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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Most Wonderful & Busy Season

Happy Wednesday Everybody,

Sorry it's taken me forever to update (December is half gone already!)

I promise you, I haven't been sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I've actually been really busy. Yesterday I finally finished my Christmas shopping. I even made a To-Do list yesterday and put "Make To-Do List" as one of the items--partially because I've been meaning to make one, and partially to have something to cross off right away.

As you can see, we finally got the tree decorated. It's so pretty! Offspring got excited about putting the tinsel on. It's always fun to get out the Christmas stuff and see things we haven't seen in a year. Unfortunately, my computer refuses to upload this picture the right way. I had flipped it so that it was vertical, but then Blogger wouldn't upload it.*Sigh*. Anyway, I promise, in real life it's NOT sideways.

There's two particular ornaments on the tree that have a special meaning to me. One is a turkey that represents my maternal grandfather (who died in 2004). Every Thanksgiving we would have what's called "The Turkey Contest". Contestants would try to tell the best or worst joke and win a prize (those who weren't competing were the judges). The person who won was called "The Turkey" for that year. The prize was always some form of turkey in honor of Thanksgiving--things like Turkey figurines, puppets, all kinds of funny stuff. My grandfather won often. So the turkey reminds me of him.

Of course, like last year (when I got this ornament) I had to put Monroe on the tree to watch over me and my family all through the Christmas Season! It's even more special this year given that his and Sasha's story has a contract! I took the picture from the side. This year Monroe is facing out more rather than in profile. As majestic as always, though.

A new addition to my mantel is surrounded by our lighted garland. It's a snow globe with a plaque on it (can't really see the plaque very well in the picture) but it's from the NWHRWA in honor of my first sale. Isn't it nice? It plays Ride Of The Valkyries.

I've got to finish up critiquing the last 10 pages I have left for my wonderful Critique Partner, finish writing one of my WIP, plus there is gift wrapping, shipping, and mailing envelopes left on my To Do List.

Like I said, I'm keeping busy!

How have you been celebrating the season?

Have A Whimsical Wednesday!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The NWHRWA Makes Merry

Happy Monday Everybody,

It's December, if you can believe it! I hope everyone had a great weekend.

On Saturday I Christmas partied with my NWHRWA Chapter mates.

Whomever did the decorations knows how to make things bright, merry, and cheerful.


Look behind the love gift bag, you'll see the very top
of the present I got to keep.
 We have a gift game that we do--the "white elephant" one. We didn't have too many joke presents...although someone did find a cookbook that was the source of much merriment. I ended up with a chalkboard type thing that says "The Writing On The Wall" and a box of chalk--it's really cool. I'm going to get husband to put it up on the wall...great place to jot down ideas real quick.


from L to R:  me, Christie Craig, William Simon
 My chapter mates are extremely talented, encouraging, and wonderful people, and I count myself lucky and blessed to be among them. The two chapter mates / published writers in the picture with me, William Simon, and Christie Craig, have been so wonderful and encouraging in my journey. William was the NWHRWA president when I joined and he took me "under his wing" so to speak and made me feel very welcome. Christie has encouraged me to believe in myself and to keep going. She gave me advice on my pitches. She calls me her "book pimp" and I proudly wear the title--her books are full of comedy and romance. William's Thrillers are fascinating.

As always it was full of fun and laughter! We had a blast.

Have A Merry Monday!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Releases, Christmas, & A Bunch Of Other Things...

Happy Friday All,

To quote Mater from Cars and Cars 2 movies, "Dadgum!" It's been a long time since I've updated. I'm so sorry! It's been crazy around here and I've been saving my writing inspiration for my WIP.

Bear with me...there's a TON of updates...

One of my WIPs is almost done. I'm about two-thirds of the way through with it and hoping to very soon start editing it and sending it to my Illustrious and Awesome critique partner, Tess St. John.


My awesome chapter mates have been busily releasing books, too. Carla Rossi released onto Amazon Kindle, Dr. Noah And The Sugar Plum Fairy, an Inspirational Romance that looks cute and fun. I don't have a Kindle, so hopefully it gets released in other formats, soon.

Terri Molina has been offering a freebie on her House Of Cards, available on Amazon Kindle. I believe, today is the LAST day to get it! I'll find out if she's going to extend it, but as far as I know today is it.

I'm excited about when my chapter mate Shauna Allen gets Inked By An Angel released. I don't know the exact release date, but her site says January 2013. I critiqued part of that story (very early chapters) and let me say, unique hero--definitely fun. I LOVE her cover art.

Yesterday my nephew announced the NWHRWA Lone Star Conference (information isn't on our website, yet, but stay tuned)on his radio show, on EMU's Eagle Radio. You can catch it on Thursdays from 4pm (EASTERN time) to 6pm (EASTERN time)--that's 3pm to 5pm Central time. He generally talks sports and music, but he also chats about other topics, too. I don't always know a lot of what he's talking about, but then again, I don't know a lot about sports, but I still find something fun about his show. One time he played a song by Van Halen. It was one I really like, so I was happy about that! You can send him a Tweet via @HarryEagleRadio and who knows...he just might give you a shout-out on the air. To listen, just go to the Eagle Radio site and click on the upper left hand corner. You can listen through your computer.

Christmas is coming and I'm happy! I turned on some Christmas music and danced around my house a bit. Offspring wasn't sure what to think at first, but then didn't want me to turn off the music. LOL It was fun.

I'm wanting to make cookies, but we'll see. If I do get to make cookies I want to make my Dad's version of Chocolate Chip Cookies. They come out soft and fluffy. I just love them--and some of my friends do, too. They rarely pass up my Dad's cookies.

I'm almost half done with Christmas shopping. It's tough to know what some people want. Is it just me or does it sometimes feel like you THOUGHT you knew the person's personality then you get around to shopping for them and you're like "Gee, I don't know WHAT they'd like."? Luckily Offspring keeps telling me a myriad of things on the Christmas List, so I don't lack for ideas.

Don't forget to catch me on Twitter, via @WriteByBethany. I update that often. You can catch my Twitter feed in the margin of this blog. But please, come follow me on Twitter--I'd like to get those numbers climbing on a regular basis--who knows...next year just might mean more giveaways.

I don't have a release date for my novel, yet, but stay tuned. Once I have that information and everything, I will let folks know.

Hope everyone has a fabulous first weekend of Advent! Christmas is just around the corner, if you can believe it.

Are you needing a reading list? Here's some of what I have on my To Be Read/Wish List (in absolutely no particular order):

Hidden by Sophie Jordan

Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout (will be released December 2012)

Powerless Consent by Janet Nash

The Secrets On Forest Bend by Susan Muller

The Son Of Neptune and The Mark Of Athena by Rick Riordan

Goddess by Josephine Angelini (not out until May 2013)

Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks (recently released, yeah, I know I forgot to report on that, sorry...like I said, A LOT is going on).

I'm sure there's others, but these are the ones off the top of my head.


Have A Fantastic Friday!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You For Your Service & Thanksgiving

Happy Monday All,

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans out there! My grandfather served in WWII, and I have a cousin and a nephew who served in the Marines. So thank you to all our Veterans, for your sacrifice and service to our country.

Well, Thanksgiving is a little over a week away (amazing how fast Fall is going!) Do you have any special plans for Turkey Day?

The family and I will be at my parents' house. Who else is joining us, I don't know. My parents are great cooks and bakers so I know it'll be good. We'll probably bring something--what I don't know, yet. 

So what do you do to mark the day?

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Good News Busting Out Everywhere!

Happy Friday All,

So much to tell! First of all, if you haven't read my Facebook page, then here's my big news:  Surreal has been contracted by a publisher! It's so awesome!

I'm not the only one with good news, either. My chapter mate, and talented author, Janet Nash, just had her novel, Powerless Consent, released through Soul Mate Publishing. It's available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well.

Also, if you're interested in Fantasy, check out Raven Raye's recent release (released in October), Broken Prophecy. It's also Soul Mate Publishing release. You can find it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

So many exciting things going on! Make sure you stay tuned...either on my Facebook Page or on here! Look me up on Twitter as well (@WriteByBethany).

Have A Fabulously Fun-Filled Friday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Plan For The Lone Star State October 2013!

Happy Tuesday All,

It's voting day here in the US of A, so all of those who are eligible have a civic duty to exercise our right to vote. Which, is something I will (or depending on when you, my readers read this post and when I get to my designated voting area) or have done.

Today Laura Childs' Stake & Eggs is released, which I reviewed yesterday.

This past NWHRWA meeting I've learned some pretty awesome things about next year's Lone Star Conference. We are fortunate to be able to have Donald Maass of the Donald Maass Literary Agency come and be our keynote speaker. We're also going to have an agent from Larsen Pomada Literary Agents, and Marisal Lyon Literary Agency and who knows what other awesome things will be in store by the time the date of the conference rolls around. The date of the conference is on October 5, 2013--so you can start planning now.

It's apple cider season (Fall)! I've been enjoying the tasty treat. I'll be glad when it gets cooler/colder down here. I love colder weather--just not snow. I agree it's pretty at first, but then after awhile it fades. But I do like colder weather. I like warm, cozy blankets, hot tea, warm clothes, and pants. Plus the Fall Holidays are awesome.

What's your favorite thing about Fall?

Have A Thrill-Filled Tuesday!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

More Than Eggs At Stake

Happy Monday All,

Oh my goodness! It's been so long since I updated, and I hope you all will accept my apologies. There is much to discuss, and I hope to pour it out this week and in the coming weeks.

But first and foremost, I have a special treat for you all...an official blog review.

Today's morsel is from mystery author, Laura Childs' newest Cackleberry Club Mystery...

Eggs aren't the only things being whipped up in the Midwest.

While Suzanne, Petra, and Toni busily prepare for a meeting with the a banker in their little town of Kindred, murder is being cooked up in the snowy banks behind the Cackleberry Club Diner.

One minute the three women hear snowmobiles, the next minute the wintry evening is still and silent. Feeling curious, Suzanne duns warm gear to head out only to find said banker decapitated from a wire stretched out across the very path his snowmobile was traveling.

Sure, said banker wasn't the most liked member of the town, but murder? Who would be driven to such lengths?

Despite the tragedy, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni soldier on with their many plans--including hosting a tea and fashion show, attending the Fire and Ice celebrations, and the unplanned part of their winter, learning all kinds of crazy gossip.

Then a runaway appears in the diner...someone who knows more than he's letting on. But it's going to take more than yummy cooking to find out just what Colby knows. But will he open up in time to be helpful? And, will Suzanne and the sheriff solve the mystery before someone else lands in a cold grave?

Find out on November 6, 2012 when the new Cackleberry Club Mystery, Stake & Eggs is released!

Have A Mysteriously Marvelous Monday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hopelessly Romantic

Happy Tuesday All,

If you're anything like me, you're a hopeless romantic. Although, I suppose because I'm married to my own personal hero, people could  argue I'm not really hopeless, so I guess I could amend the phrase and say I'm hopelessly romantic.

Monday night one of the channels on TV was showing the movie, Only You starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. I've seen it before, but it's been awhile. I missed most of it, but I did get to see the scene where Robert Downey Jr. as Peter, is holding onto the  edge of a yacht declaring his love to Marisa Tomei's character, Faith. Gotta love seeing a guy yelling out "I'm crazy about you! You're going to miss me!"

These type of movies and scenes are part of what inspires me as a writer. I'm a huge fan of fairy tales, and in a way Only You and some of the other romantic movies out there are types of fairy tales. I love stuff like it. I know, I'm so mushy.

What romantic movies leave you feeling like mush?

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

James Scott Bell Rocks At Conference

Happy Wednesday All,

Whew! Things have been extremely busy on my end (but mostly GOOD busy). Monday was my birthday, and it was a wonderful birthday--thank you to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday. I truly appreciated the thoughtfulness!

Before I launch into talking about the Lone Star Conference, I want to tell you I did a stupid thing. I forgot my camera! Can you believe it? I was so bummed. So unfortunately, I don't have pictures (color me sad) but others had photos and I have many witnesses to say I was, in fact, there. Hopefully the next time I go to the Lone Star Conference I'll remember a camera.

So here's a run-down of my experience...

Friday was the Meet & Greet party at the 1st V.P. of my chapter's house. As always, Stacey is a wonderful hostess (her husband minion-ed with the best of them) and it had good food, good company, and good fun.

A bunch of us gave James Scott Bell a tutorial on how to talk like a Texan, and he picked up very quickly. In fact, at the end of the evening he even said "I'll see all y'all tomorrow!" He gained much applause and cheers for that.

I rode to and from the hotel with two of my chapter mates, and a lovely lady from another part of Texas and we had a great time. Although, I have to say, there was someone in another car (not a Conference go-er from what we could tell) who scared us so bad. Luckily my chapter mate who was driving had quick reflexes and kept us save (you rock, Patti!)

The next day dawned bright and early for me (I was up at 6 a.m.) and got ready and down to the ballroom to settle in by 8 a.m. NWHRWA President and the 1st V.P. welcomed everybody and Mr. Bell got started.

I was timing pitches first thing in the morning, so I went off to the room to time for editor, Deborah Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing. She and I had some lovely chats and I think she's such a nice lady. Several of my chapter mates have signed with Soul Mate, and seem to be very happy there.

Later on, I was hanging out with some other chapter mates of mine who were timing and wandered into the ballroom to listen to Mr. Bell.

Let me tell you, fellow writers of mine (and even some of those readers who don't write), Mr. Bell is one heck of a speaker. He is absolutely, hands-down, one of the best. Even if you miss part of his talk, you can pick it right back up again without being too lost. He uses clips from movies to illustrate the points he's making (which helps a lot with applying what he's teaching) and he's funny, fun, and gets the crowd involved. There was a lot of laughter and applause when he threw in Southern-isms like "y'all" and "fixin' to" and such like that.

Mr. Bell is also very approachable and easy to talk to. He's friendly, and interested in what you have to say. Plus, you can ask him questions on what he talks about without fear.

Lunch was a buffet style (which it has been in the past) and I was at a big table with some of my chapter mates, a few other conference goers, and the lovely folks from Boroughs Publishing Group. The people from Boroughs were extremely nice, and readily willing to answer any questions we had. One of them also took practice pitches from Conference goers who weren't sure about doing a real pitch. They were also lovely. Everyone seemed to like them.

In the afternoon I got to talk with Liz Pelletier from Entangled Publishing, and she was a delight. Extremely helpful and very nice.

I also got to talk with Elaine Spencer from the Knight Agency, and I liked her quite a bit, too. I had asked her some questions at the Meet & Greet and she was extremely helpful.

All in all, this year's conference really rocked. Next year we're scheduled to have another awesome speaker...who was revealed at Conference (whom I will reveal at a later date on here). Trust me, you won't want to ever miss an NWHRWA Conference. They are truly awesome.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend this past weekend, and is having a glorious week!

Have A Whimsical Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Countdown!

Happy Wednesday All,

(No matter what the date tab says, this post is meant for Wednesday).

I can hardly believe it...not counting today, there are TWO days left until the Lone Star Conference. This is my third year going, and I'll be entering my fourth year as a member of the NWHRWA.

This group is an incredible group of men and women. I'm very lucky and blessed to be a member and to be amid so many talented writers.

I know travel can be a pain (especially if you live out of state, or even out of the country) but folks, these people are so hospitable and kind. If you're a writer, I cannot stress enough how important that is. It's also why I invite my fellow authors to this Conference every year.

Now that I've gotten the sentimentality out and told you how truly awesome the NWHRWA & the Lone Star Conference is, let me move on to what's kept me from the blog...

I have been reading like a mad fool, my dear readers. My cousin got me interested in an author I hadn't heard of named Elizabeth Hunter. Specifically got me engrossed in the Elemental Mysteries. I finished up A Hidden Fire and have gotten my hands on The Same Earth (and started it). I like the way she writes vampires...the idea that they all can control one of the natural elements (earth, wind, fire, water) is really intriguing and different (at least to me).

I also recently received another book for a November official blog review that I need to get a move on...plus some other books from other authors that I should get going on.

Not to mention the fact that I went haywire happy over Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux series and eagerly await Opal's release in December.

I've also been writing. Yep, I truly have. I've got two projects going. One is a story that I think will be a series (we'll see if that's still true at the end of the story) and another is something I started as a challenge to myself (if this story continues to take off, my critique partner is going to make me eat crow, I don't care how nice she is, I will be eating crow LOL).

As you can see, I've been a busy bee of a woman, and I am going to be prepping this week for the Conference on Saturday (so excited!)

So, please pardon the silence on here. I'm pretty regular on Twitter and Facebook, so look me up on there. (Twitter--@WriteByBethany Facebook is under Bethany Averie).

What's everyone got planned for this week and weekend?

Have A Wondrous Wednesday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yay It's Friday!

Happy Friday One And All,

I'm having a pretty good day so far. The weather is mild, something I was worried about is getting resolved, I've proven to myself I could do something I was sure I wasn't going to be able to do (although that last one has me eating crow, which isn't my favorite thing, but oh well).

Today's a short post. I asked this question on Twitter (which, by the way, if you don't have an account, get one and you can see all my updates that sometimes don't make it to my blog by following me at @WriteByBethany--also, my Twitter Feed is in the margin of this blog) and all the other awesome authors I follow.

Like I was saying...

I asked this on Twitter, and I'll post it here:

What's your sweet treat weakness? 

Mine is often chocolate or cookies (sometimes candy). What's yours?

Have A Fun-Filled Friday!

FYI:  NEXT weekend is the NWHRWA Lone Star Writers' Conference...all you writers...have YOU registered? Hope so :-) Have a fabulous weekend and day, everyone!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Can You Hear The Whispers?

Happy Tuesday All,

Hope everyone got a chance to read the review I posted yesterday.

Now, here's for the 2nd book review I have this week for you:

Welcome back to Shadowfalls! Things are busy what with the camp being turned into a school...new students, and teachers...and a ghost.

It's the ghost that has Kylie all discombobulated...okay maybe not just the ghost, because let's face it, finding out she was a ---- (I'm leaving that blank for those who haven't read Taken At Dusk, or who haven't finished it).  is really something... and it's all well and good to know what you are, but what is the extent of her powers? Her limitations?

Never mind the fact that the ghost has ---'s face (again, leaving that blank for those who haven't read or finished Taken At Dusk, because it's important!) If it wasn't for that, the ghost would just be another ghost in a long line of ones that keep showing up wanting Kylie's help.

But beyond that, Kylie wants to reconnect with her grandfather and aunt. Not only that, there's voices calling out to Kylie from the woods. But should she obey the voices or Burnett, who has forbidden Kylie from entering the woods?

Plus, there's the little problem that Lucas, who is supposed to be her boyfriend, keeps going MIA on pack business. Then there's Derek, who up and confessed his love for Kylie, which was so not what she needed right now.

What's a girl to do?

Kylie faces some tough decisions. But, who's to say she can't kick butt while doing so? (I can't give away why I'd say "kick butt" because I think the decisions she makes in this book--book 4 of the series--are going to make the 5th book one heck of a read).

And putting all that aside...something else isn't right. One of the new teachers is just this side of creepy, and the other, seems so completely lost that Kylie's heart bleeds for him. Who is a friend and who is an enemy? And who killed the three girls Kylie keeps seeing her visions trapped beneath the earth?

Whispers At Moonrise (book 4 in C.C. Hunter's Shadowfalls series) is out TODAY will whisk you in another Shadowfalls adventure like none other. Hang on and enjoy the ride :-)

Have A Thrilling Tuesday!

The Mail Is A Bit Unusual

Happy Monday All,

This week is special because there are TWO official book reviews.

Here's today's treat:

Mardis Gras season in the Big Easy is a time of fun and revelry. At least, it is until television reporter, Kimber Breeze ends up hanging from the Hotel Tremaine's balcony where she had been interviewing local business owners.

Carmela Bertrand, owner of Memory Mine is the first to find Kimber. Calling her detective boyfriend, Carmela tries to help with crowd control, but with folks tripping over each other to escape the scene, it's near impossible.

Carmela thinks Raleigh, Kimber's camera man might have caught something on tape, however, when she gets the DVD all it reveals is someone dressed as the clown character in an opera.

To make things even more confusing, Carmela begins receiving strange post cards signed by the dead Kimber Breeze.

Who's behind the murder and the post cards? Is it Kimber's boyfriend, the business man? Is it the weird new shop owner who sells creepy oddities? Or could it be Kimber's ambitious assistant who has been waiting for her chance in the limelight? Or could it be, by chance, Kimber's financially strapped brother?

Either way, Carmela wants to know and soon...especially after things turn personal when someone puts on a hit on Carmela's house!

You'll find out who is behind it all and much more on October 2, 2012 when Laura Childs' newest Scrapbooking Mystery, Postcards From The Dead is released.

Happy sleuthing :-)

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Me? Obsessed With A Book Series? Naaahhh! LOL

Happy Thursday All,

Well, I'm settling back into my usual daily routines since being away all weekend for my grandfather's memorial. Of course, no routine would be complete without some sort of twist, right? Mine happens to be allergies! At least they seem to be getting better, for which I do thank God.

My current WIP, (no, I can't talk about it, sorry. It's easier for me to write when not too many people know very much about what I'm writing. I don't know why), is coming along. A little slowly, but I'm starting to get a tiny piece of the passion I've been missing back. I really like this story, and the way it's being told. I have a few details to tweak and stuff, but I'll do that when I start editing. Right now, I'm focused on getting the story out of my head and onto written format.

Anyway...today I wanted to talk about obsessions...particularly book obsessions, which, for me, there are many, but I'm going to talk about my newest one.

What I've noticed about myself is that when I get excited about a series (especially one I've never read, whether a new series or not-so-new series) I tend to read all I can about it, and get my hands on as many books as possible. Currently this obsession is the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

In my last post, I talked about Obsidian, which is one of the first books in the series (the novella, Shadows, is a prequel to the series). I'm not usually into reading books with aliens in them. In fact, I mostly only see those in Sci-Fi series, or things like Star Wars (which is more fantasy than Sci-Fi--yes, I've heard the debate over whether Star Wars is Sci-Fi or if it's Fantasy, and after contemplating both sides, I'm leaning toward Fantasy for Star Wars...but it does have aliens in it, so that's why I mentioned it). Or Star Trek, or X-Files.

However, I really like the way Ms. Armentrout handles aliens and all that. It's not the whole "Aliens-coming-to-Earth-to-take-over-the-world" so much as Aliens who want to fit in, have a life, and be a part of the community--and oh yeah, kick the butts of the bad aliens who want to steal their powers and kill humans. I can handle that. It's got aspects of paranormal, fantasy, and yes, there's romance in her work, too. All of which I really enjoy.

So, I guess you could say it's not too surprising I'm all into the Lux series after all.

By the way...here's a piece of trivia...did you know the word "lux" means "light" in Latin? Yeah, I learned that from reading Obsidian I also double checked it on Google Translate.

What are some of your book obsessions? Why are you gung-ho crazy over them?

P.S. Speaking of obsessions (okay this isn't books, but TV show)ABC's Once Upon A Time Season 2 starts this Sunday (September 30, 2012)!

Have A Thrilling Thursday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Good, Sad, Fun, and Fall

Happy Tuesday All,

I took a weekend trip up North for my Grandfather's memorial. It was a lovely ceremony, stories shared, tears shed, but also some laughter at the funny things my grandfather said or did.

He was a World War II veteran, so we were blessed to have an Honor Guard there that gave a gun salute and presented a flag to my step-grandma. One of my brothers plays the Scottish Bagpipes, so he played TAPS on the bagpipes while in a kilt, with a sporran, and the shoes (called gillybroughs--I'm not sure of the spelling, but that's what it sounds like).

All my siblings were there, so that was wonderful, because we haven't all been in one place in several years (there's a lot of us) and I got to catch up with them and relatives I haven't seen in a number of years.

Sunday I returned, and did some unpacking and settling in. Monday I had a headache and my stomach decided to not be completely happy, so I spent the day in bed reading a book--which I also finished!

I read Jennifer L. Armentrout's YA novel, Obsidian, which was really, really good! I'm not usually a fan of books with aliens in them (don't really read Sci-fi...and if I'm going to have any aliens around I prefer Star Wars, and on occasion, X-Files or Men In Black) but this was more paranormal than Sci-Fi, although it had some Sci-Fi elements--like aliens. But the aliens were cool and had paranormal capacities that I really enjoyed. I'm planning on reading and getting the 2nd novel, Onyx, and the novella, Shadows. The 3rd book comes out in December 2012 and it's called Opal.

Currently I'm working on some stories and ideas. I've put Conjure A Man on hold. I don't know when or if I will return to working on it, but I'm not happy with that novel at all, so I need to distance myself away from it and work on these other stories and ideas I have. But never fear, I have many ideas right now and more percolating.

In any case, we're drawing to the end of September and Fall is attempting to make its way into the weather (although it appears that where I am will stay warm for awhile longer--darn!)

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods and have you read any good books lately?

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September, New & Upcoming Releases...

Happy Tuesday All,

Today we remember and pray for those involved in the tragedy of 9/11, and we also remember all the brave men and women who defend the USA. May God bless them and be with them.

This year September is bringing weather to the South of the promise of Fall. It's not as cool as I'd prefer, yet, but it's cooler. One of the little trees in my backyard has already got some red leaves on it (pretty!) and another one is showing signs of Fall. Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons. What's yours?

Before I forget...

There's releases coming right around the corner:

Sophie Jordan's 3rd book in her YA series, Hidden, is out TODAY!


Kerrelyn Sparks has the re-release of her Historical under the title The Forbidden Lady (out on September 25, 2012). Also, her next Love At Stake book, Wild About You will be out on November 27, 2012.

C.C. Hunter's newest installment in her Shadowfalls series, Whispers At Moonrise will release on October 2nd.

Laura Childs' next Scrapbooking Mystery, entitled: Postcards From The Dead will also be out on October 2nd.

What books are you looking forward to that are coming out this Fall?

Have A Thoughtful Tuesday!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Absent, But Not Gone

Happy Monday All,

I am very sorry for my long absence. There's been so much going on:

In late August my grandfather died. It's hard to say goodbye to him, but he lead a long and wonderful life. I'll be attending his graveside memorial service later this month--so there's been some prep work surrounding that.

I've been gearing up for a couple of blog book reviews that are coming around October. I'm looking forward to posting them, too!

I've also been writing. I sent the pages I've written of Conjure A Man to my critique partner because I wanted her input. While she's been reading the pages, I've been working on another story of mine. It's coming okay and I'm thinking about some of my other stories that are waiting on the sidelines for me to get to them.

Also, I'm gearing up for my RWA chapter's annual conference--the Lone Star Conference (the Northwest Houston RWA), which is being held on October 13, 2012 in Houston, Texas. James Scott Bell is the keynote speaker. It should be really good! I'm looking forward to it.

In any case, I'm going to try and be around here more often.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's All Texas's Fault!

Happy Tuesday Everybody,

I know there's been a lot of silence on here lately. I've had some computer and blog trouble, so I put off posting for awhile so I could maybe determine the reasons for all the problems (I'm still working on that). There's also been a lot happening in my life (both good and not-so-good) so I've been pretty busy. I'm doing okay, though.

Today I have a treat for you--something I haven't done in awhile--an official blog book review! (P.S. I'm hoping to post book cover art on here, soon, there's a couple of things have to confirm before I can do that).

So let's get a move on this:

Christie Craig brings us back to Texas, where ex-cons turned exonerated citizens & P.I.s, Tyler, Dallas, and Austin hang out in their office, Only In Texas, ready and willing to right wrongs. Book 2 of the Hotter In Texas series, Blame It On Texas is what you’d expect from a Christie Craig novel--fun, romance, and laughter.


Zoe Adams is certain she’s not who she grew up thinking she was. But is she a Bradford, or is she completely nuts? Things from her childhood don’t add up…but she may have to hightail it back to Alabama before she finds out the truth; those threatening phone calls are making her nervous…and so is Only In Texas P.I., Tyler Lopez.

Tyler Lopez has had it with giving his heart. He did it once and it was a disaster. Now even though he's been exonerated of a crime he didn’t commit, people are still treating him, and his Only In Texas colleagues, Dallas and Austin, like criminals. In spite of all this, he wouldn’t mind getting involved with the pretty redhead he found rummaging around under his desk, but anything more than just a fling with Zoe is statistically a really bad idea as far as Tyler is concerned.

But when Zoe tells him her wild story about being the missing Bradford granddaughter, and the threatening phone calls, Tyler thinks it might be something worth looking into. He becomes even more convinced when someone tries to shoot Zoe in her apartment. Besides, it's a perfect set up. He can do his job, and maybe even start something casual with Zoe. After all, she won’t be in Texas for long. It’s perfect.

But things go south when Tyler’s heart betrays him. And as the mystery gets more and more convoluted, Tyler realizes he may not have a choice as to whether or not Zoe runs back to Alabama with his heart or if he keeps it.

Mystery, romance, bad guys, good guys, a battered cat named Lucky, and our old friend, Bud--the English Bulldog who sleeps in a coffin--are all here…and they’re all blaming the heat, romance, and mystery on Texas!

Blame It On Texas is available for purchase starting TODAY!  
**PLEASE NOTE:  As always, ALL comments are approved by me before they are published in the comment section. I apologize for the confusion, but this has cut down on comment-posting problems I've had with the blog in the past**

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thrills, Chills, & Mermaids

Happy Tuesday All,

I'm re-reading Beth Fantasky's Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side and gearing up to work on Conjure A Man (my WIP--Work In Progress).

The other night I finished reading Tracy Deebs' Tempest Rising. I ended up really liking it. I realize since it was published last year, it's not exactly a new YA novel, but it was new to me because I hadn't known about it or read it. It's chalk full of sea mythical creatures. There's a big battle with a blood-sucking octopus type creature, a power-hungry sea witch, and a mermaid who wants to stick to her human side. I found it a fun read and plan to read the sequel, Tempest Unleashed, which is out.

I'm doing all this while I wait for August 15th to arrive. Why August 15th? Well, aside from some real-life things going on, that's the day Shanna Swendson's Much Ado About Magic will be released. I've been waiting at least 2 years or more for this book! It's book 5 in her Enchanted Inc. series. I can't wait to read it. In fact, the moment I found out book 5 was coming out I was totally thrilled! I just went completely bonkers I was so happy.

Speaking of thrills, a chapter mate of mine, and a talented writer, Will Simon is being interviewed on Kiss And Thrill Blog. It's a cool interview; so even if Thrillers aren't your cup of tea, please go check it out. Also, be sure to read the comment section to see other tidbits Will shares about his writing.

What's up on your end?

Have A Thrilling Tuesday!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Books, Writing, Reading, & Life

Happy Friday All,

It's the end of another week and my allergies have decided to act up. So, I'm waiting on a call back from my doc's office to see what they'll recommend I take (I had a question about an over-the-counter med). Hopefully it won't get any worse; I just got over having one thing or another not that long ago.

Yesterday I read most of the day. I finished up Joy Preble's YA novel, Haunted (book 2 in her series) and then I went ahead and worked on Katie McGarry's YA novel, Pushing The Limits.

Joy Preble's books use some of the Romanov story and Russian folklore. It's set in contemporary times, full of magic, mysteries, and a little bit of something for everyone. The first in the series is Dreaming Anastasia, which I really enjoyed. Haunted is book 2 and Anastasia Forever should be available, soon. (Joy told me it comes out, I think on August 7th). I'm hoping Anne stays with Ethan!

Katie McGarry's Pushing The Limits is one heck of a read. It's poignant, heart wrenching, and full of mystery. It's a contemporary YA, and I don't normally read things that aren't paranormal or fantasy too often, but because of what I said in my congratulatory post a couple of days ago, I went ahead and purchased and read it. This book is for OLDER teens (17 or 18) and adults. There's a lot that happens in it and things that are mentioned that I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers. Also, this is more than a love story. This is also about self-love, and family type love. It's a journey into the awareness that while you might be one thing, you can become something more--something better--than that one thing. It's about forgiveness and growth. It's about discovery of self and of what is the truth.  So many things are packed within those pages. I found myself laughing, crying, and having to know what was going to happen. It truly turned into an incredible story.

I'm now started a novel by an author I haven't read before (yet another YA) called Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs. I just barely started, so I have no idea what I'll think of it, but I think I'll like it.

I'm counting down the days until Shanna Swendson's novel, Much Ado About Magic is out. For Kindle users, it's available for preorder. For Nook users, you can purchase it on the release date, which is August 15th. And, here's a peek of the story.

Other than that, I hope to do some writing today. Conjure A Man is about half done (short blurb is in the margin of this blog), and I've got several other stories waiting in the wings.

Have A Fantastic Friday!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Need Books, Need A Writer's Conference? I Got You Covered!

Happy Wednesday All,

Today Katie McGarry's Pushing The Limits is available on e-reader! I got mine. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Shanna Swendson's book 5, Much Ado About Magic, is available for preorder from Amazon. Right now I don't have any information about it being available for preorder for Nook anytime soon. When I find that out, I'll let you know. It's due to release in e-book form on August 15, 2012.

RWA Nationals just ended and several of my chaptermates have gone. They seem to have come back energized and excited. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to attend Nationals. However, there is my chapter's October Conference! All writers welcome. For more information, click here. It should be a lot of fun!

Anyway, that's all I have off the top of my head (for now) :-)

Have A Wonderful Wenesday!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Congratulations, Katie McGarry!

Happy Tuesday All,

Today I want to draw your attention to debut author, Katie McGarry.

I met Katie a couple of years ago through the NWHRWA's Lone Star Contest when I was the YA Category Chair. Katie's story intrigued me, and I went on to hope it would do well in the contest. She ended up being a first place finalist for the YA category.

Talking to her on the phone to alert her she was a winner was a joy. She was sweet, humble, and her excitement was contagious. She went on to tell me she had just gotten an agent and I couldn't have been happier for her.

Now, around 2 years later, I celebrate with Katie the release of her YA novel, Pushing The Limits.

I can't wait to read this story. I've been curious about it, let me tell you.

If you all have a chance, stop by her page, or look her up on Twitter. I also hope you all will be as curious as I am to read this book!

So, congratulations, Katie McGarry! Hope your writing career is a wonderful, exciting adventure. Best wishes!

Have A Treat-Filled Tuesday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Busy, But Hopefully Back

Happy Monday All,

Whew! This summer has proven to be more eventful than I planned.

Offspring was supposed to be in swim lessons for 2 weeks (4 days each week). Unfortunately, even the best laid plans go awry at times. The first week, offspring got sick after the second day of lessons (I had my own health problems that week, too). He had to miss 2 days (well, they canceled the second day due to weather issues, but he would've missed anyway due to his health). The second week I started off with a sinus infection (no problem, I got antibiotics), except Tuesday afternoon I felt foul, then in the evening/night ended up sick! I had to go off the antibiotics, and lay in bed for 2 days. Friday I finally started getting my energy back. Then Saturday I started a new antibiotic, which I finally get to finish today.

This past week was pretty good, though. We made it to a nephew's birthday party, and I got some writing done on my WIP, and an idea for another story (I've got several stories waiting in the wings to be written). I'm hoping husband, offspring, and I stay well for a long while now.

Other than family and my health, there's a bunch of books to be released soon...here's a few I'm looking forward to:

Debut author, Katie McGarry has a YA novel coming out called Pushing The Limits that looks good! Should be out very soon. I'm looking forward to reading it.

The awesome Christie Craig is bringing out her next book in her Hotter In Texas series, Blame It On Texas coming out in August. Considering it's a Christie Craig book, it should be lots of fun to read. 

YA Fantasy author, Lesley Livingston, got my attention with her Wondrous Strange triology. I'm excited to see the Fennrys Wolf from that series will be back in her newest story, Starling.

The wait is nearly over...Shanna Swendson will be putting out book 5 in her Enchanted, Inc. The much anticipated Much Ado About Magic will be available in August. I've been waiting a long time for this one.

So, how is your summer going? Any fun/exciting adventures happening?

Have A Magical Monday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Here I Am!

Happy Tuesday All,

Life doesn't seem to slow down, does it? I was so busy in June that I forgot to send a birthday card out to one of my nieces! So, that's going out within the next day or two (definitely this week we're going to get it mailed; probably put it in the box on Thursday, since I believe, on the 4th mail isn't picked up or delivered).

This month has its own set of things going on, but hopefully won't be as hectic as last month.

Girls' Night Out was awesome. We had a blast...although, I'm sure the other people in the hotel probably wished we weren't giggling so loud. But, I'm telling you, there was some hailirious moments. One of my friends was making the rest of us laugh so hard that another one of the ladies had to sit down! I read a short story I had written especially for the occasion, and we all took a trip down memory lane. It was a lot of fun, and great to catch up with all of them. We're thinking that some time when we go out we'll bring the men in our lives for a group date. I think that will be great fun, too.


Author Teri Thackston is hosting a giveaway. While you're checking out her giveaway, take a peek at all the adventures Teri's books contain.
:-)


Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well. It seems summer is a very busy time for most people (including myself).

I'm keeping a watch out for when Shanna Swendson puts out Much Ado About Magic (book 5 in her Enchanted, Inc. series) and I'll let you know about that.

I don't know if I'll be posting every day this week--I'm still working on Conjure A Man, but I will try to post on this blog more often.

Meanwhile, enjoy Teri Thackston's stories. :-)

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Week's Worth Of News

Happy Wendesday All,

Wow! I can't believe it's already Wednesday. I know it's been a long time since I had any type of blog post (the weekend post wasn't really much updates, was it? I don't usually post over the weekend, but there was a few things on my mind).

Things have been fairly busy on my end. A group of female friends of mine and I get together once a month for Girls' Night Out. This get together is going to be an overnight stay at a hotel nearby, so I've been gearing up for that. It's one of my friend's birthday, so there's been a few more details than normal. Mainly, I took it upon myself to put together some "goodie bags" (I can't say what's in them, because I only told the girls a couple of details and sometimes they read my blog. The rest is a surprise).

Another piece of news is that I've "broken" 100 pages on my current WIP--which you can see details of in the margin of this blog under Conjure A Man. Some of you who have been following my blog since the beginning (way back in 2009!) might remember I played around with some ideas regarding this story, but nothing really came together. Well, it's finally coming together and I'm hoping to finish writing the story within the month of July (ambitious, and I won't be too mad if I don't, but I'm gonna go for it. It's time I set some real goals to give myself a kick-in-the-pants. I got other stories awaiting my attention, so the sooner I get this one into critique and editing the sooner I can work on the other stories). Oh and FYI for those who remember some of the origin drafts...there's been several changes!

Shanna Swendson, author of the Enchanted, Inc. series has some fantastic news surrounding those books. I'm so elated. I can't wait!

Lately I've been talking to my chaptermate, R.M. Brand about her stories and what she does for marketing. Her books look really imagnative and fun (I'm looking forward to reading them, she has several out, too). She's got some great ideas, and I've seen some the marketing work she's done (specifically for C.C. Hunter, with the Taken At Dusk book trailer RM Brand has done other book trailers for C.C. Hunter and Christie Craig. Really professional looking, definitely quality work).



A YA author I really enjoy has a new book coming out this summer! The very talented and highly imagnative Lesley Livingston, is bringing back a character from her Wondrous Strange triology. The Fennrys Wolf will make an appearance in August of this year! (The giveaway is closed, but you can read the blurb and see the beautiful cover of Starling).


Christie Craig has another book coming out this August, too. It's book 2 in her Hotter In Texas series. Book 2 is entitled Blame It On Texas.


Registration for NWHRWA's annual Lone Star Conference is coming up, soon! I hope all you aspiring and published authors are planning on attending. It's going to be a blast.


Ciara Gold is talking about an author game that got started on Facebook. It's a chance to peek into what authors are working on (that is, if they decide to play). Pretty nifty.

There is way more news, but it would make this post much longer than it already is, but stay tuned...I'm sure I'll have more up soon. This week is crazy and I'm trying to get writing in on Conjure A Man, so if I don't post again until next week or the week after, don't worry, I'm not gone, I'm just busy! 

If you have questions, comments, suggestions, etc., you can send me an email.

Have A Witty Wednesday!