Goodreads Challenge 2014

December 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

December 29, 2014

Another year, another Goodreads Reading Challenge. Here are the books I read in year 2014:

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)Gone GirlCaptivated by You (Crossfire, #4)Heaven and Earth (Three Sisters Island trilogy #2)
Dance Upon The Air (Three Sisters Island, #1)Jane's Melody (Jane's Melody, #1)AttachmentsDegas in New Orleans: Encounters in the Creole World of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)What Really Happened in Peru (The Bane Chronicles, #1)City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)
City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed (Secret, #3)All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1)The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1)Seeking Her (Losing It, #3.5)
Beg Me to SlayFinding It (Losing It, #3)Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True MemoirShadow Souls (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #2)
Sugar Daddy
Here’s to another year of happy reading!


End of 2013: End of Challenge, End of Round One, End of Series

December 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

December 30, 2013

Check it out. All the books I’ve read toward my 2013 Goodreads challenge. It looks pretty impressive, even though I was shy of my goal by two books. I’m not going to make it this year. In my defense, I re-read one book, Bared to You, at the beginning of 2013 and apparently that doesn’t count towards the challenge. I also branched out a little more, trying new things, and that turned into six books that I started and did not finish.

Fallen Too Far (Too Far, #1; Rosemary Beach, #1) Losing It (Losing It, #1)
Someday, Someday, Maybe Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2) Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3)

I am still on hiatus, but I did renew my Writer’s Market subscription in preparation for the new querying process that I am still putting off. No need to rush into the second round of rejections, right? I’ll wait until next year on that one.

Also, a friend of mine shared this link with me from “Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing & Daily Creative Routine.” I liked it so much I put it in a Word document with a snazzy dragon border and taped it to my office wall. I find Miller’s no. 3 particularly inspiring:

“Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.”

When I was in the first grade my teacher held some kind of drawing were the winner got a record or tickets to the circus or something. I don’t remember exactly what the prize was, because I didn’t win. What I do remember is that the girl who did win started crying when her name was called. As she stood in front of us to collect her prize, just blubbering away, the rest of us, sitting cross-legged on the floor, were all looking around at each other like “WTF?” (Okay, technically this was way before WTF was a thing, but you get the picture.) “Why is she crying?” someone finally asked out loud. “Because she’s happy,” the teacher said. As if this were perfectly natural. None of the rest of us thought it was perfectly natural. I thought it was just plain nuts.

Until this last Friday, when I finished watching the final episode of Nikita.

Then I got it.

If you’ve been following this blog you might have picked up by now that I LOVE the criminally underrated televsion series Nikita starring Maggie Q, Lyndsy Fonseca, and Shane West. Here’s what I wrote about it in one of my posts from my old blog, when I was so excited that it had been picked up for a second season:

Nikita—CW, Season Premiere Friday, September 23, 8/7c
Michael: “Someone has to undo what’s been done.”
Nikita: “What we’ve done.”


Reformed political assassin Nikita has joined forces and is on the run with her lover and former adversary, Michael. Her student and partner on the inside, Alex, has turned against her and is now her greatest enemy. The secret killing organization Division is now being headed by the very scary interrogator Amanda. Season 2 is about to get interesting.
Why I’m Hooked
: Tight, thrilling plots about redemption and moral duality executed by forces to be reckoned with. Then there is Nikita herself, whose combination of empathy and single-minded drive to right her past wrongs are in stark contrast to the tough, ruthless killer that made her so valuable to Division to begin with.
Amanda: “It’s too late to save yourself. But there may be time to save others.”
Nikita: “Right now, I’d be wondering about who’s going to save you.”

Friday, December 27, 2013 marked the end of the fourth and final season of this fantastic modern day hero’s journey. The fourth season was only six episodes that aired over the – hello, nobody’s home! – Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but the fans and critics figured we were fortunate to at least get that. You know, as opposed to no season 4 at all.

And at the end, when the final scene faded to black and I hugged myself and cried because all of my beloved characters completed their journeys so magnificently, I figured I was fortunate and happy.


Besides, I own seasons 1–3 on Blu-Ray, so even though the series has concluded I can still lift weights to Nikita on Sunday mornings. As long as I feel like. Which could be forever.

How was everyone else’s 2013?

Read, Write, Bliss Highlights of 2012

January 7, 2013 § 2 Comments

It’s Good to Have Goals

I didn’t finish the novel in 2012. But enough of that. I’m going to focus on the positive— the accomplishments and highlights of 2012.

Made serious progress on the novel

Writers Journey

  • Finished draft 2.
  • Finished the detailed timeline.
  • Finished the in depth character bios.
  • Finshed the Save the Cat Beat Sheet.
  • Revamped the mythic outline after reading The Writer’s Journey
  • Started draft 3 which includes a lot of total rewrites and scrapping of old scenes and creating new scenes thanks to the whole timeline and character bio and save the cat thing. Oh, well. It’s gotta be done.

Finished my 2012 Goodreads Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge

I haven’t read 25 books in a year since I was in college!

Joined LERA


This group really knows the writing and publishing industry, all of the members are very interactive and supportive, and I look forward to the meetings because they are super fun.

Met a whole bunch of authors in person

Alisa Valdes—The Dirty Girls Social Club, The Temptation, The Feminist and the Cowboy

Author Alisa Valdes and her YA novel The Temptaion. At Bookworks bookstore in Albuquerque.

Author Alisa Valdes and her YA novel The Temptaion. At Bookworks bookstore in Albuquerque.

I love Alisa’s openness and honesty about everything. She proves that vulnerability is strength.

Alyson Noël — Fated, Faking 19, The Immortals series, Fly Me to the Moon


Alyson’s Soul Seekers series is set in New Mexico. She also turned me on to Save the Cat, and my “Save the Cat” moment in my book makes it much better.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips— The Great Escape, Natural Born Charmer, It Had to be You

Susan Elizabeth Phillips and me at her book signing in Albuquerque, NM

Susan Elizabeth Phillips and me at her book signing in Albuquerque, NM

SEP gave me the idea to nix the prologue in my book, and it’s better for it.

Darynda Jones —Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Third Grave Dead Ahead

Shannon with Author Darynda Jones

Me with Author Darynda Jones at Page One Books

I love, love, love Darynda’s Charley Davidson series.

Katie Lane— Going Cowboy Crazy, Make Mine a Bad Boy


Katie’s books may just make me check out the country and western dance hall here in town. I’ve heard there are a lot of pretty cowboys there!

Met Judy Blume!!!

Judy Blume and me! Gwen Goldsmith, a Minister who played the Rabbi in the movie, took this photo for me. Talk about divine intervention.

Judy Blume and me!

I’ll always remember how just about every twelve year old girl was reading Forever, on the bus and on the playground. We were so relieved that somebody was speaking to us frankly and genuinely about love, sex, and girlhood. And, yes, this is still my Facebook cover page photo.


Got a comic book signed by Len Wein.

Plus, my blog post was posted to the ACE Facebook page and to their blog on the SuperCon2K site.

The celebrity sightings!

Met Daniel Gillies at ABQ Comic Con


He’s even hotter in person, really easy to talk to (once I actually got up the nerve to walk over to him), and pegged me for several years younger than I am. Score!

Met Alexis Bledel at President Obama’s Birthday Celebration

Alexis Bledel and Me!

Alexis Bledel and Me!

I love Gilmore Girls, own every season on DVD, so this was a real treat.

Met the co-producer of Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl


Julie Dunfey’s advice to aspiring creators: If you have enthusiasm and passion for your project and communicate that, you can sell it.

Wrote for and assisted with production of the Cheza Jouer Films Sandals Worn Backwards trailer.

It was a total blast, and the trailer is fantastic. Check it out.

On to a fabulous and productive 2013!

Goodreads Challenge 2012

January 1, 2013 § 7 Comments

Yay! I finished my 2012 Goodreads Challenge, just in time.
Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)The ChaperoneMake Mine a Bad Boy (Deep in the Heart of Texas, #2)The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)Hunk for the HolidaysUnder the Desert MoonTiger Eyes
On the IslandSharing HaileyGoing Cowboy Crazy (Deep in the Heart of Texas, #1)The Great Escape (Wynette, Texas, #7)
Fated (Soul Seekers, #1)Fly Me to the MoonMr. S: My Life with Frank SinatraFaking 19
The Temptation (Kindred, #1)Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #1)Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4)The Fury and Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #3-4)
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #2)The Awakening and The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2)Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #3)
What to read next? I’m debating between The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, and The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. What do you  suggest?

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