Bond the Mighty Hunter and #AmWatching

To all the Pittsburgh fans out there, hubby suffered along with you last night. With all the yelling hurled in its direction, our TV may never be the same. Possibly my ears, also.

Our cat, Bond, stays mostly indoors, but when we’re outside on our covered patio he’s leash (a very long one) trained and likes to hang out with us. Unfortunately, he’s caught birds a couple times and even tried to bring one of them inside. Both times hubby had to get them away from Bond (I couldn’t bear to see the bird struggling in his mouth). For Christmas I bought son #1’s cat a stuffed bird toy that chirps – and Bond immediately stole it and began to growl at anyone who got close. I honestly believe he thought it was real. Once he figured out it wasn’t edible, it immediately became his favorite toy. Bond, the mighty hunter.

I’ve previously mentioned I seem to be the curse to TV shows and lamented the fact that so many of my favorites get canceled. La Brea is a new show that debuted on NBC last fall, i t called to me- a sinkhole opens up and the folks who fall through it wind up in another time. I vowed not to watch it, knowing if I got hooked it would meet the same fate. But It seemed like every time I turned around, La Brea was in my face. When I noticed the Sci-Fi channel was showing a marathon, I caved in and recorded the whole season. And I’m hooked. Once I finished all ten episodes, I checked to see if it had been renewed, dreading the results. It’s getting a second season, but I’m wondering if it will make it past that given my history. Keep your fingers crossed.

Have a great week!

Final Edits (woohoo!) and #AmWatching

The sequel to Subject A36 is now in production. I sent in the final round of edits Friday, and now it’s out of my hands. What a relief! It was a long time coming, and I surely didn’t plan for the release to be a little more than two years after Subject A36. Anyhoo, now I can start planning a cover and title reveal. Before I started writing this sequel, I already had a name for the second book. The characters had other ideas. The character the original title referred to didn’t really step up to lead this story. Someone else took their place, a surprise to me, but it seemed right this story belonged to that character. Has this happened to you other writers out there?

Let’s talk superheroes. Both sons had recommended for months that I watch Invincible on Amazon Prime. It’s created by Robert Kirkman, co-creator of The Walking Dead, and several actors from that series voice some of these characters. Over Christmas, I finally got around to watching it. And promptly binged the whole first season. Don’t assume this animated series is for kids – it’s not. Some of the gory, gritty scenes left me with my mouth hanging open – it’s dark, but also comes with some humor. I’ll be there waiting when season 2 drops. Here’s a description: Seventeen-year-old Mark Grayson is just like every guy his age, except that his father is Omni-Man, the most powerful superhero on the planet. As Mark develops powers of his own, he discovers his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems.

I also watched both seasons of The Boys on Prime. These superheroes are the worst – most of them, anyway. They’re corrupt, they abuse their powers – just horrible people. The Boys are a group of vigilantes who set out to take them down. This is also a dark, brutal show but comes with some comedic scenes. I’m excited for season 3 when Jensen Ackles from Supernatural will be joining the cast.

Have a great week!

#Resolutions, Turf Wars #2, and #AmWatching

I always start the New Year with the best intentions. Like most people, sometimes I carry through with my resolutions, sometimes not so much. This year feels different. Maybe it’s because we had so many life-changing occurrences happen last year – I’m still not sure. Whatever the case, over the past several months I feel like too many things have fallen through the cracks, and I’m determined to catch up and not get myself in that position again. I’ve made a schedule I’ll force myself to follow, and by March I should be able to breathe a little better. I’ll keep you updated!

Son #1 was here for NYE, and he brought his cat, Sora. If you’re a regular reader here, you know that our cat, Bond, doesn’t take kindly to Sora invading his territory – even though she’s been coming here regularly over the past four years. Toys, beds, and cat perches were stolen on both sides, chases were launched, paws were swung – you get the picture. And here they are. Can’t you just feel the love between them?

Yesterday I watched the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. If you’re a Potterhead, this is a must. So many behind the scenes shots and information, tributes to cast members who’ve passed away, the audition where Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint were first put together. When the three of them talk about what the series meant to them, how they feel about each other and the crew, and the footage of the last day they were on set, trust me – you’ll need a tissue. But there are lots of laughs, also. Such a pleasure to watch.

Have a great week!

Christmas and Edits

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to look at food for a while. I ate waaayyy too much this holiday weekend. Both boys were here, and we had a wonderful time. Son #2 and I made a new cookie recipe he found containing Earl Grey tea, vanilla extract, and lemon extract (it only called for vanilla, he added the lemon on his own). I’m not a tea fan, but the cookies were light and delicious. We played Rock Band, and I discovered I’m not too terrible a bass player on easy level. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas night with friends featuring lots of the aforementioned food, plenty of laughter, and a new trivia game. Saturday afternoon was at the movie theater watching Spider-Man: No Way Home – it was fantastic, and Sunday afternoon Son #1 and I saw The Matrix Resurrections (between the two of us, we’re still unclear about exactly what happened). He’ll be back this weekend for the NYE party we’re hosting, but Son #2 will be back in Austin.

I’m working on my last round of edits this week for the sequel to Subject A36 – finally. My publisher said there should be no problem getting copies to me for the local bookfest at the end of March even though the official release date isn’t until May 15th. Maybe I’ll set up a giveaway here on my blog or my author FB page.

Have a great week!

Christmas Fun and Secret Santa

Decorating gingerbread houses has become a yearly Christmas tradition with friends. Don’t think we’re good enough to make them from scratch – we cheat and buy the kits. This year we changed it up a little and bought gingerbread Christmas tree kits. It came with candy decorations and colored icing, but we always add some of our own. A couple years ago we jokingly accused one friend of binging Netflix baking shows to get ideas. We always have tons of fun (there may also be wine involved) even though we’re not particularly creative. To the right is a picture of the finished products. We didn’t actually follow the directions and chose to freestyle, so they all look a little different.

Last week my bookclub met a little earlier than we usually do because of members’ holiday plans. Our December meetings involve food and discussion about the books we read over the past year. We also exchange our Secret Santa gifts. My Secret Santa totally outdid himself. Behold the framed Infinity War soundtrack – on vinyl! Isn’t it awesome? Josh is officially one of my favorite people now. I’ll hang this with the painted KISS vinyl my sons got me for Mother’s Day.

I’ll still be posting a couple reviews this week, but if you’re taking a break for the holidays, have a very Merry Christmas! Otherwise, hope to see you around the blogosphere.

Tornadoes, Austin, and Bookfest

You may have seen the news about the devastating tornadoes that tore their way through several states over the weekend. Here in Bowling Green, KY, an EF-3 struck at approximately 1:25 AM Saturday morning resulting in several deaths. The death toll is still rising. Many people lost their homes and businesses, and the destruction in some hard hit areas is catastrophic. These folks could sure use your prayers. If you’d like to donate to the relief fund, you can do that HERE.

Hubby and I were out of town visiting Son #2 in Austin, TX and had no idea if our house was even standing. Luckily, we were able to reach friends who confirmed our neighborhood was spared. Needless to say, we feel very blessed. While in Austin, I experienced Russian food for the first time. If you ever have the opportunity to try khinkali, Georgian dumplings made of twisted knobs of dough and stuffed with meats and spices, I highly recommend it. Sooo good. I’m drooling again just thinking about it. We went on a ghost tour (not the best I’ve been on) Friday night, and visited the adorable town of Fredericksburg on Sunday afternoon and did some Christmas shopping. Below are a couple of pics. The first is of the Driskill Hotel taken on the ghost tour, and the other is from a park in Fredericksburg.

I also received some good news Friday night – I got into the SOKY Bookfest here in Bowling Green in March! Local schools attend a children’s day that Friday, and Saturday is open to the public and full of panels and signings. If you live in the area, mark your calendars for March 26th – it’s free to attend.

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Edits, Book Reviews, and #AmWatching

Last week I promised to update you on my attempt at free writing to discover more about my WIP. The free writing didn’t happen. On Wednesday, I received my next edits and have until this Wednesday to get them in. I was at work at the time, only looked at the due date, and knew the free writing would have to be postponed to meet this deadline. Friday, I sat down to begin the edits and noticed what I’d missed – the cover to the A36 sequel was attached! You guys – it’s perfect. The designer really outdid himself, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Side by side, there’s no doubt the books are a duology. I can’t wait to show it to you, and I’ll plan a cover reveal after the new year.

I’m embarrassed to admit I discovered some reviews still in draft status that I thought I’d posted months ago. The reviews were posted on Amazon and B&N, but not on my blog. Guess that speaks to my organizational skills! Anyhoo, the next four days will feature reviews of books by authors who will be very familiar to most of you. Make sure to stop by!

As a long time Jeremy Renner fan, I’d been anticipating this show for months, and finally got caught up on Hawkeye last week. I’m loving the peek into Hawkeye’s life and humor injected into the show – even during the action sequences. Hailee Steinfeld easily holds her own with Renner, and the two of them have great chemistry onscreen. If you’ve got Disney+, I highly recommend watching it.

Weekend, #AmWriting, and #AmWatching

I mentioned last Monday we’d have both sons home for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful. Son #1 got hubby (a longtime Pittsburgh fan) an early Christmas present of tickets to the Steelers/Bengals slaughter game yesterday, so the four of us spent the weekend in Cincinnati.

Son #2 and I aren’t really sports fans (he refers to any type of sport as sportsball), so we took a food tour in the downtown area Sunday afternoon. He’s a big foodie and found us a fantastic food tour in NYC a few years ago – one of the best we’ve ever been on – and always looks for tours in cities we visit. This one was filled with fascinating historical facts about Cincinnati and some tantalizing ethnic foods (how have I made it this long without steamed buns?). If you’re ever in the area, we highly recommend it. Shoutout to our tour guide, Jackie – request her if you can.

Thanks to the authors who suggested free writing for my WIP last week to uncover the story hiding among all my ideas and notes taken over the past couple years. I’m taking your advice and giving it a shot later this week. I’ll post an update on the process next Monday.

Son #1 and I went to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife last week and it received a thumbs up from both of us. We liked that it focused more on the young actors (who did an outstanding job) than the adults, and the storyline was a logical extension of the original movies. It came with a few surprises and bittersweet moments, but no spoilers here. If you were a fan of the original movies, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Have a great week!

Travels, #AmWriting, and Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m writing this post on Sunday. We were out of town this weekend visiting family and are flying back to Nashville today. The youngest son is flying to Nashville from Austin, and if all flights are on time and the stars align, he should arrive at the airport an hour after we land. IF. With air transportion, that’s definitely a capitalized if. Keep your fingers crossed.

For my next book, I’ve been making notes for a couple years and taking pictures of things I come across that I know are included in the story. That’s all good, right? The problem is – I have no idea what the story is exactly. I’ve even had dreams about it, found a house that’s the primary setting, a creepy gate leading to the driveway, and came across an old, twisting tree in a cemetery that fits in somehow. To the writers out there – is this something you’ve dealt with before? You have a general idea, maybe even characters that are talking to you, but you’re still uncertain what the story is about? I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on this.

I’ll still be posting a couple of reviews this week, but with family in, I might be late replying to comments and visiting blogs. To all my American friends, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! To my other friends not celebrating Thanksgiving, have a wonderful week!

Book Event, Thanksgiving, and #AmWatching

I mentioned last week I was attending my first book event in nearly two years over the past weekend. Readers were sparse, but it was nice to talk to the few who attended. I also made contact with local authors who’ve formed a writer’s group, so that’s a plus. They share information on book events they come across, and that’s always helpful. My table was beside D.G. Driver, a writer friend from Nashville who blurbed Sarah. I hadn’t seen her in quite a while, so it was nice to catch up.

Thanksgiving will be a wonderful time with family and friends. Both sons will be here, and the youngest who lives in Austin will be with us a week – yay! Friends (they’re more like family) will be joining us for dinner that day, and since we’re big on games (some of us are super competitive), I’m sure we’ll spend a few hours playing. Hubby always fries the turkey (if you’ve never tried it that way, you’re truly depriving yourself), and the smell is guaranteed to inspire spontaneous drooling.

I finished season two of Locke and Key. I’m not sure how I felt about the ending, but there’d better be another season. A couple weeks ago, I finally watched the series finale of Shameless. The Gallaghers have to be one of my favorite dysfunctional families, and it was an appropriate sendoff for these characters – especially Frank.

Have a great week!