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My Christmas Gift

My husband got me a rather extravagant (for our household, anyway) Christmas gift.
He got me a Kindle. I had told him how I had accumulated a handful of eBooks, but I just couldn’t make myself read them on my laptop. After all, I do enough of that when I am writing and editing my own books.

Hmmm...that book looks good.

Hmmm…that book looks good.

I made him sad when I unwrapped it, because I didn’t open it right away.

Number 1: Because I knew I should return it and buy a new cell phone, as mine no longer has a functioning camera, and the on/off button sticks, causing it to enter a restart loop that I have to pump the button to stop. When trying to get a job, it is kind of important to have a little thing like a phone.

Number 2: Our Internet quit working three days before Christmas. With no WiFi, I knew I couldn’t get it set up anyway.

Christmas depressed me, so the day after I decided if he wanted me to have my gift of a Kindle, then I was going to keep it and open it. Our local library was closed due to the holiday weekend. We decided to park outside McDonald’s and use their free WiFi. We didn’t want to go in because then my son would want something to eat, and fast food was not in our non-existent budget at that particular time.

The first book I read on it was a short story by Neil Gaiman called How to Talk to Girls at Parties. I had never read anything by him before, only shared his quote memes on Facebook which always struck a chord with me. It was good.

Next I read Pride & Prejudice. I know, probably an unconventional choice. But right after I watched the miniseries (date), I got the eBook to read. Since my eyes had been opened that P&P was the romance standard by which most modern tales seemed to originate, I wanted to read the source material. But, well, I had only made it a few chapters in on my computer before I had abandoned my previous attempt.

So, with my Kindle in hand, I tackled Ms. Austin. I was glad I did. I was also very glad that my Kindle has a built-in dictionary function, because I used it often, even if not all of the old-timey British words were in it. I wonder what other classics I should be reading?

My first eBook I read taking place in this century and located in the United States of America was Holding On by Rachael Brownell. Rachael organized an awesome event I attended last fall called Great Lakes Book Bash. If you are an author or a reader, you MUST attend the next one, coming fall of 2017. Holding On was a great book. I loved that it took place in Michigan and Tucson. I am not much of a traveler, but Tucson is one of the only two places I have ever flown to (the other being Phoenix). The characters were well developed and I cared about them and their circumstances.

Next I read Chasing Rainbows by Linda Oaks. I really meant to only read a few pages. I was waiting for something to download on my computer and had just a few minutes to kill. But, as in usual fashion with me, I found myself compelled to finish it the same night. Linda’s writing really meshed with how my own thoughts rattle around in my own head. It felt awkward to me that the main character of Addie was involved with three different guys all in the length of just one week. But, maybe I am just jealous. That is pretty ambitious for a high school girl. And the first week of school too! I bet she got absolutely no homework done. I am glad that she ended up with the right man in the end.

What will I read next? Hopefully my own Be Careful What You Wish For. Need to finish up work on it.

After that? Probably Frozen Dreams by Cori Williams, A Place to Stand by Meg Farrell, Wolf Spell by M.R. Polish, A Reliant Love by Taylor Lavati, and something by Casey L. Bond.

I am in the midst of starting new employment. It is terribly scary and overwhelming. My anxiety has been working overtime lately. The fact that Southeastern Michigan was like the land of the eternal gloom over Christmas break didn’t help matters (or my Seasonal Affective Disorder). I put a solar light in my front yard. Literally, the damn thing never lit up at night until just two days ago. There had not been enough sun for two weeks to recharge the solar battery. Even with just the two days of sun (plus a few other factors), I am feeling slightly more like myself. But reading is a great escape from the stress of reality, even if just for a little while.

My Kindle is just a basic model, 7th generation. While I feel a little deprived of the bells and whistles of a K Fire, I also know that I am constantly tempted to check my Facebook as I am reading. Which I cannot do on it (or, at least I haven’t figured out how yet), which is good because then I keep reading.

The verdict? A Kindle has certain advantages, but it is just not as good as having a print book in my hands. A highlighted Pride & Prejudice just cannot compare to my underlines and stars in my hardcover copy of Twilight (autographed by Peter Facinelli!), but it is way better than trying to get lost in a book on a reflective screen while sitting at my desk.

A Kindle is just way easier to take to the bathroom than my laptop ;-D

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a BugAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!
Be Careful What You Wish For – COMING JANUARY 2016!

Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 2

I am so freaking proud to announce that my first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug by Jennifer Friess, is NOW AVAILABLE!  It can be purchased as a print or eBook on Amazon.com.

TWCBAB_med

The Wind Could Blow a Bug
The Riley Sisters
Book 1
By Jennifer Friess
ISBN: 978-0692339565
#TWCBAB

The Wind Could Blow a Bug is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance.  This is the first book in The Riley Sister series.

I am very happy to include Chapter 2 in today’s post, for your reading pleasure.  I previously provided an excerpt to Chapter 1.  If you missed it, or want to refresh your memory, you can read it here:  https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/04/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-1/

2

The 7:00PM meeting eventually drew to a close around 9:30PM. Jane remained sitting on, not in, the chair, watching everyone mingle as they left. She didn’t look forward to going home to her room to listen to music by herself. Jane enjoyed the company of people, as long as she didn’t have to actually interact with them.

She glanced out the front picture window. The purple and yellow sunset that had been framed when she had arrived was now like the black of a computer screen, powered down. A steady stream of headlights began passing on the street as people started to depart. Jane looked up at the three diamond shaped windows on the front door. How 1970’s, she thought. A new front door would go a long way toward adding value to Skip Wickley’s house. Jane touched the corner of the end table next to the chair she sat on, where the wood grain paper was peeling back from the particle board.

“You looked like you were about to say something tonight.”

Jane had been so intently studying the worn, low budget furniture that she had not realized anyone had approached. She jumped as she realized the voice came from right in front of her and was directed at her.

“Um, ya. But it was stupid,” Jane replied.

Wade Tucker stood in front of her, his face merely inches from hers. His eyes were like two swimming pools of blue, staring back at her.

“Oh, I doubt anything that comes out of your mouth is stupid,” Wade said, with a crooked smile.

“How would you know that?” He was starting a conversation with her, and Jane was angry at herself for taking the bait. She felt her cheeks warming.

“It is well known that you are the town smarty-pants,” he drawled.

“Oh, ya. Because that is something great to be known for.” It came out sarcastically. Which is how Jane meant it. But she usually didn’t express how she really felt to anyone.

She didn’t try to be smart, it just came naturally, like the way her heart was about to jump right out of her chest at this moment in time.

“Naw, it is. Better than being known as the make out king of West Oakley.”

“I don’t know about that.” It slipped out of Jane’s mouth before she could sensor it. Her already warm cheeks now burned like a fire.

“Hmmm. Well. . . Now you got me curious.” He leaned in closer to Jane. The cologne smell was overpowering. So was his bicep that bulged as he leaned on the arm of the chair right next to her. Jane couldn’t help herself from glancing at it, but regretted it when she looked back into his now twinkling blue eyes, realizing she had been caught checking him out.

His blond hair was now dry and a few strands were falling across his forehead. He was so close to her that she could see the freckles on the bridge of his nose. She could feel his breath on her face. She longed to close the tiny distance between the two of them and kiss his lips. All other thoughts had emptied from her mind. Jane was dying to know what it would feel like to have his lips on hers, to suck his lips, to feel his tongue. She had never kissed a boy. He probably wouldn’t be the ideal boy to start with, but his confidence and reputation made it very appealing. The reality was if she kissed him right now, he would think she was insane and probably run out the door screaming.

“What were you so eager to add to the discussion tonight?”

Jane inhaled deeply to bring herself back to reality, as best she could anyway.

“Never mind. Nothing important.”

“You can tell me.”

“Umm. You might get mad.”

“A few minutes ago you were ready to say it in front of my friends and family, and now you are afraid it will make me mad?” Wade chuckled.

“Yes.”

“It’s OK. I want to know.”

“I—I was just going to say that if you let them build the SaveRX on your property, then you could just make out in the parking lot, or better yet, in the ‘family planning’ aisle, and you would never have to worry about running out of protection.” Jane was surprised she could push out the joke that had seemed so funny a few minutes earlier. Her voice was a louder volume than she had thought she could manage, although it was shaky and lacked confidence. She looked up now into Wade’s burning eyes. He didn’t miss a beat.

“Now, Janie Riley, you do surprise me.” With that, he smiled and walked away.

The smile that could stop traffic had just made her heart skip a beat.

Jane almost ran out of the room. The cool, humid spring air on her burning skin would be very refreshing on her walk home. Now she couldn’t wait to get home and over-analyze every second of her interaction with Wade. She knew she was making a big thing out of a tiny verbal exchange. But that was the closest to actual physical contact she had ever come to with a guy. God, was that depressing to admit at 18, even to herself.

 

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

Purchase as a Print or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

What I Learned This Week – 9/23/12

This week I learned that I shouldn’t order from Forever21.com. I tried to order a dress and a scarf I was intending to incorporate into my Halloween costume this year. (Sorry–Top Secret. You will have to come back on Halloween to find out what I am going to dress as.) I ordered my items on Friday, September 14th. Now, I realize that is a Friday. But by Thursday, September 20th, I had received no shipping email and my order status still said “NEW” when I looked it up on their website. So, I sent an email to customer service. As of today, Sunday,September 23rd, I have received absolutely no reply and my order status still says “NEW”. I have looked it up so many times now that I have the order number memorized.

I guess maybe they realized I am not 21. Nor a size O. At this point, I really don’t care if I get my order. I can make my costume from odds and ends around the house I already own. The dress was quite cute and I would probably be able to wear it for other occasions as well. But I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t come. I just wish they would tell me that, sooner, rather than later. And I will be really pissed if they only ship me the scarf! It was a add on purchase. I don’t want to pay $6.95 in shipping just for a scarf I could buy at Walmart.

There is a phone number on their website, so I guess next week I will call that and probably talk to some nice folks in India.

[UPDATE: I did call customer service (weeks ago), and the chick told me she would tell the warehouse to ship my order immediately and would refund my shipping charge once my order shipped. A few days later I received a generic email response that said I would be notified when my order shipped.

As of 10/8/12, I have received no notice that my order has shipped and my order still shows a status of “NEW” on the website. I guess I won’t have an awesome Halloween costume afterall:( My sympathies to all the other customers who are in the same situation.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: I finally received a shipping notice on 10/19, and my order arrived by 2nd day air (which I did not select) on October 22. Only took 38 days to receive. And my accessory went Out of Stock in that time.]

This week I also learned how to put songs on my cell phone! Now, I got this cell phone in the spring of 2011. While the phone has a SD card slot, I had no way to connect the phone to my old desktop computer. I tried a USB cord. That didn’t work for pictures, so I didn’t even think about trying to use it for music. And my iTunes was screwed up on that puter anyway.

I got a laptop for Christmas of 2011. I was ecstatic that it had an SD drive built-in. That meant to get photos off my phone, I no longer had to email them to myself, one by one by one by one by… I could just now slap in the SD card into my puter and go to town with downloading and organizing. And I still didn’t give a thought to music and my celly. (I notice I am lapsing into my own brand of slang. Swarry.)

Then my asbestos friend said how much she would love to put her music on her phone. That got me thinking. Friday I bought Pink’s new album off Amazon.com for $5. Now, this is a big step for me. I bought it not knowing if I could make it go into my iTunes account or not. After a few tries, I did. Then I was like “Let’s try to put it on my cell phone!” And it worked! Very easily! So I threw some more songs onto my cell phone SD card. …And I ran into the inevitable problem–not all of my files were mp3, which is all that my phone would recognize and play. But after a brief tussle with iTunes, I managed to convert most of the songs I wanted into mp3 and shove them onto my celly. (There were just a few that were über ultra super protected that it would not let me. Although technically I know a way to get around that too, if I wanted.)

And as I happily listened to my songs on my cell phone last night, I realized how much happier I am with daily music in my life:)

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

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