Monday, March 28, 2011

What Was On First?

I decided to post something completely unrelated to writing. I’ve been in a funk leading up to this week. It’s the first anniversary of my first dog’s death…Logan. Weird mood. I need to cuddle Pepper, who we’ve noticed slowing down quite a bit recently. I have a book signing on the actual date, so I’ll be busy with friends. Thank goodness! So what happened to me this weekend is very relative.

I have a unique specialty. In any kind of weather, I can walk a straight line, pushing a 40 pound hopper and 50 pounds of chalk. This skill set puts me on softball and baseball fields when they’re deserted –okay I’m also in front of crowds who are used to watching the field even when they’re being reset. But Saturday it was early morning…dawn breaking and me listening to John Denver’s WELCOME TO MY MORNING. (Yeah, I did grow up in the 70s listening and singing everything John Denver.)

I was setting the fields early, planning on a mid-morning bike ride with my husband, but we had a change of plans. I saw what I thought was a bag on the first base foul line. I didn’t think too much about it, grocery bags are a constant eyesore.

I got my hopper (that’s the official name for the machine that holds the chalk) and went to the field and got my surprise. Two pups. One black and one white. They were huddled together like a Ying Yang sign. I stepped on the field and the Blacky barked a couple of times. I called, “Here pups,” and they both ran to me sort of sideways like puppies run when they’re happy. They sat, shivered, got closer. I petted them a minute, noticed they were soaked from the sprinklers, then scooped them into my arms. I sat on the bleachers with each pup on a leg. They circled and squirmed so Whitey could rest her head on my arm. Then Blacky rested his paw and head on top of Whitey. Even though he was smaller, he was clearly protecting his sibling. In less than a minute, both fell asleep.

I put them in my supply wagon and left them in the equipment closet. They both woke of course. I put an old shirt and towel in with them, shut the door and set my fields. When I finished, I found them asleep, but warm. And I took them home.


My husband is actually walking Pepper as I type this up, posting FOUND signs around the neighborhood. AFTER he purchased a portable crate and two collars. **grin** Unfortunately, we own a pitbull who only tolerated the lab/retriever who raised her. Pepper is princess in our house after 11 ½ years. She’s mellowed a bit, and hasn’t barked at the pups, and seems completely secure in her domain.

Temporary names? Since I found the pups at the ballpark, we wanted something related. Ball & Strike? Nope. Who & What? Obvious if you’re a WHO’S ON FIRST fan, but no. Rival teams? Hmmm…maybe. Okay, White Sox and Cubs. We finally decided to name them for one the best comedy duo team ever: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Bud and Lou kept us laughing.

Sunday Morning: I’ve set 22 softball and baseball fields since Friday morning. My muscles are sore and so is my heart. The pups are gone. Real names…Young & Precious. Collected by their owners. Sadly we discovered they have a brother still missing. I really hope nothing happened to him and that a good-hearted person took them into their home. 





I needed to hold two lost pups. Needed to care for them for 24 hours. Needed to smell their puppy breath. I’m glad Bud & Lou were sitting on MY first base. I’ll especially be forever glad that puppy Logan came to our family. The blessings that he brought to us are too many to name. His dedication and unconditional love were examples to live by. Even with his dying breath, closing his eyes, he comforted me because I was crying. Something he always did, no matter how sick he’d become. I’ll miss him and will never ever forget him.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rest in Peace: Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor was a woman who challenged love and life on her terms. Through numerous marriages and legendary love affairs, she never lost her hope to find that happily ever after. The actress passed away at the age of 79. Thank you Ms. Taylor for decades of entertainment from National Velvet to Cleopatra to Mrs. Helena Cassidine.


You will not be forgotten.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stretching Yourself with a Workshop

One of the best reasons to join a local chapter of the RWA is the availability of workshops and access to the wider knowledge pool. I firmly believe that if I leave a workshop with one new piece of knowledge then it was a wildly successful workshop.

Reinforcing Lessons


Saturday, I gave my first workshop in front of my peers. It was a lot of fun! We discussed self-editing and the different, tips, tricks and comments I've developed over the years. Putting together the workshop reminded me of all the comments I've received and what I've learned from each of them.

When I was in school, one of the studying techniques my teacher's espoused was summarizing what we'd learned. It was a way of processing the information she gave us, but in our own language. It reinforced the lesson and helped us apply the information going forward.


His Pants Tightened



Building a workshop helped me do much the same thing. Despite the fact that I think I gibbered like a gibbon (I tend to bounce while talking or rock back and forth or move across the room from side to side while making eye contact and I blame four years of speech and drama for this little tick), I realized that I actually had a lot of fun, because I was remembering the little things that brought those lessons home.

For example, if you use the same phrase over and over again in your work, it's worth commenting on. In a recent piece that I wrote, one of the character's kept experiencing his pants tightening. If you counted how many timed they tightened in a single chapter, the man should have been chopped in half!

Editing helped me catch it this time. But I'm not going to forget it because in my notes it says "his pants tightened" - and that means it's time to check for those overused phrases.

What do you do to help reinforce the lessons you've learned?

btw, I'm over at Romance University today talking about ways to avoid author nervousness when you making an appearance.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Y2K11 Spring Break: Young Adult Books to Look Forward To

It's Spring Break, 2011 here and my buddies Pinky and Brain (Ruthie and Jaimie) have put together a great list of YA book recommendations for your spring and summer reading. Young Adult books are continuing to grow in popularity with young and adult readers alike. My daughter and I both enjoy a wide variety of YA series. So I asked her to nominate a few highly recommended reads for everyone. Check out her reads below and in the meanwhile, I have to second every nomination made by Ruthie and Jaimie, particularly Richelle Mead and Sherrilyn Kenyon!  Don't forget to share your top picks too!

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Bloodlines
Bloodlines

Releases: 8/23/2011

It is a sad day when one of your favorite series comes to an end. I know there were YA fans across the country who felt this desperation on December 7, 2010. The final book in our beloved Vampire Academy was released. I know many who forgo sleep to find out what happened to Rose, Lissa, Dimitri and Adrian. After reading the last page and shedding a few tears, the faithful followers were afraid that they will no longer be able to visit the world they found within Vampire Academy... until Richelle Mead announced a spin off! On August 23rd, we will be able to see the world of Vampire Academy through the eyes of Sydney, the human alchemist whom we first met when Rose found herself in Russia. We know that Sydney will be accompanied by Jill, aka Jailbait, and the leading male will be one of the love interests from the original series (anyone care to guess?). I think it is easy to say that Bloodlines will have an instant following from the fans of Vampire Academy. If the new series is half as exciting and gut wrenching as the original we will have another hit on our hands.

A blurb from Entertainment Weekly:

Richelle Mead has graduated from Vampire Academy, her popular YA series that wrapped up in December with the release of its sixth and final book, and now she’s moving onto new territory. Well, somewhat new: Bloodlines will be a spin-off of VA, moving the previously tertiary character Sydney, a human alchemist, from the sidelines to the forefront. It will also be set in a sunny Californian high school instead of that rigid, preppy-bloodsucker academy, which I imagine will be like transferring from the Undead Poets Society to Bayside High. Check out the finalized cover for the first book of the series—that’s Sydney with the filigreed face, by the way. 


Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)
Forever

Releases: 7/12/2011

As Jaime would say this story is Twilight if Jacob would have won. I love Sam and Grace. Their story is awesome! In the last book Grace and Sam have fought to be together and won. Maggie writes characters that are real. You could meet a Grace or Sam anywhere. There is lots of tension, lots of drama and all of the romance in this series. Yes, if you must know I cried at the end of Linger. Now I can’t wait to see how it all turns out in the last installment of this series. If you want a good story that will take you through the ups and downs of a relationship, this is the series for you.

A blurb from Goodreads:

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater
In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.


Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Chronicles of Nick #2)

Releases: 3/22/2011

Invincible: The Chronicles of Nick
Invincible
I have to say I was impressed with the first book Infinity. I have been a long time fan of Kennyon’s Dark Hunter series. The world is fascinating and complex. She was able to bring the same fascination to her young adult series. I have loved Nick Gautier since he was on the scene in the Dark Hunter books. He’s sarcastic, witty, and totally unpredictable. This book is set in the same world but totally edited for a younger audience. I would let my eleven-year old read it, but I enjoyed it just as much as she would.

A blurb from SherrilynKenyon.com:

Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse...

Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them...


Bite Club by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vamp #10)

Releases: 5/3/2011
Bite Club (Morganville Vampires, Book 10)
Bite Club

The Morganville Vampires series follows Claire Danvers, a studious book-loving brainiac who comes to Morganville for college. Morganville is a small town with a Lost Boys vibe to it. Claire ends up staying in Morganville because it is overrun with vampires who won’t let her leave. The plot twists in this series are so elaborate you never want the story to end. I can honestly say I enjoy this series and look forward to getting engrossed in Caine’s plot.

A blurb from Amazon:

After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...


Passion by Lauren Kate (Fallen #3)

Releases: 6/14/201
Passion (Fallen)
Passion

I am a sucker for a good love story. I think I have said it before, but one reason I love young adult books is character development. I think that because you can’t throw a love scene into the books the way adult romances do the author takes the time to build the characters. Luce and Daniel are perfect for each other. Each with their own strengths and quirks. The story that Kate constructs is so well thought and beautifully haunting. I am looking forward to reading about what is next for Luce and Daniel.

A blurb from Goodreads:

Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword & Cross and fought immortals at Shoreline, they lived many lives. . . .

Mini Me's Top Picks

The Splendor Falls
The Splendor Falls
Mini Me's avid reading includes a lengthy reading list and her top picks are:

What books are top of your list for Spring Break?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Characters with Pop

Everytime I sit down to start a new story or work on edits for one, I'm always looking for ways to make my characters unique or quirky or super interesting. I've come to a conclusion. The people who really know how to do this, and who do it with tremendous skill and constancy, are the writers of TV shows. Especially sitcoms.

Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory is one example. I mean, the comedic timing he has, the quirks of his character never stops entertaining. The latest episode for example was hysterical. Sheldon, who so frequently acts superior to his "less-intelligent" friends, spent the entire episode trying to figure out how one of his friends was doing a card trick - you know the pick a card any card one. He tried and tried to figure the trick out using science and math and infared cameras and hacking government satellites. He even barcoded the back of a deck and used a "magic wand" to scan the card, which then sent a text message to his cell phone.

The more he tried to figure it out, the more his friends played the game, taking turns over and over picking cards and every time the friend doing the guessing got the card right. As the show progressed, and Sheldon's frustration at not being able to figure it out grew, the character quirks became funnier and funnier. At the end, it was finally revealed to the audience how the trick was done, but never to Sheldon so even when Sheldon selected the guard to be guessed the trickster got it right.

The beauty of this sort of character development isn't in just one character. It seems to rest in the interactions the characters have with each other. Interestingly enough, it's the same sort of thing Heather and I were just talking about yesterday morning. It's like the dynamics of certain people in a group. You can enjoy the company of someone one-on-one, maybe in small doses or large, but it takes a special blend of people to build the sorts of relationships we want to find in our books. Those relationships where you know that you can be yourself, you don't have to worry about sugar coating your opinion or entertaining each other or finding the relationship to be an effort. My favorite characters, whether they're in books or movies or tv shows or life are those with rich relationships all around.

How about you? What are some characteristics of your favorite characters who pop? Who are they?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Life's a Pitch

In just about every aspect of life you have to be your own best self-promoter. In a job interview, a first date, meeting your future in-laws or new boss, you have to be confident and play up your strengths. Over the years I’ve been able to do this well, I think. I’ve gotten great jobs, have a wonderful husband, feel good about how I am as a mother, and have what I consider a pretty strong sense of self-worth or self-esteem.

Yeah, well, all that confidence went out the window when I was faced with my first pitch session. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a great perk of attending writer’s conferences and one of the reasons I plan to attend two more this year. A writer can sign up to meet with an editor or agent face-to-face and in a minute or two, spew a few words that will so intrigue said person-that-could-make-your-career that they ask you to send them some of your work. It’s a terrible, anxiety ridden, wonderful thing and all aspiring writers should have to do it at least once, in my opinion.

I consider myself to be on the more self-aware side of the spectrum yet I would rather talk about some of the most personal things in life then talk about my writing. Trying to tell a stranger why my story is great and they should read it- wow, it’s harder than I ever imagined. I think it’s the insecurity that never quite goes away when you know you still have a lot to learn.

I don’t think there’s any advice out there that can really prepare you for it. Every writer is different and every editor and agent are different and you all can be affected by the day, the place, the time of year, the last person you talked to or what your plans are later etc. Given all those variables, I have only this advice; relax, breathe, you will say something you wish you didn’t, you won’t remember everything, it’s not the end of your career. You just have to do it and then learn from your mistakes.

This is how my first pitch session went- I’m kind of embarrassed to be telling you this so be kind if you comment.

I pitched for the first time last year at a local conference. In retrospect I was not ready to pitch. My first book, while complete, was not polished. I was given lots of well-meaning advice and got caught up in the activity around the conference. I pitched for practice as much as a feeling of pressure to keep moving forward. This was the next step so I had to go there, even though I felt I wasn’t ready. There’s a line between being scared to take the next step and really not being ready to take that step- I wasn’t ready. But, I practiced a pitch and made appointments.

I did nothing the week before the conference except practice my pitch and worry over it. I didn’t sleep, I was not in good mood and I was nervous as hell. With all that going on, do you think I was able to actually pay attention at the conference and listen to the wonderful speaker that was taking the time to present a full day talk? Um, no. Couldn’t tell you much of anything about that. I got my appointment times the morning of and they were spaced throughout the day so there was never a time to relax and be done with the stress part of the weekend.

Finally I make it to the pitching with too much coffee burning a hole in my esophagus and the need for another bathroom break. Now, I had met the agents and editor the night before at dinner and at the bar. Talked to them about all kinds of things, not writing, my story or anything in the spectrum. OK, that is good advice, the part you have all heard that they are people too and if they want to hear about what you write, they will ask, otherwise, just be nice. This did little to lessen the anxiety except I was sure they wouldn’t just tell me to get out and that I suck. Not a very high bar to exceed.

At this conference the agents were set up in hotel rooms for their appointments. The atmosphere was distracting because it was so intimate. A very small desk in a small room with little light. I suddenly felt huge and uncoordinated and self -conscious, I didn’t know where to put my hands, how to sit, where to put my notebook. I think I was channeling a fourteen year old on their first “just-friends” date. I don’t have any idea what I said. I know I started my practiced pitch, but after the first sentence it was ad-lib. They were all very gracious and asked questions and were very polite. Even the last editor, poor guy was sick and he was kind and polite. He was last and I confess (embarrassingly) that I yawned. Yes, I yawned and I think (memory is a little vague) I propped my elbow on the desk and my head on my hand as if I was talking to my mother over coffee. Probably not the most professional, but I was done. The release when it’s over is almost overwhelming.

I was feeling relieved and thrilled that I had done it and they all asked to see some of my story. Yay! I was feeling pretty good until I got this piece of information from another attendee after asking me how my pitching went and if pages were asked for- “Oh, they ask for that from almost everybody just to be polite.”

Well, hell. Way to burst my bubble. Is that true? Can’t imagine anyone wanting that much paperwork if they weren’t the least little bit interested, but hey, who knows.
So, remember way back at the beginning of this tale I said I pitched even though I wasn’t ready? Well, when I got back to my WIP and editing, keeping the detailed questions that I was asked about the story in mind, I realized how much work the story needed and never sent the pages. It is just now getting to the point where it is ready to be sent out. I had a lot of growing and learning to do in the last year. And I will send out those pages that were asked for even though it’s been so long. It’s an implied obligation on my part, I said I would do something and I can’t just never do it.

Why should every aspiring author do this? It’s a chance to get some face time with your dream agent or editor. Their questions can tell you a lot about your story and where the strong points are or aren’t. Once you can pare your story down to a couple sentence pitch, you never have to say ummm, well, it’s complicated. You have a blurb for your website or blog and you have something to tell the next person that asks you what you write and you just never know who that person might be. I’ll be pitching the same story at the next conference I go to, much more prepared and also much more relaxed about it. Doesn’t mean the butterflies aren’t hanging out in their chrysalis’s waiting to hatch first thing that morning, just that I hope I can enjoy the conference at the same time.

Tell me about your first pitch session? How did you do the next one differently, or did you ever sign up again?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

On the Road, Prize Winners and Deliveries

Hey folks, sorry to be so quiet this week, but March has roared in like a lion! I am on the road today, but I will be back tomorrow with announcements for winners (and prizes to be sent including one very overdue to a very patient Pam K!) I visited with Jaye Wells last night at her launch party for Green-Eyed Demon, if you haven't read her Sabina Kane books, I totally recommend them. She's got great snark, great heart and even made me cry when I wasn't laughing out loud.

Today, it's a road trip to Houston to meet up with three fabulous authors:

So  while I'm driving, answer me this, what's the farthest you've traveled to see an author?  One lucky commentator might just win an autographed book by one of the authors mentioned here!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hot Top Tuesday: Coyote, Crime and Passion

It's March 1 and the bounty at the bookstore is high! Tuesday really is one of the best days of the week. Headlining our new releases today is Patricia Briggs (I freely admit, she is my favorite author). Other fabulous authors releasing today include Dakota Cassidy, Michele Bardsley, Shannon K. Butcher and Maya Banks. Can the list get any better? Actually, I can add one more for fun here. The darling, charming and wonderful Candace Havens has a new Harlequin Blaze available for e-purchase today. She Who Dares, Wins will release in paperback on March 22, so don't miss out!

In the meanwhile, check out what Jaime and Ruthie have for you today and get reading!

River Marked by Patrica Briggs
River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6)
River Marked




For those of you who have not already heard, Briggs will be in Houston, TX this Saturday, March 5 at the Murder by the Book bookstore. For more information please visit their website.

Now on to the good stuff. I love Mercy, she is an Alpha female with a capital A for...Astounding, Amazing, Awe-inspiring, no I’m going with Awesomeness. She strong, charismatic, and has a little bit of an attitude...okay a lot of attitude. What I love about Mercy the most, she’s a chaos magnet. I love this series because it’s fresh, fun and a whole lot of action. I can’t wait to see what happens with Mercy and Adam.

A blurb from Goodreads.com:

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help...

Hidden Away (A KGI Novel)
Hidden Away
Hidden Away by Maya Banks

Well this book is definitely not the flowery type of romance you look for in most mainstream romance authors. No, this is erotica. WOO HOO! This is the type of book you sweat while sitting still...it’s just that HOT! Banks’ voice is rich and detailed with a lot of humor, provided it’s mostly erotic humor. How can you not like that?! Funny and erotic. I hope you enjoy Banks’ sexy style of writing as I do.

A blurb from Amazon.com:

A man who shoots first and asks questions later...
Most people would take an all-expenses-paid trip to the beach in a heartbeat. Garrett Kelly only accepts to keep tabs on Sarah Daniels, who's in hiding after witnessing a murder by Marcus Lattimer, her half-brother--and a personal enemy of KGI. This gig may be beneath a disciplined soldier like Garrett, but if he gets a shot at Lattimer, it will all be worth it...

...and the ultimate moving target.

But Garrett hadn't counted on falling for Sarah. He'd considered seduction as a tactical maneuver, but when he glimpses Sarah's dark past, he feels an urgent desire to keep her safe--even after she disappears on him. Garrett doesn't know exactly who, or what, Sarah's running from, but whatever it is, she's running for her life...


Surrender to Me by Shayla Black

Erotica is definitely becoming more popular and might I say more adventurous. BDSM is becoming a theme. You might recognize Hunter from Black’s book Decadent, he is as alpha as men come, which we all like in our Dom/Sub stories. Black does not disappoint in this story. The reviews are in that this book will make you sweat like Richard Simmons.

Surrender to Me
Surrender to Me

A blurb from Shayla Black’s website:

A secret fantasy.

Hunter had everything until a bullet iced his career as a Navy SEAL. Restless and uncertain about his future, he accepts an intriguing proposition: share an acquaintance’s girlfriend and fulfill her fantasy of a ménage. It should have been just a night of sexual adventure between three consenting adults. But Kata is like no other girl Hunter has ever met. By turns audacious and sexy, then vulnerable and aloof, she’s a heartbreaker he’s determined to master. But he needs more than one night. And he wants to do it alone.

An uncontrollable obsession.

Kata never expected to leave her comfortable relationship and explore something so dangerously forbidden with a stranger. Hard as she tries to resist, the guilty pleasure overwhelms her, and she surrenders herself, inch by inch, to the hardcore man who wants her for himself. Consumed by blazing desire, they’re soon threatened by the shadows of the past. And now to keep Kata safe, Hunter makes her a bold proposition of his own. Saying yes will destroy her heart. But saying no could cost Kata her life.

Praise for the novels of Shayla Black

  • “Thoroughly gripping and…so blisteringly sexy.”—Fallen Angel Reviews
  • “Shayla Black creates emotional, searingly sexy stories that always leave me wanting more.”—Maya Banks, author of Sweet Temptation


Living on the Edge: An Edge Novel
Living on the Edge
Living on the Edge by Shannon K. Butcher

Here I am again, obsessing about one of my favorite authors. I have totally fallen under Butcher’s spell. No matter what book I’ve picked up that she’s written it is FANTASTIC. I have a literary crush on Butcher. I can’t tell you enough that if you read one of her books you’ll not be disappointed. If you want to try her paranormal series please pick up the Sentinel Wars series.


A blurb from Shannon K. Butcher’s website:

After a devastating injury, Lucas Ramsay knows he's finished as a soldier.But when the general who saved his life asks him for a favor, he says yes. All Lucas has to do is keep the general's daughter from getting on a plane to Colombia -- which is easier said than done...

Independent to the core, Sloane Gideon is a member of the Edge-a group of mercenaries for hire. But she's not on the clock for this mission. Her best friend is being held by a vicious drug lord, and Sloane must rescue her -- no matter how many handsome ex-soldiers her father sends to dissuade her.

With little choice, Lucas tracks Sloane to Colombia-where she reluctantly allows him to aid her in her search. But as they grow closer to the target, they grow closer to each other. And before the battle is over, both will have to decide just what they are willing to fight for...

Never Again by Michele Bardsley

Today we have the privilege of being introduced to a new series by our comedic friend Michele Bardsley known for the Broken Heart Vampires series. We are now brought to the town of Nevermore, Texas with the overwhelming population of 503. The towns people are not all what you would think to find in a small Texas town. Witches and Wizards have blended in until a nasty breakup leads to trouble.

Never Again: Wizards of Nevermore
Never Again
I have been waiting to get my hands on a copy of Never Again since I was lucky enough to meet Michele at a Christmas party. I love the idea of witches and wizards hiding in plan site until it all goes wrong. A friend of mine was lucky enough to get her hands on an ARC of the novel and raved about the story and the overall possibility for the series. I heard a rumor that Never Again was available early in some of the larger chain bookstores and I have been search for a copy when ever I pass one. I haven’t been able to find a copy yet but I know where I am stopping on my way home tonight!


Blurb from Never Again:

Welcome to Nevermore, Texas, population 503, where witches and wizards live side by side with humans, and where witch Lucy Rackmore is in trouble. Ever since her former lover snuffed out her magical abilities, everyone in town is looking to settle a score with her family. And Lucy's only hope for survival may be her ex-brother-in-law-whom her sister betrayed and nearly killed.


Accidentally Catty (The Accidental Series, Book 5)
Accidentally Catty
Accidentally Catty by Dakota Cassidy

For those who have had a week from hell at work, I have the perfect read for you. The fifth release in the Accidental Friends series is here! Dakota Cassidy has been making us laugh with her outlandish books about a group of friends who have have been turned into paranormal creatures... by accident. This time around, Katie Woods is dealing with being a divorcee at the age of forty-one and dating is not how she remembers it. When a unconscious cougar shows up at her clinic, her world is changes in a way she never thought it could.

I love reading Dakota Cassidy when you need an uplifting read to lighten the stress of life. Dakota has a unique way of telling a story with dark tendencies in a light hearted way. You will fall for the main characters while laughing at the unfortunate events that cross their paths. A great thing about the Accidental Friends book is you do not have to read the stories in order. So when you get tired of all the dark romances that are lining the bookshelves, pick up an Accidental book and lighten the mood.

What are your top picks for today?