MJ’s Musings: Book Bingo-Self Published Author

I live under a rock when it comes to popular culture. A total and complete rock.  I freely admit I don’t watch a lot of TV and I rarely read outside of my comfort zone. That’s why my RWA chapter’s Book Bingo is good for me.  My competitive nature loves a challenge.

I failed this year. Miserably.  I read many category squares but didn’t achieve even a single bingo.  Part of my lack was from being busy writing. Three books coming out in less than a year is challenging. No excuses. I agreed to the schedule. And it hasn’t kept me from reading. According to my Goodreads challenge, I’ve read over 100 books this year. I’m not ashamed of that number.

I did read a self-published author. Actually, I’m sure I’ve read many. My reading is really random. When the #copypastecris scandal broke out–a major plagiarism case–and Nora Roberts got involved, I checked out the list of authors whose work was stolen.  Many favorites were included, but there were other names on the list with whom I was not familiar. I settled on the author whose fan was the first to discover and report the plagiarism: Courtney Milan.

Now, I don’t know if she is exclusively self-published (and this is one of frustrations I have with Book Bingo–the time spent trying to locate books that qualify for the square), but I decided The Duchess War (the plagiarized book) would fit the bill.

I loved it! I loved it so much, I read the rest of the series. (Thank goodness for my local library and Kindle downloads.) Milan’s heroines are so different than the usual historical heroine. As much as I love historical romances, sometimes they get tiresome. Not so with the ones in this series.

Five stars.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Music-1776

I like musical theater. I like to listen to the sound tracks. One of my favorites is 1776.

A friend had told me it was his favorite musical. We made tentative plans to see it together. A few weeks later, he passed away. Several months later, a local theater troupe put it on, so my husband and I took our children to see it.

I fell in love.

I was amazed at how the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence could be made into an entertaining musical. I have since seen the movie several times. I talked to my children’s high school drama teacher about it (except I doubt any high school could find that many males to mount a performance).

History doesn’t have to be dry and boring. This musical proves it.

#UpbeatAuthors: The Little Things

One way to show friendliness is to speak kindly to strangers. I don’t mean start random conversations with someone who could turn out to be an ax murder. I mean if someone is wearing an awesome hat, tell her. If you admire a person’s dress, let them know. “I love your hair!” Let people know their efforts have been noticed and appreciated.

This habit has been known to startle people, but then they smile and say, “Thanks!”

A Thing I Don’t Understand

There are many things in life I don’t understand:

  • Going to a movie on a first date
  • fancy automobiles
  • pineapple on a pizza

But we all have different priorities.

Here’s another one:

Why do some people need more money when they already have more money than they will ever need? How much money is enough? Do they have shelter? Clothing? Food? Health care? Love? Peace?

I’m not saying people who work hard should deny themselves pleasures. I like treating myself to things. I like being able to afford those treats. And yes, I would like a little more money in my life so I could help my Chromos with their crushing college debt. To put a new roof on my house. To hire someone to clean my house. But I don’ t need those things. (Except maybe the roof. )

I’m talking about people who amass billions of dollars. Why? You can’t take it with you when you die. I get that you employ people, your  office staff, your household staff etc. I’m talking above and beyond that. Why do you need so much?

I know I am a spoiled American brat. I have car (used), a house, a standard of life that is middle class here. I don’t go hungry.  People in other countries would think me wealthy, and they’d be right. Because I’m content. I’m comfortable. I don’t need more.

Songs Behind the Story

I’m working on another werewolf book, with my good friends from Toke Lobo & the Pack.

When I was on a writing retreat a couple of months ago, I had an urge to read a book where the plot hung on the blues–the musical genre. I realized I hadn’t created a sound track for the story-in-progress and that jazz/blues were going to be predominant in the mix. For those readers who are not familiar with my werewolf world: Toke Lobo & The Pack is a country music band, this idea for jazz and blues was a little bizarre.

I think the need for bluesy jazz came because of the moon. The moon is almost a character in this story. It’s also the topic of a lot of music.

Here’s the mix. Several songs have been used in earlier volumes of what I call The Werewolf Chronicles.

  • Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  • Talking to the Moon (Don Henley)
  • The Moon Looks Down and Laughs (Billie Holiday)
  • Dancing in the Moonlight (King Crimson)
  • Dancing Down the Moon (Debbie Harry/Blondie)
  • Reaching for the Moon (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • Moondance (Van Morrison)
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Joe Cocker)
  • I Wished on the Moon (Billie Holiday)
  • Shame on the Moon (Bob Seger)
  • Talking to the Moon (Sara Niemietz)
  • Moonshadow (Cat Stevens)
  • Brother Wolf, Sister Moon (The Cult)
  • No Moon at All (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • I Wish I Was the Moon (Neko Case)
  • Moonglow (Diana Krall)
  • Reflecting Light (Sam Phillips)
  • Daylight Again/Cost of Freedom (Crosby, Stills & Nash)