little bit of this, little bit of that…

Warning, randomness ahead, fueled by migraine and Starbucks frap.

I just finished reading a book that disturbed the shit out of me – and that’s a good thing, since it’s got me thinking about it weeks later.  It’s Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I saw something about it when it was upcoming so I read her first two and they were disturbing, but this one much more so.

Anyone read it?  Anyone disturbed?

Currently watching – Real Housewives of NYC.  Loving Carole Radziwill.  It made me go back and reread her memoir, What Remains.  She’s got a beautiful way of writing, at least to me. Maybe if I pointed out a line or two, you’d be like, really?  But there’s just something about it that makes me reread.   I think that’s why I like poetry so much – the strength of each individual line is so important – each one has to be weighted.  In fiction (or non-fiction, as What Remains is), it’s not as necessary but breathtaking when it happens.  Oh, and fwiw, RHONYC isn’t so great this time around.  Of course, I’ll still be watching.

Also liking Longmire (TV series).  Am halfway through the first book in the series by Craig Johnson – I like that the series differs enough that I’m not watching and going, but it’s not like that in the book.  Kind of like True Blood – the books are so different from the show, especially now, that it doesn’t bother me.  If there’s a show or movie made from a book, I’ve always got to read the book first – just me?


sleep? sleep is for the weak…

It’s all stormy out – a perfect morning to sleep in but, of course, that means I was up at 6AM for no apparent reason.  Ah well, means I can justify a nap later.  Except I’m not a great nap person – it never leaves me feeling refreshed, just icky and groggy.

So basically, I’m up for the day, coffee in hand and Scrivener (my writing program) open and ready to go.

Gus, on the other hand, is not looking forward to the rain.  Snow, yes, but rain makes him crazy.  He doesn’t like getting wet, even though I remind him that he’s a hunting dog and should really be swimming on a regular basis.  15945_212298353732_617888732_3194758_517577_n

Anyway, what are your plans for the day / the weekend?  Catching up on some reading / writing / TV?  Oh, let’s talk books and TV and movies.  I’m sort of sadly addicted to the Real Housewives (the OC just ended and the new season for NY just started) – and I’m liking LA Ink so far.  Burn Notice was awesome – can’t wait till it starts again in June.  And then Celebrity Apprentice starts again soon – and since Brett Michaels is no longer doing Rock of Love, maybe he’ll be as interesting on CA.  And Celebrity Rehab’s Sober House – the 1st episode depressed me as much as the entire season of Celebrity Rehab.

As for books, I just finished One Foot in the Grave by Jeanine Frost – really liking Cat and Bones, although first person and continuing love stories don’t always thrill me.  I’m in for the 2nd though (it’s already loaded up onto Kindle)  I’m also 1/3 through the new Pamela Clare, Naked Edge and I’m waiting for all 3 of Christy Reece’s new trilogy to release before I read them, but it’s hard to wait.

How would you react?

Zoo and I watched Taken, with Liam Neeson this weekend, and all I have to say is, dude, I’d like the man on my side.  It was so awesome watching his one man army routine, his focus only on finding his daughter.  I’d like to think that kind of pure adreneline is possible – in real life and character life – when something big is at stake.  I’ve read that you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re pushed and it always bothers me when I read a review of anything that says, that wouldn’t / couldn’t happen in real life.  

I wrote about this a while back for RTB and I still believe in what I wrote – you don’t know how you’re going to react in any situation until you are actually in that situation.  And God willing, most of us will not be involved in shoot-outs that require rescuing from a Navy SEAL. Disappointing on many levels, I know.  

Of course, then I ruined my viewing experience by watching Daisy of Love, something I swore I wouldn’t do.  And then, once I started watching, it was trainwreck, can’t look away, city.  Because the men are dropping out faster than I can blink – they are choosing to leave.  No one wants to win Daisy as their prize, which bodes well for the men and their intelligence. 

But Burn Notice starts again soon!  Love that show.  Rescue Me? Not so much anymore.

Okay, well, book due Monday.  Sydney short story due Monday.  Jake galleys due next week (that’s the FINAL stage before it becomes the real book!) So yeah, probably should be like, working.  Coffee’s on – it’s going to be a long couple of days…pray for me.


Happy Easter! I guess you’ve decided that my soul needs saving and are using your current policy to do so.

I’ve already taken time out of my busy schedule that includes actually writing more books that you can censor on your website by writing and calling about your disturbing new policy that bans adult materials from searches and sales ranking on your website.  

My alter-ego, Sydney Croft, is directly affected by this as are many  authors I know personally.  And it’s a very slippery slope once you try to decide that people need you to think for them – and to limit their choices toward what you deem acceptable.  How do I know that tomorrow, you won’t decide that some of my Stephanie Tyler titles have too much adult material in them?   Although granted, I’m now in very good company, as you’ve decided to stop ranking books like Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence. I’m assuming Shakespeare is next? Or Brideshead Revisited?  Feel free to reference these titles for your sweep of any books with any references to sex in them.

Shame on me – I used the S word.   

I’m a huge Amazon shopper, as my husband and the Amex bill can attest to.  I’m an Amazon Associate, and so the book links on my site go directly to Amazon.  I can promise you that all of this will stop if you don’t rescind this ridiculousness and stop censoring books.  

I encourage any and everyone – authors – readers – to read the post references above and these below that pertain to this Amazon debacle and then write or call Amazon.  This affects everyone – there is no way of knowing who Amazon will decide to censor next.  Information on reaching Amazon customer service is included in the links below.

Dear Author  


Amazon Rank

LA TImes

I’m off to shop at Barnes and Noble now – and Borders too!

deadline brain

It’s more like deadline brain meets migraine brain, which is always an interesting combo.

But first, why is it that when Zoo and I watch American Idol and we think someone’s awful, the judges love them – and vice-versa?

Because we’re both tone-deaf? Could be it, sure.

Anyway, I’m under total deadline with Sydney book 5. I’m at the point where I’m starting to call my kid’s nurse by one of the character’s names. Seriously.

So, anyway, deadline crunch means I needed to take a ton of time and do things like, update the website a little bit, update my Facebook account. Oh, and open a Goodreads account as well. And Twitter, except I have NFC what to do, which is why the page is blank.

Whatever. I’m supposed to be writing, people! Do you not understand that? But, I mean, if you friend me on any of the above sites, it’s not like I’m going to procrastinate writing by be rude and ignore my email…

random superheroines

I have so SO many books in my TBR pile at the moment that I’m dying to get to, but until I finish up a few things, there’s no way. Sneaking in a few chapters here and there never works, especially if I fall in love with the book, because then I have to devour it in one sitting and the day is gone. I’ve always been an, all or nothing, kind of reader.

Oh, and Larissa, did you see this? I am Buffy!

You Are Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“We saved the world. I say we have to party.”

Go ahead, take the quiz…tell me what superheroine you are.

I’m off to write. And write. And write some more.

Don’t forget, Army Wives is on tonight!

Steph T.

women’s fiction meme

By the very talented Alison Kent. (that compliment doesn’t mean I won’t seek revenge)

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal?
Mainly contemporary, followed by paranormals. Historicals are not my thing but I absolutely buy and read them when it’s an author who’s a friend of mine!

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
Book whore here – so if a book is issued in several formats, and I love the book, you’ll find all three on my shelf. To zoo’s chagrin.

Heyer or Austen?

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Amazon Prime is my favorite thing!!! But nothing beats browsing in an actual bookstore…

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
I used to manage a Borders, so I’m partial 🙂

Woodiwiss or Lindsay?
Um, having read neither, I couldn’t tell you.

First romance novel you ever remember reading?
I know I used to read some of my mom’s and my aunt’s – the only thing I remember is they read a lot of Beatrice Small, so that’s what I know I read. And I was young too – maybe 11 or 12. I didn’t start up with romance again until about 5 years ago – I don’t know why I stayed away so long.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
For my graduate school stuff, I categorize by century. Otherwise, it’s a free for all.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Keep. Everything.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
Remove. I hate creases and wrinkles.

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake?
I’ve only read one Anita and no Sookie.

Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood?

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Stop reading?

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Once upon a time…most definitely.

Crusie or SEP?

Buy or Borrow?
Buy. Buy. Buy. I always feel the need to own the book.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
Recs and browsing….

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
I can do either as long as there’s a happy ending for some of the characters – I need that resolution on some level.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
All day long.

Series or standalone?

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
I did my Masters thesis on Pamela by Samuel Richardson. I’ve heard Diana mention Clarissa, but I liked Pamela better – and not because it was shorter 🙂

Steph T.

auto-buy authors

Visited my house last night. Painting appears to be under control, for the moment. The color we picked for the living room is very much a color, for lack of a better word (read: whole house is pretty much cool beige tones – living room is now a mustard color.) The jury’s still out, but I think, once we get the furniture back (did I mention that’s happening on DECEMBER 9TH?) I think it will all work out.

It’s very scary that the husband and I managed to get through this project and actually pick entire rooms of things out. Like we’re grown-ups or something. When did that happen?

Anyway – segue from paint to books – I went on a nice, Amazon book buying binge last night. But it wasn’t my fault entirely – I had to pick out my new coffee maker and while I was getting a shipment anyway, it seemed like a shame not to include some books in it. Alison’s talking about her auto-buy authors, and I’m trying my first Alex Kava (although the book she recommended to try first is a re-release, and doesn’t come out till January. So I’ll wait patiently.) I pre-ordered a few books so I wouldn’t forget, but most of them don’t come out until after February. And I started to list my own auto-buy authors and realized that it’s pretty much books by the authors on my blog list and books recommended to me by authors on my blog list, which I think is kind of cool *g* plus Suz Brockmann, Sherilyn Kenyon, Tess Gerritson, Tami Hoag. Recently, I’ve been reading Nora Robert’s In The Garden series (did I mention these are the first Nora’s I’ve ever read?)

Anway, I’ve been making time for reading again, so I need a huge, towering tbr pile to grab from. It’s been my new guilty pleasure to grab a book at midnight and stay up late reading. Because, lately, the four year old had been waking up around midnight, so we kind of hang out through 3 am together – a lovely bonding experience.

Steph T.

home sweet home

Thanks everyone for the prayers & well-wishes – the three year old got a great report from her doctor and came through the procedure beautifully. We’re home, safe and sound and slightly exhausted, but happy. I’ll get to bloghopping later on so I can catch up with everyone, and then I need to write. Because, you know, page 140 and all.

But first, a few brief observations from our trip.

To the woman sitting in front of the three year old on the trip from New York to Cincinnati: I understand that, to most people, bringing a child on a plane is the equivalent of bringing the devil’s spawn onto a plane. And I understand that, I really, really do, because I am one of those people who will say, please don’t seat me near any kids, even if I’m with my own kid. Which is why I could never teach on the elementary level (and bless all of you who do – but give me hormonal middle and high school kids every time.) Anyway – please note that the three year old kicked the back of your seat for maybe thirty seconds before the husband and I noticed it. And we immediately held the three year old’s legs so she could no longer kick. But I don’t think there was a need for you to yell out, Oh, this is going to be fun, and to answer your husband with, well, now it’s down to intermittent kicking, when both of you clearly turned around and saw us holding said child’s legs and you clearly heard us say to one another that, as soon as the plane took off, we’d unstrap the seat and turn it so she could no longer kick the seat. I’m terribly sorry that I didn’t think to unstrap her seat during take-off for your comfort.

But, when you got up to go to the bathroom, and I saw that you were pregnant, I just shook my head. So did the husband, because we were thinking, good luck to you, sister. Because, you know, the karma thing and all.

To the surfer dude who sat next to the husband on the trip home: I wish I could’ve sat next to you, since you were using both my favorite yellow-sized writing pad and my favorite pen and you pretty much wrote non-stop from the second you got on the plane until we landed. It looked like a screen play, and we so could’ve talked writing, dude. Or surfing, which would’ve come in like, totally handy for me.

And Jaq will be happy to know that I finally read Play Dead. I’d started it, but it creeped me out and I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up again. But Jaq was right – I loved it. I’ve loved all three of the Anne Fraiser books I’ve read, but I’m finding that the key is not to read any author’s books right in a row no matter how much I love the author.

Steph T.

books and blogs

Thanks to Maili for some easy blogging.


1. Take first five novels from your bookshelf.
2. Book 1 — first sentence
3. Book 2 — last sentence on page 50
4. Book 3 — second sentence on page 100
5. Book 4 — next to the last sentence on page 150
6. Book 5 — final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to “cheat” to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources
10.Post to your blog.

Okay – must cheat immediately due to laziness and bookshelf being much too high to reach top shelf. This will also show you that there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way I throw books up, but the five books were right in a row on the first shelf I could reach without aide of stepladder. So here it is, no cheating to make it better since that would require more coffee:

“A bodyguard! I don’t need any damned bodyguard!” Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed the air is delicate. But she also felt wanted, and she liked it. And I will not fail. “Got to do one thing right for the old fellow, you know?”

1. Heaven, Texas – Susan Elizabeth Phillips
2. Macbeth
3. The Secret Life of Bryan – Lori Foster
4. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhoos – Rebecca Wells
5. Rogue Warrior – Richard Marcinko

And now – the blog version, since you can never have too much procrastination:

1. Select five blog links from your links sidebar
2. Blog 1 – first sentence of the latest blog entry
3. Blog 2 – second to last sentence of the earliest blog entry on the front page
4. Blog 3 – last sentence of the first blog entry of the entire blog
5. Blog 4 – third sentence of the third blog entry on the front page
Then, click on the last link of the Blog Links sidebar at Blog 4. If there isn’t one, do this with Blog 3
5. Blog 5 – last sentence of the latest blog entry
6. Put all together to create a paragraph out of all that
7. Post it to your blog along with links to all blogs that you used here.

Here goes:

Emma and I are like-minded today (which no doubt scares the hell out of her.) Henceforth, it will be referred to as the R word (for those with sensitive constitutions.) Hint: I’m big on convenience, not so big on pride. I’m definitely having one, combined with a headache. I have NO IDEA why people immediately equate nice guys with wimps, because all the nice guys I’ve known are plenty assertive–they’re just not dickheads about having their way all the time, every time.

Sidebar Blogs:
1. Larissa Ione
2. Sharon Long
3. Amy K. from Writeminded
4. Joely Sue Burkhart
5. Candy from Smart Bitches

Need. More. Coffee.

Steph T.