Category Archives: Books

Feeling Like Myself

For the first time in like a year really. I’ve had a pretty good week this week. I’ve gotten a LOT of words written, I sent out a set of poems, I made a dent in Mt. Laundry, read two multi-chapter volumes of a manga series (Blue Exorcist), a how-to manual, and I even made some art and put some new things into the Etsy shop. I think my one foot is just always going to be sort of sore now but I went up the stairs like I used to, before all this started! I had bloodwork done and didn’t bruise like it sometimes does, my meds didn’t make me the least bit ill, and I found out that I’ve been using one of my camera lenses wrong from the first moment I got it in 1993.

I’m mostly trying to stay busy because when I’m busy, I don’t obsess over the submissions I have out and I also don’t feel the need to munch and snack all the time. When I’m not snacking, I’m much better at losing weight. It’ll be different when I can really move better but I think that’s going to take time before I’m at that place.

I have a lot on the list of things I want to do and I’m working on it, slowly but surely. Ultimately, the goal has always been the same – I want to write a book that really matters to someone. I’ve had a lot of books that mattered to me and I want to give that to someone else. I want to make art that moves people and things that people want to have in their homes on display. If I can do that while feeling almost human? Even better!

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Review: Mystic by Gabi Stevens

Review: Mystic by Gabi Stevens
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

I am an avid and voracious reader, and this is my favorite of the books I’ve read so far this year. There’s a little romance, a little action, a little intrigue, a little magic and a lot of heart. Ms. Stevens weaves an amazing story that sweeps you up and runs with you and you don’t want to put it down.

Allys is on the run, having escaped a horrible situation and unwittingly drags New York’s Sexiest Writer into the thick of it, running from a strange and powerful man hellbent on getting Allys back. Trask is exactly the kind of man you want to meet when you’re in a terrible pinch and Allys is a wonderful foil.

I do hope there will be a second book as I want to know more about Mystic.

For me, I would love to have Ms. Stevens’ Mal meet my Molly Mae in some pocket universe where two almost cats can solve riddles and be snarky to each other. Really, this book was a lot of fun and if you like my sorts of stories, you’ll like this one too.

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Happenings and almost news

I have an exciting thing that will hopefully, all things going well, come out just in time for Christmas this year. The idea is pretty fleshed out in my head – the town was already there, some of the players too, it was just waiting for the right call, the right nudge. So, everything cooperating, I’ll have a witchy magic town Christmas romance available this year. I’m having a horrible time with a title though and that’s unusual for me. With most projects, the title comes really easy and maybe it will by the time I finish the zero draft up. Hunter’s Hell is now my backburner project for a few weeks while that zero draft is hammering out. Gods of the Fallen is being put on hold for a bit. The funny thing is I had just been playing around with ideas for Eldercynne Knight before this hit. Too many projects, not enough time, not enough spoons.

For the time being, the tag will be for Bear Ridge but that won’t be the title. Right now, all the titles I have mulled are already out there, come straight from songs, or have nothing to do with the story. I can’t really title it witchy-ish magic town Christmas romance, can I?

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Review: You Always Have Me

You Always Have Me by Sherell Cummings

You Always Have Me
By: Sherell Cummings
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: YA/ Romance

This book is very well written. Cummings is an author I will definitely read again. This story is about a girl, Kale, who has had a pretty rough life so far, abandoned by her mother, treated horribly by her father, and the only light in her life, her best friend Wyatt had to move away. When Wyatt returns, it’s not exactly smooth sailing but it sure as hell beats the alternative.

There are some ups and downs, flashbacks and memories that help explain who Kale and Wyatt are separately and together. There is one place that is a little hard to read, emotionally, but you can see it coming and it’s pretty easy to skim if you need to.

It’s a journey of discovery as a girl who had to grow up too fast finally gets to experience some of the lighter, fun side of life. You can’t help but root for them, even as you wait for the other shoe to drop. And drop it does but not in the way you’d expect at all.

Overall, a well-written fun read with a few moments that might give one pause but doesn’t take away from the overall story. There is a little too much deus ex machina for me but the case of the missing passport was really the only big hiccup for me and that’s not bad!

4/5 – worth the read and the hiccups are just minor things.

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Writer Wednesday: Sherell Cummings

Today, I’m going to bring you a little bit about a fellow Boroughs author who has a brand new book out! Personally, it looks like a fun read.

You Always Have Me by Sherell Cummings

IS HOPE ENOUGH

 

High school junior Kale Montgomery is stuck with a father who hates her, a mother who left her, and a town that pities her. Getting out of this life seems impossible, and yet she knows staying is the fastest way to rot [or lose] her soul.

When Wyatt McCade, her childhood best friend who’s now grown into a chiseled and devastatingly handsome twenty-one-year-old, comes back into town, Kale dares to hope again. Hope for a future with love, happiness, and endless possibilities.

Embarking on a cross-country road trip, Kale and Wyatt discover life apart from each other was never much of a life at all. They’re ready for their happy ending. But, what’s love that isn’t tested? When a secret about Wyatt is revealed that could change their entire future, Kale’s forced to find out if hope is her savior, or if it’s actually the most dangerous thing of all.

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Boroughs Publishing Group

 

 

 

Sherell Cummings

Sherell Cummings is an IT Technician whose mind is consumed with what to write next. She and her fiancé, Jude, and their two children live on the island of Trinidad and Tobago and when she’s not reading or trying to find time to write, she’s at work doing the regular nine to five.

Find her and follow her on all the sites:

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So Far, So Good

I’ve been really good at keeping up this word counting and I’ve only missed one day this month writing and that was a holiday. I’m going to have missed days sometimes. Apparently, I’m having my November now. I’m more than on track to hit 50k this month and I’m really pleased about that.

Yesterday was a day full of going and walking and I paid for it last night. I’m glad we went but I feel bad as I move at about the pace of a snail and the poor dear husband moves more like a gazelle and so do my very tall kids. By the end of the day, I felt about like I felt one the day my very first flare started and we began the process of trying to find out what is wrong with me.

I still managed to get words in on Hunter’s Hell though, a little better than 800 of them. I really do love where this story is going. I feel a little guilty doing some of the horrible things to my characters that I do but they also need to happen in order for my lovelies to grow. That’s always my biggest complaint when I read a series – the characters don’t grow or they lean on one particular crutch too much. That doesn’t mean I don’t love the stories or those writers, just that it’s a thing that I note and remind myself to try to avoid.

I adore JD Robb’s in Death series – love em all. BUT, I do think Eve’s constant misunderstanding of common idioms is ridiculous at this point and she’s going to run out of them. In the latest, it wasn’t so much the idioms that bothered me but the botchery of Hitchcock’s name. Sure, not everyone is a movie buff but this isn’t the first in Death book where Hitchcock is mentioned. So it irks me. It irks me just a little as it’s one irksome thing in an otherwise fun book. They are fun, fast reads even with the occasional bout of come on that get under my skin. The most recent installment is fun, not particularly groundbreaking as the basic idea has been done before many times, but it’s a solid outing with Eve and Roarke. Really though that’s the best part of stories – I can read the same story by eight different writers and they’re all different and amazing in their own way.

I’m hoping to get more words in today but if I don’t, I’m not terribly concerned. At least the kids are old enough to, more or less, let me work and not stop me every three minutes to get them this or that or keep them occupied. They’re pretty good now at keeping themselves occupied.

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January Wrap Up

This month has been a pretty busy, pretty decent month!

On the writing front, it’s been the best month I’ve had in a very very long time. I didn’t start counting my words until half-way through the month so it isn’t exactly complete and I didn’t write every day but I only missed three days in the last half of the month and that’s damned good. I wrote 12,585 words in the second half of January and I’m really pleased with that. I also finished the zero draft of Hunter’s Hell which I started in November so, I might be behind there but the bones of this book are solid and awesome. I submitted Purgatory’s Queen (sci-fi/thriller) and Demonborn (dark fantasy) so fingers crossed all over the place there. I also put in some words on the Gods of the Fallen first draft. I’ll be working both HH and GOTF first drafts for the next month or two. I’ll be very happy if HH is done mid-March.

On the health front: I’ve come a long way in the last six months but I’m not all the way there yet. I can do laundry all by myself now and stand up long enough to do dishes without using the tall stool to perch on. I can type at 3/4 speed for half an hour at a stretch. I’m not back to normal but I’m so damned happy to be where I’m at! I’m even exercising again. Slowly, gently, but exercising. I turned on my calorie counting app and hooked up the Wii Fit board. I’m only down about a pound but at least I’m back to going the right direction. Being off the prednisone is great but I think we’re probably not finished adjusting the methotrexate just yet.

The kids are doing well in school. Husband is the awesome. Husband’s family pulled through their recent health stuff, even if it didn’t exactly go as planned. This might be the closest month I’ve had to normal since my Dad died. ❤  Hopefully this month is even better!

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Under the influence of Dune

I’ve read the book a few times. The first time, I was too young and a lot went over my head. Really, you just don’t have the life experience at eleven or twelve to really take in all of it. The second time around was a deeper, more in depth understanding. The third, yet again. I feel I’m likely about to read it again.

For years, my go to when I’m having a panic attack has been to recite the litany against fear. It’s not infallible but it does often take me out of my own head enough to at least lessen things. Now, with everything going on, it’s a very different part of Dune that seems to be taking root. My whole body seems like it is becoming a pain box. I don’t know who’s holding the gom jabbar but I swear, I’m human and we can be done now.

Fortunately, I’m now only a week away from my first appointment with a rheumatologist so we can start getting to the bottom of things, at least officially. I’ve learned a lot over the last almost two months though, about myself, my family medical history, and about the most likely culprits of all this nonsense. I also learned that ibuprofen makes me rashy. Yay me. I’m not too worried about long term prognosis really. I know the likely suspect is rheumatoid arthritis and I know that it isn’t as scary as it used to be. Medicine is an interesting and wonderful field and I have great doctors, I’m just really ready to have an official name and a treatment plan. At least then, I’m doing something more than trying to do some yoga poses or just muscle through like I should do.

Currently, I’ve got a nasty little end of summer cold to boot so, with the kids back in school, I’m curling up with my warm puppies and getting some sleep and trying to kick this stupid sniffly, drippy bit away so I can get back to just being hurty. One thing at a time please, silly body. Perhaps I’ll dig out the movie tomorrow and give it a watch. I could watch the Kyle MacLachlan version a hundred times. (And yes, it is very different but there is a place for both book Dune and that movie Dune in my life).

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Updates All Around

Set up at the Italian Festival!

I had another craft fair this past weekend and I sold a few more books which is always nice and met some very interesting people. I have to admit, I am enjoying the craft fairs more than I thought I would, even with all the other issues I’ve got going on right now. Which are much more plentiful than I’d like, for sure.

I have another craft fair coming up on August 12th also and that should be both busy and fun. I honestly never thought I’d be looking forward to events like this – it’s been a very long time since I was comfortable peopling this much so I guess I’m getting somewhere after all these years. I’m not ready for Steel City or Parsec just yet but maybe soon! (ish)

Fabric sculpture Ragamuffin is up at Nesting Dragon.

I put up a bunch of new stuff over at Nesting Dragon – I’m really enjoying the fabric sculptures. I think the Nazgul and Shadow are my favorites (Shadow is all mine and not for sale lol) but I’m branching out a bit and I’ve got some ideas… Hopefully, I’ll manage to get one done before the Peach Festival and see how it plays.

On the health front, this month has been one long round of why do I hurt. It started with the left knee, when through the feet (with cellulitis of all things), through the ankles, the other knee, and then the wrists and hands. I’ve had x-rays, blood work,  more ibuprofen than I’ve taken in my entire life leading up to this (maybe an exaggeration…), and a whole lot of questions. The only thing I know for sure is that I have some arthritis in one knee, stupid tiny veins, and a predilection for bruising. I had yet another appointment today with the orthopedic guy and I walked out with some probably nots, a script for more bloodwork, and a referral for yet another guy. It’s really a frustrating process and I’m not actually getting solid answers, just suggestions. But we think fibromyalgia is ruled out at least so that’s something. Now I have to visit a rheumatologist and we’ll play another round of a million questions. Honestly, rheumatoid arthritis would make sense with everything but I’m not calling it until a doctor does. As of now, it’s just one possible answer. The words don’t matter so much as having a plan of attack. That’s what’s bothering me the most – not having a solid plan of attack beyond try to weigh less. In the mean time, I’m just muddling through and playing with speech to text software because typing a lot hurts (I’ve split this post into three sittings as it is).

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If it’s not one thing…

It’s a hundred others.

My legs and feet seem to be more or less back to normal (for me – I’ve always had issues with the one knee). Now it’s my hands. Bah. It is quite difficult to type right now but the more I work through it, the more limber my fingers get so I’ll keep plugging (in fits and starts). I just want to be up to par by Sunday – when my next craft fair is. I’ve been enjoying these, believe it or not.

I did all right, especially considering the less than favorable weather and my necessary early exit – the knee just wasn’t going to cooperate anymore.

This Sunday, I’ll be in Weirton at the Italian Festival at the Serbian picnic grounds if all goes well and the weather looks pretty favorable so far (fingers crossed they stay that way.

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