Monday, September 24, 2012

Looks closely… are you paying attention?  You usually hear these words at a magic show but, this isn’t a magic show… it’s a CONTEST!
Yes that’s right, we have a contest to see how closely you pay attention when you read** The Legend of Anaise (below) from the recently released novel “She Wulf” by Sheryl Steines.

Enter at the rafflecopter link on the left of the blog.

Don’t forget to take a touraround the participating blogs to answer the all the questions – there are 5 questions so you will have numerous chances to participate and win! There are several prizes to be had – 1 random correct answer will win a signed copy of She Wulf; don’t worry if you don’t get it right. You still have a chance to win one of several other prizes just for trying!
·       1 signed copy; winner selected amongst all correct entries
·       3 eBooks; winners randomly selected from amongst ALL entries (correct or not)
·       Gift Card $15; winners randomly selected from amongst ALL entries (correct or not)
·       Annie and Cham Swag; winners randomly selected from amongst ALL entries (correct or not)

About the Author

Sheryl Steines is equal parts driven, passionate and inspired.  With a degree in English from Wright State University, Steines dedicates time everyday to her art.  Her love of books and a quality story drives her to share her talent with her readers as well as make the time to talk to book clubs and students about her process.

Sheryl has eclectic tastes and enjoys character driven novels.  In her own writing, the Annie Loves Cham series is driven by her love of the characters and her desire to place them in totally new situations. She enjoys testing their mettle.

Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise. Her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy.

Sheryl can be found on TwitterFacebook, or her blog. She also encourages her readers to email her and let her know what you think of Annie and Cham!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Feelin' the Magic

It's that time again - we are about to take another trip to Disneyworld. And at this point, the adults are far more excited than the kids. 

My sister and I never went to Disney as kids. I don't mean to sound pitiful; we went to Ireland instead. Still, we had no idea what to expect. And I certainly did not expect to fall in love with the place - with all of Orlando, in fact. 

Here's what I can't wait to do there:

Bring on the cheesy animatronics. I just eat that stuff up. Pirates of the Caribbean, and more importantly, It's a Small World, After All - those things have Allie written all over them.

Harry Potter at Universal. That Hogwarts ride is the best ride I have ever been on. I still can't figure out how they did it. Plus, this time my kid is old enough to go on with me. Winning!

Oh, and I want a butterbeer too. And a chocolate frog.

The monorail - honestly, I could ride that thing all day and be satisfied. It takes you from your hotel right to the park. That's magic, in my opinion.

Overpriced food - except we got a free meal plan! Ha ha! So load me up on footlongs and overly large soft drinks.

Souvenirs - On our last trip, my sister got the coolest santa hat EVER. It was a headband with a tall, skinny red hat attached that had a white pompom on the top. I'm so jealous; I have to outdo her this time. Oh, it's on.

But without a doubt, the number one reason: The people who work at Disney. Everyone, from the servers to the characters are good humored. They are nice, and they're sassy at the same time. I like that sassy edge. 

Yup, can't wait.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mark of the Loon, by Molly Greene

Sometimes I meet people online and I just know that if we lived closer we would be besties. It's like that with Molly Greene, who is one of the nicest, most gracious writers I know in the blogger- twitter- everything verse.

Her book, Mark of the Loon, has just come out, and I'm adding it to my fall reading list. Filled with history, mystery, and friendship, I think it will go perfectly with those Honeycrisp apples I love so much. 

What happens when a workaholic serial remodeler falls in love with an old stone cottage built by an ornithologist and his eccentric Irish wife? If you’re Madison Boone, you kick your budding romance with handsome Psych Professor Coleman Welles to the curb and lose yourself in a new project.

Madison renovates distressed homes in addition to her busy real estate sales career. When she hears about a quaint house on a private tract of land overlooking Lake Sonoma, she climbs in the window for a private tour and falls in love with the place. With help from lawyer Genevieve Delacourt, Madison soon learns that a corrupt attorney is attempting to sell the estate to an anonymous client in a deceitful plan for personal gain. Good fortune enables her to purchase the Blackburne’s property, but far more than a new home and lush gardens await discovery during this renovation.

As Madison works on the remodel, she’s drawn into an old love story with dangerous consequences. She unearths buried secrets and discovers herself in the process. Good thing she has three wise, hilarious friends to advise her along the way! Mark of the Loon is the skillful combination of history, mystery, and romance in a novel that explores deep friendship, choices, and how individuals cope with loss.

And here is a special excerpt from the book:

Excerpt - Chapter 10
Genevieve Delacourt stepped off the elevator on the fifteenth floor of a downtown San Francisco high rise, dressed in a dark chocolate Lanvin suit and matching pumps. A dozen strands of delicate gold chain brushed the top button of her jacket. Her hair was pulled back in a severe bun at the nape of her neck, showcasing cherry lipstick and gold hoop earrings.
She pushed through a door into the unoccupied foyer of Velasco’s offices. Beige tones, carpet to ceiling, unadorned and totally lacking in atmosphere or style. Fitting that the man would have a boring d├ęcor. The perfect complement to his dreary personality.
A clock on the wall behind reception caught her eye. Four o’clock exactly. The plan was to catch him off guard and buy him a cocktail to calculate his frame of mind. Genny didn’t want to wait for the gatekeeper to show up and herd her in the right direction. She tapped her foot, thinking, then guessed and headed north along the interior hall.
Four doors down, Gen stopped outside a partially open door when she heard Velasco’s voice within. She forced a syrupy smile and glided through but found the outer office empty. Everyone apparently left early for the weekend. Maybe they just couldn’t get out fast enough.
The inner office door was closed, but she could hear Velasco bellowing like an uneducated rube at some poor lackey. She didn’t hear another voice. He was probably at the end of a bad phone call. She closed the door and slipped into his admin’s desk chair to wait until the conversation was over.
The loopy feminine scrawl on a calendar at her left indicated a dental appointment today at three o’clock. Beside the calendar, a photo of Velasco posing with a short woman in huge spectacles drew her attention. If she were a betting woman, she’d put fifty bucks on the table that the girl in the picture was Velasco’s secretary. Gen knew at once they were sleeping together by the rapturous look on the plump redhead’s face.
So much for sexual harassment laws.
Velasco raised his voice an octave. She heard him shout, “What the hell do you mean, goddamit, someone else bought it? No one knew. Who else could have possibly been there?” His voice grew more boisterous with every word. “I can’t believe you allowed this. Why didn’t you stop the sale, postpone it or something? What the hell did I grease your palm for anyway, dimwit, if I wasn’t paying you to do exactly what needed to be done? You told me this was in the bag.”
Gen glanced at the phone. With her eyes on the door, she slipped off the handset and punched the only line that was lit on the console. She held her breath and covered the mouthpiece as she moved the phone to her ear.
“Weren’t there?” Velasco screamed. “What do you mean you weren’t there?”
An unfamiliar voice replied, “I thought it best to distance myself from the proceedings. I scheduled a trip to the doctor this afternoon. I wanted someone else to sign the papers. I assumed you would have a representative in place to ensure everything went as planned.”
“Distance yourself? Buddy, you’re as close to this as it gets. I paid for your signature on my client’s documents, moron. You better find a way to cancel that sale and make sure the right party buys the property.”
“I can’t. I won’t. It would draw too much attention to me and the transaction. Someone might check into it and get suspicious. I won’t risk my job. Even worse, prosecution. If I’m implicated, you can be sure I’ll spill my guts about the whole thing.”
The attorney’s voice rose again. “Forget your job. You’re going to lose your fingers if you don’t pick up a pen and sign that house over to who I say. And if you don’t, your guts won’t fare too well, either. That’s a promise.”
“Too late, Velasco. It’s out of my hands. And remember, if I tell what I know, you’ll be disbarred. You just better hope the buyer cancels for some reason, or try to scare them off after the sale closes. I’ll courier your money over Monday. I’m sorry I took it in the first place. As of now, you’re on your own. I’m out of this.”
The phone slammed down.

Molly writes:

Although my day job since 1993 has been Marketing Manager for several high-profile national mortgage companies, I moonlight as a freelance writer, blogger, and author. Previous nonfiction works include the consumer booklet, For Sale By Owner, and the thoughtful self-awareness guide, Someone Worth Becoming. My fiction debut, Mark of the Loon, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’m at work on my next novel, Rapunzel, which features attorney-turned-detective Genevieve Delacourt, who appears prominently in Loon.

You can find Molly here on her blog and on Twitter.

Mark of the Loon is available on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Little Shakespeare

It's Friday, and I need a little Shakespeare. I've always loved this piece, written by a man to tell women not to spend their time fretting over the odd doings of men.

But beyond the subject and theme, the words themselves are so lovely and lyrical. That guy really knew what he was doing!

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.
    Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
    To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into hey nonny, nonny.

Sigh no more ditties, sing no more
    Of dumps so dull and heavy.
The fraud of men was ever so
    Since summer first was leafy.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into hey, nonny, nonny.

-From Much Ado About Nothing

And in case you never saw it, here is the poem performed by the luminous Emma Thompson .

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Celebrating Bloggers: Bridging the Gap

This week, along with Terri Long and many others, I'm celebrating bloggers. 

Hurray for Bloggers!

I’m a lucky person, and here’s why:

I get to be in two fabulous groups. The first is a very talented group of writers, and they support me every day. Plus they make me laugh.

Ditto with the second group. I’m also friends with a group of book bloggers and reviewers. The people in that group are also very dedicated and talented, and they also make me laugh. A lot.

Book reviewers must be some of the hardest working people in the world. They read huge stacks of books and labor over reviews, often posting 3 – 5 blogs a week. Some of them post that many in one day.

Not only do they do reviews, they also host writers in interviews, guest blogs, and giveaways. These services are vital to Indie writers, as we try to get our names out there. The hard work of the bloggers gets our books noticed and the word out that we exist, among the other millions of authors whose books are up on Amazon and B&N.

There have been horrible stories lately about both camps. There are writers who post fake reviews, people threatening reviewers (and online stalking them) and writers threatening “retribution” for bad reviews.

Alas, in all of this the essential humanity of both groups gets lost. The book bloggers are lovely people – they are parents, pet owners, dedicated readers who don’t get paid for the hard work they do.

The writers I work with are also wonderful friends. They get married, have grandchildren, and also work for little to no recompense.

Online, in text, the personality of a person often gets lost. Face to face we can say something with a wry grin or a wink that makes a harsh statement seem funny or at least acceptable. Not so online, and emoticons don’t cut it.

Therefore, I think we have to bump up our personhood and be extra professional and human in social media. In order for our natures not to get lost in train wrecks and Authors (and sometimes bloggers) Behaving Badly, we have to be extra kind, extra tolerant, and super polite.

For example,  the one main gripe I read from book bloggers is that their review policies often get ignored. If you submit something for a review, then read the policy and abide by it.

Another is to avoid mass mailings. Sending a message that begins, "From: YOUR NAME GOES HERE" is the same as a robocall, and just as deadly. A personally written email that comes with a carefully crafted review query (one that fits with the reviewer’s policy) will go far and stand out among the many people who forgot to take that extra step in their haste to get their books reviewed.

It won’t stop the train wrecks, but this politeness policy will make certain that you are OFF the train and onto the platform when the wreck does occur.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Looking elegant.
(This post also appears in The Indie Exchange.)

And here it is, that date. Nine Eleven. It’s a date I have dreaded for a while.

A year ago, my mother passed away, on the eleventh of September. She had suffered with Alzheimer’s for years. It’s a foul, disgusting disease, both for the bewildered victims and for those who know exactly what is happening.

The thing is, my mom was supposed to be that old lady who would drive us all in her VW bus around Ireland and Arizona into her nineties. She was one of the first people to keep an organic farm in our town. She was an English professor, and there were always one or two students huddled around our kitchen table, chatting about Joyce or Yeats or sophistry.

Her speaking voice was incredibly beautiful. For years she read poetry professionally. Her tour de force was the section in The Waste Land spoken in a pub, in a cockney accent. For my 21st birthday she took me, my sister, and our friend to Paris. We stayed in a cheap boarding house on the Left Bank. It’s still my favorite part of the city.

Was she perfect? No, in italics. Her temper shook our house at times and drove my sister and me to our rooms. I swore that once I saw dragon smoke arise from her nostrils, during one of those rages.
Old snap of Mum walking through Dublin

She studied at Trinity College, in Dublin. She backpacked around Italy. She volunteered at a birdwatching center. To watch all of that personality and intelligence ebb away was pure torture.

The night she finally ended her long fight was very peaceful. A full moon hung outside the window, kept open by the wonderful nurses at Mum’s final home. A slight breeze blew the curtains outward. My sister and I sat there and chatted and wept, while our kids played and decorated Granny’s bed with the stuffed animals and teddy bears she always had with her in her last years.

It was exactly the type of passage she would have chosen for herself. There were no tubes, no machines, and no drugs beyond those that kept her in a simple sleep.

 “Her diminished size is in me, not in her…” There are many others who sense that same thing as autumn begins. They lost friends and fathers and sisters on that date, the day years ago that was far more terrible than my own personal Nine Eleven. I can only wish for them a moment of peace, the calm I felt when the moon glowed outside the open window, when the curtains blew in the soft breeze.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, "There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout;
"Here she comes!"

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Calendar Mystery

Like this, but with more arm hangy-down.
How did this happen? Here we were, all settled as a family, and all  of a sudden we are racing around like crazy from one place to another. We don't sit down to meals together. We don't get reading time, nor play time either. HOW?

It's disingenuous of me to pretend that I don't know how we arrived at Point Crazy. It's all my fault, after all. Here is what happened, and you make the call:

Tai Kwando - We are thrilled that our kid is taking martial arts classes. I'm happy because she is learning balance and discipline; Dad's happy because in the future the kid can "kick some boy's ass."

Choir - Tiger Mother doctrine says that kids must have musical training. Natch, I have the least musically inclined child in the world. She has no interest - none. So when choir came along, with bells and whistles and her girlfriends, snagged that opp. Maybe she'll learn how to read music and thus understand math theory all the better. It could happen.

Scouting - More friends, more crafts, more cookies in a house already crammed to bursting with crafts and cookies. Still, did I mention the FRIENDS? It's all about a group of girls doing a structured activity together, in a world that celebrates cat fights in a beach house somewhere. Yup, sticking with the scouts.

Soccer - Now, here is where things start getting crazy. At this point, I should have said, "No, dear one, you already are involved in enough activities as it is. Let's concentrate on the others, shall we?" And then the thought flashes through my mind : What if Kid is the best female soccer player in the world???? And I wrecked her chance by not signing her up? (Of course, it could also be tennis, or gymnastics. Or curling.)
Grab your brooms! Who needs Quidditch?

Well, no. Actually the thought process was this : What if she has a really nice team, makes some great new friends, learns how fun a team sport can be, and gets good exercise and fresh air along the way? Do I really want to scotch all that?

So, here we are in the drive-thru, and now you know why. Mommy Guilt. Gets you every time.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Splashing into The Soccer Pool

Ohhhh, boy, here we go. Having avoided soccer for years now, my kid suddenly announced that she wanted to play.

We would have signed her up earlier, but Grandma, I mean My Daughter, would have none of it. Finally, the magic occurred AKA "A Friend of Hers Signed Up" and so, a few weeks later, we headed to the sports store to buy soccer stuff.

Yeah, I don't even know what soccer stuff means. I'd love to report that I was a soccer nut myself, but no. Sports and I don't get along. I'm allergic to anything that involves dribbling, or shooting, or running. 

So, when I walked into the huge echoing chamber of a sports store, I was absolutely clueless. Finally a kid of about 18 took pity on my deer-in-headlights look and helped me and my child pick out cleats, shin guards, etc etc.

And now we have practice AND a game on Saturday.

Here's the bottom line : I DO NOT CARE how well my kid plays. If she has a talent for the game, then great. If she doesn't, oh well. 

My goal for her this season is simple. Ready?


And if she makes some friends during that time, fantastic. If she learns how to play, great. If she shoots a goal, I'll jump out of my skin and do backflips, but I'll probably do that even if she just manages to connect Cleat to Soccer Ball.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Psst... Pass it Down

Sending notes in homeroom.... with the advent of texting, has that disappeared? Boo, hiss, if it has. 

I know I shouldn't encourage that illegal activity, but writing notes - and better yet! - receiving notes in school was a lot of fun. There was an art form to it. You folded the paper up a certain way, so only your friend knew how to unfold it. You sprinkled your handwriting with hearts and flowers and kisses, as well as drawings and CAPITAL LETTERS.

Forget LOL and SMH - mere wannabes compared to our acronyms. My friends and I had entire sentences that we spelled out - GWJILAY (Guess What, Jason Is Looking At You) and WOHCSB (Watch Out, Here Comes Stinky Breath.)

We experimented with different types of handwriting. I got pretty good at backwards writing - you had to read it in a mirror. We had special codes, and code names. 

But the apex, the very pinnacle of notewriting was achieved by a girl called Mary in sixth grade. She was really cool. She wanted to be a writer, and I used to send her notes about how awesome her stories were.

ONe day she came into school bearing a huge sheaf of paper. She plopped it on my desk and said, "Here, I answered all your notes." 

She had invented a new genre: the Book Note. It was at least seven pages long, and it included pictures she had cut out of magazines, long stories she had written, lyrics of some songs, a few articles from Teen Beat - she even taped on some Hershey's Kisses as a snack in case I got hungry while I read.

I lost touch with her, but I still remember the glory of that Book Note. And I hope she did go on to become a writer.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Georgette Heyer and the Art of Romance

When I began my theme of good books for autumn, one story that instantly sprang to mind was Venetia by Georgette Heyer. That romance, by the Queen of Regency Romance herself, is set during a lovely, golden autumn season, when a rather innocent miss meets a hardened rake.
Heyer books are even better if you can find a  retro edition like this.

Romances are not my read of choice. For one thing, too often the books are written as pure fantasy without any research or knowledge of the time period, along with its politics, language, clothes, and society.

Heyer is the shining example of what to do in order to write a great romance. She kept notebooks about her time period, going to the British Museum to sketch ball gowns and reticules. I've often thought that those notebooks would be a wonderful companion to her books.

Venetia is a more typical example of a romance, although to say that would be to ignore Heyer's shining style. For example, when the rake spurs Venetia (for her own good, because of course he has finally fallen in love) and Venetia, blind with sadness, returns home, there is a masterful scene between her and her old Nurse. It could be tripe in the hands of a less experienced writer, but Heyer makes the minor character come alive while advancing the desperation that Venetia feels. 

However, to my mind, really is apparent in two other books: The Unknown Ajax and A Civil Contract. In them the writer took the genre and completely turned it on its head.

The Unknown Ajax is really the story of a man, not a woman. Hugo comes to a mouldering estate as its heir and must confront a very indignant crowd of relatives. Add smuggling and more lively, realistic characters to the mix, and the book is unique. 

Not only that, but Heyer manages several very different voices. There is Hugo's groom, John Joseph, who speaks broad Yorkshire with accompanying slang ("I'd get a bang on the lug"), as well as the servants in the estate itself who have their own delicious phrases, such as "knaggy old gager."

A Civil Contract goes even further. This is no desperate romance between two gorgeous, wealthy people. No, it is the story of a marriage of convenience, and again it is mainly told from the point of view of Adam, a retired soldier from the Peninsula, who is called home to rescue his family from the crushing debts left to them after his father's death. The only way he can settle them is to marry Jenny, who is fabulously rich and incredibly dowdy.

But she is not dowdy in a Hollywood "one scene set to 80's music of shopping and exercising and she'll become gorgeous" sort of way. Jenny is real - she is plump, she prefers housework to horseback riding, her hair is mouse colored, and she is extremely shy. 

The beauty all belongs to Julia, the girl whom Adam must forsake in order to make his marriage of convenience. Again, here is where Heyer's mastery stands out. A lesser author would make Julia an obvious bitch from the start, but Heyer creates a luminous, lovely girl who is actually friends with Jenny, the new wife. Her character is drawn just as delicately as those of Adam and Jenny.

More than that, the developing marriage between Adam and Jenny, set against the backdrop of the days of Waterloo and interfering families (not to mention childbirth in the time period) is completely organic. What romance would feature a squat, unattractive woman who prefers setting a seam and polishing floors to riding ventre a terre to an adventure? AND be a fascinating read in the process? 

I'll leave you with a scene from A Civil Contract, taken from This interchange between two minor characters, Jenny's father and Adam's aunt, shows how Heyer can make background voices real and intriguing:

Her entry took everyone by surprise, including the footman, who had attempted to usher her into the drawing-room while he went to inform his mistress of her arrival. It had been arranged that the Lyntons were to have driven to Nassington House, in Berkeley Square, and to have proceeded thence to St. James's; and for a moment of almost equal relief and disappointment Jenny thought that some accident must have occurred, and that there was to be no Drawing-Room after all. But her ladyship's first words, as much as her attire, dispelled this notion. "I thought as much!" she said. "Good God, girl, do you imagine I am going to take you to Court decked out like a jeweller's window?" Her high-nosed stare encountered Mr. Chawleigh, and she demanded: "Who is this?"

"It's my father, ma'am. Papa--this is Lady Nassington!" responded Jenny, inwardly quaking at what she feared might prove to be a battle of Titans.

"Oh! How-de-do?" said her ladyship. "Those pearls you gave Jenny are too big. She's got too short a neck for them."

"That's as may be, my lady," replied Mr. Chawleigh, bristling.

"No may be about it. Take off that necklace, Jenny! You can't wear rubies with that dress, child! And those ear-rings! Let me see what you have in this monstrous great box: good God! Enough to furnish a king's ransom!"

"Ay, that's about the worth of them," said Mr. Chawleigh, glowering at her. "Not that I know anything about king's ransoms, but I know what I paid for my girl's trinkets, and a pretty penny it was!"

"More money than sense!" observed her ladyship. "Ah! Here's something much more the thing!"

"That?" demanded Mr. Chawleigh, looking with disgust at the delicate necklace dangling from Lady Nassington's fingers. "Why, that's a bit of trumpery I gave Mrs. Chawleigh when I was no more than a chicken-nabob!"

"You had better taste then than you have now. Very pretty: exactly what she should wear!"

"Well, she ain't going to wear it!" declared Mr. Chawleigh, his choler mounting. "She'll go to Court slap up to the echo, or I'll know the reason why!"

"Papa!" uttered Jenny imploringly.

"She'll go in a proper mode, or not at all. Lord, man, have you no sense? She had as well shout aloud that she's an heiress as go to Court hung all over with jewels! Puffing off her wealth: that's what everyone would say. Is that what you want?"

"No, indeed it isn't!" said Jenny, as her parent, a trifle nonplussed, turned this over in his mind. "Now, that's enough, Papa! Her ladyship knows better than you or me what's the first style of elegance."

"Well, there's no need that I know of for you to be ashamed of my fortune!" said Mr. Chawleigh, covering his retreat with some sharp fire. "Going about the town in a paltry necklace that looks as if I couldn't afford to buy the best for you!"

"If that's all that's putting you into the hips, you may be easy!" said Lady Nassington. "All the ton knows my nephew's married a great heiress, and you may believe that she'll take better if she don't make a parade of her riches. Tell me this! would you thank me for meddling in your business, whatever it is?"

"Meddling in my business?" repeated Mr. Chawleigh, stupefied. "No, I would not, my lady!"

"Just so! Don't meddle in mine." 

Monday, September 3, 2012


As a kid, this was the saddest month ever. Things are quite different now - as a stay-at-home mom, I am ready to celebrate. Amazing how life changes our views, isn't it?

I've treasured the summer months our family has had together. We had a very social summer, one of the busiest ever, I believe. There were loads of parties, playdates, sleepovers, dinners... and it was all wonderful.

Of course, being out and about meant I had to actually do my hair, put on some stuff known as "Make Up" and, worst of all, shave my limbs. 

So I'm ready for a few days of fall. I've planned some family stuff and the get-togethers will continue, of course, but perhaps I can extend the time between leg clippings now that I can wear pants without going into heat shock. 

I'm going to bump up writing time, of course. There have been several stories bumping around in my head for several weeks now, and I may just explode if I don't get them out. 

Rushing about with a kid seriously eats into workout time, I've found, so I'm going to bump that up as well. My workout of choice is jogging, and apparently walking around the supermarket saying, "No, I'm not going to by you a donut" every five minutes to your kid doesn't count as exercise.

Naturally, there are all the fall things to look forward to: the colors, the fresh air, Halloween, HoneyCrisp apples, walks outside with a friend, sweatshirts, football...

Sure, I know there will be headaches in the future as well; this is real life, after all. My kid is going into third grade, and I hear that the work gets serious at this point. Like, projects and tests and stuff. Plus, we're jumping, with complete blind faith, into the soccer pool. Yeah, clueless about that, but I have the feeling Momma is going to be sitting at a lot of practices. That's ok - bring it on. Did I mention the pants and the dialing back on leg shaves?

So, hurray, summer! You were fantastic. We had an incredible time. And now - bring on the fall.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Looking for Mr. GoodBook

I've reached the end of my summertime reads: 1Q84 and The Prospect of My Arrival, The Last Guardian, Sykosa, Losing Beauty, and my final read, Steve Jobs.

This means I need some new books to add to the list, stat. I've hear that Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is excellent, so it goes on the list. I'm going to read The Sons of Roland, a 60's music fictional memoir, and the rest of the Hunger Games Books.

I have heard good things about 11/22/63, and Stephen King is a great fall read. Having one of his huge books on my lap just conjures up images of mulled cider, carved pumpkins, and a crackling fire. Yes, please.

The Age of Miracles sounds pretty cool, and so does Ready Player One, to satisfy my urban fantasy-seeking, sci-fi loving side.

Autumn wouldn't be complete without some steampunk on my list, so I've decided to read The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, by Morris and Ballantine. They are a bit pricy, so I'll add Cypher Lx's Salt Bowl Death to my list as well. At 99 cents, it includes a deadly plague, zombies, action set out west...The sample is terrific.

I love to get my dystopia on, and if I can support an Indie author at the same time, then, yay! Wool looks like a terrific series, so I'm going to read the Omnibus edition.

I am always looking for more books, so please add suggestions in the comments. I love to hear about what you have read and enjoyed!