Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with the Old - What a year for 2012

So, how did 2012 fare out for you? Did you get to see all your favorite movies? Take your vacations? Live your life by scratching off a few items on your bucket list?

If not, here's a recap and maybe you can squeeze a few into 2013.

2012 Best Grown up Films

12 Pop Culture Questions about 2012

8 Best Books of 2012

Top 100 Movies of 2012

Best Songs of 2012

GoodRead's Best Books of 2012

Top Apps for Smartphones and Tablets for 2012

Do you have a "Best of" List for 2012 that you'd like to share here?

Happy New Year and I hope you have a "BEST" 2013!


Can I Roll Over a Week?

A lot of you are either rushing to take your last vacation days before you lose them, or you're begging your boss to find a way to let you roll over some days, even a week or more. Why don't we take vacation more often? It's not like we're not entitled to it. Other countries, it's mandatory to take a certain amount of time off from work. But, us in the United States seem to take pride in saying, "Gosh, I can't remember when the last time I took a vacation." It's not a badge of pride. It's a sign that we are too obsessed with work and too insecure to let go and let someone else take over while you are gone. Many people have that "The Place Will Fall Apart Without Me" mantra floating through their head when they think about taking a vacation.

Doubtful. Highly Doubtful.

It's not job security to have perfect attendance for 365 days and a nervous breakdown as your "gold watch." Take the time. Even if you can't afford a lavish vacation, consider taking time to explore your local area. If you can, take the back roads and side roads someday when you have a free moment. See what's on the other side of your life window. Take time to take care of yourself.

Vacations are healthy. We all know it's more mental than anything else, but taking vacation for mental health is a great way to keep your mind, body, and spirit in sync with your job. Take time to be with friends and family.

Shoot, even I get tired of being and looking in the same places every day. If you're bored, you're not happy. And, one of my best "get happy" remedies is to take a break. (And, no, I don't mean like the "Ross and Rachel break.")

Take time off to give your mind and body a rest from what it does normally. Find time to do something different. Learn a new craft. Find a new restaurant. Listen to new music.

Find yourself.

So, next year, let's hear you say, "I don't have any vacation days to roll over."

-- Happy New Year

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Reading List for 2012

Oh, Gosh! I have to try and remember who and what I read during 2012. The number one author that comes to mind is Janet Evonovich. I started her One for the Money series with Stephanie Plum as a bail bond enforcement agent. I read them all this year. All nineteen of them!

Can you believe it?

I did about 99% of my reading using my iPad. I have approximately 300 books on my iPad mini at the moment and I add more every day.

I LOVE love my iPad for reading. I can carry more books with me wherever I go, and if I don't like one book I'm reading I can switch to another.

My bookshelves here at home are bursting at the seams. I have books double shelved. Stacked around the foot of the bookcases. Books are stacked on tables, chairs, or any open place I can find to put a book. It's not that way on my iPad. The books are all arranged neatly and they have my bookmarks in place and I get a little update on how far % wise I've read.

Very handy.

But, back to the other authors I've read this year.

Julie Leto. I am so into her Phantom series. I'm eager for the next book to be released.

I read all the Nora Roberts' books on the Donovan series again: Enchanted, Charmed, Entranced, and Captivated. Hands down, that is my all time favorite series to read.

I started reading Deborah Harkness' Shadow of Night, but something distracted me. I'll definitely have to get back to that book. If you haven't read her first book, Discovery of Witches, you must. It's PERFECT!

I read Kimberly Llewellyn's Siren Call. Very good book. Kimberly also has a wedding series that I haven't delved into yet.

I'm into Roxanne St. Claire. So into her books. I devour them. Her Bullet Catcher series was the best.

Another author I am eager to read as soon as she releases as book is Marliss Melton. Her Seal Team series is excellent!

In between, I read here and there. Books that filled my need for reading, and books that completed me emotionally.

I love to read. And, since I got my iPad, I can read anywhere any time.

So, what was your favorite read of 2012?

I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about the two books I released this year.

Good Intentions:

The tragic story of one woman’s efforts to help a teenage mother. Megan, fourteen and pregnant, needed a mom. Tracy, thirty-nine and already raising a large family, gave her a home. Neither was ready for what happened next.

Tracy Reynolds’ life is not her own. She works the night shift at the hospital and has three boys, two girls and a husband who works the opposite shift along with a menagerie of rescued pets. Somehow, she and her husband, Tim, have made it work with love, faith, and impeccable ethics.

Adding fourteen-year-old Megan and her newborn son to the mix was supposed to be uncomplicated. The adoption agency made it sound so easy. They painted Megan has a good child who had a rough life. She needed love and understanding and the stability of a respectable home and family. Tracy and Tim fit the bill and were fast tracked through the system and before they knew it trouble landed on their doorstep. Megan.

Megan rejected their family values and resisted from every direction when it came to learning how to live within their family dynamics and taking care of her son. She missed her friends and the people she knew when she worked as a prostitute. Despite court orders and her probation officer’s warnings, Megan secretly reconnected with her old friends and lover. 

The Reynolds’ family spun out of control. Not one would be untouched by Hurricane Megan’s path of destruction.

One link in a strong chain of family dynamics can crumble the entire household.

Deceptions. Infidelity. Drugs. Child abuse. Cancer. Sexual abuse. Home invasion. The Reynolds’ went through it all. Would their family ever be the same?


Out for Justice:
Rookie Detective Karen Sykes is out to prove she is good at her job, finding justice for a darkness in her past through law enforcement. She gets her first chance to shine with a case that hits a little too close to home. Like her younger sister, a four-year-old boy, has been brutally murdered. The case pairs her with Mike Connelly, an attractive crime scene technician, and sparks fly between the two of them. Mike resists the attraction and only adds more emotional conflict to the case.

When her partner becomes the latest victim and ends up in the hospital near death, Karen sets out to find the murderer before he hurts anyone else. Only the case gets trickier when the murder suspect ends up dead, leaving new clues to the real killer. Finding comfort in Mike's support, their relationship heats up, but so does the investigation. The killer has a plan. One that involves a Cat and Mouse game of hide and seek inside the hospital, where her partner struggles for his life. Karen discovers it takes more than catching a killer to make the pain of her past go away. It also takes opening her heart and learning to trust in others.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sharing some laughs During this Holiday Season

I was perusing the Sunday newspaper last Sunday and I came across the Funny Papers. That's what us old folks call the Comics section of the newspaper. The Funny Papers.

Among the comics, I found a few gems I thought I'd share with you today.

The first is Arlo & Janis. I've read Jimmy Johnson's cartoon of a couple who have a son and I've watched as the son grew to a young man, go off to college and fall in love. Now, it's just Arlo & Janis again, and I can relate so well to this cartoon. Our children are all with their own little families and they've grown up and moved on. Such is the circle of life.

The second comic comes from Scott Hillburn and his Argyle Sweater.

It's not as Christmas--themed as the other cartoons, but it speaks to me as an author. And, it's a pun, which I truly love.

Last but not least is B.C., by Mastroianni and Hart. It reminds all of us to do a double check on whatever we do, just to make sure we've done it correctly and haven't harmed anyone in the process.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, to everyone, and may your trees be full of bright lights, shiny ornaments and no grizzly bears!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Free E-Book - Catch of the Season

Another free e-book, novella, coming your way just in time for gift giving this holiday season.

Catch of the Season is free from the Kindle Store at

Vicki M. Taylor's, Catch of the Season - Novella, is a Science Fiction/Fantasy read that will have you looking over your shoulder the next time you go scuba diving. Seriously. 

They had been watching every Cap'n Green for a long time. Many years. Many defeats. This year, they were determined to become the hunter instead of the hunted. You'll never look at lobster season again after reading this spine-tingling story.

Viewing a Red Lobster commercial will never be quite the same.

Catch of the Season is FREE for the next 5 days. Get yours now!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Great Big Book Tour

The Great Big Book Tour

I’ve been invited to join in on “The Great Big Book Tour” that commences December 21, 2012 and for the next few days. I haven’t joined in one in a while, so we’ll see what kinds of questions we have to answer and whom we’re going to meet on this tour. Choo! Choo! All aboard! We're leaving now!

1) What is the working title of your book?

I’ve just finished two novels and they released at the end of this year: Good Intentions and Out for Justice.

2) Where did the idea come from for your book?

My ideas come to me from a variety of sources. Dreams, newspaper articles, magazines, real life news stories, and thoughts I may have from time to time.

The idea for Good Intentions came from a newspaper article that caught my eye. It was a very long article about a family who attempted to adopt a pregnant teenager, and subsequently her baby. The story interested me, because this family was already made up of a mom, dad, and five children. It was a very heart warming article.

Out for Justice came to me in a dream. The entire story was there, and I even had exact vivid images of how the characters would look and act. I woke the next morning and wrote and wrote as much as I could remember. I love how stories come to me like that. I wish I had a machine attached to my head so I could capture all my dreams!

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Good Intentions would be under contemporary family drama.

Out for Justice would be filed under contemporary romantic suspense.

4) Which actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

I’ve never thought about my stories in that way, so this is a hard question. Each character is unique and I don’t craft them after a movie actor. I guess, in Out for Justice, Karen, the homicide detective would probably be played by a young Ashley Judd. In Good Intentions, the pregnant teenager, Megan, could be played by Kirsten Dunst, and Tracy, the mom, could be played by someone like a younger Kathleen Turner.

I really don’t like putting movie actors to fill in for my characters, as I want my readers to develop the full character from what they read and fill in with their own imagination.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

OUT FOR JUSTICE: Rookie Detective Karen Sykes is out to prove she is good at her job, finding justice for a darkness in her past through law enforcement

GOOD INTENTIONS: Good Intentions is the tragic story of one woman’s efforts to help a teenage mother.

6) What other books are similar to yours?

As far as Good Intentions is concerned, I’ve never read of another book like it.

In Out for Justice, the plot twists make it unique from other romantic suspense books I’ve read.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Good Intentions took a very long time. Nearly two years of writing and about two years of editing.

Out for Justice took nearly a year of writing and about a year of editing.

8) What other books would you compare this story to?

I guess Good Intentions could be compared to a Jodi Picoult book. It has that kind of drama in it.

Out for Justice, I don’t compare it to a particular book, but if you read romantic suspense, you’ll definitely enjoy Out for Justice.

I try not to compare my books to others because I’d rather the reader begin the journey of self discovery themselves and not be biased by anything I’ve compared the books to that might cloud their reading pleasure.

9) Who or what inspired you to write the book?

In Good Intentions, the mother of five in the newspaper article who loved enough to want to adopt a pregnant teenager inspired me. She is truly an inspiration.

As for Out for Justice, I felt that my story is a conglomeration of all rookie female homicide detectives. I didn’t choose a particular one. She came to me in a dream.

10) What else about your book might interest the readers?

In Out for Justice, rookie homicide detective, Karen Sykes, fights to bring justice for the murder of a four-year-old boy. She has personal reasons for getting so involved in the case. She also feels an attraction to one of the crime scene technicians.

In Good Intentions, Tracy Reynolds, the mother of five, has so much love to give that she can’t turn her back on Megan and her baby. She does have a tendency to bring home every stray in the neighborhood and her friends and family have their doubts. Tracy struggles to prove everyone wrong even though the odds are stacked against her. Read how she overcomes every obstacle thrown her way.

You can find these books at your local B&N bookstore or ordering it at any bookstore, or by clicking here:

Happy Reading!

Confused about where to go next and what to read? 

Please visit the blogs listed below participating in this Great Big Book Tour:

March Madness is FREE

For the next five days, just in time for gift giving to your favorite reader, you can get my romantic suspense novella, March Madness free at the Kindle store on

It’s the college basketball finals and someone’s killing the girls in the Bellair Landing apartment complex and leaving unusual calling cards – a mascot doll from the losing team.

Laurel goes undercover to break the case but she finds more suspects than she can count and not enough clues. With an overprotective captain breathing down her neck and looking for any excuse to pull her from the case, Laurel doesn’t have time for a relationship. Just her luck, she ends up with not one, not two, but several suitors. Which one is the killer?

Get March Madness free from 12/21/2012 to 12/25/2012

My gift to you!

Merry Christmas!