Blog Hopping and Holiday Talking

When I look back at the stories I’ve written, I don’t think I have one story that takes place during the winter season. Something about the snow just makes is harder for characters to run, assuming they’re in the wrong part of the country, and just makes an overall mess of things. Plus, as a writer you always have to give somewhat of a description of what your characters are wearing at the time. For instance, you don’t want someone going out in shorts in a blizzard and you want to make sure they snag their jacket (possibly flipping over a chair) if they’re in a tirade. All of those little nuisances make my shy away from winters settings.

Now, I like challenges. So, this is one of those things I’d like to break away from. I have a WIP that takes place the day before Christmas and the family is gathered around the tree. They’re not drinking eggnog either. This brood needs something a little stronger than that given what they’ve been through. Of course, all hell breaks loose as Christmas dawns because those are the types of stories I like. No time for Santa to slip down the chimney when you have someone unloaded bullets through the windows. But again, that’s just me. Of course, this also means I have to carry the whole winter theme through unless my characters decide to fly down to Australia, which isn’t going to happen.

But getting back to my post. There are other aspects of winter that I think would make great settings, though I have a feeling that my devious side might break out. For instance, I have this image of a werewolf trying to chase someone down in the middle of an ice storm they’re doing no better than the car that’s sliding out of control and heading straight for them. And suppose the lake where people have long suspected a monster to live decides it hasn’t had it’s fill before going into hibernation? I can see him swimming to surface to feed on some idiot ice skaters who thought the “thin ice” signs were full of crap after two feet of snow and temperatures hitting the teens the previous night.

Oh, the wonderfully bad things you can do with a winter setting.

Mocha Memoirs brings glad tidings of hot new reads for cold nights and our Season’s Reading Blog Tour.  The blog tour starts on December 7, 2015. Get to know more about my fellow authors and what the holidays mean to them. There are also some gifts under our tree (click the image below to entered into a drawing for an awesome prize)… Will they be for you? Check out all the Season’s Reading info at our blog here. Hang out and learn about our fabulous new releases.

Don’t forget to enter the contest going on during the Mocha Memoirs Press Blog Tour!

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And if you want to know more about who’s in this fun blog tour, just click the little frog below. He won’t bite–I promise. 😉

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REVIEW – An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

sha_final1The last Sherlock Holmes story I read was in my AP English class, and it was too long ago to remember. All I can recall is that I liked The Hound of the Baskervilles and A Study in Scarlet, but I never wanted to go back and read more. So, when I heard about this anthology, I was a tad skeptical that it would rekindle my love for Sherlock Holmes. Boy, was I wrong.

It’s hard to say which story was my favorite, since there’s a smorgasbord of fun and excitement going on here. Or rather, to borrow a line from the books, it’s “a monstrous, writhing conglomeration of darkness and grotesqueries,” but in a deliciously good way. There were some stories I liked more than others, but none of the stories were enough to deter me from wanting to read more. Also, I love paranormal stories with a hint of mystery in them. So for me, this was perfect. But what I loved most was how each of the authors pulled it off to the point that I felt like I was right there battling evil while getting the life sucked out of me at the same time. Yes, it was that much fun. If you like paranormal, you’ll love this anthology. If you’re not a fan of Sherlock Holmes, this might change your mind and make you want to seek out more. I don’t know if there will be a book 2, but if there is, you can sign me up.

Rating: A-

Get a copy from Amazon: Print, eBook

Check Out My New Website!

My new website is up! And, I know I’m biased, but I think it looks great. 😀 I noticed a few kinks, but I hope they’re gone now. The main thing that’s left is figuring out how the whole newsletter thing works. For some reason Mail Chimp can’t email me anything with my domain name in it, which means I can’t verify that I own my own domain. Go figure that one. I might have to go with a different email provider.

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy what you see, including my new book cover for STRAINED. Don’t forget to pick up a copy on December 14th!

New Website Coming Soon

All it takes is my previous website software to EOL (end of life) and an upgrade to Windows 10 (it destroyed my hard drive and my software, too) to send everything I’ve done into a tailspin. I love my website, too. But, I have no desire to spend another $125 in website software that operates via the cloud without any reassurance that I’ll even be able to salvage what I have. So sadly, it’s time to move on. Besides, the only thing I can do with my website right now

I’ve spent a good part of this weekend rebuilding my website using Weebly. I’m scared to death, too, because I’ve never used it before. I wanted to try something different and I didn’t want to change my host either. I like Bluehost. Unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t have a deal with Wix, which is currently hosting another website I have with my other writing alias. I’ve heard some good things about Weebly, so it wasn’t a far stretch for me to give them a try. Plus, if it’s point and click, I’m all over it. My time is precious, so I’d rather spend as less time as possible monkeying around with my website.

So far, I like the results. I especially like my new Bookshelf page. Also, there’s going to be a new addition. I’ve decided to try this thing called a newsletter, which I’ll be doing via MailChimp. Fingers crossed it goes well because for some reason the domain verification has been a beast.

Anyway, cross your fingers that all goes well because I’m hoping to unveil my new website very soon.

Cover Reveal – STRAINED

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Blurb
Alexa is keeping a secret from her husband and being half werewolf isn’t it. After all, he’s a full-blood and doesn’t care that there are those who think their union is an abomination. Despite their abnormalities, the Yorks have settled into suburbia and gone out of their way to look like the couple next door.

Their rouse may have fooled an entire community, but not the Georgia Pack. The Yorks have encroached on their territory. Most interlopers end up dead, especially when the bounties on their heads invite stalkers, killers, and psychos to collect. Despite the trouble the Yorks have brought with them, the domestic suburbanites have intrigued the pack.

Alexa’s less domestic than she seems. Eight months ago, her bounty hunting club disbanded after several team members lost their lives in an ambush. Since then, the club has reemerged and are expecting Alexa to take her rightful place among the ranks.

Keeping the truth from her husband about her extracurricular activities will strain the Yorks’ marriage and risk everything they’ve worked hard for. But, that’s the price Alexa pays when her deception becomes deadlier than her aim. A deception that also keeps her alive.

Release: TBD

Chromecast Review…in Layperson’s Terms

With the whole cutting-the-cord thing when it comes to cable, I’ve been wanting to try some streaming devices. However, I also wanted to read up on them first to see which one I should try first. I chose Google Chromecast because it was cheap. We’re all trying to pay less for mediocre entertainment these days. I’m betting the cable companies are getting stations and data for pennies on the dollar while we (a.k.a. their cattle) are being shepherded into paying the price of our first born to watch only 10% to 15% of the 150 channels being shoved down our throats.

Anyway, back to my review. Hooking the thing up is easy enough as long as you have an HDMI connection on your TV. So is downloading the app to run it. But here’s where I take issue. Make sure you have Android 4.4.2 or you’ll find your casting capabilities lacking when it comes to certain “Chromecast-specific” apps. For instance, we had no problem with casting YouTube to the screen–I’ll talk more about that in a minute. But when it came down to Just Dance Now 2015, that can be a painful son of a b****. It works on one phone but not the other. Or I should say, I can’t cast on one of my tablets (Android 4.4), but I can the other (Android 4.2.2). Go figure that one.

Now, let me get back to the YouTube thing. While you can cast all of the videos and shows you want, you had better have a seriously good internet connection or huge bandwidth or something. Otherwise, you’ll end up with starting and stopping, lagging, and grainy videos. Even having Elsa belt out “Let It Go” wasn’t enough to put a smile on my face because hers looked pitted like a peach seed. The jury is out on whether or not it could be my internet connection because I’m with Charter Spectrum, which sucks like a puppy on his momma’s tit. But that’s beside the point. I also have an internet extender, so I’m not sure if that’s helping or just sucking up energy out of the wall socket.

But back to Chromecast. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s worth keeping. It’s cheap, which is nice. I also want to see if getting a new router might do something, too, since mine is considered a little old (4+ years).  The whole point is that I expected more of Chromecast, but the good news is I didn’t get my hopes up quite as high as I had with a Roku I had tried about two years ago. At $35, I think I would’ve found more pleasure in buying myself a new pair of jeans. Nonetheless, I’m on the fence about Chromecast. While you have some things (movies and TV shows, depending upon your source) that are free, not everything is. I found I still needed my Amazon Prime subscription, if I wanted to see some shows and movies. The same goes for those with Hulu and Netflix. And if you’re like me where you like to have the TV on regardless of the channel (so it doesn’t feel like you’re alone in your house), then your best bet is to queue up about 10 or 15 programs on YouTube to keep you company.

If you’re like me where you like to channel surf and have a few options based on the channels you know and love, streaming isn’t for you. When it comes to streaming with Chromecast, don’t cut your cable cord yet. You’re better off trying it out first, and then making a decision before you 30-day return policy runs out. I, for one, won’t be taking a pair of scissors to my cord just yet. But, at least, my five-year-old can watch some Nickelodeon and Disney in her room without my having to pay for an extra cable box. That alone is a plus.

Overall: It’s okay. I’ll have to update this once I’m sure my 4+ year old router wasn’t the issue.

Keeping It Short

Two things.

First: I’ve added my new Review Roundup page and have added some reviews for STRICKEN. I was wondering why I was missing them, but then I remembered that the reviews were going up throughout July. That was a particularly difficult month for me because we had to deal with the death of our family matriarch. It didn’t help that I had gotten sick the day before the funeral, which pretty much knocked me out for a good week. So sadly, STRICKEN wasn’t a priority. But thankfully, I can make that up with STRAINED. 😉 A huge thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for putting it together for me.

Second: I’m throwing out a reminder that AN IMPROBABLE TRUTH will be available on Tuesday, October 11th and I’ll be reviewing this book on my blog. I can’t wait. I’ve heard there are some incredible stories coming out this book with some amazing authors. So be sure to grab a copy and help me review it.