Weekend Travel

Hubby and I met family in Nashville over the weekend to celebrate my niece’s birthday. Since we didn’t see them over Christmas (our sons’ schedules didn’t allow us to travel this year), it was nice to get together. I’m not a country music fan – never have been. My preferred genre is hard rock. Everyone else loves country music, so I was in the minority all by my lonesome. On Saturday afternoon, we went to Broadway street to listen to live music. I entertained myself by people watching, an easy thing to do with the throngs of people crowding the streets. I’m also gifted with the talent to block out any music I don’t care to hear (I think it’s connected to my ability to read anywhere and not be distracted). It automatically engages when country music is detected. After going to a few places, we wound up at a rooftop bar of a hotel (with no music) in front of a fireplace. Wine was involved. And greatly needed after that experience.

Saturday evening we had tickets to The Listening Room Cafe, a venue that features singer/songwriters. Yes, it was still country music, but it featured three artists on the stage with their acoustic guitars. They took turns talking about their song, what inspired it, and whose album it’s featured on if it was picked up. I’m always interested in hearing where the ideas come from whether it involves books, music, art, etc., and the three of them told some amusing stories.

Overall, it was a fun weekend with pretty decent weather (we had horrible wind and rainstorms last Thursday and Friday). Even though the music wasn’t my preference, it’s always nice spending time with family. Have a great week!

Book Event and #AmWatching

Last week I attended an in person book signing at our local library featuring author Court Stevens. It was release day for We Were Kings, a YA thriller/mystery I reviewed HERE (an easy 5 stars). Lots of folks turned out for the event, from tweeners through senior citizens, which I’m sure thrilled the author. Hubby isn’t much of a reader and never reads YA, but I lured him to the signing with the promise of dinner and a martini afterwards. He didn’t expect to enjoy it, but admitted it was interesting (then author spoke and had her best friend interview her) and he was glad he attended. Maybe I’ve started a new trend for him? But I’m pretty sure it’s just the martinis.

Any Ozark fans out there? I finished the first part of the last season over the weekend, and what a ride it was! The opening scene was something from the future and left the viewers unsure of the outcome for this family. That jaw-dropping last episode racked up a hefty body count – I gasped out loud more than once. I’m not sure I’ll survive the wait for the second half of the season, which I’ve read Jason Bateman has promised it will be sooner rather than later.

I FINALLY started watching The Witcher. I’ve had it in my queue since it was released in 2019, but I’m just now getting around to it. After three episodes of course I’m hooked – I never doubted it. Love Henry Cavill in this role, and I’m anxious to see how these characters are connected, if they even are – no spoilers please!

Have a great week!

WP Issues, Fantasy Writers, and Wordle

I’ve been having some weird WordPress issues over the past couple weeks. It unscribed me from blogs I’ve subscribed to for years, so if I’ve missed some of your posts this is why. It also subscribed me to blogs on its own. I started getting emails of new posts from blogs I’ve never seen. Anyone else having problems like this?

Here’s a great opportunity for fantasy writers – ProWritingAid is hosting a virtual Fantasy Writers’ Week February 28 – March 3. It’s filled with classes and a couple guest speakers I’m excited about – Victoria Schwab and Tomi Adeyemi. If you can’t make the sessions during the times offered, they’ll be available via free replay for one week after the event. And the best part? It’s FREE! If you’re interested, check it out HERE.

Wordle – who’s playing? Son #1 sent me the link a week ago, and I’m hooked. So far I’ve only missed one word, and I could have kicked myself at how easy it was. Now I’ve got hubby playing it, and it’s become kind of a competition between us at how many guesses it takes to figure out the word. If you’re unfamiliar with it and want to know what everyone’s talking about, go HERE.

Hope you have a fantastic week!

Reading and Justified

I’m behind on my reading. That’s nothing new, and I doubt I’m wrong when I say most of you are struggling to tame your TBRs. With me, it’s NetGalley ARCs. I’ve gotten the number down from what it was, but back in November it was at an all time high. Because of the deadline for those ARCs, I’m behind on reading friends’ books and others I’ve bought (I’m talking sequels of novels that gutted me with their cliffhangers). Since I turned in the sequel to Subject A36 I’ve had more reading time, and I listen to what I can on Alexa and finally seem to be making some headway. If I can make my March deadlines for ARCs, I’ll be in a much better place. I decided maybe I can fit in a chapter per day with some of those sequels waiting for me – at least it’s something. All things considered, there are worse addictions to have, right?

The TV show Justified starring Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins is one of my all time favs. The writing is a cut above anything else you’ll find and the acting superb (even Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 97% and they never seem to like anything). The series wrapped in 2015, but hubby and I have the DVDs and have watched it through at least a couple more times. Last week we were ecstatic to learn it’s returning! It’s a different town and situation, but Olyphant will be back as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. No confirmation yet on any of the other cast returning, but we’re hoping some will pop up.

That’s it for me – have a great week!

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!