Monday, July 29, 2013

Attention Bloggers! May I Have Your Attention (Again, LOL!)

I'm currently on vacation, but Kenzie has a Review Tour this week!  Beginning on today, check out the following links to where she'll be.

Here's where Kenzie will be this week:

Goddess Fish Blog (for complete list of links next week)

Tues:  DanaSquare Blog 

(Also on Tues):  Freda's Voice Blog 

Thurs:  Harlie's Book Blog 

She'll be giving away books, Amazon GC, and a Freya's Bower GC.  So check in every day, show her some love, and hey, you might win a free book or even the grand prize!

If I get some free time, I'll pop in with an update of books read, vacation travels, etc.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

SCP Historical Blog Hop:)

I know; you were expecting a Regency, or any book which takes place before 1900, right?  Well, you're just going to have to flash back to the 1980s with me:)  Don't worry; even though my latest book takes place from 1988-1990, I've got a treat for you.

For more Historical Romance posts, click here:) 

Let's flash back to 1982, when Izod shirts, Calvin Klein jeans, Nike tennis shoes, and other designer labels were IN.  Woe betide the person who shopped at Good Will or wore hand-me-downs.  If you wanted to fit in, you wore Chic jeans, monogrammed sweaters, and had either a fox (JC Penney), Izod the alligator (LS Ayres-now Macy's), or a dragon (Sears, but only the really desperate ones wore this) on your polo shirt.  Nikes were $50/pair, and thankfully, they lasted an entire year if you bought the leather ones and took care of them.  Oxford shirts with the 'fruit loop' on the back, between the shoulder blades, were also acceptable 'preppy' wear.  If you dressed like Madonna in Lucky Star, then you were labelled a 'hood'.

I had to remove all my brand names from this excerpt for the book, but I hope the tone is still conveyed.

What happens when your roommates are pencil-slim without trying, and you gain a dress size by looking at chocolate?  Susan Best struggles with her self-esteem after a bad break up.  She diets in the wrong manner, and soon it's almost out of control.  When love sneaks up on her, can she accept the truth her man loves her, not the number on her clothes?

Travis Freeman was instrumental in jump-starting Susan’s singing career.  But he didn’t count on the dark side of being in the spotlight, and stands by helpless as the woman he loves spirals out of control.  But after alerting her friends to the problem, he risks losing her altogether.

Jamie watched his identical twin brother Rob break Susan’s heart.  Thrilled by the fact their friendship is rekindled, he appoints himself her personal body guard during their summer job.  But when he kisses her, is she picturing his brother?

Set Up:  Susan and a boy in Health Class become rivals for grades.  When Su acquires the outfit of a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and wears it for Halloween despite her parents' objections, she enjoys her Halloween evening, until she thinks she hears a familiar voice.  Uneasy, she returns home and crawls in bed, hoping she's wrong.  But disaster hits the next day at school....

She discovered her red-haired rival had shown up in her neighborhood and had ogled her scanty outfit. He stopped by her locker before the first bell.

“Whoo, baby! What sexy legs you have.” He winked and went on, leaving her shocked and dismayed. By the time health class arrived, various male classmates had approached her with other comments.

“Heard you showed some skin last night.”

“You gonna pose for Playboy?”

“Did you stuff your bra?”

“Why don’t you wear that outfit to the game Friday night?”

Whistles and catcalls followed her from class to class, and trembling, she slid into her seat. The girls flocked around her, asking quiet questions of their own, but by then she felt so ashamed and humiliated, she just wanted to be left alone. She made it through the rest of the day by holding her head high and pretending not to notice anything. By the time she got home, she was shaking.

How could this have happened? She was a good Christian girl, the type who never got into trouble. She already knew of the danger of peer pressure that awaited her. She’d already resolved to never give into any pressures of smoking, drugs, alcohol, or even sex, and there it was, the taunting of an unknown sexuality. 

She didn’t know what to do. If she went to her parents, would they blame her? Yes, they had tried to talk her out of wearing the costume. Was it her fault? Would they say, “I told you so”? She didn’t think she could handle a parental lecture and decided to say nothing to her parents. Her older sister? No, what if she said the same thing? Her younger brother might make things worse by trying to defend her and get thrown out of school, or worse yet, start teasing her himself! No, she couldn’t go to her family. Her friends? What more was there to say? She decided to tough it out, and maybe the boys would forget about it in a few days.

Instead of blowing over, the teasing continued. Designer jeans were the rage, and having the right label meant everything to an eighth grader. Suddenly, her body was the enemy. Designer labels on the back pocket of her jeans called attention to her curvy bottom. The alligator, a fox, or a dragon called attention to her blossoming bosom. Her feet, her treacherous feet, instead of looking dainty in plain white canvas sneakers, looked enormous in white leather ones with a red swish.

She tried not to call attention to herself. When shopping for clothes, she chose loose-fitting jeans and oversize sweaters. She went to the beauty parlor and cut her glorious hair short. Christmas brought her makeup kits and fashionable, clingy clothes.

In desperation, she discovered a tendency to put on weight at certain times of the month. After getting her period the day following her fourteenth birthday, she also discovered her bloated body, full of water retention, could not fit into the designer clothes. Gradually, she began to put on enough weight so her shape would demand the inconspicuous labels.

She became an invisible person, the type that glides through high school, never calling attention to herself, yet getting high enough grades to continue on to college. Gone was the desire to stand out, to be someone. She never wanted the taunting of her classmates again.

Question:  What was your favorite Halloween costume for trick-or-treating?  Or do you even remember what it was like to be 13 or 14?  I'll draw a random comment for a free download of my back list, since this book arrives next month.  Happy Hopping!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Flashback Friday

Story thus far:  Spouse had had his heart valve replaced in Jan; another surgery to remove fluid and a blood clot in Feb; and had to start TB meds since a test tube with his name on it had tested positive for TB.  He returned to work in June, and things began looking up again.  But a monkey wrench was about to unfold....

July 2003:
After baseball/softball season was over, I felt relieved.  I also did a few other craft shows and sold a few more books.  But the weekend of the 4th, I probably slept for 18 hours, and nearly nodded off during the fireworks display.  Plus, I realized Mother Nature was a week late....and my boobs were so tender I could hardly sleep on my stomach.  Surely I wasn't....I mean, you have to DO something in order to be....was I in menapause?

The spouse, having no idea of what was going on, started talking about his retirement plans, which made me even more miserable.  Our youngest had just turned nine, for God's sake!  And since the spouse's truck had just died, he was using my car to get back and forth to work.  So how would I even get to town?

The answer came the following Monday.  A friend called, wanting to kidnap my kids.  I said sure, and would she run me to my doctor's office?  J arrived; we dropped the kids off at her house and in the care of her hubby, and off we went to Indianapolis.  We talked and laughed all the way there, and when we were about a block from the office, I 'fessed up about my fears.

Into the exam room I went, and peed in the cup.  Dr. S came in and asked me why I was there.

"You've got the whiz quiz results; you tell me."

"Tell me your symptoms."

I did.  "I want you to tell me a) I have a very strange sleeping bug in my body; b) I'm depressed; c) menapause (nodding my head); or d) (swallow) pregnant...but don't let it be that."

He put down his chart.  "Well, you know what they say....if it looks like a horse, acts like a horse, and sounds like a horse, it's a horse and not a donkey."

"Oh noooooo...."

"Yes, honey, you're pregnant."

My emotions were all over the place.  One minute I was crying, because it would mean turning my office into a nursery; and the next, "Hey!  I can get a diaper Genie!"  Then I'd be in tears again.

I literally cried all the way home, and felt guilty, since J was infertile and had adopted.  Here I was, 'fertile Myrtle' at age 37 with a child I didn't want.

I decided not to tell the kids yet; I wanted to tell my spouse.  We decided to let the kids spend the night at her house so D and I could be alone with this unexpected news.

When D arrived, he got into the shower as usual.  When he was nearly through, I called to him that I had something to tell him.

"What, are you pregnant again or something?"  He shut the shower off.

I burst into tears again.  "Yeeeessss...."

He entered the bedroom, still drying off.  "That's all?"  He started laughing, which made me cry even harder.  "Oh honey, it's okay....we'll get through it."

I still wasn't convinced, and cried the next two days.  The kids were thrilled at the prospect of a little brother or sister, and wanted to know how big it was at 5 weeks.

"About the size of a peanut."  And so it was dubbed 'Peanut'.

My parents were stunned, but thrilled.  My sister had just had a baby in May, so now her child would have a cousin a little closer in age:)

And the last weekend in July, my dad drove the kids and I out to White Rock, BC to meet my new nephew and play in the Pacific Ocean.  Unfortunately, I was in the throes of morning sickness, so my dad got an up close and personal view of what it's like to travel with a pregnant lady!

Next Month:  Traveling While Pregnant and Another Change

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Attention Bloggers: May I Please Direct Your Attention To.....

Currently Reading:  Finished Jean's Red Carpet Romance yesterday and LOVED it!  A nice reminder of what a day in the life of a baby is, plus a wonderful story of two people getting to know each other slowly, and a very sneaky cliffhanger at the end!  This series is very enjoyable and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book! Definite Recommended Read:) Also read Jennifer Labelle's Meant To Be and it was a good reminder not to discount women's intuition.

I'm getting ready to go on vacation, but Kenzie has a Review Tour next week!  Beginning on Monday, check out the following links to where she'll be.  And yes, since I'll be back for Friday's Flashback tomorrow (you're not going to wanna miss this, trust me!), I'll repost this list again.

Here's where Kenzie will be next week:

Goddess Fish Blog (for complete list of links next week)

Tues:  DanaSquare Blog 

(Also on Tues):  Freda's Voice Blog 

Thurs:  Harlie's Book Blog 

She'll be giving away books, Amazon GC, and a Freya's Bower GC.  So check in every day, show her some love, and hey, you might win a free book or even the grand prize!

If I get some free time, I'll pop in with an update of books read, vacation travels, etc.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Catch Up Tuesday

Currently Reading:  Finished Goddess of Vengeance by Jackie Collins, and don't know if I missed a book in this series or just need to reread the entire series again!  There were some memories tossed about and I didn't remember some of the details.  Did find a tiny mistake; on one page, Paige is referred to as Gino's 5th wife, and a few chapters later, she's referred to as his third.  So even NY editors miss things:)  But all in all, Recommended Read!  I was a little disappointed by the ending, but oh well.....Also finished Wa-ba-Shi-Ki by Rick Kelsheimer, and good story!  And nice way to bring local history to life!  E-book-wise, finished Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly.  Excellent read!  I kept getting frustrated at Megan's stubbornness at times, so guess it's the mark of a good storyteller?  Recommended Read:)  Now I'm diving into Jean Joachim's Red Carpet Romance.

I know; I missed yesterday.  But it was one of those 'schedule-out-the-window' kind of days, where nothing gets accomplished.  Daughter had a job interview, so spent two hours in Princeton, IN, entertaining the granddaughter.  Ate lunch at KFC, and was disappointed chicken and noodles were not on the buffet.  Came home and was able to clean out my email:)

Big Brother:
Has anyone else noticed the celebrity look-alike/separated-at-birth dynamics in the Big Brother House this year?

Amanda:  Angie Harmon
Kaitlin:  Kristin Stewart
Jeremy:  Ashton Kutcher
Helen:  Ming Na
David:  Blonde David Copperfield
Andy:  Howdy Doody or Ron Howard
Howard:  Jesse L. Martin
Candice:  Janet Jackson

I can't decide if Jessie, Judd, McRea, Aaryn, Elyssa, Spencer, GinaMarie, or Nick resemble any famous people.  Was this deliberate, or just coincidence?

While I was sad to see Jeremy aka 'Ashton' leave, I sincerely hope Elissa goes soon!!!  Think it might be Aaryn this week though.

Edit Update:
4th-round arrived, and I should have them knocked out by tonight:)  Hopefully this will be the last one, and I'll have a release date soon:)

Karaoke Update:
Don't Look Back-Boston Had a few troubled spots, but made it through!  Quote from Mark, KJ:  "That's a hard song, but she did it well!  WTG Molly:)"
Don't Pay The Ferryman-Chris Deburgh Rocked it!  I've loved this song since I 1st heard it in HS!
Blown Away-Carrie Underwood Started off on wrong note, but recovered and did okay.
If I Die Young-Band Perry Did okay on it:)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flashback Friday

I'm over at RB4U Blog talking about that all important question, when does the description of sexual hijinks cross the line? What's your personal 'TMI' or 'ick' factor?  Come over and say hi!
Kenzie is also in the spotlight over at Candace Shaw's blog.  Go over and show her some love?

July 1993:
This particular month is always hot and sticky.  Since it was just baby K and I again, nephew D asked if he could come stay with us, and we said sure.  We spent nearly every afternoon at the pool, and D continued to attract the teeny bopper girls.  One in particular he actually called, and went for walks with her.  But it soon became apparent this girl had NO idea what a healthy relationship was, because she got mad at him if we took him out to dinner.  If he neglected to call her 1st thing in the morning, or even all day.  She tried laying guilt trips.  And when he finally met her mom, he reported MOM did these same things to her own boyfriend/men she was dating.  So we encouraged 14 y/o D to back off from her.

We'd gotten to know Dave the pool monitor quite well at this point, and he adored 19 m/o K.  I have video of Dave taking him out into the deep water; carrying him on his back around the pool; and just being goofy with him.  K decided one day that maybe, just maybe, he ought to be interested in his mommy.  So while I had him in my arms in 4 feet of water, we observed Dave make a shallow dive into the 5 foot area.  But when he surfaced, maybe a few feet from where we were standing, K suddenly yanked my swim suit top down to my waist!  Thankfully, I was able to drop down into the water, so I don't think Dave had even opened his eyes yet, or noticed.  I took K back to the shallow end, where he could play on the steps with his plastic trucks.

Mom also called with the news she was taking K and I to Florida at the end of the month; I looked forward to seeing my grandmother again.

Present Day:
It's been a hot week, up in the mid 90s and with a heat index of over 100 degrees.  We've all been staying indoors with the a/c going full blast!

Last night, BC Brown and I traveled to Monroe City, IN to attend a dinner given by the MC Book Club, and to hear our friend Rick Kelsheimer speak.  I even bought one of his books, though the one I've wanted for years was sold out.

Just heard from the dr; my chest X-ray was normal.  I already knew that!  But I'm still having breathing ans swallowing issues at night! Or when I lean back in a chair.  Very frustrating.

Looking ahead to the weekend, I don't think we have anything in particular planned.

Karaoke Song list:
Don't Know What You've Got Til It's Gone-Cinderella
Don't Look Back-Boston
Don't Lose My Number-Phil Collins
Don't Pay The Ferryman-Chris Deburgh
Blown Away-Carrie Underwood
If I Die Young-Band Perry

Yes, I know some of these are repeats; I changed my mind last week and sang others.  I've got six more songs on my Potential Karaoke List, and I intend to finish them by the time BC leaves town.  Then I think it's time to move on the the E titles.  I'll have to double check my written list.

See you on Monday!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Cover Reveal!

Currently Reading:  Finished The Truth About Lord Stoneville and loved it!  There's a sneak peek at Jarret's story at the back, and I don't think I've read it either.  I know I've read Miranda, Gabe, and Celia's stories, so once I read J's, the series will be complete.  Recommended Read:)  Began Jackie Collins' Goddess of Vengeance.  E-book-wise, I'm still on Waking Up Married.

The awesome Dawn Domonique strikes again!  I've never had to ask her to change anything, except for one of Kenzie's covers.  Love how she 'gets' it the first time around!

(drum roll)  Book #7 in the Arbor U s series:

What happens when your roommates are pencil-slim without trying, and you gain a dress size by looking at chocolate?  Susan Best struggles with her self-esteem after a bad break up.  She diets in the wrong manner, and soon it's almost out of control.  When love sneaks up on her, can she accept the truth her man loves her, not the number on her clothes?

Travis Freeman was instrumental in jump-starting Susan’s singing career.  But he didn’t count on the dark side of being in the spotlight, and stands by helpless as the woman he loves spirals out of control.  But after alerting her friends to the problem, he risks losing her altogether.

Jamie watched his identical twin brother Rob break Susan’s heart.  Thrilled by the fact their friendship is rekindled, he appoints himself her personal body guard during their summer job.  But when he kisses her, is she picturing his brother?

“Want to go back and catch the last flick?”

She rolled on her back and stretched. Her eyes fluttered open when he turned on the small desk lamp, then realized the blankets were around her waist.

“What?” She pulled the covers up to her neck, wondering how long he’d been staring at her bare torso. “You turned the light on.”

“Yeah.” Sitting on the bed beside her, he tugged on the sheet and slipped his hand inside to touch her skin. Susan sat up and kissed him, then jumped when he pulled the covers away. “God, Su. Oh honey, you’re perfect.” His open mouth found her nipples again, and she settled back into the pillows.

She protested while her body quivered for more. “I thought you wanted to watch Terminator.”

“We’ll rent the damn thing. Oh God, Su.” His hands traced her ribs.

Susan arched her back to give him more access and tensed, still caught up in that dreamlike area between sleep and wakefulness. She didn’t object when his fingers slid into the waistband of the sweat pants or when he settled himself into the cradle of her hips. His hips moved against hers in a light pressure, and she took a sharp intake of breath. He began a steady rhythm, rocking against her. Susan began to match it move for move. He worked a hand between them, and she jumped.

“Travis, no.”

“It’s okay. Let me do this.”

“Travis, stop!” She put her hands on either side of his face. “Please, stop?”

He groaned and rolled to lie beside her, panting. “I’m so close. I’m sorry. ” He freed himself from the constraints of his underwear. “Grab a tissue, please?”

Susan handed the box to him, and he spilled his essence into a handful of tissues.

“Yuck!” Both curious and appalled at the same time, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She’d seen Travis naked and masturbating with the lights on.

Oh God, what have I done? What have I done? She covered her eyes with her hands.

Travis’ arms went around her, but she refused to respond to his kisses on her jaw.

“What is it, Su? Are you mad at me or something?”

“I can’t believe you did that.”

“We didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I know that.” She lowered her hands to his chest. “But, you were hanging out, and‒and, you‒you did that‒that stuff on yourself! Is that what sperm looks like?”

Travis smoothed her hair. “I couldn’t control myself. And that stuff, as you put it, has to go somewhere. I’ll be glad to show you some alternatives of where to put it.”

Releasing August 2013 from Sweet Cravings Publishing

Edit Update:
Finished the 3rd round on Tuesday and emailed them back.  She may want me to add just a bit more to some of the transitions, and I found a spacing error earlier, but that's an easy fix.  I'll most likely get it back this weekend.

Writing Again!
I've had two stories swirling in my head the last month (no, neither of which has anything to do with AU; I think this is Kenzie's attempt to take over the brain again, ha ha!), and yesterday began writing down one of them.  Got a page written before I ran out of time, so we'll see where this takes me.

Come back tomorrow for memories of July 1993:)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HDH #17

I know.  I've not done this in a month.  But 'fess's grown so big, and don't you want a break from me now and then?  (LOL!)  Again, the full list can be found here .

Today you get another sample from Stephanie and Jodie.
Stephanie Ridgeman is sick and tired of watching her best friends go through heartache and question their goals, all in the name of love.  When she meets a young woman who introduces her to another lifestyle, Steph’s curiosity overwhelms her.  She discovers there are different ways of expressing love, although society shuns her new views.  When she learns her parents disapprove, will it affect her choice?

Jodie Armstrong lost a partner to AIDS the previous year, and is intrigued by the young woman whose friends’ antics rival those of a soap opera. She patiently answers Steph’s hesitant questions concerning her lifestyle choices and encourages Stephanie to follow her heart.  Will Steph ever figure out which world she belongs in, and will her friends accept her decisions?

Available at Sweet Cravings  Amazon  Nook

“Wanna make a tiny bet?”

“I’m game.”

“If you’re right and the Bengals lose, I’ll be your slave for a day, but if they beat San Francisco, then you have to be mine. And…you have to tell one of your roommates about us.” Jodie looked serious.

“Why do I have to tell?” A tiny seed of fear knotted Stephanie’s stomach.

“Because you made a promise you’d come out. I’m getting tired of waiting for you to make up your mind.” Jodie crossed her arms. “You tell me how refreshing it is, not to have to worry about birth control and all that, that being with me is a hell of a lot better than anyone else you ever dated, but damn it, I’m getting tired of being a secret.” She stopped, her hand over her mouth, then she dropped it. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to tell you this until later, but it’s how I feel. My friends know about you but yours are clueless. If we’re going to be involved, then I want to be a part of your life, the part that goes out in public, not just hides in my bedroom. I’ve put up with it for six months, and now it’s time to either shit or get off the pot, Steph. I’m not Steve.” The doorbell rang, and Jodie walked over to Stephanie, lowering her voice. “I think I love you, but if all you want is sex, then you can leave after the party. Now, I’m going to let our guests in and enjoy myself. Think about it and we’ll talk after the party.”

See you next week!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hazards Of Childhood

Currently Reading:  Finished Liz Crowe's Cheeky Blonde and I really enjoyed this book!  There's flirting, conflict, a little mystery, and it keeps  you scrolling.  So go pick this one up!  Recommended Read.  Print-wise, I began The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries before going to bed last night.  I read this series out of order, so it's nice to finally read the 1st one!

Had a total 'What the hell...??' moment yesterday.  Admittedly, I did not catch all of it, so if you heard the same announcement and I've got some things wrong, please let me know.

Found the article:  Go here to read it.

Here's what I heard on the radio:
New permission slip for kids:
I understand while on this field trip, my child may:
-come into contact with mud
-come into contact with plants/trees/flowers
-get his/her shoes wet
-get get clothing wet/dirty

Are you kidding me?
If my kids go on a field trip, a) I don't send them in their church clothes and b) I expect them to have fun/get dirty.  My oldest son once went with his class to a farm and 'accidentally on purpose' fell in the pond.  I met them back at school with another complete set of clothes and when he got home, we set his shoes outside to dry.

Wait....maybe this is because of an old neighbor of mine?

I think she expected her kids to stay inside all day and not get dirty.  She got mad if they happened to spill anything on their shirts (I watched her kids when her son was in 3rd and daughter in kindergarten).  At a Cub Scout event, they played tug-of-war over a small plastic swimming pool, and afterward, a water fight ensued.  My son is the one who pushed her son into the water.  He came crying to his mom, and she yelled at him for not staying away from the water, then yelled at my son for getting him wet.

Give me a break!

These boys were even on the football team together, everything was fine until her son got (gasp!) grass stains on his football pants.  You'd have thought the world ended.  Hit 'em with a little Shout and they'll come clean!  And she had the same conniption fit when it had rained the night before and her darling got (gasp!) a little mud on his jersey.

You have to let kids be kids and get that chance to be a little dirty/muddy/wet at times.  As adults, we don't get that many chances anymore.  Unless you're into going mudding in a four-wheeler.

Aunt Molly Forgot Her Camera
No pics of yesterday.  But the kids and I had a wonderful afternoon at the water park!  Rode the Lazy River, sat in water up to my elbows and people-watched, threw the dive rings for the girls (and one little boy who wanted to join the fun), and watched the boys go down the slide.

Got to drive my mom's new Dodge Caravan!

Mom and Dad ordered Happy China takeout for dinner, and we left at 8pm.  Am hoping we get to do this again next week and take Miss Alex aka 'Munchkin' aka 'Itsy-Bitsy'.  She'd enjoy the splash park!

I think I'll be joining the HDH fun again tomorrow, so come back again!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Ramble

Currently Reading:  Finished Barbara Taylor Bradford's Ravenscar Mystery and this is going to be my least favorite of her books.  I don't know if maybe she ran out of steam halfway through, but once the main plot is finished, the book sort of flounders, and I frankly lost respect for Edward after his marriage.  Then the wrap up is a little weak, imho.  Now onto Sabrina Jeffries' The Truth About Lord Stoneville.

We're off to the water park today!   Apparently, an hour before I called my mom to see if today would be good for her, my nephew D asked, 'Are we going to be able to see W anytime this week?'

Oldest son K has the day off, so he and the spouse will finish cleaning out that apartment he's not lived in the past year, then join us.  CB arrives back today, and since her birthday is the week after niece R's, the girls should play well together while the boys try to out-do each other, and R won't feel like a 3rd wheel.

Also hoping to reconnect with friend A, who informed me she's rearranged her schedule so she can join us!  Also tossed out the suggestion to friend K, but don't think it's going to work out.

Today's also a bittersweet day; it marks the 4th week since S passed.  Yeah,'s the 15th, not the 17th, but still, it was a Monday.

I should also hear from the dr tomorrow or Wednesday about what they plan to do about my thyroid.

Karaoke Update:
Only three of us sang the 1st hour, so was able to knock 3 songs off my list!
Don't Let Me Get Me (Pink)-Ugh.  Too low on the verses.
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Elton John)-Did okay on it, but probably won't perform this again.
Don't Speak (No Doubt)-Did okay; need to practice the ending a bit more.
High Enough (Damn Yankees)- Rocked the bar:)  And since I sang solo, had trouble with Robert Plant's part.  But nailed Tommy Shaw's!
I Remember You (Skid Row)-Rocked the bar:)

Mark had left me out of the rotation accidentally for an hour; otherwise I'd have also sung Blown Away by Carrie Underwood.  And at the end, BC Brown insisted I get up with her and two other friends and perform Mya's part in Lady Marmalade.  But I didn't know it, so B took over for me.

I should have pictures to share tomorrow:)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Flashback Friday

July 1983:
The band was off to Traverse City, MI again for the Cherry Festival!   This time, unlike two years ago, I had plenty of friends to pal around with, including my BFF R.  This time, instead of staying at the Shues Mtn Lodge, we were at a hotel, and shared a room with two other girls in our group.

The first day, we walked around the festival and discovered a fair.  R and I spent a wonderful afternoon riding rides, with our eyes on our watches to make sure we weren't late for practice.  During the parade, I was again placed beside the Tuba section, and I don't think we caught the recap on TV, since I have no memory of it being shown.

I do know that I'd brought a nice outfit to wear to dinner, in order to 'knock K's socks off', but apparently he was unimpressed.  After sharing a delicious meal with R and her brother G, it was G who took my arm and escorted me around all evening.  For the record, G was a sophomore and only came up to my ear.  Bruised ego aside, we still had an enjoyable trip.  

After arriving back home, Mom, my sis, and I would take off for another three-week vacation in Florida.

Present Day:
I'm dealing with a health issue.  Last week I went to the dr and discovered my thyroid is enlarged.  Had an ultrasound on it, plus my meds were upped.

Yesterday, dr called and told me she wants to biopsy two nodules in my neck, in order to determine if they are just 'normal thyroid tissue'.  BUT, she first wants to consult with another dr, who's on vacation until next week.

And that painful lump on the right side of my neck?  Swollen lymph node.  Apparently I have an infection somewhere.

So in the meantime, I'm having a slight problem breathing at night, and swallowing.  And am about to leave on vacation to Colorado.

Edit Update:
Did I mention I finished the 1st round last week, and added around 4K to it?  2nd round landed in my inbox today:)

And we need to pow-wow about the prologue.

Computer Issues:
I either didn't make recovery disks or else put them in a 'safe location' and cannot find them.  Sony wants $55 plus free shipping, for more, so I'll be sending my laptop off AFTER we get back from Colorado.

Karaoke Update:
I'm back to working on my 'D' titles:)  I've already eliminated REO Speedwagon's 'Don't Let Him Go', since it's way too synchopated and low.  And added Styx's 'Don't Let It End':)

Up this week are:
Don't Let Me Get Me-Pink
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me-Elton John/George Michael
Don't Know What You've Got Til It's Gone-Cinderella (only to be sung AFTER midnight!)
Don't Look Back-Boston

Warm up/Redemption Songs:
If I Die Young-Band Perry
Just Like Jesse James-Cher

Have a good weekend and I'll check in with you next week:)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Computer Problems Again

Currently Reading:  The upside to not having access to my laptop?  I'm reading!  Finished Birthright, Duping Cupid, and Charming For Mother's Day.  All very good books and Recommended Reads.  I now want to read more Gina Ardito books!  There are 'sneak peeks' in the back of both DC and CFMD, so will add them to my Wish List:)  Now, I'm getting ready to dive into Wild For Mr. Wrong by Virna De Paul.  And  I'm about halfway through Catching Fire, the sequel to the Hunger Games.  Not liking this one very much.

On Sunday, the touch pad on my laptop refused to work.

Yesterday, the spouse very nicely bought me a mouse.  Plugged it in; couldn't get it to respond.  So took it back to store after digging out the receipt.  It's still well under the 3 year warranty, so was feeling pretty confident.

And then was told Office Max no longer carried the Sony Vaio.

Okay, so no replacement laptop. But can you tell my why it won't work?

Gary tested it; turns out I also have some USB drives unresponsive.  He found the one active drive and went to work.

Turns out my touch pad was uninstalled.  He ran a virus scan to determine if the viruses I removed two weeks ago somehow left a residual virus which attached itself to my drives.  He'll call me when it's finished.

Two hours later, he calls me with the news there's no virus, so here's the info to send it back to Sony.  He tells me the instructions over the phone, and then we go pick up my laptop. laptop is chocolate-flavored.  I don't know why he sniffed the fan, but the air coming out smells like chocolate, rather than plain old hot air.

So I called Sony, and they're sending me the shipping materials.  All I have to do is box everything up and be without a laptop for a week.

So until then, I won't be spending a great deal of time online.  I can check my email from the desk top, and keep up with face book via my Kindle.  And I sincerely hope I'll have it back before I leave on vacation!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Flashback

Currently Reading:  I'm nearly halfway finished with Duping Cupid and am really enjoying it!

July 1973
I can neither confirm nor deny if this the correct memory, but I think we celebrated the 4th of July at a friend of the family's, then watched the fireworks on the banks of the Wabash.  I remember Mom complaining we couldn't see the ground displays very well, and that was the last time we attended that particular fireworks show.

Otherwise, we spent the month of July riding our bikes, playing in the creek, or playing outside in my back yard.  I became an honorary member of the Wea Woodlands gang, since my yard had the streetlight, the front yard devoid of trees (with the exception of the pussy willow in the front corner), and the awesome tree house.  This meant I was able to play outside in the twilight with the 'big kids' and we played Hide and Seek, Ghost in the Graveyard, kick ball, and some of the kids decided to try jumping out of the tree house.  One kid broke his arm, so that was the last time THAT happened.  And no, my parents weren't sued; this was the age of 'my kid did it, this will teach him not to do that again' mentality.  Not today's standards of 'You built it, therefore you KNEW it could happen.  And no rules posted?  Where's my lawyer?' thinking.

It was also during this summer that I worked up the courage to climb halfway up to the 'big kids' fort.  One of the boys had nailed wood 'steps' up a particularly tall tree, and while they didn't allow me all the way up (I was too scared, anyway!), they did let me climb part of the way.  My friend K and I enjoyed eating the wild blackberries and picking the umbrella plants.

Present Day:
I've been hard at work on LWI edits, and am nearly finished.  Went to the doctor this afternoon when I noticed the right side of my neck was swollen.  Turns out my thyroid is enlarged, so going for an ultrasound next week.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Reading Schedule

Currently Reading:  Stayed up late to finish Mary Martinez's Innocent.  Wonderful story of family, school issues, intrigue, and mystery.  I'll admit to not having figured out the twist until a character went missing, then speculated the identity.  Clever, Mary....very clever!  Also read The Couple by Harlie Williams, and I'll confess I skipped the sex parts and only read the beginning and end.  I was a little confused at the beginning's 1st person POV, but kept on...and it's a cute fantasy!  You won't be disappointed at the end, except for why it ends.  I want to know more about this couple!!!

Print Books:
The Reluctant Suiter-Kathleen Woodiwiss DNF
Catching Fire (#2 Hunger Games) Okay
The Ravenscar Dynasty-Barbara Taylor Bradford Okay
Birthright- Nora Roberts Loved it!  Plus enjoyed the archaeological aspects!
The Truth About Lord Stoneville-Sabrina Jeffries LOVED it!!
Goddess of Vengeance-Jackie Collins LOVED it!!
Wa-Ba-Shi-Ki-Rick Kelsheimer Good way to bring local history to life:)

Innocent-Mary Martinez Wonderful story!  Want more in this series!
The Couple-Harlie Williams Cute!  Loved ending!
Duping Cupid-Gina Ardito Loved it! Also want to read the 'sneak peek' one at end!!!
Red Carpet Romance-Jean Joachim LOVED it!  RR
Vegas Miracle-Liz Crowe Not what I expected, but good.  Didn't like all the flashbacks.
Cheeky Blonde-Liz Crowe Very enjoyable!
Charming For Mother's Day- Gina Ardito Loved it!  Now want more of Gina's books!
Wild For Mr. Wrong-Virna DePaul Wanted to lock them in a closet at times, but otherwise good story!
Waking Up Married- Mira Lyn Kelly Very enjoyable!
Meant To Be-Jennifer Labelle It was okay....
Paradise Hops-Liz Crowe Very good!  RR
Plotting To Win-Tara Chevrestt Wonderful story!  DRR
Tansy Taylor-Kathy LaMee Bleh.  Too long, too many spelling and punctuation errors.

Looking Ahead....
This month, I'm still working on Love Weighs In edits, plus getting ready for our vacation to Colorado at the end of the month.

I forgot to mention yesterday; I added a few more songs to my list:  All Or Nothing (O Town); All Cried Out (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam); Don't Let It End (Styx).  I'll only be able to go three times this week, and hope to add more.  

I'll also try to blog more this month.  June was such a whirlwind!  Plus, I hope to be house hunting this month.  

Have you read any of the books on my list?  Or want to add them?  Don't forget to read the blue type at the top of my posts to see if I liked what I've read!

Monday, July 1, 2013

End of the Month Recap and Answered Prayer!

Currently Reading:  Finished Regina Carlysle's Eagle's Refuge and JD Robb's Reunion In Death.  Two questions:  a)  Why did it take so long for me to read then entire Eagle series, and b) why is it I've only read TWO JD Robb books?  Recommended Reads!  I'm yada-yadda-ing the sex scenes again....not sure why.  Blame it on the stress level over the weekend or just the fact I'm (gulp!) burned out again???  Next Up:  Innocent by Mary Martinez (I'm up to Ch 7 I think!!  Really enjoying this!) and The Reluctant Suiter by Kathleen Woodiwiss.  I confess to having skimmed most of Ch 1....hoping this picks up with the next chapter.  Otherwise, it may end up in my DNF pile.

A bomb was dropped on me late Thursday night, one which literally had me shaking with first shock, then anger, then action taken.  I sought advice from several trusted friends, and even Legal Aid.  Steps had to be taken quickly to ensure the protection of a family member.

I prayed all weekend for an intervention, a change of heart...anything to delay this course of action.  And when I was informed last night of plans being stepped up, we argued loudly against it.

And was granted a reprieve.

This morning, I woke up depressed, thinking of everything I needed to do in the next 36 hours, and frankly, just the thought made me want to stay curled up in my warm bed and cry.  But I got out of bed, started the coffee, and mentally prepared myself for what was about to be tackled.  Still I prayed for the burden to be lifted, and remembered He never drops anything on you He thinks you can't handle.

Well all right then.  Apparently I'm not seeing the Big Picture.

10 minutes later, the family member arrived home with the news plans had been cancelled.

My stress level immediately went down, and I feel positive again:)

A rainbow in the clouds of depression has appeared.

Time to go back to work.

End Of The Month Recap:
What a month June was!  A beloved ex-boyfriend/fiance/muse was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer at the end of May, and on June 17th he lost his battle.  My daughter ended her relationship with baby Alexandria's father and took up with another somewhat promising young man, only to have her feelings crushed two or three weeks later.  I've been editing book #7 among all this family chaos, and having to toddler-proof the house again.  It's been 8 years since we've had a 2-foot tall person toddling around the house and getting into everything!  You know what they say....'she may only be two feet tall, but she's got a six-foot arm span!'

Print Books Read:  6
E-books Read:  9
Total:  15.

Publishing Efforts/Book Signings:
Still riding the wave of the two books which released last month:)  Plus did two book signings, in which I spoke to many potential readers, and ended up giving away every single one of Sandy Sullivan's compact mirrors.

I'm also hip-deep in edits for book #7, Love Weighs In.

Just had my yearly mammogram and feeling pretty good.  Now if the sinuses will cooperate, everything will be hunky-dory.  But this is Indiana....and humidity central.  Sigh.

More Cancer Hits My Family:
I already mentioned Steve passed away this month.  And I'm about to lose my Great-Uncle Mac, whom is now on full-time hospice care down in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.  My Aunt Geri, who is also a melanoma survivor, was just told she has a mass on one of her kidneys.  She's scheduled for surgery soon.

I really need to hurry up and finish my cancer story....

Vacation Plans Set!
Made reservations for our scheduled stops to Colorado!  We'll be staying at motels with water parks.  The kids are going to be so damn spoiled....DVD players in the vehicles, plus my parents have a brand-spanking new Dodge Grand Caravan; water parks; and 8 adults to spoil the four little ones.  Clearly, my sis and I were born 40 years too early, lol!

July Reading Schedule will be up tomorrow:)