Category Archives: reading

Christmas Release Pimpage

Hey y’all, I know it’s  Sunday and I don’t normally post on Sundays, but I thought y’all might want to check out my cousine, Jillian Chantal’s free read, Christmas on St. Charles Ave.

Blurb: New Orleans, Christmas Eve, 1947: Brothers, Dirk and Beaumont christmas cover dbpMcSwain are both about to become fathers. Dirk’s wife has had a number of miscarriages and at thirty-six years old, is afraid this is her last chance for a healthy baby. Bo’s wife is pregnant for the first time. Both are due to give birth soon. The brothers arrange a surprise ride for their women in Papa Noel’s sleigh which is actually a horse drawn carriage with fake reindeer. The evening starts out merry and bright but before the night is over, they will need a Christmas miracle.

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Song Association

I know y’all won’t be shocked to realize that I associate almost everything with music. I might have even mentioned this before, but for me nearly everyone, every situation I come in contact with ends up connected to a song in some way.

For example, one of my former co-workers was an interesting guy. He was my mom’s age and if you listened to him talk, you can just tell he did a lot more than study in college. He had the craziest stories and this slow, drawn out speech pattern that made him sound a bit like a hippie. Well, I remember riding along one day and War and Eric Burdon’s “Spill the Wine” came on the radio. My brain instantly connected that song with my friend and when I mentioned it to him, he said that was one of his favorite albums. Go figure.

So yeah, people connect to music in my mind. Before you ask, it has to be people I’ve met and talked with for a prolonged amount of time. Usually. Sometimes that doesn’t matter.

As for situations, I had one recently that surprised me. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Rebecca Zanetti’s Hunted at the FF&P Conference. By the way, excellent book. Yet it was one particular scene that happened in the book that brought a song to mind. I’ll try not to give away spoilers, but the scene was between a potential bad guy and a future heroine who’s still a child. The bad guy tells the little girl a parable about the frog and the scorpion and when she asks who he is in the parable, he tells her he’s the scorpion (if I remember correctly). The potential hero for this little girl appears and the bad guy goes away. The little girl looks at her hero and asks who he is in the parable and he replies, “I am the water”. (Forgive me Rebecca, if I got this wrong! I’m going off of memory.)

With that line, I had to put the book down because my brain instantly flipped to a song. I don’t know if Rebecca listened to this song when she wrote this scene, or if she gave it any thought, but it was the perfect song for the scene (which is something I tried to explain in my workshop).

The song is “I Am the Highway” by Audioslave. If you read Rebecca’s book when it comes out, do me a favor and listen to this song first and tell me if it fits the scene or not. I might just be crazy (I highly suspect I am).

This isn’t an official video of the song, but I find I like it. The people in this video were moving from L.A. to Washington.

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Anticipation

I’m a heavy reader. Seriously, sometimes it’s a wonder I can write anything because I almost always have my nose buried in a book. The problem with this is that it takes a while for my favorite authors to have new offerings. Well, the only problem it poses is to my checkbook because while I’m waiting for new books, I check out new authors, but even that doesn’t work all the time and I end up rereading.

But y’all know this already. What you probably don’t know is that sometimes the anticipation of a new book coming out is so great that I dream I’m reading it. Crazy, huh? No kidding though, Tuesday night, after all the newest releases came out and I eagerly snapped up a couple I had been waiting for, I dreamed about the book I’m really waiting to read.

Shelly Laurenston has Bear Meets Girl at the end of this month, but every time I search for something to buy, I find myself checking out the release date. Just you know, in case they decide to release it a whole month early. Between Kresley Cole and Shelly Laurenston, I live in a constant state of “OMG, is her new book coming out soon? Huh? Huh? Huh? Is it? Why isn’t it out now? Why do I have to wait a whole year? How do I get to be their critique partner so I can read it before everyone else?”

Sad, huh? Yup, but even worse is that I dreamed I was reading Bear Meets Girl. I can’t remember all the details of the story, but I will be so pissed at myself if I actually got some parts right. I try to avoid reading excerpts of my favorite authors because I don’t want to ruin the surprise of the book. I don’t shake Christmas presents either. I want to be surprised. I want the anticipation to fill me up to the point that I’m going insane from wondering how the book will be.

Is that weird? What am I saying? I know I’m weird and the look my own mother gave me after I explained my newest series idea to her, she thinks so as well. C’est la vie, I am who I am.

How about you? Do you anticipate your favorite authors’ books to the point of weirdness?

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Movie Bound

It’s funny, but until my first book was published, my sister wasn’t a big reader. Years ago, we used to swap books. I’d give her some of my favorite romances to read and she’d pass along Stephen King’s books. I liked the arrangements, but life got in the way and she didn’t have time to read anymore.

When I got published, she read every one of my books and demanded more. That’s when I started introducing her to the world of the kick-ass heroine. Back in the early 90s, heroines were still a little wimpy. Sure, there were some hellions in the bunch, but they hadn’t gotten to the independent state they are now. She was instantly hooked and devoured every series I threw her way. Black Dagger Brotherhood? She was all over that. The Pride Series (Shelly Laurenston)? She ate it up with a spoon.

Pretty soon I’d run out of my favorite series to share with her and decided I’d throw something different her way. That’s when I introduced her to Stephanie Plum. In case you’re not a big romance reader, Stephanie Plum is the brainchild of Janet Evanovich. There are eighteen books in the series with little asides to whet your appetite. I’ll admit I haven’t read the more recent books, having stopped at Fearless Fourteen. However, my sister read every book I gave her and ordered the rest.

She adores the series and I can’t blame her. I mean, who isn’t jealous of Stephanie Plum? She has Joe and Ranger who both want her. I personally think she should go with Ranger. My sister agrees. Ranger…le sigh! Then, when I told her the first book of the series One for the Money was made into a movie that’s being released Friday, the first thing she said was, “We’re going, right?”

Yup, we’re going. Her husband’s coming too. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that, but she told me she tried getting him to read the series too but when she explained it to him, he told her he didn’t have to read it now because she told him everything about it. *shakes her head* Men. Still, I think he might get a kick out of the movie. At least I hope he does. I also hope I’m not disappointed.

I’ve seen who they have playing Joe and Ranger and neither man fits my idea of the characters. You know what I mean. When we love a book so much we’d love to see it on the big screen, we all have a perfect idea of which actors/models should play our favorite characters. I do the same thing when I’m writing, too. Yet the cast for the movie, with the exception of Katherine Heigl, don’t fit my idea of the characters. Meh, maybe I’m just being picky.

Anyway, here’s the trailer. Who else is going to see it?

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Did I Notice Your Book Blog Hop

Hey y’all! I know I usually do Cajun French lessons on Thursday, but this week I’m taking part in a really cool experiment my good friend Ciara Knight started several months ago.

This is the premise directly from Ciara’s blog:

With all the new tools out there to monitor book sales and blurbs mentioned about their books, I’m going to highlight a new book each week. I’ll post it in the morning. If by the end of the day that author finds her book on this post I want her or him to tell us how they discovered it; word of mouth through the close network of writers, a Yahoo group mention, or through some new fangled Google tool.

Now, how will I choose this book each week? It will be a book that caught my attention. As a reader, I will keep an eye out for something that either provoked me to read the blurb, look at the author’s blog, or purchase said book.

Before I reveal my choice I want to clarify that this author has no idea that I’ve chosen his/her book.

When she asked if I wanted to take part, I knew I had to. Especially when I was given the erotic category. *squee!* I’ve been so neglectful, I should have mentioned this blog hop earlier, but I’m blaming Thanksgiving.

So…on to the book I noticed. I chose Omega Mine by Aline Hunter.

A bond forged in blood. Fealty given to the one he desires above all others.

Graced with the ability to shift into any form, Diskant Black is the absolute authority when it comes to New York shifters, and as the Omega of the city his word is law. Protecting the shifter races is more than a job, it’s a predisposition ingrained since birth—nothing is more important.

Until a chance encounter with a tiny female sets fire to his blood, brings him to his knees and turns his world upside down. Ava Brisbane is more than he bargained for in a mate—beautiful, fragile…human. If he wants to keep her by his side, he’ll have to sacrifice a portion of his soul to establish a bond that can never be broken.

Unfortunately the timing couldn’t be worse.

Shepherds—the hunters of all the shifter races—have arrived in New York. To protect the woman he can’t live without, Diskant will have to stand against those who have come to start a war.

Okay, so how did I notice this book? I hit up my recommendations from Amazon and the cover caught my attention. It’s gorgeous! That sweet hottie with the amazing tattoo snagged my interest. When I saw the title and then read the blurb, I knew it was going on my TBR pile. Now, the book came out a couple of months ago, but sometimes I’m a little slow (my family swears that happens ALL the time).

So does this look like something you’d like to read? Have you read it yet? Don’t tell me anything about it, or I will hunt you down and make the fat cat sit on you 😉

Here are the other stops on the hop:

Action Adventure http://www.warriorsforlight.com/
Historical Fiction – http://emerylee.wordpress.com/
Inspirational http://www.christylasheasmith.com/
Mystery http://murdersandmysteries.wordpress.com/
New Adult http://lynnrush.com/
Non-Fiction http://raelynbarclay.wordpress.com/
Paranormal http://www.hildiemcqueen.com/
Sci Fi http://rustywebb.blogspot.com/
Suspense Thriller http://stephentremp.blogspot.com/
Sweet http://www.lindipeterson.com/
Urban fantasy http://lauraeno.blogspot.com/
Young Adult http://www.brindaberry.com/blog.html
Grand Central Station: www.ciaraknight.com

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Please Sir, More Books?

Yes, I feel like Oliver begging for more food. I’ve had the Kindle for about two months now. Do you want to know how many books I have on it? 130…well after yesterday, 133. Granted, I have about 7 on there I haven’t read yet, but that’s still a helluva lot of books!

I know I joked a while back, likening the Kindle to a crack pipe, but for me that’s true. I went to dinner a few weeks ago with my sister-in-law, brother, and mother.

Me: “I hope you all appreciate this. I’m giving up precious time with my Kindle for you.”

Sister-in-Law: “Yeah, I know and I’m glad. You love that thing don’t you? I wouldn’t be surprised if you named your first child Kindle and when they grow up, they’ll ask you where you got their name from and you’ll say ‘Well, once upon a time, I was in love with Kindle. Would you like to see it?'”

I couldn’t dispute her words because yes, I do love my Kindle. Sometimes when I’m feeling dorky (which is nearly…well, all the time), I’ll sing to myself, “Me and Mr. Kindlllllleeee, we got a thiiiiiiing going oooonnnnn.” Yes, I’m a nerd, but y’all love me anyway.

I don’t actually read any more than I used to. It’s about the same, but I read new stuff all the time now as opposed to me re-reading my favorites when I couldn’t afford to order books, or head to the local bookstore. Kindle has allowed me to explore new authors for a lot less than paperbacks. It’s let me find new genres to read without worrying about what the clerk will think when I check out. The Kindle has also been a wonderful conversation starter.

For instance, on my way to Orlando, I whipped out my Kindle and started devouring yet another sexy book by Kaitlyn O’Connor when the guy next to me says, “Wow! Is that a Kindle?”

I fought back a grimace and put it down, angling the screen away from him and the guy next to him who was also staring at my Kindle. “Yes.”

Guy 1: “I’ve heard and read about them, but I’ve never seen one in person!”

Guy 2: “How many books does it hold?”

And therein began a conversation that lasted for about 45 minutes of the hour and a half flight. I didn’t mind, not really. Guy 2 was very cute in a blonde surfer way and he read. I think I was just so surprised to come across men who actually read, I was delighted to share my Kindle experiences with them.

So do you ask me if I love my Kindle? No, I don’t love my Kindle. I adore it. I want to hug it and squeeze it and call it Kindle George Ravenswaay IV (I have no idea if that’s someone’s real name, it just came to me).

Have you bought a Kindle, Nook, I-Pad, or other electronic reading device? How do you like it? Do you buy it pretty clothes and show it to everyone with pride? (I don’t do that. Yet.) Do you find yourself reading more or less? C’mon, be honest. Is your family jealous of it?

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On the Move

Right, so before I start waxing poetic about my Kindle, I’ll instead talk about the weekend.

My brother and his wife have until June 30 to clear out of her apartment and into their new house. Since they were still waiting on utilities and various other things to be completed on their new home, they had only this weekend to move. They sign the papers tomorrow, but with their work schedules, there would’ve been no time to move at a leisurely pace.

So Saturday, they rented a truck. With my brother, his wife, her best friend, and myself, we cleared her apartment of furniture and as much as we could fit in the moving truck and three vehicles. It was hot as hell too. My deodorant quit on me about half-way through the move, but it needed to be done. Oh sure, I pined for my brand new toy at home. But I kept telling myself it needed time to charge. Then I remembered that the electricity had gone out right before I left my house so the Kindle wasn’t charging.

I was relentless in getting things moving. I’m bossy by nature (that could so be my rap name!) and had no problem telling everyone where I thought the furniture should go in the truck. We managed to pack and load the truck in about three hours. Not bad considering how much stuff my sister-in-law has.

Between worrying about my Kindle and moving boxes, I couldn’t help but remember George Carlin’s take on owning things. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said something along the lines of, we buy a house and stuff it with crap, then complain because we have so much crap. Then we move to a bigger house for all that crap and then add more crap. It’s true. We collect things as we live in one spot for a while. I don’t even want to think about moving my house. The amount of utter crap we have is ridiculous, in spite of the throwing-things-out wild hairs I get from time to time.

So Saturday finished on a sweaty note. Sunday morning, my nephew came to replace my sister-in-law’s best friend and we emptied the truck in 45 minutes. It’s amazing how much gets done with two strutting males determined to show off their strength. Bookcases were lifted onto shoulders, dressers were picked up without help. My sister-in-law stayed out of their way and moved boxes.

Now they’re half-way moved in with things still placed haphazardly all over the house, but at least the bulk of her belongings are in the roost. All that’s left is for my brother’s crap (which isn’t as much as hers).

Onto the Kindle. I love it. I even stuffed it in my purse today just in case I have some free time to finish reading the book I started yesterday. I shouldn’t. I should be writing today in my spare time, but I can feel the Kindle calling to me…”read me”, “read me!”.

I like the fact that it stays charged for so long. That was my biggest concern. I hate having to charge something every single day (my phone, my mp3 player). This sucker can go a long time without charge. I also approve of the ability to order books from the Kindle, or from the Kindle Store on Amazon. I didn’t want to have to have the Kindle with me at all times if I happen to be browsing Amazon’s site for new books. The book store on the Kindle is okay, I just prefer the internet.

Granted I’ve only had the Kindle since Saturday, but I’m really loving it. I just can’t remember all the books I want to get! It’s like being at a buffet and not knowing what I want to eat first. Everyone else is pretty impressed by it as well. My brother and his wife have both looked at it and I think they each want one. Maybe that’ll be their Christmas presents to each other.

That was my weekend in a nutshell. It wasn’t terribly exciting unless you count the Kindle. I’m sore from moving furniture, tired from staying up too late each night to read, and fuzzy-brained from trying to remember all the books I want to get, but I’ll manage. I hope.

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The New Phone Books Are Here!!

I kind of feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk. Yes, I’m that excited. Why? Because my Kindle is charging up and I’m so ready to use it.

I suppose I should start worrying now though. Considering how much and how fast I read, I could very well bankrupt myself buying books. Especially since now I don’t have to wait for them to come in from Amazon or going to Books-A-Million to get them. Now they’ll be at my fingertips…oooooh!! *drools* Bah, so what, it’s only money. Not like I need it to survive or anything. Not like I need my books.

Ah books…reading…*sigh* Unfortunately, I won’t be able to press my nose to the Kindle for most of the weekend. We’re helping my brother and his wife move into their house. It’s hot as hell out there, so this doesn’t make me a happy cookie. In fact, I’m quite irritable. But this is what you do for family. As a bonus though, he told me I could take my time getting there…you know, cause my new crack pipe (aka Kindle) was coming in. MMMM ,Kindle.

So we’ll see how I like it and take it from there.

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Anniversary Week IV – The Reader

It’s almost over folks. Tomorrow marks my 200th post and this anniversary nonsense will be over. Yay!

I’ve already talked about what I’ve learned, what I’ve blogged about, and…I can’t remember what else. Oh yeah, people I’ve met. Today I want to talk about the blog reader.

I never was a big blog reader until I discovered the world of blogging. Oh sure, I’d read a few things here and there, but I never followed blogs until this last year. It didn’t seem worth it because c’mon! No one is as funny as me, or so I thought. So here’s a list of blogs I follow and my thoughts on them.

The Bloggess – I came across this blog by accident. Someone tweeted about it and I was like, “Well, hell, I’ll see what they think is so funny.” And then found myself in tears. I love, LOVE Jenny (The Bloggess).

FF&P – Naturally, I have to follow the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal blog. They have a lot of great informative posts about the writing craft, industry, and anything you can think of.

Southern Sizzler Romance – I’m mentioning these ladies again because I read all their posts. They’re a wonderful group of writers from the Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA. Wednesdays are “Wetsday”, Saturdays are “Badurday”, then between the eye candy, they have interviews with authors, agents, editors, historical information, paranormal information…well you get the idea!

The Naked Hero – No, I wish it really were naked men, but it’s close! Originally called Chasing Heroes, The Naked Hero is a group of writers stripping down what makes a hero. They have guest authors, information on writing, inspiration…you name it. It’s a great place to hang out and the Goddesses are fabu!

Borrowing Heaven, Subletting Hell – This is Alison Pang’s blog. She has a book coming out in 2011 and she’s pretty kick ass. Although, she does have an obsession with bacon and David Garrett that concerns me (because I don’t know if she has a fantasy involving both or not).

Escape Into Romance – Stacey Espino, another author, has this blog with interviews and news about the industry. She has one book out right now and two books coming out soon. She’s like a book writing machine!

Fierce Romance – Another group blog, this one hosts several author interviews with a lot of great information. Their posts always leave me thinking, which is sometimes a good thing (other times, not so good).

KAKler – With a wonderful sense of humor and a Meat Loaf fetish, reading KAK’s blog always leaves me smiling. She blogs about everything from dentist appointments to head-hopping to Meat Loaf. An author of epic fantasy and paranormal romance, KAK is fun to follow.

Tammy Gallant – Tammy is yet another author (are you sensing a trend here?) who posts some fun stuff. Spring, Spring Break, Karaoke…you name it, she blogs about it.  She hosts a monthly book club and is an all round nice lady.

I wish I could list all of the blogs I follow, but there are so many, it would take a whole day to get them all down. If you’re looking for more check out my blogroll. These blogs help inspire me in my writing and my blogging as well as giving me a chance to know my fellow writers better.

So how about y’all? Which blogs do you follow religiously? (Dare I hope it’s mine? Dare I??? Just kidding!) I’m always on the look out for entertaining blogs, so shovel them this way!

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A Want is Kindled

Saturday evening, I attended an engagement party. I’m not the sophisticated entertainment kind of person. Give me an old comedy, or a few beers, or even Trivial Pursuit, and I’m happy. I didn’t mention give me an evening of uninterrupted reading because that’s a given.

So the engagement party was for my younger brother. He’s getting married in June (can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being the last single person in my family!), and his fiancée’s godmother threw the party. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out they weren’t high in the step. I worried about it for weeks. Would they think my family is uncouth? Would they think we’re crazy? (I mean, we are crazy, but we try not to let everyone know!) Would they think their girl was marrying into a family of lunatic perverts?

As it turns out, we were well-received. Everyone was on their best behavior while not changing who they are. I enjoyed myself immensely. The fun really didn’t begin though, until my future sister-in-law’s godmother brought out her Kindle to show me what it was like.

*deep breath* I was drooling. I’ve been debating the whole Kindle thing since they came out. I can’t help but enjoy actual books. I like the way they smell, feel, and the convenience of taking them wherever I want. I figured there was no way I’d ever even dream of wanting a Kindle. It isn’t a ‘book’. I worried it would be too similar to a computer screen for my eyes’ sake. Then…I held it in my hand.

I quivered. I could save so much room in my house with one of these things! I could stuff it in my purse and read as many books as I could put on it! I could…oh, I could do so many things! I think Bennie (the godmother) may have begun fearing for her continued ownership of her Kindle. I was coveting it that much.

As we were leaving, she hugged me, saying if she hadn’t been in the middle of a book, she’d loan it to me to see if I truly liked it. What a sweetheart! She’s my new favorite person, and no, not just because she offered. She was a wonderful lady who indulged my addiction for a little while.

So now the real question is: when am I going to get one? I’m not sure. With the release of Apple’s iPad, I begin to wonder if it would be better to wait out the big e-reader crisis. Then, I suspect that e-readers will turn out like video game systems. There’ll always be a new one coming out that’s so much better than the last, and you won’t be able to use your old games on the new one. What a dilemma!

How about you? Do you own a Kindle or similar reader? Do you like it? Will it replace hard cover/paperback books for you?

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