I Won! #NaNoWinner2018

So – this happened yesterday.  I topped out at 50,985 words.  Never again will I say 500 words per day is about all I can do.   Some days, that may feel true – but when I push myself (and have the right playlist), I know what I’m capable of.

I’m giving myself some time off to get caught up on things around the house, finish Christmas shopping, and read (I’m so behind on ARCs) – and then the massive edits begin.  I may have nearly 51k words, but it’s out of order, names may or may not have changed midway, plot points took on a life of their own and went in different directions – basically it’s a pile of incoherent ideas and sentences that need to be whipped into shape.  But I finished.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!


WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake.  This is my first book by this author, and it was the cover that first caught my attention, but I’ve always had an interest in mythology also.  I’m about halfway through, and it’s a fast-paced read, but it hasn’t really grabbed me yet.

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.

I just finished The Similars by Rebecca Hanover over Thanksgiving.  Me being such a sci-fi geek, all I needed to see was the word ‘clones’, and I immediately hit the request button on NetGalley.  This one had me wanting to curl up in a corner away from the Thanksgiving festivities so I could finish it.

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.

Next, I’ll read The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi.  Early reviews are positive, and I’m anxious to get started.  Another beautiful cover.

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

My Book Is Being Published!

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We interrupt the regularly scheduled Downsizing the TBR Pile post for a special announcement – I’ve signed with an independent publisher and my book is tentatively scheduled for publication December 1st!  I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then, but I’m hoping some of you can help out with ARCs and reviews in the near future.  As I told my hubby, I’m beyond thrilled and excited, but also have moments when I ask, “What the hell am I getting myself into?”  But then the excitement takes over again and it’s all good.  Drinks are on me!

bad moon on the rise

That being said, the TBR pile downsizing may be a little more sporadic (if that’s even possible), and I’ll also be posting for Bad Moon On The Rise this week, possibly Wednesday.  So if you’re a horror writer, or know someone who is, and would like to be featured on Books & Such during the month of October, stay tuned for the signups later this week.

Coming Up This Week!

So – I went to my first writer’s retreat in the Smoky Mountains last Wednesday throughphoto 1 (1) Sunday and it was hands down one of the best long weekends I’ve ever had!  I got more done in those few days than I had over the past month, met some other writers, made new friends, ate a lot of chocolate, and attended some enlightening workshops taught by C.J. Redwine, author of the Defiance Series.  She’s planning another retreat in June and if it’s something you’re interested in – I highly recommend it.photo 2 (1)

Beginning this Thursday, October 1st, I’ll be featuring the first of 31 horror/thriller authors of the Bad Moon On The Rise Series.  Tomorrow I’ll post a list of all the participants – may you’ll be familiar with a few, but if not, it’s a perfect time to discover some new favorites!


bad moon on the rise




WIPpet Wednesday

At best, my participation in WIPpet Wednesday has been spotty this summer, but you 11813318_1061843633833437_2993938977966825332_nknow how life is.  Anyway, I’m back – for this week at least.

My son has been in Canada for the past week visiting his girlfriend – that’s a pic he sent to me from their climbing trip this past Sunday.  Inspiring?  Dangerous?  Crazy?  Brave?  Comments have varied on Facebook.  No doubt it’s a breathtaking view.  Personally, I wish I could have climbed with them because for me, there’s something about an adrenaline rush that cleans out the cobwebs and gets the ideas flowing.  Does that happen for anyone else?

Anyhoo – on to WIPpet Wednesday.  Today’s WIPpet is from a short story that came to me about a month ago that I just began writing last week, so it’s a VERY rough draft.  Willa is somewhere around 14-years-old (she hasn’t told me her exact age yet)  and is waiting to board a plane.  Her ability/curse is that she can hear other people’s thoughts, whether she wants to or not.  My math is simple today – five sentences.

Some people broadcast louder than others without even being aware of what they were doing.  Usually these were either the very happy people who were high on life, or those whose thoughts were dark and twisted, full of the wrongs they’d committed.  Willa had learned early in life that evil existed in the world and was often horrified at what she heard in other’s minds.  Some acted on those thoughts, but the majority of people didn’t.  Unfortunately for Willa, she’d encountered more than her share of those who did.

Make the rounds to the other WIPpeteers here.  As always, thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting!



WIPpet Wednesday

Well, it’s been quite a few weeks since I posted anything for WIPpet Wednesday, cropped-beach_books211.jpgmostly because of getting ready for vacation, being on vacation, and recovering from vacation.  When did vacations become so stressful?  Anyway, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things.

So, this week, I have a WIPpet from Chapter 15.  It’s getting a little difficult to post things without giving away spoilers, but I’ll keep trying.  This week finds Cain and Lindsey on their first date, but things didn’t go as Cain had hoped.

……..wrong with him?  This isn’t normal, Finn.  Maybe we should call an ambulance.”

My back was stiff and I felt the unyielding wood of the park bench beneath me.  How long had I been out this time?  Unless Finn had happened to be nearby, it would have taken him at least twenty minutes to drive here, and that didn’t count trying to find parking.  “Dude, you were right,” I mumbled.

“Of course I was.  I usually am, but what about this time?”

“Sarah.  She was here and took over.  She drained my energy and that’s why I’m like this.”

“Sarah?  No one named Sarah was here.  See, Finn, I told you he wasn’t making any sense and he needs to see a doctor,” Lindsey argued.

Journey to the other WIPpeteers blogs here.  Much appreciation to K.L. Schwengel for hosting!

WIPpet Wednesday

So, I got my son to percussion camp and over the course of 30 hours and 4 flights, images (3)finished up one book and started and finished another.  I didn’t get much writing done, but the camp was at the university campus where I got my undergraduate degree and I hadn’t been back there in many years, so it was fun to drive around, show my son where his parents had met, and see how the campus had changed.  Hubby and I are going back to pick him up in a couple of days and hope to have some time to do a little more exploring and reminiscing.

My math this week is a few paragraphs from chapter 7.  Cain and Finn are having a conversation regarding Cain’s suspicions about his room being haunted because of the attic door opening on its own, among other things.

“A/C vent placement?  I’m not certified in HVAC, but it’s a possibility.  There could be a breeze from an open attic window or from downstairs or even from someone opening another door in the house.  If it’s windy outside and the back door is open at my house, the laundry door slams closed.  Pressure can be a freaky thing.  Same with the attic door opening on its own.”

Rubbing my face, I thought about what Finn said.  It was all possible and he made some good points.  Was I just overreacting?  No one else in the house had noticed anything unusual.

“Dude, you know I believe in the paranormal and I’m a fan of all that’s weird and supportive of people letting their freak flags fly, but I’m just saying, don’t jump to any conclusions, alright?”

Exhaling the breath I didn’t know I’d been holding, I said, “Yeah.  You’re right, Finn.  Of course you’re right.”

Hop on over to the other WIPpeteer blogs here.  Hugs to K.L. Schwengel for hosting!



WIPpet Wednesday

As far as writing, I finally came up with the ending of this story over the past week – I download (4)knew what had to happen, but wasn’t entirely clear on how to get there.  So there’s that.  Got a decent amount written last week, but it doesn’t look good for the next week.  I have to get the youngest son to and from percussion camp, which involves two flights and about twenty hours of driving when all is said and done, plus we’ll be out of town for a few days.  Anyway, on to the WIPpet.

From prior WIPpets, we know Cain has a high maintenance girlfriend he’s not completely enamored of and he also sustained a concussion during a soccer game and has been missing some time.  The following is his conversation with Finn after Cain is told he broke up with Erin – which was news to him.  Since the date is 6/10, I’ve given you a few paragraphs from chapter 7.

Learning from others about what I’d done was like hearing stories of someone else’s life.  “I broke up with her?”

“Broke up with her?  Cain, you decimated her.  You told her what a horrible person she is – shallow, narcissistic, snobbish, and seriously lacking in intelligence.  I never knew you understood such big words.  You also told her all the designer clothes and makeup in the world would never make her into something she’s not and to get the hell away from you for good.”

Holy crap.  I’d said that?  It wasn’t a lie – that’s really how I feel about her, but saying it in public, in front of a hallway full of students, wasn’t really the way I’d have handled it – consciously, I mean.  However it happened, I should probably celebrate.  The wicked witch is dead.

Make sure to drop by other WIPpeteers blogs here.  Thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting!

WIPpet Wednesday

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!  Hubby and I left the kids home download (3)and went to Nashville for a couple of days and found some great new restaurants and spent a beautiful day on the golf course.  Not that I play golf – I ride along and appreciate the gorgeous, calming scenery, have some laughs watching the hubby try to putt, and get a chunk of reading done – a win-win situation, right?

Today’s WIPpet finds Cain and Finn trying to understand what just happened.  While they were gaming in Cain’s bedroom, the attic door creeped opened, then a small mini-tornado developed, sucking up the various detritus on Cain’s floor (don’t laugh, this could totally happen in my oldest son’s room – where do you think I got the idea?).  Math – 5 sentences from chapter 9.

As the funnel dissipated and the objects dropped back to the floor, Finn and I stared at each other for what seemed like an hour, although it was probably closer to ten seconds.

“Ooookay.  You saw that too, right?”

I heard him, but my mind was busy processing, replacing the empty spaces with memories from last week – the coldness in the attic, the certainty someone had been sitting on my bed while I was half asleep, the conversation I’d had with Mom about Sarah’s blood found in the attic.  I remembered.

Make the rounds to the other WIPpeteers blogs here.  Thanks to our host, K.L. Schwengel!

WIPpet Wednesday

Wasn’t it just Wednesday yesterday?  Thinking about how the past week just sped by, I tried images (2)to account for what I’d been doing – I was busy, but was I productive?

Finally saw the new Avengers movie – loved it!  My college son came home for the summer, bringing me a monstrous pile of dirty laundry for Mother’s Day.  I’d imagined having the four of us go out to dinner Saturday night before the crowds on Mother’s Day, but both my sons were at a card shop in the middle of duels, so that turned into a night out with just my hubby, and I’ll never complain about that.  Worked, went to the gym, had a band parent’s meeting where I was voted in as an officer, picked up other son numerous times from band/art/friends, read two books and posted reviews but, wait a minute – did I write anything for my WIP?  Why, yes I did.  I had a block of time yesterday when the words just fell out of my head – and those times seem to come less often than I’d like.  I came up with some great ideas to add when I get into editing, so there’s that.  Combined with a few other chunks of writing time, I’m feeling pretty good about my production over the past week.

Today is my grandmother’s 90th birthday, so from chapter 9, you get thirteen lines.   Since Cain’s concussion, he’s been feeling a little out of it, so this is where we are.

The way I felt during my classes was similar to how I felt at home this morning.  I was there, but not there, detached.  My instructors asked questions and I’d wanted to answer, but felt like a there was a wall between my brain and my mouth.  It was giving me a headache.

“Cain, are you in there?  Hello?” 

“Should we take him to the nurse?  This can’t be good.”

Voices.  They sounded so distant.  I knew it was Finn and Lindsey, but where were they?  Then, my head snapped to the right, as Finn’s hand connected with my cheek.

“What the hell was that for?”  I shouted.

Drop by the other WIPpeteers blogs to read some amazing WIPs here.  Cookies to K.L. Schwengel for hosting!