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  • I love lists.

    I make a lot of lists. Beyond the usual grocery and to do, I have goal lists and house task specific lists and challenge lists and for several years I’ve had a 101 things in 1001 days list. I haven’t updated it since 2015, but my list is still there on the Day Zero website. That list randomly came to mind the other day, so I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and see what I wanted to do back then.

    Naturally, there were a lot of book and reading related entries.

    • write at least 100 words a day for 7 days
    • successfully complete my novel
    • complete a short story and submit it to eastoftheweb.com
    • organize books
    • read 5 books in the TBR pile
    • read all the magazines in the pile before renewing/subscribing to any more
    • subscribe to all the magazines on my wishlist
    • write every day in my paper journal for at least 100 days
    • go one month without acquiring any new books
    • read 5 books in the TBR pile (Seize the Night Sherilynn Kenyon; The Truth About Love Stephanie Laurens; To Tame a Wolf Susan Krinard; Marriage Most Scandalous Johanna Lindsey; Dark Side of the Moon Sherrilyn Kenyon)
    • get sufficient bookcases to house all of our books
    • read (or at least attempt) the Dark Tower novel
       

    Some I finished easily (read 5 TBR books) and others took a bit (getting sufficient bookcases) but most of them I was able to complete before the end of the challenge. I didn’t submit a story to eastoftheweb (and honestly I’m shocked the website is still around), and I failed miserably at going a month without any new books. The rest have all been done.

    I suspect my love of lists comes from the same place as my hoarding of planners and notebooks. At least most of my lists are digital and don’t live in piles around my desk.

  • None of this is okay.

    I have gone back and forth on whether to post so many times my brain thinks it’s watching a tennis match. In the end, I feel like I should say something about *waves like wacky inflatable arm guy* everything.

    I’m not qualified to talk about this in so many ways. It’s not my experience, and I’m certainly not educated enough on systemic racism, ingrained bias, black/POC American history (I just learned about Fred Hampton for shit’s sake), or the way politics work to be able to speak intelligently. I’ve done some personal work, but not nearly enough.

    I just want to be clear.  I see you. I support you. I will strive to always be better and do better. I will listen and respect when you tell me what you need. I will use my privilege as often and as well as I can.

    If you see something troubling or offensive in my stories, please tell me. I am learning, and committed, but I can’t promise I won’t make mistakes. I can promise I will thank you for telling me, and correct it.

    I am here if you need me.

    Stay safe.

  • I’m indecisive.

    Everyone who knows me is nodding enthusiastically at that statement. So anyway, here’s another poll where I’d like your input. I’ve decided to create a readers group, but can’t decide on the name. So…

     

    [forminator_poll id="1628"]
  • Go on a blind date

    I so wanted to make the title of this post “Can I dance with your dates?” but I didn’t because I feel like not a lot of people will get that reference.

    Everything here is cancelled, which means I’m stuck in a house with three other people for at least nine days (but probably more like 21). I don’t do well without alone time. Did I check the supply of Drambuie the moment the text saying the schools were closed came through? Yes. Yes, I did.

    Along with day drinking and fending off small humans and a husband, I’m writing. Having all the aforementioned people in the house adds a new level of excitement while writing sexy times.

    But I digress. This post is actually to let you know that I’m running a giveaway! Yay free books! There will be 11 winners. You can get extra entries when people use your social media link to sign up.

    Good luck and remember: even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.

  • New release!

    This hunka hunka alien love is now available on Amazon (and in Kindle Unlimited)! Kiran was so much fun to write, I’m already working on another one. Here’s the blurb:

    Go to space, they said. It’ll be an adventure, they said. They had no idea.

    Cora’s boring job as a lab tech on board the space station Shangris is interrupted when two ships fall out of hyperspace and put Earth smack in the middle of an intergalactic war. She’s not sure which side she should be on, but the built-like-a-brick-house blue warrior who rescues her from the crumbling station could be more evil than Hannibal Lecter and she might not care. Especially if he’s in to eating people. But not in the creepy way.

    The Talia’s captain ordered Kiran and his team to search the damaged station for survivors, and kill any Scovid he might find. The squid-like humanoids were known for using more primitive races for barbaric experiments. The Talia was tailing this particular ship when they jumped blindly into an unknown sector of the galaxy. With Ka’atari mates being as rare as a three-headed givuthde, he never dreamed his would be one of the survivors.

    Things get even more complicated when another hyperspace jump, an unruly alien pet, and politicians get involved.

    Hunka hunka blue alien love, action packed, steamy sci-fi romance. This is a stand alone novella with a guaranteed happily ever after and no cliffhangers.

    I don’t know how Covid-19 is affecting y’all, but here they’ve just closed the schools for the next week and told the husband to work from home for two weeks.

    We’re going to be holed up like a bunch of hermits, which is fine with me since I’m already 85% a recluse, but the kids and husband are going to go stir crazy.

    I expect there’ll be some day drinking going on. And reading, of course. Like most, I have an impressive TBR list, but if you have recommendations, send them my way.

    Stay safe and let’s hope the curve flattens soon.

  • Thank you, Ms. Lindsey

    The first news I saw when I woke up this morning announced the passing of Johanna Lindsey after a long battle with lung cancer.

    Like many romance writers of my generation, I was drawn into the genre by her stories. I fell in love with her characters, and point to Tender Rebel and Anthony as the reason I fell headlong into romance. My dream to become a writer crystalized with that book. She was my gateway drug.

    At one time I had paperback copies of every book she wrote. During our last move, I pared my collection drastically and only about fifteen remain. Over time I lost favor with her stories as readers often do and moved on to other authors. I still love those first romances, as troublesome as they might be. She was a product of her time and the bodice ripper trope makes an appearance a time or two and there are certainly infamous scenes among her works. (The utterly ridiculous sex on a horse in Savage Thunder made me laugh out loud even as a sixteen year old.) People like to point to her as both the lauded mother of the genre and an example of how problematic it can be.

    I’m aware of all the issues, but none of that matters to me right now. Right now, I’m incredibly sad to have lost a person who made an incredible impact on me.

    Thank you, Ms. Lindsey, for helping me find my voice as a woman and a writer.

  • A Tiny Present

    My tiny little present to you is a playlist of some of my favorite Christmas/holiday songs. Some are traditional favorites with a twist, others aren’t traditional at all. I hope you enjoy them!

     

  • Thankful place setting

    Do you even turkey, bro?

    I don’t know what’s happening here, but the turkey looks rightfully concerned.

    If you’re in the US, and you celebrate, happy Thanksgiving! I’m doing this a day early because tomorrow I’ll be sleeping in and then cooking one side dish for our small family get together. My brother is hosting, so most of the cooking is on him and my sister-in-law.

    If you’re heading to a get together that could get awkward, or even ugly, remember Captain Awkward has some great scripts so you can be prepared. I’ve linked to the family category, but all her stuff is amazing. Truly the no bullshit advice columnist we all need. Also, take care of you.

    If you aren’t in the US, you should totally try some green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie.

    In either case, have a great day! If you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, remember that I’m grateful for you.

  • October!

    October is my favorite month. Not only is it home to my favorite holiday Halloween, it’s also the month of my birthday, my mom’s birthday and my anniversary. October is full of good things for me. I even (inadvertently) have Halloween cats!

    Agent Floofy Buttkins and Rorschach. It's so far proven impossible to get a good picture of them both at the same time.
    So big good things in October. I also tend to reexamine goals and set new ones. Refresh and hit the reset button. This October, I’m hitting the reset button on my writing. Not entirely, but I’m giving my books and newsletter a makeover and adding a few secrets for subscribers.
     
    Along with all that, I still need to get some pumpkins and run to Costco for candy. Our neighborhood is hit or miss for big numbers of trick-or-treaters. Some years we run out early, and some years we’re eating fun-sized candy bars well past Christmas.
     
    I’m not sure I’ll have time to make a new costume this year, and right now, both kids are saying they don’t want to trick-or-treat, which makes me sad. I’m hoping they change their minds. Even if they don’t want to troll the neighborhood for candy, they have fun handing it out to the kids who visit our house.
     
    The critters are covered since I picked up a cardboard haunted house with a scratcher floor for the cats and a skeleton sweatshirt for the dog at Aldi. Their “finds” section gets me every time.
     

    What are you dressing up as for Halloween?