Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Provoking Emotions/Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Just a heads up...this post is actually a mix of WoW and a regular post today.  So, those of you who are looking to see what I'm eagerly waiting on, please be patient as I do reveal it towards the end of this post!  What is written between here and there is actually pertinent to the WoW reveal!

As most of you know, I co-own a publishing company (Cressen Books LLC) with my husband and lately we've been taking on new authors.  We have three authors signed on with us now and one of them is getting ready to release their debut novel.  It's in the final stages even as I write this.

The reason I mention this is that I spent this morning editing the latest chapter in this soon-to-be-published novel.  And I literally went through 10-15 kleenexes while editing it.  It was that emotional!

Normally, when editing occurs, especially if it's more technical editing than content editing, emotions get turned off and I'm busy looking for misspelled words or punctuation problems or grammar issues, that sort of thing.  Can't get too emotional with that.

But, I also do content editing.  So to a degree, I have to read what's written in order to know if anything needs to be added or changes suggested to make the work flow better.  Even with content editing, I can usually turn off the emotional responses because it's work reading not pleasure reading.

Not today, however.  Rachel Stark, the author of this upcoming novel, is such a talented writer and I knew that this latest chapter was going to be an emotional ride.  But, I had no idea how Rachel was going to proceed to write it.  And boy was I in for a surprise.  Within the first two paragraphs, I was jumping up from my computer and fetching a box of kleenexes.  And the waterworks kept getting jarred as I continued through the chapter.

Now this book is full of emotion already, but Rachel has written it in such a way that it just keeps building and building until it finally has to burst.  And she manages it so well in this latest chapter.  Whew.  Now that's what I call provoking emotions in a story.  The reader knows that it's fiction but has become so emotionally tied to the main characters' plight, that tears or laughter or anger can readily be drawn from the reader as events unfold.

Well done, Rachel!

For those that are interested, the title to this debut novel is A Veil of Shattered Dreams and will hopefully be published within the first week of January.  It falls in the Young Adult Psychological Suspense category but is definitely a read that many adult readers will enjoy as well.  And because a cover reveal has already been done, I'd like to share the cover here with you...it's amazing and definitely fits well with the story:


Is that an amazing cover or what?  Rachel, along with two of her friends, one a photographer and one a model, developed this cover and I think they pulled it off beautifully!  And there's actually more to it but you have to order the paperback to get the full effect (hint, hint). ;)

And here's the synopsis:

Have you ever dreamed so hard it was real? A dream world that beckons to you, but is so fragile it could shatter with the mere thought of harsh reality. Katerina dreams of this place. But is it real or only real to her? With her sanity trapped behind a shadowy veil, Katerina struggles to free herself from its hidden secrets. But these secrets come at a terrible cost, a cost that may be too great for her to accept.

Does that synopsis draw you in or what?!  So, I guess in a way, this is my Waiting on Wednesday because I truly can't wait to see this book published and available for readers everywhere.  It will definitely provoke emotions and leave readers ultimately satisfied at the end of the heart-wrenching journey.

For those visiting today, if you have a WoW post you'd like to share, please leave a link for me in the comments below as I'd love to see what you're waiting on!  If you read through this whole post, thank you...it truly was pertinent!  And please let me know what you think about this exciting upcoming debut!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Shining

 
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
 
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 
This weeks' teaser comes from The Shining (The Shining #1) by Stephen King:  And in the [VW]bug, which moved upward more surely on the gentler grade, he kept looking out between them as the road unwound, affording occasional glimpses of the Overlook Hotel, its massive bank of westward-looking windows reflecting back the sun.  It was the place he had seen in the midst of the blizzard, the dark and booming place where some hideously familiar figure sought him down long corridors carpeted with jungle.  The place Tony had warned him against.  It was here.  It was here.  Whatever Redrum was, it was here. (p. 64) 
This piece is from Danny's perspective.  I've been in love with the original movie, The Shining, since I was a teenager (too many years ago...lol).  I loved Jack Nicholson's performance...really epic!  So, I finally decided to purchase the book and read it to see how closely the movie followed the book.  So far, it's been amazingly close to the storyline and I'm really enjoying it.  Danny's perspectives are usually the eeriest, especially since he's a five-year-old with this strange ability.  And from the very first page, I could see Jack Nicholson grinning crazily out of the pages, so I believe Hollywood cast him perfectly, as well as casting Wendy and Danny perfectly!  Anyway, a great book so far and if you have never seen the movie, please give it a try...it truly is a classic!
 
Have anything to tease me with?
Leave me a link or comment below!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Musing Mondays [4]

 
MUSING MONDAYS… is a weekly event where MizB of Should Be Reading will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.
 
This week’s musing – courtesy of http://www.kwizgiver.com - asks…
 
Is there a particular book that is your nemesis–the book you’re determined to one day finish?

The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2) by Gena Showalter literally made me want to throw my 10" Android across the room!  I absolutely LOVED the first book in this series, The Darkest Night, and couldn't wait to begin the next book.  But, dear god, this book made me want to scream and I only got about 19% through it.  All the two main characters did for most of the first 19% was teleport all over the freakin' world, chasing each other but never really doing anything when they did catch up with each other.  However, I have heard wonderful things about the rest of the series and I am determined to work my way through this book someday as I can't stand leaving a book unread in a series, especially a series that has such great potential and especially if that book is not the first book in the series.  *deep breath*  Okay, I've finished my rant now and hopefully someday will finish this infuriating book, too! lol


Have you read this series?  What did you think of it or of this particular book?
And do you have a book that is your nemesis?
 
Leave me a link or comment below!
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Priorities and Procrastination

You know, I never cease to amaze myself with how well I procrastinate.  When it comes to things that I'm working on for myself that I know I need to get done and even want to get done, I still manage to find ways to put it off. 

Take, for example, The Butterfly Connection (The L & L Mysteries #4).  This is a book that I've had written for quite a while now and I'm in the final editing stages even as I type this post.  But, I find myself looking for anything and everything else to do so I can put this off. 

Why?  Well, one reason is because this is the last book in the series and I'm a little sad to see it end.  But, at the same time, I'm ready to move on to other projects.  It's just that, I think about Leyla and Lucien and wonder if I'll ever revisit these two characters and the world they live in.  Or will it just fade into the back of my mind as I move on to create new worlds and new characters.....hmmm....yeah, I still don't have an answer for that. 

And another reason I keep procrastinating has more to do with getting things done for the business and setting The Butterfly Connection to the side so I make sure nothing falls through the cracks with the business.  Anyway, the point is that I keep putting this off (whether it's because I'm personally putting it off or it's because other aspects of the business have taken my focus, doesn't matter).

So, that's me procrastinating.  Now on to me setting priorities.

If it's for myself, I know the top priority has to be The Butterfly Connection simply because I'm literally almost done with it, I want to get it published ASAP, and I want to finish out The L & L Mysteries so I can move on to other things.

If it's for others, it all depends on what's happening at the moment within the business.  For example, right now we are getting really close to officially publishing a book that one of our new authors (and our current intern) is writing.  So, I need to do several things for that, including creating a webpage for the book and telling everyone about it.  Then there's the book signing that will take place after the first of the year for this book and I'll need to make posters and flyers and get things ready for that.  And this is what I actually intend on working on today.

So, see...I do know how to set priorities and get them done.  It's just when it comes to my stuff that I tend to drag my feet and I have absolutely no idea why.  I mean, you would think that I would be chomping at the bit to work on my stuff and would be procrastinating when it came to other people's stuff, right?  Nope, that's just not how I work.  I prefer to put other people's stuff ahead of my own.  I guess that could be considered a good thing, but it still doesn't get any of my stuff done...sigh.

And that reminds me, I need to do two posts on this blog about the two new authors we've taken on at Cressen Books LLC.  So, stay tuned because those posts will be coming in the next few days.

Yep, lots to do and I can already feel myself wanting to put things off and just goof off for half the day.  MUST...RESIST....TEMPTATION......

How do you organize your priorities and ensure that they get done?
Are you a procrastinator?
If so, how do you keep yourself from procrastinating when it's really important to get certain things done?
 
I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment below!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters

 
"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

 
by Suzanne Weyn
Release Date: January 2013
 

Goodreads Description:

A new generation is creating a monster....

Doctor Victor Frankenstein's previously unacknowledged beautiful, intelligent twin daughters (from an early marriage when he was a student) have come to Frankenstein's Castle to claim it as their inheritance.

Shortly thereafter they learn that a serial killer is on the loose. They try to ignore this -- Gretchen takes up her father's work, while Ingrid throws lavish parties. Gretchen and Ingrid form a love triangle with a young naval officer with a debilitating disease. Though he loves Ingrid, he agrees to work with Gretchen on a series of body transplants that improve his condition. Before long he is even walking without his cane. He does not know that the science that is helping him is the science of death itself . . .

A twisted, macabre journey of romance and horror.


Why am I eagerly waiting on this?  I love gothic novels and reading an intriguing perspective on the whole Frankenstein concept is exciting!  I can't wait to see how this author weaves the original story into the background of this novel.  Should be awesome!

What are you eagerly waiting on?
Leave me a link or comment below!
 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Musing Mondays [3]

MUSING MONDAYS… is a weekly event where MizB of Should Be Reading will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.

This week’s musing, courtesy of “iamciska.tumbler.com“, asks…

What was the last book you could not finish and why?

The last book I wasn't able to finish was Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver.  Here's what I ended up putting on Goodreads after I stopped reading halfway through the book:

I know there are lots of good reviews for this book. But, I feel bad that I just couldn't finish it. I think it has to do with the lack of good interactions between the characters (there just wasn't enough talk going on between Lena and Adam, or Lena and anyone for that matter) and lack of anything interesting really going on. The concept intrigued me and that's what kept me reading but I got halfway through the book and was bored. And I couldn't relate to any of the characters. They were just too flat for me. The writing was good and the descriptions were wonderful, but I need more than that for me to really get into a story.

I'm sure this book has been enjoyable for others and I would not want to discourage anyone who is a huge fan of dystopian from reading this. Please give it a try if you really are interested. It just wasn't for me.


Anyway, that's my reasoning for not finishing this book.  I wouldn't discourage others from reading it - like I said, it just wasn't for me.

Have you read Delirium?  And if so, what did you think about it?
 
Have you read something recently that you couldn't finish?
Leave me a link or comment below and have a wonderful Monday!
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Chaos and New Bookcases

The holidays always seem to be a crazy time of year.  Shopping to be done, family to spend time with or catch up with, Christmas cards to send out, decorating and tree hunting....in other words, a bit chaotic.  And because of this chaos, it's so hard to remain focused on what needs to be done.

So, in some ways, I blame the chaos for not having accomplished more in the past few weeks.  But, if I'm really honest with myself, I feel as though I'm floundering just a bit.  I'm on the brink of wrapping up The L & L Mysteries with the final book, The Butterfly Connection.  And even though I'm excited to finally have this series done, I'm a little saddened by it too.  After all, L & L is the first series I've ever published and it has a very special place in my heart.  But, I also recognize that I'm ready to move on to bigger, better, and more challenging writing projects, two of which I've already begun.

One of these projects is a collaborative effort with my Muse (aka, hubby).  It's a sci-fi/adventure series called Galactic Dynasty.  I'm really looking forward to putting more of my focus on it and hopefully having the first book published sometime in 2013 (no specifics yet on that and the book doesn't have a working title yet).

The other project is called The Soul of Arial.  If you've been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll know that I've been working with this story over the last week or so and am making really good progress with it.  It falls in the fantasy/paranormal realm (more fantasy than paranormal) and I'm absolutely in love with my two main characters, Arial and Rayner.  This is geared towards adult readers, just like Galactic Dynasty is, but could be read by mature teens as well.  I'm hoping to have Arial finished in the next month or two and then published, but we'll see how that goes.

With all that said, I do have some exciting news to share.  I finally got my bookcases delivered (2 months after ordering them) and I have some lovely pics to share with you!!

Here's how they were delivered before the shelves were put into place:
 

Here they are with the shelves:
 

And now, here they are with books on the shelves:
 

The bookcase on the left holds all of my adult and classic novels (mystery, thriller, romance - historical and contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, and high fantasy);
 
The bookcase in the middle holds my young adult collection (contemporary, mystery, and paranormal);
 
And the bookcase on the right (the top two shelves anyway) are my TBR books.
 
The cases are made with pine wood and were stained to be as close a match as possible to my writing desk.  And I've got a pic to show what my writing area looks like, since I don't think I've shared that before.
 

So, that's what I've been up to for the last few days.  The bookcases arrived on Wednesday and it took me a couple of days to gather up all the books and put them on the shelves.  Then, of course, I had to organize everything!  Yeah, I had way too much fun with this project!  And, of course, that was just another thing that added to the normal chaos of the holidays, which in turn distracted me enough to not work on things I should have been working on these last few days.  Sigh. 

Oh well, life goes on and I'm very happy to finally have bookcases to show off my books.  And, now that I've got everything arranged the way I want it, I can shift my focus back to what I should be working on...finishing up The Butterfly Connection and writing more on the two new projects.

And I guess that wraps things up for this post.  I'll try to post again soon with some updates on how these writing projects are going.  And, if you just want to see how my word count progress is going on Arial and Galactic Dynasty, I've got word count meters located on the Stories in Progress page (they are the first two stories listed...the rest of the stories are more ideas at the moment).  I do try to update the word count meters after each day that I write on them, so feel free to check back periodically to see how those are coming along.

Happy Friday to everyone and I hope you have an enjoyable weekend!!





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Last Kiss Goodnight

 
"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
 
 
by Gena Showalter
Release Date: December 26, 2012
 

 
Goodreads Description:

The breathtaking first novel in New York Times best selling author Gena Showalter’s new paranormal romance series, Otherworld Assassins, featuring a black ops agent who is captured and enslaved…and the beautiful deaf girl who holds the key to his salvation…

THE SWEETEST TEMPTATION…

Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems—she’s his.

THE ULTIMATE PRICE…

Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different—he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him…and he’ll be put to a killer test.


Why am I eagerly waiting on this?  This just sounds sooo amazing!  A black ops agent and a deaf girl?  A twisted zoo of otherworlders as the main attraction?  Forbidden romance?  Oh yeah, I'm definitely there!  And check out the cover....just stare at it and tell me that's not an absolutely gorgeous cover!

What are you eagerly waiting on?
Leave me a link or comment below and have an awesome WoW day!
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: My Dangerous Duke

 
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
 
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 
This weeks' teaser comes from My Dangerous Duke (The Inferno Club #2) by Gaelen Foley:
 
At that moment, a loud crack and rumble split the air.
She glanced around wildly and started to rush forward, but she was too late—before his horrified eyes, the ledge crumbled under her weight like a trapdoor. (p. 57)
 
Last week I had spotlighted My Wicked Marquess, the first book in this series.  Unfortunately, that book was not as good as I had been hoping.  But, My Dangerous Duke has more than made up for it.  This story somewhat parallels the fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, and I've always loved that story.  The author is weaving it in very well with this book and I just keep finding myself saying, 'just one more page...just a little bit further'!  Definitely an excellent book so far and I'm a little over halfway through it. :)
 
 
Do you have anything to tease me with?
If so, leave me a link or comment below and have a wonderful day!
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Musing Mondays [2]

 
MUSING MONDAYS… is a weekly event where MizB of Should Be Reading will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.

This week’s musing, courtesy of Booking Through Thursday, asks…

How do you organize/store your books? Do you go through them often? Or do you pretty much just shelve them and then leave them alone until you need them?

I actually just moved into my new house about 2 years ago and have yet to get any bookshelves in place (I know, I'm pathetic).  But, as a birthday present, my hubby ordered three solid wood bookcases and they're supposed to be delivered this Wednesday...YAY!!!  So, right now, all of my books are in boxes or in drawers under my bed or are filling up the drawers of an old rolltop desk I own.  Oh, and are also filling the three drawers of my nightstand by my side of the bed...lol.  Needless to say, they're everywhere and have absolutely no organization at this time.  And those are the books I've read.  The ones I haven't read are in the store bags still, the bags stacked in a corner, the books waiting to be read.  Sigh.  But, when the bookcases arrive, I'll be sorting the books by genre (separating adult from young adult) and then by author, putting series books in order of course.  And I will probably have enough shelf space left to dedicate a shelf or two to the books I haven't read yet, my TBR shelves. :)

I'd love to know how you organize/store your books,
so leave me a link or comment below!
 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Monthly TBR Pile Update: November 2012


This is a monthly post to share what books I've read from my TBR Pile for the month and what books I've added to the TBR Pile.  All titles link to the books' Goodreads page.

Books I've Read in November:

When A Scot Loves A Lady (Falcon Club #1) by Katharine Ashe:  This book had me teetering back and forth between a 3-Star read and a 4-Star read, so I decided to give it 3.5 on Goodreads.  I was a bit lost in the first couple of chapters as to what was really going on and what was the point of this story.  Then things cleared up a bit and became really enjoyable when the characters became snowed in at a little inn in Shropshire.  Once they left there, though, things went downhill for several chapters and then picked back up again when they all ended up in London for one reason or another.  Suffice it to say, this book was like being on a seesaw and I'm still not quite sure how I really feel about it.  Some of the interactions were good but that was not enough to really carry this book.  I'm still debating on whether I will continue this series or not.






Covet (Fallen Angels #1) by J. R. Ward:  Okay, I'll admit that I was a bit leary starting this book because I'm absolutely in love with the WARDen's Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I was afraid that this series wouldn't live up to BDB.  But my qualms were immediately laid to rest within the first page!  This book got a resounding 5-Stars from me and I will totally be devouring the rest of this series as soon as I can get my hands on the books!  I swear J. R. Ward will be an automatic buy for me from now on...this woman is pure genius with her story-telling!  Anyway, get this book if you haven't already and you love PNR with grit. :)










Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen #1) by Joanne Fluke:  A while ago, I stumbled on a genre aptly called 'Cozy Mysteries' and became intrigued because I love mystery novels.  I'm a huge fan of Agatha Christie in particular and her amazing ability to write such intriguing, twisting murder mysteries while having fantastic character interactions (Poirot and Miss Marple will both always hold a special place in my heart).  So, when I "discovered" this cozy mystery genre, I thought I'd give it a try.  My first foray into this genre didn't go over too well with me.  So, I put the whole genre to the side as I wasn't sure I wanted to go there again and be disappointed again.  But, I am very happy to say that as soon as I began reading Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, I discovered that apparently second time is the charm!  This book was a fun and intriguing read and had me guessing all the way to the end as to who the real murderer was.  And Hannah was such a wonderful main character to follow, so easy to relate to and really funny, too!  It wasn't up to Dame Agatha's standards but then I didn't expect it to be, so that was okay.  Overall, I'm glad I took a chance on this one and I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series.  A solid 4-Star read!


Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1) by Karina Halle: This was another book that I had purchased a long time ago but had kept putting it off because I was afraid of being disappointed in it. And again, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally did read it to find it to be a solid 4-Star read as well! It had the right elements of intrigue, mystery, danger, and uncertainty as well as humor and really good character interactions spread throughout. This is another series that I will definitely be continuing!











My Wicked Marquess (The Inferno Club #1) by Gaelen Foley:  Hmmm...how do I even begin?  This book is about 380 pages long and I seriously would have been happy if it had ended at about p. 260.  I enjoyed the underlying plot of The Order vs. The Prometheans and I did like some of the interactions between Max and Daphne.  These 2 aspects allowed for me to give it a 3-Star rating.  But as a whole, I couldn't wait for the book to end because I was so annoyed through most of it.  Daphne irritated me with her 'I'm a proper lady' bit but was adamant about having her independence and control over her own life.  She sounded like a women's lib advocate instead of a lady of Regency England.  And I got Max's deal, as a whole.  But he was portrayed as too much of a typical arrogant and domineering aristocrat who only wanted for himself and appeared to dismiss everyone else's feelings and needs or wants.  I did not see either of these coming together and lasting but they did and the story FINALLY ended.  I've moved on to book two, My Dangerous Duke, and it is already a million times better than this one was...thank goodness!  Hopefully the rest of the books will be much better and will overshadow the lack of awesomeness in the first book.  But, if you're going to read this series, I actually would recommend starting with book one just to get a good understanding of what is going on with The Order and The Prometheans because it does shed a good introductory light to that part of the storyline.


Books I've Added to the TBR Pile:

I actually downloaded a crapload of Kindle freebies this month but I'm not going to list all of those.  We'd be here forever! lol  I am going to list the books I purchased at a couple of my favorite used book stores, though.  Again, the titles link to the books' Goodreads page:


Evil Genius (Genius #1)
by Catherine Jinks
# of Pages: 537
Young Adult Fantasy/Mystery/Science Fiction















by Lisa Mantchev
# of Pages: 352
Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy - Fairies
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Richelle Mead
# of Pages: 327
Young Adult Paranormal - Vampires
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




by Libba Bray
# of Pages: 548
Young Adult Historical Fiction/Fantasy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Libba Bray
# of Pages: 819
Young Adult Historical Fiction/Fantasy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Markus Zusak
# of Pages: 552
Young Adult Historical Fiction/WWII
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Alice Sebold
# of Pages: 328
Young Adult Murder Mystery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Catherine Jinks
# of Pages: 362
Young Adult Paranormal - Vampires
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Stephen King
# of Pages: 407
Adult Horror/Thriller/Suspense
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Debbie Macomber
# of Pages: 416
Adult Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whew...I think that's it! lol  I had quite a book shopping spree this past month.  And even though I managed to read 5 books this past month, I added a lot more to my reading pile.  I believe I'm now up to 300 books on my pile...sigh.  I'm a book buying addict...lol.  I guess that's a much safer addiction than some things though. :)
 
Do you have a pile of To Be Read books? 
If so, do you have a system of how you get through that pile without it becoming overwhelming or tumbling over and burying you (as my pile is threatening to do)?
 
Leave me a comment below and have a wonderful Sunday!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Falling Kingdoms

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
 It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

 
by Morgan Rhodes
Release Date: December 11, 2012
 
Goodreads Description:
 
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
 
Why am I eagerly waiting on this?  This book sounds like a truly epic adventure!  I haven't read many high fantasy novels lately (Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series just about did me in and I'm still not finished with the series...lol).  But, I'm really excited about this book and I think it's going to be a great beginning to an intriguing fantasy series!  And I really love what they've done with the cover...it's really stunning!
 
What are you eagerly waiting on?
Leave me a link or comment below and have a great WoW day!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: My Wicked Marquess


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This weeks' teaser comes from My Wicked Marquess (The Inferno Club #1) by Gaelen Foley:

When he walked into his Town mansion on Hyde Park a short while later, a bit banged up but none the worse for wear, his old butler Dodsley greeted him with a dry glance that took note of his dishevelment. “Good afternoon, sir. Shall I fetch the medical kit?”
“Ah, no thanks, old boy. Bit of a row. Do me a favor, if the constable comes knocking, tell him I was here all morning, will you?”
“Killed someone again, did we?”
“Never before luncheon, Dodsley. It’s still early yet.”
“Indubitably, my lord.” (p. 26)


Okay, it's more than two sentences, but this interaction between Max and his butler just cracked me up!  This has been an intriguing read so far and I look forward to continuing with it today when I get the chance.

Have anything to tease me with?
Leave me a link or comment below!




Monday, November 26, 2012

Musing Mondays [1]

 
MUSING MONDAYS… is a weekly event where MizB of Should Be Reading will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.
 
There are a lot of books being made into movies, these days (“Anna Karenina“; etc). So, this week’s musing — courtesy of http://abookandashortlatte.wordpress.com — asks…
 
Have you ever read a book after watching the movie/television version only to find that you don’t like the book as much as the adaptation?

It usually tends to be the opposite for me.  I'll read the book and then watch the movie or TV show and hate the movie/TV show.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was a movie that I watched before I began reading the book and I was actually impressed that "Hollywood" managed to make an excellent movie based very closely on the book and it's events.  In fact, it was the movie that got me started reading the series.  But as for reading a book after watching the movie/TV version and not liking the book as much...I think the only instance I can come up with is Carrie by Stephen King.  The movie was actually much freakier and better portrayed than the book (yeah, I was shocked to discover this and I love Stephen King's writing).

What are your thoughts on this intriguing question?
Leave me a link or comment below and have an awesome Monday!
 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Leaning Tower of Books

I love books!  I've been a voracious reader since I was 9 and was first introduced to The Nancy Drew Casefiles series (I still have 117 books out of this series...just couldn't bare to part with them).  I wanted to be Nancy Drew and travel to all the places she did, solving mysteries and catching the bad guys.  I even remember one time telling my mom to call me Nancy instead of Wendy (I was big into playing Pretend at that age and who better to pretend to be than Nancy Drew?). 

Anyway, as I got older, I slowly branched out into the paranormal realm (vampires and ghosts mainly with the occasional witch thrown in).  And then my last couple of years of high school, I was introduced to Fantasy with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

Then life hit and threw me some major curve balls which caused me to stop reading for quite a while - about 10 years or more, to be honest.  It also caused me to stop writing for the same amount of time.  Some things in life are hard to get past and they tend to take away your enjoyment in things that you once were completely immersed in.

So, with that void of books and writing in my life, I completely lost touch with the literary world and a lot of things had changed (for the better, I believe).  When I was a teen, there wasn't really such a thing as Young Adult books.  Everything was lumped into Children (or if you had a progressive bookstore in your town, they called the section Teens).  But the books at that time were pretty generic and not very mature.  And I was on a very mature reading level back then.  So, most books (with a few rare exceptions) were boring to me and I ended up reading more adult books (Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz, and a freakin' ton of romance novels).

So, imagine my pleasant surprise when the Twilight series and the Harry Potter series came out and I actually picked them up to read.  I couldn't believe how amazingly different these books were from the books I'd read as a kid and as a teen!  These two series alone broke the non-reading spell I was under and over the past few years, I have begun to devour books again like I used to.

The difference this time is that I feel I've truly branched out in my reading interests.  Whereas I typically stuck with mysteries, vampires, ghosts, some fantasy, and a ton of romance (especially Regency Romance), I now find myself reading so many new and intriguing subgenres in both the Young Adult and the Adult realms.  Dystopians, Psychological Thrillers, Zombies, Werewolves, Contemporaries, Historical Fictions.....and the list goes on and on. 

And now there are Indie Authors, Self-Published Authors, and Traditional Authors all turning up the notch and raising the bar for all these different genres.  And with the creation of the ebook, books are so much easier to come by (and relatively cheaper too).  But, I will admit that even though I have almost 400 books on my Kindle and Nook apps combined, I still much prefer to have either paperback or hardback. :)

Which brings me to why I titled this post the way I did: According to my calculations, I currently have almost 300 books on my TBR pile that I actually own but have yet to get around to reading.  I'm working on that pile and trying very hard not to add more to it, but it seems that I have a slight book buying addiction.  Even if I manage to not actually spend money on books, I still find myself occasionally going onto Amazon and finding Free books to download, which then sit on the pile for way longer than they should because really I was just trying appease the urge to own more books.  Sigh.  It's a vicious cycle but one that I am determined to someday break.

And the reason I'm rambling on about all of this is to let you all know that at the end of each month, I'll be posting an update that shows which books I read from the TBR pile that month and what, if any, books got added to the TBR pile.  Maybe someday I'll have the pile completely reduced to 0 but I highly doubt it.  My goal right now is to try and concentrate on some of the books that were added to the pile more than 6 months ago.  We'll see how well that goes. :)

Do you have a Leaning Tower of Books?
If so, how many books make up that Tower and how do you go about reducing the number?
 
I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments, so please feel free to leave me something below and have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday: The Friday Society

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
 

by Adrienne Kress
Release Date: December 6, 2012
 
Goodreads Description:
 
An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.
 
Why am I eagerly waiting on this?  I've developed a fascination for Steampunk and I'm a huge murder mystery fan.  Plus, I love books set in turn of the century London!  So, this book encompasses all sorts of fascinating pieces that I enjoy and I can't wait to read it to see how well the author fits all of those pieces together.  And, I think the cover totally rocks!
 
What are you eagerly waiting on?
Leave me a link or comment below and have a great WoW day!

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 •Grab your current read
 •Open to a random page
 •Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 •BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
 •Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 
This weeks' teaser comes from Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swenson #1) by Joanne Fluke:
 
Hannah wanted to tell him that she didn’t need a shrink. Even if she did, a Jordan High counselor who dealt with the heartbreak of acne and dateless Saturday nights wouldn’t be the shrink she’d choose. But then she reminded herself that she’d vowed to be tactful, and she took a deep breath, preparing to lie through her teeth. (p. 42) 
 
This has been a cute read so far.  I've not read many "cozy mysteries" and I wouldn't put this on par with Agatha Christie or anything, but it's a fun read with a nice mix of realism and humor.  Plus, it comes with some good recipes! :)


Changes Run Amok

If it's been a while since you've been to the blog, you'll notice some changes taking place.  I guess I decided I was in a Blue Period but I like how things look for the moment.  And I've added some new things to the sidebar, like a logo with the link to Cressen Books, my publishing company, a display of my Tweets, and a widget displaying what book I'm currently reading.  I've also made a few tweaks to the About page but those are more subtle.

Some of these changes were made due to the fact that I decided to end my book review blog, Escape Into Fiction, but I still wanted to share what I was reading at the moment and such, which would have been found there.  And because Escape Into Fiction has escaped into the sunset, I thought I might participate in some bookish memes here on my authors' blog, such as Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading and Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Those two memes in particular I really enjoyed and thought it would add a nice mix up here on Wendy's Musings.  It's all book related, so it's all good.  And I think it's also good to share things outside of just what project I'm working on at the moment.  Makes me feel more human!

I'm also hoping that these changes will have me posting on this blog more often.  I realized that as I got busier with everything happening with the business, I was spending less and less time on the book review blog.  And when I took into account what I was posting there (when I had the time), I realized that I could just as easily incorporate those posts here on this blog.

I'm still trying to adjust to this new idea, so some of the memes I've mentioned may or may not get posted this week.  I wanted to make sure I was satisfied with the overall "new" look of the blog before I dove into adding new posts.  I also intend to continue reviewing the occasional book, especially if it's a book that I found really interesting or amazing.  So, be on the lookout for reviews thrown in here and there.

So, although I'm sad to see the end of Escape Into Fiction, I know and feel that it was the right decision to make.  I look forward to occasionally sharing fun bookish memes with you all as well as reviews and of course the usual musings! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When Will I Write Again?

Wow, it has been a crazy few months and things don't look to be slowing down any.  Especially with the holidays approaching, I've been trying to figure out just when I can get back to my writing.

As some of you may know, my Muse and I own a publishing company.  So, aside from writing, I wear many other hats including editing, cover design, website maintenance, etc.  And this year, we've taken on an intern from Shepherd University who has been an absolute joy to work with these last few months.  Her enthusiasm and insight has helped us branch out even more with our business and has given us ideas of how we want to proceed in the future with many different things.

And most of you probably remember me announcing that we have signed on a new author, Jessica L. Padilla, who will be writing in the Paranormal genre.  So, exciting times to be had by us here and more exciting times to come as we may sign Rachel Stark, our intern, on as an author (she's still contemplating what she wants to do and we don't want to pressure her and will respect any decision she comes to as we want to see her do what's best for her).  We are also in talks with another potential author but that's still the early stages, so we won't know anything at this time.  But I'll definitely post when we know something for sure there.

With all of this going on, I also managed to get our books in paperback out on Amazon.com and soon it will be time to start a "Christmas" marketing campaign.  So many things to juggle where the business is concerned and I worry at times that I'm going to drop the ball somewhere.  I mean, the Muse is a huge help with the business, but he works full-time for the federal government, which leaves me handling the business alone most days.  I don't mind because I absolutely love what I do and I love working with all the different aspects of a publishing company.  But it can get overwhelming at times for just one person to handle.

So, that brings me to the title of this post: When will I write again?  I've got The Butterfly Connection waiting to get it's final edits so I can publish it and finish out The L & L Mysteries series.  I've got Galactic Dynasty waiting for me to write more on it.  And I've got a ton of other stories and ideas that keep grappling for my attention.  But there's only so much time in the day and these other pieces have needed my complete focus these last few weeks.

I'm extremely happy that the business seems to be picking up, so please don't think I'm complaining about that.  It's really wonderful and exciting!  In the case of my writing, I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to restructure my days so I can at least get some writing done each day and not feel as though I've completely abandoned my own aspirations to be a writer.  I have so many stories to tell that I don't want to push them to the back burner permanently.

So, I'm out of here for now to figure out how to make time for writing and to hopefully get back into the wonderful flow of words!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Time Is An Illusion...Lunchtime Doubly So

Okay, who can guess where the quote comes from that is the title of this post??  Have you guessed it??  Not entirely sure?  Let me help you.  It's from Douglas Adam's "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy". :)  I freakin' love that book and the BBC adaptation!

Anyway, time does feel like an illusion most days.  It either speeds up when you're enjoying something or it goes ridiculously slow when you're not.  And as I get older, I've noticed that time in general just seems to speed by more quickly than it did when I was a kid.

And what about that saying 'if only there were more hours in the day'?  Yeah, I find myself saying that alot too.  There are so many things I want to do or need to do or have to do, that it feels like most days just don't have enough hours to get all of that accomplished.

Lately, I've found myself doing something I never thought I would do.  I find myself working on the weekends.  My entire life, the weekend meant fun and relaxation, doing things I want to do.  But, it seems in the past few months, I've been devoting a lot of that fun and relaxation time to the business or to my writing or to just work in general.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love writing and it actually is a lot of fun for me.  So, I don't mind so much if I find myself writing a few extra pages in a novel on the weekends.  It's when I find myself working on other things, mostly business related regarding the publishing company I co-own with the Muse, that I'm astonished at. 

I mean, I love our publishing company and I really do want to see it succeed.  So, I know that there are times that I have to devote a little more of my free time to it.  But, I shouldn't be devoting all of my free time to it because then when will I have time for me?  And I truly believe that taking time for yourself is very important in staying healthy and at least mostly stress-free.

So, this weekend, I am determined to take more time for myself.  And even though I know there are several things on my business To Do List, I realize that those things can actually wait until Monday morning when the work week starts again.  This weekend will be a work-free weekend, daggonit, and I will not feel guilty when I sit in my comfy Catnapper Recliner and play video games or read for the majority of the weekend! lol  Yeah, I have a recliner that is actually called a Catnapper...is that awesome or what?!

Anyway, now that I've determined that this will be a fun weekend spent relaxing and playing and spending quality time with the Muse, I'm sure that time will probably fly by and it will be Monday before I know it.  But, I won't think about that right now.  Otherwise, I might get bummed at the idea!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing weekend and don't forget to take time for yourself and just enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Working Through the Blahs

There are times when I get the blahs and I just can't decide what I want to do with myself.  Nothing seems to hold my interest for more than a few minutes regardless of whether it's something I enjoy doing or not.  And when these moments happen, writing seems to go right out the window because I can barely put two coherent words together, let alone an entire sentence.

I love being creative and really abhor when my creativity gets blocked by random visits from Blah-Ville.  But, I've learned that I don't have to be creative in writing during these times.  I've discovered many different ways for me to be creative without having to try and smash words together.

So, during this particular visit from Blah-Ville, I've discovered an interest to possibly put my Bachelor's degree to work.  My degree is in Simulation and Digital Entertainment which basically means I learned how to create computer/video games from the ground up.  And I've been kicking the idea around of maybe creating some fun, casual games to coincide with The L & L Mysteries series.  Possibly create a game for each book in the series.  I'm not sure what type of game yet, but I don't think it will be something too complex as I'll be the only one working on it.  But there are all different kinds of levels of creativity when it comes to creating games that I have a feeling I could be drowning in this project before long.  But I'll have a very happy, cheesy grin on my face!

Actually, I'm still working on the concept right now.  So game creation will not begin anytime soon.  But, as I go along with this new idea, I'll keep everyone informed of what's happening with it.

Writing comes first, though, and I have one more book in The L & L Mysteries to produce.  Plus, I'm co-authoring with the Muse on a sci-fi/adventure series that I really need to give more attention to in the coming months.  Fortunately, The Butterfly Connection (the final book in L & L) is already drafted out.  I just have to go through and massage it and tweak it a bit before it's ready to be published.

With all of this stuff floating around in my brain, I really can't begin to fathom how I could have received a visit from Blah-Ville.  But it happened and I'm trying very hard to push through it so I can continue on with all the great ideas and plans I've got rolling around upstairs.  And I'm confident that I'll push through and will be moving full steam ahead very soon!

I know this was a bit of a rambling session.  But, do any of you ever get visits from Blah-Ville?  How do you handle those visits?  Leave me a comment below and have a great All Saints Day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Author On Board!

Today is a totally awesome day for my publishing company, Cressen Books LLC.  We've signed on a new author!!!!  Her name is Jessica L. Padilla and she'll be writing in the paranormal genre.  We are so excited to be working with her and I look forward to sharing progress updates as we move towards publication of her first novel in the series.

Here are links to her social media and internet sites:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Author's Website

Also, check out our website and see the new addition of Meet Our Authors tab.  There, you can see pics of our authors and follow the links to their individual author bio pages.  And, we have the announcement up on the homepage about Jessica joining us.

So, exciting times here at Cressen Books!  Make sure you Like us on Facebook so you can keep up with progress, updates, and announcements!  Now it's off to celebrate!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tough Decisions Have To Be Made

For the past 4-5 years, I have been working diligently to create stories in The L & L Mysteries series.  I absolutely love the characters, Leyla and Lucien, and really enjoy getting inside their heads as they deal with various situations, some fun, some hokey, and some dangerous.  These two characters have become a huge part of my life and I look forward to continuing to develop them and their relationship through future mysteries and investigations.

When I first began this series, I envisioned it going on indefinitely.  I didn't really have a set number of books I wanted to write in the series and felt that I would just go with the flow.  Then, as the fifth book began to take shape, I realized something: Leyla and Lucien were maturing but their investigations were not. 

So, I decided that The L & L Mysteries would consist of 5 books.  Then, I would create a new, more mature "detective" series set during their college years.  I still like that idea and have already begun drafting the first book in this new, more mature series.

But something was still bothering me.  As anyone who has been following this blog has seen, over the past several posts I've mentioned beginning final edits on the fourth book in The L & L Mysteries, Dangerous Moves.  I had talked about cover design and the difficulty I was having in figuring out what design I wanted to go with.  I'd also talked about trying to get through rewrites and edits of the first chapter.

Well, today I had an epiphany.  When the Muse and I sat down to go over the rewrites I'd done in the first chapter, we kept struggling with the process.  Almost every sentence we went over felt forced or unnatural.  And it suddenly dawned on me.....I was having major issues with the entire book.  But why?  So, we set aside our work and began talking about why I was having trouble with this particular book.  And the answer suddenly came to me: I was actually trying to rewrite one of the earlier books but was using a different angle this time.

It finally made sense to me why this book bothered me so much.  So, I made the tough decision to completely remove Dangerous Moves from The L & L Mysteries line up and have decided that there will only be 4 books in this series now before I move on to the newer, more mature series.

It was not an easy decision to make which is probably why it's been bugging me for the last several weeks/months.  I love Leyla and Lucien and they had some great interactions in this particular book.  But, I also realize that it's not fair or enjoyable for my readers to pick up a book and suddenly feel as though they've been cheated because the core plot of the story was similar to another book I'd already published in the series.  So, I am stopping work immediately on Dangerous Moves and moving on to the final book of this particular series.

I do have a title for the final book and a cover concept is already brewing inside my little brain.  So, from here on out, you will here me talk more and more about the final editing stages for The L & L Mysteries #4, The Butterfly Connection!  I'm really excited about this book and the intriguing mystery that Leyla and Lucien find themselves investigating.  And I believe that readers will start to see a definite maturing aspect in the friends' relationship and partnership, as well as the type of case they will be investigating.  And this should lend itself for a nice transition into the new "detective" series I'll begin writing that follows Leyla and Lucien into college.

So, with that out there now, I'll probably be working some over the weekend to have the first chapter ready for final edits with the Muse hopefully by Monday or Wednesday of next week!  If you've read this far into the post, thank you for taking the time and showing the interest.  I really appreciate it!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend and hopefully I'll have more updates to post soon!