Vacation Week in Review

So, you may have noticed that I’ve been oddly silent this week. Well, there’s a very good reason for that – Vacation!! Whoo hoo!!

IMG_20140805_154640I managed to find a backwoods spot where there is no cell service in the town (as least my provider has no towers in the area). That was not a bad thing at all. I didn’t miss not being able to make phone calls. Now, I shouldn’t make it sound like I was completely disconnected. The B&B where I stayed had WiFi so I did manage to check social media and text.

Are you ready for the Review??

Monday: I arrived in Marlinton, West Virginia. I quickly learned there were basically 2 restaurants in town (not counting Dairy Queen). I also learned that the local IGA grocery store was poorly stocked and expensive – try $2.59 for a QUART of milk. I explored the Greenbrier River Trail on foot and saw lots of wildlife.

Tuesday: Cycling! The ride was just over 25 miles from Cass back to Marlinton. The rail trail was in good shape and Mother Nature sprinkled some rain, but thankfully no thunderstorms or heavy downpours.IMG_20140806_165215

Wednesday: More riding. This time almost 33 miles. There was some backtracking involved to ride through the Droop Mountain tunnel, but all in all it was a good day. The trail wasn’t crowded either day, and the scenery was fabulous!

Thursday: Time to head home, but first . . . a stop at Beartown State Park to see the awesome rock formations, then a trip to the Cranberry Glades to see the bogs, and finally a hike to the Falls of Hills Creek (the thunderstorms must not have hit this area as the falls weren’t as impressive as I expected).

Friday: Laundry and recovery!! Until the evening when I ran a local 5K. I have to admit that I had an awesome race. I really pushed myself. I’ve never been a fast runner, but I’m trying now that my knee won’t allow me to tackle half marathons. My first mile in this race was at an 8:20 pace. I ended up finishing in 27:21. Almost to my goal of a sub 27 minute 5K.

So, in between all the exercise, I have been reading. I finished Darkness Rises (Immortal Guardians #4) by Dianne Duvall and Running Wild (Havoc, #1) by S.E. Jakes.

Darkness Rises is a PNR, and I awarded it 4.5 stars out of 5. I am completely hooked on the Immortal Guardians.

Running Wild is an m-m romance filled with bad boys and motorcycles. I awarded it 3.5 stars out of 5. While I liked Sean and Ryker, Prophet and Tommy still hold my heart captive.

What’s in store for the rest of the weekend, you ask? Well, trying to get myself back on a “work” sleep schedule in addition to writing and maybe some biking (yes, my legs are going to completely hate me soon!).

One more picture to end the post!

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Pressure is on…

That’s right – I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and my murder-mystery story idea is floundering. The more I plot, the more I struggle. Also, the more frustrated I get trying to lay out the particulars of the crime and the characteristics of my suspects. I’m beginning to think that maybe I need to shelve this idea for later. If it isn’t coming now, I shouldn’t try to force it.

I finished Phantom Shadows by Dianne Duvall tonight (Bastien’s book). Oh, how I love the Immortal Guardians. When is the next book due out?? I have to know what happens to Ami! This has been such a refreshing paranormal series. I really enjoy her writing style – so smooth and everything just flows. Gives me something to aspire to (as I end my sentence with a preposition – oops!). Of Roland, Marcus, and Bastien, I think Bastien is my favorite so far. I’m very curious about Seth and David – are they ever going to find love? My fingers are crossed that they do!

See, I’ve totally gotten off track for thinking of my murder-mystery. Maybe it’s a sign. I have several unfinished pieces I could tackle as a part of NaNoWriMo. However, I was looking forward to starting and completing a novella (say 25-30K words). I’m going on a lack of sleep so maybe if I go to bed and rest my brain, lots (ok, I’ll settle for just one) of creative ideas might go floating through. Guess we shall see!

Happy Halloween!

Darkness Dawns

Darkness Dawns is the first book in the Immortal Guardians series by Dianne Duvall. This book was recommended on Goodreads so I decided to check it out. Boy, I’m glad that I did!

This is a paranormal romance featuring Sarah Bingham, who is a music professor, living in North Carolina. She is a tiny little organic food nut who ends up saving an Immortal Guardian (a powerful vampire-like man) named Roland Warbrook. Of course Roland is a hottie, who has equally hot and powerful friends (Marcus, Seth, and David). Roland has a special power – he can heal using his hands. He cracks me up when he tries to lie to Sarah about his identity. She totally doesn’t buy his CIA undercover identity. He’s lucky he can communicate through thoughts to Seth, who backs up his lame-ass story!

Ms. Duvall’s concept of Immortals was unique. I liked how they differed from vampires. They are definitely  more noble, trying to protect humanity from vampires afflicted with blood lust. They each have a special gift, which is cool. Well, Marcus’s gift of seeing dead people isn’t quite so much fun.

The romance between Roland and Sarah built nicely. Once things finally happened between the two, they were insatiable! Not a bad thing, mind you! I liked how Ms. Duvall wrapped things up so there could be a HEA for the two.

The book was fast-paced, action-filled, and held my attention. I had difficulty putting it down. I’ve already purchased the second book, Marcus’s, for my Kindle. Bastien’s book is the third in the series.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Check out this series – you won’t be disappointed!