Why I Can’t Commit to Reading One Book at a Time

Today on FB I listed the 6 books I’m currently reading and then asked why I can’t commit to reading one book at a time. It was supposed to a quick answer but as I typed I realized I needed more room than I was willing to give on a FB post. I know I sometimes write long FB posts but, believe it or not, I don’t like doing that.

Here’s my current list of books:

  • “Shadow House You Can’t Hide” by Dan Poblocki
  • “Refuge” by A.I. Nasser
  • “We’re Alive: A Story of Survival, The Second Season” by K.C. Wayland
  • “Cranford” by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling
  • “Heaven and Earth” by Nora Roberts

The same list is on Goodreads. I didn’t list the last 2 books on my Goodreads list because I’m not actively reading those 2. I should take them off because I don’t intend to finish them in the near future, but I’m lazy when it comes to deleting books from the list.

So why can’t I commit to reading one book at a time? There a various reasons and they all sound reasonable to me…of course or I’d stick with the one book.

  • Filler

I’ll end a book and then start one I’ve already read (Heaven and Earth) in order to pass the time before a new book comes my way. I’ll eventually finish this book but not for awhile.

  • Inspiration

Sometimes I’ll be watching a show or movie that inspires me to read the book. That was exactly what happened in the case of Cranford.

  • Freebies/Suggestions

I might come across an interesting freebie book that snags my attention or someone may suggest an interesting book so I’ll put everything on hold to read it. In the case of Refuge, I had gotten an e-mail from Team Scarestreet asking if I was interested in reviewing a free audiobook series by A.I. Nasser. I submitted my application to be a reviewer, was accepted, and received my promo codes for the books on Audible.com. Refuge is the 2nd book of the series. The first one, Kurtain Motel, I couldn’t stop listening to and powered through it so when it ended I immediately went on to the 2nd book.

  • Traveling

I’ll keep a family friendly audiobook for car trips. Unfortunately, since car trips don’t commonly last more than 30 minutes and we don’t always listen to the audiobook on those trips, it takes a horrendously long amount of time to get through one of those books. Such is the case with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

As for Shadow House and We’re Alive, both of these fall under the Freebies/Suggestions category. In the case of We’re Alive, someone had suggested it as a good podcast for people who like the app Zombies, Run! so I subscribed to the podcast and was wowed, not by the sometimes painful voice acting but by the story.

I was ordering some books for my son from Scholastic.com. Order forms are sent home each month for each class. We don’t usually get anything, but my son’s favorite books were there this time so I gave in. I tried it online this time and saw a notice on their site for Shadow House. I love horror and the cover looked interesting so I read a sample. I found it as an audiobook on Hoopla so I borrowed it last night and finished it by this afternoon. It was fun. Simple, obviously meant for younger teens, but still enjoyable for an adult assuming you don’t mind that it’s not complex and long etc. I’ve moved on to the second book or I will very soon so I’ve already added it to my list.

Believe it or not, my list does wittle down to 0 books every now and then but it doesn’t happen often and when it does it doesn’t stay that way for long.

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Why I haven’t been writing or blogging

I say I’m a writer but I haven’t written anything in a long time. Nor have I been blogging even on my fitness blog. There’s a simple explanation for this: I’ve been busy reading and moving forward in my fitness career.

I know, I know. Career? Fitness instructor? Yeah, not really. Barely a part-time thing. But that’s not the point. It’s at least currently what I want to do for a job. Even paying next to nothing pays more than my writing does. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact.

I’m working on expanding my repertoire in the fitness industry. I initially started with learning my friend’s Circuit Fusion class which I can use for almost anything so I’m good for subbing several different classes. Then I added POP Pilates last year. Now I’m nice and experienced with POP and added in several kinds of SilverSneakers toward the end of Winter. I’m only teaching one kind of SS class but it still makes me stressed and anxious the night before.

I’ve also recently started focusing on building my strength etc so I can one day perhaps become a BodyPUMP instructor. That’s pretty iffy as I’m just not sure if I’ll ever be physically strong enough to survive the training workshop.

And now thanks to the Memorial Day Weekend sales, I’ve now started training to be a personal trainer! Yay!!! Super excited about this! All my books etc came in the mail when I was out on vacation. I opened the box and the sheer size and weight of the textbooks was rather daunting, but I know I can do it! It’ll most likely take the entire 6 months I have before I’m ready to take the exam, but I’ll keep at it!

Anyway, sorry for talking about my fitness stuff here on my writing blog. I just wanted to let everyone know why I haven’t been writing stories or blogging here

  • fitness repertoire expansion
  • reading

I should put up reviews of what I’ve been reading, but I haven’t. I’ll try to do that from now on if I do nothing else in my writing world.

Hugs and Kisses!!

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Book Review – Lake Nutaq by Ron Ripley

Yet another book review of a Berkley Street installment! Lake Nutaq is the 6th book in the series by Ron Ripley and is even better than the last one.

Lake Nutaq (Berkley Street Series Book 6)

Awesome. Just awesome. It’s amazing how many injuries Shane can sustain and still keep ticking! He’s no longer super depressed, thank goodness. His depression and drinking made it difficult to keep reading at times before. But now he seems to be on the mend…emotionally speaking. Yay! Except I doubt people would say he’s still handsome when he’s missing bits and pieces and chunks of himself. Yowzahs!

I loved the bonus story about Patience. Throughout the whole book I had been wondering about her character and was a bit disappointed not to have gotten her back story…until I started reading the bonus chapters. It was a satisfying background but I was still wanting more. I mean, they mention the Reverend more than once in a way that made me think he was important but he wasn’t.

And then in the story itself there’s the unfinished business with the Englishman and The Woman. Who is she? What’s going on at Lake Nutaq? I really hope these questions are answered at some point. I want to know!!!

The version I read of Lake Nutaq was the audiobook. They’ve all been audiobooks. Shane and the other characters (even the female ones whom he doesn’t do so great a job on) will always be connected with Thom Bowers’ voice. There are times his German sounds a bit on the French side and his Italian sounds like I don’t even know what but, except for the first book, there isn’t much call for foreign voices so I’m content to overlook it. If you’re not the type to overlook something like that, go for the book instead of the audiobook. It’s an excellent series!

For me, Lake Nutaq is perhaps my 3rd favorite in the series, the first two being the first two in the series. My least favorite is Sanford Hospital. Ugh. Super depressing and infuriating. And yet I still enjoyed that one as well.

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Book Review – Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan

Horror book review this time.

Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan

I didn’t care for all the sex talk in the beginning of the book. It didn’t seem necessary to talk so much about a certain piece of dangling southern male anatomy and go into so much detail for the beginning sex scene. Just because it’s an adult horror novel doesn’t mean it needs that kind of imagery and language. I’m not a prude but it seems unnecessarily vulgar to call it a c**k every time. It dimmed down after a bit, thank goodness, and my interest picked up with the horror taking more of a front row.

After the horror took center stage, I found it an enjoyable read. I kept getting taken out of the story though because the daughter wasn’t even 10 and Robert kept leaving her alone and not paying attention to her at all. I mean, practically an entire day would go by before he’d remember her existence. I had my suspicions why toward the end, but still. It wasn’t a good enough reason for me but I won’t go into it because of spoilers.

One thing annoyed me big time and caused my interest to wane at the end. Shelley. She’s supposed to be the “best” according to a bunch of internet people, but everything she does and talks about seems to be theoretical. She doesn’t seem experienced at all, just well-read with ghostly matters. Her warning Robert that’s it’s super important not to let the ghosts touch him seems completely useless because he’s touched 3 of them by the end without anything happening to him. True, he only gets “touched by” 2 of them, but that seems pretty nit-picky. If you’re doing the touching or being touched, the end physical contact is the same.

Another thing about Shelley I don’t like is that she’s supposed to have the mouth of sailor, but all she ever says is sh** and f***. Not very creative. It’s like her dialogue was written out and then the writer stuck in the F word in various places to give her a potty mouth. There are lots of ways to cuss and I can sometimes appreciate it. Her dialogue wasn’t creative though. Her cussing was boring and contrived and her dialogue, likewise, was boring and lecture-y.

Also, she was pretty mean I thought. She and Robert didn’t get along but he thought they did? I’m assuming that must’ve been the spirits/house/whatever making him different and horny because there was no indication of them getting along. She was condescending and snobbish to him.

This book was all right. Not great but not really bad. The horror part was really good but there was too much else that annoyed me. If you don’t mind everything I had an issue with, you’ll probably like it. There was some really great stuff in Shallow Graves.

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Book Review – The Ghost of Marlow House by Bobbi Holmes

!!!WARNING!!! I’m usually pretty nice with my reviews. That’s not the case this time.

The Ghost of Marlow House (Haunting Danielle Book 1) by Bobbi Holmes

The plot was so predictable I guessed nearly everything right in the beginning. We’re talking as soon as something was mentioned, I knew it would be integral to the plot and mostly how it would all work out. The only surprise was at the end with the last plot point to wrap up. I can’t say it because I don’t want to spoil it for others. It wasn’t a “Oh wow! I didn’t see that coming!” kind of surprise. More like a “Seriously? They sure pulled some strings to make that work out.” Oh, wait. There was one more surprise at the end that elicited the same kind of response. Those two “surprises” wrap things up very nicely. There’s a lovely little bow and everything. One might say that I’m just good at predicting the outcome etc, but I’m really not. I’m the one at the end going “Holy Cow! I did NOT see that coming!!” while everyone else is like, “pfft whatever.” If everything in the book was obvious even to me, it was seriously obvious.

All the characters sounded alike and weren’t fleshed out properly. Conflicts arise only to be concluded with minor work. The point of view would change constantly! That was a huge deal for me. From one paragraph to the next, there was a chance the PoV would change. Hell, from one sentence to the next sometimes. For me that’s like a giant flashing red danger sign warning that there’s bad writing ahead. But I kept reading because the idea for the book was interesting. Unfortunately, the potential for good was never reached and I was left seriously disappointed.

Then there were the impromptu history and human rights lessons that sounded completely scripted. I thought I was reading about a mystery about a ghost haunting an old house that was being renovated into a B&B, but suddenly people were talking about black women’s rights in Oregon in the 1920s. Whenever they started talking about these sorts of things, the dialogue would get supremely flat and everyone (though they all sounded similar to begin with) sounded exactly alike. It was ridiculous.

Add to all of that the extemporaneous details such as Dani’s friend ordering a martini and you’ve completely lost me. Boring! One may argue that it shows her personality and character. I would argue that it was superfluous and showed nothing of her real character. So much of the dialogue was pure filler. Writing a few times that the waitress silently takes away dishes from your table doesn’t further the story, it adds extra words to sift through in order to get through the story. Unless, of course, the waitress is trying to eavesdrop in order to discover some juicy tidbits on some diamond or whatever that she can steal from you when your guards is down…which isn’t the case.

I paid $0.99 for this and am regretting spending even that much. There are so many other mystery ghost books out there. Just off the top of my head, I’d recommend Rose Pressey. Her books can be fun. I don’t recommend bothering with this one. I for one am not going to be looking into her other books.

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Where has the time gone?

Wow! Life got super busy. I haven’t been writing since I finished Psyche because I’ve been reading and working on my fitness classes. Those classes used to be my “real” job. Now they really are a real job! Subbing, training, and my regular classes are taking up a ton of time (preparation still takes awhile for me sometimes). Then there’s my mommy duties, misc stuff, reading and I’m swamped! Also I may or may not have been playing video games when I shouldn’t have been a couple weeks back.

I don’t give a review for everything I read (especially here), but here are the books I’ve been indulging in:

  • Kurkow Prison by Ron Ripley (Team Scarestreet) audiobook presently reading
  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weiss & Tracy Hickman presently reading
  • Captain Underpants #9 by Dav Pilkey presently reading
  • Grimm Fairy Tales Vol 1 by Ralph Tedesco presently reading
  • Sanford Asylum by Ron Ripley (Team Scarestreet) audiobook
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton audiobook
  • Treat by Mary E Twomey
  • Red Winter by Annette Marie
  • Dark Tempest by Annette Marie
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker audiobook
  • Captain Underpants #1-7, 11, 12 by Dav Pilkey
  • The Lighthouse by Ron Ripley (Team Scarestreet) audiobook
  • The Town of Griswold by Ron Ripley (Team Scarestreet) audiobook
  • Tempt by Mary E Twomey

Yeeeeaaah…I read a lot of audiobooks. Mainly to save my eyes. And then all the Captain Underpants books are bedtime reading for my son. Honestly, though, I really suggest adults read them too. They’re hilarious! It’s my son’s current favorite series.

We discovered the series with #8 back in January or so and read in whatever order we could get them. He has fabulous memory when it comes to these stories but each book gives a short recap of what happened before if the two books are connected. If not, it gives a short recap of how Captain Underpants became Captain Underpants. We’re almost done with #9 and then he just checked out #10 yesterday from his school’s library so we’ll be done with the series within the week.

That Grimm Fairy Tales book is a graphic novel and it kinda sucks. I was hoping for some interesting stories but they’re pretty ho hum with some even being annoying. Very disappointed. I checked out 4 volumes from the library but I think I’ll return them all after I’ve finished this first volume. As you can see from my reading list above, I don’t have time for boring books.

My Goodreads reading challenge for 2017 is to read 150 books this year. Last year I challenged myself to read 100 and I went way over. Yay! So far I’ve finished 32 books and am 5 books ahead of schedule.

I’m sure I’ll fall into a groove by April…or May…at which point I’ll start incorporating writing back into my schedule. I’m sorry to say but when writing doesn’t pay the bills, it gets set on the back burner if there’s something else that does.

I just need to finish all this training crap and get settled into my new SilverSneakers classes and then everything will be good.

*fingers crossed*

However, one good thing! Night’s Treasure will be free for awhile on instaFreebie! So get it while you can! And please please PLEASE if you read it, leave a review on Amazon. Nobody knows if my books are any good if no one reviews them. I’m not above begging…that’s why I’ve put it up for free on instaFreebie. I’ll give the book to anybody who shows even a modicum of interest at this point if it’ll garner me some reviews. Obviously, I’ll give it away even if it doesn’t get me reviews because so far that’s what I’ve been doing.

Happy reading!

 

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Book Review – Sanford Hospital by Ron Ripley

Another short book review. This time I’m reviewing the 4th book in the Berkley Street horror series by Ron Ripley (Team Scarestreet) – Sanford Hospital.

sanford-hospitalI loved how simple the horror is in this series. As always, it’s not overdone or complex or confusing. It’s simple and yet there’s always a new twist to it with each book in this series. The twists keep it inventive and new so I don’t get bored with the same old thing. New characters have always been added and, as usual, I like them. Brother Francis is the new main character and he rocks!

There were times I got seriously angry though. The nurse was so horrible and the people following her were just as bad. I couldn’t believe there were living people who believed she was in the right! It made me so mad because it was obvious to me that she was just killing people left and right with no real regard to their pain and suffering. If I’m being honest, I was also a bit scared sometimes. It takes a lot to actually frighten me with a book because I know it’s not real etc. I don’t mean I got scared in that sense. I mean that I was scared for Shane. I was worried this ghost would prove to be too much for him and he’d die. And I felt sooo bad for him. He’s falling apart and I find it so sad. I hope he rallies and gets better or he’s going to drink himself into an early grave. 😦

If you’re the kind of reader who loves the gore, this book has it though not in abundance. It’s not like other horror books that saturate their stories in gruesome slaughters and descriptive nasties. This isn’t about grossing readers out or seeing how much the author can shock you. This is about spooks and the scares they bring though, honestly, it has less of the spooky scares the first two books had. This book (as well as the last one) is more about busting the killer spook rather than the killer spook scaring the bejeezers out of readers. It’s too bad about that, but it’s still a good book.

And it DOES still have gore so consider yourself warned if you don’t like that sort of thing. But, really, if you’re not okay with at least some of that and you’re looking at horror books…well…all I can say is that you’re probably delving into the wrong genre. It’s not often I find a horror book that doesn’t have at least some gore.

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