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What am I Reading? What are you Reading?

Hello and Welcome back! After a bit of a break, which I'll explain down below, I'm back and am in the midst of everything Christmas: the shopping, the wrapping, the visiting of friends and family... and trying to remember to take time and have a quiet moment to read and write.

I thought I would begin with a recap of some of my favorite books of the past year. There are books several years old as well as new releases, several different genres, fiction, and nonfiction. It is a mashup since I will delve in and read anything.

My twelve books for Christmas Reading - books that inspired and entertained me throughout the year.

1. The Nerdy Necromancer by S. E. Babin / As I said in my previous blog I love S. E. Babin. She's managed to have great characters, romance, with great humor.

2. Then There Were Nun: Book 1 of Nun your business mysteries by Dakota Cassidy / By far one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. The main character is an ex-nun who opens a tattoo shop- I know, I was intrigued by the character too. It was highly entertaining, so much so I've read it twice and currently listening to Book 2 in the series.

3. The Pharoah's Curse: Ascendancy Book 1 by C. J. Boomer / Great read for those of us who love a great book of historical fiction for YA (young adult). It was a wonderful story of a young prince pushed into the position of Pharoah and how he deals with ruling an empire at a young age. It's a wonderful coming of age story set in ancient times.

4. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik / I was hook with Naomi's first novel Uprooted and this book is even better. The in-depth detail of the character's personality and exquisite world-building sucks you into the book.

5. Eye Shine: Something is in the woods by Trisha Harley McCarthy / From one of my fellow indie authors and an amazing one at that. Eye Shine is a gripping tale of a creature caught on camera that many think doesn't exist. A novella-length book that has great character development. Loved it.

6. Nefertiti: A Novel by Michelle Moran / This take of Nefertiti's life from a young girl to a powerful Queen and co-ruler of Egypt is one of the inspirations of my current work and the level of research of what life might have been like for the Queen. It's a fascinating read or in my case listen. And as a bonus, if you do listen to the audiobook, Kate Reading is the narrator and is fabulous.

7. A Story of Egypt: The Civilization That Shaped the World by Joann Fletcher / This history book has been in invaluable in researching for my current works in progress: Escape of a Queen and Lost Queen.

8. Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper / Harper has a way of developing her characters to the point you expect to see them walking down the street. This is the first of her Southern Eclectic Novel series.

9. The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin / Although this is an extremely long book (I listened to it on audio) it's great if -like me- you're easily confused by the history of Westeros. It begins with the first men to the present books and for me helped me figure out sho was who when they're mentioned in the main Game of Thrones books.

10. The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins / What can I say? He's by far one of my favorite authors and never fails to disappoint in his storytelling.

11. Pirate: A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure by Clive Cussler / this is a great adventure mystery about a married couple. It's fast-paced and a great read.

12. Habit Stacking: 97 small life changes that take 5 minutes or less by S. J. Scott / So this is the first of many books I've recently purchased for the new year... Productivity is one of my goals for the New Year.

Bonus: My current Read from a fellow indie author: Iron & Ivy by Brie Tart

My Writing:

On a dark and fridged Monday, in the wee hours of the morning, a woman (me), still half asleep tripped her way down the stairs to the kitchen for her first cup of life-giving coffee. On her way by the livingroom she noticed her computer sitting on the coffee table. Like every morning she thought she would catch up on emails and do a bit of writing before starting her day. This morning, however, was vastly different. Lifting the lid she gasped in horrified disbelief. Instead of the normal screen display of maple trees in their fall time glory of sharp reds and brilliant oranges, she was met with big bold vertical lines that took up her entire screen... and the lines you ask... they refused to go away...

I wish I could say this was part of my work in progress or some horror story idea I've come up with but no, sadly. This was Monday, two weeks ago...

Needless to say, after I realize the evil pink lines weren't going to go away and after a fifteen-minute hysterical breakdown, I packed my beloved laptop into its carrying case and brought it to Apple to get fixed. One week without my computer was tough. Not having my mechanical security blanket at my side at all times was highly disturbing. However, it did force me to give other means of story creation a try. I try dication- which was weird. I mean, talking to yourself in your head is way different than having to talk out loud, but I think it is quite helpful to work out main story plots and ideas. I also went back to good old pen and paper. Though the act of writing is wonderful, especially when you treat yourself to a new notebook or journal, I can't write as fast as I type or think. Thankfully my computer is back; fixed and as clean as when I first bought it. (no more crumbs under the keys)

On a Personal Note:

Not much here on the home front other than preparing for Christmas. As I said before, presents are being wrapped and visiting family and friends have taken up most of my time.

I wish each and every one of you a happy holiday and will talk to you all very soon!

Not much here on the home front other than preparing for Christmas. As I said before, presents are being wrapped and visiting family and friends has taken up most of my time.

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