Friday, December 26, 2014

Looking Back at 2014

 I decided to take a look at my 2014 goals before I sit down and start writing my new ones.

This was a busy and emotional year. DH spent part of the summer in and out of the cardiologist's office and hospital. It was a scary and stressful time, but we made it and things are looking better. The child has a new career that he enjoys. It just takes him away from home weeks at a time, but it is as it should be.

My 2014 GOALS

  • Writing Goals
    • Start a new series.
      • Started the Reluctantly Undead series. Have the first book in the Briary Creek Wolves series coming out in 2015.
    • Outline books 5-8 of the Bryant Curves series.
      • I have books 5, 6, and 7 in various stages of the outline process.
    • Write 4 to 5 books.
      • Wrote 3 books (Abby's Heart, Reluctantly Undead, and Saving Courtney).
    • Start blogging more. 
      • This is up and down. It still needs work.
  • Health Goals
    • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
      • I have worked on incorporating more vegetables into the dishes I cook.
    • Cook more chicken and fish.
      • I have added more chicken and turkey to my diet, and have increase the amount and kinds of fish in my diet. I need to find new recipes.
    • Go back to the gym.
  • Other Goals
    • Start doing cross stitch and embroidery again.
    • Take more pictures. 
      • I have taken a lot more pictures, but I have used my phone more than my camera.
    • Take a vacation.
      • We actually managed to go on two smaller vacations. It was nice.
    • Decorate for the holidays. 
It was not a bad year when it comes to my goals. I have some things I need to work on, but I'm happy with what I have achieved.
 
How did your goals for 2014 go? Did you achieve some of them or did some goals get away from you and remain undone?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What I Love About Christmas


Here are a few things I love about Christmas:

The lights
I love all the beautiful light displays. This year, there seems to be a lot more houses that have decorated. Some displays are simply, but others are over the top elaborate. Very pretty at night.

The decorations
I love all the decorations. I used to make wreaths, cards, cross stitch pieces.

The carols
There's always at least one radio station that has changed their normal play list to around the clock Christmas music.

The movies
Love the Christmas movies the Hallmark Channel has been showing.

The Christmas cartoons
 - Charlie Brown Christmas
 - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
 - The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

The giving spirit
This time of year the spirit of giving and helping others seems to be more active. Maybe it's just the fact the news is looking for these stories at this time of the year.  Last night on the news, there was another story about someone who paid the lay-aways of various families.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finding Story Ideas

"Where do you find your ideas?"

EVERYWHERE!

Sometimes ideas come from:
  • something I hear on the news,
  • an article about a fantastical discovery, a new theory, or something strange,
  • a snippet of an overheard conversation
  • a place I happen to visit,
  • a road sign,
  • the name of a place,
  • the characters in my books,
  • my dreams and nightmares,
  • songs,
  • the weather,
  • a scent,
  • or some crazy combination of things.
The past few weeks, I've watched several Christmas movies. The whole "letter to Santa thing" got me to thinking. "What if..."
I now have an idea, actually a couple of pages of notes, for a Christmas story. It needs to be outlined and fleshed out, but the idea is on paper. Unfortunately, it won't be ready for this Christmas, but I hope to have it ready for Christmas 2015.

A couple of weeks ago, we were on a drive. I jotted down several names of dry creeks and roads that made the wheels in my head turning with a possible series idea. I'm not sure where or when I will actually use the names, but they are safe in my ideas book, along with my growing list of possible character names.

I always have a notepad and pens with me, because I never know when an idea or inspiration is going to hit me.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Counting Down to Thanksgiving

Just a few days ago, the temperatures were in the 40s during the day and we had freeze warning. Today, it is a completely different story. The temperatures are much higher, 60s to 70s with today getting up in the 80s. Friday and Saturday, we had thunderstorms. The rain cells came in waves. I was really glad for the rain, but I want cooler temperatures, especially for the holidays, but I don't think I'm going to get them.

Speaking of holidays, this week is going to be a really busy week.

  • The day job has me working on Monday and Tuesday, before I can get away for the holidays. I'm actually dreading the next two days. They are going to be crazy!!!
  • We will have a house full of guests for Thanksgiving, so the house has to be picked up and cleaned. It's unreal how two people can make such a big mess. You can tell where I've been writing in the living room or where we just put the mail down and went onto other things. It's scary!!!
  • I need to finish the outline for book 5 in the Bryant Station Curves series.
  • I have cookies and pies to bake, bread to make and other dishes to prep. DH is smoking the turkeys and the ham this year so that takes two big items of f my list, but I have to make the rub today for the turkeys. They have to marinate for a couple days so that they soaks up the flavor. DH will start smoking the turkeys on Wednesday.The ham is one of those pre-cooked, spiral cut numbers that has a brown sugar mix to go on it. The smoke will add a whole new level of flavor to it.
  • I need to finish the first book of the Briary Creek Wolves series. I have a self-imposed deadline.

There are tons of Black Friday ads on television. I haven't even thought about Christmas shopping yet. That will have to wait. Sorry, I don't do Black Friday shopping. The stores are too much of a madhouse. I would rather stay home.

The Child is among you who are traveling home this year for Thanksgiving. If you're traveling this year, be safe.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Backlist: Chasing Tara




Chasing Tara
by Rayne Rachels

Bryant Station Curves
Book 2




Tara Wilson and her daughter, Haley, are running for their lives. 

They are only steps ahead of her brother-in-law who plans to use Tara to pay off his gambling debts, but before they can reach safety, their car breaks down outside of Bryant Station.

Jason Anderson’s bear knows Tara is his mate, and the bear will do anything to protect Tara and her cub. 
However, Jason is not looking for a mate. His mate died years ago and bears only get one mate…or do they?




Excerpt
 
Jason stared at the ugly bruise marring his mate’s face. “Who did this to you?” he asked Tara.

Tara knocked his hand away. “It doesn’t concern you. In fact, why don’t you go away?”

“That’s not happening.” Jason grabbed an empty chair from the table behind him and sat down next to Tara.

She frowned at the guy. “I think I told you to leave me alone.”

“You did, but I don’t listen very well.”

“That’s obvious.”

“Who hit you?” Jason put his hand on the back of her chair.

Tara turned to Lisa. “Do you know who he is?”

“Unfortunately, that’s Jason, my older brother and Ben’s dad,” said David before Lisa could answer.

“Has he always had the hearing problem?”

Ben and Lisa laughed.

“I don’t have a hearing problem,” said Jason.

“Obviously, you do, because I told you to go away and you didn’t listen.” Tara crossed her arms.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Few Questions


Will there be more Bryant Station stories?
Yes. I have a total of eight stories planned for this series. With four written, there are four more to go. I'm working on the outlines for two of the stories right now. 


Will Ben have a book?
Ben will have his own story. In a few years, he will go off to college--in Saving Courtney, he is 16 years old and just starting to drive. College will change him in more ways than one. Ben has it rough. He is an old soul and an old bear stuck in a young body.


What are you currently working on?
I'm working on a couple of outlines for the Bryant Station Curves series. I'm "planning and jotting down" ideas for a couple of new series. I'm currently working on book 1 in the Briary Creek Wolves.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Blamed by Edie Harris






Blamed by Edie Harris
(Blood Money #1) 



Synopsis:

Born into a long line of spies, sanctioned killers and covert weapons developers, Beth Faraday carried out her first hit-for-hire when she was still a teenager.


That part of her life—the American spy royalty part—ended one year ago, with a job gone wrong in Afghanistan. The collateral damage she caused with a single shot was unfathomable and, for Beth, unforgivable. She’s worked hard to build a new life for herself, far away from the family business.

But someone, somewhere, hasn’t forgotten what Beth did in Kabul.

And they want revenge.

As the Faraday clan bands together to defend Beth and protect their legacy, Beth is forced to flee her new home with the unlikeliest of allies—MI6 agent Raleigh Vick, the only man she’s ever loved. And the one she thought she’d killed in the desert


Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
Publication date: November 3rd 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense


 Available at








GIVEAWAY

Blitz-wide giveaway (US and Canada)

 
Digital copy of Blamed by Edie Harris (formats available: PDF, epub & mobi)
‘I Only Kiss Spies’ t-shirt
‘Lincoln Park After Dark’ OPI nail polish
Bag of Van Houtte ‘Belgian Chocolate’ ground coffee




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About Edie Harris


Edie Harris studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa and Grinnell College. She fills her days with writing and editing contract proposals, but her nights belong to the world of romance fiction. Edie lives and works in Chicago and is represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.

Author Links





Saturday, November 1, 2014

Random Thoughts: November Goals

I took a few minutes to look  back on the October goals I set for myself. I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to, but I did get a few things done and I'm still working on the others.


October Accomplishments
  • Completed one outline.
  • Started writing first story of new series.
  • Have several others in various stages of completion.
  • Set up a designated "planner" for outlines and ideas.
  • Have a couple of ebook covers ready and waiting.
  • Stopped bringing home work from the day job.
  • Went on a weekend fishing trip to the coast with DH (We fished off a pier and didn't catch any keepers, but we had a blast!)


New Goals for November
  •  Finish book 1 of new series.
  • Begin writing another story. This will be the next book in the Bryant Station series.
  • Continue working on outlines and ideas. Getting a designated "planner" for this has really helped. It's a spiral with lines on one side and grid paper on the back. I skip several blank pages between each idea, giving me room to work on each idea.
  • Work on turning down the stress levels at work. This is an ongoing process.
  • Get ready for friends and family coming to visit over Thanksgiving holidays. (I've already started stocking up on items I need for the holiday meals. I hate waiting to the last minute to do the grocery shopping. I tend to forget things, and the grocery stores are usually starting to run out of certain items by the weekend before Thanksgiving. And it helps the grocery budget by spreading items out instead of one big purchase.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday Quote

Double, double toil and trouble;
fire burn and cauldron bubble.
--Shakespeare "Macbeth"

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Random Thoughts: Coffee Addiction

I have a coffee addiction.
I've said it.
Well...it's a coffee and hot tea addiction.
It's kinda like having a split personality.

I love coffee, lattes, and yes, iced coffee.

I get up every morning, feed the kitties, and make myself a cup of coffee.

Sometimes, I make a cup to take with me to work, but other times I stop at ta little coffee shack that recently opened on my route to work. Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee/lattes are my favorite this time of year. Starbucks (which I love) is on the other side of town--too crowded and too far away to make it to work on time unless I get up and leave extra early.

Not happening!
Five o'clock on weekdays is early enough.

The little drive-thru coffee shack has their version of a pumpkin pie latte, and it's good. Unfortunately, I tend to indulge a little too often, but in my defense, more often than not that is my breakfast.

I know! I know!
Coffee, no matter how good it is, should not be a substitute for breakfast.

Cost is another factor. at about $5.00 for a large--and yes, I can suck it down in minutes--it gets expensive. And I haven't even said anything about the extra calories and sugar. That's for a whole other story.

I went on-line and ordered some pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice flavorings from Torani. Most grocery stores here carry a couple of flavors--vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut--but they are small bottles. I've used all three of the flavors.

My package was waiting for me when I got home yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised. The syrups were not the small bottles I'm used to getting in the grocery store. They were the large glass bottles you see at coffee shops.

I'm the only one at home who drinks the stuff, so I've got it all to myself.  It's all MINE!!
(Insert evil laugh!)
I can make my pumpkin spice lattes and coffees at home, and control the amount of sugar in my drinks.

Between the prices and the variety they have, I  have ideas for Christmas gifts for some of the coffee addicts I know.
 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Seductive Supernaturals




Bad boys, tortured alpha heroes, and kick-ass heroines all come together in 12 steamy full-length paranormal romance novels and novellas from NY Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors! Whether you’re looking for tantalizing dark tales or the humorous side of the supernatural, you’ll get werewolves, vampires, fallen angels, monster hunters, and ghosts—every one of them a hot temptation you won’t be able to resist…

Seductive Supernaturals Boxed Set
Publication date: October 20th 2014
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance





DIABLO SPRINGS by Erin Quinn: Gracie Beck vowed that she would never to return to Diablo Springs, but the haunted town lures her back—along with the man who betrayed her years ago. Reilly broke her heart with his lies. Now, he wants a second chance to win her, but can they survive the ghosts of Diablo Springs?

VAMPIRE REBORN by Caridad Pineiro: Would you be reborn for love? Ryder Latimer, sexy Southern vampire, will have to make one of the most difficult choices in his undead life: Become human again or protect his new wife and child.

SHADOW FALL by Erin Kellison: Just discovering her magic, ballerina Annabella Ames didn’t mean to summon a dark wolf from Twilight, nor the tempting fallen angel Custo Santovari, who has no place in Heaven. The cunning wolf stalks them relentlessly, and danger seduces as they fight for redemption and love.

NIGHT ANGEL by Lisa Kessler: When Colin Flynn returns home to Ireland, the immortal Night Walker’s flesh has healed, but the scars hide a broken spirit. Juliana Duffy plays piano in spite of her deafness, challenging him to redefine himself and find the strength to battle an ancient enemy.

SHADOWS TILL SUNRISE by Chris Marie Green: Two monster hunters fighting a star-crossed attraction and one bloodthirsty phantom leaving a trail of death… Can love survive till the sun rises?

A SHADOW AT TWILIGHT by Mary Leo: They say Hotel Colorado is haunted, but when Dillon Spencer appears in his hotel room to find Hilly Thompson, his assistant, soaking in the tub, he begins to question whether or not he’s alive, dead, or caught in another dimension.

MORE THAN FIENDS by Maureen Child: At 32, Cassidy Burke discovers she’s a legendary Demon Duster. But she’s got bigger problems than some pesky demons. Like, Logan Miller–first love, baby daddy to her genius daughter is back. Then there’s Devlin Cole, a walking orgasm with too many secrets. Cassidy’s life is out of control and about to get way too interesting.

IMMORTAL POSSESSION by Cassi Carver: When Dr. Evelyn Vale is paired with Immortal Bounty’s sexy commander to go undercover and infiltrate a supernatural body-trafficking ring, she’s eager to get to work. Until she learns the catch… To crack this case, he’ll need to possess her body.

FOREVER ROSE by Janet Wellington: Tarot cards predict a dangerous journey for Taylor Rose, but she doesn’t expect to travel back to 1888 San Diego. What the cards didn’t predict was falling for a man bent on revenge, a helpful ghost, and spooky séances. Is she there to prevent a murder or to find love?

WELCOME HOME, VAMPIRE by Theresa Meyers: Corporal Cole Wagner lost his humanity in war – literally. Turned into a vampire by the military’s Vector Force, he’s the ultimate weapon, but when he returns home to set the past right, will the enemy stop at nothing to get him, including threatening the life of the woman he loved, and lost, before?

VAMPIRE MAGIC (Blood Genie, books 1 and 2) by Sheri Whitefeather: Two tenderly romantic, wildly erotic stories featuring supernatural hybrids (vampires/genies) who grant wishes for the exchange of blood.

WILD NIGHTS WITH A LONE WOLF by Elisabeth Staab: A mandatory vacation lands Agent Sherri Walker in bed with a local werewolf. Asher Hughes walked away from his outlaw pack but couldn’t ditch the bad blood. Together they’ll have to pull off one hell of an act to get out of treacherous territory alive.



Available at




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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Saving Courtney: Excerpt 1

 

Saving Courtney

Bryant Station Curves, Book 4







 



Excerpt 1

The cold water shocked both men causing them to stop hitting each other.

“Look at the mess you have made!” Courtney slammed the metal pitcher down on the counter top.

Both men stared at her.

“Don’t you even think for one minute that I’m cleaning this mess! You made it with your ridiculous fight.” Courtney put her hands on her hips. “What do you have to say for yourselves?”

Scott looked at Todd then at himself. They were both covered with remnants of ruined pie, and they were soaked from the water Courtney had thrown on them. Blood covered their faces.

Todd looked at his cousin, then back at Courtney. She was furious. She looked beautiful. Todd started laughing. Instead of running away scared, his mate had taken it upon herself to stop the fight between him and Scott, but she had done it in a way that did not bring her near the danger of the two men fighting. Her bravery pleased his bear, but it terrified the man. She needed to know her limitations so she stayed safe.

“Are you laughing at me?” Courtney’s cheeks turned pink, but her eyes flashed with anger. “Let’s see how you are laughing when you two are cleaning this place, replacing the glass in the display case, and baking more pies to replace the ones you ruined.”

“He started it.” Scott pointed at Todd.

“He may have started it, but you could have taken it outside.” Courtney plopped her hands on her hips. “But did you do that? No! You started the fight in the middle of my bakery. You destroyed the glass case and half my morning’s work. I hope you two are proud of yourselves, especially you.” Courtney pointed her finger at Todd. “You should be ashamed of yourself. You are a police officer. You’re supposed to keep the peace. You shouldn’t be starting fights or destroying property.”