I’m a Loser, Baby. A NaNoWriMo Loser.

It’s November again. National Novel Writing Month. I can’t count how many times I’ve attempted to write 50,000 words in one month and not once have I achieved this lofty goal.

This month, I decided not to even try to reach 50,000 words. I set my own goal. Eleven days into it, I’m giving up. I’m done.

Why?

Last night, I went out and was listening to karaoke and enjoying some time out. Sitting at a bar, even in a restaurant, has always been my brainstorming time. I write notes on napkins and log things in memos on my phone. Last night was no different. I was getting all kinds of future writing ideas. What was I not doing? Writing. I wasn’t logging those word counts. As I realized this, I knew that NaNoWriMo was simply not working for me.

You see, when writing starts to become a “job” for me, I start to lose interest. I know that to write books, you have to sit and write, but I want it to be because I enjoy it. Putting those words down is a stress reliever for me. When it becomes something that causes stress, it’s time for me to take a step back and reevaluate. I did that. In doing so, I realized that even when it’s not NaNoWriMo, I’m pushing myself too hard. There are many things I want to write, blogs included, and I’m not doing it. It’s time for me to slow down and enjoy the process.

I so admire the people that can win NaNoWriMo.  And I enjoy doing word sprints and the camaraderie that results from those. I’m definitely not saying it’s a bad thing. Writer’s supporting each other to reach their goals and words being written in droves can never be a bad thing. It’s simply not MY thing.

I’m a loser, baby. And I’m okay with it.

Peace!

I’m out!

 

A House Divided, by Deborah Leblanc

ahdA House Divided

by: Deborah Leblanc

Book Synopsis:

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana’s largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story, clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as it is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family- a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house, including a mother who will destroy anyone who keeps her apart from her children.

My Review:

5 STARS!!!

I saw Deborah LeBlanc at a writer’s conference, and knew I wanted to read one of her books.  How could a ghost hunter not have a great paranormal novel? I picked up A House Divided, and once I started reading, I could not put it down.

First, I love books set in south Louisiana written by local authors. LeBlanc does a great job of capturing the local color and character of Cajun country. Her characters feel like people I would meet while standing in line for groceries.

Second, the storyline moved at a perfect pace. I was able to read this book in two days, its flow was so smooth. I kept turning pages wanting to see what was coming next. The story was also unique. Haunted house stories can become clichéd and predictable, and this book was neither.

The story is about a house that is literally split in half. A local contractor purchases the huge house and moves it to another town. In the process, he divides the house into two sections. Each has an apartment on the top floor and a business on the bottom. Lara and Tawana, take one section and open a beauty salon. Matt Daigle opens a new location for his successful café. Soon after opening, the euphoria of new beginnings is replaced with fear. Waking up one morning, the inhabitants of the house find flocks of dead birds littering their yards. And that’s only the beginning…..

What happens later is a journey through a family’s history that will leave one of the characters reeling.

I give this book five stars for a flawless Southern ghost story.

Buy Link:

Link: http://a.co/bOXqOdD

A Mardi Gras Themed Take-Over!

mardi-gras-takeover

Join author A.L. Vincent and six other authors for a Mardi Gras themed take-over on Sunday February 19th from noon until seven (CST). It’s a multi-genre event too, so there’s something in it for everyone one. Come on down and laissez les bon temp rouler (let the good times roll)!

Author Lineup:

12:00-1:00 A.L. Vincent
1:00-2:00 KM McFarland
2:00-3:00 Tanya Sands
3:00-4:00 Debbie DeLouise
4:00-5:00 Amy Holmes McClung.
5:00-6:00
6:00-7:00 Natalina Bell

https://www.facebook.com/events/1280766961983668/

Can’t wait to see you all there!

 

Against All Odds

Music always plays a big role in my novels. It inspires scenes, lines, and even entire story lines sometimes. One day while I was driving, “Against All Odds” came on the radio and I got the chills. This was Grace and Gabe’s song. I knew I had to incorporate this song into my book. This excerpt is that scene. I’ve also included the YouTube link to the song for your listening pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy!

from Running on Empty

Back at the Redbird Inn, later that afternoon, Gabe slid the piano cover open and ran his fingers along the smooth, worn, black-and-white keys. He had learned how to play music here with Grams looking on and listening. He played a few notes to get a feel for the instrument again. As he played, his mind drifted back to high school when he and Grace would sit here practicing whatever song they were working on at the time.

Automatically, his fingers started playing the old Phil Collins song “Against All Odds.”

He sang softly as his fingers traveled over the keyboard. He had convinced her to sing the song as a duet for the prom, hoping she would see how badly he was crushing on her. But she never had. She had left for New Orleans soon after that to attend the University of New Orleans on a music scholarship. He and Bennett moved to Austin, where there were more opportunities for musicians trying to make it big.

He sang quietly, still playing the old song, hoping Grace would take a look at him now.

“You’re still hung up on Grace, aren’t you?” Glinda asked from the doorway.

Gabe stopped singing, but not playing, his fingers still as restless as his mind.

“I am.”

She smiled and came to sit beside him on the stool. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. I saw her on the beach this morning while I was fishing.”

“And?”

Gabe thought of the dark circles under Grace’s eyes. “I don’t know, Grandma. Something seems different.”

“Like what?”

“It’s a look in her eyes. I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Grace is a tough girl. She’ll make it through whatever it is. She does have that soft side though.”

He laughed. “Grace? Soft?”

“She is, Gabe. Look at her with Ryder, or Joey, or that crazy dog of hers. She doesn’t love easily, but she loves with all her heart when she does.”

He nodded and, suddenly feeling uncomfortable, was quiet.

“Gabriel?” Glinda asked, patting him on the knee. “Since you’re here, how about you help me out with some repairs around the place? A little hammering and nailing might be what you need to keep that mind of yours occupied. We can give Noah a little break.”

He smiled and mentally shook off the past. “Of course, Grams. Just let me know what you need.” He slid the piano cover shut and followed Glinda into the kitchen.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/32Ea9P3

 

Great Reads for 99 Cents!

Looking for some great new reads? I’ve ran across a few lately that are really good (I’ve several of them), and they’re only ninety-nine pennies! There’s even two box sets with multiple full-length novels. There’s twelve novels here for less than five bucks. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Well, I’ve got that covered too, as this list has different genres as well. Buy links are included, so get clicking and dive in!

  1. Sex, Blood, Rock ‘N’ Roll &Vampyr by KM McFarland

    West Skmmcide’s frontman, Quinn Forrester, and the band’s lead guitarist, Jeff West, were like brothers, so when Quinn mysteriously disappeared in 1989, Jeff suspected foul play. With no evidence to back up his suspicions, Jeff was not able to convince the authorities. What Jeff does not know is that Quinn became a vampire that night and hid away in secret in the dark shadows of New Orleans.

    Years later when Quinn and his daughter, Nadia, formed a nightclub act, Quinn stepped back into the local spotlight. Vampires do not age as mortals do, so to explain that Quinn reinvented himself as his son.

    Twenty-five years after Quinn’s sudden unexplained departure from the band, the opening of an art gallery brings Jeff to New Orleans. A beautiful artist, Quinn’s lookalike son, a vampire tour and a series of events lead Jeff to Quinn. Will Jeff finally uncover the shocking truth about what happened to Quinn?

    Amazon Buy Link:  http://a.co/eFfnO3K

2.  Love at First Sit, by Ysa Arcangel

lovyaRoxanne Mabini, a twenty-five-year-old single mother of twins, joined a speed-dating event just for fun and to get “speed-dating” checked off her bucket list. She wasn’t looking for anything.

…Until the devastatingly handsome bartender, Aloysius “Wish” Gregorio, stepped up to fill in for the lack of male participants, mesmerizing Roxanne. Literally, he was every girl’s wish.

Finally, she’s met a man who shares her interests. But will a girl whose heart has been shred to pieces learn to trust and love again?

When Roxanne’s first love and the father of her children, Chris, drops back into her life, old flames reignite. Chris has been waiting for the right time ever since he was forced to leave her, and now he aims to win her back.

Will the chemistry and powerful connection between Roxanne and Wish be strong enough to fight the old flame that is once again burning bright?

Roxanne must make a big decision: provide a complete family to her children, or share her life with her heart’s desire. Will she find love, lose it, or know when to walk away?

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/18Q4Obh

3. The Wilde Sisters (Books 1-3)

wsSWEET ON YOU – BOOK #1

An extravagant cake design brings small town baker Trent Kipson to fame…

After gaining social media exposure of his culinary art, Trent’s cake design goes viral. Soon he’s contacted by the Cooking Network to host a new show in California. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for the owner of a modest shop in Portland, Maine, and the financial freedom the network offers could be the answer to all of his monetary problems.

Fitness instructor Rayne Wilde wants the life every small-town girl dreams of…

Rayne wishes for a future full of romance and the pitter-patter of little feet. She wants it all, including a white picket fence and a dog named Spot—which is exactly why she refuses to sleep with Trent, the sexy man who attends her Zumba classes. After a series of dead-end relationships, this time she really is in love. Trent is special, and the fear of letting him slip through her fingers keeps her advances at bay.

Life is waiting—all it takes is a leap of faith…

As their friendship grows and skeletons creep out of their closets, their relationship is put to the test. Stakes get higher, and the spark between them burns hotter than ever before.

Can they handle the heat when life-changing secrets are exposed, or will the fear of being burned send them on two different paths?

THEN CAME YOU – BOOK #2

Thyme Wilde doesn’t make long-term decisions—until she falls in love with one…

Easily bored and quickly distracted, Thyme enjoys her freedom, so being a temp at her sister’s company is the perfect job. But when she takes a position as a nanny, she instantly falls in love with the five-year-old princess named Maddie—and just two months later, Maddie’s parents are killed in a plane crash, leaving Thyme in an unfamiliar role of responsibility.

Multi-millionaire architect Grayson Montgomery lives in the lap of luxury—but at a cost…

Being the sole heir of his family’s fashion empire and his father’s architectural firm, Grayson has never lacked for anything. But in return, he must stay subservient to the matriarch of his family—his grandmother—and date the heiress of their largest business partner. The only freedom Grayson has is his architectural designs, which are his true passion.

One day changes Grayson’s future forever…

A lawyer summons Grayson to Maine for the reading of the will of a woman he once knew. He doesn’t expect to be named the father of a five-year-old orphan. Then he meets his newly-discovered daughter—and her incredibly sexy nanny.

While acting as Maddie’s loyal nanny, Thyme develops feelings for her new employer that are more than professional. And after several passionate nights with Grayson, it’s clear the feeling is mutual.

When it’s made evident Grayson sees her as a convenient placeholder, Thyme must push aside her desires and put Maddie above herself—even if it means sacrificing her heart to do it.

WILDE FOR YOU – BOOK #3

Event planner Sage Wilde has lots of lists and no time for a relationship…

Precise to a fault, Sage plans everything—meetings, meals, and sex. But when she learns her youngest sister can’t carry a child, she steps up and commits to the role of a surrogate mother. It’s not out of sentiment, because Sage doesn’t do love or touchy-feely, but out of practicality. She doesn’t plan on marrying or having children, so why not rent out her unused space, right?

Luke Riley is a sexy firefighter who’s looking for love in all the wrong places…

Luke’s morning gets a little brighter when he’s called to a clinic and spots a blonde beauty wearing killer red boots. Though she doesn’t seem interested, he manages to introduce himself. It’s unusual for a woman to push away his advances, but Luke is attracted to her confident nature and strong personality. It’s not long before he wears her down, and she finally agrees to a date.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/1VBTA3s

4. Pink Hearts: A Romance Collection

ph

This one is a pre-order, available January 31st.

Hot, steamy, sexy romance…just in time for Valentines Day!

We have 7 Full length Contemporary Romance novels by International and best selling authors. Some are sweet, some are sexy, but they all have one thing in common…love is definitely in the air! So curl up with your book boyfriend and enjoy…

Tangled Up In You by A.L. Vincent
Guarded Heart by C.A. Harms
Love Always, Kate by D. Nichole King
Secondhand Sinners by Genevieve Lynne
Sweet On You by Marianne Rice
Somewhere In Between by Samatha Harris
The Girl With Hearts by Savannah Blevins

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/2rrpZV3

That’s it, my friends! Twelve books for less than five bucks! Don’t forget to help an author out too, leave a review. Reviews help with Amazon sales, and good ones keep us going when the muse is unkind. 🙂

Happy reading!

I’m out!

 

 

Halloween Reads: Cursed by Nykki Mills

cursed

Buy links:

(Please include Amazon US, UK, AU, & CA. Include previous book links as well.)

US- http://amzn.to/2b1HfIa

UK- http://amzn.to/2dtwamv

AU- http://amzn.to/2dODrO7

CA- http://amzn.to/2d4fluC

Book’s blurb:

Cursed

The line between sanity and sobriety can quickly fade when you can talk to the dead…

 Gina Flinn is no stranger to the dark side. She’s been walking the tightrope with death for years. Plagued with abnormal abilities ranging from picking up old memories to reading auras, Gina found herself in a downward spiral into drugs and alcohol.

She’s been clean and sober for a year now, but when she starts seeing the pesky ghost of the old lady down the street, things start to unravel. It’s a minor annoyance until a ghost of a woman in red shows up and starts tormenting Gina with visions of a violent past

Seeing a side of death that no one should leads Gina straight into Ben Peterson’s path…

 In an attempt reunite the old lady with her beloved cat, Gina runs into Ben, who is eager to help her. But no one can help her—the woman in red is relentless, which forces Gina to turn back to the comfort of intoxication. She blacks out and wakes up in bed with Ben, only to find herself on the wrong side of the law.

Gina got into a fight with one of her classmates during her blackout, and now the girl is missing…

Gina is the number one suspect, and with her history of substance abuse and erratic behavior, everyone is sure she’s guilty. She knows she’s innocent and it all leads back to the woman in red.

But with the police breathing down her neck, and Ben the only person willing to believe her story, Gina must find a way to prove her innocence or finally accept that maybe she really is…

Playlist songs and/or trailer: (if you have them)

Hells Bells- AC/DC

You shook me all night long AC/DC

Mother- Danzig

I don’t care- Apocalyptica

Dark Horse- Katy Perry

Say you’ll haunt me –Stone Sour

My Derailment- Adelitas Way

Stay- Rihanna

Ready for Love- Bad Company (This song was a played on repeat so much for scenes with Gina and Ben.)

Guys, Tattoos, and Anne Rice

It’s an awful truth that suffering can deepen us, give a greater luster to our colors, a richer resonance to our words. That is, if it doesn’t destroy us, if it doesn’t burn away the optimism and the spirit, the capacity for visions, and the respect for simple yet indispensable things.”

“Finally those you love are simply…those you love.”

–quotes from Lestat in Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned.

As some of you know, I’m considering getting a tattoo next week in honor of my brother’s memory. I’ve been thinking about getting one for some time. At first, I wanted to get the Chinese symbol for life. A friend of Scott’s told us that he had planned to get that particular tattoo when he got back home from Iraq the last time. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it back that time. So, that was the tattoo I was going to get. Either the timing wasn’t right, or I didn’t have the extra funds to justify it, or one time both was right and I wasn’t right. I was sick.

When I started thinking about getting one, I immediately started asking people questions. When I bartended, if someone had a tattoo, I would ask, “What is it?” (One friend of mine has an awesome tribal tattoo). My second question was always, “Why did you get it?”, and the third, of course, “How bad did it hurt?”

The answer to the third always varied based on machismo and the body part the tat was applied to.

I don’t think that tattoos have the same stigma they had years ago. I remember when tatoos were something only the bad boys had. And if you were a girl with a tatoo, that was completely taboo. Even in my wild teenage years when I wore all black, had big multi-colored hair, ripped jeans, and anything else I could get away with, I NEVER considered a tattoo.

Maybe a bit of that wild teenager is still a part of me. That girl that so loved that bad boys, but I love a guy with a tattoo. Not too many of course, there can be tattoo overkill. If a guy has well-defined arms, and a tattoo highlighting those well-defined arms, my eyes glaze over. Great arms, a tattoo, and a great sense of  humor? I make the Homer Simpson noise. Add a British accent to all that, and I become a giddy school girl again. (There’s been some new and interesting additions to the D.J.’s regular crowd recently.)

Recently, I downloaded StumbleUpon after reading that this site was a great way to increase blog traffic. I am hooked. You select a list of interests, download the toolbar, and when you have free time, or are bored, click on the icon and it shows you websites based on your interests as rated by other members.

I, of course, chose books. Which brings me to the quotes I posted earlier. One of the sites I stumbled upon this morning was Literary Tattoos. I was impressed by what people chose.

“Delete the Adjectives” from the quote in To Kill A Mockingbird, “Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”

 

 

 

 

“And the tree was happy.” from Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.

 

 

 

 

 

“Mischief Managed” from Harry Potter.

 

 

 

 

 

“I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.”

– Sylvia Plath, The Journals of Sylvia Plath

What would I choose if I were to do a literary tattoo? It would be a toss-up between the two quotes I posted in the beginning. The first always stuck with me after Scott died. It always made me think, as long as I never gave up hope, I’d be okay. Changed, but okay.

The second, I found when looking for the first one. It’s simple and it’s true. The ones you love are the ones you love. And I am lucky to have the friends and family that this quote describes.

So, what tattoo am I getting? The Chinese symbol for Rooster. If I don’t chicken out before then. I have chosen two friends to go with me, friends that won’t baby me, who will in fact tell me to “Suck it up and just do it!” So, who knows, maybe this time next week, I’ll have a birthday hangover and a shiny new tattoo. 🙂

Until next time…..

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http://www.contrariwise.org/category/books/

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