Tuesday Book Talk

Let’s talk books!

Just Read

Delicate Freakn’ Flower (Freakn’ Shifters) by Eve Langlais

Why I picked it up: It was listed in a menage freebie list emailed to me. I’m a sucker for menages. However, I mostly picked it up because I’ve enjoyed Langlais’ humor in other books and reviews indicated it was in this one as well.

What I liked: I enjoyed the humor, as expected. The human aspect of the trio was a great mix. The heroes were just what the heroine needed even if falling in love with a shifter was the LAST thing she wanted. The way Langlais depicted the heroine’s family was a blast. I’m a bit burned out on shifters so I don’t see myself rushing out for book two but I’d recommend this if you’re still reading, loving shifters.

What I disliked: I found the animal mix unlikely. The canine/feline mix of the heroine and one of the heroes just didn’t seem believable. Then throw in a bear…?


In Her Shadow by August McLaughlin

Why I picked it up: I like supporting my blogging friends :) and the blurb intrigued me.

What I like: I’m thoroughly enjoying August’s voice. She’s woven two seemingly different stories together without muddying the water. And the suspense of how these two stories are going to collide is edge of the seat. I’m about half way through and I’m still not positive who the antagonist is, and I love that. August hasn’t pulled any punches while dealing with some major issues either.

What I dislike: It took me a chapter to get with the swing of the different characters but I was still grabbed on page one.

Will Read

Phantom by Susan Kay

Why I picked this up: Um…I’m involved in a love affair with the Phantom of the Opera. And I have no intentions of giving it up!

What I expect to like: “None of us can choose where we will love.” ~ Erik. The Phantom’s POV! It appears the entire story is told in first person. The book is broken down into parts and we open with Erik’s mother’s POV.

What I expect to dislike: I’m finding it hard to get started with this. I’m not sure if it’s the story, or me. I love my Phantom. Plus, I’ve never been much of a fan-fic reader (whether or not this would be classified as such).

What are you reading and loving at the moment?

An Olympic Sunday Summary

I got nothing, zip, nada, zilch done this week.

It’s been one of those weeks. Y’all may remember our upstairs A/C unit blew up — which isn’t much of an exaggeration as the repair guy said we were lucky it didn’t result in a house fire — a few weeks ago, well, this week the downstairs A/C unit decided it was its turn. The ol’ wallet took one look at that repair guy and ran screaming from the room, leaving a trail of coins (just like a scared mouse leaves a trail of poop when it runs, LOL). We simply followed the trail of coins it left.

That was followed by replacing a fan, the kitchen facet, and a few other small repairs. By the time our storage freezer said it saw the light yesterday, the ol’ wallet was huddled in a corner petting itself and muttering, “Precious, my precious.”

Perhaps it is due to having one son heading to 8th grade in a few weeks — our eyes turning toward high school and beyond, and the activities which help that academic resume — but we’ve been watching a lot of Olympic coverage, more so than I can remember in recent years. Water Polo has struck a cord in #2. We’ll be looking into the local team this coming week. One kid down, three to go. Hey, with four…can we say, scholarship?

I’ll leave you with some linkage…

Misha Gericke talked about the motto faster, higher, and stronger.

Meredith Jaeger had a fabulous post on what the Olympics have taught her about writing.

See the Olympic reference wasn’t completely out of the blue ;)

Yay, there’s a reason I don’t work well under self-imposed deadlines. However, for those deadlines we can’t avoid, August McLaughlin has some great tips for sharpening creativity under pressure.

Contest time: Joely Sue Burkhart is running a Read an Ebook Giveaway for the month of August to support her latest release, The Bloodgate Warrior.

Awards, Oh My

The fabulous Brinda Berry awarded me not one but two awards. Be sure to check out her site and blog where she blogs under the tag: YA Fiction, hang on for a wild ride. If you’re looking for a summer read be sure to check out The Waiting Booth (Whispering Woods) followed by Whisper of Memory (Whispering Woods). I don’t think you’ll regret stepping into Mia’s world.

Brinda, thank you for the awards!

The Sunshine Award

Is You Are My Sunshine playing in your head? Or is that just me?

  • Favorite color: I don’t really have a favorite but I do gravitate toward greens for the house and corals for myself.
  • Favorite animal: I’m an animal lover in general. In the wild, sea otters, they are so playful. For pets, definitely dogs over cats.
  • Favorite number: I’ve got a thing for even numbers but can’t say I have a favorite.
  • Favorite drink: As much as I love my coffee, TEA.
  • Facebook/Twitter Locations: Facebook / Twitter
  • Favorite passion: Reading. I’ll read almost anything and love escaping into other worlds.
  • Giving or Receiving: Giving, definitely.
  • Favorite pattern: I have to agree with Brinda on this answer…Toile. There’s just something elegant and romantic about it to me.
  • Favorite day of the week: Sunday.
  • Favorite flower: Tiger Lily. It was my grandmother’s favorite. According to her it meant ‘wealth and pride’ and she always said we were family wealthy and country proud. I don’t know if she was right but it struck a cord that remains today.

Fabulous Blog Ribbon

Five fabulous writing moments:

  1. Having the amazing Joely Sue Burkhart take me under her wing and meet me D&E every morning.
  2. The spark of a new idea.
  3. When it all comes together, like a jigsaw puzzle not missing any pieces.
  4. When the right word comes without help from the Thesaurus.
  5. Writing “the end” on a first draft.

Five things I love about writing…

  1. Brainstorming a new idea.
  2. Characters who won’t shut up.
  3. Getting in the zone and not being able to stop.
  4. The fabulous writers I’ve meet online!
  5. Learning something new with each draft.

Five things I hate about writing…

  1. Characters who won’t shut up.
  2. Revisions.
  3. Not finding that missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle.
  4. Edits.
  5. Oh, and more edits.

I’m going to take a page out of Brinda’s book and award both the Sunshine Award and the Fabulous Blog Ribbon to five writers. And because she says it so wonderfully…

Why? Because these writers certainly spread sunshine with their words. Their blogs are wonderful, and they are Fabulous Blog Ribbon worthy. They are welcome to indulge us with answers to the questions above if they like. Please go visit these bloggers and see why they are so special!

Natalie Hartford
Melanie Macek
Nadja Notariani
August McLaughin
Claire Hennessy

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

  1. The Writing: My Margie Lawson Writer’s Academy class ended this week. I still have a few assignments to do that I haven’t been able to get my head around or just ran out of time. I have all the lessons and got some great feedback on some WIP related assignments which will definitely help with revisions/edits of one story. I think I better bake up some brownies and crack open that bottle of chocolate wine for the muse… Hope she’ll share :D
  2. Have your characters ever surprised you? Check out Joely Sue Burkhart’s guest post about some of the surprises her characters hit her with during the writing of Yours to Take. Psst…there’s a giveaway.
  3. SynTAROTis posed an interesting question this week: Can a skeptic use Tarot cards for introspection? Of course, the site’s tagline is ‘the skeptic’s tarot’ so obviously she does. What I liked about the post was I could see applying the process to writing.
  4. The Reading: I just finished The Last Good Man by Kathleen Eagle. Fabulous. Savannah was completely relatable in her struggle to heal from depression to hope and finding her HEA. This story touched a cord with me. I’ve lost a grandmother and an aunt to breast cancer but, thankfully, I also have three aunts and a cousin who’ve beaten the beast.
  5. Roni Loren had a fascinating post about the hard truths readers are facing in today’s new world of books. As writers, there are more options for getting our work out there to readers. Kait Nolan mentioned last year, eBooks are the new pulp fiction (not the movie, LOL) in which authors are — or should be — learning on the job. Then Maria Zannini posted about the free book paradox. As readers, that means our job of selecting books is tougher. How do you select what you read?
  6. The Blogging: Ha! Built the queue back up this week. Whew! What a relief. That counts as writing, right? I think I hit my comment goal but the three-day weekend and more mice babies born Friday threw my tracking for a loop. Can’t imagine why :snicker:
  7. The Social Media: I ‘think’ I did pretty well here. I had a Twitter conversation with @neostateofmind (aka Angela Brown) and some fun with Jenny Hansen on Facebook. And I even updated Goodreads, LOL.
  8. The Health: Dog walking pretty much sucked this week. I need to get new shoes that’s all there is to it. I can’t deal with the blisters on top of the blisters on top of the blisters. Sugar and caffeine reduction is on track and I’m feeling really good about my progress. The water intake went well 5 of the last 7 days though I failed to reach my 8 glasses per day goal. As we’re in the triple digits, and not likely to dip below that for the next 3 to 4 months, I really need to get a handle on this.
  9. Once again the fabulous August McLaughlin covered healthy eating with her 5 Steps Toward Healthy Sweets Success post. She even shared a delicious flourless cake recipe!
  10. Maria Zannini also had an excellent post on pet first aid. I have a pretty well stocked general first aid cabinet in my house due to the wee beasties, which carries over nicely to the fur babies, thanks to my mum being a nurse and teaching its importance at an early age. Are you ready for an emergency?
  11. To support the awesomeness that is ROW80 you can go HERE

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

  1. Okay, this looks like fun, not to mention inspirational. Lynn Viehl posted about smashing which apparently is a new trend in scrapbooking. I’m not sure about the trend being new, certainly the name is. Hey, anything to make a buck. Paper scrapbooking is being beat out by digital a little more each year…hmm, sounds familiar. I will paper scrapbook until the supplies are no more. Anyhow, Lynn is encouraging us writer types to create “smash journals” for our stories. Brilliant. Go forth and smash :)
  2. The Writing: Another muse-less week. I’m thinking I have too many pans in the fire elsewhere to focus. What worries me is the longer this goes on the harder it is to get the ol’ bubble butt in the chair. :sigh: Tomorrow is a new day of a new week.
  3. Last check-in I followed a link from Robin McCormack’s blog over to Query Tracker. Awesome interview questions for the character you need to dig a little deeper to know.
  4. The Reading: I’m halfway through a book Patti O’Shea mentioned on Facebook Friday, Crimson Rogue by Liz Maverick. I’m enjoying the story. However, the inconsistent formatting is distracting and, giving the author the benefit of the doubt here, the typos are frustrating, making me wonder if a second set of eyes saw this before publication.
  5. The Blogging: Check with the original goal. Not so much with the new goal. Sigh, April is slipping by me. Maybe I’m ‘partying’ too much with my blogiversary :lol:
  6. Speaking of blogiversaries, the amazingly talented Jenny Hansen is also celebrating a year of blogging this month. Check out her first ever More Cowbell vLog!
  7. The Social Media: I think I’ve held steady on the sharing, thanks mostly to the ease of Triberr. I had a few conversations and am not feeling quite as spammy as last week :)
  8. The Health: I sucked at tracking the water intake this week but think I did pretty good, especially with being in the triple digits last weekend. We’re in the high 80’s-low 90’s this weekend. Me thinks summer is here. What happened to spring? Dog walking, sadly only got out three times. Sugar reduction is going well and I’m toying with the next food change I want to incorporate.
  9. Snacking is my big challenge in the food department. Either I don’t then pig out at the next meal or I do, but not necessarily a healthy one. August McLaughlin offered up some healthy snack choices earlier in the week. Yum.
  10. To support the awesomeness that is ROW80 you can go HERE

Group 3: Congrats (says congratulations inside), Happy Birthday, Thank You, Birthday cards.

And here is your final look at the cards up for grabs in the blogiversary giveaway…

Just a reminder, I’ll be drawing the winners tomorrow night (April 30th), so hurry and post your comments. The more April posts you comment on the more chances you have to win. Good luck and THANK YOU so much for your support! You guys are awesomesauce :D

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

Group 1: Thank You, Hello, Follow Your Dreams, & Love cards.

Here’s a tease of the cards up for grabs in the blogiversary giveaway…

Okay, on to the update.

  1. The Writing: Apparently, working on the shiny is speaking to me this week :)
    • Monday: 805 words mostly new wordage with a bit of character development.
    • Tuesday: 685 words toward character development.
    • Wednesday: 0 words.
    • Thursday: 0 words.
    • Friday: 145 words toward plot points.
    • Saturday: 631 words of new wordage.

    So while I didn’t write every day this week I exceeded the overall words (1750) for the week.

  2. As you can see from above, I’ve been working on characters. Marcy Kennedy wrote a wonderful post about characters who don’t match stereotypical qualities and included a link to Rob Preece’s guest post Women are from Venus, Men are annoying. LOL, a great male POV post! I’m firmly in the John Gray camp of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex so it’s nice seeing it applied to crafting characters. And if that isn’t enough character deliciousness, Roni Loren also posted about writing the male POV. Is it any wonder my hero has been taking up all my time? And he hasn’t even told me his name yet!
  3. The Reading: Check. I finished The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life and read two fiction stories. Now to decide which craft book to start next.
  4. The Blogging: Check. Maintaining about a two week cushion on posts and met my comment goals for the week.
  5. The Social Media: I did well with the sharing this week. However, I don’t think I met my updating goal and, sadly, didn’t meet the conversation goal.
  6. August McLaughlin has more great info on Pinterest and blogging.
  7. The Health: Managed 4 glasses of water per day all days this week but Saturday. No dog walking. Bad fur-baby parent, bad. Sugar reduction is going well. I didn’t even cave with all the Easter stuff in the house…go me :)

    Beastie Girl

  8. And speaking of health, Jenny Hansen reminds us women of medical tests we should have done. When was your last visit to the doctor?
  9. Fur baby loving. (This is my phone wallpaper…we girls have to stick together!) Amy Shojai talked about why NOT to hug your dog today. (Edit: link fixed)
  10. To support the awesomeness that is ROW80 you can go HERE

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

  1. Just a reminder, the more posts you comment on in April for the blogiversary the more chances you have to win one of the giveaways! Oh, and the giveaways are open to everyone on the planet.
  2. The Writing: The wee beasties were on Spring Break this week. So no writing. I did toy with some ‘what if’ questions on the shiny idea.
  3. I don’t think of the above lack of progress as procrastination (the family comes first, after all) but Sonia Medeiros wrote a fabulous post, When I Have More Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, on how to combat it!
  4. The Reading: Still working on The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life which I’m not counting toward my two craft books this round as I started it before the round.
  5. I’ve had the honor of being a Beta Reader. I’ve benefited from my first experience of sending something out to Beta Readers. And I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read. Jami Gold’s How Do We Find Beta Readers post is a great place to start.
  6. The Blogging: Check. All aspects of this goal went well this week (except for comments on Saturday). In fact, this goal is feeling pretty set.
  7. Loved this post, 10 Things to Know About Blogging, from Lynnette Conroy.
  8. The Social Media: Check, except maybe Friday and Saturday. I had a fabulous chat on Facebook with a gal from Algeria (complete with us both using Google Translate, LOL) … how cool is that?!
  9. I delayed joining Pinterest at first because of the potential time suck factor even though I saw some cool author storyboards. Then the copyright and lawsuit stuff hit the fan. Pinterest stepped up to the plate and fixed things. August McLaughlin wrote a fabulous post on the changes — How to Pin Without Getting Arrested. Still not ready to jump on board but August’s post makes me feel better about joining.
  10. The Health: Only hit 8 glasses of water once this week, 3 a day the rest of the week. Only got out for a walk once this week due to high winds the rest of the week. Sugar reduction still on track.
  11. I was search-bombed by Leanne Shirtliffe (aka Ironic Mom) :lol: Here’s How to Search Bomb Your Friends. Go forth and have fun!
  12. To support the awesomeness that is ROW80 you can go HERE

Steampunk Tarot Deck

I had planned to tease you with some of the handmade cards but I ran out of time to take a picture. I received the Tarot cards sooner than I expected :pets the pretty: so here’s a look at the Tarot deck up for grabs in the blogiversary giveaway…

That picture doesn’t do this deck justice.

Sunday Summary

  1. Ooo, look at this trailer from Ciara Knight’s Rise From Darkness
  2. The li’l ol’ blog is turning one in April :throws confetti: and you guys get the gifts. Come back on Tuesday for all the details.
  3. August McLaughlin had fun comparing dogs and people in her Which Pooch are You? post.
  4. So, I’ve been in a bit of a funk this week. No writing or revisions or even brainstorming of the shiny…blah. One thing this last round of ROW80 taught me was that counting words works better for me than counting pages or scenes or chapters. I was talking with Melanie Macek about tracking progress. She counts words even during revisions/edits and I think I’ll be trying that as I move forward.
  5. The funk hasn’t applied to reading. I think I’ll make the reading of craft books more of a priority in Round 2. Roni Loren’s 12 Writer Woes & the Books to Cure Them post is full of great books.
  6. Trying to maintain my ‘health’ goal this week has been laughable. Back to basics with A Small Guide to Big Changes from Tiny Buddha.
  7. I’ll wrap this summary up with a gratitude reminder from Marcy Kennedy’s Does Thank You Mean We Forget? post.

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

  1. Oh where, oh where, has the time gone? Right. Wee beasties were out of school for two days this last week.
  2. Then Friday was a wasted day with repair people in and out. Really, from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm! Poor Roxy got way too much sun as I needed to keep her outside much of the day. Do they make sunscreen for dogs?
  3. The writing: still working my way through notes from betas, revamping the MC, solidifying the SF elements, and nailing down conflict. It’s very doubtful this will be ready for the sub call. But I’m okay with that. The sub call pushed some limits. The betas pushed craft. I’m learning and growing so it is all good. I want to keep pushing those deadlines and limits so I’m continuing to work on this as if I’m going to submit it for the call.
  4. I have a love/hate relationship with deadlines and August McLaughlin had a great post, Deadlines: Lifelines for Writers. How are you with deadlines?
  5. The blogging: still holding to a week cushion by the skin of my teeth. Seriously, can there be an odder saying?
  6. I loved Roni Loren’s Author Websites: Layering Yours with Sticky Extras post. What makes you return to a website or blog?
  7. The social media: still failing miserably with commenting and taking part on the different sites. However, I AM getting around to them all every day without killing myself. I have no idea what switched and that is my social media goal for this week. Once I have that figured, get the commenting back up to par.
  8. And of course, Marcia Richards had to go point out 16 Reasons Pinterest is Worth Your Time. Evil Brilliant.
  9. The health: I am back on the wagon completely with the water and slowly working in those dog walks. The Beastie Girl and I got out twice this last week. Additionally, for March I’m cutting out some of the extra sugars. I started implementing that by substituting Truvia for sugar in my morning coffee. My goal is to slowly reduce the Truvia until I’m down to just taking cream in said morning coffee. I’m such a tea person, LOL.
  10. Angela Wallace really hit the nail on the head with her Squeezing Time post!
  11. The reading: yep, been doing some of that too. Sloan Parker highlighted a number of free reads Don’t Read in the Closet Collections that can be download from Goodreads. A little M/M romance in the evening :)
  12. To support the awesomeness that is ROW80 go HERE

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

  1. And we’re back to normal, well, as normal as it gets with four wild and crazy wee beasties, one faithful but bored dog, and a schedule no sane person would volunteer for!
  2. The writing: somehow I managed to get through the first round of rewrites. Cutting the MS down from 45+ K to 37,500…goal was closer to 30K but I’ll take it. In doing these rewrites I have realized a number of scenes need to be moved and a lot more summary type passages need to be cut or rewritten into action scenes. That is my next hurtle. I probably need to tighten up the timeline too. So I’ve printed this bad boy out and am playing around with the plot, because I’m on a deadline, I’m only giving myself this weekend to complete this step in the process. Gasp. Then for full-on revisions. I’m hoping to be ready for critique and/or beta readers in a week to 10 days so if you’re interested drop me an email at BuriedNWords [at] gmail [dot] com.
  3. Stating I’m hoping for critique and/or beta readers just gave me heart palpitations, LOL
  4. Which is probably why I loved Jami Gold’s post: What Makes You Feel Legitimate?
  5. The blogging: somehow managed to stay on top of my posts here. Spent some time yesterday getting more scheduled so I again have about a week’s grace on posts except for these Sunday ones. Whew.
  6. And ROW sister Marcia Richards did a fab post, Blog Better and Faster, on how to improve what I’ve already been doing. :high five: Marcia :)
  7. The social media: I’m slowly climbing back on that horse. I got around to a few blogs, made comments on some, even retweeted a couple. The other aspects of social media were so-so. But at least I opened them up.
  8. The health: oy, fail this last week. No dog walking. Even the water intake dropped. Tomorrow is a new day :)
  9. August McLaughlin gave me a nice kick in the arse with her Groovy Moving post. Thanks August :)
  10. And my fantastic mentor, Joely Sue Burkhart, brought up an interesting point in her Dressing for Success post. What do you think?
  11. I apologize. Blogger is not playing nice for me. For some reason, perhaps my Google profile is set up wrong, Blogger asks me to set up a Blogger blog whenever I try to comment with my Google account. Sorry, not doing that. Normally, I’ve posted under the OpenID WordPress option, however that hasn’t been working consistently since December. If your blog offers the Name/URL option I’ve been able to post comments. If not, it’s hit and miss. So I apologize if I’ve missed you.

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