#AmWriting, Author Events, and #BadMoonRising

All you authors out there – does music influence your writing? I was driving home a few days ago, heard a new song on the radio I liked, and the final scene in my WIP played out like a movie in my head. When I asked my characters why they didn’t share this information with me weeks ago, there were looks of confusion and sheepish expressions along with plenty of shoulder shrugging. Guess they just needed inspiration. In case anyone’s wondering, the song was Tell Your Soul by A Killer’s Confession. Yes, my favorite music genre is hard rock, and I was listening to Octane on Sirius Radio. When I got home, over the course of a couple of writing sessions I added about 3K more words to the scene I’d barely started. That may not sound like a lot to some of you (Craig Boyack!) but for me, it’s close to a record. Has this happened to any of you?

Our library has starting having in-person events again (yes!), and I snagged a couple of tickets to see award-winning YA author Jason Reynolds next month. It’s right around my birthday, so what a treat that will be. And signed copies – my favorite! They’re also hosting an Indie Author Day in November. That will be my first author event since February 2020 – so excited to talk to readers in person again!

Bad Moon Rising is filling up fast – only have nine slots are left. This may be the quickest year yet. If you or someone you know is interested, don’t wait! Email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.

Corgi Races, #AmWatching, and #BadMoonRising

I asked my son what he was doing this weekend, and he said he’d be attending Corgi races on Sunday. What? This is a thing? I looked into it, and it’s a yearly fundraiser for the Humane Society where he lives. They also have Weiner Dog and All Breed Rescue Run categories. Free admission, $2 corn dogs and $2 beer, and bets can be placed on the dogs. This sounds like such a fun way to raise money for the furry friends who need it at shelters. He said it was a good time, but his dogs didn’t come in. Guess there’s no early retirement for him.

Hubby and I are late to the party with this show, but we blew through Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ last week and got caught up on the couple of episodes that dropped in season 2. We’re Jason Sudeikis fans, and when I read that the show involved sports I knew hubby might enjoy it. Amusing storyline (he’s an American football coach hired to coach a professional soccer team in England), the writing is outstanding, and the actors are perfectly cast. Give it a try if you have a chance.

Signups for Bad Moon Rising started last Friday and half the spots are already full. If you’re an author of horror, thrillers, or paranormal/supernatural and would like free promotion for your book in October, click HERE for more info.

Blurb, Butterflies, and #AmWatching

I’m still working like a maniac to meet my October 1st deadline for the sequel (still untitled) to Subject A36. It occurred to me a couple weeks ago that I needed a blurb for the cover. With this being a sequel, options on who I could ask were limited. As I was putting makeup on last week (I get the best ideas doing that or when taking a shower for some reason) a name popped in my head. I asked and he agreed – which is a huge relief for me and one less thing to worry about.

A weird thing happened Friday evening. I was sitting on the patio reading when small, brown spotted butterfly landed on my hand. And stayed there. I’m a butterfly lover – I even brake for them – so I was thrilled when he stuck around. Over the next hour, he crawled from my hand to my leg, ankle, and foot. Unfortunately, Bond (my cat) discovered my new friend and nearly tagged him with a paw. A ruckus ensued (the neighbors had quite a show if they were watching), but I shooed the butterfly away while restraining Bond. I would have been horrified if Bond had killed it. There’s bound to be some bad karma attached to that. Anyhoo, I was curious and Googled what it means when brown butterflies land on you. In most cultures, it symbolizes a fresh start and also means that important news is coming. If you’re going through a rough time or have experienced a loss, it can signify the situation will get better. All good things. Again, I’m glad Bond didn’t slaughter him.

I mentioned in another fairly recent post about TV shows I watch being canceled. Add a couple more to the list – Manifest (which was supposed to have three more seasons) and Debris. Both ended on big cliffhangers naturally. The Manifest creators promised the fans they’ll have a resolution some way – maybe with a movie. Evil, a show on CBS, was renewed after season one, but moved to Paramount Plus. I guess when all the episodes from season two drop, I’ll sign up for the seven day free trial. The number of shows I watch on network television has dwindled every year and seem to be replaced with more reality shows. If it was just me I’d probably drop cable, but hubby still likes to surf the channels.

Have a great week!

Subject A36 Sequel and #AmWatching

Last Monday I mentioned I’d have an announcement this week – so here it is. Seems like it’s been forever coming, but I can now say the sequel to Subject A36 will be published May 19, 2022! Assuming I meet my deadline, lol. I’ve been revising and editing like a fiend over the past few weeks, and my beta has been reading chapters as quickly as I send them to her. She’s a superhero. Still no title yet (you can’t even be surprised by that), but it’s coming. I hate that it will be a little over two years between the books, something I hate as a reader, but it couldn’t be avoided. The pandemic messed with the creative flow of many writers, me included. I’m toying with the idea of doing some outtakes or bonus scenes for readers and making it free on my website before the release. Let me know your thoughts.

I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this before, but has anyone watched Animal Kingdom? Hubby and I became addicted and binged four seasons on Amazon Prime in a little over a month (and you know how difficult it is to keep his interest). Season Five just started on TNT last week. It’s based on an Austrailian movie by the same name released in 2010. I watched it soon after its release, but didn’t remember much about it. This family is seriously dysfunctional, mostly because of Smurf, the mother/grandmother, but it’s impossible to look away. The way she manipulates those boys is disturbing, but completely fascinating. If you like dark crime shows, we highly recommend it.

Back to edits and revisions!

Our Weekend – Good, Bad, and Ugly #blessed

What a fun weekend we had! Our son’s Canadian girlfriend received her second vaccine a couple weeks ago and flew to KY to visit. They hadn’t seen each other since Christmas. Hubby and I were also invited to visit them for the weekend, and we jumped at the chance. You know what big fans we are of escape rooms, and our son booked one for Saturday. After lunch, we went to a new game the facility was featuring based on the classic boardgame Clue. Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, Ms. Scarlet, etc. – they were all suspects. We had to name the killer, weapon, and room the murder takes place in. We traveled through four rooms – the hall, kitchen, conservatory, and study – to find clues and solve puzzles and finished the game with about thirteen minutes to spare. We all said it was one of the most enjoyable escape rooms we’d done – and we’ve done several. If you have the opportunity to try this one out, you’ll spend an enjoyable and nostalgic hour – or less if you escape sooner.

That was the best part of the weekend. On our way home yesterday, just five minutes from our house, someone ran a red light and T-boned our car. We’re both fine, just bruised and banged up. I was driving, hubby was in the passenger seat. My side air bag deployed, but I was unable to open my car door and had to climb over the console to get out. Some very kind Good Samaritans who witnessed the accident (it was at a large intersection) stayed with us to give their statements to the officers. We feel so fortunate and blessed to walk away from this with minor injuries. We’re pretty sure the car is totaled.

I’m thinking I’ll have a big announcement next Monday, so make sure to drop by. Have a great week!

A Fun Holiday Weekend!

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend! This is a quick post thrown together this morning because I was too tired to write it when we got home last night. Hubby and I spent a couple of nights in Nashville. The weather was breezy and temps perfect in the low 80s. This picture was taken from a rooftop bar in the downtown area on Friday night. You can see the bridge lights were festive. I took some others, but when I checked my phone later, they weren’t there. Have no idea why.

Hubby golfed on Saturday. I’m not a golfer, but it was a gorgeous day to ride in the cart with him. I read and enjoy the scenery while he plays – and also laugh over some of his shots. I finished The Dead and the Dark that I featured on my WWW Wednesday post last week and it gets a big stamp of approval from me. I barely watched golf because I couldn’t look away from the book.

We came home yesterday morning (Nashville is only an hour away) and spent the day with friends hanging out by their pool and eating more food than we should. Fireworks were all over our neighborhood last night, and surprisingly Bond didn’t spend the evening hiding under the bed. Last year he didn’t emerge until they were over. Today will be spent catching up on book reviews and writing, writing, and more writing. I got my deadline from my publisher on the sequel to Subject A36, and I’ve got plenty of work to do.

Enjoy today if you’re still off from work, and have a great week!

Pride Month Book Recs and #AmWatching

I’m a little late recommending books for Pride Month, but I’ve come across some amazing ones in the past few weeks. You may have seen Blood Like Magic and This Poison Heart on my WWW Wednesday posts, and I reviewed Blood Like Magic last week HERE. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe came highly recommended by friends in my book club, and when I received an ARC of its sequel, I had to backtrack and finally get around to listening to the first. I had to mention The House in the Cerulean Sea again. I can’t say enough about this book. I’d love to find time for a reread.

I can’t believe I forgot to mention I saw A Quiet Place 2 in an actual movie theater a few weeks ago! Hubby had no interest in seeing it, but I have no problem seeing movies by myself. I actually enjoy it. I get there early for a good seat, then read my Kindle until the previews start. It was just as tense and compelling as the first and, being a Cillian Murphy fan, I was anxious to see what his character brought to the story. I was also excited to eat theater popcorn again – with butter, of course. Never even thought about not being able to taste or smell it, so it was kind of a letdown. I’ve noted a slight improvement in my sense of smell lately, so I’m hopeful it’s making a gradual comeback. Then I’ll get more popcorn.

Have a great week!

Father’s Day, Turf Wars, and #AmWatching

Hope all you dads out there had a relaxing Father’s Day weekend! Hubby had a fabulous one. Our oldest son called Thursday to let us know he’d be coming for the weekend – an unexpected and very welcome surprise. The youngest son who just moved to Austin arranged to Facetime hubby Saturday so they could smoke a cigar together and discuss our son’s first week in his new city. The rest of the afternoon was spent with friends lounging around in their pool with our beverages of choice and eating grilled pizzas. Sunday was about watching the US Open (hubby’s a big golfer) and grilling out burgers topped with crisp, thick bacon and avocados before our oldest son left. Hard to beat a weekend like that.

Our oldest son’s cat, Sora, came with him – much to Bond’s usual chagrin. Whenever she’s here, she immediately takes over his cat tower and has the audacity to ignore his threats. She refuses to bend the knee. and is all about girl power. Bond resigned himself to spending most of the weekend on the screened porch pouting, a place Sora doesn’t usually grace with her presence. The humidity does horrible things to her sleek fur.

Last night I finally got around to watching Army of the Dead on Netflix. If you’re a zombie fan, it’s two and a half hours well spent. After a zombie invasion, Las Vegas has been walled off and will soon be nuked. Dave Bautista’s (Guardians of the Galaxy) team has been hired to enter the city and steal millions of dollars from a casino before the bomb is dropped. I correctly predicted which team member would go down first and spent most of the movie talking to the characters and telling them what to do. After watching The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and plenty of other zombie movies over the past decade, I feel I’m adequately qualified to offer advice. The ending left the door open for a sequel, and I’d definitely watch it.

Have a great week!

Moving, Bats, and Gratitude

Last week we were in Austin, TX for several days helping the youngest son relocate to his new city and apartment. Austin is a hip, artsy place that has a lot to offer. But I didn’t stop sweating from the time we landed until the time we left – I’m a super warm-blooded person. I was looking forward to cooler temps in KY, but it was 96 degrees here. Anyhoo, our son and his two roommates have a wonderful apartment – loads of storage and space – and it’s in a great location. He starts a new job today so I’m anxious to hear how his first day goes.

One thing I wanted to do while we were in Austin was watch the bats emerge from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge and fly over Lady Bird Lake. Loads of people gather nightly, and our hotel was only a block away. We were among the crowd who lined the bridge waiting for them on a beautiful Friday evening anticipating a glorious show from these winged mammals. And they stood us up. Not one bat showed. The crowd began to disperse, so we walked back to the hotel feeling totally rejected I’ll be visiting Austin again, and I’m expecting an exquisite display from them to make up for it. If you’re interested in learning more about them click HERE.

While I was in Austin, I published a post from the WP app not once, but twice, and I still think something’s wonky with it judging by the number of views and comments. I reviewed Buried by Sue Rovens who I met through Bad Moon Rising. I think she’s participated nearly every year. If you get a chance click HERE to read the review. I’m sure Sue would appreciate some shares!

Speaking of sharing, thanks to all of you who helped spread the work about my Bookbub promotion last Monday! I reached #2 and #3 in my categories, and I consider it a good day when my book is ahead of The Hunger Games series in rankings – definitely a dream come true no matter how fleeting the moment. After all the moving hubbub, I’ve got tons to get caught up on. Here’s to a productive week!