Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend and End-Of-The-Month Recap

Currently Reading:  Loved, loved, LOVED Danger on XY-One by Vicky Burkholder!  Definite Recommended Read!!!  I also want to read the others in this series; according to the prologue and glossary, there are others.  I plan to ask Vicky about this.  I'm now on Ch 5 of Sandra Sookoo's Operation Wedding Crash which will now count toward October's reading list, since today's the last day of Sept.

Spent a relaxing weekend reading:)  Friday night, I went to the art gallery and was very happy to make the acquaintance of Lois Schlachter, who happily answered my questions about her artwork and was thrilled to learn I featured an artist who paints in a similar fashion in my latest wip:)  I was thrilled I hadn't inadvertently used any specific paintings I'd seen three weeks ago!

Saturday, I finished reading Danger on XY-One and loved it!!!  Began reading Operation Wedding Crash, then attended a FB chat after dinner.  A friend of mine is published through Crimson Frost Books and invited me to their getting-to-know-the-author chat.

Then I was off to Karaoke:)  And since today is KJ Mark's 63rd birthday, I made a list of 8 songs and told him to pick my out my line up.  So here's the songs and how I think I did:)

-What's Up (4 Non Blondes):  Nailed this one, and received applause:)

-Close My Eyes Forever (Ozzy/Lita Ford):  A guy asked to join in, and he ended up singing both parts.  I tried to sneak a quick sip of water and missed a cue when the water tried to go down the wrong pipe.  Recovered for the next line!

-Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi):  Rocked it:)  Kelly hi-fived me:)

-You and I (Lady Gaga):  Did well until the bridge. Tried to be cute and ended up blowing the 1st two lines.  But otherwise, it was okay, and people applauded....more that I was finished maybe?  ROFL!

-Does He  Love You (Reba/Linda Davis):  One of Kelly's friends asked me to duet with her; I was 'Reba' and while she drowned me out a little, we harmonized WELL!  We got cheers and lots of applause.

Sunday, we ate at D2K (Dragon 2000) for lunch after church.  Then since it was a steady rain all day, and the youngling took control of my computer, I chatted off an on over at RB4U about 'What you should NEVER say to a romance author'.  I commented I'd been prayed over and that woman last year who lingered over my display but stated 'I don't read that trash, but my sister does.'  I wanted to ask her why she was wasting her time looking at my cover flats!

I've still never had anyone ask me when I was going to write a 'real' book, thankfully!

EOTM Recap:
Books Read:  23, with 2 DNF.
            Print:  4
            E-book:  19

Karaoke Update:
Only added two more 'D' titles to my 'Good' list, and so far the 'E' titles have NOT been kind to me.

Walking Progress/Health Update:
Right now, I'm averaging 90 minutes of walking time a week.  I walk 60 minutes every Sat (30 mins to 'roke and 30 minutes back) and 30 minutes to choir on Wed (15 there, 15 back).  My health insurance kicks in either on the 1st or the 15th next month, so will finally get that sleep study scheduled.  I've also joined My Fitness and am keeping track of my caloric intake.  So far, I've lost 6 pounds in three weeks:)

Writing Update:
Haven't worked on the wip I began last month, but another one has taken a hold of the brain and I'm on Ch. 2 already.

Tomorrow I'll post the new Reading Schedule:)

Happy 63rd Birthday KJ Mark!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Flashback Friday: Defending My Honor:)

Currently Reading:  I'm up to Ch 6 of Danger On XY-One and loving it!  Can hardly wait til I can get back to it!

Sept 2003:
Brief recap:  The spouse had undergone two heart surgeries, one to replace his aortic valve and the other to remove a blood clot and fluid in his pericardium.  Later, he would have to start TB meds, due to cross contamination in the lab for one of those fluid samples.  During the summer, he still managed to impregnate me, catching everyone off guard!  The kids and I traveled to White Rock, BC, to meet the newest member of the family, my sister's son who was born in May.  Grandpa also took us to Yellowstone and Cody, WY.  School began, with K beginning 6th grade (middle school) and S in 3rd.

Middle school was rough on 11 y/o K.  He had to use a locker for the 1st time, and was struggling to understand algebra.  His main issue was he could do it faster in his head, but the teacher wanted to him to SHOW how he arrived at the correct answer.  And trying to slow down a speeding train to show how his wheels worked was nearly impossible.

Mid-September, K began acting a little strange.  When I tried to get him to open up, he looked embarrassed and refused to talk about it.  After about three days, I took him aside and told him I wouldn't be mad; I was just concerned about his behavior.  He admitted something was going on, but his eyes welled up with tears as he shook his head and said he couldn't tell me.  I asked him to whisper it in my ear.  So he gulped, came over, and whispered that he had a message for me from one of his friends.

"Tell your mom I send my love."

I couldn't help it.  I laughed, knowing immediately what the kid was trying to convey.  I took K in my arms and explained J was just trying to rattle him; did he really think I'd sleep with one of his friends?  K looked sheepish for a moment, but then explained why he was embarrassed about it.  I told him to laugh it off; it wasn't true, and if he continued to fume about it, J was 'winning'.  I also told him the story of when one of my young customers at ACC had tried to 'claim' K as his when I was working, to show him I understood the adolescent mind.

He hugged me, thanked me, and the evening went a lot better.  Until the next day.

We were called to the office soon after school began.  Apparently, J had made a snide remark and K punched him.  A fight ensued; both boys were suspended for five days.  We also had a chat about K's tardies, which we'd been unaware of.  Turns out K's locker was next to one of the more popular girls.  Her friends would crowd around, making it impossible for K to get to his locker.  Therefore, he was late getting to class.  We told him he had every right to push his way through and open his locker.

I put him to work during his suspension.  He got up with the rest of us and helped me scrub the house from top to bottom.  He complained at first, but by the 2nd day agreed to carry out his 'sentence'.  We did laundry; we mopped the floors; and outside, we cleared more brush from our wooded area.

And I need to explain J:  He and K had been close the previous two years, and I was good friends with his mom.  When J had been bullied in the 4th grade, I handled the situation, since I knew the girls who were giving him a hard time, and it stopped.  I had spoken to J's mother, who told me she had sentenced J to be her 'slave' during those five days.  She had her own beef-jerky making business, so she put him to work doing every chore she invented.  Always nice to know you're on the same page with your friends!

I don't think K and J's friendship continued; the boys pretty much avoided each other the rest of the year.

Next Month:  The School Carnival and more rumors

Present Day:
Wrote another 1861 on that wip I posted on Wednesday, and am enjoying the responses!

As for my karaoke line up tomorrow, it's KJ Mark's birthday, so I plan to hand him a list of some of my better songs and tell him it's His Choice this week:)  And knowing Mark, he'll probably start at the top, so I'll make sure my favored ones are at the top, lol!  As always, I'll report back on Monday:)

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Learn, Young Padawon....

Currently Reading:  Loved, loved, LOVED Jean Joachim's Love's Last Chance!!!  Definite Recommended Read!  I think this one is officially my favorite of the the series, though I have a sneaking suspicion that book #6 will be a close call.  I was hoping Dorrie would end up with the 'right' man, though I wasn't sure at first who that 'right one' would be:)  I'm soooooo looking forward to the release of #6; I want to be one of the first to get it:)  Now I'm on the 1st chapter of Vicky Burkhold's Danger on XY-One.  I loved her Prime Time, so I should enjoy this one as well!

Hold onto your hats!  I found book #3 in That Series, and while I won't be going into detail about every little wrong thing, I'll be doing a post on it soon.  Trying to stomach reading it, and have already reached Ch. 3.  

Today's Question:
Do you feel you need an education to write?  Why or why not?

It depends on what you mean by 'education'.  Yes, you need to have a good grasp of language and grammar, plus you need to have a variety of life experiences in order to make your story interesting.  So yes, someone who didn't finish HS can still write, provided they got the basic grammar principles.  But a college graduate who's been locked up in the library all the time and barely socialized might not fare so well, unless they only publish their dissertation.  Fiction they might have a harder go at, unless their imagination makes up for their social awkwardness.

Education of the craft and publishing guidelines are essential.  Yes, a good editor can clean up your grammar issues, but publishers want authors with a good grasp of the basics, no matter how 'awesome' the potential.  I once tried to edit another potential author's work, but after getting a headache due to my brain trying to input punctuation, I gave up.  I mean seriously; who doesn't know how to use a period and basic capitals these days?  Yes, I still use too many commas, but hey, so do the majority of writers.  And I'm a fairly good speller, though I do occasionally run into a word which trips me up.  I'm wading through the whole homonym thing with my youngest right now; one of his spelling words is Four, the number.  He's still spelling it 'f-o-r'.  And I jokingly said 'Wait till you find out there's also f-o-r-e!'

'Mom, you're confusing me!'  (places hands over his face and moans)

Okay, I admit that could have waited, lol!

But my point is, never stop learning.  My daughter wrote her first 'book' in kindergarten; one of my BFF's also wrote as young as age 6.  I started at age 11, but wasn't published until my 30's.  Once I hit my 40's, more was published.  But only after an editor pointed out what I was doing wrong.  I kept learning, and eventually made it:)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HDH #22

Thought I'd treat you to something different this time.  A new WIP has taken hold, so here's a snippet.  Enjoy!

“I enjoy being with you; you’re a fabulous person.  But I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”
            Kayla stared at her phone in disbelief.  He’d broken up with her via voicemail?  At least she could hear the timbre of his voice, and could tell he had a hard time saying the words.  But still, voicemail?  He couldn’t have enjoyed a brief reprieve and tried again later, when he could actually speak to her?
            Wait; maybe he didn’t want to speak to her.  Coward.

            Kayla threw her cell phone on the bed as tears filled her eyes.  Clutching her robe around her and ignoring her wet hair, she sank onto her bed and curled into a ball as sobs racked her body.

I'm playing catch up today after being gone all day yesterday.  If you have time, check out Kenzie's post; there's an Autumn Blog Train chugging through cyberspace and you're invited to play along:)  Many prizes are up for grabs, so go check out Kenzie's story, which was based on a true event, only with a fictional twist. See you over there!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Recap

Currently Reading:  Loved, loved, LOVED The Boss by Abigail Barnette!!  Definite Recommended Read!!!  Was disappointed in the ending, and wasn't sure if my file was defective or if my Kindle had locked up, but fired off a question to the wonderful Ms Bronwyn Green, who was mentioned in the acknowledgments, and she told me the story continues in The Girlfriend.  So went immediately over to amazon and put it on my wish list.  Remember I stated I was yada-yada-ing the sex scenes?  I've come to the conclusion it's the writing.  I read The Boss in literally two days, and did not skip a single scene.  This book could have almost literally been ripped from my diary (without the D/s stuff).  Dialogue was witty, playful, and very realistic.

Karaoke Update:
Don't Pay The Ferryman (Good, and I had Kelly video it:)
The Earth, The Sun, The Rain (okay; I'll probably never sing it again though.)
8 Days A Week (another good one, but probably won't ever do it again)
All Or Nothing (nailed it, and Mel video'd it!  Was just feeling down, so wanted to sing it).

Today's Question:
Do you have kids?  If so, how do they effect your writing?

If you're a long-term reader of this blog, you know I have three kids, ranging in age from 21-9.  And an adorable granddaughter who's 15 months.  Plus several 'adoptees' over the years.  And for years, what I wrote wasn't an issue, because the kids were too young to understand/read, or I wrote while they were otherwise occupied at school or at activities.

When I began to write more adult stories, my daughter was twelve.  She would tease me if she happened to walk by as I was typing and say 'Ooooohhhh, Mom wrote a bad word!'  When I received my 1st contract, her response was 'Cool; Mom's 'porn' is going to be published.'

My oldest watched my type once and took me to task for my sentence structure.  "Mom, my English teacher says a paragraph has to be made up of no less than five sentences.  That last one only had two!"

"Yes; you take English in school to learn the rules, and then you get to break them."

"That's jacked up and not fair."

My youngest just wants Mommy to get off the computer so he can watch a movie.

Wishing my bff a very happy 24th wedding anniversary!!! Wow; where did the years go?  ROFL!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Not Getting This.....

Currently Reading:  Finished Bent Boot Road the other day, and good story!  Plus finished Jean Joachim's Movie Lovers, and while I enjoyed it, I liked books #1-3 slightly better.  I'll get to her 5th installment sometime next week.  But still, Recommended Read:)  Also enjoyed Under the Moonlight Moon and am now on Abigail Barnette's The Boss.

I love the show Breaking Pointe.  I started watching it last year, and the angst between Allison and Rex nearly drove me crazy!  So I was thrilled when Allison revealed she'd gone back to her ex, Jonathan.  But this season, the couple who's driving me nuts are Chris and Christiana.

They've been married for 10 years, and he's the director of the Ballet West 2, the supplimental/apprentice group.  He's also a Principle dancer, meaning he usually dances lead roles.  She is a Prima Ballerina, also Principle.

Yes, I get that ballet dancers who work together have to agree to leave their relationship at the door.  But these two are married, and they never seem to talk!  Even when they're not at work, she was with the girls while he was with the guys.  What about what went on behind closed doors?  Couldn't they find a way to work through whatever issues they had then?  All I heard week after week was 'I can't talk to him right now...' or 'I know she needs her space at the moment.'  Grrrr.....I wanted to lock the two of them in a room and work it out!

But I just watched last week's finale.....and they divorced.  And still working at Ballet West.  So maybe there is hope for reconciliation???

I can't stand Silver or Zach's voicees.

I love Josh and Beckanne, and am thrilled Allison saw the light and gave Jonathan the heave-ho.  She was promoted, and he didn't even come to see her dance in Cinderella.  What an asshat.  I applaud Adam for saying no one should ever ask you to give up something you love for them.

Today's Question:
Do you do anything special when you’re writing a sex scene?

I put on my sexiest outfit, light the candles, pour myself a glass of champagne, get out the truffles-oh wait...the question was writing the sex scene.  Ummmm, no.  Sometimes if I'm absolutely not in the mood to write a sex scene, but I'm on deadline, then I pull up a book by one of my favorite authors and read their sex scenes, or I might even reread Kenzie's Teacher's Pet for inspiration.  If that doesn't help, then I just plow through it and hope for the best.  

I'm still in this weird phase of 'yada yada-ing' the sex scenes.  Maybe I've read so much erotic romance the past few years I'm burned out on it?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flashback Friday: New Life Decision

Sept 1993:
Brief recap:I returned from Florida with the fresh determination to re-enter the workforce.  After all, little K was now almost two years old and not so 'high maintenance' anymore, other than still being in diapers and very active.  But after a week on the job, I was stressed out.  Tired of having to drop my baby at a friend's house and not knowing what he did all day.  Tired of coming home after being on my feet for six hours and still being expected to do all the housework.  So I resigned, and tried to examine myself again.  What was I going to do?

The answer came during a discussion with the spouse.  He pointed out the fact he was almost forty years old to my twenty-seven.

"If we don't have another baby soon, K will have to be an only child.  I'm getting too old for this."

I agreed, and we decided to see what would happen.  I went off the pill.

Three weeks later, I was grumpy.  K had been particularly active, and had worn me out.  But he woke up in the night, vomiting, and I was the one who had to clean it up.  "And you want another one?" I snarled over my shoulder at 3am.  (Yes, I'm a total grouch when you wake me from a sound sleep!)

He lost his temper.  "No!  Go get your prescription refilled.  We'll just have the one, since that's all you seem to be able to handle."

We cleaned up the mess, got K settled again, and went back to bed.  I looked forward to the arrival of Mother Nature.

And enjoyed my 1st MOPS (Mothers Of Pre Schoolers) meeting:)

"He's Okay; Don't Worry..."
After MOPS, K and I joined my mom for lunch in the school cafeteria.  After consuming his hot dog, K climbed down and began to wander around.  When he got too close to the janitor's floor buffing machine, I called him back.

Bruce intervened.  "It's okay; he can't turn it on.  If he does, I'll give him a job."

Five minutes later, I noticed water on the floor, and alerted Bruce.  K had returned to his chair and was munching on his fries.

"I'll be damned....he DID turn it on!"

Mom and I laughed.  "Okay, Bruce; he's all yours!"

Present Day:
Tomorrow at Karaoke, I plan to sing the following 4 songs:
-Don't Pay The Ferryman (Chris DeBurg):  I know; I've had this on the list to sing again the last month, but in my defense, I wanted Melissa to hear me sing it, and she didn't arrive until after 11:30 last week.  And then I couldn't get back into the rotation.  So I'll warm up with it tomorrow.
-The Earth, The Sun, The Rain (Color Me Badd):  Not sure if this is going to be too low or not, but I've always loved this song!
-Edge of 17 (Stevie Nicks)
-8 Days A Week (Beatles)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Howdy Doody Won BB #15!!

Currently Reading:  Gave up on Caleo; it just wasn't holding my attention.  And raced through Playing With Fire; it had a wonderful beginning, but then it just dragged.  I think I'd enjoy this better in print, or at least on the kindle.  I decided to read it on the kindle app on my laptop, since my daughter's fallen in love with mine.  Now onto Bent Boot Road.

Congratulations Andy!!!
Gina was a total floater; Andy definitely played the better game.  And had Spencer not been so out of breath on the climbing wall, he might have beaten Andy in Pt 2.

Loved watching GinaMarie and Nick at the end!

Wonder if McCrae will really move to Florida to be with his 'sugar mama'??

And I wonder what's going to happen when Aaryn and GM discover their companies fired them for their racist remarks?

America's Vote was a joke.  Elyssa won, surprise, surprise....Rachel's friends all voted for her, just like they got her voted MVP.  I wanted to throw up.  McCrae deserved it more.

Had an epiphany of sorts; is being on a diet for the 1st time in my life making me cranky?  I'm just mad at everyone these days.  For a more uplifting post, go over to the RB4U blog.  It's my regular day over there. 

Today's Question:

If your writing was translated, which would be your preference:  TV, movie, play, or Broadway?

Arbor U would have to be a tv series....oh wait, Felicity aired back in the 90's.  And both BH 90210 and 90210 went to college.  So maybe each book could be a Lifetime Movie of the Month???

I know; I've not been very 'chatty' this week.  Maybe I'll get over my funk after I ingest more calories.  I've been under my allotted amount all week.  Which is good, but I need some chocolate.  Or more pasta.

My pants are already loose, so that's a good sign, right?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Introducing Dangerous Waters by CM Michaels

Please welcome friend and fellow FB author, CM Michaels!  His latest book, Dangerous Waters, is now available everywhere e-books are sold:)  Links available at end of post.

For Emily Waters, a nature-loving, small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape. 

The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend. She survives the ordeal, only to find herself held captive and presented with an impossible choice. While preparing for the unimaginable life she must now embrace clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain. Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister,” and her new vampire sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters, not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey.

None of the prisoners made a sound, knowing that even a whimper would be met with another punishing jolt of current from the collars fastened around their necks, but that did little to lessen the deafening noise in the room. Every seat of the three-story grand hall was occupied for this momentous event, with another 750,000 people crammed into Central Park outside. Reporters from around the globe scrambled to get their last pretrial clips recorded before the court was called to order.

“Some are questioning the tactics of the global court this morning,” an Austrian reporter stated in her native German, “using vampires and humans as bait in an effort to lure what most people consider to be the Vampire Queen out of hiding. So far their plan doesn’t seem to have worked, as there have been no sensor reports of vampire activity in or around New York, but with the executions moving forward today, things are expected to intensify.”

“All rise!” the bailiff bellowed out through the hall. “This court is now in session. The honorable global court inquisitor O’Callaghan presiding.”

An imposing figure with short, golden locks entered from behind the bailiff, motioning for people to take their seats. He gathered his floor-length white and purple robes in his left hand, made his way over to the furthest prisoner and yanked the hood from her head.

“So this is the all-powerful Sienna,” the inquisitor mocked, squeezing the bound woman’s cheeks with his hand. “How disappointing.”

Her once beautiful face was disfigured by several charred-black electrical burns. Blood and pus oozed out of the open wounds. The pungent salve packed into her broken nose made her eyes tear up and prevented her from smelling anything.

“Do you have anything you wish to say in your defense before I render my verdict?” the inquisitor asked, deactivating the device around her throat so she could speak.

“This will never work—she knows her life is far more important than mine.”

“It’s possible she’d let you die,” he acknowledged. “But both of her parents, her mate and her best friend? No, I think that’s far too much to expect her to endure. Sooner or later she’ll come, and the world will celebrate her execution.”

Sienna snapped to attention, her green eyes widening in horror at the news of who else had been captured. 
“You have no idea what you’ve done—everyone in this building’s going to die.”

The crowd erupted at her outburst, and the inquisitor held up his hand to silence them. “And how exactly is your precious queen going to manage that? She’ll be welcomed to our fair city by twenty thousand volts from the first alarm she trips. Not enough to kill your kind, but plenty to leave her unconscious until—”

“Sir, a perimeter alarm’s been triggered just outside the north gate,” a soldier interrupted from the gallery.

He wheeled on the man in a fit of anger. “Interrupt me again, and I’ll disembowel you! People have been jumping the fence all day—contact the guards at the gate and have them check it out.”

“We tried sir. Calls have been placed to the guard desk, the three closest perimeter sweep teams and the north tactical unit—they’re not responding.”

“Who’s not responding, you imbecile!”

“Any of them.”

“It’s too late,” Sienna said, gazing at his panic-stricken face. “She’s here.”

“Clear the courtroom and take the prisoners back into custody!” he commanded.

Before anyone could move, a massive explosion rocked the third-floor balcony, raining debris and body parts down on the crowd below. The auditorium filled with a choking white smoke. The crowd flooded for the exits, which were soon hopelessly jammed. They started to push and trample each other in a desperate attempt to escape.

The lone set of stairs to the balcony was located outside the courtroom, so the soldiers had no choice but to yield the high ground to their unseen enemy. Several of them panicked and fired blindly into the smoke, only adding to the chaos. The commanding officer who’d been talking with the inquisitor raised his rifle—his body no longer under his control—and sent a chest high laser beam though the entire gallery, cutting several of his fellow soldiers in half. The ones who survived were turned to dust by an energy burst that blew out the entire back of the building.

Moments later, a woman dressed in skin-tight black leather swooped down onto the marble floor, drawing two broadswords from the sheaths on her back. Her vengeful glare bore into the inquisitor, who took three running steps and dove for a knockout stick that had come to rest a few feet in front of him. His body was suspended mid leap. The inquisitor glanced down in total disbelief at the marble tile he was now hovering over before being catapulted sideways into the solid steel outer wall of the holding cells.

The vampire advanced but had to break off her attack when a laser tore through the floor inches in front of her black leather boots. In a move too fast to be seen, she coiled and launched herself across the courtroom, landing amongst the small group of soldiers who had fought their way through the crowd. A bright red mist filled the air as she executed her elegant dance of death, moving with the grace and agility of a jungle cat.

By the time she returned to the inquisitor, he’d managed to pull his body up into a sitting position and was taking short, labored breaths. She raised his chin with the tip of her blood-covered blade, wanting him to see who was delivering him to hell.

He let out something between a choking sound and a chuckle, spitting blood from his mouth. “Releasing the locks requires an order from me, and the code can only be entered remotely by central command. They’re all going to burn.”

“Don’t flatter yourself—there’s nothing I need from you.”

C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.

He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya’s Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance.

When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn.

C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Social Media links:



Book trailer 

Buy Links:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Setting the 'Mood' for Writing

Currently Reading:  Still on Compromised and I have a quesyiton:  Don't you 'deactivate' a bomb, rather than 'inactivate'?  I'll admit, after I read the prologue, I wasn't that interested, but then I read the back cover again and decided to keep going.  I'm already up to Ch 6 and it's still holding my interest!

Today's Question:
Do you have any rituals involving your writing?  Before/during/after?

When I sit down to write, I make sure there is a fresh glass if iced tea nearby or on the stove (this ensures I'll get up and move around, lol!), put on either the radio or CD, or I might even just activate my Favorites playlist on YouTube.  Sometimes I'll eat a snack, such as cookies, or pop a square of Hershey Bliss in my mouth before opening the document.  When I'm word-warring with friends, I'll check in to Twitter, to let them know I'm joining in. I might even set the timer for 45 minutes (another way to ensure I'll have to stand up and move!).

If I've had what I call a very productive day (several hours of writing and pages to prove it), I'll reward myself with a glass of wine.  And if this particular day happens to fall on my regular karaoke night?  You bet I'll be inflicting my voice on the unsuspecting patrons that night, ha ha!

I lost my temper last night.

Yeah, I know; I'm human.

But after taking my frustrations out on the bathroom door, I decided I needed to walk it off.  And ended up crying on the church steps for about ten or so minutes.  Thankfully, I'd borrowed a wad of toilet paper from a guy who was opening the school, since I couldn't get into the church.  I then walked down to 4th, crossed the street, and headed back.

I later apologized for losing my temper, but it wasn't reciprocated.  No remorse for the way I'd been treated, to push me to that limit. 

And even my daughter turned on me for it.  When the hell did I turn into a 2nd class citizen in my own home?

Monday, September 16, 2013

"OMG I Can't Believe I Just Said That!"

Currently Reading:  The Storm Within was interesting.  It told the tale about a woman losing her son in combat, then her hubby divorcing her.  She falls into a downward spiral of self-delusion and destruction, and is ultimately 'saved' by her daughter and her friends.  I'm calling this a Recommended Read for any lovers of Women's Fiction.  Loved, loved, LOVED Christina Cole's Summertime!!!  This is the 2nd one I've read by this author and again, I almost forgot I was reading a historical romance, the theme is timeless!  Definite Recommended Read!!  Now onto a freebee I picked up, Caleo, a YA book about a fictional society/breed/mutants called Leech.  So far it's holding my attention.

Continuing with the interview questions I opted to skip on the radio show....

What is your favorite and/or least favorite word for:  Penis?  Vagina?  Sex? Cum?

LOL....the first adult romances I read were Danielle Steele, Lavyrle Spencer, and Nora Roberts.  So 'penis', 'member', 'dick', and 'shaft' were the ones I used.

'Vagina', 'entrance', 'moist area between her legs'.  I hate, hate, hate the word 'cunt'.  Too often have I heard men use this word in a derogatory fashion when he's angry at a woman and 'bitch' isn't strong enough.  When I first began reading erotic romance, 'pussy' used to flood me with embarrassment, and while I can write it w/o blushing, don't make me say it.  'Snatch'...ugh.  Unless I'm using it as a verb, lol!

Sex:  I've maintained there are three different ways to express this.  'Making Love' is when you and your partner at fully engaged in expressing your deep feelings for each other, and everything is very mutual and giving.  'Sex' is when things are more mechanical; one of you may not be fully as engaged as the other and it's slightly more selfish and one-sided.  'Fucking' is totally selfish.  There's only one goal and that's to get off as quickly as possible.  I concede this may preclude 'making love' at times, depending on circumstances!  So do I ever have a character say 'Fuck me' in the heat of the moment?  Yes.  'Fess up; we've all said it to a partner at some point, lol!

'Cum'.  There's a funny story around this word....back when I was a lowly sophomore in HS, a guy friend had shown me the lyrics to AC/DC's 'Shook Me All Night Long'.  I pointed to the line 'she told me to cum but I was already there...' and told him he'd spelled it wrong!  He disagreed, but I maintained I was right, since I got the better grade in English.

And then discovered three or four years later he'd been right.  But I still spell it 'come'.  Or use 'ejaculate'; 'spilled his essence'

So what words do YOU use?  Or most comfortable writing or saying?

Karaoke Update:
Due to the crowd, I was only able to sing two songs:
Earth Angel (Penguins):  Ugh.  Too low.
Ebony and Ivory (McCartney/Wonder):  It was okay; sang it solo.

I had really wanted to do Edge of 17 by Stevie Nicks, but ran out of time.  Darn birthday parties and people wanting to dance!  Go down to Willie's!  Yeah, I know....bitch bitch bitch.  Can I help it if I was spoiled the last three years between Willie's and Cincinatti?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flashback Friday: Return of the Green-Eyed Monster.

Sept 1983:
Recap:  Friend B and I rekindled our friendship, and had been 'married' the previous May by one of his friends in the hallway.  When school began, my schedule included leaving for 3 hours to be an aide at Head Start.  So B and I spent every possible minute together during school.  This refueled the rumor we were dating, which we weren't.

There's a fine line you have to walk when your BFF is THE Most Popular Senior and you're one of those who cannot be pigeon-holed into any category.  1) He's the target of every underclassmen's dream, so you have to put up with blatant 'notice me' tactics.  This includes fawning over and gushing 'you're the greatest!'  2) As part of the BFF role, your job is to NOT feed his ego, which can sometimes lead to friction, should his head get too big.  3) Any show of jealousy can lead to those underclassmen worming their way into 'your' spot, thus driving a wedge in the relationship.

Yeah, I made a couple of mistakes.

During Spirit Week, I showed up in my yellow 'Cute-n-Cuddly' sleep shirt, multi-colored slippers, and of course, carried my stuffed tiger.  B was not amused by my choice of cuddly stuffed pets, which resulted in us tossing insults at each other.  During this week, I'd also endured a fellow classmate, who previously had never spoken to B or myself (outside of flag corps our sophomore year), cutting in on 'my time' with B.  She'd show up with 'Oh, I just have to tell you this....' and at first, I respected her need to talk to him and left.  The next day, I moved down a few lockers and spoke to someone else while I waited.  Didn't get a chance to be with him.  The third day, I stayed by his side and tolerated the gushing she made about his tennis game (which I'd not seen, and couldn't contribute to the conversation).  By Thursday, I'd had it with her, and unfortunately, this coincided with PJ day.  Neither D nor B participated (I'd asked B why, and he said what he slept in would get him arrested for indecent exposure, lol!), but poked fun at my tiger.  I laughed it off, but the next hour, I confronted them.

"What's wrong with my tiger?"

"He's ugly."

I was incensed.  "No he's not.  You are."

B slammed his locker closed.  "Yes he is and so are you."

I spun around and stalked off.  I changed my clothes before heading to Head Start, then returned before 5th period and changed back (yes, I'm stubborn like that!).  I saw B, who said, "Don't tell me you scared those poor kids with your outfit."

"No, I changed.  But you obviously haven't."

At this point, B's friend J cut in with support for the way I was dressed, and pointed out I'd shown up at tennis practice.  B sighed, and agreed it had been a sweet gesture on my part.

"Now kiss and make up."

B just shook his head, put his arm around my shoulder, and steered me toward my psychology classroom.

Homecoming was also this month, and my friend Melissa was elected Homecoming Queen.  B was one of escorts for the others.

With the fighting B and I were doing, plus the realization this was my final year, I began waking up with an I-don't-care attitude.  The day pictures were taken for the various groups, I wore sweatpants and a T-shirt.  Likewise, the day Head Start pics were taken, I forgot I'd been reminded to wear something nice, and showed up in my favorite black sweatpants and band shirt.  I also faked a headache one day when my mom was out of her office and went shopping instead of going to work.  And yes, got caught.  But was only given a verbal warning:  If I did it again, I would be out of the program.  So it 'scared me straight'.

Next Month:  Band awards!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"I Don't Get No Respect"

Currently Reading:  Really enjoyed Saved By The Sheriff and its cast of small town characters!!!!  Recommended Read:)  Now for Compromised.  E-book-wise, I'm still on The Storm Within.  Haven't had access to my own kindle since the weekend.

What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?  And how have you overcome it?

You might recognize Rodney Dangerfield's famous catch-phrase.  But sadly, it applies to me, in terms of my writing career and family.

The spouse thinks it's wonderful, that I can put pen to paper and create a flowing story, or even string words together to make an intelligent sentence.  And he's proud of the fact I've accomplished my goal, and my work is published.

So what does this have to do with the hardest part of the writing process?  

I have trouble prioritizing.

I can tune out everything when I'm writing; conversation, the fact the house is a mess, or even the fact it's time to fix dinner.

And since the advent of the spouse retiring, he's home with me now 24/7 and it gets on his nerves.  The fact I can sit across the table from him and blog; chat; scroll through FB....and not hear a word he's saying.  Sometimes I can sort of listen, but if I ask him to clarify something, it gets met with 'You haven't heard a damn thing,  Forget it; I don't know why I even try to talk to you when you've got your face buried in that damn laptop.'

On promo days, he gets irritated when I can't seem to get off the computer and threatens to cut off the wifi.  When we were in Colorado and I had to check in every morning for Kenzie's review tour, he would often ask 'Are you about done?  Or should we just leave you here while the rest of us have fun?  Hurry up!'

I got up two hours earlier than everyone else, just so I could get on the computer.  I did not scroll through FB; I posted my links to the group pages where it was allowed; I checked my email and posted to my Yahoo loops.  I tweeted.  I'd already pre-posted my blogs, so that didn't have to be done.  And I did NO writing, except for when I took a notebook to the Alluvial Fan and sat on a rock to write.

Any other promotional stuff is met with sighs.  "When are you going to make those tens of thousands of dollars?" Or, "Did you sell anything today?"  ("I'll find out in 3 months.")  'Ohhh boy.....we're really rolling in it." (insert sarcasm)

Something else frequently heard around here:  "Quit playing on the internet and let's clean up around here."

Ummm....I'm not playing.  I don't play any games; I'm either wasting time on FB (and yes, I admit I DO spend too much time over there, lol!); I'm interacting/networking with other authors and readers; or I'm actually writing.  I have had people tell me they enjoy watching my word counts on FB and twitter!  And since we no longer get the CW network, I watch Breaking Pointe once a week on it.

This month of September, I've been deep-cleaning the house, running people to various appointments, and trying to get my health back under control.  Hopefully we'll come to some sort of routine which everyone can follow and I just might finish another wip.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Let's Roll...."

12 Years Ago....

I arrived home after dropping the kids off at school.  Fixed myself another cup of coffee, turned on the radio, and headed into my home office to check my email.  About a half hour later, I was responding to an email when I realized the radio wasn't playing any music.  I decided to finish what I was doing.  Suddenly, and IM popped up from my BFF.

Get off the internet and go watch the news.  A plane hit the twin towers.

I typed back 'Okay', then wrote 'BRB.....apparently a plane hit the twin towers in NYC.  Going to see what's going on.'  I saved it to a draft and went into the living room.  The radio had switched to ABC reporters; I shut if off and turned on the news.  After watching a few moments, I called my mom, who was watching, and then the 2nd plane hit.

Mom and I got off the phone so we could concentrate on what was happening.  I watched in horror as people were forced to make a horrific decision:  Burn to death while waiting for rescue, or jump out the window in hopes of landing on something soft?  People landed on pedestrians.  They landed on the sidewalk.  They landed in the street.

When the 1st tower fell, it was like watching a scene from either Godzilla or King Kong movie.  Dust and smoke flying through the air, people running into the TV station covered in soot and obviously in shock.  Everyone felt helpless as we watched the 2nd tower fall.

Then there came a report of another plane crashing in Pennsylvania....and another one hitting the Pentagon.  What the hell was happening?

Sometime around noon, I dragged my eyes away from the TV and fixed myself some lunch, then headed back to my computer to finish my email.  And braced myself for what I was going to say to the kids.

But the school had already informed them.  My neighbor called me in a panic; she said gas prices were spiking and they were headed into Indianapolis to spend the week, so her hubby wouldn't have to waste gas making the hour-long drive every day, and would I keep an eye on the house?

Our tiny two-pump gas station was backed up all the way to the school.  I thanked God we'd gassed up the previous day!  K's coach called; football practice was cancelled until further notice.

Reports trickled in, especially about the heroism of Flight 93, and the infamous last known words of Todd Beamer, who led the passengers into fighting back against the hijackers.  "Let's Roll..."

Over the next several days, Daytime Talk Shows devoted themselves to telling stories about heroes rushing into the buildings to help people escape from the burning buildings.

There was no DVR back then; if you had Direct TV, you could record it, but we only had an antenna and a VCR.  I was in too much shock to put a tape in the VCR to record what was happening, but the images are forever burned into my brain.

And today, when I told my 9 y/o to wear red, white, and blue, he has no clue what happened back then, only that a lot of people died.

I only pray the history books my granddaughter reads in the next decade are accurate, and not just 'another day to remember'.

Yes, we remember the tragedy.  But we also celebrate the heroes of the day, and the American Spirit which rallied the nation and showed the world we will not simply lie down and surrender.

Let's roll.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Trials

Currently Reading:  Loved, loved, loved The Lost Slab by Rick Kelsheimer!  Found a few minor editing details, but the story flowed and was very fast-paced.  Now I want to go back to Robinson and see if there actually IS a glass pyramid, lol!  Recommended Read, if you're in the mood for a 750-page thriller.  Next up, Saved By The Sheriff by Carol Preflatish:)  Sorry Carol; I bought this book from you back in March, but left it with my sack of goodies from that signing.  Just found it this weekend!  I've already read Ch 1 and can hardly wait to get back to it:)

Woke up this morning with a sore throat.  What's up with my health now?  Hoping it's just because I possibly slept with my mouth open.

We've been issued a Weather Advisory for Extreme Heat the next two days, fun, fun.  Guess I'll stay inside and read/write.  The granddaughter has a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so maybe I can actually get something done today?  LOL!

I've decided to answer a question a day from the radio interview, both ones I answered and ones I didn't.

Today's Question:
What writer gives you the most inspiration and/or which one do you aspire to be like?

I used to say my blogmates, but then LIFE interfered.  I also agree with BC Brown that scheduling a time to write each day is a good idea.  When the kids were little, I wrote during Nap Time or at the laundromat.  Before the Youngling arrived, I wrote from 9-2 every day (this was before internet and social media, obviously!).  And once Youngling began attending school, I was back to the 9-2 schedule....but then the spouse retired.  I began blogging and using Face Book on a daily basis.  That whittled my writing time down to about 2-3 hours if I was lucky.

And even now, with everyone home, a granddaughter underfoot, and the last of my completed work published, I'm trying to take this month to deep-clean my house and find a working routine that everyone agrees with.  And so far it's been rough going, with various doctor appointments popping up.  So who knows when I'll get back to it, other than during my weekly writer's meetings?

November is in two months.  So I have til then to figure it out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Recap

Currently Reading:  Loved, loved, LOVED Jean Joachim's Memories of Love!!!  Definite Recommended Read!  Tried to read He Loves Lucy by Ann Yost, but it just wasn't holding my attention.  So I moved on to Love Potion Me, Baby by Amie Louellen and really enjoyed this!  Definite Recommended Read:)  While I was waiting for my Kindle to recharge so I could start diving into The Storm Within by Darlene DeLuca, I read more of Rick Kelsheimer's The Lost Slab.  Boy is this getting good!

Karaoke went well, even though it obviously was NOT my best night.
-Dream Weaver (Gary Wright):  Mark didn't have my planned warm-up song, so I started out a little gravely.  Still, when I was finished, everyone applauded and Stu saluted me with his beer.  "That was awesome, girl!"

-Drift Away (Dobie Gray):  I thought I did well, even sang the descant I love so much, which is missing from the Uncle Kraker version.  But only Kelly applauded me.

-Dust In The Wind (Kansas):  There was polite applause.

-Dream On (Aerosmith):  I wanted to see how I sounded, solo, on this, and while the verses were a little low, the bar exploded with cheers when I finished!  So did end on a high note (pun intended; I rocked that falsetto from Steven Tyler, lol!)

Today, we finally got rid of a bunch of 'stuff' that's been slated for the donation pile in the past 2-3 years.  Every time I've mentioned taking it over, I've gotten 'Later.  We'll do it later."  I guess 'Later' was finally today!  Happy Dance!!!!

Nothing much is going on; it feels nice, not being under a deadline, other than my personal one.  Hopefully I'll be more 'chatty' tomorrow.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flashback Friday: 2nd Grade!

Currently Reading:  Loved, love, loved Roping Love!!!!  I only had one issue with it, and that's the fact the Indiana State Fair has always been in late August, never over the 4th of July.  But an excellent read, and one I couldn't put down!  Definite Recommended Read:)  Now on to Memories of Love, the 3rd installment of Jean Joachim's Movie Lovers series:)

Sept 1973:
I had been in the 2nd grade for about two or three weeks by now, and was hating the busywork assigned first thing.  We were to pull out a sheet of paper and write the daily schedule on it.  I don't remember if we were actually graded on it, but I didn't see the point in writing it down every day.  Some days I copied it down; others I only did it part way.

I had two teachers; Mrs. Kenney and Mrs. Harrell.  Mrs. H became my favorite of the two.  My 'boyfriend' K was still with his family in Germany, and my next door neighbor T was in a different classroom.  My girlfriends this year would include K, M, and G.  I was also still friendly with K from my neighborhood, though she was now in 1st grade.

Mom took us to the State Fair in August, and we had a wonderful time riding the rides (she let us each pick 3) and going through the livestock barns.

A few of my favorite songs by now:  Top of the World (Carpenters); Dark Lady (Cher); Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce); Heartbeat It's A Love Beat and Abracadabra (DeFranco Family).  I had been awarded my own record player, but had a bad habit of leaving the records on the floor.  My dad stepped on Abracadabra and broke it; I bought another copy and Dad promptly stepped on that one also.  Parents refused to buy me a 3rd copy.

While shopping with my grandmother, I found an LP with 'Heartbeat' on it and convinced her to buy it for me.  Later I would listen to the rest of the album and fall in love with Bachman Turner Overdrive, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and both Donny and Marie Osmond (Puppy Love and Paper Roses)  I couldn't stand Tom T Hall's 'I Love'.  And I pilfered Dad's Peter, Paul, and Mary LP with Going To the Zoo and Puff The Magic Dragon.  There's also a cute song 'I'm Being Swallowed By A Boa Constrictor.  I loved to act it out!

Mom also introduced us to the 8-track player, and my faves were one of her Elvis tapes; John Denver, and Neil Diamond.  Especially 'I Am The Lion' on track #3.  We learned that if we forwarded the track to #2, we'd only have to listen to one song before it advanced to #3 again:)

One of my favorite TV shows was Match Game '73.  I loved Charles Nelson Reilly and Richard Dawson:)

Book-wise, my mother gave me her books.  I began devouring four biographies:  Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mary Mapes Dodge, Sacajawea, and Julia Ward Howe.  I also read my first Cherry Ames book, Student Nurse.

Present Day:
Went to the doctor yesterday, and my thyroid is behaving.  But now I need to reschedule my sleep study; it's possible I've inherited the family sleep apnea after all.  We also talked about weight loss, and I'm thrilled I'm already down another two pounds.

Was also on Blog Talk Radio last night, talking about everything from The Book Which Shall Not Be Named to how I get my plot ideas and if I could sleep with one of my characters, which one(s) would I choose?  The podcast archive isn't available yet, but I'll post it when it is.  In the meantime, 'haunt' the MFRW page over there:

Tomorrow, I'm going to my friend Travis' book release party, then on to Karaoke.  Hoping to sing
-Battlefield (Jordin Sparks)
-Dream Weaver (Gary Wright)
-Dream On (Aerosmith-I want to hear how I sound, not as a duo)
-Drift Away (Dobie Gray)
-Dust In The Wind (Kansas)

If I'm able to sing all of these, I'll get to start on the 'E' titles next week!  Come back on Monday for the recap:)

BB #15
OMG!  Watching that POV competition was brutal!  It  all came down to watching McCranda go head to head with McCrae winning by nanoseconds!  Got up this morning and watched the elimination episode; sadly, Amanda did get sent to the Jury House.  And WTG McCrea for winning HOH and getting Elissa out of there!!!!  But sadly, I fear McCrae will be the next one ousted, unless he does some major dealing this week.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Join Me Tonight!

Currently Reading:  Finished Eric Garrison's Reality Check and enjoyed it:)  If you remember the TV shows VR-5 and Sliders, I think you'll enjoy this.  It was a little confusing when 3 worlds collided, and some of the techno-jargon went over my head, but at its core you'll find a good sci-fi story.  Now onto Roping Love by Tamara Hoffa:)

I'm going to be on Blog Talk Radio tonight!  I'll be on LATE, at 11pm EST, but the podcast will be up and running tomorrow.  If you care to stay up with me, here's the link.

Here is a tiny sample of what you might learn about me.  Enjoy:)

How much do you feel you've improved in the last few years?

I've definitely gotten better at not head-hopping (much!), and I'm slightly more comfortable typing a few of the 'buzz' words, even if I still can't bring myself to say them.  And I've stopped blushing!

What room is your favorite to write in? What is your favorite place for thinking?

At the old house, it was my office, hands down!  Just me, the computer, my radio or stack of CDs, and surrounded by my reference books.  Today, my 'office' is at the kitchen table or at one of the two coffee shops in town.  Once I start writing and getting in 'the zone', I tend to tune out my surroundings.

What is your favorite theme or element in writing?

I love a good reunion story!  The characters already know each other, so reconnection is fun.  Especially if there was a wrong assumption which caused friction.

Have you ever been tempted to give up writing?

Believe it or not, I almost gave up on Kenzie when it seemed the only ones who were liking her stories were my crit partners.  But now I'm glad I persisted in trying to find the right publisher!  I'll be forever grateful to Marci for taking a chance on me, and to Sandy for seeing the potential in Wild At Heart.  More recently, family issues have made me seriously consider putting off finishing my series until the drama dies down.  But that's my 'escape hatch', damn it!  I can NOT give up writing!  Twelve years ago, when I ended up working at the school, I didn't have time to write for several months.  When school ended, I literally shut myself in the bedroom for several days and hand-wrote sixty pages until I was drained.  Then after a day or two, I typed it up and was off and running with the muse again until it was finished.  That showed me writing is in my blood; I'll probably ask for a pen and paper while on my deathbed.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I'd make Off the Clock a little longer; everyone complains it's too short.

Have you ever used a line from one of your books on someone? What was it?

I've not used a line, but a friend suggested I work 'I'm horny and pressed for time.' into one of my books.  So it's in Teacher's Pet:)

I'm in Indianapolis today, getting my 2nd opinion on my thyroid.  I'll be able to check in during the morning and whenever I get home tonight.  See you tonight on the radio!  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

HDH #21

Okay; by now you know the drill:)  For the links to the other participants, go here:)

For this week's hook, thought I'd post another Back To School snippet.  Enjoy:)

Set up:  Gretchen McLaren arrives back at Arbor U and after checking in and dumping her stuff in her room, she introduces her boyfriend to her friends Caitlyn McCarty and Keri Patterson.  In this scene, she and Joe are back in her room to unpack.

“Why was their room different? You have three roommates, but those two are by

“Our resident assistant decided to stay in the same room she had last year, so Caty and Keri have the smaller, private room.” Gretchen explained while she hung up her clothes.

“Do all the dorms have rooms like this?” Joe relaxed on the bare mattress of the lower bunk bed.

“This dormitory is the only one with private bathrooms. Emery Hall was one of the first
ones built, and it's still the only all-girls dorm. All the others are coed and have community

“Who are your other roommates?”

“Let's see...” Gretchen consulted a slip of paper she pulled out of her backpack. “Lynne
Harcourt and Susan Best. They’re freshmen.” She opened one of the many boxes. “Stephanie Ridgeman is my other one. She's not going to be here until tomorrow.”

Balancing Act can be found at Amazon
Barnes and Noble,

I'm off to Indianapolis, for a doctor's appointment.  Come back tomorrow for some exciting news!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"What Do You Do?"

Currently Reading:  Finished The Color of Grace and How To Resist Prince Charming by Linda Kage and wow!  TCOG is not your typical YA nerdy girl-meets-popular jock-and-through-trial-and-error-they-live-HEA.'s about what happens when assumptions are made, putting your trust in the wrong people, and not knowing where to turn or who to believe when a crisis hits.  Wonderful YA story!!  HTRPC was also a wonderful story about what happens when a woman falls for her dad's boss and trying to keep their blossoming romance a secret.  Again, jumping to (wrong) conclusions can land you in trouble!  Both are Recommended Reads.  Well done, Linda:)  Now onto Reality Check by Eric Garrison, who, it turns out, went to HS with me, only he was the class two years behind me.

Until 1991, meeting people who asked me what I did was easy.  College student.  Driver at Crossroads.  DST at ADC.  Server at ACC.  But after marrying and becoming pregnant, 'Stay-At-Home-Mommy' was met with 'Uh...that's nice.  Oh look, someone I need to speak to.'  And they'd act like I had leprosy or something.

In 1993, the answer was easy.  "Full-time babysitter."  This would bring up a discussion on child care, how daycare rates were outrageous, etc.  I tried my hand at being a Tupperware Consultant, and people avoided me like the plague.  Not sure why; it's not like I ever forced them to buy or even take a catalog.  I guess none of my friends were interested?

In 1997, I heard the term 'domestic engineer' for the first time and grabbed it.  This often brought humor, when a mortgage lender didn't understand, and called me, asking if I'd been a DE for seven years, why hadn't I made any $$?

"Because full time mommies don't get paid."  

By 1999, we'd moved to a new community and people had noticed me scribbling in notebooks during various sports practices, and word was getting around I had written a book or two and was trying to get published.  When I accomplished this goal in 2003, people were thrilled for me!  I could now drop the DE title and say 'Published Author'.  When we moved in 2006, it took me a year to really get to know anyone in the community, but when I did, my newfound 'celebrity status' was met with admiration.  Especially when the publishing took off in 2011, and 12 books followed.

I've paid a heavy price the past two years; my weight has shot up, due to sitting on my butt for long periods of time, plus the family has no respect for my online job and constantly puts me down for not cleaning the house like I did seven or eight years ago.  My spouse is also not happy with my weekly karaoke habit and it's now a joke among my friends that I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, though I am 'allowed' to stay out until 1am.

My royalty checks are met with ridicule.  'Oh, boy...we're rolling in it now...'

But griping about what I do isn't the point of this post.

No, my QT post this morning showed another way to answer this age-old question.  A cashier at a grocery store pointed out she's more than 'just a cashier'.  She offers hope to those who look depressed, sad, angry, or even furious, as they come past her.  She listens to their brief tale and offers a ray of sunshine.  She sees it as her mission to offer a kind word to anyone and all who need cheering up.

And it got me thinking:  What is it I do?

-I encourage other writers/potential authors.

-I provide a safe haven for any child/teenager who walks through my door.

-I listen and offer advice when needed.

-I pray for people's needs when I see them on various social networks, and for those I already know.

-When I sing, I'm either entertaining or giving people a good laugh.  And in the church choir, we're praying out loud. 

I am sooo much more than 'just a Domestic Engineer' or even a Published Author.

How about you?  What do YOU do?

Karaoke Update:
-Dark Lady (Nailed it, and posted video)
-Dream Lover (bleh....too low)
-Dreams (okay, but won't sing it again.)
A birthday party was going on, so lots of singers Saturday night.  Next week, I should finally finish the 'D' titles and move on the the 'E's:)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September Reading Schedule and August Wrap-Up

Currently Reading:  Did a lot of reading over the weekend!  Finished Travis Grundon's Mr. Bad Example, and laughed over the male perspective several times.  Good thing I know him; it's a bit crude in places.  But hey....that's his genre.  Also read Quixotic and loved several of the stories!  As for the e-books, I'm now a fan of Margaret Taylor.  Loved her book A First Love Never Dies and can hardly wait for the sequel to be pubbed!  Go immediately over to Amazon and get this wonderful book for only .99!  I promise you won't be disappointed.  You guessed it; a Definite Recommended Read:)  Another Recommended Read?  Nicole Morgan's Sweet Redemption.  I waited too long to read this (head slap), but it was worth the wait:)

At first I was going to complain August dragged, but now I'm wondering where it went!  It doesn't seem possible one month ago I was in Colorado with the family!  My 7th book arrived on the 13th, and so far every time I post an excerpt, readers seem to like it, so yay!  School began; I like the youngling's teacher and I try to stop what I'm doing at 3pm and work with him on his spelling and vocab words.  He's also reading soooo much better than he was this time last year.

Books Read:  14.
            E-books:  10
                   Print:  4

Karaoke Update:
Sang 9 new songs last month, getting through the 'Don'ts' and 'Dreams'.  I've only kept three or four.  I should make it into the 'E' titles the month:)

Walking Progress:
Our resolve to walk 14 blocks a day lasted three days.  The hubby's heart went into A-Fibb, and the heat shot up into the 90s.  Our heat wave finally broke today (or it's supposed to, anyway!), so maybe we'll resume?

Health Update:
Came home from Colorado with a sore neck, and my dr agreed maybe a 2nd opinion would be best.  She seemed a bit snippy when I told her I'd already contacted Dr. S, rather than going with her colleague.  Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather trust a doctor I've known for 21 years.  There have been some horror stories about the medical profession in this town; I want to go back to Indianapolis.

Writing Update:
I worked steadily on my new WIP for a week and finished the 1st chapter:)  We've decided to deep-clean the house, so I'll probably get back to it later this month.

September Reading Schedule:
Print:  The Lost Slab-Rick Kelsheimer Loved this!  Didn't want to put it down!  RR
           The Benefactor-Floyd Root Loved it the 2nd time around:)
           Saved By the Sheriff-Carol Preflatish Very enjoyable!  RR
           Compromised-Carol P Good story!
Sweet Redemption-Nicole Morgan  Loved this!  Kept me scrolling:)  RR
A First Love Never Dies-Margaret Taylor Excellent story and now want book #2!!!  DRR
Legacy of Lies-Cindy Christianson Good mystery and colorful cast of characters
The Color of Grace-Linda Kage Excellent YA story!
How To Resist Prince Charming-Linda Kage  Loved this!  Very good forbidden romance; her dad's boss!
Reality Check-Eric Garrison Very interesting!
Roping Love-Tamara Hoffa Loved loved LOVE this!  DRR
Memories of Love-Jean Joachim Loved loved LOVED this!!!  DRR
It's In His Kiss-Johanna Melaragno Cute short story!
He Loves Lucy-Ann Yost DNF
Love Potion Me, Baby-Amie Louellen Very enjoyable!!  DRR
The Storm Within-Darlene Deluca Wonderful story!  RR if you're into Women's Fiction
Marriage By Mistake-Alyssa Kress Loved this!! RR
Summertime-Christina Cole Loved, loved, LOVED this!  DRR
Caleo-James Crawford DNF
Playing with Fire-Ashley Piscitelli Great beginning, then dragged on.  Okay.
Bent Boot Road-Lynn Rae Interesting story.
Movie Lovers-Jean Joachim Another good one:)  RR
Under The Moonlight Moon-JJ Nice sweet romance story:)
The Boss-Abigail Barnette OMG!  LOVED it!!  DRR
Love's Last Chance-JJ My new official favorite!  Can hardly wait for #6!  DRR
Danger on XY-One-Vicky Burkholder Loved, loved, LOVED this!  DRR

And since it's Labor Day, here's the perfect song.  Enjoy!