Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016, Go Away, I Don't Like You

I don’t know about you, but 2016 can’t go away fast enough for me. I won’t speak to world events, but I swear this year has been out to get me on a personal level. As in 2016 is that bear from "The Revenant" and I'm Leonardo DiCaprio.


I don’t normally talk too much about personal stuff because privacy is a thing for me, but at this point, I need all of the prayers, good thoughts, and positive vibes I can solicit, so (deep breath) here goes. This is a rundown of how my year has gone:

January: Was working a double position at the day job because, well, I don’t know why, but it wasn’t fun juggling both positions for three months.

February: Got unwillingly dragged into some unpleasant drama at the day job. Can’t go into details, but nope, it wasn’t fun either, and it went on for months.

March: Some unknown person cleaned out my bank account using check fraud. So not fun. So, so NOT fun. Plus, I caught a stomach virus that knocked me flat for three days and caused me to miss an important project that made the situation at work from February that much worse. Yes, work has been a major challenge for me this year, but all of the things I've mentioned so far are trivial in comparison to what came next.

June: My father’s health began to worsen, and he finally got a diagnosis of asthma, emphysema, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis on top of his AFIB. Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease with no cure and a short life expectancy. There’s scarring on the lungs that cause them to harden, essentially suffocating anyone who has it. I lost an uncle to the disease, and my aunt currently has it. We knew what it meant. This was a very disheartening time for us. 

July: July 4th weekend to be exact. I came down with some sinus crud and a terrible sore throat that lasted for weeks and weeks until…

August: I’d seen four (I think) doctors at this point, and I was finally told I had an abscess on my left tonsil and was referred to a specialist.

September: Surgery! To remove those dastardly tonsils and cure my illness/plague that would not go away. Plus, it was a double whammy with sinus surgery at the SAME TIME. Let’s not even mention the bills I’m still trying to climb out from beneath for the whole thing. Aye!

October: Absolute misery from my surgery recovery, slowly improving until mid October, when I returned to work, and then, layoffs! My boss was laid off, and it seems only one person in the entire building seemed to know how to do the majority of his job other than him. That’s right. It was me.


November: Day job chaos continued. Lots of stressful changes there. Then, my father became suddenly, severely ill. We live in an area affected heavily by the smoke from the wildfires, which they believe triggered his respiratory distress. I rushed him to urgent care on a Saturday afternoon, where his diagnosis was pneumonia. He was in the hospital for approximately four days.

He was released the night before Thanksgiving and put on home oxygen full-time, but I suspected he’d been released too soon. I took the following week off work to make sure he was OK. He wasn’t. He got progressively worse. I took him to his family doctor twice, extremely alarmed because my father couldn’t breathe from simple tasks, such as standing up, let alone taking a few steps or moving.  It was such a dramatic change from only 2 weeks before. We were told it was the pulmonary fibrosis progressing. It would get worse. He was put on home health care, which meant frequent visits by a nurse and therapist to check in on him. By last Friday, my father was miserable. I was staying up all night with him every night. Neither of us were sleeping. My three brothers were all pitching in and helping, and I was still exhausted, emotionally and physically.

Which brings me to December.

Last Friday, my father was in such terrible shape and having such difficulty breathing, he was beginning to lose his will to live. When the home health care nurse came, he asked to be put into a facility. She contacted his pulmonologist who instructed us to get him to the emergency room for an evaluation. We did, and the four hours I spent sitting with my father on a gurney in the hallway of a crowded ER will always rank as some of the most disheartening of my life. Test after test showed he had pneumonia. His pulmonologist arrived and reassured me she thought he could bounce back from it. Then, he began experiencing heart failure as we sat there. I swear, the man can’t catch a break. He was stabilized and was in the hospital for a week. The pneumonia was stubborn, and his body is weak.

As of yesterday, my father is now in a rehab facility for an indefinite time. My time lately has been split between work, rushing to the hospital/now rehab facility to sit with him, being a referee between my brothers, and trying to find time to sleep. And cuddles with my cat, who is terribly confused about everything that’s been happening. Our hope is that my dad will improve and be able to come home again, and soon, but we’re aware he might remain there or in a facility like it.

I know. Too much information. But I’ve been such a terrible author, critique partner, and friend to so many this year I felt an explanation was warranted.



Plus, did I mention I really could use some good vibes sent my way? Please don’t feel sorry for me, there are many people dealing with much worse, but do please pray for me (and my family). Call me a sap, but I believe in miracles and good will and prayer and Santa Claus and the Loch Ness Monster.

By the way, yes, I’m still writing/editing new stuff, just very, very slowly. I hope to have my next book shipped off to the editor soon, but I’ve stopped putting a deadline on it. That only seems to goad the universe into thinking Bwahahaha! Let’s see how she writes with THIS on her plate. Bwahahaha!

I’m determined, however, that 2017 is going to be a better year. And that I WILL finish another story.

A girl can dream, right? 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Adult Tonsillectomy: Holy hell, that hurt (and still does)

One week ago I had a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and septum (sinus) surgery all in one go. Because, apparently, I'm an overachiever in all things, thank you very much.  Surprisingly, I've had quite a few people I don't know direct message me and ask me to share my experiences because they are considering, dreading, or anticipating the same type of surgery. For the record, I am 41, only 6 years older than Krysten Ritter who plays Jessica Jones on "Jessica Jones" and who, coincidentally, also had a tonsillectomy a few weeks before I had mine. Sorry, if I was going to be throwing my age around I had to also throw in a fun fact to soften the blow.

So, here's a rundown of how it's been for me:

The backstory

I have always had bad allergies and have always had sinus problems, but until a few years ago, I'd never had strep throat before. This year, I've been sick since around July 4 with some sinus crud/sore throat combo. I'd feel better and, boom, sick again, and worse than before, especially in my throat. I saw the doctor a handful of times, was on about six or seven rounds of antibiotics. My sore throat never really went away, and it got so bad I ended up in urgent care one weekend, where I was tested for mono and strep and had negative results for both. The doc said he was surprised I was negative on mono because I had so much puss in the back of my throat. He put me on a new antibiotic and told me I was probably contagious, and I was out of work for a week.

I didn't get much better, so I was back at my family doctor the next week. He said my left tonsil looked swollen and possibly abscessed and that could only be drained by an ENT. I had to wait 2 weeks for an appointment because they were working me in. In the meantime, my throat pain was beyond horrible, and I developed a cough and fever that made things even more fun. I finally saw the ENT, who put a scope through my nose to look at my throat. His first words were, "Do you know you have a sinus infection?" Heh. Then he declared my left tonsil was majorly infected and that I'm in a 2% category of people who have unusually large tonsils and adenoids, and the best thing overall was for me to take them out. Since he was doing that, he wanted to see if my sinuses needed fixing too, so I had a CT scan and planned for surgery on Sept. 21. All I heard back from the doctor's nurse from my sinus scan was that, yes, I definitely needed sinus surgery because I had significant sinus disease, too. I had no idea what that meant though.

I'll be honest. I'd never had surgery before in my life (wisdom teeth not included), so I was a bit terrified at the idea, and once I started reading about how god-awful adult tonsillectomies were, I almost chickened out and canceled my surgery. I continued to be sick, so my hopes of magically improving without surgery began to disappear. In fact, in the two weeks leading up to my surgery, the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck were so inflamed and swollen, I feared my tonsillitis had developed into lymphoma or something.



Day One

I had my surgery at an outpatient surgery center outside of a hospital. It was a small facility and therefore cheaper for me and my insurance. As long as I wasn't getting a Walmart-type surgery, I was fine with that. I giggled a little when they said I was in line behind "the babies" and told to be there at 10:30 a.m. I arrived, and they took me back to pre-op, where they took my vitals, had me change into a very fetching gown, and hooked me up to an IV. Then my dad and best friend were allowed to come sit with me until the doctor took me to surgery. An anesthesiologist and nurse came to ask me questions, and the anesthesiologist told me he wasn't going to lie — I was going to be in a world of hurt when I woke up, but he'd give me as much pain medicine as I wanted as long as I could take a few deep breaths for him to prove I could breathe OK. That scared the bejesus out of me, but I didn't think I could get away without looking like a fool at that point. They didn't give me any drugs or anything until about 15 minutes before the doctor came to take me back to surgery, and I don't know what it was, but it was trippy and I felt like I was floating all around my little room. Good stuff.

Then they rolled me back into the operating room, where the anesthesiologist had me breathe into a face-mask until I went bye-bye. Next thing I know, the anesthesiologist was loudly yelling "Angela? Angela? Angela?" over and over and I wanted to punch him in the face because I was sleeping so nicely and he wouldn't stop yelling my name. I opened my eyes, and he demanded that I take some deep breaths before they slid me onto a gurney. I remember the anesthesiologist saying, "I hate it when they do sinus and tonsillectomies at the same time. It makes it much harder for everyone." Um, OK, Mr. Ray of Sunshine. Whatever. I was alive, and that was all I cared about. I didn't feel the pain until they slid me into the recovery area and the nurse asked me how I was feeling, I swallowed, and holy freaking $%@!, I wanted to die. I told her I was in a lot of pain, she said they had me on a lot of pain meds and couldn't give me any more, and then she went to get my dad and best friend. Instead of my friend, my brother showed up instead, and he's not a brother I like or get along with so for a minute I thought I must have died and gone to hell, but thank God, he finally left and she came back.

I was told my surgery would last about an hour. Instead, it took two hours because I was so messed up all up in there. My friend relayed later that the doctor had told them I did well, but he had to do a LOT of major surgery on me. Both of my tonsils were abscessed and filled with puss — not just the left one — and that on a scale of 1 to 4 with 4 being the largest, my tonsils were a 5. He said my throat pain would have never improved without surgery, so it was good I'd made the decision to do it. He also had to do a lot of major work to my sinuses, too. Most of my sinuses were blocked, so he had to clean out my sinuses, open up those blockages, and he made some passages bigger or something? I don't know. Something about my septum. Whatever. There was this alien feeling of having straws glued to the inside of my nostrils. I actually couldn't feel my face at all, and asked the recovery nurse if he'd done sinus surgery because the only pain I felt was in my throat. She said the benefit of doing both at once was that the pain of my throat overrode the pain of the sinus surgery. Apparently sinus surgery is not fun in and of itself. The tonsillectomy was so bad, I probably wouldn't notice it as much though. She gave me a blood-red popsicle shaped like Michael Myer's knife so I silently named it Michael, and Michael helped numb some of the pain (shhhh, I'm still on drugs, so just go with my weird whimsy).

Giving a thumbs-up sign in recovery,
with Michael, my first popsicle.
I was in recovery maybe 40 minutes before they let me go home. I don't know. I was pretty out of it, between the pain meds and the pain. Speaking of pain medicines, I was given 50 mg Demerol for severe pain and 7.5 mg of hydrocdon-acetamin for lesser pain along with Zofran for nausea. I was told to start taking the Demerol as soon as I got home and to take a Zofran as well, so I did. Also, I needed to keep my throat as moist as possible, so I needed to constantly sip on water, which hurt like hell, if I'm honest. The Demerol and Zofran are pills. Oddly, it was easy to swallow them at first, but I do advise having a pill crusher handy in case you need to crush them up and take them with water. It seems to be different for everyone.

That first day I remember thinking the pain was bad but that I had expected much worse, and on pain meds, it compared to the worst of the throat pain I had already experienced while sick so I thought I could handle it. And that's the truth. Unfortunately, the night following my surgery, I started vomiting. I know, TMI, but you need to know it's a possibility. The first few times, it just sort of happened and it didn't make the pain any worse or better. It was just ewww. My best friend stayed over to help me (thank God for her, too) and we deduced that an hour and 15 minutes after I took each dose of Demerol and Zofran, I got sick. So she called the doctor in the middle of the night, and he told me to switch to the hydrocdon-acetamin, which was a liquid, and gave me Phenergan instead. I took the hydrocodon, but then I had a reaction to that as well. Not vomiting, but my face became red and flushed and it didn't touch the pain at all, or if it did, OMG, I can't even imagine what the pain would have been without it. I ended up not taking a Phenergan because it makes you sleep, and I didn't know how I'd handle keeping my throat moist. So early the next morning, we called my doctor again, and the nurse called me in Acetamin-COD, which is a liquid. It doesn't help with pain as much as Demerol, but it helped some and without any nasty side effects. I basically bunkered down and braced for the pain. Oh, and because I had sinus surgery, too, I was told I would need to remain sitting up for at least five days. My brothers had moved one of my dad's recliners into my bedroom to be my new "bed" for a while. My father has a heart and lung condition, so I live with him, but I haven't been much use to him lately — and now I've stolen one of his recliners. Poor guy.

Days 2-4

These days were pretty rough. The pain is constant, but made much worse when you swallow, especially water, ice, or any liquid. I was taking 5 ml of Acetamin-COD every two hours. The throat pain was so bad, I didn't sleep much at all the first two days. My friend stayed over to make sure I took my medicine on schedule and that I sipped water every 15 minutes or so. Setting an alarm in your phone helps. It gets to be annoying after a point, but it helps. Also, after the first 24 hours, I really started to feel pain in my face, too. Plus, I was bleeding around the splints in my nose. Those splints were supposed to help me breathe through my nose so I didn't have to breathe as much through my mouth, but they kept getting so clogged with blood and scabs, I simply couldn't breathe through my nose. And those splints are damned uncomfortable once you start to feel them. Using a cold moist towel across the bridge of your nose helps. My cat did head-butt me in the nose one time — not hard — but sweet mercy, I thought I was going to die from the pain. So if you have an affectionate cat, for the love of god, don't let him near your face if you have the sinus work done, too. Anyway. The few times I dozed off during this period, I woke myself up doing a gurgling-trying-to-breathe thing that made me feel claustrophobic.  The worst pain in the world is dozing off, sleeping 30 minutes without taking a sip of water or sucking on ice, and then waking up. Your throat is dry and OMG does it hurt. Dozing off and going past your scheduled pain medicine time is also the worst kind of pain you will experience. So, keep your throat moist and stay on top of your pain meds. Ice packs on you neck are also a blessing from God. You'll be uncomfortable and miserable, but it's nothing you can't handle. Everyone and their brother will want to bring you something to try to eat because they're worried about you. I tried applesauce. It made me cry. I tried yogurt. It made me cry. I tried a watery smoothie. I wanted to die. Through trial and error, I discovered I can handle sipping on chicken broth at a lukewarm temperature, and Frostys from Wendy's are God's little angels sent down from heaven to help tonsillectomy patients survive. I am convinced of that. So my diet has been chicken broth, popsicles, and Frostys. 

Days 5-8

I managed to find the strength to take a shower before my doctor's appointment, which was heaven since I hate not showering every day. I had to go in to have my nose splints removed the Monday after my surgery. When he removed them, it was so painful I immediately felt nauseous but did not lose my lunch, which would have only been water anyway, but still. It was this very painful feeling followed by immediate relief, but I still wanted to cry. He cleaned out all of the dried blood and scabs, too, which was a huge relief and helped me feel better. He said I could expect 10 more days of misery and then I'd start to feel better because my tonsils were still healing. He kept insisting he knew how bad I felt, it was normal, but he didn't want to change my pain medicine because there's too much risk of overdosing and pain meds can stop your breathing. Instead, he told me to up my dosage to 10 ml of the acetamin-COD every four hours and to take two Tylenol every two hours. I switched to this as soon as I got home, and the pain did begin to improve some. I went from dozing here and there to sleeping for about 2-3 hours at a time. The problem is the same though. When I wake up, I'm in intense pain because my throat is dry, and it takes extra effort to get it feeling moist again. I go back and forth between a floaty-zombie-like feeling and utter drowsiness throughout the day. I guess it's the pain meds. I also feel incredibly weak, but I did eat my first cup of chicken noodle soup and got down some mashed potatoes last night, so things are starting to look up. However, I have to keep my sinuses moist with nose spray at all times, too, and have been experiencing drainage of mucus-y blood clots into my throat, which is quite nasty and unpleasant, believe me. I'm still experiencing face pain, which I'm not sure is normal or not at this stage. I also have difficulty blowing my nose at all. The doctor encouraged me to gently blow my nose if needed, but I feel congested and can't manage to blow anything at all. I'm sure this means there's a problem somewhere, but I don't know. I'm just basically dealing with it until I can't anymore.

Me and Dusti watching Netflix

Day 9

Last night I slept in two 4-hour increments, and I still feel exhausted. I feel worse today than I did yesterday, actually and I'm not sure why. I know I tried talking some yesterday, and maybe that was a mistake. Up until now I haven't spoken much after my surgery because it hurts so damn much to try. I know the scabs in my throat should be coming out any day now, and I hope that when they do, I don't gag on them and the pain doesn't get worse. I've read some people who say it improves immensely and some who say it gets worse after the scabs falls off. I'll let you know when I get to that point.

Edited 10-10-2016:

Days 10-19

In regards to my tonsillectomy, I've slowly improved and can now eat pretty much any food I want. I started eating regular food again last week, around Day 13. I started with pasta and mashed potatoes and moved through other soft foods slowly. If I never see applesauce, yogurt, or chicken broth again, it will be too soon. However, I can't taste anything, so I'm afraid my taste buds were damaged in the surgery. I've read on other blogs that the tools they use to hold your tongue during surgery can cause this, and that many people experience a return in taste after about 2-3 months. I hope that's the case for me. Well, I hope I can taste sooner than that, but I hope it returns.


While my throat is significantly better, my sinuses are not. Three days ago I awoke in the worst pain of my life. I pretty much cried, there was so much pain and pressure in my face. Then I was hit with nausea. I've also been running a low-grade fever. After a handful of calls to the doctor, in which I was told everything I described was normal recovery, I finally went back and was told I had an infection. My sinuses were too severely swollen for him to insert the thingamajig that looks around in there, but he judged by my symptoms and the fact that my lymph nodes on my neck are again swollen and tender that I have an infection. I was told the excruciating pain was likely from the swelling, and that the nausea could be from my dissolvable packing draining from my sinuses and upsetting my stomach. I was also told that I had major surgery and that it will take time to feel better. It could take up to three months to feel like human again. Three months!?! Right now my sinus surgery recovery is my obstacle, and it is kicking my tail. My throat is also slightly swollen and I sound like a chain smoker sometimes when I talk, but overall, it is much, much better.

So, my summation is that an adult tonsillectomy is no walk in the park, but the fear and anticipation of it is much worse than the actual thing itself. There is pain, but if your doctor has determined you need the surgery to end your throat pain, you are probably already in tremendous pain and the pain after surgery won't be anything you're not used to, as long as you stay on top of your medicine. Use the time to watch Netflix or read. My cat and I've caught up on "The Flash," "Doctor Who," "Penny Dreadful" and about a dozen weird movies already. I've also read a handful of books.

I am hopeful this experience is almost behind me. I'm tired of being sick, but I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. *fingers crossed*

 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Is Connor still getting a book? Yes!

Each time a reader emails me now, it's to ask if Connor will be getting a book in my psychic detectives series. The simple answer: Yes! The complicated answer: Um, yes, eventually.



I am thrilled people are still discovering my series, and I am very grateful to Harper Impulse for publishing it and continuing to promote it (I mean, I assume, based on my royalty checks...maybe?). I truly had no idea so many people would latch onto Connor as a character, if I’m being honest. Almost every reader email I’ve gotten since “Something Wicked” published has mentioned him. Truthfully, I think that response has made me feel pressure to guarantee that his story is as awesome as he obviously is. I’ve never had that kind of pressure before, to be honest, so I haven’t handled it well.

That said, I wanted to give folks an update where his story stands since it has been so long since “Spirited Away” published and I saw a review a while back in which the person commenting said something to the effect of, “I really hope the author hasn’t died or just decided to stop writing because I hate discovering a new series I love only to have it stop abruptly because the author died.”

First of all, thank you for the compliment — I think — and second, nope, I’m not dead.

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Obviously I owe those of you who care enough to visit my website an update, so here’s the true reason Connor’s book hasn’t published yet. I’ll be honest. I finished a draft of his story, but I wasn’t happy with it. I couldn’t put my finger on why though, so I stepped away for a while to give me some distance from it. As happens, life gets in the way of good intentions. I won’t over share, but family obligations, day job woes, and other chaos have made it more of a challenge for me to devote as much time to writing as I’d like. I have also written some other projects which aren't ready to be published yet, but I am still writing! Yay me. And on occasion, I’ve opened Connor’s story, made a few tweaks, but still haven’t been happy with it.



A week or so ago, I was about as exhausted as I’ve ever been, trying to drift off to sleep, when I had an epiphany about Connor's story. Actually, my mind was flooded with new ideas. I think I have finally pinpointed why I didn’t connect with his story the way I wanted.

Now, I’m working on another rewrite that I hope will address my concerns and be ready to submit to my editor soon. And I want to open up an opportunity to one or two of my readers to beta read this story when I have a close-to-final draft. If you would be interested in beta reading Connor's book before I send it to my editor, please email me at angelamcampbell@aol.com and let me know. I will likely take the first two people who respond up on their offer for feedback.

I really appreciate those of you who check in with me every now and then to ask about Connor’s book, and I’m very grateful to all of you who have any of the books in this series and have been kind enough to leave a review or email me feedback. Mwah! 

Don't worry, and get ready. Connor is still headed for a bookstore near you ... eventually.


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Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

I really didn't want to be one of those people who seemed to hate "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" before I saw it, so I tried — I really, really tried — to keep an open mind going into it. When I saw some reviews on twitter after its premiere from DC fans who called it "amazing," I admit it. I became hopeful.  There was a part of me that actually believed it could be true.

Oh, disappointment is a horrible beast.



I won't get into too many spoilers, so I'll try to be as general as possible in my assessment. Also, I might give spoilers. I might not, but you've been warned.

Oh, before I start, "Walking Dead" fans like me will get excited and weirded out for a minute because Bruce Wayne's parents are played by the actors who play Maggie and Negan. I mean, how cool and weird is that?!? Maggie and Negan!

Anyway.

First of all, I still want to punch Zach Snyder in the face. His version of Superman is so much less than what the character deserves, and it's glaringly obvious in this movie. In "Batman v Superman," Clark/Supes is very sloppy and feels like an empty shell of this iconic character. I realize in this story that he's very young at being Superman and therefore prone to making mistakes, but honestly guys, I don't get the feeling he's trying very hard to improve. He spends way too much time focused on saving Lois, which I kind of love because I'm a big Lois-Clark shipper, but no, because it's kind of taken to the extreme here in a way that makes both of them come across as dumber than bricks. Plus, it's been 18 months since the events of "Man of Steel." I would expect a lot more remorse from Clark considering the amount of destruction and loss of life from his battle with Zod. There are a few glimpses of it here and there, but it's brushed off far too easily. He is still very brooding and kind of mopey, but I think it's mainly because mostly everyone in this movie hates him. Yep, a good part of the world hates Superman. WHAT?!?



Batman, of course, seems to hate him most of all because of what went down in Metropolis in "Man of Steel." That's the basic setup of this movie, which shows, by the way, a lot of favoritism for the Dark Knight. This is basically a Batman movie with Superman and some other Justice League cameos thrown in because.

I am predisposed to dislike any movie with Superman as a main character that then proceeds to torture, dehumanize, and degrade him for about 75% of the story. My heart hurt, y'all. It seriously did, and I teared up more than once because the hatred shown toward Superman is so tangible. My guy goes through a lot in this movie. There are some light scenes between him and Lois that gave me hope, but blip, and they're gone and both he and I were depressed again.

Lois Lane also suffers at Snyder's hands this time around. She did a lot of dumb things that are not very Lois Lane-like.

Snyder, I want to punch you in the face so bad right now.



Wonder Woman is, hands down, the best part of this movie. Gal Gadot did a great job bringing her to the big screen, and Snyder — amazingly — did not screw her up. Granted, she's only briefly in the movie and that's mostly as Diana Prince, but who cares? She's awesome. I did like the way they introduced the other Justice League characters, although my friend who is not a big DC fan like me had no idea that it was The Flash in a certain dream sequence with Bruce. I also went, "Wait. Is that The Flash? Or Zoom? Who is that?" while it was happening. I also had no idea what he was saying, mostly. Yeah, I don't think any of it had anything to do with the plot. *sighs*

By the way, there are a lot of dream sequences in this movie, and basically none of them make sense.

I am on the fence about Lex Luther as played by Jesse Eisenberg. He is immensely unlikable. He gives rambling speeches that are abstract and disjointed, but I guess it's supposed to show how crazy he is. I don't even know. This is the most despicable version of Lex Luther I've ever seen anyway, so I guess he did a good job. What he does to Martha Kent is...I can't even. Actually, what he does to Holly Hunter's character is gross and...I can't even.

I'm curious if fans of Batman end up loving this movie because I can see why they would.  My theater was full of DC fanboys when I saw it. I know because I overheard some of their conversations beforehand. None of them had very high expectations. Afterward, I overheard one say, "Well, that was about what I expected." Another loved it and was raving about it. Mostly, they were, "Meh. It was OK." I won't begin to guess whether you will like it, and it's OK if you do. I've seen some arguments by both haters and lovers, so yes, some people loved this movie. There was no standing ovation in my screening. No one clapped, ever. There was simply silence, followed by a few sighs.

I will give props to the fight between Batman and Superman when it happens. I thought it was well done, mostly.

OK. So here are some really big spoilers for this movie. If you're a comic book fan, you probably already know some of this because of Doomsday being in the movie, plus the Internet, but whatever.

Ready? If not, skip ahead to the end of spoiler note now.

OK.



Snyder tosses in the Death of Superman plot.  The movie ends after a double funeral for Clark and Superman. SNYDER KILLED SUPERMAN. Yes, I know he's not really dead, I read the comics, but to sit through 2 and 1/2 hours of Superman being tortured only to watch him die was almost more than I could take. It's also very hard to watch in live action as opposed to seeing on a comic book page. It really affected me. I was seriously, seriously depressed leaving this movie.

This movie is so dark. I would not take kids to see it, especially younger than 13. Why? It is hopeless and depressing, that's why. This is absolutely an adult movie in that regard.

Also, there are a ton of hints about Darkseid being the villain coming up for the Justice League movie. Lex's crazy speech about the dark coming confirms it, and I did notice that the box that creates Cyborg appears to be the Darkseid technology from the comics, although I don't know much about Cyborg and I don't think that's his real origin story, but OK. And the last shot of the movie is dirt lifting away from Clark's coffin, which I suppose is a shout-out to Darkseid, although I'll be honest and admit I didn't understand that at all. Was that because of Darkseid?

***END OF MAJOR SPOILERS***

Also, if you do go see this movie, don't sit through the entire credits because there isn't a teaser to the Justice League movie after them. Trust me. I checked.

Don't worry. I still love you, Henry Cavill, and thank you for that all-too-brief shot of your naked chest in that one scene. Seriously. I needed it.

That's it. That's enough.

Now I'll go weep silently in the corner so my cat can judge me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book progress and my ramblings on 'Batman v. Superman'

Welp, here it is March 2016. Yes, I’m still alive and kicking!

First, I want to thank all of the amazing folks who have discovered my books in recent months. I continue to get emails asking when my next book is coming out, so I want to let you all know that I am working on it. To say 2015 was a rough year for me personally is an understatement, and 2016 has been no less challenging. That said, I am now working hard to finish Connor’s story in my psychic detectives series and get it shipped off to my lovely editor. I know I’ve said that before, but I am determined to get his story right, and that means I have had to do some massive rewrites because I wasn’t happy with the first draft I churned out. Don’t worry. I think his story will be better for it! Fingers crossed.

Now, I hope you’ll indulge me for the rest of this post, which will focus on my favorite guy in blue tights — Superman. I’ve declared my love for the superhero before and you can go back and read that here if you want. I also reviewed “Man of Steel” which still continues to get hits (why? I have no idea) so you can read that, too.



Obviously, I’m going to write about “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” too, and I thought it would be interesting to share my expectations before I see the movie. I’ll be posting a review, too, probably Friday morning so check back here for my spoiler-free reaction.

So, let’s talk about Superman and why I’m both excited to see “Batman v. Superman” and why I’m dreading it almost as much as that time my editor forced me to write a review of “Fifty Shades of Grey” the movie.

Here’s why in five words. The movie’s director, Zach Snyder. I was never much of a fan before “Man of Steel,” and I now dislike him immensely, mainly because anytime someone calls him out for ruining Superman’s character in “Man of Steel,” his argument is that he gets Superman better than the fans do. I mean, really?!? Really, Zach Snyder?!?



I'll break this down for you, Mr. Snyder.

Problem No. 1: My beef with “Batman v. Superman” is this in a nutshell. It is supposed to be the sequel to “Man of Steel,” meaning it is supposed to be about Superman, period. And what does Snyder do? He tosses Batman in there. I’m willing to bet without having seen “Batman v. Superman” that it consists of 75% Batman and 25% Superman. I’m sorry, but I just do not like Batman’s dark and dreary gloominess. I simply don’t. I liked The Lego Movie Batman though.



Problem No. 2: The problems I had with “Man of Steel” are likely to be amplified in “Batman v. Superman.” For example, Superman — and yes, I know, there are so many different lines of Superman in the comics that sometimes even in the comics this doesn’t apply, but — he’s good, optimistic, brings hope to people, and cracks jokes every now and then. Those are kind of his underlying traits. 




Now, I love Henry Cavill to the moon and back, and I blame his version of Supes on Snyder, not him. But, for the love of all that is holy, Superman in “Man of Steel” was mopey, destroyed an entire city and then some, spent most of the movie brooding, and rarely cracked a smile. People feared him. They didn’t look to him in hope. I mean, he was gorgeous, but come on. The publicity photos from “Batman v. Superman” show this.




NO! For the love of kittens, Zach Snyder, NOOOOOOOOO!! That is not who Superman really is! Based on the trailer for this movie, he looks like he’s angry and more brooding this time around. What?!? I know Henry is capable of humor and smiling and looking like a fun guy because THIS:



That’s what we need to see more of. Instead of Superman glowering at Batman and Batman glowering back, I’d much rather pay to see this:



I mean, “Superman Returns” had its problems, but it was a much more enjoyable movie than “Man of Steel” and at least Brandon Routh had personality and seemed to be having fun with the role.


Problem No. 3: Wonder Woman. I have been waiting a lifetime to see Wonder Woman on the big screen. I’m actually excited to see what Gal Gadot does here, and I am so rooting for you to pull it off, girl. I really am. However, with Zach Snyder in charge, I imagine she will be dark and brooding and gloomy too. No. Just no. Plus, I am still disgusted she got thrown in like an after thought and will likely (I’m guessing here) only be in the movie for about five minutes. She deserves so much better than that. However, I’m excited a "Wonder Woman" stand alone film is coming and that IT IS NOT directed by Snyder. I'm excited that young girls and boys will have a new Wonder Woman to look up to — I simply hope she’s a worthy representation.



Problem No. 4: This movie looks like a mess simply from the trailer. If a better director had spent time developing Superman’s character, I might be OK with an action-packed beat-down between Superman and Batman. I’m wagering Superman and Clark get very little time to develop here. I mean, what’s going on? At least three or four plotlines, from what I can tell. I can't even.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. You get a slow hand clap if you’ve read this far.

So I’m expecting this to be my reaction when I leave the theater tomorrow night.



If a miracle happens and I actually leave like this instead, I’ll definitely let you know.


In the meantime, I leave you with a production I am certain will be much more enjoyable to watch than the actual "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice."

Because OHMYGOODNESSKITTENS!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Read my new novella for only 99 cents


I'm pleased to be a part of a boxed set that features some incredible authors in the paranormal and fantasy genres. HERE BE MAGIC features 8 magical tales from authors such as Rebecca York, Cindy Spencer Pape, and Veronica Scott.

My story in the set is a brand new novella titled GORGEOUS NIGHTMARE.

This story is not a part of my psychic detectives series, but it was written this year and inspired by my love of psychic-related mysteries. Here's a short synopsis:

Dakota McBride is doing everything she can to fit into her new life in Asheville while guarding secrets that could get her killed. An unexpected run-in with Tyler Jackson—her older brother’s best friend and her long-time fantasy—puts everything in jeopardy. Dakota is a woman being hunted by a deadly serial killer, and Tyler seems hell-bent on protecting her, same as he always has. Through dreams, he’s foreseen her impending death. What neither Tyler nor the killer understand is that Dakota doesn't need a protector. Heaven help anyone who threatens her now…

GORGEOUS NIGHTMARE is now available as part of the HERE BE MAGIC boxed set for only 99 cents! I'm fortunate to be included with seven other great authors, all of whom I admire. Grab this deal! You won't be sorry.

Buy the "Here Be Magic" boxed set now at
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS | iTunes

Learn more about the boxed set HERE.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Long time no write

For anyone who might have wondered what happened to me, well, I'm still kicking around. It turns out 2015 has not been the best year for me, writing-wise, because of numerous personal reasons I won't get into here.

The good news is that I am writing again and working furiously to finish the fourth book in my Psychic Detectives series. Fingers crossed, that manuscript will be winging its way to my editor's inbox soon. It has been an interesting journey with many rewrites, so I hope Connor's story entertains you once it makes its way into the world.

I've also written a novella that, fingers crossed, will be released in November. It's not related to my Psychic Detectives series, but it follows the same theme. It features a hunky psychic working to solve a serial killing mystery. It's a little darker than anything I've written before, but I'm proud of it because it helped me get past a bad case of writer's block. It also might feature a cat because every story needs an animal in it, don't ya think? More on that novella coming soon.

In the meantime, Halloween is right around the corner. Ah, candy corn, pumpkins, and spooky and not-so-spooky costumes. It's probably my favorite time of year, or a close second, so I'm excited. Grab a book or scary movie, relax, and have a safe and happy Halloween! 



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