Dessert, Derby, and #BookSale

What a fun weekend I had! A few weeks ago I mentioned Cheesecake Factory’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake was my favorite dessert. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, we don’t live near one (my waistline thanks me). Son #1, who lives ten minutes from a Cheesecake Factory, arrived for the weekend on Friday afternoon toting a cooler filled with – I’ll give you a second to guess. My favorite dessert! Did I raise that kid right or what? To my credit, I didn’t immediately faceplant into it, but ate a few bites and then finished it off the next day. I’m drooling just remembering it.

Did anyone else watch the Derby? What a surprise! But wasn’t it incredible? To see Rich Strike, a horse that only got into the race the day before, come from so far behind was just amazing. I doubt many people, if any, saw that coming. We attended a party for the Oaks on Friday and then a Derby party Saturday. Between the cheesecake and all the party food, I’m eating lettuce and water for every meal this week.

I mentioned last week that Subject A36 (The Colony #1) would be on sale around the release of The Insurgent (The Colony #2), and I’d keep you informed about the dates. Subject A36 will be on sale for $0.99 May 25th through May 27th, so mark your calendars! With the sequel releasing May 19th, it’s a perfect time to snatch up the first book of this duology and get caught up.

I also posted another excerpt of The Insurgent HERE if you missed it last Friday.

Have a great week!

Home Improvement 2, Book Festival, Derby, and #NetGalley

How is it Monday again already? I swear last week flew by way too fast.

Our house is in chaos. Carpet will be installed in the final two rooms today. Everything from four bedrooms and a huge bonus room is taking up space in the dining room, living room, and kitchen. Bond is loving it. More places where he can hide and then jump out in a pitiful attempt to scare me when I walk by. Me? I plan on cleaning out ALL THE THINGS before they’re put back in the bedrooms. Primarily Son #1’s room. He’s a total pack rat and an ideal candidate for the show Hoarders.

The book festival I mentioned last week was this past Saturday. It was well-organized, but being the first year of the event there wasn’t a lot of traffic, and I expected that. Still, I sold some books, met new author friends and readers, and spoke at a YA panel. They asked if I’d return next year and I plan to.

If you live in KY (or you’re just a horse fan), you know Derby is coming up on Saturday! We don’t actually go to Derby in Louisville, but attend parties our friends host locally on Friday afternoon and Saturday. Son #1 will also be here (giving him an opportunity to go through ALL THE THINGS I’ll be putting in the garage before donating them).

I posted another excerpt from The Insurgent on Friday HERE. As a heads up, the Subject A36 (The Colony #1) ebook will be on sale for $0.99 sometime before the release of The Insurgent on May 19th. I’m waiting on a date from my publisher, and I’ll post it as soon as I know.

If you’re a reviewer on NetGalley, The Insurgent is available until May 30th. The link to a preapproval page is HERE. If you haven’t read Subject A36, I can provide a Mobi or epub copy.

Have a great week!

Home Improvement, #BookFestival, and #Excerpt

Happy Monday! I’ve got several things going on this week besides work. A good friend’s birthday is Wednesday, hubby and I are going out of town (more on that below), book club tomorrow night, and Thursday and Friday we’re getting carpet installed. This is the second attempt. We’ve been in our house nearly sixteen years, and after we put a contract on the house all those years ago, the builder bought the cheapest carpet on the market. Those years saw numerous sleepovers and parties with the boys and their friends, lots of soccer, football, basketball and band shoes traipsing through the house, and too many spills to count. So we waited until the sons were out of the house. Originally the carpet installation was scheduled two weeks ago. Two very nice young men showed up and started in Son #2’s room – and the carpet didn’t look quite like what I’d chosen. I figured it might be the lighting. It wasn’t. Long story short, some lady in Knoxville got half my order, and I got half of hers. It’s not the fault of the local place, but the supplier they ordered it from. I’ll let you know next week if we’re breathing the new carpet smell.

This Saturday, April 30th from 10am – 3pm I’ll be at Madison County Public Library in Richmond, KY for their first Youth Book Festival. It happens to be conveniently located about forty minutes from where Son #1 lives, so hubby and I will spend the weekend in Lexington. Books, talking to readers, plus visiting our son – woohoo!

In case you missed it, I posted an excerpt from The Insurgent on Friday HERE Considering it releases in less than a month (May 19th), I figured it was time to get some teasers out into the world. I plan on posting an excerpt every Friday (and maybe some bonus days) until it releases, so make sure to stop by! You can also still sign up for the blog tour HERE.

Have a great week!

Easter, Bookiversary, and #BlogTour

If you celebrate Easter, I hope it was a good one for you! The boys weren’t home, but that didn’t stop me from dyeing eggs. Hubby and I continue the tradition even when they’re not here because A – we like hard boiled eggs, and B – it’s just fun. This year I didn’t buy my egg dye until a couple days ago – I usually get it much earlier and have had Avenger and Star Wars kits in previous years – but this year there wasn’t much left to choose from. I grabbed a box and then felt cheated because out of six pellets, three of them were the same blue color, so I did some mixing and created my own to make up for it. Teaches me not to wait so late again.

Fellow author and friend Jonathan Pongratz has a bookiversary coming up tomorrow. Reaper: A Horror Novella was published three years ago! It confirms the fact that basements can be scary places, and I was thrilled when he expanded on the story and released Reaper: Aftermath a little over a year ago. And further congratulations are in order. His paranormal short story The BEK Curse (for which I was lucky enough to be a beta reader) has found a home with Solstice Publishing! To check out Jonny’s books go HERE.

For anyone who missed the post on Friday (or tried the first link that didn’t work), The Insurgent (The Colony #2) is going on a blog tour with R&R Book Tours June 6th through June 10th. If you haven’t read the first in the series, Subject A36, it’s also available for review. To sign up for a spotlight or review, go HERE. If you’re a NetGalley reviewer, The Insurgent is also available there until May 31st.

Appreciation, Birthday, and #AmWatching

A sincere thank you to everyone who shared on their social media or by other means about Sarah being free yesterday! I reached numbers 5, 5, and 3 in my categories. To show my appreciation, I’d like to offer all of you a virtual slice of my favorite dessert – Cheesecake Factory Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. I’m drooling just looking at it. Enjoy!

Son #1 had a birthday last week, and I was thrilled to be able to spend it with him. He loves to compete in Spartan Races (obstacle courses, muddy trenches, spear throwing – here’s a LINK for more info) and had one in Charlotte over the weekend. With family in both Charlotte and Clemson, the two of us made a long weekend out of it and celebrated with them. As I’m writing this, I’m hoping our flights are on time later today.

While visiting family, we also went to see The Lost City starring Sandra Bullock (who apparently never ages) and Channing Tatum (always so good with comedy). It’s a fun blend of Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones and a pleasurable way to spend a couple of hours. Daniel Radcliffe as a villain was a hoot and, although it was a small part, Brad Pitt nearly stole the show. I always preferred him with those long blond locks, lol.

Have a great week!

#FreeBook, #NetGalley, and #AmWatching

Today I’ve got a couple bits of self-promotion. Mark your calendars! Sunday, April 10th, the Sarah ebook is FREE – you heard right. Get it FREE across all markets! I’ll be posting it across my social media that day and would appreciate any sharing you’re able to do – thanks in advance!

As a reminder, The Insurgent (The Colony #2) is available for review on NetGalley until May 30th. If you’re a reviewer, grab your copy today! It’s also on Goodreads – add it to your To Read list HERE. You can also preorder from Amazon HERE.

Over the weekend I finished a project that had been going on far longer than I’d expected. I promised myself I had to complete it before starting on the next book. So guess what time it is now? This one’s been floating around in my head for over two years. I have all sorts of notes saved in my phone and a notebook, and these characters have decided it’s their time to shine. And I’m excited to get to know them better.

I’ve mentioned before that hubby and I are Survivor fans – it’s the only reality show we watch. Son #1 is also a fan and came up with a fun idea for this newest season. We each drafted two players for our team – kind of like a fantasy football team (which I’ve never done, but Son #1 and hubby do every year). I read the bios of each player and decided on my two – one has already been voted out. Son #1’s players are still active (last week’s episode is on the DVR so I’m not certain of this – no spoilers if you’ve seen it), and hubby’s two players were both on the chopping block at the end of the first episode, but he’s got one still in the game. This explains why neither of us are talented when it comes to betting on anything. We may all be losers in the end, but it’s something fun to do with a show we all watch.

Have a great week!

My Fun-Filled SOKY Book Fest Weekend!

I mentioned last Monday that SOKY Bookfest on March 25th and 26th would be one of my first author events in over two years – and it was a blast! Friday was Children’s Day and over 900 attended – that’s not a typo. Over 900! It was wonderful to speak to so many kids about books. Of course some of them were just happy not to be in a classroom, but others were die-hard booklovers. My heart did a happy dance at seeing so many kids with books in their hands.

If you’re a regular here, you know of my love of Legos. The jaw-dropping display of DC superheroes nearly had me shouting with glee! The figures stood about a foot tall and were incredibly detailed. Maybe a challenge for me to think about in the future.

I also enjoyed meeting some other authors (Helene Dunbar and Heather Henson below), something I look forward to with book events. You’ll also notice my pic with the headliner author – actor/director/author/travel writer Andrew McCarthy! Some of you will remember him from the movies St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Pretty In Pink. He gave a humorous speech, answered every question, and spent time speaking to everyone in his signing line. Such a nice guy.

After two solid days of nonstop smiling, near constant conversation, and standing most of that time (combined with a total of six hours sleep over two nights) I crashed Saturday evening. My only regret is that I have to wait another year to go back.

SOKY Book Fest, Writerly Stuff, and #NewReleases

After a three year absence, the SOKY Book Fest here in Bowling Green, KY will return this week on Friday, March 25th, and Saturday, March 26th! Authors, panels, writing workshops, and BOOKS!!!!! It will also be my second author event in over two years – and I’ve missed talking to readers in person about books so much. I’m also looking forward to meeting some of the other authors there, and I’ve already made my list of books to purchase. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend!

Last week author and singer/songwriter Marie Sinadjan interviewed me on her blog HERE about all kinds of writerly things If you have time to drop by and read it, also make sure to check out Marie’s music and August 2021 release of Hotel Fen (it’s got an awesome wicked cover).

Two other friends in the blogosphere had new releases last week, both of them additions to a couple series I’m a big fan of. The first is Between the Vines (Keystone Couples #3) by Staci Troilo HERE. This series features short stories that can be read as stand alones in about an hour. Wonderful characters, humorous situations, a bit of romance, and feel-good plots guaranteed to leave you with a smile.

The next is C.S. Boyack’s Good Liniment, the fifth book in The Hat series HERE. I love the banter between Lizzie and the hat – they occasionally sound like an old married couple – and the paranormal/supernatural elements are always a big draw for me.

I had to manually add The Insurgent to Goodreads – have no idea why since it was on Amazon a few weeks ago. Anyhoo, if you’d like to add it to your Goodreads list go HERE. Thanks so much and have a great week!

Vacation, #AmWatching, and #Giveaway

Vacation plans are made! I booked us a beach condo yesterday, and at least one of our sons is coming with us – hopefully both of them. Son #2 isn’t a beach fan (sometimes I question if he’s really related to us), but it looks like he might make a sacrifice and come. Hubby and I had expected to vacation alone, but I guess the stars aligned. It could also have something to do with our sons knowing we’d be paying for everything. I’ll take what I can get. A week at the beach – woohoo!

Over the weekend I watched The Adam Project on Netflix. If you enjoy Ryan Reynold’s humor and the concept of time travel, I’d recommend it. The young actor who plays a 12-year-old Reynolds is perfect in the role. He can hold his own, and the two of them together gave me plenty of laughs, but there are also some bittersweet moments. I always liked the movie 13 Going On 30, so seeing Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner reunited was a treat. They’re not onscreen together for long, but that was fine with me.

Only two more days to enter to win a signed copy (US only) or ebook (international) of The Insurgent. To register go HERE. Have a great week!

Our Curio Cabinets (a.k.a. Nerd Cabinet)

I know – it’s not exactly what you usually find here on Mondays, but Author Mae Clair inspired today’s post. On her blog last week HERE, Mae wrote about the origin of curio cabinets (which was fascinating – I had no idea how they came about) and the collectibles in her own cabinet. She has a variety of objects – an antique teacup, a crystal lion, a hand-painted wine glass, a beautiful carousel horse, a kachina doll she picked up in Arizona, an antique stein and shaving cup that belonged to her grandfather. It made me think about my own curio cabinet – which I call my nerd cabinet. Trust me – it’s a more apt description.

Behold in all its glory – my nerd collections. On the top shelf is a Lego scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (I love Legos thanks to Son #2). Isn’t the dragon glorious? Below that is my assortment of Funko Pops, all gifts from my sons. They consist of Hawkeye (Son #2 struggled to find that one) and Ronin from Marvel, Westley from The Princess Bride, and Ted the Geek from the movie Sixteen Candles. In front of them are Marvel golf balls that I stole from hubby after he won them at a golf tournament. He’s not a Marvel fan (unless its Iron Man) and completely unworthy of owning them. The next shelf is a Lego scene of Rei and Kylo Ren from Star Wars. I have another Lego project waiting – the head of Darth Vader – that Son #1 gave me for my birthday.

Son #2 doesn’t have a curio cabinet, but he has quite a collection of curiosities. Before COVID, he traveled abroad with his university band two consecutive summers and visited ten (maybe eleven?) different countries. I’m so glad he was able to take advantage of those opportunities before everything shut down. Just to name a few items, he’s got liqueur bottles in the shape of cellos, a mini Mozart bust, owls (he’s a fan), a cigar, and a book-shaped tin to hold teas. There are several small figurines that are difficult to make out in the photos. Not everything is from his overseas trips. Since he’s also a nerd, you can see Dragon Ball Z figurines, a Funko Pop of Will Ferrell from the More Cowbell SNL skit, and a 3D printed image of the Death Star from Star Wars. There are several other figurines too small to be seen in the pics, and these are just the things he didn’t take with him when he moved to Austin.

If you missed Mae’s post last week, make sure to visit her at the link above to learn more about the origin of curio cabinets. Now that you’ve seen mine, tell me about yours. What do you collect?