Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

I am so excited for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. It is happening once again on Saturday, October 18, 2014. Twenty days. I've participated in the readathon several times and always have a blast. However, I didn't get to participate this past April. My family and I were out of town at an amazing music festival. We had a great family experience with music we all love but I still missed doing the readathon. Actually, so did my older daughter. So, we will definitely be involved in this go-around.

Let me explain just in case any of you are wondering what in the world I am talking about. Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is just that, 24 hours of reading books and book related fun (and sometimes craziness). There are fun challenges that you can take part in if you choose. You can cheer readers along, you can blog, watch motivational videos or, you know, actually read. Another thing that is nice about the readathon is that you don't have to do it for the entire twenty-four hours. This is a really good thing as I've never made it the entire time. Someday I hope to do so - maybe even this October - but I haven't made it as of yet. That's all right though because it's an amazing event with people participating from all over the world. I love knowing that there are so many bookaholics out there.

I also love the fact that my kids are excited about this event. As I said, my older daughter missed it last time. My younger daughter has understood what this event in the past but she really wants to be involved with it this time. They both (my youngest especially) love to read so I am very happy about that. They are being adorable about the whole thing. They are already planning how many books they want to get from the library for the readathon. My oldest is planning snacks. I am entirely on board with them and so looking forward to this fun day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's: Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 114 of the mesmerizing Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd:

"Better for who? Not for him. He lost his wife and his job, and I think the two are connected."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 57 of Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry:

People tell boring lies about politics, God and love. You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

One Year of Daily Writing

A little over a year ago I decided that I was finally going to make writing a priority in my life. After a summer of self-doubt and slight depression I knew I needed something for myself. I needed to be more than a mom and a wife and a volunteer. Not that I don’t love being all of those things. I do but I realized that I needed something that was entirely for me. I love to write and have done so off and on for most of my life. A year ago I even thought I was a pretty good writer. I decided last September that it was time for me to pursue my dream of being a published author. The first step in achieving that dream had to be to write. Obviously. It’s not that I didn’t know this but I had always relied on inspiration in my writing. I also allowed so many other things and situations to take the place of writing in my life. So last September I decided enough was enough and it was time to change all of that. It was time to put my butt in a chair and write everyday – no matter what.

I told my husband my plan and he nodded with encouragement. Then he asked, “For how long?” He wasn’t being cruel or unsupportive. My husband and I have been together for fourteen years. He knows me better than anyone. He has witnessed my stop-and-go writing habits. He knows how important writing is to me and wants me to succeed but he also knows that I used to allow other things to take precedence. So I looked him in the eyes and said, “One year.” That, I can honestly say, he didn’t believe. I can also say that it hurt a little bit to know immediately that he didn’t believe me. And strangely, I felt a strong burst of stubborn motivation. I looked at him and said again, “One year. Watch me do it.”

As of today I have written for 367 days straight. Two days ago I made certain to let my husband know I had made it a year. He grinned and said congratulations. Then he crossed his arms over his chest and said, “Now take a month off from writing.” Before he had even finished speaking I was shaking my head. Then I said, “No way.”

He wanted to know, “Why not?”

I told him, “I’m never going to stop writing again.”

“Good,” he said and hugged me before going to work on his music. I checked our kids’ homework, got them settled for the night and went to add up the numbers for my year of writing.

Yes, I kept track of exactly how much I wrote over the past year. I have a wall calendar over my desk where I jot down how many words I write every single day. It’s incredibly motivating. While the writing isn’t about how much I get done – seeing the numbers helps to keep me going when I hit a bad day. Another thing that kept me going (and will continue to do so) was being a part of the WriteChain Challenge. I never wanted to skip a day and start back at number one. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that occurrence but I didn’t want it for myself.

In case you’re wondering, I wrote 535,520 words over the past year. That breaks down to eight manuscripts and six short stories. I love five of those manuscripts, sort of still like two and know that one is not an example of what I’m really capable of writing. That’s my polite way of saying that I know it is crap. One of my short stories was published last Autumn and the others were more or less writing practice.

After one year of daily writing I know that I am really good at what I do. This past year built my confidence as a writer. I know for certain what my strengths and weaknesses are now. I know what I need to work on going forward. I also know that I will succeed because I won’t settle for anything less. In fact, I’ve already found success within myself.  Now it is time to reach out and grab the public success.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Villa by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from The Villa by Nora Roberts:

March roared across the valley on a raw and galloping wind. It hardened the ground and rattled the naked fingers of the vines.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Musing Monday's: It Had to be You

Musing Monday's asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying about it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


I am reading It Had to be You by Jill Shalvis. It's the seventh book in her Lucky Harbor series. I was late in discovering this series but I am so glad I finally gave it a try because I seriously love it. This is Ali and Luke's love story and I am really, really loving and enjoying this book.

Ali is a really nice, good-hearted, loving woman who has had a really rough life. And yet she is so optimistic and still willing to embrace and the richness life has to offer. Luke is a burned out detective who is weighed down by guilt. He comes home to Lucky Harbor looking for peace and quiet but can't seem to find it. He doesn't want to get involved with the current mess that Ali is in but can't keep away from her either. I'm a little over halfway through this book and can't wait to see how things develop between Ali and Luke. This is Jill Shalvis and Lucky Harbor so I know that this wonderful couple will get their happy ending. I'm thoroughly pleased by their journey thus far and expect that I will continue to be so.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Artistic Expression and Emotion

In keeping with my desire to be a more active blogger I have been looking for ideas on what to blog about. I should say ideas that (mostly) go along with the writing and books themes of my blog here. On this quest I discovered The Daily Post. This blog posts a daily theme to blog about and today's is:

Moved to Tears

Do movies, songs, or other forms of artistic expression easily make you cry? Tell us about a recent tear-jerking experience!

I will admit that I am a crier. I am someone that will cry over a touching commercial (think Hallmark), a song, a scene in a movie or even my own writing if it's a particularly emotional part. I personally believe that being able to pull emotions (any emotions at all) to the surface for a person is a sign of something well created.

When was the last time I cried over a piece of art? It was a little over two hours ago. I was driving home and Luke Bryan's song Drink a Beer came on the radio. That song gets me teary eyed and emotion every time I hear it. Every. Single. Time. Now granted, I don't cry as hard now as I did when I first heard it but still, I have to blink away the tears and swallow a lump of emotion every time it plays. The song, in case you haven't heard it, is about losing a loved one and remembering the times spent together. Like I said, it gets me every time. It's a beautiful song.

Here's the YouTube link for Drink A Beer if you're interested in hearing the song and seeing the video.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Duran Duran and Mazda Live

Duran Duran and Mazda

The three songs we saw were A View to a Kill, Hungry Like the Wolf and All You Need is Now. It looked like they were going to do more but they weren't streamed live. I was really hoping for a new song from their forthcoming album. Oh well. Duran Duran sounded great and they still rock my world. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's: Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 205 of Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James:

"You can't bow down to the haters. The song is about the writer's vision, not the listener's."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Musing Monday's - Hillbilly Rockstar

Musing Monday's asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


It has been quite some time since I've done a Musing Monday's post. However, I am attempting (once again) to be a more active blogger. So, I will say that I recently purchased Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James. I got the book because I was in the mood for something by Ms. James. Plus, I have a weak spot for stories with musician heroes. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I am not disappointed in it one little bit. In fact, this book has ticked all of my enjoyment boxes. Lorelei James has a knack for writing characters that feel so real I want to be friends with them. I love that. I appreciate that and aspire to write that way. So if you're in the mood for a love story with a bit of mystery, some definite cry moments and some steamy love scenes - read this book!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's: Hot Ice by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 93 of Hot Ice by Nora Roberts:

Doug believed in fate, in destiny and just plain luck. Before it was over, he was going to be knee-deep in sparkles - royal sparkles.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's: Night Shift by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 93 of Night Shift by Nora Roberts:

"If there's been no one in Denver, we'll start working our way back. But I want you to think, and think hard."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays: River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 22 of River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz:

The surface of the water appeared to move in slow motion, but the languid-looking ripples were deceptive. Summer River was deep in some places, and the currents were strong.

Monday, June 30, 2014

250,418

I know making the blog post is a little different but that number, 250,418, is the number of words I have written during the first half of 2014! I began this year with the goal of continuing to write every single day. My daily writing goal is one thousand words per day. I knew going along that I was over my goal on a lot of days. I am a little speechless at the number but the amount is still not my overall goal. My goal continues to be daily writing. My goal also continues to be improving myself as a fiction writer. I know that I am accomplishing the daily writing. As a matter of fact, I am up to link number 292 in my WriteChain. I also feel that I have become a better and stronger writer through my daily practice.

What's in store for the second half of this year? Of course, I will continue to write everyday. It is simply a part of who I am now. I am also going to focus on revising the most of the books I've written since beginning the WriteChain Challenge in September of 2013. I am also going to start sending out query letters again. I feel an entirely new level of confidence about my writing. I already feel successful and want to take that to a new level, as well.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tease Tuesday: The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 1 of Lyn-Genet Recita's The Plan.

Weight gain is nothing more than your body's chemical reaction to foods. You're not eating too many carbs, or too much fat or too many calories. You're simply eating certain reactive foods that are triggering an inflammatory response.