Sunday, January 01, 2017

Ringing in 2017

Happy New Year!  

I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to put 2016 behind me and move forward into a fresh, new, better year. Woohoo! Let's do this thing.

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and prosperous 2017! #YearOfTheRooster


Monday, December 26, 2016

The Song vs. The Look

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and/or Hannukah. The guys and I spent it with my parents, which was a lot of fun. I didn't get as many pictures as I would've liked because everyone was busy moving around, stuffing their face, or whatnot. Half of what I took turned out blurry. (I was using my phone, bad on me.) However, I did get one that was kinda funny. Mom giving Dad "the look". 

There is this one Christmas song Dad sings every year, but we don't know where the heck the song came from or who originally recorded it. He deliberately sings it like he's had far too much to drink. Which I admit is freaking hilarious. My parents don't drink at all, so this makes mom more than a little annoyed when he starts in with "the song". 

She used to call him out when he would start up with this mess. You know, like mom's do - Sarah Jane! David Lee! You get the idea. It's your first and middle name said in a sharp warning. Dad would crack up laughing at this, and give it a rest...for a little while. Randomly, a short time later, just long enough for Mom to have gotten past the first offense, he'd start in with the song again. 

After forty years of this, Mom has given up calling him out. Instead, she has developed "the look". It's reserved specifically for whenever he sings that song. 

When Mom is kind and patient,
but also sick of  your crap.
Dad: Mischief managed. 
Image Left: Initially, she was looking directly at me and smiling for the picture, but then Dad started singing "the song". 

Photo opportunity: priceless.  

I remember my parents playing that song on the living room stereo when I was a kid. They had (still have) a huge collection of vinyl records, many of them Christmas related. Vintage Firestone albums, compilations, and such. 

Anyway, searches for the lyrics of this particular song online exist, but these lyrics sites all beg and borrow from each other, so there is no telling who originally posted the song. On every site the band is listed as One Hundred and 21, or The One Hundred and 21. However, I can't find any evidence that was the actual name of a band. Zero returns on search results for bands by that name. I have a hypothesis, though. It could be One Hundred and 21 is part of the name of a Christmas compilation album, like, "One Hundred and 21 Sounds of the Season"... or something like that. 

If you're reading this and happen know who the band is, or what album this song comes off of, leave a comment. For anyone not interested in clicking on the link above, the song goes... 'It's Christmas Time, and I'm all alone. I put up my tree beside the window. In hopes you'll see how much you mean to me. But I live far out in the country, down seldom used roads, far away from you." For years, I thought The Lettermen or The Beach Boys sang this song, but I can't find it on any of their albums! 

In recap, 2016 was a difficult year, but I'm happy to report Christmas was wonderful. After dad's scary battle with cancer and equally scary doctor visits and follow ups, he's hanging in there, happy and healthy and still mischievous enough to tease my mom. We're super blessed have him with us. I can't begin to express how grateful I am to still have my parents. While I recognize this everyday, it makes every holiday we have together that much sweeter. 

Now onward we go. 2017's on the horizon, and I'm crossing my fingers the New Year will be a welcome relief from the hardships of 2016, and a fresh start filled with bright prospects for everyone. ✌💗💋   

Sunday, December 18, 2016

8 Days Until Christmas

Hurray for the holidays! Mini is finally out of school for winter break. We have the tree up and most of the presents have been bought. I still need to wrap them and plan to do that on Tuesday...after I buy some wrapping paper. 😉

We're spending our "Christmas" at my parent's house on the 22nd, having dinner and opening gifts on Thursday because Hubby has to work on Christmas Day. Of course MiniBeast will have a couple of Santa gifts and a stocking to pick through on Christmas morning, but aside from that, the holiday for us is mostly about gathering with family.

We are especially blessed to have Christmas together as a family this year after everything with Dad's kidney/ bladder cancer. The significance of that is not lost on me. He's officially in remission, and doing very well. We are extremely lucky to have him with us - a fact I don't take for granted.

Christmas blessing #2: Mini is adjusting after receiving a scary asthma diagnosis around Thanksgiving. We have since mastered using the inhaler, so that's one less worry under the tree. As a side note: His friend is having a birthday party this coming week, and I'm trying to fix my schedule so I can drive him to the event. It's going to be a busy Christmas week!

That's all I really had to say. I haven't posted much because...well, life. But then last week, I had an epiphany after I dropped by the livejournal blog of one of my favorite authorly people and discovered that his last post stated he had fallen into a depression and wasn't going to be updating for the forseeable future.

I was devastated to hear that, and to make it worse, the post was from August or thereabouts. I don't blog hop as frequently as I used to, but even having one sentence updates to read from him would've been something. Sort of like when you've been waiting around all day for a text back, and when you finally get a message and it says nothing but "K". It's a curt message, but you're relieved to get it anyway because...well, you really wanted a confirmation. You just wanted to hear back from that person. Sure, the note is short form, but you know what they mean. It's still communication. It's better than nothing. It's better than absolute silence.

Anyway, it made me think about my own blog, and how I've been neglecting it since I usually don't have anything of great purpose to talk about, just what's going on in my life...which is truthfully, rather boring and uneventful. Rather than trying to pull a topic from thin air, I usually just skip blogging altogether. But I guess the point is, when you "take a shine to someone", as my Gran used to say, you just want to hear (or read) their voice. When you miss someone and just want to hear their voice, it doesn't matter too much what they have to say. I decided I didn't want to just dump my old blog like that.

So, I'm going to make it a point to drop in here more often, even if it's just to write a single sentence or add a picture. It's voice. It's proof of life. I can do that much at least: show up. This blog has always been a hodgepodge, so what's one more odd duck blog post, right?  It's better than silence.

That's all for now. (I mean it this time.) It's almost midnight and I still need to jump in the shower. Until next time, ho ho ho, jingle jingle jingle, rum eggnog and all other words, Merry Christmas!  💟

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

NaNoWriMo and Current Book Obsessions

MiniBeast Emoji ;P
Happy belated Halloween!

Yesterday was such a great day. Hubz was off work, so I was able to spend the day with him. Then, after Mini got home from school, we went to Mom and Dad's house for Halloween dinner. It was hotdogs and chili night, and Mom had a ton of candy out for the kids. (Confession: I'm still gorging myself on Tootsie Rolls. I can't resist!) After dinner, we took Mini to the firestation to trick-or-treat...and go through the Haunted House. Great times!

For the past month, I've been absent a lot from social media. Instead, I've been workshopping, reading, and studying rather intensively. It hasn't always been fun, but I feel it's been time well spent. My current plan is to use NaNoWriMo to test out some of the new tips and tricks I learned throughout October. We'll see how it goes.

Speaking of which, I signed up for NaNoWriMo, but I'm not totally committed to it like I was over the course of Camp NaNo a few months back. November tends to be a very busy month for me, and I've determined this year not to make myself crazy around the holidays.

Other news-ish things going on... I got the rights back on one of my old titles I thought I'd never have access to again. That's pretty exciting. I had a cover made for it, and I'll be re-releasing in January 2017 on Smashwords. I've also been cleaning up Chasing Moonlight for rerelease. I've made a pass through it already, and so far it looks pretty good. I'm thinking after one more round it should be ready to upload. At any rate, it won't take much longer for that one.

Now for my current book obsessions... Witches. Ever since I watched The Witch, I've been seeking witch-based books to read. To be honest, I'm more interested in reading the non-romancy type, but I've also been looking for the kind that are super creepy with a lot of plot and maybe with some romantic elements (but not a straight up witch-based romance).

Dark, creepy thriller-ish "romance" horror and erotica is also on my reading list right now. I read YOU by Carline Kepnes and loved it. I finished that one and wondered, Why aren't there more books available that read like that?! I hear there's a second book in that vein, also written by Kepnes, but I haven't picked it up yet. It's next up on my purchase list. Also, the Capture Me series by Anna Zaires is on my next-up list. I've heard a lot of hype about that set, and I'm itching to get my hands on it.

Lastly, non-fiction is very high on my list right now. I've been reading a ton of non-fiction lately on various topics: Bob Dylan, art-deco architecture, the Franco-Prussian War, and ghost hunting, for example. However, my current obsession is primarily focused on finding and reading books about the revision process. With the popularity and availability of how-to write guides out there now, one would think good books covering revision would be easier to find. Hm. Maybe it's just me, but there seem to be a lot fewer books devoted to the topic.

That's all for now. MiniBeast just came in from the school bus, and he's wanting a snack, so... Mom reporting for duty. (Ramen noodles or ham sandwich, Beastie. What'll it be?) ^_^  That said, I hope you all had a lovely Halloween. Until next time, happy wishes! ♦

Saturday, October 01, 2016

More Book News

Updates, updates! Yes, more updates.

Before I get started, just for the sake of saying so, it feels a little weird blogging on the Macbook. Everything looks slightly different. My HP little red writing laptop hasn't fully recovered from the Win10 anniversary update. She's tiptop healthy in terms of virus protection, etc. but she desperately needs a trip to visit Dr. Bulldog to fix the black screen on startup issue and spontaneous crashing problem before I end up with more data loss or a fried motherboard. I don't know which would be worse, but I'd seriously prefer not to find out.

That aside, the reissue for Chasing Moonlight is in the final stages and almost ready to go live. I love the new cover, which was created by Sterling Design Studios. The reissue will be out at Smashwords in ePub format first, and other file types and vendors will follow. I'll be revealing the new cover here on the blog very soon, and I gotta say...I'll be extremely glad to have this book in stores again. Out of everything I've written, Chasing Moonlight is probably my favorite Werekind story.

Also, the Kindle, Nook, and iBooks editions of Mating Instinct are in proofs and almost ready to go.

The Midnight Moon Trilogy Omnibus is also on the table, moving right along, and looking good. Feral Instinct, one of my harder to find by stories, will be included in the omnibus along with Under a Midnight Moon and Mating Instinct. So, if you missed Feral Instinct when it was contracted through Ravenous, take heart. It's getting a reissue as well.

That pretty much covers it for now. I do have a couple more new releases on the way, but I can't comment on them just yet. At any rate, it's pretty busy here. A good thing, since it keeps me out of trouble. ;o)

Until next time, best wishes! xoxo    

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mating Instinct is live at Smashwords

It's finally here! It's been a nightmare week of pure tech hell, but my new Werekind story is finally ePub format at Smashwords. 

About Mating Instinct

Gemma Warren can hardly believe it when she is handed down an unexpected mating decree from the pack alpha. Who is the mysterious R.T. and why does he think they should be mates? Does it have something to do with that unfortunate little trespassing incident she got herself into a few weeks before? There is only one way to find out...

Smashwords link:

The current edition is available only as an ePub through Smashwords. More formats and web vendors are in the works.

A special thank you to my personal tech Genie for saving my bacon. I owe you big time!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Today's the Day

It's release day for Mating Instinct! I thought I better drop in and post a quick update while I have a few minutes free time. I'm presently working to get the files uploaded, and as soon as I have the instore links, I'll be back with an official announcement, the (very slightly) updated cover, and the download urls. A big thanks to everyone who has waited so patiently for this new Werekind story. I love you, guys!

Update 9/26: Bear with me, y'all. I've officially been awake for 24 hours straight. I'm still trying to get the new book uploaded. I've been using a new program for creating books, and I keep getting an muhfrikkin auto vetter error, and I'm trying to work out how to fix it. If I can't solve the problem by this afternoon, I have a friend who has offered to help me with it after work. I'm freaking out and very sorry. It will be up as soon as I can get the thing to accept my file. #panic :(( I will update again very soon - hopefully by this evening! xoxo