Sunday, December 20, 2015

Holiday Surprise!

Guess what everyone?
As an extra special surprise for my readers, I have published a short story for the Some By Day, Some By Night series. Already available for purchase, this sexy gem is here just in time for the holidays.
Here is the blurb for A Naughty New Year's Eve:

When asked by her nerdy friend Morgan if she would mind accompanying her to an old cabin in the woods to pack up some things, Marla is happy to oblige.
It isn't like New Year's Eve is a special occasion for a vampire. Why would it be when they have seen so many pass by?

Marla and Morgan have been close friends for years. They have always enjoyed each other's company but now Marla is ready to take their relationship to the next level.

Is Morgan willing to have a naughty New Year's Eve?



Come take a trip to a secluded cabin in the woods and get cozy with this new addition to a hot vampire series!

Available on Amazon! For more information visit my website.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Free Short Story!

Hello again.
As an author I usually support fellow indie authors by subscribing to their newsletters and visiting their websites. This is a cool way to get the newest information about their upcoming releases, events, etc. I enjoy getting a newsletter in my email. It's exciting to see what's new with my fave authors. Sometimes though, I get spammed multiple times a day and that can get old. Still, often followers can get the sneak peeks that you can't get anywhere else.

For example, I started adding teasers to my newsletters as something extra my followers can get. Special, just for you guys because you are awesome! This week I will be taking an extra step and including an entire short story in my newsletter.
This is a sweet YA short story that takes place around Christmas. Perfect timing, right? So if you guys haven't signed up for my newsletter, please do so through my website to gain access to these sneak peeks, teasers and surprises. 
No, I don't spam. I honestly only send out a newsletter a few times a month, just to give everyone the scoop on what's new. For more daily updates, you can go give my Facebook page a Like. 

Don't forget about the Stuck In A Web On New Year's Day event coming up! There have already been two giveaways and there are even more to come so swing by and join the party!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cover Reveal for Upcoming Release!

In keeping with my new policy of putting out a book every three months, (Yes, I made that up.) I have the first book of a brand new series coming out on January 1st, 2016.
Now my followers know that I usually stick to romance but branched out a bit with my short story collection last month. Well prepare yourselves, people! 

Threads of A Web is book one of a science fiction/horror series that is quite unlike what I have written so far. In fact, this material is far older than anything I have published! I started taking notes for this book back in 2008 after having some intense dreams about vampires. After years of a love/hate relationship with the characters, I finally think I am ready to send it out into the world. It is both terrifying and glorious to know that something that has so much of my soul embedded in it will finally be released from it's cage to fly amongst others. 

Be warned! This is 18+ material here, and I don't mean naughty sex scenes either. My characters experience emotional and physical traumas that are not for the weak of stomach. On the other hand, the bonds and friendships formed throughout the story between this diverse group of creatures may call forth feelings of an entirely different nature.

This is a sister series to Some By Day, Some By Night so you may recognize a few characters popping in and out of the Lord Gerard's Coven series. (For example, what was Serahfine like before she met Dmitri? What becomes of Artus and Alexus?) Though each book, and series, can be read separately, back stories and further explanations for certain characters' situations will be found in both so honestly, just read them all!


Anywho, here is the blurb for Threads of A Web:

Marla has recently been changed into a vampire and she finds that a life of murder and bloodshed suits her just fine. Especially since there is a secret war between the vampires and the humans raging around her. Killing humans for money was her job when she was one and now killing them for fun is justified in her eyes.

Making close friends and becoming part of a coven was unexpected and soon Marla finds herself torn between her old ways of murder and mayhem and a new side of herself that only wants to kill to protect her dear friends. She has found a family at last. But can she keep them?

Just when things seem to be looking up for the coven, an alien race invades Earth, intent on exterminating humans and vampires alike.
Will the vampires defend the humans who have hunted them for decades? Can this invading race be eliminated before the entire coven is destroyed?



Take a gander at this gorgeous cover that Julie Nicholls created. Isn't it stunning? She is so talented.


If anyone is interested, I have Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) available for those who would like to read it before it is released, with the promise of giving an honest review within two weeks of the release day. 

I'm hosting an awesome Facebook party for the release of Threads and everyone is invited! Though release day is still a ways off, the giveaways and teasers have already started. I'm giving away free paperbacks and e-books and all kinds of cool swag so drop by and get Stuck In A Web On New Year's Day!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Books, Books, Books!

I have so much reading to catch up on that it's ridiculous!
My kindle app is full, I have a real Kindle sitting collecting dust, I have some downloaded books on my computer, and then there are the paperbacks double stacked on my bookshelf. There is just not enough time in the day for reading!

I'm going to go back one month and post some reviews that I gave for what books I have been able to knock off my TBR. Some I enjoyed immensely, some, not so much. I give honest reviews but I try not to be a douche canoe about it.


I finished The Sandman Volume Five on October 19th. I gave it five stars because, well, awesome! I have to say that though every book in this series isn't gold, I am loving it so far as a whole. Can't wait to read the next one. (Which will be soon.) I don't tend to give reviews to "trade" books unless it was so phenomenal that I fan-girl screamed.



Cloak of Shadows
by C.K. Dawn

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
What an exciting and well-written story!
I love that the world was introduced slowly; the scenery and characters fleshed out with such detail. Creating such relatable characters made their successes and failures truly resonate. The secret, magical world they were a part of was introduced piece by piece. The author is a master of giving the reader action and romance all while keeping them intrigued by the mysteries of how this secret society worked and each character's place in it.
Wonderful read! Highly recommended!

For more of C.K. Dawn's books and buy links, check out her Amazon author page.




Norma Jean's School of Witchery Book One: Jewel 
by Rose Montague

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
A suspenseful, action packed tale!
This book follows the young witch Jewel and her exciting adventures as she enters a new school, makes new friends, and deals with assassination attempts, a budding romance, and loss. Finding out you have rare witch powers is hard enough but having to learn to utilize them to save your friend's lives is a hell of a way to spend your school year!
Fast paced and fun, this book was a great YA read I would recommend to any lover of fantasy.
Having read this wonderful book, I now have to read Jade, Jane and the next installment of this series!

For more of Rose Montague's books and buy links, check out her Amazon author page.




Cowboy Command
by Olivia Jaymes

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:
An exciting romance full of action, drama and hot sex scenes! A great read!

For more of Olivia Jaymes's books and buy links, check out her Amazon author page.





Ink Inspired
by Carrie Ann Ryan

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:
A short, sweet read featuring a sexy, tattooed hunk. What's not to love?

For more of Carrie Ann Ryan's books and buy links, check out her Amazon author page.




Jaded (3 Book Series)
by Ali Parker

Rating: Overall, 4 Stars

Review:
(Book 1) A great introduction to Kari and her friends. I enjoyed how the story played out slowly, really letting you get to know the characters intimately. Great read!
(Book 2)  Not as detailed as the first book but a good introduction to Jake and his own heartbreak. We immediately see the sparks between Jake and Kari but they do seem to be taking it a bit fast for two individuals who have been hurt by loved ones, especially since he never let his wounds heal and hers are still so fresh.
(Book 3) Not the best installment of this series but good nonetheless. This last book feels a bit more rushed than the previous two. Kari still has serious trust issues and because of that, I feel like they should slow down a bit. If she doubts him as soon as he leaves town, how will they ever have a meaningful relationship? 

For more of Ali Parker's books and buy links, check out her Amazon author page.


That's all I've managed to finish since this time last month. I hope that over the holidays I can relax and snuggle down with some more books. As much as I love to write, I need my reading time too!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Get Your Game On!

Unfortunately, I had to back out of NaNoWriMo this month. Just too much on my plate. I hate it but there is always next year and I will still be writing what I can, when I can this month. Just not with any pressure. 

On the bright side, I will once again be participating in EXTRA LIFE this year! I'm excited to game for 24 hours on November 7th to raise money for my Children's Miracle Network Hospital. That's right folks, every penny I raise goes directly to help sick kids. 
Last year was my first year and though those last few hours were tough, (Not only was I tired but I became sick to my stomach. Still pushed on, though.) it didn't in any way put me off of participating again this year. As a mother, this is a cause I can truly get behind. 

Yes, the holiday season is coming fast, I realize this. Times are hard, the economy is a bitch. With four kids of my own, I know how tight money can be. But I still find a bit to donate to this wonderful cause. Honestly, just a few dollars can go a long way in helping children who are truly sick and need medical help. Last year, Extra Life gamers raised over five million dollars for hospitals. $5,000,000!

This year, I want to do something I haven't done before. I want to reward one lucky donater with a free digital copy of one of my books! I will pick a random winner to choose whichever book they would like in mobi, pdf, or .doc format. That means that everyone who donates to my page will have a chance to win a free book!

I suggest checking out the website to read the true story of how Extra Life came to be. If it doesn't put a tear in your eye, you are not human.
My team is Power-Ups Not Included. Want to game with us? Come right in and join the fun!
My page is Ashley Uzzell if you would like to make a donation. Can't donate? Spread the word! Share the links on social medias like Facebook and Twitter. Let's get the word out and raise some money. Let's let this year be the best Extra Life event yet!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

NaNoWriMo

November is coming fast and this will be my first year participating in NaNoWriMo! Exciting!

For those of you who have no idea what that is, here is a brief explanation. National Novel Writing Month is a way for authors to get motivated to write a novel. The goal is to write 50,000 words in thirty days. That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It is a challenge but that is the point. Learning to discipline yourself. Getting motivated. Staying on task. Reaching daily goals. All while having fun!

You can make writing buddies, track your word count progress, ask questions or chat in forums, and so much more on the website. I had no idea how big this thing really was until I signed up for it. I remember seeing Twitter posts about it last year and hearing a few things here and there but now that I'm involved in it, I can't believe how huge this event is. Authors worldwide are chatting about it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media, asking advice, inspiring each other and prepping for a month of hell. Because make no mistake, it will be hell.
So why am I so excited? I am the type of person who is unable to keep a daily schedule since I had children. Usually highly organized, I have to sneak time for myself to write because in my world, it isn't a "real job" so it is always thrown on the back burner. Even after publishing five books this year, no one takes what I do seriously. 
Well, that is about to change. This is my chance to put my foot down and set aside some daily writing time for myself that doesn't include me staying awake until the crack of dawn wearing myself out just to jot down notes on a story idea. Because this IS my job and more than that, it is my passion! 

I am going to sit down and write a novel this month. Will it need serious editing when I'm done? Oh yes. Will the first draft make much sense? Probably not. Will I be pumping caffeine into my body the last few weeks to stay conscious long enough to finish? You better believe it.
Will I love every minute of it? Hell yes! I work best under pressure.

Participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let's be writing buddies! Search my user name: authormariekrepps and let's keep each other going!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Have Some Chocolates

Guess what? 
Because I really wanted to get this book of short stories out before Halloween, it comes out this Sunday! Yay!
Julie Nicholls took time out of her busy schedule and made me a lovely cover for Box of Chocolates, a collection of short stories. These stories range from horror to science fiction with some fantasy and drama in between. I'm pretty excited to have a new book under the Marie Krepps pen name that branches out to a different genre than romance. And what better way to do it than to have a genre spanning book?

Here is the blurb:
What flavors do the chocolates in your box contain?
Ten short stories of fantasy, science fiction or horror are in each chocolate. Two princesses lose their father. A little boy is left home alone at night. A fantastical creature is curious about human customs. A CEO calls his underling in for a chat. A man decides to hit on his beautiful neighbor.
What other adventures await you?

Go on, take a bite.


This book is now available for pre-order on Amazon! You can order now and it will be automatically delivered to your Kindle on the release date, October 18th, 2015. Looking for a paperback version? It is already available for purchase here!

Once again, I'm throwing an awesome Facebook party on Sunday night with open invitations to everyone! Come have some fun, play some games and maybe win some prizes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

New Cover, New Book

Hello my lovelies!
I'm very excited to tell everyone about the new cover Julie Nicholls has created for me for my vampire romance short, The Life She Didn't Take. Check it out, it is so gorgeous!

Isn't it beautiful? Serahfine is exactly how I have always pictured her. Come follow her journey from despair to dawning hope and find out what makes this redhead so feisty! The Life She Didn't Take is still 99 cents on Amazon!

In other news, I am currently editing and formatting a collection of short stories that I plan on publishing in November. No set date yet but hope to have it ready well before the middle of the month. This collection will include tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Most have unexpected surprises in store if you dare to read them! I'm really excited to finally publish stories in a different genre. Though the title is still cooking, stay tuned for more information in upcoming posts.
Happy October guys!

Friday, September 11, 2015

New Release!

   It is finally here! The hot vampire romance LOVE ME TODAY, KILL ME TOMORROW is available at Amazon!
I'm so fricking excited!

   Here is the blurb if you need a juicy tidbit:

Alexus's depression is eating her alive. She longs for an escape from the prison of her life. One day she accidentally witnesses a mass murder and she soon finds that she might get exactly what she wished for.

Devastatingly handsome, Artus is a vampire that relishes a good kill. His newest victim is a girl that saw what no human was meant to. To his surprise, she's receptive to the idea of him draining her dry.
Even more surprising is the dawning realization that he doesn't want to. 



    Though this book is full of spicy sex scenes and a naughty bad boy, one of the main themes is mental illness. The main character suffers from depression and has no help dealing with it: no therapy, no medication, not even a friend to confide in. She becomes anxious in social situations because she doesn't know how to handle people.
   I'm hoping this can help those that don't understand mental illnesses, people who are on the outside looking in, by giving them a glimpse of what it is like to deal with this on a daily basis. The highs and lows. The zoning in and out. The struggle of just getting out of bed everyday. These are real issues that sufferers deal with that a lot of people just don't get. 

   Tonight I am throwing another party on Facebook! If you love vampires and want to come, it is open to the public and everyone is invited. Some great authors are hosting and there will be plenty of fun games, discussions and lots of sexy vampires. Come party with us!


   Please take a minute and visit my website for more information on my novels. To purchase LOVE ME TODAY, KILL ME TOMORROW on Kindle, click here
   Don't forget to check out the cover artist, Julie Nicholls's website for more information on her own published works and cover art. She is just amazing!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ghosts and Such

   I was watching some Youtube vids about creepy ghosts caught on film. Some looked legit, some badly Photoshopped. It reminded me how much I like creepy stuff and got me thinking about my few brushes with ghosts.

   As a young child, I would hear counts of hauntings and I would always end up shrugging it off as a load of crap. Ghosts weren't real. As much as I liked to read about them and think up scary stories about them, they just weren't real.

   In middle school, I spent the night with a friend and we sat down to watch a movie on one of those TVs that has a VHS player in it. A few minutes in, the TV cut off. I look at her questioningly and she just rolls her eyes. "Oh yeah, the television is haunted."
   Of course, I think she's joking, teasing me. She just said it so nonchalantly! But she cuts the TV back on, puts the remote on the dresser in front of the TV and we continue to watch. Later, the movie stops itself and starts rewinding. Now, for you young people, VHS players used to do this at the end of a tape. We were nowhere near the end. 
   It continued like that throughout the movie: the TV cutting on and off, the movie rewinding, fast forwarding, that sort of stuff all while the remote control is in plain sight. Though slightly freaked, I was mostly full of wonder. Was this really a haunted television or some weird electrical screw up in the wiring?

   Not long afterwards, during a party at my house in a very rural area, I was dared to run inside this creepy one-bedroom house that was abandoned and now used by farmers to store tobacco. It was empty this time of year and though I had no idea how old the house actually was or who had lived in it before, I was only a little frightened of it. My brothers and I were pretty adventurous children and we often explored old barns and abandoned buildings without fear.
Never at night, though.
   My friends stayed near the barn we played in while I walked the dirt road up to the house that summer night. I went inside with no fuss, sure I would win the bet and laugh in their faces. I saw this light in the middle of the room. It looked like the flame of a candle. Now, from the windows, all manner of lights were shining in from distant houses and trailers across the fields. 
   But this light wasn't coming from outside. It wasn't a reflection on the glass either. It was just floating in the middle of the room. Needless to say, I hauled ass.

   My last real experience with a ghost was more up close and personal. When my mother-in-law's husband died, she moved out of their old bedroom. She claimed that she just couldn't sleep in there anymore. She left the bed, dressers, and rocking chair and just relocated to a room closer to the front of her huge house. Their old bedroom became the guest room.
   When her son, his wife, and their son would come to visit, they would usually stay the night because they lived over three hours away. My sister-in-law started claiming the room was haunted. She said she saw mom-in-law's dead husband in their sometimes, often sitting in the rocking chair. We kind of blew her off about it. I recall her spinning the tale, my husband and I rolling our eyes at each other. Mom-in-law, who is hard of hearing, said she never heard or saw anything, though she rarely went to that part of the house anymore.

   A couple of years ago, we hit on hard times and moved into my mom-in-law's house with our three girls. Hubby and I took her old bedroom and the kids took the room next to us. It was supposed to be temporary until we found a good place. We stayed for over a year. 

   During that time, I became pretty well acquainted with the ghost. I am a very light sleeper, unfortunately, which is probably why I was the only one having ghost issues. Late at night, I would feel a pressure on the end of the bed, like someone was sitting on it. We have three cats but we always locked them in another room at night so they wouldn't run around keeping me awake. I would sit up, thinking my husband went to smoke and accidentally let one of the little furry fucktards out. Nothing was there. No cat. So I would roll over and go back to sleep. 
    Some nights I'd sleep on my side and feel a tap on my shoulder. Thinking it was one of the kids needing something, I'd wake and look but no one was there. Just my husband sleeping soundly, snoring, on the other side of the bed. This happened a handful of times while we lived there. Instead of scaring me, it mostly annoyed me. Momma does not like it when someone messes with her sleep schedule, whether you are living or dead!
   It went on like that, me feeling things in the night, no one awake to confirm it. Sometimes at odd times of the day, I would see movement out of the corner of my eye but I always just chocked it up to cats. I might hear sounds like someone moving around at night, again attributing it to the cats in the next room.

   The most memorable night was the night I felt someone whisper in my ear, very low but clearly, "Hey." I woke immediately, again thinking it was a kid having a nightmare and wanting to crawl into bed. No one was there. My husband comes in from a smoke a few minutes later and I asked if it was him just messing with me. The man cannot lie to me. He tries but I can always see it in his face. He swore he had no idea what I was talking about. 
   A few weeks before we moved out, I was sitting on the bed in broad daylight, reading, when the TV across the room turned on. I didn't even know where the hell the remote was. Now that did creep me out because it was the middle of the day! "Stop this bullshit!" I cried out, hopping up and fast walking it to the kitchen where I knew mom-in-law would be.
"It's official, you're haunted." I told her. 
   I knew she didn't believe me. She would just smile when I would mention the ghost. Like she was humoring a child. I might have an overactive imagination but someone or something disturbing my sleep on random nights was not my idea of a good time!

   A few weeks after we moved out and her house became much quieter without kids and cats running around and raising hell, she informed me that she thought she had a ghost. She said she would hear things at night when it was especially quiet. Noises from that room. 
Ha! I'm not crazy!

   Those are my experiences with ghosts so far. I have always wanted to visit known haunted places at night and get real peeks at paranormal activity. I guess I'm more open to them than some people, or maybe my super hearing and hyperosmia just detect crap that other people can't. Like those damn voices in the baby monitor. It's like twenty people having different conversations at once. Shut the hell up, I'm trying to sleep!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Road So Far...

Did you catch the reference? No?
It's from Supernatural. You don't like that show? Go away!

I keed, I keed.

This has been a crazy/wonderful/horrible year for me so far. Entering the world of publishing is quite a learning experience, let me tell you! There is still so much I don't even understand about what I'm doing here as far as the publishing itself. I'm learning new tricks and getting tips from friends everyday. Yeah, it is crazy!



I have learned that I am not good at marketing or promoting my own books, though. Not. At. All. I worked really hard to prepare for the re-release of my short story. I made plans, posted everywhere, redid my author website, created a newsletter, did a Facebook party, etc, etc. The book came out and I was so excited! A week later: no sales. Almost a month later: no sales. Bummer. 

Then I find out that the cover I worked so hard to make myself, the one I was so proud of, was not sized right for Createspace. It looked like total ass. That's when I finally broke down and cried. Holy crap, I'm a failure! How can I call myself an author if no one reads my books? Things just seemed to go downhill fast. It got pretty... dark.



Then I thought, fuck it, I might suck at authoring but I can still kick ass at writing. So I did. And I do. I have a new story from a series that I've passed around and have some beta readers going over for me. I've heard back from a few already and they have been super helpful. I plan to publish it next month. People are going to buy it or they're not. 
I do have an awesome cover artist working with me this time. Julie Nicholls is an excellent artist who I have great confidence in. We've had some chats through Facebook and email and I know she will work magic to produce a beautiful cover for me! I just can't wait to see it!




I've also been working on another series (actually the one I've been working on for years) and I plan on publishing a book from that one early next year. So yeah, it has been really rough these last few months. I've been lower than I think I've ever been before in my life. I've had bouts of excitement that had me jumping around like a fan girl at ComicCon. But in the end, this is going to be my year for some kick ass writing. 2015, I'm about to make you my bitch.

And people wonder why I'm so busy?

Here is a link to Julie's website. Check out her stunning work!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Mysterious Case of The Disappearing-Reappearing Boob

Being a parent is hard work, don't ever let anyone tell you differently. If you are a parent you know exactly what I'm talking about. The experience is equal parts wonderful and horrifying. Creating life is easy, being responsible for it is another thing entirely. So, like every parent, I have got some stories.

I have four girls so suffice it to say, the estrogen floating around here is in quantities large enough to create an invisible fog that when breathed in, gives you crazy ideas about cooking, hairdressing and nail painting. But I have a serious potty mouth. Though my husband hates it and I'm constantly told what a horrible parent I am, mostly by my family, I could give a shit. This is me. So my children are pretty used to hearing mommy scream out random things like "This fucking internet!" or "Where is my god-damn shoe?" Yes, this is parenthood done right.
My oldest will be turning eleven in a couple weeks. Let me tell you a little story about the Kass-Kass.

A few months ago, (I guess. Time is a funny thing in my world. Hell, it could have been last year, I have no idea.) my daughter approached me about an "embarrassing" problem. She comes in my room with that nervous and excited look in her eye and I'm immediately thinking, "Oh, noooooo, she did not just start her period! I'm not ready for another being experiencing the red river in this household!"
Fortunately, it was another matter. "Mom, I have this weird lump in my nipple."
What is the first thing that would pop into your head? Boobs! Wait, weird lump? Cancer! 
"OMG, let me see that thing!"
I was fully prepared for boobdom. Hell, I know she was too. In fourth grade, she had a friend who was almost my height and had boobs my size. I shit you not, this kid borrowed my bathing suit one time to play in the sprinkler and it fit her. So in fifth grade, at a different school, her new best friend is taller than me with boobs about my size. I'm not that fricking short, my kid just chooses to friend the Jolly Green Giant's relatives. Which only makes her look like a dwarf in comparison because she has been the shortest kid in her entire grade for a few years now. 
But anyway, back to lump tit.

After some poking and prodding I come to the same conclusion she did: this lump is weird. So I take her to the pediatrician. 
"It could be an infection."
Blood work says it is not an infection. They put her on meds anyway, two weeks later we are right back there, lump still there, if anything, bigger.
"It could be this or that."
It is not this or that.
"Well, maybe it is just her breasts growing in." I love how doctors say breasts. Like this is a word people really use outside of romance novels. I live in the real world and in the real world they are boobs. Or tits. Awkward looking, pain-in-the-ass-in-a-tank-top, too-big-and-your-back-hurts boobs.
"Just one?"
"It's rare but it happens. Let's send you to a specialist."
In other words, I have no fucking clue what is going on with your kid so I'll throw you on another doctor. Story of my life.

We go to said specialists and after looking at it for five seconds and touching it once, he comes to the conclusion that it's a breast growing. Right. I had to make a special appointment, drive all the way to another town, using gas I can't afford just for you to basically look at my kid in two minutes? Again, story of my life. Doctors never have the time for my kids.

So, on the way home, while I'm cursing out stupid doctors, I tell the Kass-meister just to keep an eye on it and let me know if it gets bigger or discolored or whatever. 
Two weeks later it's gone. Just like that. Definitely weird.

Jump forward to a few days ago. Kass-Kass approaches me again. "Mom, the other nipple has a lump now." Instead of the embarrassed, I'm-growing-up look of pride that she had the last time she approached me, this time she has this frustrated, not-this-shit-again look on her face. I've taught her well. 
So once again my kid has a one-lump wonder going on under her shirt that she is just going to have to deal with. Doctors are idiots and boobs don't just show up then disappear. At least, I don't think they are supposed to. Mine didn't but who knows with kids these days? Are boobs like groundhogs now where they pop up, look around and if they don't like the look of things, disappear again? Maybe.
Maybe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Release This Friday!

Well, it isn't brand new. It's a re-release, actually, but it's the first time I'm releasing it all on my own. Here's the deal:

In 2012, my erotic short story The Life She Didn't Take was published through a small publishing company under my pen name Marie Krepps. Then the rights reverted back to me. Now it's back and better than ever with a new cover and an extended story. Another exciting new feature: for the first time, it's available in paperback!

Here's the blurb: Serahfine has walked these streets time and time again. Endless centuries alone have her longing for death's release. But on this night when she means to end it all, she meets someone who intrigues her.
Is this a chance encounter or destiny?
Can an ageless vampire truly find happiness with a mere human?


The release date for The Life She Didn't Take is set for July, 31st, 2015. I'm super excited to get this one back out there and to actually be able to purchase my own physical copy! 

This story is a part of a series of vampire shorts and novels called Some By Day, Some By Night. At this time, I have one novel and a few more shorts planned for the series but who knows how long it could end up being? 
This is a very complex vampire world that will end up spanning a few different genres, especially it's sister series Lord Gerard's Coven. I can promise you, you've never seen vampires exactly like these. That's right, prepare yourselves for much more to come from Marie Krepps!

So this Friday, visit my Facebook author page or my website for more info on how to get your copy of The Life She Didn't Take

Oh yes, we're also having a Facebook release party on Friday and everyone is invited! Some wonderful authors are hosting and it's going to be an evening of fun games, naughty discussions, and prizes! Stop on by and you might even get a sneak peek of the story straight from the pages of The Life She Didn't Take!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Life Lessons From Anime

Since I started including my kids in my anime watching experience and rewatching old series I enjoyed before most of them were even born, I've come to realize a few things I never thought about before. The series I watch with them now have so many important life lessons. Some are a bit subtle and some are right there in your face. Here's what I mean.



INUYASHA

One of the best life lessons in this series is acceptance. Accepting who you are and loving yourself. Accepting others for who they are and not what they look like, who their parents were, whatever. 
You've got the main character who is half demon, half human. He hates his human side and wants to become completely demon. Why? He doesn't fit into either world as he is now. Or so he thinks. 
He meets a human girl who loves him for who he is. Their little group consists of full demons, humans, and the half demon. They're all friends, they hardly think about their differences. 

This is a valuable life lesson, especially now with the race wars going on in America. It doesn't matter what color your skin is. Who cares if you're mixed? Love yourself for who you are and love others for the same reasons. If only we could all see the world through these characters' eyes.




NARUTO

Who doesn't root for the underdog? This is one of those magical series that has so many positive life lessons all throughout. My favorite is that no matter how much you think you suck at something, no matter how many times others call you a failure, you can still succeed. Naruto was the absolute worst ninja of his class. Soon, he was surpassing them all. He proved that hard work and belief in yourself can take you just as far as natural talent, if not further. Never stop believing that you can achieve your dreams. Never let others tear you down. 




FAIRY TAIL

Friendship. That's what this series is all about. The members of the Fairy Tail guild support each other in every endeavor. The bonds of friendship are so strong that they go out of their way to help their friends, risking their lives if they must. 
A couple times, Lucy, one of the newer members of the guild, disappears to take care of her own personal business. And every time, her friends come after her just to make sure she's okay, to stand by if she should need them even if it's just for moral support. You'll never find stronger bonds than the bonds of loyalty and love in this guild. If only every friendship in real life could be this amazing.


I hope to enjoy more series with my kids that have these wonderful life lessons. You can really learn a lot from some good family anime.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hermitdom

We're looking for a place to move to in another county in NC, closer to my husband's new job. Meanwhile, he's staying two and a half hours away during the week and coming home on weekends. He hates it. He claims that we have to move as soon as possible because he doesn't like being away from us all week. 

Meanwhile, I'm here with four kids by myself. It actually isn't so bad, well, it would be better if school was still in but it is what it is. I discovered a lot about myself since this entire thing with hubs being away every night started. 

For one thing, I can run this house alone if need be. There might be a lot of screaming and cursing going on but, shit gets done.
It's also been pretty nice being alone at night. Once the kids are all in bed. I have the TV to myself if I want. I can go get a shower without being interrupted every two minutes. I can actually go sit down at my computer and write entire chapters at a time with no interruptions. It's really kind of awesome.

In the past few months, my social anxiety has kicked it into high gear. I rarely go out anymore and never socially. If anyone wants to see me, Skype me. If anyone wants to talk to me, text me or hit me up on Facebook. It's a wonder I still have real life friends at all. Online, I have many.

This isn't some poor pitiful me post. Surprisingly, I'm kind of happy with the way things are. I see my husband on the weekends. I play with the kids during the day. At night I get more work done than ever whether it be writing, editing, beta reading for others, whatever. 

I do believe that I have set a new goal in life. When my kids are grown and out of the house, I want to go live in a cabin in the mountains. Alone. 
Well, not completely alone, I'll have a crapload of pets. I'll be the crazy cat/ferret/dog/rat/sugar glider lady. Kids will probably dare each other to run into my yard. I'll come running out in a loose kimono, waving a shotgun, yelling "Get the hell off my property!"

Ah, mom would be so proud.

The fact that I would love to be a hermit just shows you what kind of transformation I've gone through since my high school days. I was once a loud party girl who had lots of friends and wanted to go out every weekend. But since I've been married, I've gotten to the point where I just can't stand people in general. There are people that I like, that I don't mind seeing from time to time. In small doses. And I do like to go out and dance or see a concert. But again, small doses. Afterwards, I just want to go home, shut myself up in my room and be alone for a while. Not that I'm the best company but my books sure are. 

I like to be out in nature. I like hiking, swimming, camping, fishing, all that kind of stuff. But again, I'd rather be away from other humans. It's hard to appreciate Mother Nature surrounded by people who seek to stomp her out of existence. I can't find peace in the woods with screaming, fighting kids or the sound of chainsaws in my ears.

Is this a writer thing? I know writers tend to be perceived as a little off by society. We have strange habits. We're non-conformists. We walk our own paths regardless of others' opinions. 
But looking forward to being a hermit? I think I might be in my own realm of weird on that one.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Animazement 2015: What A Con Is Really About

Oh yes, we went.
I haven't been since 2007 and man, it has changed. It's become a much bigger event now drawing more crowds than ever. Which is cool in some ways but sucky in other. For example, it's cool that there are so many more people to meet and costumes to see. Bigger celebrities are coming and doing awesome panels. It sucks not being able to get into certain panels because you didn't get there an hour early and wait in an incredibly long line. 

Monday is one of my kid's birthday. Arianna will be seven. So we said, hey, let's take her to this event for her birthday. We'll dress up and it'll be great. I've been working on my kids' costumes for months. Oh, I could have bought costumes but that's not how I roll. They wanted to go as Inuyasha characters and I made that happen. They were so cute. 

We get there and get in line to register at a bit after 9:00 am. My kids' faces at 10:00 am:
 
They've got that "Are we there yet?" look down pat. Luckily the weather and temperature were perfect and we saw lots of cool costumed cosplayers while we waited. Then, we were finally registered and we could go where we pleased. We watched a bit of a karate seminar but they couldn't sit through that one. We visited the Artist's Alley for a short time.
The kids got a kick out of random people asking for their picture. This happened, I shit you not, over fifty times all throughout the day. We even got caught in the bathroom for a couple. Everyone couldn't get over how adorable they were.
Before we knew it, it was lunch time and we made the mistake of buying food there. No one really liked it and my husband bitched and pouted about how much he spent on it for a while. Then my girls played games, colored and painted in the Kid's Room while I charged my already dying phone and did repairs on props. We spent some time oohing and ahing at people's costumes and trying to find fellow Inuyasha cosplayers. We did actually find some!
Then it was the Dealer's Room, the bane of my existence. Oh, I love the place, to be sure, but I spend way too much money there and the crowds are such a huge pain. My cell wouldn't work very well in there either: one minute I had full bars, the next nothing. My husband was separated from us and starting to flip out when I couldn't return his messages or call him. The kids couldn't make up their minds about what they wanted so we had to back track a few times through those crowded aisles again and again. Two hours later I'm dragging them out, tired and getting cranky. I didn't buy anything for myself this time but each kid got something cool to remember the con experience. 

I was rushing out to try and make it to an autograph session. They went back to the Kid's Room while I stood in line. I was dying to get Shinichiro Watanabe's signature. And I totally did!

Soon it was dinner time and when I asked where the closest McDonald's was (Because I had seen peeps walking around with their cups.) I was given the wrong directions. Once we were two blocks away from the Raleigh Convention Center, my cell suddenly started working just fine and the map I found said that no, we were in the opposite direction of McDonalds. More walking. Tired and hungry kids. You get the picture. 

Once we finally got there and sat down and ate, our spirits were revived at the thought of watching the Cosplay Masquerade. It had already started by then but we hoped that we could still get in and catch some of the performances. After walking back to the van and dropping some things off, we made it back with over thirty minutes left in the show. And though they let us in, there were only 3 acts left. Kind of bummed and wondering what they were planning on doing with those thirty minutes while the judges decided the winners, we were surprised when a samurai actor unit called THE JACABAL'S performed a sword dancing show. Two musicians accompanied them and it just blew me away. I loved it and I could tell that the kids were really impressed too.
We had some time to kill before the last event that I wanted to go to started and Arianna wanted to go downstairs and dance outside at the rave. It was getting dark by then but I said, sure. It's her birthday, why not? We get out there and the techno is blasting and cosplayers are dancing and once again the kids were wowed. I don't think they'd even heard of a rave party. The music seeped in and before I knew it, my aching feet were forgotten and I was dancing out there with them. Someone passed out glow sticks and once and a while bubbles would float up from a source I couldn't see over the crowd. It was magical. It was fun. The looks of pure joy on their faces were priceless. It's a memory I'll keep with me for always.
After I took a break, we realized that we would be late for the Studio Ghibli thing I wanted to go to. I was hoping that if we were, they'd let us in anyway. Umm, no. The line wrapped around a few times and the volunteer worker at the end of it said, too bad, so sad, we missed it. I was a little miffed but I perked up and was soon dragging them off to another event that started at the same time: The AMV Contest. That line was even longer but they let us in it. It wasn't long before we were seated and watching fan-made anime music videos of varying categories. By then, it was almost 10:00 pm and Arianna fell asleep in her seat watching the vids. After we watched about eight or so, I picked her up and we left, heading back to the car and back to our house. 
But not before two more requests for pics of the kids.

For those of you who think that they could never enjoy such an event because it's "for young people" or "cosplayers are stuck up" or whatever silly reason you might have, I have to tell you, you are missing out. Sure, there were a lot of teenagers and early twenties kids there. I even met a few people who were hating on other people's costumes because they hadn't "done them right". But for those who think that those are good reasons not to go, let me leave you with this story:

I got in line to get Watanabe's autograph at 3:00 pm. The girl waiting behind me in line suddenly struck up a conversation with me. I'm not really a social person but we started talking about the event and some of the cool costumes we saw in the room. Then we started talking about anime and we had a great conversation about what we'd seen, what we loved, how the shows did or didn't match the manga, what made us cry, etc. We talked as the line slowly looped around and around and we inched closer and closer to the autograph table. 
Next thing I know, the table is in sight but still a bit away and Paul is bringing the kids down to wait with us. The Kid's Room had closed and they were bored and wanted to see what I was up to. Finally, at around 5:45 pm, I get up to the table and get my autograph but as I step away I stand and wait for the girl behind me, Tiffany, to get hers. I wanted to say goodbye to her. I hadn't had a conversation with someone who had watched as much anime and read the same manga series as me in many years. We said our farewells and promised that if we saw each other again during the day, we'd wave and say hi.
I didn't see her again but the experience reminded me of what these events are really all about. Two strangers from different walks of life, different ethnic backgrounds, and different age groups found a common interest in the Japanese culture. She didn't care that I was at least ten years older than her (Hell, might be closer to fifteen.) and I didn't care that she was black. She didn't care that I weighed over a hundred pounds more than her and I didn't care that she was probably still in high school. Anime, manga and cosplay brought us together as we waited in line with aching feet and people blowing up our cell phones wondering where we were. 

A lot of disappointment throughout the day. Missed events. Tired, aching bodies. Cranky children and spouse. Long lines. Money spent left and right.
But the little moments were what I'll remember. Getting pictures taken. Dancing with my kids. Watching sword dancing. The looks of wonder on their faces. "Oh my god, you're kids are so cute!" Talking anime with a stranger. These are what made the entire experience worth it. 
That, people, is what it's all about.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Writers - Don't Be Lazy!

You know how it is. You tell someone that you're a writer and they give you an amused look. Like it's not a real job. Like it's some side project that you do for kicks. It's cross stitching for dreamers.

I don't know about you guys but writing is hard work. Yes, it is WORK. You spend hours researching, editing, perfecting your craft, pitching ideas to friends, editing some more, throwing out entire chapters, rewriting, agonizing over dialogue, some more research, on and on putting your sweat and blood and endless hours into your work.

At least, that's what you're supposed to do.

A problem I'm constantly seeing these days with everything being online is that when it comes to indie writers, some are just straight up lazy. Yeah, I said it. Self publishing has made us into lazy writers. Without the threat of an editor and publishing house looming over our shoulders, we think we can just throw any old thing out there and with enough promotion on our part, it'll become an instant gem.

The problem is, it's working.
I've read a lot more indie books in the last year than ever before and I have to say, only about 40% of them were well written. The others had problems that a little more time and effort could have easily fixed: too short, too long, too descriptive, not descriptive enough, too many grammatical errors, formatting problems, etc. Things that an editor would have caught but since a publishing house was totally bypassed, no one did. And getting your neighbor who reads a book a year to look over it for you, does not count as getting a beta reader.

The saddest thing is that those 60% that ranged from "needs some work" to "burn this bitch and start from scratch", were the ones that had over ten reviews each and were spammed all over the net. They were getting more attention than the authors who'd really put the time in. What is this nonsense? You're telling me that you have the time and money to market your book that well, that often but you can't get a serious beta reader or hire an editor to proofread it for you?

This is why, sad to say, that when I start reading a book and realize that it's self published, I can't help but cringe a little. Because these days, I honestly don't know what I'm getting. And that just isn't fair to those indie authors who do all the research and spend all the time and have the aching necks and wrists from hours spent over the damn computer screen.

The publishing world kinda sucks these days. It's uneven and unfair. If you have the cash to spend, you can get your work published, even if it's crap. The rest of us have to work our asses off and can't get half the reviews. 
So, what I'm saying is, indie authors, put in the time. Don't be lazy. I still believe that anyone can write a book. Anyone. But no one can write a book in a week and think it's ready for publishing. 

And if you do write a book in a week and get it published, I wouldn't suggest asking me to read and review it for you. You should have asked me to beta read for you first because notes I give you beforehand are for your personal use to help you out. A crappy review is there on the net for the entire world to see.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Egg NON-Hunt

Yesterday one of my kids came home with her bag of plastic eggs from her Easter party at school. As we're sitting at the kitchen table removing the candy from inside each egg, I notice something.
"Hey, why do all your eggs have the number 19 on them?"
The quick response was "Everyone had a number and you could only find eggs of that number."
"So everyone had a number that only they could find?"
"Yes."
At which point I snapped my mouth shut and seethed quietly to myself. Every kid gets a number which means every kid finds the same amount of eggs. No running around searching for as many as you can as fast as you can. Because that means some kids will get less than others. Egg hunts can't be games anymore because there are always winners and losers in games. And we can't have anyone getting upset if they lose. There are no losers.

This idea was brought to you by the people who took competition out of sporting events, marathon runs, field day at school, etc. Everyone gets a ribbon/trophy/medal! Everyone's a winner! 
So, if you aren't good at sports, it doesn't matter, you still win! You can actually just give up halfway through and that's okay because you'll still get your prize! You can tell your coach off, flip the other team the bird and sit on the bench but as long as you are wearing that jersey, you get a trophy!

We're all about preparing our kids for the real world these days. In the real world, you can make perfect grades in school as long as you just show up. People shouldn't get better grades than others because they worked harder, no, that might upset someone. 
You can get into any college you want because those grades didn't matter anyway, you applied just like the next guy so you should get in! 
You have no skills for a certain job but you want it anyway? Go apply, you'll get it! They won't risk upsetting you by telling you no.
Looking forward to that promotion/raise at your job? Just do the same amount of work as everyone else and you're sure to get it! Heck, do less, you'll still be a winner!

Everyone is a winner in life. You don't have to work hard to earn your prize. Just show up. Actually, if you don't want to show up, that's okay, we'll mail your ribbon to you.
We wouldn't want you getting upset.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Insurge-what?

Yes, I know you aren't supposed to compare the movies to the books they are "based on" (Use that term loosely, Hollywood). But sometimes, it just can't be helped.

As I'm sure you've figured out, I saw Insurgent tonight. I went in with an open mind, kind of, and was determined to enjoy it even though I knew it would be a bit different from the book, like the first of the series, Divergent was. Well, this wasn't different from the book so much as a different story altogether. Okay then, let's look at it as just a movie. Just a sequel to the first movie. Let's do that. 
FYI, I haven't read Allegiant but I'm already afraid for that book to movie disaster in the making.
(SPOILERS AHEAD!)

My first issue is the pacing. You're trying to shove a lot of stuff into one movie and it felt just way too rushed. Concepts are being thrown at the audience at such a speed that I feel like people are just left confused and trying to figure out what the hell it was even all about.
Honestly, I can't remember who that black guy, Tris's friend, was supposed to be. I think his name was mentioned once (Well, whispered maybe) and that's how many times we saw him in the movie. So how are they close friends who hang out on top of a building at night to chat when I don't recall seeing him before and never have to worry about seeing him again? That guy was in and out faster than a ninja. So then, what was the point of his role? 

My next problem was that there were no mysteries here. Everyone seemed to know everything that was going on as it happened. Secrets were revealed all too easily. There were no serious problems to work out because someone will just come along and tell you the answer pretty soon.
Also, how in the name of Tris's too-short hair did Four know about the box? I actually complained out loud about that scene as it played out. Tris never knew about a fricking box until it was shown to her. She never tells Four about it. So how does he magically know about it when she says she has to go get it? Are we to just assume that some guard was all like "Yeah, they're torturing your girlfriend to open a box."? We have to, right, since there's no other explanation?

As a movie by itself it was okay. I should have waited for DVD but oh well, that's money I can't get back. You're welcome, overpriced movie theater. It had action scenes and parts where yes, I actually had to hold back some tears, ("I can't forgive myself.") but as a whole, it could have been better. It could have been much better.

Now, compared to the book. A lot was changed. A few things were not. Some things that were changed were understandable to me. I got why it had to be done. Some things did not need to be changed and there was no reason to change them. Hollywood needs to stop assuming that the audience members are idiots who can't put two and two together. We can handle mysteries. We can handle complex concepts. Otherwise, why would we be going to see a YA dystopian, post apocalyptic, fantasy/sci-fi, however-you-want-to-categorize it movie? Did you ever think that dumbing down this stuff might actually be making our teens, I don't know, dumber?
We can also handle relationship problems between two young adults which take place during the entirety of the book but not at all in the movie. The lovey-dovey puppy dog crap on screen actually had me rolling my eyes in frustration.

To conclude, if you've read the books, don't see Insurgent in theaters. Wait and Redbox it for less than $2. If you haven't read the books, go see it if you like action; sappy, uncomplicated romance; plots that sometimes don't make sense; and everything laid out on the line for you.



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jon-Lock

I haven't done a post about art in a little while so here we go. I'll keep this short and sweet because the art speaks for itself here, people.
Of the many talented artists I follow on deviatART, another one of my favorites is the digital artist Jon-Lock. Not his real name of course (I'm assuming it's a guy, I really hope I'm right and don't offend), just what he goes by on that site. His original works of art are amazing! No, really, very inspiring stuff.



He did a short series of works that were a different take on fairy tale stories. Instead of the usual damsel in distress, he switched it up and had males playing the lead roles. For example, this piece, which was one of my favorites of the bunch: Sleeping Beauty.


 I really enjoy his particular style, bold lines and subtle lighting but the themes in his art is what really draws me in. Small details in facial expressions and color schemes make all the difference when it comes to tugging on my heartstrings. I fall in love with these characters. He just makes it so easy to.



Serious, thoughtful, silly, heart wrenching; each drawing has it's own emotional setting and unique story to tell. Go check out his deviantART account to see more samples of his work. Here's his tumblr account too. He's also creating a comic that I believe he'll be posting later this month. Looking forward to that!



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Writing Rules & Guidelines... Ick

Whenever I come across an article about bettering your writing, I always take the time to read it because, duh. But I've learned to take the advice of others with a grain of salt. And I often disagree completely with what other writer's ideas of "dos and don'ts" are. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those writers who is unwilling to change their story because they think it's perfect the way it is. Uh, no. If that was the case, why would I be reading all these articles in the first place? I'm not in denial of my faults and limitations. I just don't like the "new" ideas of how writing should be done or these rules that are becoming the known, common thing in the writing community. (Like, everyone knows that!)

One thing that every editor and blogger in the world is saying now is this: never use the word suddenly. Apparently, nothing happens suddenly in novels. Things happen or don't happen. There are no sneaky people or unexpected magic. Let's have a look at these two sentences.

Jim was standing by the road talking. A car hit him.

Jim was standing by the road talking when suddenly a car hit him.

I guess I'm just weird because I like the second sentence better. But you should NEVER DO THAT! According to the web, never use the word suddenly. Or the word very. Just take them out of your vocabulary. 
Writers are also supposed to never use adverbs and crack down on your use of adjectives. Basically, take your dictionary and rip about half the pages out of it. 
We need to make our sentences short and choppy. Writers shouldn't be too wordy. We don't need to overly describe anything. Yet we have to make our readers taste, see and hear every little detail of the surroundings in a scene. We have to create lush worlds and draw our readers into them. Huh?
Oh, and never use the passive voice. That is a thing that writers never do. 

There are so many rules and guidelines on the web for writers. It seems like anyone who's ever had anything published has writing tips to share with others (Myself included.) Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. There are a number of blog posts that have helped me hone my skills as a writer and I'm very thankful. 

I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that you shouldn't read any of these articles before you write. Just write your story. If you're busy worrying about overusing adjectives while you're writing, you'll never be able to concentrate on the story itself. Worry about that first. That's why it's called a first draft. You have to go back and tinker with it to prepare it for reader's eyes. And every writer, even the professionals who've been doing this for years, have to go back and clean up the first draft.
I just think the tinkering should be judged case by case. Just look at some famous modern writers who are overly wordy. Why, some even use the passive voice! *Horror music sounds in the background* 

I still read every article I come across. How can I not when so many have helped me? But I also still use the word suddenly sometimes. Maybe an editor will scoff at the use but oh well. I just can't remove the word from my dictionary. I'm very, very bad.


There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham

 Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman

Friday, February 20, 2015

February Reading

Ah, the month of love. Or the month where people in love go out of their way to make single people feel like crap. However you want to look at it.
I got a new cell phone for Valentine's Day (Yay!) and my husband and I went out to eat at Cheddar's, where I'd never eaten before. The food was good, I love my new toy, and all in all it was a decent Valentine's Day. (I gave my husband a PS4 and two games to go with it. He just about shit bricks when he saw it. He even did a little happy dance.)
I bought myself a box of Whitman's Samplers too and didn't hesitate to wolf those delicious morsels of nirvana-reaching bliss down in a matter of days. Let's just say, I like chocolate.



I've been reading a lot of books this month. No really, a lot. I started off by finishing a manga, Death Note Volume 1. I'd been meaning to read this series for years and finally got around to it. I hope to read the rest pretty soon, there are eleven more volumes and I know I'll enjoy them as much as the first. Next, I finished reading the September/October 2014 volume of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction that my brother subscribed me to as a birthday present last year (thanks Kyle!). It always takes me longer to read a compendium of short stories than it does a full length novel because I like to sit back and dwell on each one for a while before moving on to the next. As with most fantasy and science fiction magazines, I found these short stories to be well written and often containing better plots than full length novels I've read. 

I stayed up an entire night earlier this month to read Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole. It was a great read but honestly, not one of her best. It was hot and steamy, to be sure, but it felt a bit rushed compared to her other works. Her original Immortals After Dark series is better, methinks. On Valentine's Day I finished reading The Walking Dead Compendium 2. Oh, how I love those comics! The drama! The gore! Awesome stuff that I can't get enough of.

And then on the 19th, I read two books in one day. They were pretty short so it was no biggie. I had ordered Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama Volume 6 and it finally came in the mail. This is a manga series I started years ago and adored. I don't often watch shoujo anime but I will read the crap out of a shoujo manga. And as expected, it was wonderful. Funny, cute and heartwarming, just as I expected. The other book I read that day was called Curses and Kisses by Channing Harris. Another sweet, humorous story about Valentine's Day and the poor chick who's cursed to have a horrible one every year. It was pretty short but packed full of steamy fun. 



So yeah, lots of reading and the month isn't even over yet. I plan on completing at least two more books before February draws to a close. The shortest month of the year just might be my most productive when it comes to checking books off my to-read list. That says a lot considering I'm also beta reading for someone and editing my own novels pretty much every day. Not to mention those four kids running around raising hell and stealing my heart. I like to keep myself busy!

By the way, I'd recommend every book in this blog to you guys. Check them out!