Reading Update

Did you know Goodreads does not count short stories in the yearly reading challenge? Neither did I. Sigh. Oh well.

I read two seriously good shorts on Thursday.

1. The Last Rung on the Ladder by Stephen King

2. Repent, Jessie Shimmer! by Lucy A Snyder

Earlier in the week I read Primitive by J.F. Gonzalez. It was the first thing I’ve read by that author. Not at all what I expected. It’s horror, but done well and very suspenseful. Very thought provoking. I will definitely read more of his work.

I also read Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. Wow! What a book. So subtle the intensity snuck up on me, honestly not really hitting me until the end.

Saturday and Sunday I read Chills by Mary SanGiovanni. It’s supernatural horror and suspense. I enjoyed the story very much. But what I most enjoyed is Ms. SanGiovanni’s ability to bring characters to life and to make me care about them. And, her ability to pull me so deeply into the story that I can feel it.

I read several authors for the first time this week that I will definitely read again.

1. Richard Chizmar

2. Lucy A Snyder

3. Mary SanGiovanni

4. J.F. Gonzalez

What have you read in the past week? What have you loved? What not so much? Any new-to-you authors that you can’t wait to read more of? A new genre you’ve discovered you like? Did anything surprise you? Move you?

Friday Fave

I’ve hesitated to post this particular fave just because it’s from a membership only online store. But I love this product so much I can’t not make it known.

This lotion has seriously changed my life. I’m not exaggerating. In late 2015 I visited a dermatologist to discuss my super dry, very itchy skin. As in I used to claw my arms bloody in my sleep due to itching. She could never pinpoint the cause. I already used scent free detergent and soap, no perfume, etc. The only things that kept me from scratching to my bones was to use the super strong topical steroid betamethasone and ice packs. Back then I was going through two tubes of betamethasone cream per month just on my arms. That’s a lot of steroid.


Sometime in late 2016 one of my Facebook friends posted about an online grocery store where members could buy science based, non-toxic health and wellness items as well as personal care and household cleaning items. I scrolled on by. I’d just spent a horrible four months involved in a MLM company and wanted nothing that sounded similar.

But she kept posting. Not pushing. Not selling. Just saying, get info, no pressure.

After she posted about something she bought for her elderly father that helped his super dry skin, I messaged her. She sent me the info, but I still didn’t join.

Finally, in January 2017 the online store had a $1 membership special with a money back guarantee. I decided to try it out. I bought one of their smaller packages with some cleaning supplies and laundry supplies as well as a bottle of this lotion. (In the coming months, I will post about the cleaning supplies and laundry detergent.)

But, OMG, this lotion y’all. With the first application I knew it was worth joining the shopping club just for this lotion. Since using this lotion I have not even used one whole tube of betamethasone cream. I realize my results are mine, no one else’s. Please don’t mistake me here. But there is science behind the formulation.

I can tell you, I do not buy any other brand of lotion. I won’t use any other brand of lotion.

I have not woken up with bloody scratches on my arms since switching to this lotion. I’m no longer using large amounts of super strong topical steroid.

For me, this lotion is truly amazing and one of my very favorite products ever.

What are you loving this week? Have you discovered a new product you can’t live without? Or, still enjoying a product you’ve used for a long time? Have a new favorite song? Food? Dessert?


How Have I Missed Yvonne Navarro?

Seriously, y’all, how have I missed author Yvonne Navarro all these years that I’ve been a horror literature fan? I’m pretty sure I have not buried my head under a rock.

So, a few weeks ago on his podcast, The Horror Show With Brian Keene, Keene announced the first several books for the podcast’s bookclub were listed on the show’s Facebook page. I read the selections and thought the February book, Afterage by Yvonne Navarro sounded interesting. 

After I bought and downloaded the book, I looked up the author. She’s been around for over 20 years. How have I not heard of her? And then I started reading the book. Wow! It’s great. 

If you like post apocalyptic fiction and/or vampire fiction you MUST do yourself a favor and read Afterage. 


*links may be monetized*

Writing Goals 2018

Writing goals…the phrase that freezes my innards. At least it does since NaNoWriMo 2014 was the last time I met a writing goal. 

But this is my year. This year I will crush my writing goals. It’s time. 

My big goal for the year is a finished manuscript by 9/1/18 which is just in time for SCBWI Midsouth Fall Conference. I want the paid critique option. I’ll also enter the manuscript contest. Then, there’s the peer critique group for even more feedback.

Next week I’m outlining (yes, you read that correctly) my WIP. Once that is done, it should come together pretty quickly.

I also have some short fiction goals. 

And, I want to try to get an agent. (Yikes! Can’t believe I said that out loud!! Scary!)

No excuses.



Friday Faves

For years I’ve admired the amazing leather work of Oberon Designs. I have two Kindle covers for previous Kindle versions. I love those covers. Unfortunately, I’ve not found a good use for either of them now that those Kindle versions are no longer working (or supported).

In December, I decided to splurge and buy myself a composition notebook cover from Oberon. Their pieces are not inexpensive. But they are all handmade to order. They are true, old school craftsmen.

I could not be more happy with my composition notebook cover. It’s truly a work of art.

9AAEBF8B-4C6C-4969-B7EF-7C3C17FCF2B5I have always enjoyed journaling, but now I really look forward to it every morning with this beauty waiting for me on my desk. I carry it with me almost everywhere and jot down ideas. The cover itself inspires me.

What new, or not so new, item are you particularly loving this week? Have you discovered a new service you love? A new book or TV show? Spill!!!

2018: My Year of FAITH

This is the third consecutive year I’ve chosen a theme word for the year. For 2016, my word was BRIGHT. Last year my word was PRESENT.

This year is my year of FAITH. I intend to explore faith in several facets, faith in God, faith in myself, faith in my dreams and goals. I intend to let go and have faith in the journey.

But I also expand that to associate an area of focus with each letter making up the word FAITH.

  1. F–Forgiveness and Friendship

Forgiveness-I struggle to forgive a specific person who hurt me deeply a few years ago. Her betrayal was real, but I have to learn to let go and forgive her. It’s hard. But I need to do it.

Friendship-I have some people who are friends, but not super close friends. Don’t misunderstand me, my husband is truly my best friend. But, sometimes I miss having a best girlfriend. Actually often. I intend to be a better friend. I intend to invite friends farther into my life, to become closer.


I long to know God is in control. That all things work together for good. I know it in my head, but I long to know it in my heart. I intend to spend much time in prayer about this.


I intend to live in unquestionable integrity in every area of my life.


I intend to spend time on things that are important to me and set aside things that are not. I also intend to manage my time better.


I choose to live in hope, hope for the future, hope for my dreams, hope in my knowledge of God, hope in the journey He’s leading me on.


So, 2018, my year of FAITH. My year of getting back to basics, of refocusing, of becoming my authentic self. 


Do you have a theme word or phrase for 2018? What is your focus for this crisp, new year?