NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 1

Week 1 of NaNoWriMo has been tough. The world has tried it’s best to keep me from writing. We’ve had car trouble, illness, and other issues pulling my attention away. Today I woke sick– again. I’m really tired of allergies. I can’t wait for the weather to turn cold and kill whatever is producing this pollen.

I am starting to feel like I am in the groove. The words are coming easier. Thanks to my handy dandy outline keeping me on track. I will say that this week’s daily goal of 2500 words is hard! Next week my goal is 3000 words. Yikes.

I may have to steal an hour this weekend to get a little work done.


In other news, I just completed the Mother-Daughter Reading Challenge for 2017. We’ll need to make a few adjustments for next year. Some of these topics were rough. If you would like to see the 2017 list, click here.

That’s it for now. My fingers are tired and I need a nap.

How’s your week?



Autumn Reading List

I usually do a monthly TBR. Until this summer when I participated in the 20 Books of Summer. I really liked how that worked out. So I decided to make a TBR for fall. Technically, it’s fall but the temperatures here are still in the 90s. That’s the South for ya.

I’m a little late getting this posted (I’ve read 3 of the books so far) but I’m excited for it. I’ve included tons of “fall” reads. Although, my daughter did ask if I was EVER going to get around to reading the books she placed on my TBR shelf. Isn’t that sweet. She picked two books she thinks I’ll like, I should include them but I think I’ll wait for winter. One is huge.

On with it.

Authumn TBR

  1. Search for the Dead by Sheila Connolly
  2. Pumpkin Killer by Stacey Alabaster
  3. O’ Happy Dagger by Monica Knightly
  4. Off the Leash by ?
  5. Kissing the Werewolf by Kendra Ashe
  6. Yesterday’s Thief by Al Macy
  7. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahme-Smith
  8. Pumpkins in Paradise by Kathi Daley
  9. Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  10. Candy Corn Murders by Laslie Meier
  11. The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
  12. Fairy Eyeglasses by Emily Martha Sorensen
  13. Familiar Trouble by Carolyn Haines
  14. Ghostly Interests by Lily Harper Hart
  15. In for a Penny by ?
  16. Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase
  17. Darkness Echoes by L.A. Starkey
  18. False Identity by Jennifer Youngblood
  19. Spelled by Betsy Schow
  20. Nightmares by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

That’s a huge list. Most of these are on my Kindle and I’m hoping to clear some of these out. My kindle has gotten a little out of hand (505 books). As you can see from the titles, they have spooky theme to most of them. Maybe not spooky but Halloween.

What are you  planning to read this fall?


Writing Rituals

While recovering from wrist surgery this summer I accomplished very little. No writing. Lots of reading and TV. I watched YouTube more than I should admit. Not all cat videos I promise. I discovered several writers. One, Kristen Martin had a recent video on #WritingRituals . I think it was created by Kim Chance. I’ve since watched several, then decided to try my hand at it. Sans Youtube.

Writing Ritual Tag

  1. When do you write- time/day?

I haven’t written much of anything all summer. It’s hard to type in a cast. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. Because I live in a tiny house with loud teenagers I write while they are at school. It’s very hard for me to get anything accomplished on the weekends. So 8:30 am weekdays I try to write/edit for a couple of hours.  I can do research, readings, and light critiques in the evenings and weekends. But real writing is when the kids are away.

2.  How do you seclude yourself from the outside world when writing?

Social media is a huge distraction for me. I don’t turn wi-fi off because then I wouldn’t beable to look things up online. We’ve all had instances when our brain fails and can’t figure out the proper spelling for ‘dynamite’ or how to use a comma. So what I do is: close the curtains, turn on some music, and turn notifications off. I can still use the internet but no text messages or calls get through or thousands of app notifications I have yet to learn how to block. I will take short breaks and check the calls to make sure nothing urgent was missed.

3. How do you review what you wrote the day before?

I will briefly read over what I wrote. Not to edit. That’s important. If I jump down the editing road I will never finish. I may add to what I wrote, but I mainly want to review the events, tone, and voice so that I pick up in the proper spot.

4. What song is your go to song when feeling uninspired?

I don’t have a certain song. Instead, as I plan and start writing a new project, I create a playlist for my story. For instance, my current project has a playlist called Superhero Mix. It includes movie theme songs and songs played in movies or inspired by super heroes. Yes, I’m a nerd. Guess what the new project is about…

5. What do you do when you feel writer’s block?

I’ve never really had writer’s block. Right now I lack motivation. I’ve been out of the habit for months and it’s hard picking it back up. Watching YouTube videos and reading writing magazines helps get the spark back. Also writing little things, like this blog post, helps with igniting the feeling of writing. There are times I’m unsure of where to go with a project or I’m uninspired about what I’m writing. I find it useful to change activities. Trying another creative hobby (drawing, photography, etc) or even a physical activity will help. I just need to step away and do something different.

6. What tools do you use when you are writing?

I now write/plan using Scrivener. I love the note card feature and having a place to keep research and character info close at hand as I write. I will print all of this out and keep it in a binder because well…I’m still old school. I don’t entirely trust the computer not to crash and lose everything I’ve worked on. Most of my older writing (unfinished) is in Word. For those projects, I still work in word. I also have a huge stack of writing/reference books I keep close at hand. Here are a few of them.

The emotion thesaurus series is very helpful. I know I tend to reuse the same expressions and phrases. These books help me break that cycle. If you write mystery/suspense or anything where a character may get injured I highly recommend a book on trauma and anatomy. Trust me on that. Also if you write about a real life location. Even if it has a fictional name, it is useful to know about the natural world. It adds a layer of believability. Trust me. The locals know when you don’t do your research.

7. The one thing you can’t live without while writing?

Music. I can not write without music. And Tea. I must have hot tea. And chocolate. Lots of tea and chocolate.

8. How do you fuel yourself while writing?

Again, hot tea. Sometimes coffee. I need something warm and caffeinated. I usually have something small to snack on. Clean finger food. Small pieces of chocolate, pretzels, or cookies. Shortbreads are my favorite. It’s not particularly healthy but it’s what I like.

9. How do you know when you are done writing?

I try to finish the scene. That’s a must. When my mind starts wandering to chores or errands I need to

What ya writing?

do I know I’m finished for the day. Sometimes I can pick back up after lunch but that’s rare. Once I walk away from the computer I am done.


And let’s not forget my writing buddy. She keeps me company as I type away.

There you go. My #writingrituals.

What are yours?



Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #1

I found this post on the Writerly Reader but the meme was started by Lost in a Story (not sure why the link is odd)

Here are the rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

There are 826 books on my to-read shelf. Yikes! I think a few of those can be tossed. An even scarier task would be to look at the books on my kindle but we will save that for another day. The books listed have been there since 2015.

Wrist update: This is my first attempt at real typing without a splint. I’m not sure how long I can keep this up 😉

The Books

Caught Read-Handed (A Read 'Em and Eat Mystery, #2)Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran

This is book 2 in a series. I haven’t read book 1…yet. Why is it on my Goodreads list? Beacuse it is a cozy mystery set in Florida. I have a soft spot for Southern cozies. BUT it dosen’t sound all that interesting. Kind of generic actually.



The Neptune Challenge (The Neptune Project, #2) The Neptune Challenge by Polly Holyoke

This is also book 2 in a series. Ouch. I don’t know why I wanted to read this one. I love mermaids but most mermaid books are not what I wanted or expected. I think this one may be too young for me now. Maybe my kids wanted to read it…



Swan Dive (An Elliott Lisbon Mystery, #3)Swan Dive by Kendel Lynn

Seriously! This is book 3 in a series. I need to start with book 1 ;D This sounds right up my alley. A cozy mystery surrounding the Nutcracker ballet. Sign me up. Where can I get a copy?




SpelledSpelled by Betsy Snow

Finally the first in a series. I want the book and the shoes. Can I have both? I don’t know if I want to buy the book or find it at the library but I think this is going to the top of my Fall TBR list. A retelling of the Wizard of Oz? Of course the library doesn’t own a copy.


Double Mint (Davis Way Crime Caper, #4)Double Mint by Gretchen Archer

This is book 4 in the Davis Way series, but that’s okay becasue I’ve read the first 3 books. Sounds funny. I’ve loved them all and will read this one. It’s a Southern cozy 🙂



The Take Away

I deleated 2 books from my Goodreads list.

Added 1 book to my Fall TBR.

Placed 2 books on my  IGTIBID List. (I’ll get to it before I die)


What’s on your Goodreads List?


20 Books of Summer Final

20 books

This meme was started by Cathy at 746 Books    

Funny story, this was not meant to publlish for another week. I’m way off 🙂

20 Books of Summer TBR

  • Tomorrow When the War Began- John Marsden
    Loved it.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them J.K. Rowling- just like the movie, very quick read
  • Beach Town– Mary Kay Andrews DNF This is the only Mary Kay Andrews book I didn’t finish. I could not get into it.
  • Weeki Wachee Springs- Maryan and Dan Pelland Great bit of Florida roadside fun.
  • Wandering Island– Kenji Tsuruta
    Fun little book. Especially after I got the hang of reading the blocks in the correct order.
  • Must Love Chainmail– Angela Quarles
    not my ususal genre to read but I enjoyed the timetravel aspect and the characters. fun read
  • The Elfstones of Shannara– Terry Brooks
  • A Study in Charlotte– Brittany Cavallaro
    surprisingly fast paced but felt a bit excessive like an 80s teen movie.
  • Wicked Mobile – Brendan Kirby
  • The Princess Diaries Meg Cabot
    Loved it. Totally different than the movie.
  • The Shores of Spain– J. Kathleen Cheney Great book. It was not what I expected. I flet like it centered more on other characters and not the original pair.
  • Illuminae– Kaufman & Kristoff
    this was an interesting book with an unusual format
  • Unsympathetic Magic– Laura Resnick
    not as good as the other 3 I’ve read in the series.
  • The Napoleon of Notting Hill– G.K. Chesterton
    DNF my e-copy was badly formatted, making it annoying to read
  • This old Homicide– Kate Carlisle
  • Fixin to Die– Tonya Kappes
    fun southern mystery
  • Bitter Harvest– Wendy Tyson
    entertaining but not sure I will continue the series
  • Counterfeit Conspiracies– Ritter Ames I loved this. Funny and action packed.
  • Macdeath– Cindy Brown
  • Glistens– Chess Desalls fun, short fantasy read

Books I also read:

  • See by Lee Ann Ward
  • The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  • Chasing Space by Leland Melvin
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • Swim Season by Marianne Sciucco
  • Blood Orchids by Toby Neal

Drum roll please! I actually finished 20 books 🙂 I didn’t finish all of them on my list, but I tried.

What did you read this summer?


What are you reading Monday?

It’s Monday! For good or ill the new week is here. Which means it is time for…


Besure to check out the Book Date blog!

Last week I read…

Bitter Harvest (A Greenhouse Mystery #2)

I finished 3 books. The first was Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson. It was chosen by he cover. I’m a sucker for pumpkins. We tried growing them once. They about took over the yard. Much like watermelons! It was entertaining but i did’t enjoy it enough to read furthur in the series. The writing & story were fine, it just wasn’t for me.Wandering Island

I also finished Wandering Island by by Kenji Tsuruta. I needed a graphic novel for the Mother- Daughter Reading Challenge. The size is misleading because it is mostly pictured 😉 I enjoyed it. The drawings were great. It did suffer from too much skin showing, but I’m not he target audience. I was a bit miffed at the cliffhander ending– but no enough that i don’t look for book 2.

Weeki Wachee Springs (Images of America: Florida)The last book I read was one I picked up on vacation, also heavy on pictures. Weeki Wachi Springs by Maryan Pelland. A visual read through the history of the vintage mermaid park. I loved it. The photos and stories behind them were very entertaining.



What I’m reading now…

I have plenty of reading time at the moment. I’ve started 2 books. One is a librbay book and the other is a new release i bought on my kindle. I haven’t read enough of either to have an opinion so i will leave the blurb from goodreads.

SeeSee by Lee Ann Ward

Carlie Henson is pretty, popular, and an All-American girl. She has a gorgeous boyfriend and a mother who lives to keep her safe. Probably because everyone is drawn to Carlie…including the murderers she has the ability to identify when she looks in the eyes of their victims.

Keeping Carlie’s secret is pretty simple when all she has to do is avoid dead people. But when a cheerleader at her high school is murdered and the killer seems to have gotten away with it, Carlie knows what she has to do. With the help of her boyfriend, Dillon, she devises a plan to see what she must, no matter her personal safety.

But when Dillon is the one who’s injured in the showdown with the killer, Carlie vows to never help anyone again…until the next young woman attacked is her best friend, Jenna.


I also started, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

The Long GoodbyeMarlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, who he’s divorced and re-married and who ends up dead. And now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.




What’s up next…

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. I know nothing about this book other than it is a new retelling of Sherlock Holmes. This time it’s Charlotte Holmes. I can’t wait to give this one a read.

What are you reading this week?



Reading Habits

This is day 4 of living with my predominant hand in a cast. Please ignore typos. I’m having great difficulties using my left hand only. Why is spellcheck not working? But that is allowing me pleny of time to read.

I decided to download a list of the top 100 mystery books of all time. Read list here. I was surprised by how few I’ve read. And I call myself a mystery writer! So sad.

Since I am recuperating (I’ve already finised 3 books his week) I decided to expand my mystery education.

I bought Agatha Christies Murder on the Orient Express and checked out a copy of Raymond Chandlers The Long Goodbye. I’m looking forward to learning from the masters.

What’s your favorite mystery?