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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brain On Vacation

Happy Tuesday All,

Sorry for being MIA so much. I've been having a lot of trouble lately coming up with blog post ideas. I'm doing okay, just lots of writer's block at the moment. I'm working on a solution, though.

Until things get solved, I might be posting irregularly. Don't fret, I am around...I am checking email and I'm checking comments to see if there's any that need to be posted and answered. So keep coming back to check and see if there's a new post.

Please also keep those positive thoughts and prayers going--I appreciate them! And thank you to everyone who's sent me an email asking about me. I appreciate your thoughtfulness! I do love hearing from my readers.

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Tradition!

Happy Friday All,

Has everyone had a good week? Mine seems to have flown by, but then again, I was pretty busy.

If you've seen the musical, Fiddler On The Roof, you might remember a song called Tradition. It talks about all the different traditions that hold the community together.

In my family we had traditions that brought us together. For Christmas we tied together all kinds traditions from around the world. There's a Scandinavian tradition called the Yule Goat. Much like Santa Claus, this goat brings gifts to good little boys and girls. We would talk about the Yule Goat bringing this or that. It was great fun. My Dad started making a German Christmas bread/coffee cake baked good called stollen (pronounced "schol-en"). Wikipedia called it a "fruit cake", but this isn't quite as dense. It has nuts, candied fruit, cinnamon, and raisins (well at least the way my Dad makes it).

For some of the weddings in my family, the night before, at the rehearsal dinner some of the siblings would get up and give the "Mawiage" speech from The Princess Bride.

The point is, traditions are fun, bring people together and inspire us.

So what sort of fun traditions do you have in your life?

Have A Fabulous Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Perfect Sound

Happy Thursday All,

I missed posting Wednesday, but don't worry, I'm okay--just busy!

There's a new release! Author of Nocturne, Syrie James, has teamed up with her son, Ryan M. James, to put together a Paranormal YA novel entitled, Forbidden. And, it looks intriguing! It's available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle, as well as Barnes & Noble and Barnes & Noble Nook.

I'm currently reading a novel by an author I hadn't ever read before. The premises really interested me because it's pulled from Shakespeare. I'm not very far into it, but I'm already curious as to what this novel will bring. So we'll see what happens.

On and off I've mentioned music on here. Especially music that sets a tone/mood for one's writing--or inspires. For me, it can be anything from AH-HA's Take On Me to Spin Doctors' Two Princes I like a lot of different songs, but those two came to mind because Two Princes always makes me want to dance, and Take On Me is one of my "happy place" songs.

There's a few collaboration songs I like...one such song is the collaboration done by John Waite and Alison Krauss, I Ain't Missing You. This was originally sung only by John Waite, but I think it came out lovely.

Speaking of music and collaborations, I've collaborated with one of my brothers before. He's a music composer and musician. When I was in high school he approached me and said, "Hey, Bethany, I think this piece needs lyrics. I can write music, but lyrics aren't really my thing, and I know you've written some, would you mind working on it?" I said, sure. Unfortunately my lyrics were definitely not on par with how beautiful the piece was, but I tried my best. We'd sometimes do our own version of Heart & Soul on the piano (he is far and away a better musician than me, but I never had the passion for playing instruments that he did). Then when I got married I had a set of lyrics that was a duet. I begged my brother to put the lyrics to music. He was going to play at my wedding, and I had a soprano from the church choir and my brother-in-law who's a tenor. Eventually he got the lyrics arranged and it was gorgeous.

Something music composers and novel writers have in common is the emotion they have for their work. I know my brother spends a lot of time working on his compositions so it sounds just how he wants it to turn out. When I sit down and work at a story I'm asking myself a series of questions, and going over each sentence to make sure it comes out just right--that it is what the character would say. I've sat and talked with my brother about this and I said, "It seems composers and authors have a lot in common in that respect." He said, "Oh definitely." He agreed that like novel writers, composers get attached to their work. They want others to enjoy it and fall in love with the piece as much as they did.

Novel writers are the same. They fall in love with their characters. They giggle over the jokes, agonize over the pivotal scenes, and contemplate whether or not the dialogue works. In music, they have to go over each phrase. Contemplating the key signature, tempo, what instruments would play it and what emotion it would invoke--what the purpose of the piece will be, not to mention a series of other concerns they have about what they're composing.

It's amazing what composers and writers have in common. I may not be able to play Liszt or dazzle with a piano concerto, but put me in with paper and ink and I'll be off on this idea or that idea. Either way...emotions, hopes, dreams, fears, joy, and sorrow all play a part regardless of whether it's Beethoven or if it's Shakespeare.

So, what music makes you happy?

Have A Top-Notch Thursday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm Back, Did You Miss Me?

Happy Tuesday All,

Sorry for the long silence. Last week husband had off and I don't post on the weekends and Monday I was getting used to the usual schedule after the weekend.

I'm doing all right. Friday I went out with 3 of my best gal-pals and we had a blast. A lot of laughter and fun. I didn't get home until almost 2 a.m. I never thought I'd stay out that late--we didn't do a lot...mostly hung out at Starbucks, then at one of the ladies' apartment. But it was still fun and we all agreed we had to do that again (although I'm hoping that I'd get home before 2 a.m. next time LOL). Trust me, me being out that late is very unusual.

I'm so behind on scheduling my blog! I still need to email some people and see what I can figure out for this year. But don't worry, I'll get it pulled together.

I finished an ARC for an official blog review that will be posted in March and the novel is also releasing in March. I'm very excited about it and I'm looking forward to posting it. But I'm not telling what it is! You'll just have to wait and see.

So what's one question you'd want to ask one of your favorite authors?

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Gold Release & 2012 Anticipation

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

I've been absolutely remiss about this, but author, and pal of mine, Ciara Gold, has a new Romance released, On Timless Wings Of Gold, (title links to the All Romance Site--the publisher's website--where you can purchase this novel) and it looks so good. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. You can also pick it up on Champagne Books, or on Amazon. I didn't find it available through Barnes & Noble, so Nook users will either have to go through Ciara's website, or download Amazon For Computer. (There's also Nook for PC and Nook for Mac available, too).  Never read Ciara's work, want to get to know her a little better? Check out the interview I did with her November 2010.

So what's everyone reading these days? I'm getting back to reading MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi's Jennifer Scales Novel: Evangelina This YA Paranormal (shape shifters--including dragons). It's book 6 in her and Anthony's Jennifer Scales series.

This year is bubbling with excitement. A bunch of interesting things happening/being released (here's some upcoming books listed by month:

February 2012:  Looks like Anne Rice is going for werewolves. It will be interesting to see if her wolves become as popular as her vampires. Watch for The Wolf Gift February 14, 2012.

March 2012:  Kerrelyn Sparks fans will be delighted to know that her Love At Stake series will have a brand-new edition come March 27, 2012, when Phineas' story, Wanted: Undead Or Alive, is released. (I'm particularly looking forward to this release!)

EDIT 11:50 a.m. Sorry about the confusion, CC Hunter's book isn't being released until APRIL 2012...this is what I get for writing my blog posts after 1 a.m.!

April 2012:  I first heard about this author when I read her novel, As You Wish, dealing with a genie. Now YA author, Jackson Pearce, has a new novel coming out, entitled Purity and it looks intriguing. Release date: April 24, 2012.

**EDIT 11:51 a.m.:  Also, highly anticipated by me, is C.C. Hunter's book 3 of her Shadowfalls series, Taken At Dusk. It looks good!  (I accidentally had this under March, but it isn't being released until APRIL. So sorry for the confusion!)

May 2012:  You've heard me talk about this YA author. I am chomping at the bit to read book 2 in this series. Who is it? It's Josephine Angelini! In May 2012, Dreamless will be available. She had a bit of it up on her blog--and it was such a tease!




For those of you wanting to know about Christie Craig's next Hotter In Texas book (the sequel to Don't Mess With Texas), it's due out September 2012 and it's entitled:  Blame It On Texas.

Also, September 2012 will bring the release of book 3 of Sophie Jordan's Firelight series. Book 3 is entitled Hidden.

Anyway, be sure to check out Ciara God's On Timeless Wings Of Gold--like I said, gorgeous cover and it looks good!

What releases are you looking forward to this year?

Have A Treasure-Filled Tuesday!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Childhood Games

Happy Monday Everyone,

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Hope everyone has a good day.

When I was growing up we sometimes would get sidewalk chalk and take it out in the backyard. Among the hearts, flowers, names, and whatever else we'd draw, it wasn't uncommon for a Hopscotch Board to be drawn out in the driveway and used.

Hopscotch, Red Rover, Tag/Freeze Tag/TV Freeze Tag, Hide & Seek...these games have been passed on generation to generation.

There's something so free and easy about these games. Simple rules, fun, and kids get to just be kids.

So what was your favorite childhood game?

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

See You Monday...

Happy Friday Everyone,

You made it! It's Friday! Hope you all had a good week. Life keeps moving along on my end. It's been pretty chilly this week after all the rain we had on Monday.

I'm taking today off from posting, but I'll be back on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend. Hope you have some fun things planned!

See y'all on Monday!

Have A Fantastic Friday!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Running With Wolves

Happy Thursday Everyone,

There's a YA Paranormal trilogy by Andrea Creamer out there full of werewolves...only this isn't your ordinary werewolf--in fact, I kind of hestitate to call them "werewolf" because they're not really like that, they're not a typical werewolf at all. The last one came out January 3, 2012, and it was very good.

Calla Lily--Calla for short--has known all her life that as a Guardian, she was to serve and protect the Keepers and obey their every command. In return, they supply everything a Guardian could need.

In Nightshade, the first in the trilogy, Lumine, Calla's Keeper decides the Nightshades (Calla's wolf pack) and the Banes (rival pack) must unit. Lumine and the Bane's Keeper have arranged for Calla and Bane up-and-coming alpha, Ren to be mates. Calla understands this is how things must be. After all, her kind aren't allowed to choose very many things for themselves. They owe the Keepers everything.

Except, when she meets Shay everything changes.

Then enter the Seekers...enemies of Guardians and Keepers.

Wolfsbane picks up right where Nightshade leaves off and takes you on a ride through how the Seekers operate...and all the lies...when Calla learns the truth, what will she do?

Where Wolfsbane ends, Bloodrose opens. A war is brewing. A line has been drawn firmly in the sand. Guardians are choosing sides. Betrayals have happened. And Calla is torn between her love for Shay and her love for Ren.

The ultimate war between good and evil erupts and Calla is right smack in the middle of everything.

When the dust clears...where will it leave Calla, Ren, and Shay?

Love, loyalty, betrayal, lies, truth, good and evil...Andrea Creamer's Nightshade trilogy is full of surprises. You never know what to expect. The trilogy was like no werewolf (which, given what they are, I'm not sure if "werewolf" is the right term or not) novel I've ever read. Very different. I really enjoyed the first two, and the last has a quite an ending.

Find it at Amazon and Amazon Kindle, as well as Barnes & Noble and Barnes & Noble Nook.

Have A Tantalizing Thursday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's A Lion!

Happy Wednesday Everyone,


I had to flip this picture for
it to be vertical. Unfortunately
it's turned the wrong way.
the mantel is actually on
the other side of the tree.

Yay! I finally did it--I got the pictures taken of the lion ornament I got for Christmas. It's the one that represents my hero, Monroe. For those of you who missed the post about the ornament, you can read it here.

Also, if you'd like a chance to meet Monroe, up close and personal, please check out the guest post I did on author Tess St. John's blog.


Isn't he awesome? Very majestic.
I just love it!
 Monroe is the hero of my novel. He's a man who can turn into a lion (hence the ornament).

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this glimpse at Monroe. I've been delighted to have the ornament. From where I would sit on the couch I can see it hanging on the tree (we have yet to take our tree down, but I'm sure that's going to happen this week or this weekend).

So what's your favorite animal?

Have A Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bite That Beast!

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

Monday was a wet day in Texas. Very wet. But I'm happy to report that my end of town did all right (from what I could tell). Unfortunately, there were people who had to evacuate their homes in another town, and there was flooding in different areas. Hopefully those people's cars and homes don't sustain a lot of damage. For those of you who pray, please offer up a prayer for them.

I did remember to take a picture of my lion (Monroe, hero of my novel) ornament I've mentioned, but because I've lost the hook up wire for my camera, I'll have to go take it in and get it put on a disc so I can upload the photos (yes, I took more than one LOL).

So, I've finished reading all the books I got for Christmas. The one I haven't reported on is Tera Lynn Childs, Sweet Venom (YA Paranormal).

It's the story of 3 girls who look exactly alike. At first they don't know about each other.

Gretchen grew up with adoptive parents who weren't ideal. She ran away and eventually was taken in by Ursala, who taught her how to fight monsters and send them back to where they came from. Ursala also taught her that Gretchen was descent of the gorgon, Medusa, who, was falsely portrayed in mythology.

Unexpectedly, Gretchen comes across her sister--make that twin sister--while she's out fighting monsters.

Grace had no idea she had a sister. Let alone she was a descendant of Medusa. She'd always known she was adopted, but her parents were loving and kind. So she had no reason to look beyond her small bubble for anymore family.

When Grace meets Gretchen and finds out the truth, she's not sure what to think. But even though she tries to walk away, she finds she just can't.


Then enters Greer. Having been raised in wealth and privilege, Greer doesn't have time on her social calendar for insane people who, even though they look like her, can't possibly be her sisters. And, she can't be a descendant of Medusa, right?

But with monsters popping up all over the place and the rules changing, these triplets find out they need each other and they need to uncover the truth as to what's happened and where Ursala has gone.

Will the girls be able to uncover the truth about their destinies, or will the bounty on their heads prove the end of them and Medusa's legacy?

You can indulge in Greek Mythology, mystery, action, suspense, and a little bit of romance on the side in this incredible beginning to a brand new series by Tera Lynn Childs.

Find Sweet Venom at:  Amazon and Amazon Kindle, also find it on Barnes & Noble and on Barnes & Noble Nook.

Have A Thrilling Tuesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

That Yummy Sweetness

Happy Monday All,

Warning: The following post will cause chocolate lovers all over to drool uncontrollably on their keyboards. Please take the necessary precautions to protect your computers. Thank you.

Yes! Today I'm talking about chocolate. Rich,dark,milk,white, truffled, in cake, cookies, dripping-off-your-spoon-in-a-sundae, chocolate!

If you couldn't tell I'm something of a chocoholic. There. I said it. Chocoholic. No, don't be ashamed. There's redeeming features in chocolate.

Like dark chocolate is supposed to be good for you--okay, you're not supposed to gorge yourself on it like a thirsty person trapped in the dessert, but in reasonable (that is not huge amounts) it can have health benefits.

Chocolate contains magnesium, which women's bodies crave (this is one of the reasons some women really go for the chocolate). On the converse side, I suppose a woman could take magnesium supplements to curb her craving for a chocolate, but I leave that up to the woman and her doctor to decide. 

Chocolate can be a mood booster and who doesn't like to be in a good mood?

I've tried all kinds of brands. I've had Hershey's, I've had Godiva, Dilettante, Lindt, Russell Stover, Dove...you name it, it's possible I've tried it.

I'm partial to milk chocolate myself, but every now and again I find a dark chocolate I like (Godiva and Dilettante have good dark chocolate).

I love a good chewy, rich brownie (the chewy ones are better than the cake-like ones in my opinion).  Chocolate chip cookies, Chocolate Drop Cookies (which my paternal grandmother used to make and I have a sister who carries on the tradition--every now again someone else makes them, too).

The ooey, gooey goodness of a chocolate cake frosted over with chocolate icing is still some of my favorite cake. Growing up, I used to have chocolate cake with chocolate icing decorated with M&M's on my birthday.

Every now and again, when the weather is cold, I'll fix myself a cup of hot chocolate. I love it with whipped cream (although I rarely have it with whipped cream anymore because we usually don't have any whipped cream in the house). I used to like it with marshmallows, but I always forget to get them at the store LOL.

Now, that I've got you dreaming of that sweet taste of awesomeness, what's your favorite chocolate?

Craving more chocolate? Check out this Chocoholic Mystery series...where chocolate is the name of the game, and cracking the case the frosting on top. It's a series by JoAnna Carl--I've read a few of them and they're pretty good. You can find them at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Have A Mouth-Watering Monday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

So, How's Your First Week Of New Year?

Happy Friday Everyone,

Well the first work week of 2012 is coming to a close. I hope everyone has had a good week so far! Mine has been fun. I'm feeling a lot better, too.

I'm working on figuring out the WIPs (Works In Progress) and catching up on my reading. I've got 2 books I'm reading at once and they're both good. I'll probably talk about them next week.

Generally I don't make New Year's Resolutions, however, a new year feels like a chance to improve oneself and reach out to those goals we keep setting. There's a sense of hope hanging in the air and I figure why not grab that hope, and hold on? I think I'll make it a part of what I resolve for the new year. To believe in achieving my goals.

What about you? What are your hopes for 2012?

Have A Fabulous Friday!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Flying With Dragons

Happy Thursday All,

We're almost near the end of the books I got for Christmas...however I still have today's and then one more (although the last one will probably be in one of next week's posts).

I haven't seen a lot in YA, or Romance (I could be wrong, but it's not been my experience). But what I have read of dragons in YA and Romance, I've really liked.

After reading Sophie Jordan's Firelight and finding out there was a sequel, I knew I'd want to read it. I put Vanish on my wish list for Christmas and figured if I didn't get it I'd pick a copy up, myself. I was delighted to receive it from my sister (the one who gave me the really awesome lion ornament, which holds a particular significance for me, and I still need to take a picture of it!)

Believe me, Vanish did not disappoint! If you haven't read Firelight, I strongly recommend you do that before reading Vanish.


Jacinda finds herself back among her own kind (the draki--people who can turn themselves into dragons). Unfortunately, after she had "manifested" in front of humans (showed them her dragon side)--and not just any humans...but hunters, the pride isn't exactly the most friendly bunch to her.

Despite the pride's general feelings, Cassain, Jacinda's sister, and Jacinda's mother, stand by her.

Originally I was unsure about Cassain, but in the sequel I got the feeling he really did care for Jacinda. That it wasn't just because she was a fire breather (a rare quality) but because of who she is.

Yet, despite all his attention, Jacinda can't forget the human/hunter, Will. A young man she fell in love with, a young man definitely in love with her and who promised he'd find her again.

Can Jacinda prove herself to the pride and forget Will...or will her heart betray her?

You can pick up a copy of Firelight and/or Vanish from Amazon and/or Amazon Kindle as well as on Barnes & Noble and/or Barnes & Noble Nook.

I should've shared this information a long time ago (and most of all whenever I talked about an e-book) and I'm sorry I haven't.  Let me remedy that immediately:

Don't have an E-Reader?

No problem!

You can download for free on to computer: 

Click here for Barnes & Noble Nook on computer (includes information on Nook for other devices as well)

Click here for Amazon Kindle on computer (includes information on Kindle for other devices as well).

Have A Tantalizing Thursday!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weave Through Time A Bit Of Celtic Magic

Happy Wednesday Everybody,

I forgot to let you all know that Andrea Creamer's Bloodrose, book 3 in her Nightshade series came out yesterday. I've got it and am looking forward to reading it...if you haven't read this series, it's a YA Paranormal...wolves done differently...not your typical werewolf fare at all. Really good. If you haven't checked out Nightshade I recommend it.

Now, for anyone who didn't read the comments in the comments section of yesterday's post, I warned a commenter that I'd be posting about more books I've read. After all, I mentioned I got THREE books for Christmas and I'm now reading last one. Today I'm going to talk about one of the ones I received and tomorrow I'll talk about the other (I don't know when I'll talk about the last one, I still have to finish reading it).

The first book I chose to read out of my Christmas presents was Lesley Livingston's Once Every Never. I chose it because it was a gift from my offspring and being a mom I thought "Hey, even if they don't ask, I should go ahead and read that one first." Plus I loved Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange Trilogy (great YA fantasy books, very well written, absolutely recommend).

A wonderful thing about Lesley is she takes mythology, or in this case, history and mythology, and fills in the blanks with such talent you start to believe it's possible:

Clare, short for Clarinet (her parents are musicians), finds herself spending the summer with her aunt, an archaeologist, and her best friend.

Clare's prepared for being watched like a hawk (after all, when you end up having a wild party and your folks find out, you're bound to be watched more carefully than before). She's also coming to terms with the fact that despite being in London, the likelihood of her doing any shopping at the famous Harrod's or going anywhere else like that is nonexistent. So...being abroad may not be as exciting as Clare hoped.

However, a touch to a priceless artifact triggers blood curse magic, and Clare realizes her humdrum existence is about to become anything but ordinary!

Once Every Never deals with Britain's Celtic Queen, Boudicca. I didn't find much details on the site I looked at, but it was really something to contemplate just how much research Lesley must have had to do for this novel. Not only that, but to fill in where history books leave gaps.



When picking up this book, don't expect it to be like her Wondrous Strange Trilogy. That is doing Once Every Never a disservice. This novel stands on its own. It's not a branch off of Wondrous Strange and has nothing to do with that trilogy. Once Every Never is its own story.

It wouldn't surprise me if Once Every Never has a sequel, however, I can also see it as a stand-alone. I enjoyed it. It's action, history, magic, and romance all packed up into one YA Fantasy novel.

Find it on:  Amazon (paperback) and Barnes & Noble (paperback).  (Note:  I didn't see it available on Kindle or Nook).

Have A Whimsical Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

So You Wanna Date A Vampire...

Happy Tuesday All,

Recently I found out that Beth Fantaskey's Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side (YA Paranormal) was out on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook for free for a limited time. Having seen this book in stores and curious about it, I figured I'd go ahead and check it out.

Some people described the story as "tongue in cheek". I personally, just plain enjoyed it.

There was a scene that I excitedly told a friend was, "romantic without being romantic." That is, you could sense the romance there, even if the scene itself wasn't strictly romantic. That kind of writing is way cool.

When Lucius, a member of Romanian vampire royalty, first arrives in the rural American town he's not quite sure what to expect. At first he's appalled by the "peasant" way folks live. Gradually, though, he becomes intrigued.

Jessica, the heroine, finds herself caught between the world she knows, and a world she's being pulled into. How does she reconcile what she always thought she was, with what she's to become? How can she agree to marry Lucius and honor a pact that was made at the time of her birth, when her analytical mind can't even begin to process the idea that vampires are real?

Things get sticky when vengeful humans get involved. And even stickier the moment elders in the vampire community get tired of waiting for the pact to be honored.

For me, I was sad when it ended. I really got into it and wanted more. Fortunately, the sequel, Jessica Rules The Dark Side, is due out January 10, 2012, so there isn't long to wait.

Have A Tantalizing Tuesday!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year: 2012!

Happy New Year & Happy Monday Everyone!

Hope everyone has a safe, wonderful, and blessed new year!

2012 has started off pretty well for me so far. I'm feeling much better (thank you to everyone for the well wishes and support). I finished reading a couple of books that I plan on talking about on here this week.

As I'm entering the 3rd year of working on this blog, I'd like your feedback. Not counting giveaways (because I think we all look forward to those), what posts on here do you like the best? Please let me know in the comment section of this post.

Have A Marvelous Monday!