Friday, January 31, 2014

Flashback Friday: Movie Hour!

Jan 2004:
With swollen ankles and my doctor ordering me to take it easy, I happily turned all housework over to the spouse and kids.  I initiated 'Movie Hour' every day after lunch; I'd elevate my feet and watch my VHS Disney movies in reverse order.  I discovered I'd never seen the opening sequence of Pocohantis, Mulan, or Little Mermaid!  I also enjoyed Jumbo.

Doctor continued to be pleased with my health, once I told her I was officially off my feet.  With the baby due in two months and money tight, I wondered if we were ever going to get a crib or even the baby's room set up.

Present Day:
This week has been stressful, trying to do my job at the desk and having to shut off the computer every time I get up, to keep Alex from 'helping'.  Thinking I'll look into getting her on the waiting list for Head Start when she's 3 or 4!  One or two more or two more years.....

Or even better, maybe we'll finally MOVE to a house where I can have an office again?

Karaoke Songs for Tomorrow:
Foolish Games
Suds in the Bucket
Friday I'm In Love
From This Moment

I can't stay out too late; I'm singing at the 8am service on Monday.  But if there aren't a lot of singers at 10, maybe I'll get through my list?

Have a nice day and I'll be back tomorrow with the end of the month recap and new reading list.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Reading Catch Up and Good News!

Yes, I know; I've been a bad blogger.  In my defense, I've been taking care of my granddaughter while her mommy sleeps (she works the overnight shift), and just sent off my laptop for repairs.  So my reading time has been limited, due to the Kindle having issues with the charger, and now my Youngling has discovered the daughter put NetFlix pm it.  When I do get to read, I'm usually too tired to read more than a chapter or two.  But I DID manage to finish my 1st e-book of the year!

Currently Reading:  Go here for the list of print books I read this past month.  The one I'm going to tell you about is the last one on the list.  I'll try not to give away any spoilers.  First of all, since I've read the first four in the series, this didn't contain any spoilers for me, and I will keep reading.  Secondly, the emotions in this book are so intense and raw, I had to keep putting it down.  I cried over the death of two characters, and wanted to smack nearly everyone upside the head for codependency, hard headedness, selfishness, and in the case of the teenagers, remind them of the whole wide world of other guys out there.  You don't have to stay with familiar ones, esp when you question their sexuality or they give you a nasty disease due to unfaithfulness.  And that was another issue:  Are today's teens that sexually active?  I know 30 years ago of a LOT of sex going on with my classmates.  Some became parents; others were more lucky.  Can I read a contemporary book where the kids are NOT active?  And the parents were soooooo self absorbed!  Geez!  Give me a break!  And avoiding the issue is NOT going to make it go away!  Get some counseling for god's sake!

Finished reading Over You and again, I wanted to smack the heroine for her childish behavior.  All she had to do was quit it with the assumptions and jealousy!  How old is she again?  I admit, I acted this way in my early 20's, but still, by the 3rd meeting, I'd have heard him out.  Still, over all the story was good.

Getting ready to dive into Held, which will be my 1st New Adult book to read.  I could not finish the 2nd book on my list; I realized I was skimming halfway through the 1st chapter and wasn't invested in the characters.

Endless Love was voted Best YA/NA Runner Up in the LRC Reader's Choice Awards last week!  I'm going to see if Office Max can make me up some stickers, so I can put these on my cover flats and bookmarks.  Thank you sooooo much if you voted for me!

SCP was voted Best Publisher, and other friends took top honors.  I don't expect to be nominated again for a while, so this was truly an honor.

Karaoke Update:
The weather cooperated last Sat, so was able to finally go!
Forever In Blue Jeans:  Too low, but I've always loved this song!
Fox on the Run:  Eh....why do I always sound better with YouTube in the background?  ROFL!
I Will Be:  Not bad; couldn't hit the high note, due to recovering from flu
Suds in the Bucket:  Voice was croaky by this time; will try again!
Separate Ways/Worlds Apart:  Someone had mixed up the microphones, so no one could hear me during 1st verse!  Still, nailed it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Flashback Friday: SPLAT!

Jan 1993:
I was pregnant; morning sickness was wearing off (thankfully!); we'd gotten through a tough money-tight Christmas, and the weather had warmed to a sunny 50 or 60 degrees.  I decided to take K to the park.

He did well for a few minutes, then decided to run off.  I chased him, only to have my left knee give out and I fell on my stomach.  Fortunately, another parent was watching and ran to catch him.  I thanked him, adding I was pregnant, and needed to get home to see if there was any damage from the fall.  He helped us back to our car, and I drove home.

I don't remember if it was that same day or later in the week, but D and I had an argument as I was fixing dinner.  I remember stumbling over to the microwave, but before I got there, I tripped and fell again.  He stopped yelling at me long enough to help me up, told me to sit down, and he got the rest of the meal together.  Fortunately, this little 'peanut' decided to be no problem at all, and didn't cause me any trouble for falling on 'her' twice.  Unlike K, who tried to arrive whenever I picked up anything greater than ten pounds!

It was also this time I was contacted by one of the 1st Step parents, asking if I'd be willing to baby-sit her daughter for a few hours.  I agreed, even though the day I was to be there, I felt horrible.  Instead of cancelling, I went anyway.  And did everything wrong, including trying to nap on the couch during A's nap time.  I'd taken K with me, and he had not only hidden my wallet when I wanted to go to the grocery store or even a McD's run, but drove me crazy with his energy in the new home, and I simply didn't have the energy to keep up with him.

After A's mother returned home, K and I left, but two hours later the phone rang.  Apparently little A had bite marks all up and down her back from where K, who was going through a biting phase, had nipped her several times.  I burst into tears and apologized profusely, but as a result, another sitter for the monthly 1st Step meetings was found.  I was out of my monthly job.

In hindsight, I should not have gone over there in my state of illness, and should have cancelled.  But being stubborn, and thinking my morning sickness would surely wear off soon, I was certain I could handle everything.  But obviously, I was wrong.  I don't take direction well when my head is pounding and I feel sick to my stomach.  Lesson learned.

Present Day:
The temps have been downright frigid the last two weeks, and they don't look as if they're letting up at all until maybe Feb.  So no karaoke again tomorrow.  And the entire family has had the stomach flu.  K had it over the weekend; A caught it Monday morning; I had it Tuesday night; W had to be picked up at school at noon on Wed; S came down with it Wednesday afternoon.  So far (knock wood!) the spouse hasn't been afflicted!

Tonight's the last time to vote in the LRC Reader's Choice Awards.  I hope I do well, and will let you know when I find out!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I've Been Nominated!!!

Last Thursday evening, I decided to check my mail 'one more time' before bed.  I noticed Dawn had sent out the list of nominees, but I also had a few older digest posts to read.   I cleaned out the trash, then began reading the digests, saving the nominee lists for last.  I've never been nominated, but I like to cheer on my friends who do get nominated year after year.

Imagine my shock when I opened the first digest and saw a huge 'Congratulations Molly!' post!  I nearly fell out of my chair as I clicked the link and read the message.  I'd been nominated?  I'd been nominated!!  I sat there in shock.

My spouse walked in and asked what I was doing.  I showed it to him, and he patted me on the back.  That prompted me to give myself a shake, click the link to join the chat, and said 'Thank you' to everyone who had congratulated me.  I also congratulated the other nominees, then went back and finished reading my mail, taking note of when the voting began, ended, and when I could start promoting it.

I'm still in shock from FB friends who want to know how to vote for me:)  I've told at least three, and even voted for myself this morning.

I have no idea who the others in my category are (Best NA/YA), but if I can at least get to the Honorable Mention, I'll be thrilled:)  (Runner up would be even better; I get another button!  But let's be realistic here!)

Which book was nominated?  Book #5, Endless Love.

Caitlyn McCarty plans to marry her high school sweetheart, Bryan Johnson, and teach elementary school after graduating from Arbor University.  But after Bryan's life turns upside down with an unexpected turn of events, Caty begins to question her goals and every decision she’s ever made.

Peter Criswell fell for green-eyed, opinionated Caitlyn when he first met her.  However, her determination to hold onto a dream frustrates him.  Sometimes you meet the right person at the wrong time, and falling for a woman who’s caught between her parents’ wants versus her own desires isn’t always easy.

When the foundation of Bryan Johnson’s relationship with Caitlyn is tested not once, but twice, he faces the possibility of losing the only girl he’s loved since high school.  When Caty does make up her mind, will she stand by her man or run into the arms of another?

“It can wait. Go back to bed.” 

 “No, talk to me. The last time you couldn't sleep was last March. Do you have to testify?” 

 Damn she's perceptive. And persistent. “Cait,” he sighed. “Are you sure you want this now?” 

 “I love you, Bry, and whatever it is, you can tell me.” 

 Bryan swallowed hard, then felt her hand slide into his.  He squeezed her fingers.   “I don't want to hurt you, ever, Caitlyn, but this is going to kill you.” 

 “What is it?” She looked and sounded alarmed.

 Bryan pulled his hand from hers and raked his fingers through his hair. “You remember me telling you about the girl I dated my first year?” Caty nodded. “Well, it turns out she was at the same party I was the weekend after you left, and,” he swallowed, “she’s pregnant, claims I'm the father.” 

 Caty went pale. “What? Bry... No! No! You can’t be...can you? No!” She jumped up and went to the window. “Tell me there's no way,” she pleaded, spinning around to face him.

 “Cait, I woke up, she was there. I don't know how or why, but...” Bryan swung his legs over the edge of the couch and leaned forward, elbows on knees.

 “Noooo,” Caty wailed, fisting her hands in her hair. “It’s a mistake. It’s got to be a mistake.” Her voice fell to a whisper as she sank into a chair. “Bryan...” Tears coursed down her cheeks.

 “I'm sorry. I am so sorry.” There were tears in his eyes as well. He tried to kneel at her feet, to hold her hands, but she pulled away.

 “How could you? How could you let me make you dinner and...and make love to me? God, do you know how that makes me feel right now? You don't remember?” Caty got up and found the box of Kleenex. “How could you?” 

 Her sudden anger caught him off guard. “I...I don't know. I just don't know.” He returned to the couch. “If I could remember, I would. But honestly, Cait, I don't remember her being there, I don't remember screwing her, and I don't know how she even got in my bed.” 

 “Oh, God... in your bed? Our bed? I'm going to be sick.” Caty sat down and put her head between her knees. 

 Bryan felt helpless. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want this to be any worse. After a while, Caty raised her tearstained face. “You say she claims, do you think she's lying?” 

 “Cait, she lied while she and I were going out. I think she is. The baby's due next spring, and there's going to be a paternity test to see if what she claims is true.” 

 “Is this going to interfere with your probation?” she asked.

 “No, getting girls pregnant isn't a crime.” He tried to make a joke. “Just not remembering.”

Monday, January 13, 2014

Author-Of-The-Week Spotlight:)

Exciting news!  I was picked to be the Author-of-the-Week for the SCP blog:)  And that means....contest!

Over the course of this week, visit the following blogs:

Yesterday 1/12:  Melissa Keir  (Kenzie)

Monday 1/13:  Here, Kenzie's Place, plus Shannon West (Kenzie)

Tuesday 1/14:  Cynthia Arsuaga (Molly)

Wed 1/15:  Amber Skyze (Kenzie)

Thurs 1/16:  Tricia Anderson (Molly)

Friday 1/17:  Nina Pierce  (Molly)

Yes, you're seeing this correctly.  I'm featuring my own Endless Love and Love Weighs In, as well as Kenzie's Appetite For Desire and Wild At Heart.  Look for excerpts, character interview, and maybe even a visit from a villian.  On Friday, one lucky commenter will be chosen (okay, I might pick two!) to receive a free download of all 9 books in our combined SCP back list.  Sound good?  Don't forget to leave your contact info in the comment section!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flashback Friday: Confusion Over Schedule

Jan 1984:
My schedule changed.
1st:  H.E.R.O (Home Economics Related Occupations)
2nd:  Sr English Comp
3rd-5th:  Head Start
6th:  Band/Independent Study.

The first day back, I dutifully climbed on the bus after English and rode downtown to Head Start.  At 1:15, I helped get the kids ready for departure, then hopped my own bus back to school.  My band director was frustrated by the inflexibility in my schedule; he'd wanted to place me in Symphonic Band, our top concert one.  But since it met 2nd period, and my English class was only offered at that time, I was stuck.  So while I was back in the 'Beginning Band' class, Mr. M gave me my own music and sent me off to study by myself, coming back toward the end of class to hear what I'd accomplished.

Day #2, my brain short-circuited.  I was in the middle of helping clean up after lunch when I saw I had about 5 minutes til the 12:15 bus arrived, so I panicked and scampered out of there, realizing my mistake only after returning to school.  The next day, I arrived at work with an apology on my lips, but was met with my disappointed supervisor, who took me to task for my lapse.  I don't even remember if I explained the brain fart or not.

Next Month:  Having my writing ability challenged.

Present Day:
I've suffered an attack of the flu or a severe cold the last several days, so I think I'll be skipping karaoke tomorrow.  Esp since on Sunday at the 11am service, I have to declare my intention to join the Church, and want to look and smell nice, instead of stale smoke.

Looking Ahead To Next Week:
Kenzie and I have been chosen to be the Featured Author Of The Week over at the SCP blog:)  I'll be writing blog posts this weekend, since I have 8 spots next week.  So see you Monday!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Love Finds A Way:)

I'm also featured over at AJ Best's blog; won't you stop by and say hi?  There's a never-before-posted scene in addition to an easy contest!

Hard to believe Matt and Amy's book is two years old:)


Can a blind date turn into a romance?  Amy Callahan wants to find out, so when she flies to California to spend a week with Matt Slagal, she discovers the ups and downs of a long distance relationship.  Which one prevails..."Absence makes the heart grow fonder"  or, "Out of sight, out of mind"?
Buy link:

I invited Jean Joachim to interview Matt and Amy.  Take it away:)

Are you upset your name is not in the title?

A:  No; the original title was ‘Love On The Rocks’, but it fit Elicia Keller’s story better, so I was happy you changed it.
M:  At least you didn’t call it ‘Matt Can’t Make Up His Mind’.  Geez….was I really that wishy-washy thirty years ago?
A:  Yes, you were.  I had to get you to quit drinking and see which woman was better for you.
M (rolls eyes but stays quiet)

Is your love interest the way you pictured him?  Or would you have preferred someone with a different hair color.

A:  The guy on the cover absolutely has Matt’s cocky attitude down!  He’s a bit more buff than my handsome guy-
M:  Your hair is blonde, not that reddish-brown stuff.  The female is all wrong for you, except for the eyes.  And if you had her lips….(whistles) Oh baby what those lips do for me-
A:  Shut up, Matthew.

Do you have any annoying habits your author did not share with us in your book?

M:  I’ll say!  She left out a LOT of Amy’s annoying habits.  She snores, hogs the covers, bites her fingernails, and sneezes or coughs.
A:  Excuse me?  You told me I talk in my sleep.  Plus, you knew about my allergies.  I only bite my nails when I’m nervous.  The only thing Molly left out was your addiction to airplane toys.
M:  Those are going to be worth a fortune someday.  Now your books, on the other hand-
Jean:  Can we keep going you two?
A:  Sorry.  Please continue.

Do you have siblings? Are you close to them?

A:  I’m an only child.
M:  Two brothers, two sisters.  I’m the baby of the family.

Any hobbies we might be interested in knowing about?

A:  Reading and cross-stitch.
M:  Model airplanes.

 Are you happy with the profession your author chose for you or would you rather be working at something totally different and why?

A:  Nope, she hit it dead on.
M:  Once upon a time, I thought I might go into dentistry, but my love of airplanes won.

 Are you planning to make an appearance in a sequel? If not are you unhappy about that?

A:  I believe I’m in almost all of them, up until book #8.
M:  I cannot believe what she did to me in books #4-6.  Unbelievable!  Is this her idea of revenge?
Interviewer:  It’s called ‘creative license’. 
M:  Creative license, my ass.  She's just bummed because she chose the wrong man-
JeanMay I remind you that you are a FICTIONAL CHARACTER?
M:  Good God, you don’t have to get hyper about it.

Now for a personal question. Is there enough  sex in the book for you? Would you have liked more?

A:  I’m perfectly happy with the amount of sex in it.
M:  I’m not, but then again, I’m not into having people watch me loving my woman.  There’s a thing called PRIVACY, you know.

Is you’re hero/heroine a good kisser?

A (looks at Matt, then Interviewer, then down at her lap):  Yes, he is.
M:  Great, you don’t like the way I kiss?  You’re fantastic.
A:  Thank you sweetie.  When you’re sober, I love the way you kiss.  But when you’re drunk, well, sticking out your tongue isn’t exactly what kissing is all about.
M:  Wait till we get back to the room.  I’ll stick my tongue up your-

How many re-writes did you have to live through?

A:  Too many to count.
M:  Yeah, she’d write, then cut chapters, rewrite entire scenes…I don’t even recognize myself at times.
A:  Trust me, it’s an improvement.

Did your story end too soon?

Both:  No, it’s still continuing to unfold.

Did you get enough time in the story or do you feel shortchanged?

M:  I don’t think I have much of a voice in it.  If you want to know the truth about what went on between me and Jeri-
A:  No, we don’t.

Who was your favorite supporting character?

A:  I love Geoff’s sense of humor; Kelly for her friendship while I was in California, and of course, my BFF Caitlyn.
M:  Caty is smokin’ hot!  But she was taken when I met her.
A (rolls her eyes)

Do you want your story to become a series with you as a recurring character?

Both:  If it wasn’t for our story, there never would have been a series.
M:  I still say she owes me royalty money.

Thank you both for being here today, and have a wonderful birthday/anniversary.

CONTEST!  Do you remember your 1st love? How long did your relationship last?  Do you have fond memories, or are they more in the 'I dated THAT?' category?  Leave me a comment either here or on AJ Best's Blog.  I'll draw a winner tonight for a free download of Love Finds A Way.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Flashback Friday: Belated Birthday And Special Attention?

Jan 1974:
I returned to school after the break with a fresh batch of homemade cupcakes and was finally able to celebrate my 8th birthday with my class.  I also think this was when I began taking my mom's historical biographies to school for reading material, and my favorite of the two teachers, Mrs H, took notice of my reading ability.  One day she surprised me by taking me down to the 'big kids library', the one the 4th-6th graders used, and showed me the biography section.  She began letting me check out a few books a week on her card, and I was thrilled!   No more 'baby' books from the K-3rd grade library for me!

I devoured biographies of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, Virgina Dare, Jane Addams, Betsy Ross, Jessie Fremont, and Rachel Jackson.  I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I can instantly recall, probably because I read them so often!

Next Month:  A Friend's Birthday Party

Present Day:
We received about an inch of snow yesterday, and supposed to get more over the weekend.  If I'm able to make it out to karaoke, here are the songs I plan to sing:

Flashdance (Irene Cara)
Foolish Beat (Debbie Gibson)
Foolish Games (Jewel)
I Will Be (Leona Lewis)
Suds In The Bucket (Sara Evans)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

          Did I Attain Last Year's Goals?
          -Released a total of 6 books (3 Molly, 3 Kenzie), so check!
          -Made the break from Publisher Who Will Not Be Named, check!
          -Discovered I have mild sleep apnea and began diet modification, check!
          -Boxes are still in basement, but no more room in storage.
          -Did not attend any conferences.
          -DID spend an enjoyable week in Estes Park, check!
          -I HAVE reached the 'F' titles in karaoke, check!

          This Year's Goals:
          -Repair laptop
          -Attend ONE (1) conference, be it RT NOLA, Lori's, or the one in Nashville, TN.
          -Lose 10 lbs or more
          -Reach the 'HO' titles in karaoke
          -Publish at least two books this year, which means cleaning up NaNo 2013's wip and submitting it; finishing #8 or going onto #9.  Write one or two more (either pen name)

          January Reading Schedule:  Goal:  Read another 200 books:)  Daughter did NOT get her own Kindle, so I'll only be able to read when I'm not taking care of the granddaughter or just before bed.  
          Print Books:
          Having It All-Roz Denny Fox Excellent!  RR
          Coast Road-Barbara Delinsky Excellent Story!!!  DRR
          The Silent Wife- A.S.A. Harrison Interesting...
          Between the Lines-Jodi Picoult and daughter Loved it!  DRR
          Ordinary Lives, Extraodinary Mission-John R. Wood Food for thought:)
          Good Faith-Liz Crowe Good, but difficult to read, due to all the raw emotion.  Wanted to slap a few characters silly at times.

          Over You-Christine Kersey Good
          All Over You-Beverly Kendall CNF
          Held-Jessica Pine CNF
          His Leading Lady-Jean Joachim AWESOME!!!!  DRR
          Her Story antho-Dorothy Abrams, et al
          Trouble With A Cowboy-Sandy Sullivan
          Unforgettable You-Marci Boudreaux
          Sweeter Than Sugar-Sandra Sookoo

         Karaoke Songs:
          Flashdance (Irene Cara) A little flat in places, but okay.  I'll most likely only sing this again if requested, or if the mood strikes.
          Foolish Beat (Debbie Gibson)
          Foolish Games (Jewel) Ugh.  Only did well on the places I knew very well.  Overall, bleh.
          Suds In The Bucket (Sara Evans)
          Forever in Blue Jeans (Neil Diamond) Too low
          Fox On The Run (Sweet) Not bad, but not that good either!

          Watch my YouTube channel for videos:)