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Fiction Friday – at least for another 1 hour, anyway

I am a bit late posting this due to life being weird, I guess. Today was the last day of my vacation from work and my decided I needed more sleep than I thought which put me behind all day. #nofair

Annnyway, here’s today’s reviews.

As a reminder here is my reviewing system:

Yay – a definitely good read and I recommend highly.
Maybe – Read at your own risk.
Nay – Do not read or a DNF. Do not recommend.

I only have three books for you today. I have been so slow as of late.

~Fire Magic by Holly Hook (ARC) – Book 2 in her Abnormals Underground series. A definite yay. Very exciting, lots of action, and more development between the two main characters (I’ve been shipping them so hard, y’all). Stay tuned for my more complete (and hopefully more coherent) review on Amazon.

~Heads Will Roll by Joanie Chevalier – This one’s a maybe. I bought it on a whim because it dealt with head transplantation. Yeah. It’s fiction, and I was intrigued by the blurb. This book takes place in an unspecified time when head transplantation is now reality and there is an evil scientist doing it for the general public. There are three main characters who want it badly: a trophy wife looking for a new body (and the one she has is fine, apparently), a guy who’s in a wheelchair who has a condition that will kill him if he doesn’t get a new body (I don’t recall if his condition was ever named), and an Oriental girl whose father feels she is too overweight and won’t find a good husband, and so wants her to have the surgery. And they all feel they are worthy, but the doctor only does it for certain people. (I believe. The details are hazy now). I would have liked to see the aftermath of the surgeries more. Most of the book was about the various schemes and machinations of these three people trying to get the doctor to do the surgery on them. One takes very drastic action. It’s actually kind of scary. And what we do see of the aftermath…at the very end…let’s just say that the grass is not always greener on the other side. An okay book. I just wasn’t terribly moved by it. But it’s a quick read and you won’t be bored, at least.

~How to 3X Your Productivity Within a Month by Steve Pavlina – Nonfiction. A definite yay. It’s short and sweet, and my only real complaint is that it’s too short! But the methods Pavlina talks about are great, and are immediately able to be implemented if one so chooses. Good stuff.

And that’s it for this edition. Hopefully I’ll have more soon!

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Fiction Friday – May 19th edition

Today I’ve got three books to discuss. I used to read faster than this, I swear!

A reminder of the grading scale:

Yay – Phenomenal book, could not put down, amazing. A winner for sure.
Maybe – Not quite a yay, but not horrid either. Read at your own risk
Nay – For whatever reason, I didn’t like it. Would not recommend.

Affiliate disclaimer: Yes, the links used in this post are Amazon affiliate links, fyi.

Okay, here we go!

The Chosen by JR Ward – OMG, a total yay! I’ll admit, this is an ongoing series, and I wasn’t a fan of the heroine. Or the hero, actually. They both grew on me. It was actually a great story. Of course, there are several subplots progressing, and those were good, too.

This was basically a story of forbidden love. The hero committed treason against his king, and the heroine knowingly saw him in secret…and when the secret is revealed…oh boy…you have to read it to believe it. It ends happily though. πŸ™‚

If you haven’t checked out this series, what are you waiting for? Sexy vampires, a fallen angel, scary villains, love stories that’ll knock your socks off and make you cry at times…yeah, they’re that good. Start with Dark Lover, book 1. That one had me totally hooked. (And I still love Wrath, the hero of that book, the best. And his mate, Beth.)

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer – A definite yay! This one caught my eye because it is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty…but…it’s about sisters. One of them lost her sight to a faerie when she was 2, and the other lost her sense of touch and voice to another faerie at birth. They are inseparable…until one has to marry the prince of a nearby kingdom. The sister left behind runs away…and then is pricked by a spindle…and falls asleep…but there’s so much more to it then that. There are two faeries, twin sisters, who are important in the story. It is a story of love, and sacrifice, and sisterly bonds. It wowed me. Warning though: it does end on a cliffhanger. There is a sequel called Winter Glass.

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe – This one is a paranormal young adult book about a girl who can see and speak with ghosts. Apparently the only one. Her sister, who died 4 years earlier, is still hanging around. When one of her classmates wants her to find and talk to his deceased mother for him, it sets a whole chain of events into motion. I had to feel for the protagonist, Cass, because she was an outcast and had been bullied — just like I had been when I was in school. (Except without the ghosts, of course!). Cass uses the ghosts who inhabit her school to get dirt on other people, and she calls them on their nefarious deeds. And…she discovers that that might not be the wisest — or most important — thing. I really enjoyed it, and really liked the ending. A definite yay.

Okay, you get a bonus one. I’m going to start reading book 2 of this series, so here’s my thoughts on book 1:

Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand – Β A yay for sure. This book is about “imitations” – people who are basically clones of important people. They are created to be used if the important person gets killed, needs an organ, etc. They study their “Authentic” so they can be completely believable if they have to take the Authentic’s place. And this is what happens to Ven, the Imitation of Raven, the daughter of an Important Person. There’s a threat to her life, and Ven is called into service. But all is not what it seems, and there are secrets to be uncovered. And of course, there’s a romance, too. πŸ˜‰

So I’m diving into book 2, Deviation, soon. Stay tuned for my thoughts on that.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

What are you reading right now? Got any recommendations?

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Fiction Friday

New feature here at the blog. I belong to four ARC teams and I am basically reading at least two books at any one time. So, thought you might find my thoughts interesting.

I will be giving some quickie reviews of books I’ve read recently. No spoilers!

Here’s the grading scale:

Yay – Phenomenal book, could not put down, amazing. A winner for sure
Maybe – Not quite a yay, but not horrid either. Read at your own risk
Nay – For whatever reason, I didn’t like it. Would not recommend.

Affiliate disclaimer: Yes, the links used in this post are Amazon affiliate links, fyi.

So let’s get down to it, shall we?

~Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh – a strong yay. Her Guild Hunter books are always amazing. This one had quite the mystery, and an interesting one at that. I highly recommend it.

~Blood Magic by Holly Hook (ARC) – A definite yay. Intriguing world, intriguing main character, a good start to a series. Releases 5/15.

~The Devil’s Kiss series boxed set by Gemma James – A definite yay. These books were hot, hot, hot. Hardcore BDSM, just fyi.Β It’s about a woman who’s caught embezzling money from the company she works for. Instead of having her arrested, her very dominant boss demands that she become his submissive.

~Blood Vow by JR Ward – Another yay, for real. Love her books. This new spin-off series so far is phenomenal. Axe and Elise were hot. Scorching hot.

~Dying for a Living by Kory M. Scrum – Another yay, and a very unique, interesting series about a girl who’s a necronite – basically she dies so others don’t have to. There is a neat mystery as well.

~Bitter Thirst by SM Reine – another yay. She’s always a yay, especially with this series. I absolutely love the main character Cesar, and all the trouble he gets into. This one concerns a cult infiltrating the Office of Preternatural Affairs, a mysterious and gruesome death, and some family issues. Link to my review

~PODS! and other Supernatural Tales by D.F. Holland – another yay! New to me author. Loved all of the stories and the creepy factor. Awesome. Link to my review

That’s all for today. Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Or do any of these appeal to you? Let me know in comments.

Next in the queue (subject to change at will):

White Death by Chris Tortora (ARC)
Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Currently reading:

The Chosen by JR Ward

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#ROW80 Final Check-in Round 4

I’ve decided to post my last check-in today because as of tomorrow, I will be too busy to post on the 22nd.

This has been a busy round for me, and not without problems (losing revisions, my computer being in service for 11 days, being severely sleep deprived due to eczema). I think I did pretty well despite my issues. There are things I needed to let go in order to get the things I needed to get done done, which sucks. I plan to do better in the new year.

So, here’s how I did (gulp):

~Finish the Ever Touched revision. Β I can do this.πŸ™‚Β <–DONE and on time.
~Stay on top of FYFB class. Taking a class through Monica Leonelle. It happens to be going on at the same time as my revision, but might as well go all in. It’s three months. Should be fun.πŸ™‚Β <–NOT DONE. As things got busier (revision + 2 editing jobs), I had to drop this out of necessity. Once things calm down, I’ll be catching up and hopefully staying on track.
~Make a ruling on my next project and start prepping (contenders are Fireborn, which needs a revision, Survivor, which needs a rewrite, and Death Dancer, which needs some tweaking β€” and may be my next Turtleduck Press release.)Β <–DONE! Fireborn is the next project. The second half needs to be reworked. I hope to release it in 2017.
~Drink 1 glass of water 5x a week <–DONE!
~Exercise 2x a week – <–NOT DONE. Being chained to the desk sucks. I plan to get better with this in 2017.
~Do All the Things related to anthology release (TBD β€” release is Nov 15th) <–DONE, (even though I lost my revisions on 21 pages and had to work like a mad thing to catch back up) and the anthology released as planned. πŸ™‚Β 
~Keep up on reviews (I’m on 4 ARC teams)Β <–DONE, for the most part. Still slightly behind, but I’m doing okay.
~Lose 5 pounds. <–DONE, and NOT DONE. Lost 5 pounds, gained 5 pounds, and lost 3. So a total loss of 3 pounds. Still better than nothing!
~Take more pictures: infrared and normal. <–NOT DONE. Had planned on it with hubby but got sick both times. Another thing I need to pick back up in 2017.
~Post-process infrared pics from camping trip <–NOT DONE. Wanted to, but got too busy!
~Chocolate consumption report, as always! <–DONE!

Final chocolate consumption report – This round, I got addicted to Snickerdoodles and Twizzlers, so my consumption went way down.I still love chocolate, no issue there, but I found other things as well. Will keep reporting on it in 2017. πŸ˜‰

So that’s it for this round. I hope you all have a great, safe holiday season and I’ll see you for round 1 in 2017! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. πŸ™‚

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#ROW80 Check-in Dec.11th

I’m baaaack!

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. First, I finished the Ever Touched revision on time, but it was a struggle. I also got a freelance editing job in the midst of that, which was great, but needed to be done, so I wasn’t able to do much else (but the extra money was worth it!). And I have another one coming in tomorrow, which is great. πŸ™‚

Then…I started getting these odd, itchy blisters on my hands and feet. The itching was miserable. I couldn’t sleep for at least a week. I finally got the brilliant idea of taking Benadryl before bed so I could sleep, except that really made me groggy in the morning. I couldn’t take hot showers b/c the heat would make the itching exponentially worse. All in all, I was miserable and a bit freaked out.

Long story short — I saw my doctor on Friday and he said it is vesicular eczema, which only affects the hands and feet. Apparently it could have started due to an allergy, but maybe not (we’ve racked our brains and can’t come up with anything). My dad had atopic eczema, and I guess there’s a genetic component to all of this. He gave me a shot of steroids (which I’m not sure helped), a prescription strength anti-itch cream, and told me to make sure I put moisturizer on myself every day indefinitely, as my skin is too dry (always in the winter). If I’m not better in one week, I’ll need to call him and probably come in again.

I can’t even tell you how miserable this is. Besides being itchy all the time, I have to constantly be aware of how warm I get b/c that affects it. I don’t sleep with many covers, so most of the time I’m freezing. I’m also swollen from the steroids, so I can’t wear my wedding rings or my anniversary ring, which I know is not huge and is temporary, but I have never not worn them and my hands feel naked. All my scratching can lead to a skin infection, so I’m worried about that as well. The funny thing? I figured this out myself. I did some research and saw pictures, and they looked just like my hands. But of course I needed confirmation of that, so I saw the doctor.I just want this to go away! I’m afraid it’s going to linger, and I’ll have to battle this for awhile and I really don’t want to.

But I guess of all the things that could be happening, this is relatively minor. Just a nuisance. But still…

So I haven’t done much of anything. But here’s the rundown:

Ever Touched revision – DONE and turned in 12/1. I get it back January 1st for the first round of revisions.

FYFB class – SO behind, not even funny. But I will be working on it today a bit.

Reviews – Somewhat caught up, but I have a few that need to be done like right now…

Exercise – Are you kidding me? Nope.

Water – Pretty much 5x a week, yay!

Weight – Lost 3 pounds, yay!

Chocolate consumption – Not a lot, really. WW Sundaes, chocolate-caramel thingies, hot chocolate. Lots of Twizzlers and Snickerdoodles.

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#ROW80 Check-in Nov. 20th

princess-antho-cover-image-1-1-642x1024
This is the cover for our anthology. πŸ™‚

I’ve been really busy revising, and haven’t had time to post. My computer is working great, thankfully. πŸ™‚ Time is FLYING. I can’t even believe we’re about a month away from Christmas. Holy smokes.

News on our anthology: To Rule the Stars: A Space Princess Anthology has been released! It is 99c only for a short time, after which the price will raise to $1.99. It contains three cool stories (including mine!) and a sneak peek of Ever Touched. Check it out here.

Here is the rundown:

Ever Touched – I’m on page 201 of 210, but that’s deceiving because I probably have at least 10k to write. But I am getting closer. Depends on how next week goes, with the holiday and helping my mom with the cooking and cleaning. I have the following week off work for vacation so there’s a bit of time if I really need it (which is why I set it up that way).

FYFB class – Still behind, but slowly catching up.

Water – 5x last week, and I think I missed 1 day this week, so 4.

Exercise – Nothing, except raking leaves yesterday for an hour. That counts!

Reviews – Keeping up. πŸ™‚

Weight – Lost 5 pounds, gained 1/2 pound back. Story of my life. 😦

Chocolate consumption: Would you believe that I haven’t had much in the past two weeks? Some WW sundaes and ultimate chocolate ice cream sandwiches, and a hot chocolate yesterday but that’s it. But I’ve been going a bit nuts on Twizzlers.

 

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#ROW80 Check-in Oct. 16th

Wow, half the month is already over! It’s insane!

I’ve been busy, mostly working on Ever Touched and my class. My knee is still a problem, and I have an appointment with my doctor in 2 weeks, so I’ll be talking to him for sure.

Here’s the rundown:

Ever Touched Revision – Up to 117 pages done, just over halfway. I will need a second pass though. There are parts I’d forgotten I’d written, and stuff that needs to be figured out yet.

Short story – We’re in the copyediting phase now. I sent mine in already. Just waiting for the story I’m copyediting to come to me. πŸ™‚ (We share copyediting duties so one person isn’t bogged down with it).

FYFB class – I’m a bit behind now. Lessons 6-12 posted yesterday, and I need to listen to at least one today. I’m on the worksheets for lesson 4. Had a slight hiccup because I’m supposed to be comparing my book (the one I’m supposed to write for the class. Probably Elysium) to others out there, and I’m having a hard time finding any! I bought two books that looked promising to read, and I’ve started reading both (yes, I am insane!). So, next up is lesson 6.

Water – Every day except one.

Exercise – Nada, due to the knee problem.

Reviews – Just posted one yesterday. I have a deadlined one coming this week. Still working on my backlog.

Photography – I was supposed to have a picnic with my hubby at a lovely park, where I planned to take both digital infrared and regular pics. But yesterday I got really sick, so we postponed it to next week. I was not happy 😦

Weight – I have technically lost the 5 pounds I recently gained, but the plan was to lose 5 pounds, not gain any. I’m trying really hard, so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.

Next project – I am leaning toward Death Dancer, just because it will most likely be a TDP release, and it needs some work before I can offer it up. Still pondering though. I also had a brainstorm for my older project Darkweaver and I am itching to outline it. Big time. Again, we’ll see.

Chocolate consumption – pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, chocolate caramel thingies, WW sundaes, ultimate chocolate sandwiches. Lots of snickerdoodles again. I am really addicted to those.