Tag Archives: romance novels

Alphabooking

Via The Haunted Wordsmith.

1. Author you’ve read the most books from.

– Idk, maybe Lawrence Sanders (RIP).

2. Best Sequel Ever.

– Third book in Game Of Thrones.

3. Currently Reading.

– Incognito by David Eagleman.

4. Drink of Choice While Reading

– Hot black tea with milk.

5. E-reader or Physical Book?

– Prefer physical but being practical I do mostly Kindle these days.

6. Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School.

– Archy McNally, the cad.

7. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance.

Game of Thrones, book 1.

8. Hidden Gem Book.

Bodies of Water by Rosanne Cash.

9. Important Moment in your Reading Life.

Welcome to Temptation.

10. Just Finished.

Dandelion Stars.

11. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read.

– Books by politicians.

12. Longest Book You’ve Read.

– Probably one of the GOTs. Or maybe The Stand or possibly that enormous book about the orange vampires our stupid gobblement created in Central America to be weaponized against our enemies but they destroyed the planet. No, I’m not making that up and I read the whole ridiculously long horrible thing, gawd only knows why. I think there’s a sequel and I have a restraining order just in case.

13. Major book hangover.

– Staying up all night when I was 14 to read The Flame and the Flower.

14. Number of Bookcases You Own.

– Two (had to downsize during divorce).

15. One Book You Have Read Multiple Times.

The Great Gatsby.

16. Preferred Place To Read

– Anywhere.

17. Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read.

– “And therein lies the whole of man’s plight. Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.” Kundera in TULOB

18. Reading Regret.

– Attempting Ulysses again. Blech.

19. Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series).

– No needs of this type.

20. Three of your All-Time Favorite Books.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The Great Gatsby. Norwegian Wood.

21. Unapologetic Fan-girl/boy For.

– King.

22. Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others.

– None.

23. Worst Bookish Habit.

– None except I should read more.

24. X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book.

– Wild guess… Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

25. Your latest book purchase.

Dandelion Stars.

26. ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late)

– My NaNo WIP. Literally fell asleep while writing last night.

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Nope on a Rope

I grabbed these questions from Kristian ~ anyone can play!

1. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

Gone Girl comes to mind, but I still respect the writing. Not crappy! Just argh!

2. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

– Dunno. Compellingly terrible protags are a good thing. Like in GG.

3. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

– I read the first four Game of Throne novels and the fourth was a hugely tedious slog. I’ve given up now and will just finish watching the wonderful show on HBO.

4. Popular pairing: A Ship you don’t support.

– I love naughty Archy McNally in the Lawrence Sanders mysteries but I don’t support Connie’s forgiveness of him every time he cheats on her (pretty much every book).

5. Plot Twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.

– Can’t think of any except GG. If I didn’t see it coming, then that’s a good thing. Mostly in romance I see them, but that’s okay.

6. Protagonist action/decision that made you shake your head nope.

– In The Dogs of Babel — why didn’t she just get an abortion?

7. Genre: A genre you will never read.

– Never say never. Generally horror with the King exception. Religious stuff in general, unless it seems really interesting.

8. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

– Idk comic strips maybe.

9. A trope that makes you go nope.

– Twins mixed up. Getting back with an ex (even though I’ve written this myself). Vampire luv except maybe gothic. Shape shifters of any kind (also have written). Motorcycle club love. Military love. Love in the winery. Pirate luv. Native Americans (the kind where a blonde finds hot sexy luv with one). The thing where a woman has to go to the ends of the earth to save her child from some ridiculous thing or other. The other thing where she returns to a small town for whatever bogus reason and gets together with that hunky high school guy who’s now the sheriff and drama ensues.

I HAZ ISSUES!

10. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you refuse to read.

– Books by politicians and other celebs. These people don’t have enough money?

11. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

– I can’t stand the excessive commas that are, apparently, correct usage. It diverts me from the writing, especially in dialogue.

12. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

– Can’t think of any.

13. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say nope.

– Nope.

14. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

– The Night King! (GOT)

15. Death: A character death that still haunts you.

– Robb’s pregnant wife getting stabbed to death at the Red Wedding (GOT).

16. NOPE! Author: An author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

– I can’t stand Nicholas Sparks. I don’t know why anyone reads him when there are plenty of good romance writers. He’s absolutely awful.

I Put the Lie in Liebster

Big thanks to Kristian for the award! Loved his answers. 😀

RULES

  • Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award
  • Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you
  • Give 11 random thoughts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions

The origins of this award are as follows:

“This award is meant to encourage new bloggers. From The Global Aussie: “The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011.  Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”  The award initially focused on bloggers with less than 2000 followers, but as its popularity increased this number has gone down to 200.”

My questions from Kristian:

  1. If someone were to make a film/movie about your life, which actor would you like to play you? Joan Cusack. People have said we look alike, and maybe I’d get an intro to John.
  2. If you had to stand up and sing a song at Karaoke what song would you choose? Already tried to sing Bang Bang with someone and goofed it all up.
  3. If you received a plane ticket through the post that could take you absolutely anywhere in the world, where would you go? Back to NorCal to visit my family.
  4. You are trapped in a mountain hut in a snowstorm. You have all the food and drink you need but there is no TV. What books would you like to have with you? All the romances I haven’t read. But nothing scary if I’m trapped!
  5. If you could go back in time and meet someone from history who would it be? Whoops! Couldn’t decide and then forgot to answer. I’ll just put Emily Dickinson.
  6. You arrive home after a long day and the magic elves have cooked/prepared your favourite meal, what is it? Sautéed mushrooms over wilted greens and lovely fresh seafood pasta.
  7. Someone pulls out in front of you on the motorway, makes you slam your breaks on, then speeds off. What would you like to happen to them? Ticket for speeding and reckless driving. I know that sounds boring, but if people were actually penalized properly, things would get better on the roads and we wouldn’t have to hate each other and be so stressed.
  8. What burning question that I didn’t ask would you like to answer? How many words am I up to in NaNoWriMo ~ 7674

Eight is the new 11, yayyy! Thanks Kristian for not going up to 11!

Eight random things about me then:

1. My ears are significantly asymmetrical.

2. I remember names much better than faces.

3. I don’t ask/care about/remember facts about people such as age, location, job because those things bore me, but I will remember something funny they said.

4. I have written two complete, legit romance novels (available for Kindle).

5. I have done stand-up comedy.

6. I won an award in high school for being awesome at Spanish.

7. I barely remember any Spanish now.

8. I still have some Beanie Babies.

If you have fewer than 500 WordPress followers, you have now been chosen by me as a Liebster Award Recipient ~ congrats! Please follow the rules above and take my 8 random facts (8 is the new 11) and questionize them (what about you is asymmetrical, do you remember names or faces, etc.).

Happy Liebstering!

Revenge of the Lost [flash 600]

Melanie didn’t like Labyrinth Laundromat. It was dark and gave her the creeps. Why did the lights keep flickering? Oh well, she had no choice in a new town without a car. At least this place was right next to her apartment building. She took out the romance novel she’d brought and tried not to think about the shadows in the back of the laundromat.

Finally the washer finished, and Melanie jumped up to put her wet clothes in a dryer. No need to hurry: she was alone in here. But that made her feel even more creeped out. She noted that all the dryers had tape over the coin slots except the very last one, the one farthest from the door.

She quickly stuffed her clothes in the dryer, put in coins, and started up the machine. It was so cold and damp back here. Smelled like mold and ashes. Yuck! The dryer sputtered and made a strange yowling noise, like a cat in heat.

“Yikes!” Melanie said, glancing around. She wished someone else would come in to do laundry. Too nervous to read now, she paced in front of the dryers as the one in use creaked and groaned.

“Only forty minutes more,” Melanie muttered, hugging her arms around her torso, trying to reassure herself.

Then the lights went out completely.

“PSSST,” someone said. “Why did you abandon me?”

“Who’s there?!” Melanie shouted.

“Just me.” A fluorescent light flickered on overhead to illuminate a sock on the floor. It was black with multi-colored toes.

Melanie had a vague recollection of having a pair of similar socks back in junior high.

“You left me behind the dryer with spiders and crickets. That was mean. I hate you!”

“What?” Melanie decided she must be hallucinating. It was probably from that weird tea she drank after dinner.

“And me!” A frilly white sock with tattered lace trim dangling off materialized next to the other sock. “I went to your confirmation and then you let Buster chew on me.”

“I was a little kid!” Melanie objected. “That wasn’t my fault.”

“What about us?” random mismatched socks fell all around her. “You left me at the stinky gym. You dropped me in the street and I got run over by a car. You never tried to find me. You never cared about my mate. You forgot me at your nasty boyfriend’s house and now I smell like smoke.”

Melanie couldn’t keep up with all their accusations. She stopped answering as they literally rained down on her, thirty years of lost and abandoned socks spilling their grief and anger onto her. She figured they’d be done venting soon and she could go.

But then she noticed they were looping together into a chain and making a circle around her. “Hey, what’s going on?” she said, panicking. She tried to run, but it was too late.

The socks quickly knotted themselves and moved up to Melanie’s waist. Then they yanked her to the far corner of the laundromat, where the floor sloped down.

“Stop!” Melanie yelled, but the linoleum back here was so slippery, and she lost her balance, falling, and sliding down down down with the rope of socks. She screamed at the demonic images she glimpsed along the walls as her descent twisted downward faster and faster…

*

Toby didn’t like this laundromat. It gave off a bad vibe. Oh well. He put a load in the washer and sat down to wait. Someone had forgotten their book: Love’s Wicked Flames. He rolled his eyes. Chicks and their dumb romance novels. The lights flickered.

~*~

Where Tags Come To Die

The lovely Jay-lyn nominated me for yet another Sunshine Award and guess how many questions I have to answer? Yup. ELEVEN. 🙄🙄🙄 As per my SOP, I am not tagging anyone, but I encourage everyone who hasn’t done one of these yet to copy Jay’s questions and answer them on your own blog.

Thank you, Jay, for these great questions:

1. Do you believe in true love?

– Well, I’m not sure we all define it the same way, but do I believe that two people can, soon after meeting, discover a mutual and intensely fulfilling physical, emotional, and intellectual connection that builds into a caring and committed bond that lasts a lifetime… sure, why not? I think it has happened to other people.

2. Summer or Winter?

– Summer.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?

– Idk, I don’t really like to travel and leave my kitty. 🐱

4. Have you ever sat in your car and cried for no reason other than being sad?

– I usually have a reason for being sad. But yes.

5. Science Fiction or Fantasy?

– Not clear on the difference here. SciFi is like Star Trek and fantasy is dragons? Can’t mix those, I suppose, but why not? I liked the original Star Trek and the movies with those characters a lot, but I also liked the one with Chris Pine (no, I don’t want to hear about his penis), but I love love love Game of Thrones. However, that’s kind of a one-off; I didn’t love dragon stuff before and I doubt I will again. So… yeah. Idk.

6. If you could be any fantasy character what type would you be?

– A dragon! Purple obviously.

7. If you discovered the secret to slowing down the aging process would you use it?

– On myself? How would that work? I’d quit aging, so I’d never retire, but my bosses would, and then I’d have to look for a new job? Gahhh. What about my kids ~ they’d age past me and die?! That sounds pretty horrible actually. 😢

8. Walking through the forest you come upon a large tree with a door in it, do you open the door?

– No, that seems like a bad idea. Might be a dragon in there.

9. If you opened the door in the above question what did you find?

– Dragon, hello.

10. If you did not open the door in question 8 why not?

– Probably a drug dealer’s stash. Best not to know or to leave fingerprints. In a novel, the protagonist would of course open the door, which would cause a cascade of unnecessary problems and then of course end in true love. But before that… ughhh drama!

11. Favorite all time Halloween costume.

– Devil with a blue dress on.

Eleven Eleven Eleven

Why are these award things stuck on 11 questions? It’s bizarre! Anyway, thanks to Anjali Sharma of Positive Side of the Coin for another Sunshine Award.

I don’t tag bloggers for awards. Far as I’m concerned, everyone who follows me is a ray of golden sun, so I encourage you to copy Anjali’s great questions and answer them on your own blog.

Anjali’s Questions–

1. What made you smile today?

– Knowing that my daughter and granddaughter will be here in a little while.

2. What is your biggest win?

– I won a sewing machine in a raffle in sixth grade. Gambling/lotteries have been all downhill since.

3. Your [motto] in life?

– Life is short; eat dessert first.

4. Your favourite movie?

– Dr. Zhivago, Young Frankenstein, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, An Officer and A Gentleman, Goodfellas, Risky Business, The Devil Wears Prada, lots of musicals… Sorry, can’t pick only one!

5. Your favourite books and author?

– The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera); The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald); Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Murakami); Ray Carver’s short stories, Jennifer Crusie’s contemporary romances, etc.

6. Why you love blogging?

– Self-expression, controlled, and at a distance.

7. Which is that one movie which has inspired you the most?

Risky Business.

8. If you have read my blogs, what’s your favourite blog written by me?

– I enjoy your overall happiness theme.

9. What’s best life advice you ever got from someone?

– Do nothing (when you are upset and don’t know what to do).

10. Your goal in life?

– Continue to have a great relationship with my daughters.

11. What is your definition of love?

– Family.

The Hocus Pocus Writing Tag

The Haunted Wordsmith tagged me with these Hocus Pocus related writing questions. I encourage all NaNoWriMo participants to grab ’em and play along!

1. Sarah, Mary & Winifred Sanderson: Being a witch is hard, but so is writing. If you had magical, witchy powers, what aspect of writing or what part of the process would you magically skip over?

– The part where I decide that my idea is trivial, boring, and waaay too complex all at the same time, so I abandon it for another idea that has exactly those attributes. 🙄

2. Max and Dani: What relationships tend to be at the core of your books? Friends? Family? Romance?

– Romance, even when it’s not a “romance novel” per se. 💕

3. Amuck, Amuck, Amuck!: How do you approach the chaos that is drafting? Are you a plotter, a pantster, or a combo of both?

– Generally, I am a pantster, though I have most of a plot in my head the whole time. Sometimes I will make notes for a few chapters ahead. Occasionally, I need more detail, if it’s important to keep dates exactly right, as in my current NaNo WIP. I never create anything remotely resembling a traditional outline, yucky. 😖

4. I Put a Spell on You: How do you deal with book ideas that want to pull your focus from your main WIP?

– Create a new folder with notes for later. Or, if the new idea is a billion times better, just start working on that one. It happens!

5. Thackery Binx: Things aren’t always what they seem–Think back to when you first started writing to where you are now. How has your process transformed from then to now?

– I had a hard time envisioning a complete novel back then. I could only imagine short scenes and bits of dialog. Consequently, after a few pages, my stories drifted into nothingness. Now, I haz visions. 👀

6. My Lucky Rat Tail: Do you have a writing ritual? If not, what are some of your favorite writing tools?

– I don’t have rituals, but I need uninterrupted quiet time when I’m not feeling stressed out in order to work on a novel. I can write poetry and flash fiction with less restriction.

7. Boooooookkk: Favorite Writing Craft Book?

– Probably On Writing by Stephen King.

8. Another Glorious Morning: Do you enjoy writing in the morning? Or do you prefer the evening, like Winnifred?

– It depends on the day. I used to love getting up early to write, but that doesn’t seem to work well for me these days. I have been writing more at night. 🌙

9. The Black Flame Candle: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made so far in your writing journey? OR What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

– Trying to write crap for money, and then hating it and not making money besides. (Not talking about romance novels ~ imo mine are good and I enjoy writing them.)

10. Billy Butcherson: What’s a trope that most people hate, but you love and would like to see “come back from the dead”?

– Idk what “most people” hate. People sneer at romance novels, yet they sell like mad. Certain romance tropes that I hate (we should only be talking about me, yes?) are: vampires, shapeshifters, twins, having to get back with your ex to solve a crime because he is the only cop on the planet, returning to your hometown and the studly guy from high school who never got over you even though you ran off like a crazy yada barf. 🤮

11. Come Little Children: Songs that give you a “hypnotic” focus when writing? I.e., fav songs on your writing playlist.

– WHY ARE THERE ELEVEN QUESTIONS AGAIN? This is too much of a coinkydink and I am calling conspiracy! What’s that bubbling noise…

10 Influential Books

Now we’re talking! The Haunted Wordsmith asks us for 10 books and I decided to use only those I gave 5 stars to on Goodreads. Couple reasons. One, I can take screenshots of ’em to show not tell, and isn’t that what writing is all about? Two, if they aren’t right in my face, I might have trouble remembering them (like the mystery tidal wave movie yesterday). Three, I gotta have some way of narrowing down the books I love into a list and this is as good as any. Let’s begin!

1. This is a children’s book with universal themes of loneliness, friendship, abandonment, imagination vs reality, and feeling outcast from your tribe. It has really stayed with me.

2. I had already been enjoying the detective novels of Lawrence Sanders, but the McNally series notched his writing up to a whole new level for me. I realized you could fall in love with a flawed antihero who made mistakes, stepped out on his girlfriend, and overindulged in food and booze. Our protags don’t have to be perfect; in fact, they’re more interesting when they aren’t.

3. Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation showed me a fresh and sassy narrative voice that gave me hope for my own. Faking It continues this voice that I’ve fallen in love with and adds a fabulous plot, so mixed up and crazy, but somehow seamlessly blending with the love story, not jangling against it or tacked on as an afterthought.

4. I literally could not put down this book. I never knew I could even enjoy a memoir ~ I thought they were all boring celeb brags. This book is incredible (the movie just so-so).

5. What can I say ~ I named my cat after this book. The most beautiful writing to hit the page, so lovely, so poetic. I never get tired of its lushness.

6. The first and best book in the series. A gift from a friend, which captivated me so much I began watching the show, and it is incredible. I don’t normally go for fantasy and/or sci-fi, but GOT is an exception that breaks every rule.

7. Even though I didn’t list any Stephen King novels here, I have enjoyed many, as well as his short stories, and this book on his craft is a treasure. I recommend it to all writers.

8. This is the novel that hooked me into Murakami’s writing. I picked it up at B&N, sat down, and read the entire thing without pause. Then I began buying his books ~ my favorite is probably his short story collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.

9. Speaking of shorts, Ray Carver is my favorite short story writer, and this is my favorite book of his collected work. But they’re all great! He writes down to the bone, cuts to the essence of an idea, nothing extra, no poetic loveliness a la Fitzgerald. I love both types of writing, no need to choose!

10. And now TULOB, my very favorite book of all time. Absolutely brilliant. The movie doesn’t do it justice at all ~ you must read the book, again and again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I feel bad I didn’t include any poetry books (Mark Strand, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, etc.), or Margaret Atwood or Rosanne Cash or Faye Kellerman etc. etc. etc., but again, like I did with the movies, I tried to focus on what influenced me over time, not on what I merely enjoyed a whole bunch.

Happy reading 📖!

Serendipity

Smash the lies to bits:

You didn’t wake up like this.

We know you know we know,

And we’re keeping your secret

As you scamper through the meadow,

Singing you’re hap-hap-happy

To be alone and might book a cruise

To Greece, while your gaze

Slips to the trees.

You slyly search for a knight on a steed,

But alas there’s only a wounded buck–

Don’t take him home!

You run and stumble,

Twist an ankle in a rabbit hole…

No cake here, girlfriend,

No grinning cats, no mad queens;

Just a bag of ice and crushed dreams.

Leave the cute meets and serendipity

For starry-eyed writers, hey?

You have bills to pay.

~*~

Via the RDP: Serendipity

Blue Sky

No, this isn’t about Breaking Bad or the ELO song. It’s a pile of questions I found here on an open tag game, and I’m just grabbing them without following the rules or using the banner cuz that’s how I roll. If any of the questions annoy me, I’ll delete them and possibly substitute my own. Then it’s your turn to play. Or else. 🔥

~*~

1. What country have you never visited but would love to, and why?

– I want to visit England and see majestic old crumbly things like the Queen and have tea and cucumber snadwiches and browse in bookshops and hear men speak in sexy British accents all day (swoonsies).

2. What person in your life (not including family members) has most shaped who you are today?

– Probably my ex-husband of 21 years.

3. List three things that make you happy?

– Kitties, poetry, tea.

4. What’s your favorite genre to read?

– Romance.

5. What time period in history most intrigues you, and why?

– That time when whales walked on land and then went back into the ocean and lost their feets. I haz questions.

6. If you could add a new talent to your repertoire, what would it be, and why?

– Repertoire, lol. I would like to have a sense of direction, thx.

7. Where is your favorite place in the world, and why?

– Anywhere with both my daughters, all of us having a good time.

8. What animal best describes your personality, and why?

– Hermit crab. I like to be home alone, and I’m crabby.

9. What’s your favorite recipe (and please share it)?

– Tea and c00kies. You make some tea and get some c00kies from the c00kie package. Serve with a napkin. Hope that wasn’t too technical.

10. Hiking boots, sneakers, heels, or flip-flops?

– Eh? Cute boots or loafers. Occasional heels but not high ones. Sneakers for long walks. Long meaning over a mile. 😂

11. Would you rather have tons of love and little wealth, or tons of wealth and little love?

– Wealth, tons of. Then watch the love roll in. I know how it works.

12. What’s your favorite flower? Any special reason?

– Yellow roses edged with pink. Also sunflowers and orchids. I love a super colorful bouquet 💐 most of all. No reason.

13. What word do you find annoying, and you hear it all the time?

– It starts with T.

14. What bends your mind every time you think about it?

– The first person who figured out how to make bread. It’s so freaking complicated with a bunch of steps and not something that would have happened by accident.

15. What is in your fridge right now?

– Bread, whale feets. The usual.

K, I’m done. Deleted the rest. Now you!