Friday, April 29, 2016

Oh A Writing We Will Go...

As I stated Monday, this is a scheduled post. And boy do I have some news for you. I finished my Camp Nano project goal. !!!!!!!!!!!!!  Cue squealing. I finished writing Saturday but wanted to wait until the very end to let you guys know. I couldn't wait til Monday.

As always, seeing my family is good. Lil Miss seeing her Papa is wonderful. And hanging out with old friends is even better.

I am totally going to bombard you guys with this awesomeness. I didn't even get halfway for November's Nanowrimo last year, so this is quite an accomplishment for me. Especially with everything I have going on. 

Next Monday I'll share with you my experiences, my ups and downs, and the heart attacks all in detail. Be sure to check back. 

Did you participate in Camp Nanowrimo? Let me know how you did in the comments below. 
Missed this months Camp? Don't worry, there's another one in July and the official Nanowrimo is every November. It is never too late to start. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lola's Blog Tours: Book Review: Secret Baby Scandal

Secret Baby Scandal
*I received a free copy in return for a fair and honest review. Thank you to Lola's Blog Tours and Joanna Rock for the opportunity.*

Secret Baby Scandal (Bayou Billionaires #4)
by Joanne Rock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: May 10, 2016

His proposition: pretend they’re a couple to end a scandal. But she has secrets of her own…

Tatiana Doucet has dealt with sexy, arrogant athletes most of her life. But Jean-Pierre Reynaud is a whole different animal—in bed and on the field. Unbeknownst to him, their one amazing night produced a son. Now her family’s biggest football rival is back, offering a seductive wager she can’t refuse.

Jean-Pierre despises the media. When rumors fly, he knows a fake relationship is the perfect diversion for the tabloids—and Tatiana’s unbridled passion is the perfect diversion for Jean-Pierre. But when she drops a baby bombshell, the scandal will rock them both!

My Review:
First off, yes, this is a romance book. BUT I would not classify this as smut. There was literally 3 pages of a scene, skirting around the act and mentions throughout the book. 

When you see movies with wives laying in bed reading a book...this is the type of book those women are reading. It's relaxing, it's calming, it's a book I would read to escape the realism that is my life. 

Now, typical of a Harlequin, we have the rich male MC, the down to earth female MC, and a scandal that really shouldn't even be a scandal. Then again, it is set in Louisiana and as a southern girl myself, I understand why people would see it as a scandal. But whatever, it's your own cup of tea. 

The cover is the stuff typical romance novels, the *loving gaze* *hot and sexy* characters. All fluff. But it was well made, and gives you a little treasure hunt of where in the book the cover scene takes place. 

The fact that this book stars a football elite really has no bearing, which was good for me because I don't like sports. There was a taste of the lifestyle and training, those such things, but that wasn't the main focus or even secondary focus of the book.

The writing was excellent. Ms. Rock executes the story flawlessly. Her writing follows the norms, the story is well researched (it better be with her background),  But I was completely unsatisfied with the ending. It just ended. Yeah. I'm wondering what happens to baby? What's next? Am I going to get all my answers through background characters in the next book? Not happy with that part. And I really wish that the baby was shown more. 

In the last 2 chapters there is a lot going on and it leaves you very unsatisfied. The questions are too big to just let slide to another book. And I was expecting this huge climax, a scandal, a blow-up. Just...something. But I was disappointed.

So my final judgement is 3 stars. I liked it for the de-stressing factor, but the ending, especially the last 2 chapters left a bad taste in my mouth. It's worth the price for the escapism alone, but you're going to want to read the rest of the series and the next books to get all of your answers.

Overall, 3 stars. And that's a neutral. The writing style, the cover, and the contemporary were well portrayed. But the plot left something to be desired. IF you want a light read to over you during a car ride, or at the end of the night, then this is definitely for you. I might end up reading the rest of the series out of curiosity. And that my friends, is enough for me to pick up the other books. 

For buying options and about the author, keep reading. 

You can find Secret Baby Scandal on Goodreads

You can buy Secret Baby Scandal here:
- Amazon
- Amazon Print
- Barnes & Noble
- Barnes & Noble Print
- Kobo
- iBooks

Bayou Billionaires series - Secrets and scandal are a Cajun family legacy for the Reynauds...
- Book 1: His Pregnant Princess Bride by Catherine Mann
- Book 2: His Secretary's Surprise Fiance by Joanne Rock
- Book 3: Reunited with the Rebel Billionaire by Catherine Mann
- Book 4: Secret Baby Scandal by Joanne Rock
Books can be read as standalones or in order.

Joanne RockAbout the Author:
Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The author of over seventy books enjoys writing contemporary romance and medieval historicals alike. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly--love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with fellow author and friend Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.

You can find and contact Joanne here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Pinterest
- Tumblr

banner Lola's Blog Tours

Monday, April 25, 2016

I'm Out!!!

Of town. Had you going didn't I?

I'm going out of town for the week to see my daddy. I am a daddy's girl through and through. Twice. 'Cus I have two daddies. Biological and guardian. I love them both so much and I never really take the time to talk to them, or any family really. It's one of my more shameful attributes. And I am trying to reconcile that. You never know when the day could be their or your last.

Because I'll be out of town, I won't have internet connection. Actually, this is a scheduled post, as will the other posts for this week be. I don't know when I'll be able to get to the library to make sure I get this done for you, so I'm making sure I don't break my promise.

Also, being a writer, I ahve a few writer friends. Below is one piece by a very old friend. We shall call him M. M has been writing for as long as I've known him and I love his work. His talent is painting pictures with his words.

I imagine some smooth, low voice reading it aloud to me and it's a calming pool of bliss. If I could give you audio of that I so would. And now, on to the beautiful:

The air of the human element,
Reading, seeing, feeling that hidden power
Self illuminating deep textured spheres,
Colors, images, mesmerizing transparent eyes,
All wanting to share deep layers of melodious overtones
to love the drama and the rhythm of the word fused with sonorous language.

Divine rhythm, layered from earth scaling upwards
Flowers, trees, hills, colored essence rising
Spiritually reflected with sunset painted frescoes
The look of the sky changes, pictures presented like each unique mood
One by one they trace their lines,
Spreading flowery pink hues with glorious purple stains
Here, a sphere, here the song,
Hear the layers all gathered together
Each day, a set of new instruments traced together in the sky
Each day, wondering, how to bring them down
Look into my face and you’ll see a calm man
With his eyes in a different dream, always hearing what can’t be heard
But knowing it holds an intense beauty.
Each dramatic surge reads like the innate driving pulse
Constantly revealing, solemnly reveling
In deep orchestral colors, of which I can only share
Sad little fragments
That need to be gathered together,
Each theme carefully corresponding  to
Surges, dreams, love, question, yearning
Peering over the edge into a reality that can be made
Hands raised towards the sky, gathering the motions, directing the current’s flow
The layering of evening colors harmoniously blended,
And over the land, voices raised in wordless tones,
Melodiously textured to reflect
the simplicity of colored fields to the eye.

Orchestrating the melody
Voice, upon voice, lovingly evocating simplicity
Contrast with those complex ones, more dissonant to the ear
Textured lightly, clearly, chromatic impressions
Strings seep through, singing continuously higher
guitar electric, light colored main voice, transition
layers of altered textured sounds carefully crafted and matched
to give voice to wordless internal reflective monologue.
Gentle, sad cycles, calling up to spiritual triumphant
Humble, pleading, thrown to mercy’s creative oblivion
To find answer, upon answer
Of the connection of image, motive, song
This one solo voice transformed into guiding textures
Blissful, cyclically striving,
Infinitely dynamically rich
Instruments may not exist to properly create that sound
The flow of each surge, the pulse of each colored breath,
Rising ever on, greater chords, painting liberation
with tones held away, inexpressible save by careful transposition
voices controlled deep before a thought becomes spoken word
deep before words, only this tone exists
to serve as mirror of all those moods, sanguinely reflected

the impenetrable space of truth in creativity.

So what did you think? Help me encourage M to post his work online. I want to know what you think in the comments below. Happy Monday!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Well, This Week Didn't Go As Planned

Once in a while I like to write a To-Do list. I didn't do a single darn thing on my list this week. But!

We did go to the library again this week. Lil Miss got new books and played on the train table. I got books on homeschooling (got a few good ideas from those), some books to review, and was terribly disappointed when a JR Ward I was looking for was only available at a different branch. Poo.

I got a new review done, Joanna Rock's Secret Baby Scandal. Look for that next Wednesday.

Oh! I got some writing done. Not much, but I'm just over 5K words closer to my goal of 25K words by the end of this month. The validation period of Camp Nanowrimo has begun and there's just one week left of the event. I'm excited and jittery at the same time. Because I don't know if I'll make it, but with such a small word count in front of me how can I not pass it? It feels like when you get closer to the end you lose focus and that's when you mess up.

I'm scared I'll mess up before I cross the finish line.

But I can't let that stop me. I will channel the Little Train That Could and get this done. And keep going, until all the words are on paper, and the story is alive. 

And that's it. My week was slow, and I got a lot done in some respects, and very little in others. But hey, at least I'm not sitting on the butt all day, huh? 

It's a nice change of pace. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Book Review: Henrietta The Dragon Slayer

I received a free copy from the author for a fair and honest review.

Henrietta The Dragon Slayer

Author: Beth Barany
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Five Kingdoms
Publisher: Firewolf Books
Pages: 225
Format: Paperback
Source: Author

Buy on Amazon

My Rating:

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can't stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will misfit companions, seasickness, and an ego maniacal king derail the quest for the healing stone? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?


The cover gives just enough info to let me know the MC is a kick-ass girl, a win in my book. The book description poses a lot of questions that I want answered, but I mostly wanted to read the book based on the last sentence of the description. Can she? Will she?

I was intrigued when I read the book description, and I was not disappointed. 

We are introduced to Henrietta, the main character from page one. By the end of the third chapter we are introduced to the main group of characters, the problem, and have enough questions to keep me reading. 

The pacing was just right, and matched each scene to a T. The fight scenes adrenalized me and the riding horseback was calming. Through twist and turns, my questions were answered and more were posed. 

What Barany did in this book that is unique, is she made the character's own conscious the villain. Henrietta plays with a lot of back and forth on what she should do, what she can do, how others perceive her, and the struggles she experiences being a female dragon slayer. This world is definitely run by men, and Henrietta gives a good kick to the male-dominated world. The question of "What is the right way?" is in many of her thoughts and actions, as well as presented by the other characters.

Each character learns and grows as the book progresses. Henrietta and Franc grow, I think, the most and I can't wait to see how that relationship grows in the next book. 

The characters were all well developed, each one with their own personality. Jaxter was perhaps my favorite character, as his background was mostly hidden even though he was the most open. There was humor and sorrow, anger, and annoyances (Franc!) and I felt connected with each one.

The book definitely ended on a good note, what book doesn't? And I am salivating for the next one. 

AND this one will be joing Number The Stars in my daughter's future library, I can guarantee that one. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Just a Check In

I didn't get much done last week in regards to Camp Nanowrimo, but I did work. I enjoyed 13 straight hours of ALLIndie Authors Fringe event on Friday. Actually I watched, listened, and read to all the posts on Saturday. There was a lot of information, almost an overload, but it really helped me figure out a few things and know where I stand in my life as of now and what I can do to move forward.

Now, for why I'm making two posts today (Monday). Here are my stats as of Sunday night just before midnight. And that's it. Where are you in your writing goals? Let me know in the comments below.

Just a Regular Day in the Life

I've been online now, officially, for a little while now, just a few weeks, months. I've shared with you my day to day life, even though it's mundane, and my writing adventures, no matter how singular they may seem.

But what I haven't told you is what I really want to do. I want to write. (Duh)

I want to write books, I want to get them published and share my stories with the world. And how do I do that? How can you do that?

Write. Write. Write.

You can find it everywhere: advice on how to write, what to do & what not to do, tips and tricks. "Write what you know." "The hardest part of writing is the first sentence."

Trust me, I've seen it, done it, dove head first into it. I'm going to be swimming in this business for the rest of my life as it changes everyday. And I am so happy to be doing it.

The best way to learn how to write IS to write. And I will be writing what I know. I'll be working on my projects. I'll be writing these blog posts so you can follow along with me. And I'll be doing something I've been doing in my head for years: book reviewing.

Sure, there are hundreds of reviewers all over the world. Genre specialists, the eclectic reader, etc., etc. I would be categorized as the eclectic reader. I'll read anything from Patricia C. Wrede's Dealing with Dragons to JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Seriously, my library is filled with books I read and loved in the sixth grade to books I've read picked up for free through Bookperk.

I've read books to enjoy them and get out of my own head, I've read books because they are everywhere on my Tumblr feed. I've read books because no one has heard of them or because everyone has heard of them. There are a few I could only skim, and even less that I couldn't even finish, but I have always, always read books and shared them with friends and family. And they usually trust my opinions.

So to help with my writing, as well as to keep up with my writing, I will be doing book reviews, whether published or unpublished, I don't care. I want you, my readers to see what I like. Maybe I can persuade you to read a book you never thought you'd like, but will give it a chance based on what I have to say.

That's how it's done, right? You like a book and tell a friend, then they share it with a friend, and so on & so on.

If you like what I have to say, maybe you'll keep coming back?

So, we have a new schedule. Same days, different posts.

Based on this, I see there will be a book review, my very first official, this Wednesday. Come on back for my take on Beth Barany's Henrietta The Dragon Slayer.

What do you think? What are your thoughts? I really want to know, so comment below or email me!
If you have a book you would like for me to review, shoot me an email through
the contact form on your right.

Friday, April 15, 2016

I Know, I know, I'm late

But I have a good excuse.

Lil Miss, Hubby, and I went to the library Wednesday. And we got a stack of books. Lil Miss has a stack and I have stack. On top of that I have book review copies coming in.

Ever since Wednesday night when we got home, I've had my nose stuck in a book. So far I've read JR Ward's Bourbon Kings, The Winner's Curse, and am working on Shatter Me. When that is done I'll move onto my review project for the weekend and I'll have that up for you on Monday!

And that's it. I have literally done nothing but read since Wednesday night. My house is not happy with me.

Oh well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hoping It Gets Better

For four days, I have done very little in relation to my writing projects. I've written maybe 500 words. I've been focused on something that is just as equally important, Lil Miss.

I've said it before and I will say it again. I am homeschooling my daughter. TO homeschool is a personal decision and should not be taken lightly. It's also a learn as you go process. You can research, google, bookmark every blog and kit you can find but only you and your child can decide which is the best for you.

For me, I'm piecing all of my lesson plans together, looking for what interests Lil Miss and would be the most influential. And let me tell you, it is not easy.

I have a whole new respect for teachers. Especially elementary and primary school teachers. They have to come up with lessons for all disciplines while making sure each lesson plan appertains to each individual child's learning style, and keeps it fun and engaging to keep interest.

Other than that, I had a dentist appointment yesterday. Oh what fun that was. I have no problem with the extractions, fillings, or root canals. My problem is with the numbing agent, the needle. God, I hate the needle. I have no idea why I have such an irrational fear of needles, but I do. Other than being tired all day after having 2 teeth pulled, I've been sitting at this desk looking up info on the HB2 bill that was signed into action 3 weeks ago.

Like most people I was confused about the bill, and thankfully, I have a friend who clarified it all for me. I hate what such a large step backward is doing to our people and our economy. This is proof positive that one man can change so much.

I hope we as a state stand up and vote to get these discriminatory laws eliminated. They don't make anyone safer. They don't make your beliefs stronger or weaker. They don't change who you are as a person. Why is it such a problem to let people be who they really are?

I want to hear what you think, let me know in the comments below.

Monday, April 11, 2016

You May have Noticed Some Changes

The new design here may be just a tad bit different.

OK, a LOT different.

There were some visibility problems with the last design. As much as I loved the old world book, the warm and snugly feel of the colors, it just wasn't good on the eyes.

But now there is a clean, light feeling every time I open my page. Tags and posts are easier to search, eyes aren't straining to read white on black.

But this site is for you, so I want to know what you think!

What do you think of the new look?
Is wonderful, feels so much more clean and airy
It's okay. Doesn't bother me either way
I hate it, I want the old look back
I hate both, want something more neutral
Poll Maker

If you want something different, let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The life of a stay-at-home mom is never dull. Lil Miss here has her own learning computer games, homeschooling, and playtime. But what happens when I need to get some work done and she wants to play?

She'll get most of my day and then want more. I love her, gods know I do, but sometimes I'd like to be able to have a few moments to myself.

When I need to get some work done, we have what can be called proximal bonding. This is something I used to do with my daddy. 

When he was always on the computer and I wanted to hang out with him, we'd watch a movie together. Actually, I would watch a movie that he liked, and I ultimately liked, while he was on the computer playing World of Warcraft, or working on a program, or doing some other computer related thing. We didn't talk. We didn't interact except to talk about the movie when I needed some clarification or some such other detail. But we were together. Daddy was there. To a kid who didn't get any affection from her adoptive parents and felt threatened by her new step-family, this little time alone with Daddy was treasured. 

Don't get me wrong, I couldn't imagine my life without my step-family, or my adoptive father and brother, I love them all so much. But I've already lost my biological mother. I needed my daddy, especially in my teen years. 

That proximal bonding was enough for me at that time. So now, when Lil Miss wants my attention 24/7 I can make her feel like she's getting my attention while still getting my own work done. 

Lil Miss plays with her toys within five feet of my desk and we can interact with each other while still doing what I need to do. Multitasking has become a much needed skill. 

I know there are alot of parents out there, so how do you deal with kids wanting your attention all the time? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Oh The Pain

For those of you who noticed, I did not post Monday, but on Sunday. I did this because I promised to keep up my posts on a regular schedule. This was a promise to you as much as to myself.

Monday I had a dentists appointment. Long story short, I have an infection in a canine root canal. I was able to schedule an emergency appointment with my dentist and be seen right away. I've been on antibiotics for only a day and already I can feel a difference.

I didn't grow up with good dental care. My guardian never took me to the dentist, even when I was in pain when my wisdom teeth came in early and started the whole process of my dental problems.

For those of you who don't go to the dentist, please go. For those with children, please make sure they go on regular checkups. I didn't do either and now I'm paying the price.

For those that don't go because of financial constraints, there is hope. Medicaid, insurances, clinics, CareCredit, and dental discount plans are all available to you. There is usually an application process, certain qualifications, and of course fees, but anything can help cut the costs.

Now that I can take my mind off this little road bump in my life, I can focus on my project. I haven't written much in the past few days, barely hitting the 4000 word mark, when I should have double that by now.

But it is a new week, and my brain is in overtime. If you are a fellow Camper this year, what is your goal and how far have you gotten?

Don't forget to comment, like and share your thoughts below. I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Road Map...of Writing

Read any article on tips for writing, and they'll tell you to write however makes you comfortable. Don't like plotting and researching? You're a pantser. Can't stand starting a project without researching every single little detail, mapping out a 5 page character profile on each character, and detailing each occurrence? You're a planner.

Me? I'm both. I might research something if I feel I don't know enough, I might write a character profile to make sure I keep the character consistent throughout the book. But I never go too far. If I research too much I'll loose heart for the story and drop it.

When I was writing Legacy, I researched very little and plotted even less. I sat down and wrote out the whole thing without any background whatsoever. And now that project is sitting in the first round of revisions and edits for 2 years, and will most likely be there for several more months.

The project I'm working on now is much easier to edit once it's written. Not that editing is easy. Far from it, but it must be done. It's easier because I have a plot map- a road map of the story.

Essentially a plot map is an outline, list, or some such thing that leads you through the story. For example:
                     1. Chapter 1
                                  MC does ordinary thing
                                  something happens
                                  problem within story shows itself
                     2. Chapter 2
                                  gain new info
                                  questions are building
                                  character introduced

And so on and so forth. If you do nothing else for planning your project, this is something that will help you in the long run and make editing so much easier. The time spent doing this is well worth it, and this coming from someone who hates planning with a passion.

And ti only takes a few minutes to do it. As you write, take a few seconds to jot down an important event, or what you think is an important event. Then keep on writing. Separate it into chapters so you can find what you need later. Want to add or take out a scene? Go to your road map, find the chapter and boom: no more reading 10 chapters trying to find this one thing you really want to change.

You can add in notes to the map, such as character development, characteristics of a place or person, note the setting for a particular day within a chapter. Doesn't matter, it's up to you.

These links ^ are very basic and can be a start up to what you really want. For more resources you can go here:
I use the tips provided by NaNoWriMo all the time, especially the workbook listed at the very bottom of the page. Ignore the grade levels of the workbooks because they really do help no matter what age you are.

If you want to know more, visit other sites. Research how to plan a writing project. Join a community of writers and spread tips and pick up more.

But remember" You are the writer and no one can tell you how to do it. Tips are jsut advice and you can take it any way you want.

Got some websites or articles you like to use? Share them and your experiences in the comments below!

Friday, April 1, 2016

It Begins!

Today is Friday, April 1st.

Not only is it April Fools Day, but it's also day one of Camp Nanowrimo. And I have been waiting all month for this. I've been itching to get down and dirty, to start the writing portion of this project. March was just he preparation stage: character profiles, story mapping, story bibles, etc. May will be first draft aftercare. But April is the heart of the matter.

April is the month I try to write an entire novel in 30 days. That's right: 30 days. Most novels are between 200 and 300 pages long, and between 20k and 100k words. Think that's hard?

Let's break it down. A word sprint goal of 1000 words in an hour. Completely plausible if you don't stop writing for 5 minutes every other sentence. Now do a word-sprint of 2000 words in 2 hours. In 25 days you will have 50k words. easy. With very little time spent doing it.

Word sprints can be a writer's best friend. Especially one who has a full time job and a family to take care of. Or is a student with a full load of classes (and exams at the same time). Or is a homebody, like me, with a little one running around, like me, who is also being home-schooled, like me.

While Lil Miss is working on her stuff, I can be working on my stuff. When she has her outside play time, I can split the time with her and working outside in the fresh air. If you are traveling, take a notebook with you and write the whole time you are traveling. You can write an entire chapter on a one hour commute (my father commutes that much on his train ride to work one-way. Plausible).

The word sprints may be the way I'll get through this month's writing goal. I can't do what I used to do, which was sit down and ignore everything just to write. I have a family to care for and a little one to teach and play with. I have responsibilities. Just like everyone else.

Time management may be my weakest point, but you most definitely can teach an old dog new tricks.

And it's not too late to join up. Camp Nanowrimo goes through the whole month. Just follow the link on the page I provided up top and enter a little info. Read the forums and get help getting started. Set your own goals for the month and do it.

Anyone else here signed up for Camp Nanowrimo? Leave your comments below and find me at Infinitepen