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'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 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  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 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 - 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 ““, 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 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…


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.


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  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: 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  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!