironically hilarious because Gavyn has the worst luck ever...which explains why he and his djinn can't stand each other.

Unfortunately for them, Gavyn and Ian are stuck together until they discover Gavyn's purpose in life. Considering his choices in life to this point, finding an answer might take awhile. Gavyn and his djinn must find a way to resolve their differences and work together because if they don't, a terrifying enemy threatens to destroy everything and everyone they both hold dear.

I love Sonya Bateman's voice!!!

Gavyn's character is an amusing blend of light-hearted, wise-cracking guy speak and identifiable pop culture.
Ian is a cynical world-weary djinn, but at heart a man of integrity. His humanized character traits mesh with his amazing djinn abilities in a complementary pairing.

Master of None hits the ground running, and the plot screams forward at a break-neck pace. My advice: strap in and enjoy the ride!

Rating: 4****

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Romance Reviews Grand Opening


You’re invited!

From March 1 – 31, 2011


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Participating authors

Kat Martin                   Beth Kery                    Susan Lyons
Madison Blake             Ashley March               Karen Rose Smith
LK Rigel                     Gini Rifkin                     Sandra Edwards
Grace Elliot                 Suzanne Barrett             Jessica Chambers
Maeve Greyson           Sable Hunter                 Josie Arlington
Tanya Stowe               Laura Tolomei               Kristen Painter
Renee Rearden            Elaine Cantrell               Susanna Ives
Amy Corwin                Keta Diablo                   Suzette Stone
Suzanne Tyrpak           TL Schaefer                  Monique Martin
Kari Gregg                  Susan Meier                  Laura Moore
Susan Roebuck            Kathy Carmichael          Brita Addams
KT Grant                    Winslow Eliot                 Ingela F. Hyatt
Jan Scarbrough            Victoria Blisse               Sharon Buchbinder
PG Forte                     Bronwyn Storm             Patricia Preston
Alice Gaines                Cate Rowan                  Ann Tracy Marr
Joan Beth Erickson      Tara Lain                      Terri Reid
L.J. McDonald            Lucinda Brant                Eden Baylee
Hayley B. James         Jason W. Chan               Pat Amsden
Linda Morris                DH Starr                       Kaylea Cross
Lee Benoit                   Kayelle Allen                 Eliza Gayle
Beth Trissel                 Viviane Brentanos          Morgan Rice
Ashley Ladd                Jennifer Labelle              LaVerne Clark
Sibel Hodge                 Darcia Helle                  Rita Hestand
Mahalia Levey             LK Below                     Gale Stanley
Sarah J. Bradley          Joanne Troppello            Rhonda L. Print
Pamela Jackson           Jenny Schwartz              Mary Manners
Eve Silver                    Jennifer Crusie               T.C. Archer
Jocelyn Modo               Sloan Parker                  Kerri Williams
Elaine Hopper               Stacey Espino                Linda Mooney
Victoria Howard           Heather Matthews         Marcia James
Cherie De Sues            Savannah Chase             Simone Eden
Lauren Fraser              Annie Nicholas               JoAnne Kenrick
E.D. Walker                Rachel Haimowitz           HP Mallory
Suzanne Rock              Andrea Speed                 Elle Amery
Nichelle Gregory          Eden Bradley                  Shermaine Williams
Berengaria Brown        Tina Donahue                 Taryn Kincaid
Red Haircrow              Virginia Cavanaugh         Hailey Edwards
Elle Druskin                  Rachel Brimble               Frances Pauli
Nancy J Cohen             Tarah Scott                    Em Petrova
Heather Wardell            Cara Marsi                    CJ Archer
Mary Eason                  Skhye Moncrief              Jana Richards
Jill James                      Alison Chambers             LoRee Peery
Gail Pallotta                  Alison Henderson            Nicki Greenwood
Alianne Donnelly           Tiffany Ashley                Michael Davis
Gem Sivad                    Stacy Juba                      Tory Richards

Friday, February 25, 2011

Love Immortal by Felicity Heaton

4 Stars

We've all struggled with feeling out of place at some point in our lives. Now imagine being saved from a werewolf by a gorgeous man—who then explains you're a reincarnated goddess he has protected for three millennia. Oh, and your destiny is to kill the first and most powerful werewolf, before he destroys Olympus.

Oh, yeah. We're talking big story here.

I love the way Ms. Heaton weaves classical mythology with urban myth, to create a preternatural world, hidden within an everyday existence. This combination makes the heroine's life anything but ordinary. Lauren must face the outlandish claims, accept the proof her savior Julian provides, and ready herself for a battle that will end in certain death for some of its warriors.

The nearly 700-page novel certainly provided the canvas to show Lauren's journey toward discovering her inner strength, finding true love, and fulfilling her destiny. Julian's character is *swooning*a fantastic combination of emotional vulnerability, physical perfection, and deadly skilled protector.

Any woman in her right mind would recognize Julian's amazing qualities, the feelings he stirs and act on them, right? Well, Lauren does…eventually. The sensual tension between our main characters scorches the page. Unfortunately, they don't work out their insecurities and satisfy their (and the reader's) need to consummate their bond until around 600 pages into the story.

Lauren's character is a strong, caring woman that inspires others in her world to fight for what is right. The reader roots for her to succeed on this journey, but is left with an almost perpetual feeling of waiting—for the moment she and Julian resolve their issues, for the ultimate battle to finally occur.

And therein lies the only issue I have with LOVE IMMORTAL. The story took too long to happen. Some information was repeated initially, but for the most part the extra details dragged the story out. Don't get me wrong, this is a good read. For me, I think in this instance less would have been more—making it a great book.

Having said that, anyone that loves sweeping paranormals will enjoy the book. And after becoming acquainted with Ms. Heaton's voice and storytelling skills, I'm sure I will enjoy her other works as well.

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Intimate Weapons by Kathleen Scott

4 Stars

When pushing for scientific progress, how far is too far? Kathleen Scott has created a fantastic love story that poses that very question. And Jovita Rees answers it. In her world, conquering space and ruling the universe is fueled by political might. Jovita's being abducted, injected with nanite technology, and experimented on proves, for some, too far isn't far enough.

I loved Intimate Weapons! It just thrills me when I pick up a book I wouldn't normally read and then can't put it down. Let me explain why.

Jovita Rees flees for her life. She evades her torturers by stowing away on the Guidestar—a Vanden vessel used by Ambassador Mallic Telonis. Knowing of his reputation for indulging in pleasure, Jovita proposes sex for safe passage…except he refuses her proposition. (Crazy interesting, right?)

Mallic instead offers Jovita political asylum. When he initiates the paperwork to secure her safety, he discovers Jovita Rees is listed as dead. Jovita insists she was abducted, experimented on, and has no memory of her life except her name. Unsure what to make of the situation, Mallic knows something is not right and places her under Vanden protection.

Upon arrival at the Vanden Royal Palace, Jovita is examined by medical staff. An unusual technology is found in Jovita's bloodstream. As the doctors work to discover the design and purpose of such technology, Jovita struggles to control the changes the experimental technology causes within her body. To make matters worse, every time she feels threatened, she sees things that can't be real. Even her dreams become irrational and frightening, causing her to doubt her sanity.

Mallic watches her struggle against her haunting fears. Her strength and determination to remain in control garner his admiration. Her luscious curves and exotic beauty drive him to distraction. Once he discovers Jovita's connection to the Celedon Royal Family, he vows to keep his distance.

The Royal family is informed of Jovita's existence. Once Prince Rohan arrives, they discover not only was she the beloved psychic for the Celedon Royal Family, she and the prince shared a very close relationship. Mallic realizes he doesn't care. Jovita belongs with him, and he uses every skill in his sexual repertoire to convince her.

Despite piecing together Jovita's past, the most important information relating to Jovita's abduction is unknown: Who kidnapped her and why. And now that she has resurfaced, and her memories are returning, whoever arranged for her "death" might try again. Mallic, Prince Rohan, and Jovita race to find Jovita's abductor before he finds her.

Whew…there's a lot going on in this book, and I love every detailed page of it! Ms. Scott blends the science fiction element with the erotic romance perfectly. The relationship between Jovita and Mallic progresses at a natural pace. Each frustrating, sensual, page-scorching encounter between our hero and heroine builds to a satisfying climax—and still leaves the reader begging for more.

Readers that enjoy plot driven as well as character driven stories will love this futuristic romance. And even though Jovita and Mallic's story could end here, there's still a question or two Ms. Scott could answer in a sequel. Here's hoping she decides those questions are worth answering. I know I'll be looking for them!

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews


Okay. Well, I totally suck at blogging on a consistent basis.

*cue loud sigh*

So, I've decided to add reviews of books I've read to this blog. That will accomplish several things. First, I'll have at least a weekly contribution to my blog! I'm reading anyway, so why not post the reviews I do here that I always put on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads? Second, hopefully the book, review, or just subject matter will spark material for a blog article.

It's worth a shot anyway!  ;-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Though Moonlight Bleu came out in September of 2010, reviews are still rolling in. This morning I received a fantastic writeup by Kate aka YzhaBella's Bookshelf. I cannot explain in words how much the phrase, "I LOVED your book!" means to me...but I'll try.

I think the closest description I can give is that of a rock star, performing on stage, and seeing the crowd that's gathered for the performance. What frickin' high!!!

To read the review, please click the link below:


Monday, January 10, 2011


My grandson visits us every other weekend. I look forward to spending my days playing with his trucks, doing puzzles, or chasing him around the back yard. When he goes home with his mom and dad, I lock myself in my office and work like crazy to make up for the time away from my keyboard.

With so many things to get done Saturday, I didn't get any writing done at all. Then the kids got sick, and I had my grandson overnight. He woke up Sunday morning feverish and clingy. I sat in my chair, the little guy on my lap, all day. We watched movies because that's all he felt like doing.

Of course, I had planned to write while he took a nap. Never happened. Those peepers stayed open no matter what I tried. Another day with no work accomplished.

While the idea of not meeting the goal of blogging and writing 365 days this year upset me greatly, feeling the little guy's arms curled around mine made me rethink my stance. Structured deadlines are meant to help achieve set goals. That's all well and good when life isn't factored into the equation.

But life outside my office exists, and my family will always be my first priority. That means finding a balance. Accepting there will be days I can't write. And on the days my keyboard is out of reach, I'll just play in my head. Ideas can be shelved until it's my time to get creative.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Just when I thought I had my sleep pattern under control,*WHAM* I'm back to four hours a night.

Trust me when I say that is not enough sleep to function on for a sustained period of time. Don't get me wrong, the occasional sleepless night is great for writing an out-of-the-box scene. Being tired helps silence my inner critic. That voice in the back of my head that tells me I'm writing garbage, the characters aren't three dimensional, or the plot line just stinks.

Lack of sleep also shuts down my filter. It usually stays hinged to the front of my brain, saving me from saying inappropriate things at the most inopportune moments. Not having a working filter can certainly help me develop a character's personality...unfortunately, it can push also a character too far into the obnoxious zone. That means rewrites.

A week of insomnia is just brutal. Nothing kills writing mojo faster than being overtired. For now, it seems I've planted my flag in the "I got some sleep" camp. Glad the weekend's here, though. If I don't break this cycle soon, I'll be locked up in the "no sleep = insanity" ward.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reading For?

Now I've gone and done it.

Let me explain. I belong to several reading groups: paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and sci-fi. Each have offered 2011 reading challenges. I've entered ALL of them. That's ten different reading challenges. "Why?" you ask.

I love to read. Go figure, right?

But there's more to it than that. Reading is a huge part of writing. Immersing myself in other worlds allows my imagination to stretch. Each author's voice has its own flavor, and how they put a story together helps me learn more about the craft of storytelling.

So, reading is learning. (We've all heard that from a teacher somewhere!)

Reading is also escapism. When things are tough at work, there's a little too much drama happening at home, (or I'm in an insomniac phase) I reach for a book. Finding solitude and peace between the covers of a book is my kind of therapy. Losing myself in a story makes everything else disappear.

Therein lies my particular weakness. If I don't police myself, I'll read to the exclusion of everything else. I'll go without sleep. I'll let work slide. My writing time gets interrupted. Everyday responsibilities get neglected while I devour the latest book in my hands.

 You see where this is headed?

By entering all of these challenges I've set the stage for a spectacular reading frenzy. But this year, I'm going to manage my participation. I'm a big girl. Reading time comes AFTER work and writing time. I may not finish every challenge I've entered, but I'll make a good dent in my TBR pile...and hey, lucky me, getting through the TBR pile happens to be one of my New Year's resolutions.

Oh, and the upside of policing myself...I make the rules. Lunch hour is free time. Think I'll start my next  book at noon!