Quotes and Updates – February 2

So yesterday my good friend, Brendan Johnson reviewed a book that I had been pushing him to read – Dress for Sexcess. It was, as he likes to put it, a snark-fest. As much as I wanted to hear his thoughts, and more or less knew what he was thinking, it was still fun to read, and had me and my consort laughing as we read it.

You can read it too, right here. He refers to my own review that you can find here, or posted in the tabs above under Adult Advisory and GoodReads First Reads. I had gotten this book from the GoodReads First Reads program, and am on a private mission to get this book into the hands of as many daring reviewers as possible.

*Please note, since I got this book from GoodReads, I am only posting the links to the GoodReads reviews of this. You can also find my review on LeafMarks, although it has not been updated yet. More sites to follow, probably today.


This morning I got an overdue notice for two library books. Ye-ouch. I try not to hang onto library books too long – I know other people want to read them, too. But I hate returning a book partly read. So you will likely see quite a few updates as I read them today.

For reference, they are:



Both good books, but what I call ‘kitty porn’ or ‘fighter porn’ (privately, of course).

So I will be on a readerly mission to finish both today, and turn them in. Be prepared for updates!


Speaking of porn, on the radio this morning, I heard about a tantalizing little suggestion for your bookish honey…


Their website says:

In our novels, any couple can play the starring roles as hero or heroine. With 50+ books and ebooks set in exotic locations around the world, there’s something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). Our authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake. Choose “Categories” to narrow in on yours!

Too cool, right? I’m thinking of getting one, just to try it out. They’re a bit pricey, but no more so than a nice dinner out.

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or involved with this product.


As to my writing projects, I didn’t get anything done.

I knew it was an ambitious goal, but got a call, and wound up tied up on the phone yesterday with people calling and being called to let them know about a former neighbor of mine that died suddenly of cancer. It was stunning news for alot of us that didn’t know he had it.

Public service announcement time: if you got something going on that ain’t right, get it checked out. Better safe than sorry. He left behind a year-old baby and young wife. This is the second situation that I have heard of the exact same thing.

I also spent alot of time calling my own doctor to schedule my treatments. The scheduling keeps getting pushed back and falling between the cracks, so I felt that this was a kick in the pants that I needed to stop kicking back and waiting for treatment, and taking a more proactive approach.

Today I will work further on my writing, catching up. This was one of the reasons I refused to add page goals or word counts.

You can follow more of this conversation here.


Reading Updates:


Pg 76 –

A thin streak of white smoke curled from the blade. It could be something, or it could be just Slayer reacting to me being pissed off out of my mind.

Pg 85 –

“Things made total sense: the rakshasas had to have gotten Roland’s sword from somewhere, and who better to give it to them than Roland’s Warlord, Hugh?”


Busy time, y’all…

Quotes and Updates – February 1

So this month I am dedicated to getting back to editing my first novella – The Companion, the first in my new series, Electric Sheep. I planned on getting it done in December, but… yeah.

So this month, for sure.

I am also going to start working on the sequel. This one will be coming from a new direction, but I expect it to be a catalyst to the story.

I will be writing with other writers, to get the first draft written with VBIAM. It is a writing program I have used in the past and is really fun. Feel free to sign up to get daily updates from myself and other writers.

You can read my first message here, dedicating to these new projects (and spoilers as to what is to come!). I encourage you to follow that journey with me.


I am also working on making it a point to update my books more often. I have found in the past that if I update quotes and such for books, I am more likely to read them faster, less likely to put them aside for something new, and more able to keep up with reading multiple stories all at once.

I am bad about the multiple story thing. I have over a dozen books that I am currently in the middle of. I’m going to work on whittling that number down, but I get easily distracted by the new and shiny…


Today I will be updating as I go, so this post will grow as the day progresses… (this is an experiment, so it may not be a permanent feature).

Starting with this morning’s read:


Pg 42 –

“As far as I know, the Casino doesn’t stand on hallowed ground.”

The vampire looked down on me with an air of haughty disdain. Whatever faults Ghastek had, his control over the undead was superb. “That is a matter of opinion.”

Pg 57 –

I didn’t know if a power word would stop it, but I was out of options.

Pg 65 –

Even from this distance, his pose telegraphed violence, tightly coiled and reigned in, but ready to explode at the slightest provocation.



59% –

“How plump and tasty – she must have been fattened on nuts!” exclaimed the old bandit woman.


Well, got to busy myself with looking busy now…

New Toys and Gadgets

Yesterday we went window shopping, and wound up with more than expected. Everyone got a little something!

And Best Buy can sometimes be frustrating. Just saying.

But after a very long search, I got a new camera, perfect for my unboxing project (and my stack is slowly growing)… I go and pick it up Wednesday…


The little one got a new Pony…

Fluttershy and the others got new X-Box games (I’m only slightly jealous).

I also picked up a sample

I am dedicated to this, now! Nothing too exciting, yet… But hopefully I’ll get my updates posted tonight!

So Many Ways to Say “I Love You”

There are so many ways to say “I Love You” to a book, and one of the best is rating them with stars. In fact, this is the most common way for reviewers (such as myself) to rate things – and not just books.

I think this is because Amazon has taught us (or encouraged us) to rely on others’ opinions why being a reviewer is such a popular “job” (and I put it like this because while time and effort is put into this, you do not get paid). But is it really reliable?

Star ratings are subjective. What I think of as earning five stars, someone else may give three or four. What I give a one star for, someone else may give five – for exactly the same reasons!

I have seen many people give a high rating to a crappy product, just to get noticed, saying that the product is absolute crap.

Personally, I have a very strict method of rating –

One = This book completely wasn’t for me.

Either there was something wrong with the subject matter, the delivery, the product, or whatever. There was something seriously wrong, and I cannot recommend this to anyone with a clear conscious or without a warning.

Two = This book was bad, but not terrible.

This is reserved for for things that I don’t like, but there was nothing wrong with, other than I didn’t like it. Something about the book or product rubbed me the wrong way, but I could be convinced to try something similar, or even the same thing again.

Three = This book was okay. Not great, not bad.

This is reserved for things that I only felt ‘eh’ about. I would guess this about the same for everyone. This is a middle of the road option that doesn’t really mean good, bad, great, horrible, or anything. It does what it says, and no more, or the benefits equal the draw-backs.

Four = This was a book worth mentioning!

This is for books and products that are good, really good. I enjoyed it, and may actually get it or read it again if I run across it somewhere. This is one of my favorite ratings, actually, and says that whatever I’m rating, did the job.

Five = This was amazing!

There’s not much more to explain, because all I can do is recommend and brag about the book or product and the fact that I loved¬† it. I will talk about this until either people are sick of listening to me, or I find my next great thing!


But you will not see stars on my reviews here.

Why Awesome.ashx

Yup. I don’t need to justify my opinions with stars. I justify them with words. Lots and lots of words.

But I do share links to the places where I do post the stars, along with my words. This is because some places, like Amazon or GoodReads want the stars before they’ll post your review. It’s part of the deal, and it’s not a bad thing. I like seeing the handy little stars when I pick out stuff. Don’t you? Even if I get a wonderful little pleasure for picking out the low rated books, or putting up the first starred rating.


And with that said, I would like to share some of the sites that I do write reviews on.

Smiley360 – I get book samples and products from Smiley, in return for rating and reviewing the things they send. This is great for those with Facepage (my own private slur for Facebook), the social media of choice. The fact that I don’t participate in Facepage is not relevant, because I can still earn badges by completing the ‘missions’ without one.

GoodReads – My original poison. I found that I can get books for free in return for writing a review, and I was hooked. I use this site the most, probably, since I have been there so long, and have built up a collection of followings, followers, and followees (those I follow). I don’t spend nearly as much time there since the updates and the background issue, though.

LeafMarks – This is quickly becoming my new favorite. It is similar to GoodReads in many ways, but without the book giveaways (at least I have not seen them yet, if they are there). I am also a librarian there, so I have a responsibility to ensure that book information is updated. Since this is a relatively new site, there is alot of information to import.

LibraryThing – This is another site that does giveaways (although I haven’t participated yet), rates books, and allows you to give your opinion. The only thing I recommend is to not try importing a large file of books here. I tried, and had to contact support, emailed them my file, and am still waiting to hear back. Unless you only have a few books to start with, I recommend starting from scratch.

Powells – This is a bookseller, but you can also post reviews. If your review is featured, you can earn a $20 gift card to the site. I lucked out, and got featured, and spent my credit on some graphic novels that I had been wanting to read and check out. I spent a few dollars for shipping, but it was worth it! Besides that, they always have something going on…

Amazon – While I don’t rate everything on Amazon, like some people (weird), I do try to rate books and the things I buy there (or are encouraged to rate there, like through Smiley). I have a Kindle, so buying, reading, and rating books there is almost a must. Thanks to frequent sales and offers, I get most of my books for free sent straight to my Kindle.

Barnes & Noble – We have a B&N near where I live, and when I lived in El Paso, it was the only bookstore. On weekends, we frequently haunt the store for a few hours after breakfast and before a nap. My youngest daughter is known by sight there. I also have an account on their site, but due to posting issues, I don’t often post reviews there, but have been known to in the past.

BookLikes – This is one that I am fairly new to, and am still figuring out. I don’t know much about it, so I will probably wind up spending a ton of time there as I figure things out, start writing reviews, figure out how it works, and so on. They also have giveaways for books, links to Amazon sales and free ebooks, and other things I haven’t even tried out yet. Watch for future updates about this one.

NetGalley – This is a site for advanced reviewers. Publishers post books prior to publication and reviewers can request access to these titles. If approved by the publisher (this isn’t a random algorithm) you will be granted access to a digital version of the book. A word of caution – the books are not all equal. Some formats do not render as well as others. Uses Adobe Reader.

YouTube – Soon to come! As I mentioned yesterday, I will soon be offering unboxings of the books and other do-dads that I get. This will be subject to trial as to whether or not I continue doing these or not. That said, I may also start trying show-and-tell type reviews, too (another suggestion I’ve been given). I’m willing to try almost anything once!


So, ten sites where you can read my reviews, write your own, and even a few where you can get your own goodies! A few words about about star ratings and my take on their meaning to me. And something to look forward to!

And now, to watch television with my family!



For Whom the Bell… Oh, Wait.

The holidays took their toll this year, as I’m sure you may have noticed. Or not.

Either way, I haven’t been around much since then. We’ve been dealing with stuff. So let me share a comic (xkcd)…


So yeah. It could always be alot worse.


But on the brilliant side of things, I’ve had alot of good pop up, too!

I have been pre-approved for books from BookBuzz.net. That is an awesome step for me! I now have free access to their current catalog, and will receive any book they post on ‘Galley, just for the asking. So far, I’ve looked around and am excited to move in on their titles!

Another positive, is a suggestion that has been made to me by a few people now – though for full disclosure, these are all people close to me – that I should start doing “unboxing” videos, opening the books and other goodies I get.

And, oh boy!, do I get quite a bit. I don’t order alot online or buy alot of stuff, because I don’t have alot of funding to spend. So I get stuff to review. Books, movies, even snacks, sometimes. And who doesn’t like that feeling of opening a new box full of goodies that just came in the mail?

So I’m going to start that, too. (I have a few boxes sitting around waiting just for this that arrived this week, so I’m all set.)

So, as you can tell, I have lots of plans for the future…

But sometimes I feel all…

Too Much.ashx

And I stall out. I have so much to do that I spaz, jumping from one thing to another in an attempt to do it all at once. Have you ever done that? Almost everyone does that at some point or another.

And when it all gets too much, what do I do?

I plan.

Elf Plans.ashx

Well, maybe not that bad. Lol – But it is bad. I get so wrapped up in planning, I sometimes forget that the whole point is to DO stuff realistically, and I leave myself with like 2 hours to sleep.

Not good.

So then I got to admit…


And that’s when I eat some white chocolate…

White Chocolate.ashx

And remind myself that I am awesome.

Why Awesome.ashx

(Heck, I learned how to put gifs on my stuff without a tutorial… Can you tell?)

So while I may wind up a little slowed down thanks to that other stuff, I’m not about to quit, or play it safe. It’s time to muscle up and show that I am a winner!

I Won.ashx

Besides… It could have always been worse:

Not Cancer.ashx

And now, back to your (ir)regularly scheduled updates!

The Holidays Rock (more to Come)

I love Hastings (the store, not the town). Today I hustled the kids out the door and down to the store, and we ‘rented’ the limit of 10 movies.

For free.

The list includes some book-movies, and some reborn classics:
Age of Ultron
Death Note (The Movie)
Insidious 3 (my daughter’s choice)
Scorch Trials
Terminator Genisys
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Happy Holidays!

Star Wars, Movies, and Funny Business

So I might be spending more time here, writing review (which badly needs done), posting opinions (which might need done), and wasting time (which absolutely don’t need done, but I do anyways).

GoodReads, my favorite time-wasting site has applied new formatting updates, and they are not up to my likings. So, until either I get used to the changes, or they make changes I can live with, I will be spending less time there.

I have also been spending more time on another favorite that I abandoned a while back, fully intending to quit, but didn’t… ChickenSmoothie! So much fun, and I love giving away stuff at this time of year.

The other day when we stopped by Barnes & Noble, my daughter decided that she wanted something, and I believe in gimmes – that little thing you buy your kids when you go to the store so they behave and don’t ask for the expensive big thing – but her daddy don’t. So when she asked for the Snow Sleigh, and her daddy said ‘no’, she had a mini-meltdown. I tried to do the ol’ bait-n-switch, with a little tinker thing, but she wasn’t havin’ it. At all.

Until I mentioned Star Wars, and we wound up picking this:


This little girl loves anything Star Wars right now, and that just makes her daddy’s heart melt, so I knew he couldn’t say ‘no’ to this. Sucker!

Later, we watched Tyrion Lannister run around New York with Jupiter Jones while searching for Patch Adams in:


This was a moving, touching, sometimes funny movie. A real tearjerker, so make sure to cuddle with someone you care about, have a fresh box of tissues handy, and plan on telling at least one person you love them after contemplating your own mortality.

Because, what would you do if you only had 90 minutes to live?


I’d finish a good book.

Star Wars Countdown and Reviews

Are you counting down for the new Star Wars movie yet?

We already bought the tickets! (Even if they have all been gifted already… wound up with some last-minute tag-a-longs for the movie… don’t you just love when that happens?) But since they are all already given out, we may actually go and see it opening night, before the presents are given!

SO, to go about preparing for this, I am going to do (and have done) alot of Star Wars-based reading…

Lets start with this short story…

The Passions of Greedo


Forgive the image, it was the only one on the page, and not mine. I think if it were mine, it would have turned out worse. Read the story by clicking the title above, or here. Read my review on GoodReads here.

And remember, The Force is with You!

Writing Night and Book of the Week

Tonight is our weekly Writing Night, meant to be time to write in peace with coffee and pie to fuel the process, but it always seems that I wind up doing more catching up and talking than actually writing.

Tonight’s pie is:


And tonight’s book is:


Review to come, since my writing buddy is tired… But let it be known, that while this book only got 3 stars from me, it is part of a larger thing, and it definitely deserves that title…

Old Review, New Review, Movie Night

So, tonight was de facto movie night, and I watched two films while cleaning out my email Inbox, and realized that I had missed out on doing the review for one of the books that one movie was based on –

7747374   MV5BMjI0NDI1MTMyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDMzMTcyNA@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

I Am Number Four…

Read my review on GoodReads here. Read IMDB’s review here.

The other movie was Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues.

(The cover on IMDB is not nearly as pretty as the cover on the disc I got from the library. I might update this to match, but then, maybe not.)

Hank was a country music legend, and this documentary not only featured his music and original recordings, but so much that I didn’t know about the man – that I’m sure many don’t know. It was sad to hear how much he suffered, and how loved he was by those who knew him. We can all only wish to be as loved and remembered as Hank Williams was.

It was also very humbling to hear a recording of him using a phrase my Pop used to use all the time – a phrase that apparently Hank used just as often…

“Lord willing…”