A Little Slower

This week went a bit more slowly than last, as far as getting things done. It’s been a bad one for headaches, and also the second week of the month, which is the busiest in terms of bookkeeping work for my husband’s business. Although, when I look over what I did get done, it’s more than I thought.

I was hoping to finish decluttering in the kitchen; that didn’t happen. I did get three more cabinets done, leaving two to go, plus the drawers. I also did the freezer last Sunday. So that’s something. It actually wasn’t bad, except one of the door drawers’ bottom was covered in a greenish-purple Popsicle sludge LOL. Didn’t even know that was there–it’s been a long time since we’ve bought Popsicles! But it’s done now, and great to be able to find stuff!

Isis had more play dates, too, but no new photos.

Huntress12What I read this week: Huntress of the Star Empire, Episode 12 by Athena Grayson. Wow, what a fantastic finale to the series! Full of surprises, and some I’d guessed, though there were also plenty of questions still unanswered. This has been such an awesome read, one of the best I’ve read this year (if not longer). I’m honored to have been the cover designer for these. I’m so looking forward to the next season!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: This is the last full week of Round 2. I did get that third book formatted, but not until today, so it doesn’t quite count. And I did not get any of the mailing list stuff done. But still progress, so that’s good. This week, I want to finish the website and mailing list stuff. When it’s ready, I’ll announce it here first!

What about you–ever have one of those weeks where things just don’t get done? Or one where you feel like you didn’t accomplish much, but when you really think about it, you did? Read anything good lately? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.


The Goddess Treatment

It’s been a good week, despite rainy weather for most of it. Much better than cold! And though I wasn’t able to send some of that rain to our friends in southern California, it did leave just in time for the weekend. I also made some good progress with my writing, so good all around!

The rain did let up enough on Monday for us to take Isis to Dog’s Nite Out at Ritter’s Frozen Custard. As always, she enjoyed her complimentary cup of doggie custard (vanilla with a dog biscuit on top):

Isis eating custard

After she finished, she wanted ours. Failing that, she made a some new friends:

Isis at Dogs Nite

You can do my nails now

You can do my nails now


Isis facial

The goddess in all her glory

Later in the week, DH took Isis to Wash Your Dog, where she got the goddess treatment: a warm bath with Black Sheen shampoo, then a blueberry facial! (No, I’m not making that up.) Finally, our friend who works there gave Isis a pedicure and the “Furminator” to loosen shedding fur.

DH learned last week that dogs are welcome at Lowe’s, at least the one near us, so he took Isis there this morning to get a new trailer hitch for his truck. He found out that taking Isis is not the thing to do if he expects to get there, get what he needs, and get out quickly, because it seemed everyone in the place wanted to stop and pet her, and talk to him about her! Of course, Isis was eating up all the attention!

I have also been working on my website, mostly behind-the-scenes stuff that most won’t notice (I hope). One thing I did was add an anti-spam plugin, and wow is it ever effective! This is a self-hosted WordPress site, and spam now does not even  get through to Akismet. Only problem is, with a recent update, it’s a little too effective, and a few legitimate commenters have been unable to comment. The developer has been spending a lot of time trying to fix this, but we’re having trouble pinning it down, since neither he nor I have any problems. It’s really hard to fix something when you can’t reproduce the issue, but I really don’t want to stop using this plugin because it’s SO good otherwise. So if you try to comment, sign up for my newsletter, or use my comment form and see an error message, I would soooo appreciate it if you could email me to let me know. If you don’t mind, please visit www.whatismyip.com and send the big number in the blue box to jen at this domain. (The number will be in format ###.###.###.###). Email can be a little wonky too, and will sometimes bounce with a “mailbox is full” error when in fact it’s not. Something else I need to work out, in this case, with the hosting provider. In addition to that, I need to do more tweaking to speed this site up…

Huntress7What I read this week: Huntress of the Star Empire, Episode 7 by Athena Grayson. This series just keeps getting better! This episode had some nice twists, especially a secret the hero found out about the heroine that even she doesn’t know. I also spent some time this weekend designing the covers for episodes 10-12. Those will post here when I read them!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: This was a good writing week. I worked on my WIP 5 out of 7 days, and completed two added scenes for over 3,000 words. This week, I’d like to finish another two scenes, from one that needs more material and will become two. I swear, when this book is finished, I need to get a goddess treatment for me! I’m thinking Square One Salon and Spa…  🙂

What about you–do you give yourself an occasional god(dess) treatment? If you have a dog (or were to get one), would you bathe him or her yourself, or go somewhere like Wash Your Dog? Did you know you could take dogs into Lowe’s? Read any good books lately? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might have, writing or otherwise? Please let me know in the comments–I’d love to hear from you! (And please email me if you can’t comment!)

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Birthdays and Presents

No, not mine. Well, not my birthday, but I did get myself a present, and it came this week: a new laptop. I do most of my writing on a big ol’ desktop computer (actually, I have two–one for writing new words, and one for everything else), but the laptop is nice when I want to go somewhere to write, take on vacation, etc. For this, I had a netbook that I bought in 2009. But the netbook was really showing its age, and last time I took it to a write-in, took so long to start up, find Wifi, and find my flash drive, half my writing time was gone.

laptop-inspiron-3000-magnum-pdp-module-1So I came home and ordered a fun little 2-in-1, a laptop that can fold back on itself and function as a tablet. It weighs the same as the netbook, and cost a bit more (but still very reasonable), but wow is it faster! And so much fun to use both with the keyboard, and as a tablet at other times. I now know why I hardly ever used the netbook–it was too slow and un-functional. This computer is useful for when I’m sitting on the couch and want to look something up, or just surf the net. Even better, this particular computer was on sale at the time, and came with a free 7″ tablet. Can’t beat that!

And birthdays? There were two, and both fell on the same day, March 4th. One was my Great-aunt Marie (yes, I’m named after her), who turned 98. No photos, because she’s always hated having her picture taken! My family went to her house and had a nice, quiet celebration with her and her grandson, who lives with and takes care of her.

The other birthday was our dog Isis! She turned one year old. Now she’s no longer a puppy! Of course, she hasn’t looked like a puppy in a long time. Isis got a trip to the pet store, where she got to pick out several squeaky balls and got a box of treats. She also went to the vet to be weighed: 88 lbs. of cute! We took a photo to compare this year to right after we got her, with the same toy:


Huntress3ebookWhat I read this week: I finished Huntress of the Star Empire, Episode Three. Wow, what a ride this story is turning out to be! And it works perfectly as a serial–each episode concludes its own action, but ends with a cliffhanger or big question that definitely makes you want the next one ASAP. I guess it doesn’t annoy me because I expect it–and that’s a big part of being an author: fulfilling reader expectations. This one does it all: a fascinating world, with complex characters that we learn a bit more about with each episode. If you like science fiction with some romance mixed in, get it now!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: My goal was to get edits written in for 7 chapters this week. I knew that was a bit ambitious, and it turned out I was right. I got five chapters written in, but the last two turned out to need more work than I anticipated. So I’m going to back down to five chapters this week. Those five chapters include two completely new scenes, so I’m going to shoot for getting everything else done during the week, then getting those done on Saturday, when I attend another write-in. At least I know my computer won’t take 1/2 hour just to start up!

What about you–have you gotten yourself a present lately? Even if it’s something small–mine usually aren’t this “big.” Any recent celebrations, or ones coming up? Have you read any good books lately? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might be working on, whether writing or otherwise? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Some Weeks are Just a Bust

I did not make any of my goals this week. I could blame it on a lot of things–unexpected happenings, more commitments than usual, poor planning, not feeling well, but despite all of that I could have still met the goals. But still, it wasn’t a bad week.

I knew I had things going on Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, which are a couple of my prime times for writing. But my husband was also out of town this week, so I’d expected to be able to make up for those earlier in the week.

That just didn’t happen. It started out being another tired week (and also headachey). Not whining, just sayin’. Thursday was a lot of fun–I participated on a panel at the library about romance novels, with writing friends Stacy McKitrick, Athena Grayson, Catherine Castle, CD Hersh, and Jessica Lemmon, which was a lot of fun. Several of us went to dinner afterward, where I met a new writing friend from my community, and that was great fun too, as hanging out with other writers always is.

ROW80Logo175I did some of the same Saturday, when I went to Cincinnati and met up with Jim Winter for a beer and a bite to eat, and more writing talk. Always a good time.

I’d still hoped to catch up on my writing after I got back, but that didn’t happen. Not sure why, just couldn’t get into it. I think I just need to skip some boring and unnecessary details and get to the next part where the bad guys come in. I have some friends from Columbus visiting today, but am off work tomorrow, so I’m going to push on that then.

Of course, due to the same things, not much got done on the website project, nor did my fitness get done. I did get some work done on the website last Sunday, and got 2700 words total on my writing throughout the week, so it wasn’t a total bust–just didn’t meet any of my goals all the way. This is one of those times where I have to remind myself that it’s a new week, and a new chance to meet your goals. Don’t try to catch up, just jump in where you are.

So next week’s goals will be the same: 3500 words on the WIP, 3-4x fitness, and finish that website project.

On another note, Love’s a Beach is now out in print! It’s available in both print and ebook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and in ebook at iTunes and Smashwords.

What about you–do you have weeks where you just can’t get it all done, for whatever reason? What do you do to get back in the groove? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

When a Plan Comes Together

Awakening-ebook600A few weeks ago, I blogged about designing a book cover for a writer friend. It’s out now, and I’m about 2/3 through reading it, and WOW! Winterjacked: Rude Awakening by Athena Grayson about what happens when the Winter King–who doesn’t quite know who he is–is going through a mid-life crisis. There’s romance, mischievous fey folk, seasonal mayhem, and yes, holiday magic. So if you think you might enjoy an urban fantasy that’s definitely different, pick this one up NOW! The ebook is on introductory sale for a limited time for just $2.99. It will be out in print soon too, for those who prefer paper.

I am really pleased with how this cover came out, too–even more so as I read the book, because wow, does it go with it perfectly! I can’t take credit for that–the author gave me excellent direction, and also helped find some of the stock photos. She also listened to me when I explained why some of the photos she found wouldn’t work, and together we came up with a winner IMNSHO!

But enough about me. Here’s what Rude Awakening is all about:

Sometimes you reinvent yourself…Sometimes you redefine reality. 
Jack Winters lost his perfect, upwardly-mobile life (along with the perfect, upwardly-mobile wife) when it intersected with a pack of fantastical creatures. He’s spent three years determined to ignore the Things that want to call him Master, and kept his failures frozen under a thick layer of isolation from even his closest friends. But when a holiday reunion presents him with the woman who Might Have Been, suddenly the impossible doesn’t seem so improbable anymore…

Lin Sanada thought she was long over her college crush and the missed connections that kept her and Jack Winters “just friends” for nearly twenty years. She’s moved on, and left wishful thinking behind. But when a winter night, a full moon, and a little magic lead her into a very real relationship with the man of her dreams, she finds a reality far more fantastical than her wildest imaginings…

To the young, impossible dreams are magic. At forty, they’re a mid-life crisis.

If Jack wants to earn a new chance at a future, he’ll have to confront all the raw wounds failure left on his expectations. And he’ll have to choose: keep clinging to the shreds of his old life…or make a whole new reality.

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble (other retailers coming soon)

ROW80Logo175That was in my ROW80 goals a few weeks ago. As for this past week’s goals:

  • 2,500 words on combined WIPs – Done!
  • Keep up with writing workshop assignments – Done!
  • Test and refine shipping calculations and Paypal integration for website – Done!
  • Fitness 4 times – Partial (3x)
  • Pick out Christmas cards, figure out rest of gift list, complete online shopping – Partial – online shopping complete, but still no cards

For this week, we’re going to keep down the same path:

  • 2,500 words on combined WIPs
  • Keep up with writing workshop assignments
  • Website: figure out custom programming needed on product page
  • Fitness 4 times
  • Get Christmas cards out, complete rest of shopping

What about you–have you had a plan come together lately? If you celebrate Christmas, how are your plans coming together? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

WANA Wednesday: Fun Reads for the Young and Young-at-heart, plus ROW80 update

This week’s WANA Wednesday is all for the young among us. But you don’t have to be a kid or a teen to enjoy these books – so if you’re young at heart, check ’em out!

Children’s author Lynn Kelley celebrated the release of Curse of the Double Digits with a great, online launch party last week! Curse of the Double Digits is about Becky, who turns 10 on the 10th day of the 10th month. She expects it to be magical. The whole class is invited to her party, including Chad, the cutest boy in the fifth grade. So is Darlenie-the-Meanie. Becky wants to look cute for her big day, but all her plans go wrong. Really wrong. The magic of turning ten disappears before she even has a chance to blow out her birthday candles. Things get so bad, she refuses to go to her own party. Becky wonders if the Curse of the Double Digits will jinx her forever.

Lynn is doing random drawings for a giveaway in the format of your choice, including print, on her blog and several others through the October 30th. More info at: http://lynnkelleyrandomactsofwriting.blogspot.com/2012/10/curse-of-double-digits-launch-party.html

We also have the release of The Seven Keys of Alaesha by Samantha Warren. In this Young Adult fantasy, Edith Myers has just about had enough. Her first day at a new school and she already has an enemy – Dana Blake, head cheerleader, tormentor  typical prom queen. But when Edith discovers a strange key, she finds herself embroiled in an inter-dimensional war. She and Dana must find a way to work together, or it could spell the end of the other world, and theirs.

Charles has spent centuries protecting the doors to his homeworld, Alaesha, but when he meets Edith, the quiet, quirky girl who stumbled upon a key, he must decide between saving his way of life and saving her.

Kindle owners who are Amazon Prime members can borrow  The Seven Keys of Alaesha for free. For more info: http://www.samantha-warren.com/p/the-seven-keys-of-alaesha.html

My IRL friend Athena Grayson has released her romantic comedy Forever Material in print! This has been out a while in e-book, but the print version is new – and has a new, improved cover by yours truly. 😀

In Forever Material, bad boys are Barbara Whitehall’s business. She’s made a career out of teaching other women how to get over the bad boys–like her hunky neighbor–and find good men. Jake Mancini’s had his eye on the retail space next door to expand his martial arts studio, but before he could make a move, buttoned-up Barbara moved in. Now he has his eye on her killer legs and wants to make a move on her instead. Barbara’s killer legs might come with a tongue that’s murder on his no-strings social life, but if Jake can prove her wrong, she’ll have to close up shop. All he has to do is get close enough for her to fall for him…without losing his own heart. I read this when it first came out in ebook, and it’s LOL funny! So if you’re looking for a feel-good, fun read, I highly recommend Forever Material! More info at: http://athenagrayson.com/blog/all-about-the-books/

Finally, this just in! Shannon Esposito is celebrating the release of her newest Pet Psychic mystery, Lady Luck Runs Out, with a great contest, where she’s giving away not only books, but jewelry and some fun swag! In Lady Luck Runs Out, Fall tourist season in St. Pete has kicked into high gear for Darwin Winters, pet psychic, but that doesn’t stop her from getting tangled up in a new murder investigation. Rose Faraday, a gypsy fortune teller, has succumbed to a rattlesnake bite in her own condo. After a run-in with the victim’s traumatized cat, Darwin knows it was no freak accident. Can she find a way to prove it? Or will the killer get lucky and get away with murder? Contest details and more info at: http://murderinparadise.com/2012/10/release-day-contest/

ROW80 Update

My main task to complete this week is to finish formatting the Home for the Holidays anthology. I completed the ebook formatting on Sunday, and finished the print book formatting last night. Next, uploading in both e- and print formats. I hope to have it ready for purchase within a week or so!

I am also continuing to work on the Hangar 18 revisions. Chapter One is marked up, and I’m making progress in Chapter Two.

Fitness goals are 2 for 2 so far, so we’re off to a good start!

What about you – do you like children’s or teen books, even if like me, you haven’t been either for a very long time? How about funny romance or mysteries? If you’re doing ROW80, how is your week going so far? Know about any other WANA books that released recently that I’ve missed?


Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

My Town Monday: Ohio, the Heart of It All – for Romance Novels!

Amazon.com released an interesting study last week: The Most Romantic Cities in the U.S. They based this on per-capita purchases by customers in cities of over 100,000 people – as in how many romance novels they bought, how many romantic comedy movies and television shows they rented or purchased, and purchases of CDs and sexual health products.

The results may surprise you; I know I was. Apparently, Virginia is still for Lovers, but not as much as last year – and not as much as Tennessee and Florida. New York certainly isn’t – NYC was at the very bottom of the list. The other surprise? Two Ohio cities made the top 20: Cincinnati at #5, and Dayton at #9!

So where are all the romance novels that take place in Ohio? It’s the first place that comes to mind when choosing a setting… oh wait, that’s just me. Or is it?

If you’re looking for a good contemporary romance, turns out it’s not hard to find one set in Ohio. Big name authors like Lori Foster, Jennifer Crusie, Toni Blake, and Diane Castell have all written a number of romances that take place in Ohio. Some are in big cities, like Columbus or Cincinnati, while others feature the ever-popular small-town romance, like Toni Blake’s series set in the fictitious town of Destiny. A recent read I enjoyed was Forever Material, a romantic comedy by Athena Grayson, which takes place in an unnamed suburb of Cincinnati.

Time's Enemy CoverBut what about historical romance, or paranormal? Those are a little trickier. The only historical that quickly comes to mind is Into the Valley, by Roseanne Bittner, which is several years old, but very good. For paranormal, there’s Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Waling urban fantasy series. I haven’t read these, so I don’t know how much romance is in them, if any.

Those all take place in Cincinnati. So where’s the love for #9 on the list, Dayton? Offhand, I can’t think of any romance novels set in Dayton except for one, and you need venture no further than this website for that. Time’s Enemy is historical, it’s contemporary, it’s paranormal. And it’s set in Dayton.

Do you know of any good romance novels set in Ohio? Especially historical or paranormal? Especially Dayton?? Bring ’em on! I want to read them.

Good Stories: “The Spelling Error” by Athena Grayson

I just finished re-reading another good short story: “The Spelling Error,” by Athena Grayson. Athena is a writer friend of mine, and “The Spelling Error” appeared in an anthology, Words of the Witches, several years ago.  It was as good last night as it was then!

What I really liked about “The Spelling Error” was how it breaks a stereotype held by many of us regarding people of pagan faiths. Many of us who grew up in conservative Christian homes probably have heard that pagans were “evil,” or at least, woo-woo new-agey types. While there may be some truth the later, the first couldn’t be further from it.

Lucy Dane is the 12-year-old daughter of a single dad – who also happens to practice pagan worship and the occasional bit of magick. So when her best friend blackmails her into casting a love spell for her, Lucy complies, even though her dad has warned her of the dangers of inexperience and magick, and forbidden its use until she’s older. For herself, Lucy wishes for someone to love her just the way she is.

Her dad, Paul, already does, which is why he’s determined to make his small coffee shop a success – or else Lucy will be sent to live with her grandparents. But things aren’t going so well, until business consultant Mira Taggart shows up to help Paul get his business on the right track. Things quickly heat up between them, and it’s up to Lucy to figure out if it’s the spell she miscast… or something more.

Rather than being the stereotypical expectation, Paul, Lucy, and Mira are well-drawn people so realistic it wouldn’t be a surprise to run into them at the grocery store, kids’ sports, or – of course! – at a coffee shop. Their values are the same as those practiced by those of more “mainstream” American faiths: family first, do no harm, and leave things as you found them – or better. Lucy’s point of view is exactly what we’d expect from an almost-thirteen-year-old who only wants to do what’s best for her friend and family, even if it means going behind Dad’s back.

As a side note, I designed the cover for Athena – a fun project, with the Egyptian influence! (Paul’s particular brand of paganism stems from ancient Egyptian deities and faith.)

If you’re looking for an entertaining and engaging way to spend a half hour or so, check out The Spelling Error! It’s available in e-book form from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Read any good short stories lately? Let me know in the comments!

ROW80: Getting Stuff Done

Yay! I managed to finish off last week’s hanging tasks on Sunday as planned! Even better, Athena is thrilled with the cover I designed for her upcoming release, and Sheri’s anthology is available on Amazon (see a couple posts down). I also completed the critique for my other writing friend. Caught up on other tasks Monday and yesterday, so back to the revision tonight.

If you’re doing ROW80, good luck!