#AmWriting, Book Title, and #Memphis

I have three different levels of good news to share with you today.  Good news – I finished Book 3 and sent it to my editor on Thursday.  Fantastic news – she sent it back to me on Saturday night!  Staci, you’re an editing rock star.  About damn time news – I think I have a title.  I’m mulling it over this week while doing edits, and I hope to share it with you next Monday.  Woohoo!!!

This past weekend, hubby and I traveled with friends to Memphis.  Half of us had visited before, but it was a new experience for the rest of us.  It didn’t start off in the most promising way.  On Wednesday, the IHG hotel we had reservations with emailed all of us.  Their AC was out, and we were instructed to call their customer service line for assistance.  Long story short, IHG needs some serious remedial training in customer service.  They were absolutely no help, and we were on our own to find another hotel.

Anyhoo, we made it, and Friday night was spent eating BBQ, dropping by the Peabody Hotel for dessert (you knew it had to be chocolate), and listening to music on Beale Street (sorry the pic’s so crappy).  Saturday, we toured Graceland.  I’m not an Elvis fan, but I was in the minority – hubby and a couple of friends with us were huge fans.  The grounds were beautiful, but the house is much smaller than you’d think.  Visitors were permitted to tour the first floor and basement, and the 70s decor (lots and lots of shag carpet!) brought back some memories of the house I grew up in.

If you’re thinking of traveling to Memphis, I’d highly recommend City Tasting Tours.  We chose the Arts District Food Tour, and it was sensational.  Not only were we treated to some delicious, appetizing food from four different restaurants, we learned fascinating details about the area and history of the district from Christina, our fabulous tour guide.  By the end, the six of us were well-stuffed, and had throughly enjoyed outselves.

Well – I’ll be busy on edits, acknowledgements, and a book description this week.  Happy writing and reading!


#AmWriting, #BookSale, and #StrangerThings3

Happy Monday, guys!  Not sure about you, but we’re roasting here.  I feel like we live inside a dryer turned on high – the heat and humidity are miserable.  When it’s like this, I stay inside with the AC.

My beta returned her notes a week ago – she had some fantastic ideas, and confirmed some things I already suspected in the back of my mind – and I’ve been hunkered over the laptop for the past eight days deleting, rewriting, and adding/deleting POVs.  We’re going out of town this weekend with friends to Memphis (first time for me), so my goal is to get this done, sent off to my editor, and enjoy the weekend without thinking about the book every second.  This is also why I’m so behind on visiting blogs – I promise I’ll get to yours!

I’ll post more about it this week, but with some expert help from a friend (thanks, Staci!) The Gemini Connection now has a new description on the back:

Planet Tage is dying, and the best hope of saving it is gone.

Seventeen-year-old identical twins Evan and Simon share an extraordinary bond, a trait that’s both useful and invasive. They use their connection in their work at Scientific Innovations. Evan is a Mindbender, someone who enters the minds of scientists to spark ideas, join thoughts, and battle nightmares. Simon is a science prodigy and Tage’s best chance of survival.

Unfortunately, their unusual link often bleeds into their private lives. When Evan discovers his brother is keeping a secret from him, he lashes out and ignores requests to talk, and even pleas for help. By the time Evan tunes back in, he finds their connection severed and Simon missing.

He suffers a terrible case of survivor’s guilt. Moreover, he’s desperate. The fate of the world rests on Simon’s return, and Evan is willing to do anything to get him back—even working with his greatest rival, who also happens to be Simon’s boyfriend.

Evan finds allies among enemies and adversaries among friends. When nothing is as it seems and everything is depending on him, he must explore a dangerous aspect to his twin connection he never knew he had.

If he fails, he’ll lose both his brother and his world.

What does this mean for you?  A Christmas in July sale!  I have a stack of books at home with the old description I’m selling for $10, and will ship them to you media mail.  If you’d like to purchase one (or more!) email me at tpolen6@gmail.com

I usually mention what I’m watching, but this week, it’s what I’d like to be watching.  I’ve been waiting for so long – Stranger Things is back!  Season 3 dropped last week, but because of the rewrites, I haven’t been able to get to it yet.  I forsee bingeing in my future.

KU Addicts Express FB Hop, #OWSCyCon2019, Myers-Briggs, and #ToyStory4

Happy Rainy Monday!  At least here, anyway.  Rain and more rain.

I’m participating in The KU Addicts Express Spring Into Summer Facebook Hop through this Friday.  If you like free books and other prizes, this is the place to be.  Go HERE to the main page, and you can hop from there.  Or you can go to my FB page HERE where I’m giving away signed copies of Sarah and The Gemini Connection.  Over 100 participants = lots of prizes!

A few weeks ago, I was part of OWS CyCon 2019.  Can’t believe I forgot to mention this earlier, but Timothy Bateson read an excerpt of The Gemini Connection, and he did a fantastic job.  If you’d like to listen, click HERE.

Have you guys taken the Myers-Briggs personality test?  Last week, I received an email with reading recommendations based on personality type.  It’s been years since I’ve taken it, so I gave it another try HERE.  Turns out I’m INTJ-A.  After reading the description, it sure does explain a lot – and it totally nailed my parenting style.  The test is around 10 minutes – give it a shot and let me know your type.

My oldest son was here for the weekend, and we saw Toy Story 4.  When he was younger, he had a Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story bed sheets, and we went through numerous pet goldfish named Buzz and Woody (until they were found floating, and we waved goodbye as they swirled around the toilet bowl), so it was fun to be able to see this with him.  And it’s a great movie.  Lots of laughs, and I loved seeing these characters again.  If you have some time, go see it.

Have a great week!

#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!