I have read a total of 10 books so far this year. This is a new low for me since I got my groove of reading back in 2012-ish, or was it earlier than that? Who cares. The point is, it’s very over halfway through the year and I am not going to reach 100.
Once I got pregnant, I knew that reading would become difficult, so I tried to read more while I thought I had the time. Boy that idea failed. I tried reading on the bus to and from work but morning sickness reared its ugly head and got in the way for 6 months or so. I wore the sea-bands, drank lots of water, ate a little healthier, but reading time eluded me.
Post-birth, I spent a lot of time in the hospital with my baby in the Neonatal unit. She was unexpectedly 6 weeks early. I was expecting early, just not THAT early. It was mostly cuddles with baby, feeding, expressing, watching and waiting for her in between feeds. I could watch her for hours. I would sit in the comfy chair and read a chapter here and there. I managed to finish a book! I thought this was my turning point, and it would only get better from there, but things haven’t really changed.
My little bundle is not so tiny anymore, and while I feel that I have more moments to read, my attention span has shortened. I find myself starting books and never being able to finish them. Since leaving hospital, I have read 1 e-book, and 2 baby books which I haven’t added to GR yet. I started reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone e-book out loud to baby but it expired before Harry made it to Hogwarts. The reading rut has come back.
Life carries on… it turns out reading is not my priority anymore, work isn’t either and I am perfectly okay with that. Although our baby girl had a rough start to life, I wouldn’t change her for the world. She is my priority.
Hey, and if it takes 80 children’s books to complete the GR challenge, well so be it. Every book counts. If I have time to write a review, I will post it. It might seem like tumbleweeds are blowing past, but I will be back in full force in time. Will you stick this out with me? I’m not committing to a number of posts per week, month or year. I will be here when I can. No more, no less.
Just stick with me. Things might just get interesting around here.
Final Comments? I went hard on the last day to finish the second book. I felt that I didn’t commit a lot of time to reading. Next time I am going to start a day late, as Monday in New Zealand begins before the Readathon timezone and doing the daily challenges a day late was super confusing when it come to posting my progress. I only managed to complete one of the five goals above, but that leaves room for improvement next time.
I’ve thought about making so many changes to my blog but I know that in 5 months time, with a little one in my arms, I just won’t have the time or energy to make this blog my priority. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going anywhere. I will do my utmost to be here on the regular and keep up with the latest releases. So I thought it best to set myself some blogging goals, and share those. If someone else knows about them, then I have a better chance of sticking to them. I’m going with the KISS Rule & only setting 5. That’s right. That was a challenge limiting myself to 5, because there is so much I want to achieve and so very little time to do it in. How fast did the last 12 months go? Like it just disappeared!
Here are my hopes and dreams for SharleneSays in 2017:
OMG! It’s the 31st and I just saw the sign up post. There are just 2 days to prepare, but I’ve GOT THIS! So many books on my shelves right now that I need to read. Time to get our read on! Like Kelly says, Go forth and sign up on the Bout of Books blog! I’ve never regretted it.
For those that don’t know what Bout of Books is… here is the official blurb:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
So what are you waiting for? JOIN US! No, really. Join us. You might just find your next BBF. Plus, it’s totally fun. AND WITH BOOKS! SQUEEE!
Released December 15th, “FALL WITH ME” brings readers more of the sultry hot rockers that you love from Jayne Frost‘s Sixth Street Bands Series, along with a healthy dose of steamy romance with some laughs on the side.
Synopsis: That is, until the band decided to take an extended hiatus in our hometown. That’s when I met Melody Sullivan. She’s the full-package. Whip smart and beautiful, with enough determination to take on anything life has in store. And the best part? Melody shares my philosophy on the fleeting nature of attraction. She doesn’t buy into the whole “happily ever after” crap anymore than I do. We’re perfect for each other. For now. And now is all I want.As the bassist for the band Caged, the last three years have been one, long non-stop party. Sure, I’ve had some regrets. Everyone does. But getting trapped in a relationship isn’t one of them. I know good and well what happens when the attraction fades. I’ve seen it first hand. Love is a zero sum game, so why play? As long as I’m upfront about my feelings, no one gets hurt. Besides, I’m never in one place long enough to worry about tomorrow. With the expectations off the table, I can let my guard down and enjoy her company until the spark dies. And we both know it will. In a week, or a month. But until then, we’ll just keep having fun. The good kind, with lots of sex and no strings attached. And when it’s time to move on, we will. No drawn out goodbyes and no remorse. That’s the plan, at least.
Pinning Mel to the cinder block wall in her tiny living room, I kissed her deeply, my fingers creeping under the hem of her blouse. She sighed, the back of her head bumping against the concrete as I palmed her breast.
“Fuck…sorry.” My hand disappeared into her blond locks, searching for a lump. “Are you all right?”
The girl had me so revved up I was ready to take her right here, inches from her front door.
Resting her palm against my chest, she laughed softly. “No permanent damage. I’ve got a hard head.”
Mel was hardheaded, all right. And smart. Not to mention sexy as hell.
Slipping out of my arms, she headed for the kitchen before I could devour her mouth again. I bit my lip when she ducked her head into the fridge, wiggling her ass as she poked around.
“Would you like something to drink? I’ve got water and…” She walked back with two bottles of Dasani. “Water.”
Twisting the cap off the bottle, I looked around the tiny apartment. Mel’s place was as bare bones as it got. Campus housing with concrete walls and worn carpet. Her entire kitchen would fit in the guest bathroom at my house.
Sinking onto the arm of the recliner, Mel snagged her lip between her teeth. “I’ve never had a one-nighter,” she admitted, like it was a bad thing. “So you’re going to have to tell me how this goes.”
Shifting my gaze to the large calendar on the wall in her dining room, I glanced over the neat stack of books on the table below. The girl was organized—OCD style—which was refreshing. But the fact that she was already planning for my imminent departure unnerved me.
Closing the gap between us, I twirled a lock of her hair around my finger. “It goes the way it goes, angel. The only thing set in stone is your breakfast. Eggs, right?”
She looked up, the sparkle in her eyes faint at best. “I’m not expecting you to be here in the morning, Christian. We both know what this is. I’ve heard all the rumors. I’m not naïve, you know?”
I pulled away out of sheer reflex. All night long we were just Christian and Mel. My celebrity was barely mentioned. Hell, she didn’t even pump me for information about the band.
After a moment, I eased onto the chair.
“Really?” I slid her onto my lap. “What have you heard about me? I’m dying to know.”
Staring at the bottle in her hand, her fingernail skated over the label. “The usual. Oversexed rocker. Never in one place more than a night.”
Tucking a finger under her chin, I tilted her face until our gazes met.
“I’ve been in Austin for months, so you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.”
Her expression indicated she saw through my halfhearted attempt to address the rumors. I may have been in the same city, but that didn’t mean I was in the same bed. A Google search would turn up dozens of pictures to prove the point.
Mel slipped her arms around my neck. “I’m just letting you know that I get it. Guys like you don’t date—they fuck.” She fought to keep her smile. “And breakfast isn’t usually part of the deal.”
I tightened my grip on her waist, my thumb skimming the smooth skin above the waistband of her jeans. Conversations like this weren’t usually unnecessary. The chicks I hung out with knew the score. Hell, they were fine with it. No truths exchanged beyond the basics: hotel or tour bus, and where should the cab drop you off when we’re finished.
But Mel wasn’t like that. She spent her time in libraries, not waiting behind rope lines hoping to get my attention.
Taking her hand, I blew out a breath. “I’ve been on the road for four years. It’s a little hard to plan breakfast when you don’t know what city you’ll be come morning. But I can’t blame it all on my lifestyle. From a strictly biological standpoint, you know, attraction fades as soon as the hormone rush is over. Pheromones and all that.” Chancing a peek at her face, I found her nodding in agreement, her green eyes glued to mine. I smiled, tracing a finger over the curve of her jaw. “I’m not saying I’m opposed to a repeat performance. I just don’t believe in making promises I can’t keep.”
Realization slammed me in the chest as she mulled over my declaration. Despite the passionate kiss at the door, Mel wasn’t a sure thing. She could ask me to leave. Hell, she might.
I held my breath as she shoved to her feet.
Propping a hand on her hip, she studied me for a long moment. “But you will be making me breakfast…is that what I’m hearing?”
Not quite a question, but a statement of fact. And one I’d gladly agree to if it meant a night in her bed.
“You can bet on it, angel.”
I stood with the intention of capturing her mouth.
Instead, Mel entwined our fingers and said, “Cool. I think I’ll take you to bed now.”
As the guitarist for the rock band Caged, I know the rules: no relationships. No complications. Leave ‘em willing when you go, but always go. Besides, it’s not like I’m ever in one place for more than a few days at a time. As the next hottest thing out of Austin, the band and me are riding the wave, and the music is all that matters.
Lily Tennison has “complication” written across her beautiful face. But I can’t get involved. The timing’s all wrong. But she’s under my skin, and I can’t resist her troubled eyes and sweet smile. And I do have a little time to kill. Not much, just a few days in Dallas.
So I’ll scratch the itch and move on, like I always do.
As a writer you would think that would be a simple question…but it’s not. I spend so much time living in my characters heads, listening to their voices, that sometimes I forget about my own.
I guess I should start with the basics: the backstory. I was born and raised in California. At this point, I’m usually asked what it was like to grow up near the beach, but sadly, I don’t know. I grew up in the “other” part of California. Perfect for an aspiring writer, if you ask me. You learn a lot about keeping yourself busy when the nearest house is a mile away…and it belongs to your grandparents.
I spent all my time with my nose in a book, living vicariously through the characters, until I wrote a book of my own. I was ten at the time. It was a scintillating piece that cast the family pet as the protagonist.
By the time I went to high school, I moved on to romance. Why? Because I met my very own prince charming. I wrote love poems in my journal about the green-eyed boy who stole my heart. He promised, the way all storybook heroes do, to sweep me away and take me on a grand adventure. And he did.
We picked up and moved to the Lone Star State and began the story of us. The best stories begin without a road map or a compass. Veering off course makes the journey so much more interesting.
True to form, just when I thought my life was set, we started the next adventure. I traded in my cowboy boots and followed my green-eyed boy to Las Vegas. My home will always be in Texas, but my heart is anywhere that he is. Our beautiful daughter made the journey with us. Our son stayed in Texas, to write his own story.
Somehow, in the midst of the chaos that is our life, I find time to write. Writing is what I love. I might stray from romance every now and then if that is what moves me…but I always come back. Some of the stories don’t seem romantic at all. They are gritty stories about flawed characters that find each other and hold on tight. Those are the stories that speak to me. Because that’s life. I believe that every story should have a happy ending—even the difficult ones.