1/04/2016

Recap: 2015 was still way better than 2014

I get the feeling that 2015 was crazy for everyone. Seriously.
I can't think of one person who is like, "Eh, 2015 was just ho-hum... no big deal."
I mean big Changes (capital C, either good or bad) - overall, HUGE.
Luckily for me, I can say it's been good. (**knock on wood**)

Busted my butt all year, aaaaaand I'm back in California at warp speed
Time to get back into my books and writing.
Time to get more sleep and be healthier. 
(Yes, I can actually get 8 hours of sleep each night. Instead of only 4.)

Ultimately, I feel that this will end up changing the blog URL, description, theme, etc.
And maybe I can perk up the design a bit more (like I've wanted to do since... 2012).

My Goodreads challenge... Could I read 25 books before 2016?  No.
For the 2016 Goodreads challenge, I made it 10 books (it gets lower every year). SHAME. Remember when I thought I could read 50 books in one year, no sweat? LOLz. Nope. Maybe when I was 22 and late night reading was a major thang. I figured 10 books would allow for one book per month, but NOT November and December (because all schedules plummet into insanity after October 1).

Yes, my DNF philosophy is still cutthroat (hence, NO books in the 2015 challenge - and let's just say a LOT of books didn't make the move with me) and I'm even starting to think that I WON'T review/post about average books. Reviews and blog write ups will either serve as praise for AMAZING books that I loved or warnings against those that I hated. If it's just an average romance, it'll go to Goodreads with just an average rating.

NB: Every Mercury Retrograde in 2015 was just as bad... especially that one in May. Lots of ugliness, that one. But that one during October has been... interesting... Lots of reflecting on the past and previous ideas (such as the blog and revisiting writing)... it's been trippy. In a productive "get your act together" kind of way, not like a "prepare to get punished as I wreck your shit" kind of way a la the past retrogrades of 2015 and 2014.

Time to look forward into 2016:
Finish up reading/reviewing those manuscripts (on time)
Start drafting/revising more (is 1k words per week too much to ask?) for anything - not just fiction.
Utilize the library (and first, get a library card)
Updating/Revamping the blog (see above)



5/10/2015

Six posts within a year does not a blog make...

Yeah, 2014 was not a good year.

Here's an accountability/confession recap:

My Goodreads challenge? Ha! Non-existent. But a silver lining? Yes.
This has forced me to be more cutthroat with my DNF philosophy. By December, and even into January 2015, I was DNF'ing books after the first two chapters because they weren't cutting it.

New DNF policy: I'm no longer going by any page limit - just quitting when it sucks
Life is too precious to waste reading a book that disappoints me, at any time in said book. 
My TBR pile is too large at this point for me to ever feel bad about DNF'ing another book.

More book-related drama: I still get snark comments about my Goodreads post on The Red Tent. Yes, I get it. You're upset. But my post remains. And I've insulted the book, not the author as a person. Which brings me to my next point...

I've seen so much on bullying reviews and author-hate during 2014. Ugh. Can everyone on both sides of this drama please grow up, harden up, and then carry on with your lives while being aware of the energy that you bring into the world? (I know, pot calling kettle blah blah blah.)

My health took a tiny bit of a nosedive. I would brag about getting six hours of sleep. I BADLY need to get back into shape. No, not for fitting into jeans (although that would be nice) but more for my heart health.

Work BS depleted ALL my energy to focus on worklife balance. Above all else, even the "blogging," this must be corrected for 2015. Lots has been absolutely crappy since 2012, but no more. Change is happening. Transformation is now.

So, let's see if I can try to resuscitate this blog almost halfway through 2015.

NB: Every Mercury Retrograde in 2014 hit me super hardcore (especially in October - sweet balls, that was fucking awful). And we're moving into another one pretty soon, so I want to kick things off on a better note.

Now for GOOD news:
  • I'm loving me some Outlander on Starz.
  • I also discovered Cedar Cove - yup, although it's a super inspy-cozy romance/soap series, I love it!
  • 2014 has forced me to say "no" to more so that I can say "yes" to what I truly want. **shrug**





8/24/2014

Summer stuff, more writings for H&H, and general busy-ness

It's not Labor Day (yet), but I'm officially calling summer over. I blinked in May, and it flew right by me.

Now it's all muggy and rainy in D.C., traffic feels more crowded than usual, back-to-school shit everywhere... Bummer.

But the good news is, I've been trying to relax as much as possible, and I was able to write up some stuff for H&H!


How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries (Book #3 in The Duke's Men series) 

I am BEYOND thrilled to have reviewed/first-looked this book. I LOVED Sabrina Jeffries' Royal Brotherhood series (and the third book in that series is also on my keeper shelf (in paperback) and reading this book made me go back to buy books #1 & #2 of this series - and they were fantastic!) I'll be waiting for book #4 in early 2015.

No one does witty banter and magnetic chemistry like Jeffries - NO ONE.


Why Lords Lose their Hearts by Manda Collins (Book #3 in the Wicked Widows Series)


In other news, I have an upcoming post for Sheepsquatch - yes, you read that right. Also, I'm about five books behind schedule for the GoodReads - which is worlds better than where I was at this point in the year for last year's GoodReads challenge (Har!) - so I actually consider that to be a "good" thing. The three movies that have been burning up my PS3 all summer: Blue Jasmine, The Grand Budapest Hotel*, and Austenland. And I finally saw Orange is the New Black on Netflix. I think it's my new hate watch (instead of Girls).

Heh. And we've all seen that Fifty Shades trailer by now, right?








*Note: If you haven't seen The Grand Budapest Hotel by now, stop what you're doing and watch it immediately.


5/14/2014

Braggy Brag Brag... Brag!



Sweet Filthy Boy (by Christina Lauren) is out today...





And someone's Heroes & Heartbreakers quote, from when she did a First Look for Beautiful Player, was put on the cover page...


 


Can't WAIT to read this one!



5/13/2014

Once Upon a Wager (by Julie LeMense)



Once Upon a Wager (by Julie LeMense - local D.C. romance author - w00t w00t!) was released yesterday.





From the very start, Julie LeMense’s debut romance novel, Once Upon a Wager, pulls no punches. This wager involves a botched carriage race, compound fractures, and instant death. Fools get what they deserve in this fast-paced Regency romance... Check out my First Look review at Heroes & Heartbreakers.


5/12/2014

Monumental Monday!

I'm busy with reading, writing, working, etc.

The Washington Monument in D.C. is back open after the renovations from the August 2011 earthquake!

I've noticed architecture on romance covers before (esp. D.C., SF, Italy, Paris, or Sydney) and the Washington Monument always reminds me of this Harlequin Desire that I have waiting in my TBR list!


"What happens in the elevator, stays in the elevator, right?"  (Not if you're Jay-Z...  Too soon?)

Trapped between floors with his spitfire employee, media mogul Liam Crowe can't control the chemistry. First, Francesca Orr is calling her new boss names in the boardroom; next, she's kissing him! Now Liam has some choice names for Francesca: fiancĂ©e, maybe even wife. Because the only way to keep control of the scandal-plagued news network he's just acquired is if he settles down, and Francesca is perfect fake-fiancĂ©e material. But when she goes along with the plan, things get real—really fast—because there's nothing fake about Francesca….

Check out the excerpt from Amazon:
Figlio di un allevatore di maiali.
Liam Crowe didn't speak Italian. The new owner of the American News Service network could barely order Italian food, and he was pretty sure his Executive Vice President of Community Outreach knew it.
Francesca Orr had muttered the words under her breath during today's emergency board meeting. He'd written down what she'd said—or at least a close enough approximation-in his notebook so he could look it up later. The words had fallen from her dark red lips in such a seductive way. Italian was a powerful language. You could order cheese and it would sound like a sincere declaration of love. Especially when spoken by the dark, exotic beauty who'd sat across the table from him.
And yet, he had the distinct impression that he wasn't going to like what she'd said to him.
HINT: The opening line in Italian literally translates to "Son of a pig farmer"... 

But "Maiala" itself is sooo offensive - so of course, after reading the first line in Target, I threw the book in my cart right away, with the legit hope that Harlequin Desire got the swearing-in-Italian translations right!  
And that was a year ago. This will be the first book off my TBR list.




5/04/2014

[Longest Romance Title of All Time! - or TSAOTSOTB] - by Victoria Alexander


Just out this past Tuesday (4/29/2014) - The Scandalous Adventures of The Sister of The Bride, 
by Victoria Alexander.




(Check out that scrunched title!)

Check out my First Look Review at Heroes and Heartbreakers