The Sunday Post #21-31

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post. Available as a podcast, this post is a chance for me to wrap up my week. Also a chance for you, my readers, to catchup on any posts you might have missed. So enjoy!

Books Reviews From Last Week

Dragon Got Run Over by A Reindeer by Julia Mills
The Making of a Blog Post Image
A Sassy Wedding by Milly Taiden
Twisted Lies by Melanie James
Scaling Her Dragon by Milly Taiden
Mate by Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly

Final Thoughts

The Twisted Tail Pack series is at an end for now. This led to me considering what series to tackle next. Yes, I could have tackled another series set either in the Paranormal Dating Agency world or the Sassy Mates world. Doing that would have been a bit of an overkill.

Then a book popped up on my screen, Fury of Conviction by Coreene Callahan. Oh My! A few years ago, I’d read the original Dragonfury series and enjoyed it. However, I always wondered about the other members of the pack and did they ever meet their mates. Fury of Conviction is the second novella in a spin-off series. The first one featured Ivar. This one features Hamersveld. Wow!

Now, to be fair there is also a second series about the Scottish pack. In searching for information about the books, I discovered that Coreene is returning to the original pack!!! So, while I wait (impatiently), I want to review as many of the previous ones as possible!

The Making of a Blog Post Image

As anyone can tell you, and many people will, the featured image on a blog post can have a strong impact on how many people will read the post. I know it does for me. The problem becomes how do I stand out from others blogging about the same subject(s)?

When I started this blog, I simply used the book cover as the featured image. It was simple and easy. But a year ago I went back and took another look at my stats and views. They weren’t where I would have wanted them. So I made a few changes. And waited again.

Things improved somewhat. I had more followers but the views were still not what I would want them to be. So I took another approach to the featured images. Just using the cover wasn’t cutting it, and Instagram is full of posts that show someone’s phone or tablet with the book cover displayed. This left me thinking harder about Computer Generated Images (CGI).

CGI images are not photoshopped. They are rendered using special programs. This little animation is an example of what these programs can do. Pixar and others do a much better job than I can!

So, how do I create these images? Putting aside the technical details of setting up a scene, let’s look at these. I start by looking at the settings of the book. I use that them to inform my choice. I’m not looking for photorealism in my images. To be honest, one image could take several hours to render that way! But by aiming for a nice images without photorealism, I can cut that time down to just a few minutes.

So, I have a couple of general purposes scenes that I use. This is a single frame rendered using the same setup as in the animation above. While the animation took over 1 hour to render, this took less than 5 minutes. I only have to change the book cover and rerender it to create the new image. I tend to use it for stories that can’t be tied to one setting.

These four settings also fit that category. There’s a simple rustic table, a living room end table, a beach table, and a picnic table. Then you come to the ones that can easily catered for.

This scene was created especially for this series. All of the books are set in a vineyard. So using a Mediterranean setting seems appropriate, although the vineyards are on the west coast.

This series involves a family of business men. The fact that they are all Dragon Shifters just adds to the enjoyment. A desk for a setting seemed appropriate.

So there you have it! A different take on featured images and creating the settings for them. I’ll keep looking for new and interesting ways to display the books from now on!

The Sunday Post #21-30

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post. Available as a podcast, this post is a chance for me to wrap up my week. Also a chance for you, my readers, to catchup on any posts you might have missed. So enjoy!

Books Reviews From Last Week

Dragon in the Mist by Julia Mills
Small Space Decorating
Unexpectedly Mated by Milly Taiden
Twisted Fate by Melanie James
There’s Snow Escape by Milly Taiden
Bond by Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly

Finally Thoughts

As COVID-19 cases are spiking again, do everything you can to be safe. The numbers here in Florida are appalling. From what I have read, over 90% are people who are unvaccinated. The ones who are vaccinated are experiencing milder symptoms.

At this point in time, anyone older than 12 years old is eligible to receive the vaccine. Please, if you haven’t already been vaccinated, take a look at your family and ask yourself if you really want to jeopardize their health?

Small Space Decorating

When I was a young girl, we lived in a 3 story house in town. My dad loved to decorate the house for Christmas as did my mom. We had lights in every window. My mom had some kind of decoration everywhere in the house that she could.

Run time forward to today. Hubby and I live in a small trailer. Neither one of us like cleaning so the size fits us just fine. However, I still like to decorate for the season. So I have had to adjust my decorating ideas to fit my space.

The Front Door

Most of us have lovely Christmas wreaths to hang of our front door. What about the other seasons?

This is a perfectly nice wreath for spring but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. So I tried making my own.

I took a basic woven wreath, covered it with ribbon. Then I used my Cricut to make the flowers to glue on. It ended up hanging on the inside of the door.

Again, I started with a basic woven wreath. Only this time I wound a pair of flower garlands around it. Simple but looks good. Something anyone can do.

The Dinner Table

Most people have something as a centerpiece and tablecloths are easy to change.

Last year my husband surprised me with a Crystal Swan and a Crystal set of candleholders. They are beautiful and so very versatile to decorate with. Both are available from Amazon.

It started with filling the swan with ornaments and using red candles at Christmas. Quick change of candle color and add flowers. At the same time I switched the table coverings. Chargers are inexpensive and another way to change the look. Chargers can also serve another purpose. If you have a messy eater, they will catch the food that otherwise would have dropped on the table. The final change is dinnerware. I actually have different sets for different seasons.

Look Around The House!

Take a look around your home. Are there any other places where a small decoration can go? I’m not talking about the massive displays of knickknacks that I remember as a child. Our one home had a build in book shelf that my mom filled with knickknacks. It was my task once a week to go through and dust all of them! In today’s fast paced world, that’s not going to happen.

However, there are other options. Take a look at these pictures. After the season, I pack them up and put them away. It keeps things around the house looking fresh.

Don’t let the fact that you don’t have as much room as others stop you from decorating and enjoying your space. It’s your home, make it reflect your family!

The Sunday Post #21-29

Welcome to another Sunday Post. My apologies for missing last week, it’s been a little hectic around here. In the interest of catching things up, I’m just going to list the books and link to the review.

Now, of course, if you are listening to the Podcast, I will, as always, include the complete review. Hopefully this won’t happen again

Books for the Past 2 Weeks

Dragon Got Your Tongue by Julia Mills
Scent Of A Mate by Milly Taiden
Bibiophile Bullies
Her Twisted Heart by Melanie James
Tall, Dark and Panther by Milly Taiden
Pinch of Sass by C. D. Gorri

Fury by Julia Mills

A Mate’s Bite by Milly Taiden
Twisted Desire by Melanie James
The Alion King by Milly Taiden
Clutch by Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly

The Sunday Post #21-27

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, I have included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Twinkle, Twinkle, Sassy Little Star by Julia Mills

These two are such a wonderful couple. Star still believes that she is the reason her entire pack was wiped out. Grey still grieves the disappearance of his brother. Neither one knew just how connected the two incidents actually were!

Fire Maidens Greece by Anna Lowe

Another wonderful book in this series. I absolutely love how the great descriptions allow you to picture the setting in your mind. Even better are the characters created, this couple are wonderful together. Well written, yet with flaws that make them come alive for you, I’m dying to read the next one now!

Nearly Twisted by Melanie James

Fabulous! This pairing is great. A little quick with the “insta-love” but still enjoyable nonetheless. Nice job with this continuation of the Twisted Tail Pack

Curves ‘Em Right by Milly Taiden

A BBW in search of love + two sexy wolf shifters ready to claim her as their mate = Sizzling Ménage Romance

Breaking Sass by C. D. Gorri

What happens when a sassy Dire Wolf, with a penchant for breaking rules, and a Lion, who’s in love with the law, clash? She’s a sassy Dire Wolf with a fondness for speed, and he’s a Lion who knows how to lay down the law. Get ready for fireworks when these two dominant personalities clash.

Closing Thoughts

It’s been a bit “wet” around my house. At this point, all of Florida is still on alert about TS Elsa. I’m sure by now, everyone has started running around like a chicken without it’s head trying to get ready for the storm. It usually makes me laugh to see what gets snatched up as emergency supplies.

Thursday night we decided that given my husband is on oxygen therapy, that getting a small generator would be a good idea. We checked the wattage needed for just a few appliances and determined what size to get. Friday morning we were waiting at Harbor Freight for them to open. At that point in time, there was a good number of generators available.

I had to return to the store that afternoon to pick something else up. Almost all of those generators were gone. I wonder how many people will try to return them if the storm doesn’t actually hit our area?

That’s it for this week. Keep dry and keep reading! ‘Til next week!

The Sunday Post #21-26

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, I have included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Fire Maidens #7: Venice by Anna Lowe

Ten years ago, lion shifter Tony Pelligrini was forced to flee Venice after being framed for a murder he didn’t commit. But now, a mysterious force is drawing him back. Is it the feeling of a ticking time bomb only he can defuse? Or is it the call of destiny, promising true love?

His Twisted Tail by Melanie James

This was good! I can’t say I remember reading anything else by this author, but I will definitely change that! This was a worthy entry into the Paranormal Dating Agency world.

Her Purrfect Match by Milly Taiden

I love how these stories are all stand alone, but yet they easily lead from one to another. The couples are engaging and delightful. This is rapidly becoming one of my “Go To” series.

Shake That Sass by C. D. Gorri

He’s an Alpha looking for a home. She’s an outsider with no one to call her own. Can they find what they’re searching for in each other?

The Sunday Post #21-25

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, I have included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Dragon Down by Julia Mills

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Be careful what you wish for. Kamdyn and Callum should have remembered these old sayings!

Starfighter Command by Grace Goodwin

I love how this couple came together. Watching them was so satisfying. The couple are well written, you can almost see parts of yourself in them. The story continued easily from the first book. Now, I can will be on pins and needles until the final one comes out!

Fire Maidens: Scotland by Anna Lowe

Wonderful Second Chance romance with a sexy dragon Shifter. The descriptions of the places are everything we’ve come to expect from Ms. Lowe.

Breathe by Delta James

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself needing to refresh your memory with this one. So many of our favorite couples make an appearance in this one. It really makes it enjoyable to see the continuity from one story to the next.

Geek Bearing Gifts by Milly Taiden

Mrs Wilder is fantastic as a matchmaker. The world building is something you have to read to believe. There’s humor and romance a plenty in this delightful story. What appeals to me is the leads to the next story. Which, by the way, I can’t wait to read!

It’s Been One of “Those” Weeks!

I spent most of last week without my car. When you get to be my age, that can be an absolute pain in the rear. Let me give you a little background though.

This past January I received a coupon for an oil change from AAA. One of their Car Care Plus centers is near my house. Our car needed an oil change so we took it there. While they were changing the oil, they also checked such things as the fluids, the brakes, and so forth.

The front brakes were fine, but the back brakes would need to be changed before long. It took a month or two, but in April we had the work done. Unfortunately this time as they were doing the complimentary checks, they noticed an oil leak. My husband insisted that it wasn’t anything that needed work on immediately and we took the car home.

Maybe we should have had the work done then, I don’t know. A week ago while driving home from the store, we heard a noise but couldn’t see where it came from. The next day I had a warning light come on to “Service Battery Charging System.” That was my second clue. Two days later the car was dead on it’s axles at the house.

Ted, our carpenter friend, came up to help with it. We checked the battery, we charged the battery, nothing. Using a battery charger/starter, we got it started. The light was still on! Then Ted noticed that the Serpentine belt was missing. That being broken was the noise we heard!

So I called AAA Roadside Assistance and had the car towed up to the Car Care center. Late that day, I got a call back with the bad news. The belt had broken because that little oil leak my husband dismissed had been leaking onto the belt. Once the belt became saturated, it broke. They would need to clean the engine in order to find the source of the leak. We needed the car fixed so we reluctantly agreed to this.

Mid afternoon the next day we got the news. They’d found the source of the leak, but they were going to have to remove several things in order to reach that gasket. It would take replacing the timing cover and seal, the front oil seal, the oil pan gasket and a complete oil change to fix it. Ouch!

It was Friday afternoon before I was able to pick my car back up. That little oil leak in April lead to a $1600 dollar repair in June. The biggest single item on the bill was the labor. The good news is that since the Car Care Plus center is own and operated by AAA, the repairs are guaranteed.

The Sunday Post #21-24

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, I have included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

The Dragon With The Girl Tattoo by Julia Mills

His one night stand has left him with more than new ink. Lenn has no doubt the sexy siren is his mate, the one created just for him, the other half of his soul…but there’s no way in Heaven or Hell he’s mating one of her kind. Nope, it’s just not happening. Alone is better than eternity with…with…that. There’s only one answer…blow something up and have another beer.

Fire Maidens #5 Ireland by Anna Lowe

Inheriting a cottage in Ireland seems like a stroke of pure luck to Grace Connolly — as is a chance meeting with her mysterious (and hot) new neighbor. Soon, Boston’s most up-and-coming harpist finds herself mixing business with pleasure and getting to know Finn Hurley — intimately.

Fur Ever Wicked by Melanie James

Wade finds himself in unfamiliar territory when The Fates finally step in, putting him in direct conflict with the one who made him. Will he defy his creator and his Alpha by choosing the one person sent to destroy the pack?

Twice The Growl by Milly Taiden

This is the absolutely delightful start to the Kindle world knows as the Paranormal Dating Agency. Written with wit and style, it is sure to give you a smile as you read it. The characters are loveable and likeable. The situations they find themselves in are ones that relate to our everyday lives.

Purrfectly Bound by C.D. Gorri

Lance Jacosa has spent his youth working his way through the females of Maverick Point, but something is wrong, and the young stud has lost his mojo.

It’s a good thing Gerri Wilder is down for a visit and she’s brought a friend with her. Annalia Reese has agreed to accept help from her neighbor, the owner of a dating agency, but Shifters?

Coming to the Blog!

I’ve been trying to decide on a couple of new series to review. I want to include something different but wasn’t sure exactly what. I think I finally decided on which ones. Yes that’s what I said, more than one.

I have been reading several different Omegaverse series, so one of those. I’m not sure which one exactly. Milan’s Jacks has two nice ones that she is continuing to add to. Piper Scott also has several series of this type.

Age play is another popular theme. Pepper North has some interesting series. There are others that have good books as well. I need to do a little bit more research before I decide.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!