#AmReading, Book Stuff, and #AmWatching

With Book 3 in the hands of my beta reader, last week I treated myself to seven days of mostly just reading.  It was wonderful, relaxing, and with hubby out of town, very quiet.  Just me and the cat, and dinner out with friends one night.  This week will be different.  I need to get started on the book description, and a list of authors to contact for blurbs.  If anyone wants to volunteer, feel free!

Then there’s still the title, of course.  Epiphanies and lightning bolts of ideas are in short supply around here.  I keep waiting for the perfect words to fall from the sky and appear…somewhere.  Billboards, songs, books I’m reading – still nothing, so far.  The waiting continues.

This past weekend was Keanu Reeves-themed – not planned, it just kind of happened.  On Saturday, hubby and I saw John Wick 3.  Not as good as the first one, in my opinion, but still a darn good summer movie.  On Netflix, we watched Always Be My Maybe, a rom-com (hubby loves them), in which Keanu has a small role and plays ‘an extreme comedic version of himself’.  Trust me, it’s hilarious.  The movie was enjoyable, and if you’re a fan of rom-coms, I’d recommend watching it.  I’ve been a Reeves fan since Point Break, and was also thrilled to hear he’s voicing a character in Toy Story 4 – which I hope to see in the next couple of weeks.

Several weeks back, I mentioned Black Summer, a zombie apocalypse show on Netflix.  After watching the first four episodes, I decided these characters were too stupid to live, and I was rooting for the zombies.  Weeks passed, and I gave it another chance.  Stupidity is still rampant, but there are also plot holes big enough for a zombie horde to easily pass through.  Verdict:  I’m done.  Life is too short.

#AmWriting, #AmReading, and Austria

If you were here last Monday, you know I’d taken off four days from work to finish Book 3 and get it to my beta reader by Thursday.  I DID IT!!!  Friends, that was four days of intensive writing, revising, and editing.  My butt was glued to the chair, my bed, at the kitchen table – wherever I felt inspired.  But when I sent it to her, it was such a relief – the clouds parted, and there might have been joyous singing involved.  Thankfully, not by me.  But the happy dancing was all me.  I’m still not where I want to be with the word count, but I suspect my beta will let me know several areas where I need to beef it up, and over the weekend, I came up with more to add at the end.

So this week, I plan to get around to all the blogs I’m behind on, and do ALL THE READING.  I have several books to catch up on from friends, book club, and those for review.  I also need to visit Canva and Bookbrush to create some new social media images – mine are getting a bit stale.  When it comes to those, I’m seriously lacking in skill.  My inbox is down to 220 – from 346.  Progress is being made.

I mentioned a couple of months back my youngest son would be in Austria for four weeks taking classes.  He’s having a fantastic time hiking (claims he almost fell off a mountain – he’s a little dramatic), trying new food (hot chocolate with caramel popcorn on top – I question the logic in this), and traveling (going to Italy twice).  Here are some pics he sent.  Have a great week!


#AmWriting, #BookFestival, #AmWatching

It’s crunch time, guys.  I’ve taken off the next four days from work to finish Book 3 (and maybe even come up with a title), and get it into my beta’s hands by Friday.  Last week, I was writing the ending, and my MC surprised me by changing some things – which really worked better, and were more true to his character.  Whenever that happens, I usually just go with it.  I know there are a couple more scenes that need work, then I’ll be adding in some world-building, and tweaking some of the characters.  If I’m slow to reply to comments or get to your blogs, you’ll know I’m hunkered down working.

Maybe six weeks ago, I mentioned I’d applied for Heartland Book Festival, scheduled for September.  This will be the first year, with Friday being Children’s Day, and Saturday open to the public.  I was thrilled to receive an email accepting me!  It’s only an hour away, and I’m always excited to talk to kids about reading – adults, too, of course.  Heck – I’m excited to talk to anyone about reading and books anytime, anywhere.

Is anyone else excited for NOS4A2?  I recorded it last night, but haven’t watched it yet.  I’ve had the book in my TBR for more years than I care to admit, but – it’s vampires.  I’m so excited to watch vampires again!  Well, I also just finished What We Do in the Shadows, a hilarious take on vampires.  If you missed it, go forth and find it.  Some episodes were better than others, but I had some great laughs.

Wish me luck on finishing.  Have a great week!

#AmWriting, #OWSCyCon2019, and #PennedCon

Here we are at Monday morning again.  I don’t know about you, but May is flying by – which isn’t a good thing for me, since I’m trying to get Book 3 (yes, still unnamed) to my beta reader by the first week of June.  I’ve worked on it every spare minute I could scrounge up, but with other obligations, I’m still feeling the pressure.  I’ll just keep chanting my favorite mantra, courtesy of Dory from Finding Nemo – ‘Just keep swimming.’

This was my first year participating in OWS CyCon, and it didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped.  If any of you attempted to vote (and I deeply appreciate your efforts), I’m sure you noticed the brackets were screwed up.  As of yesterday, things still weren’t running smoothly.  Friday and Saturday showed The Gemini Connection making it past a few rounds.  This morning, it shows I didn’t make it past the first.  Sometimes technology is a pain in the a*$.  Besides my Top 5 Sci-Fi Movie Influences post that ran HERE on Saturday, I was also a guest on Ellen Mint’s blog HERE talking about world-building in The Gemini Connection.  Stop by if you’d like to know more about Evan and Simon’s world.

I’ve been looking for some new book festivals to attend.  If you’re familiar with Penned Con in St. Louis, the organizers are hosting a new Penned Con in Charleston, SC, February 29, 2020 (not to replace the event in St. Louis).  Having lived in SC for over 18 years, and with family still there, I registered for it.  I haven’t been to Charleston in quite a while, so I’m really looking forward to it.  If you’ve never visited, you’re missing out on tons of history, delicious food, and Southern hospitality.

While looking for new book events, I came across Deadly Reality in early November at The Stanley Hotel in Colorado – the same hotel where Stephen King wrote The Shining.  How cool would it be to attend that?  Talk about atmosphere!  Maybe I could soak up any leftover vibes of his creativity – a girl can dream.

Have a great week – happy reading and writing!

Laundry, #AuthorInterview, and #OWSCyCon2019 #giveaway

Last week, I mentioned I’d be out of town for a few days helping the oldest son get settled in his new apartment.  Over the last week, I’ve washed more loads of clothes than the previous two months combined.  With everything the oldest son needed washed, then the youngest son moving out of the dorm and having a couple weeks worth of clothes, combined with hubby’s laundry from the few days I was gone, I feel like I’ve been changed to the W/D over the past several days.  If you read about a sudden water shortage in KY – you’ve found the culprit.

One of my publishing sibs, Hannah R. Goodman, interviewed me for her 9 Questions series on her blog – hop over and read about authors that have influenced my writing, and the three books I’d want with me if stranded on a desert island (I might have cheated just a bit on that one).  Stay around and check out Hannah’s new YA contemporary release, Till It Stops Beating.

This coming weekend, May 17th through 19th, I’m taking part in OWS CyCon in the horror and sci-fi/fantasy genres (many more are listed on the home page).  You can visit participating authors’ virtual booths, vote in cover and character wars, and read posts on a plethora of topics.  There’s also a huge giveaway of 22 ebooks and an Amazon card here – make sure to register!  Go to the home page for a schedule and get in on the fun this weekend.


#Derby, #AmWriting, and Name My Book Character

Another fantastic weekend!  On Friday, hubby and I attended our youngest son’s last concert of the semester.  Saturday, we were guests at a rainy, but fun-filled Derby party, and Sunday, we spent part of the day with the oldest son before he traveled to his new apartment and job out of state.  Both sons were at the Derby party, so that made it even better.  By Sunday afternoon, I could have easily keeled over for a nap, but the to-do list wasn’t getting checked off on its own.

I’ll be away from Wi-Fi for most of the week – traveling to the oldest son’s new apartment to get him settled, and no internet until Friday.  I’ll try to get to comments and other blogs by the weekend – between traveling back home and moving the youngest son out of his dorm.  While I’m at the oldest son’s apartment, he’ll be out of town at a job site, so it’s just me, with no TV or internet for a few days.  Besides getting him unpacked, I plan to get some serious writing done.  It’s almost like a retreat!  Have my book club audio book downloaded and ready for the journey.

The Name My Book Character contest is going well.  This is the first time I’ve tried it, and the response has been wonderful.  Participants have put some real thought into their entries, and it’s going to be a difficult decision.  If you haven’t entered yet, you’ve got until Sunday, May 12th – here’s the link.


Is anyone watching Our Planet on Netflix?  It’s educational, alarming, humorous – and the footage is stunning.  We’re about six episodes in and totally addicted.  Give it a try!



Name My Book Character! #giveaway #YA #scifi

My third book is scheduled for publication February 13, 2020, and I need a name for a supporting character.  He’s currently going by the name ‘X’ in my draft – yes, I’m that creative.

This character is a seventeen-year-old male operative for an organization that rescues hostages.  He’s athletic, friendly, easy on the eyes, and has a secretive past.

If your entry is chosen, you’ll receive an acknowledgment in the book, and a signed copy upon publication.  The name won’t be chosen randomly – I’ll select one I think best suits the character.  To enter, all you need to do is leave your name suggestion – it can be just a first, or first and last name – below.  It’s that simple.

Entries will close Sunday, May 12th, at midnight CST, and the winner will be announced Wednesday, May 15th.

Good luck!