New Year’s Resolutions

Hello again!

I was so pleased to see the amount of activity my book review for “After the Curtain Call” by Nancy Polin received!  It’s a great book and definitely worth checking out.  Thanks so much to those of you who took time to read and like the review!

Now, on to my next topic.  New Year’s Resolutions: love ’em or hate ’em?  I’ve never really gotten on board with the whole resolution thing.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever truly made a resolution for New Year’s.  Maybe I felt it was too much pressure or maybe I was afraid I wouldn’t follow through.  I guess it just never seemed that important to me.  Then again, if we didn’t set goals for ourselves we wouldn’t have goals to achieve.  And that’s part of what life’s about right?

While the new year quickly approached (and I do mean quickly, holy crap) I gave the resolution tradition some thought.  I think I have some I want to make this year, but I’m already feeling overwhelmed.  Thing is, they are all achievable goals.  If that’s the case, then why should I feel overwhelmed?  Maybe because I will have to escape from my comfort zone in order to achieve them.  Or perhaps I have a fear of failure or the feeling that I’m not good enough, smart enough, to achieve them.

Below are a list of the resolutions I would like to strive for this year:

Goals for 2017

Read more books.  I’m a bit of a book collector.  If a book sounds good, it’s hard for me to pass it up.  So, now I have a ton of books that haven’t been read and they keep calling to me.  I want to read as many of them as I can in 2017 and they will, of course, pop up here in my book reviews!

Write more (aka, finish one of my novels!).  One of the main reasons why I created this blog was to encourage myself to write more.  I love to write and I have several novels started, but after I get the major scenes written I have such a hard time pulling them all together.  The “in between” writing has proved difficult the past year and a half and I use it as an excuse to just walk away.  I can’t do that anymore.  I know deep down in my heart that writing is the very thing I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  I’ve known that for a long time (since high school actually) and I’m tired of casting it aside.  So, I’ve been telling myself that anytime I get a few spare minutes, whether it’s 5 or 15, that I will write.  It could be a conversation between two characters, a free write session, or even some ideas for this blog.  Just as long as I’m writing.  I’ve slowly started to heed my advice and when I take a break at work, I write.  When I’m at home watching tv, I get my tablet out and write.  It’s not consistent yet, but I’m working on it.  Eventually it will become a habit and I will wonder why I hadn’t been doing it all along! 

Go back to school.  I recently discovered that the local college offers a two year graphic design degree program that I am extremely interested in.  I feel it’s a great career to get into and something that won’t be going away anytime soon.  I would love to learn how to manipulate photos, create graphics, etc…plus you learn a lot of the html/css codes that are important when designing a website (I only have a basic knowledge of html).  Graphic designers can work as freelancers or work for a company and the pay is good.  I had planned on contacting the college this semester to find out what all I needed to do to apply, but it got put on the back burner.  So, even if I decide I can’t go back to school next year because of finances, I am at least going to get the information I need.  

And finally…Find a new job.  This is one of the biggest resolutions I want to achieve in 2017.  I need a change.  I need a job that is less restrictive (so I can possibly do that whole going back to college thing) and I need to jump into a career that is fulfilling.  I have the desire to start my own pet care business, but I need to do more networking with other pet care providers to get their advice.  I keep telling myself I will do that, then I put it off.  I will admit, it’s been a scary thing to think about.  I’m afraid the business won’t take off, I’m afraid I won’t make enough money, I’m just…I’m tired of being afraid.  I’ve reached an age where I actually want to do something with my life, more than what I’m doing now.

Those are some pretty big resolutions to fulfill, but I’m going to try my best to tackle each one in 2017.  I may or may not succeed, but at least I can say I tried and have no regrets.  How about you?  Will you be making any resolutions this year?  Please share them with me in the comments section!

Book Review: After the Curtain Call

Tonight I will be reviewing the book “After the Curtain Call” by Nancy E. Polin.  I’m so excited for this book to be the first review for my blog!

Amy Ross has spent almost a decade running from a past she can’t seem to escape from.  She has built walls taller than skyscrapers all around her in order to feel safe and protected.  She lives a fairly happy life working in a bookstore and performing in the local theater, a life she thought she had perfectly crafted for her and her son.

When the handsome film star, Thomas Buchanan, enters the picture, she finds those walls slowly being torn down and it scares the hell out of her.  Thomas is intrigued by her and is determined to get to know her better.  She has no interest until her son, a fan of Thomas, forms a bond with the man and she soon discovers that Thomas has secrets of his own.

Little do Amy and Thomas know that danger is lurking around the corner just as Amy is prepared to move on from her past…

I loved this book so much, words can’t even express how much I loved it!  Amy Ross is strong and independent, but isn’t obnoxious about it.  It seems anymore on TV or in books, the lead female character has to be bitchy constantly.  That wasn’t Amy at all.  I felt very connected to her the entire time I read the book.  I was able to relate to her on many different levels.  Although I’ve never been through anything as horrific as she went through in her past, when I read one particular flashback scene I sobbed.  Just thinking about it makes me teary eyed.  I know that when I reread the book (which I will, believe me) I will cry again.  THAT is the mark of a talented author.  I could feel Amy’s pain, feel her anxiety, feel her love toward the ones she cared about.

I fell in love with Thomas Buchanan, although not at first.  Like Amy, I had my doubts, but it didn’t take me long to start swooning over him.  Of course, I may be a little biased given he has the same accent as my husband.  😉  Thomas was patient and genuinely wanted to be with Amy and help her in any way he could.  Her walls didn’t scare him away.  It was so nice to see a hero who wasn’t a military man, policeman, FBI agent, etc…  Don’t get me wrong, those heroes are great and sexy as well, but Thomas proved he was just as strong and just as sexy.  It was nice to see a change.  It made the story that much more unique.

I enjoyed the chemistry between Amy and Thomas.  She didn’t leap into his arms and have sex with him the first moment she saw him (I’m sorry, but some romances just seem to go that way and it’s like wtf?!).  The chemistry had to build, which is so much more true to life.  I also enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t constant fighting between Amy and Thomas.  So many times the two main characters in a romance fight like cats and dogs before they realize they love each other and it gets old very fast.  For those wanting to know, this book does have a happy ending!

I will be honest and say I wasn’t sure how I would like the story at first.  I hadn’t read a contemporary romance in quite a while as I’ve mainly been reading (and writing) paranormal romance, but it didn’t take me long at all to get into the story!  And while I’m being honest I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but loved it so much my husband ended up buying it for me before I was even halfway through reading it!  I already know someone who wants to read it, so I’m excited to share the book with them.

This debut novel from Nancy E. Polin is a definite must read for anyone looking for a unique take on the romance genre and I am so excited to see what she writes next.  She is a true talent and I’m so glad to be one of her new fans!

You can connect with Nancy on Facebook and if you’re interested in reading After the Curtain Call, you can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel the Earth move…

Earthquakes and ugly shoes

Poor Carole King always seems to be associated with earthquakes! Please excuse my ugly, white shoes!  Image by Anna Ashcroft.

Well, it happened.  After years and years of wanting to feel an earthquake (yes, I’m strange, I know) I finally got my chance Saturday morning.  It happened around 7am while I was in a deep sleep.  I was looking forward to sleeping in after a long, stressful week, so when my bed started shaking I was annoyed.  Who in the hell was bothering me that early on a Saturday?  When I realized there was no one else in the room with me, my mind started racing trying to figure out what was going on.  I thought maybe we were having a bad thunderstorm until I realized it wasn’t storming.  It took me a few seconds to get my senses together, but after I did I realized the windows were rattling as well.  It seemed to go on forever, but in reality it was less than a minute.  I got up and checked the house and realized I had just experienced an earthquake for the first time.  It still seems surreal.  Although earthquakes have become more normal in this area of the country the past 3 or 4 years, I had never felt one in my home.  This earthquake was one of the bigger ones and it was even felt a few states away.

Information on the earthquake can be found at the USGS event page here.

The USGS also has a Report It feature on their website.  If you feel an earthquake, you can go to the Report It page and find the earthquake that you felt.  If you can’t find the specific earthquake in their list, you can report an “unknown event” and insert the proper information in the form provided.  Reporting an earthquake that you experience helps the USGS collect data on that particular earthquake.  I think it’s a great idea and it only took me a couple of minutes to fill out.

If you’ve ever experienced an earthquake, please feel free to share your experiences with me below!

Welcome!

Welcome!

Welcome to Secrets of a Pluviophile!  It didn’t seem right to start this blog without some kind of a welcoming post.  What are you supposed to write in a welcoming post anyway?    Without sounding too awkward, I’d like to share a little about what you can expect from my blog.

After spending close to a year fretting over starting a blog, I finally decided to stop worrying about the design and just go for it.  I think some writers, me included, find ways to distract themselves from writing.  I don’t think that we go out of our way to find distractions, they just tend to…pop up.  That was my dilemma.  I wanted my blog to be perfect before I started posting.  Guess what happened?  I missed out on a year’s worth of opportunities to write about.  No more!

More than anything, this blog will be about my writing journey as I strive to become a published romance author.  It would get a bit boring reading only about my writing struggles, so I will focus on other topics as well including: life in general, music, holidays, etc…  I am also hoping to work on a happiness project that I will discuss at a later date.

So, there you have it!  This blog will continue to undergo some construction in the next few weeks (maybe even months), but I do hope you stay and come along with me on my journey!

Until next time,

Anna