As an author I of course understand the importance of reading, though even I sometimes struggle to fit reading into my busy schedule. I have been making a real effort though to read more this past month and I must say that I am happier for it. Not only has making time for reading giving me some time to relax and rest, something that I truly need right now. I am very bad at making time for myself and this has helped my mental and physical health. Reading more has also helped me with my writing. As I have talked about before, this year has not been my best on the writing front, but I feel that I am finally getting back to a good schedule and am finally getting some decent words down. Not only do I plan on finishing two novellas, but also at least one novel before the end of the year. But despite all of that, I am going to keep reading as much as I can and of course posting reviews here on my blog.
I was lucky enough to get an advanced review copy of Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss and I am thrilled to have gotten to read this book. This is not the first time that I have read something by Ms. Bayliss, but it is the longest of her works that I have read and I really can't wait to read more novels by her. Ten After Closing is a gripping YA novel that is told from two points of view and from two timelines, one moving forward and one moving backwards to show the events leading to what happens in a cafe ten minutes after closing. This is a crime drama, but it is also so much more. It weaves a complex tale of teenagers struggling with their parents, their relationships, their lives, their futures and then being thrown into a terrifying situation on top all of that. This novel is a thrilling ride that readers of all ages should take. 5/5 Stars for sure!
Ten After Closing will be available on September 4, 2018.
Today I thought that I would like to do something a little different, I thought that I would Jenna from A Whole New Life answer a few questions for you all.
So tell me Jenna, why did you move from the big city to Pella, the picture of small town America?
I needed a change, my father had died and well, I just had to leave. With my family gone, I really had nothing to stay for. Plus there were some bad influences that I needed to get away from.
Rumor has it that you and the delicious Deputy Henri Gunther are an item. Care to comment on that?
I suppose it is useless to try to keep anything secret in a small town. First let me say that my last intention when I moved here was to look for romance. But Henri, well he has a way of working his way under your skin. So yeah, we have been dating. There I said it.
Let's get a little deeper. Tell me Jenna, what is your biggest fear?
Of going back to my old life. I don't want to say anymore than that.
Okay, what is your biggest dream?
To have a small town, normal life. I just want peace and quiet. And maybe a family of my own someday, though this is the first time that I have ever admitted that out loud.
As most you probably already know, I dabble in art from time to time. Well it is time for some new art supplies and that means that I need to sell some art first! All the paintings posted below are only $15 shipped anywhere in the US. $10 to people in Albuquerque where I can deliver in person. Just contact me if you see something that you like.
August is quickly coming to a close and that means September and fall are right around the corner. I for one could not be happier. Fall and winter are my favorite time of year, but fall holds an extra special place in my heart. First of all, fall bring football and later hockey, both of which remind me of my grandpa. My grandpa was the most influential figure in my upbringing and I still miss him to this day. I wish he were still here to meet my spouse, that he could see his great granddaughters. So I honor him in fall by watching football and keeping him alive in my heart. Fall holds another special place in my heart thanks to Halloween, not only my favorite holiday but also my wedding anniversary! I don't know what we are doing this year, but that day just always makes me happy. How can I not be happy on my anniversary especially when I get to wear costumes?
Fall also (hopefully) brings cooler weather and for me that usually means better health. I have had a rough go health-wise the past few months and I could sure use a break. I hope that better health will mean more writing. I am far behind my writing quota this year, but I keep plugging away. I hope to have at least three more releases this year, The Discovery of a Lifetime hopefully next month, a short flash fiction in an upcoming anthology, and my Christmas novella Very Friendly Beasts due in December. But next year, well if I get a lot of writing in this fall, next year will be a year of novels and I can't wait!
So I recently watched The Kissing Booth on Netflix and thought it to be a cute teen movie. Since it was based on a book, a YA book written by a teenage author who has had great success, well I had to read that book. The Kissing Booth is even sweeter than the movie of the same name. Luckily the characters in the book have a bit more depth and are more likable even than the cute kids in the movie. This is a teen coming of age book, that the author probably was experiencing a bit when she wrote this book. There's really nothing else to say, this is a fun and quick read, perfect for a lazy day of light entertainment. I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it if you like YA stories. I look forward to reading more from this young author.
How are we already over halfway through the month? Time seems to be flying by. I have had a major health setback, so I am not quite as far as I would like to be this month but I have still been having a decent writing month. First round edits for The Discovery of a Lifetime are back to my editor and I should have the second round next week sometime. I am hoping to have a mid-September release date soon! I had a flash fiction story accepted for an anthology and will have more on that release when a date is set. And as for actually writing, I am about a third of the way done with my Christmas novella that I hope to get to my editor by the end of the month. Hopefully I have a couple good days of writing and will catch up. I even have found a cover for the Christmas novella that I need to purchase this month as well. So all in all a fairly productive writing month thus far despite some setbacks, I really can't ask for more I suppose.
So as many of you already know I have been dabbling in writing some non-romance stories of late. Sure, I am known as being a romance author, of varying heat levels and sub-genres, and I am going to keep writing romance so don't worry. As a matter of a fact I will soon have a Christmas romance off to my publisher and I am working on the sequel to Quest for Redemption and the next Gods Behaving Badly book, so steamy romance is on its way! However I love to write in all sorts of genres and that's why I am going to start using S.L. Velarde for all non-romance releases, just to keep things easy for my readers to know what is romance and what is not. S.L. will be the name on horror, hard fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery books and stories that I have in the works. Sheri will still be the name on anything romance! Pretty easy right? I hope that all of my readers will give both romance and the other genres a chance, but now you will know what you are getting before you pick up my next book!
A couple weeks ago I talked about how my Gods Behaving Badly Series got started with Aphrodite and Looted. But how do fallen angles and children of gods fit into the story? Well that is where Lost Souls comes into play. This started out as just a fallen angel story, but then Aphrodite decided to show up and I discovered that this book and these characters are part of the world that my Gods are in. Yes, discovered, sometimes characters just pop up and change the direction that my story is headed in. Lost Souls may have taken a different course than I originally intended, but I am so proud of the result. This was my first f/f romance and it is still one of my favorites. Below are the links if you are interested!
It's time for another game review, this time for a game that I have been waiting to purchase for awhile, Stuffed Fables. I got to play part of this game awhile back, but didn't get a chance to purchase it and then it went out of stock not only at my local game store, but at their suppliers as well. So at long last it came back in stock and I have gotten to play out a whole story or two now and I love this game. First off, the design of the game is pretty cool. The "game board" is actually a story book, with spaces to move but also with a story to be read aloud with it. As you make decisions and pass or fail your missions, you end up creating more of the story. The premise is that the toys of a little girl come to life at night to protect her from nightmares. The other thing that is pretty cool about this game are the minis, they are awesome and cute and I can't wait to paint them! Game play and set up are pretty easy and the game is super fun and imaginative! The author in me really enjoys the story line that goes with this game. The only down side is that the rule book could be more concise and give clearer rules, it can be a little vague but we still figured everything out. Still it gets 4.5 stars out of 5! A great game and highly recommended.
Author, artist, jewelry maker and all around creative person. I write in many genres and have a lot of fun doing so. Please take a look around and enjoy!