2013

What a year.  For those of you that don’t know I moved back home to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I won’t say it’s been good, but it hasn’t been all bad either. Hey, at least I’m where most of my family and friends are, that’s a plus no matter how I look at it

In the year that I was unemployed I started to really write. In 2013 I wrote 8 books, all more than 50 thousand words, a few over 100 and I am proud to say that as of Dec. 31st 2013, there were  25,486 downloads of my books. YEAH!  I am so…humbled, thrilled, excited, happy. The list of adjectives go on and on. But while I write, I also read.

My reading was like my movie watching, I’ll watch damn near anything as long as it’s good,  and in the past it was the same with books. I read a little bit of everyone, and a little of every genre. That is no longer the case. I am an addict for adult romance, and particularly fond of the paranormal kind. Currently my favorite authors are J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood until I die) and Larissa Ione (Who I strongly suspect is J.R. Ward) but I found a few new authors that kept me going this past year and while I re-read some of my  2012 favorites, I also discovered, Darynda Jones, and her wonderful Charley Davidson Series and Shelly Laurenston’s Pride Series.  The grown up, wanna-be sophisticated part of me want to say I sat down and read: Shakespeare, Tony Morrison, Ernest Gaines, hell, even my all time favorite author, Stephen King, but I did not. I did watch a couple of episodes of Under the Dome but I didn’t like the changes, and I did try to read Anna Karenina but couldn’t get down with Tolstoy writing style. I get points for reading Cassandra Claire, Infernal Devices.

And so while I was not reading Pride and Prejudice or any other great author or classic,   I did laugh so hard reading The Mane Attraction (book Three of the Pride Series) that my husband kicked me out of bed…until I finished reading all eight books because I couldn’t stop laughing in the middle of the night. I did find a new man named Reyes Farrow in the Charlie Davidson Serires, he’s the paranormal equivalent of Christian Grey and Gideon Cross. I cried at the end of Clockwork Princess, Cheered when Quinn and Blaylock finally hooked up in Lover at Last, and was held captive for weeks on end reading the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton (22 books written over 20 years. I read a few more than once.)

So all told I read 63 books last year, more if you count the ones I read two or more times.

I love to read and I love to write and when I’m not driving 40 hours straight across the country, I’m doing one or the other.

Check out full list here.

Kimberly Odum Wells

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It was worth every single word

fireworksHello Ms. Wells I just finished reading your Found book and couldn’t find when the next book was coming out ?
Found was a fantastic book !!
Words can not express the joy I felt when I opened my email and found the above comment that was not from friend or family member.
I am finishing up with a second book that my husband has named “the secret book” and the comment has made me go back to finish the second book of the Found trilogy. The title; The Guardians. The book cover; a done deal. I am seventy thousand words down in a book that will be about ninety to a hundred when done. I should be finished in a month.
I may not ever be famous, may never be known by more than a handful of people who download these free books. But I will forever be grateful to each and every person who take the time to read my stories.
Thank you.

Back to the Basics

the gunslinger
I read over 60 books  in 2012 (I read several multiple times bringing grand total to 85).
In October I discovered the series The Blackdagger Brotherhood, written by J.R. Ward. I read all 10 novels in six days and when I finished, I read them again. It took me about two weeks before I got my fill. If you are a fan of adult paranormal romance I can’t say enough READ THIS BOOK.
For three months I read. I ignored my husband and son to read, I hardly ate and never cooked to read, I barely bathed to read. My nook has 320 books on it and hasn’t been turned off in four months. I’m a reader. I could be worst.
In the middle of reading The Breed Series by Lora Leigh (26 books in this series some are short stories), I had an idea for a book. I stopped reading and start writing. I wrote for a week straight. I wrote like I had previously been reading, ignoring all, in order to get the story told. I’m finished and doing first proof reading.
So in between looking for a new job and writing books (I stopped writing a Sci-fi novel about an immortal created from Hela Cells) I read. But the adult paranormal romance novels I have been stuck on for the last three months are not doing it for me any more, neither is the re-reading Fifty Shades of Grey or Bared to You which were among my favorites of 2012. So I’m going back to where my love began.

Stephen King.
No matter what your genre or favorite writer. You can’t go wrong with Stephen King. My love is long and goes deep for Mr. King (I’d be completely start struck if I ever see him. A crying, blubbering, hysterical mess I will be). I have read every one of his novels and the majority of his short stories. His novels I’ve read several times over the twenty-five years since I discovered IT.
I wish I was more like my husband. He likes sci-fi but also reads a lot of non-fiction aka smart books, mainly about science. But I like to be entertained when I read not smarter. I want to escape when I read not think. I want to cheer on good guys, hate bad guys, cry, laugh, mourn when I read. So I will read THE DARK TOWER SERIES.

Not my first, but my favorite. It’s long, which I love and it’s inspiring. I cry at the lost of Eddis beloved brother and stand up and cheer him has he fights naked to escape a drug lord after first meeting Roland. I hold my breath when  Jake and Oy  Roland looks a lot like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. He is the man. I don’t love or hate him. I don’t cheer him on. He simple is, a constant, a given. He will not fail. I never doubt it… ever.

 

Things I read this year

I read 68 books in 2012 that I can remember. 85 if you count the books I read more than once. For the full list check out the page 2012 Book list.

I did not start the year keeping track of the books that I read. But in October I found myself mesmerized by the great Blackdagger Brotherhood novels. This new find of mine lead to a reading frenzy of sorts. I would stay up long stretches of time, upwards of 43 hours at a time as I refused to even sleep while I read. So at the end of the year on line there are list everywhere. Top this or that of 2012 so I decided I’d compile my own list of something near and dear to my heart.

I can’t talk books without talking Stephen King. I read only two books by the great man. 11/22/63 and Under the Dome. I’ll say up front I’m bias. So no one will be surprised when I say these were two great books. Both page turners that I couldn’t put down until I was finished with them. In the case of Under the Dome I don’t think I took a break other than the bathroom breaks. This includes bathing and cooking (My husband’s a real trooper).

Like everyone else I got caught on the Fifty Shades Of Grey train. I fell in love, was smitten, spellbound. I read the books and then read them again when I finished. I took a break and read a different book and then picked up Fifty again. I couldn’t get enough of Christian Grey and Ms. Steele. I accepted them as a couple but fell in love with Christian. I tolerated Anastasia, Oh my!

Can I say enough about J.R Ward and her world of vampires? The rules are not standard but there’s nothing sparkly about this band of brothers and their journey to find love. I read 10 books in one week staying up 43 hours at time. When I did sleep it was for no more than 3 hours. I ignored my husband and my kid. I ate less and cook nothing. I didn’t bath and cut back on smoking. I was enthralled, I AM addicted. I AM IN LOVE with this series. I know read Ms. Ward’s website religiously for the snippets she post from Lover At Last.

The other series I read were
J.R. Ward – Fallen Angels
Sylvia Day – Crossfire
Larissa Ione – Demonica Series
Lora Leigh – Breed Series
Karen Marie Moning – Fever Series
Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush Hush Series
Cassandra Claire – The Mortal Instruments
Amanada Hocking – My Blood Approves

Single books were Kate Lauren Final which is the last book in the Fallen Series.

Christian Grey vs. Gideon Cross

 I find a lot of good books to read when looking in the “Reading” sections of various magazines. This is how I discovered The Hunger Games, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo and numerous other books I have read in the last two years. Young adult paranormal romance is my genre of choice right now but I’ll read anything including but not limited, Horror (Stephen King), African-American Literature (Toni Morrison), Fantasy (Cassandra Clare), Owner Manuals, Instructions, Nutritional Data, Warnings and lists of Active and Inactive ingredients. Newly discovered and a pleasant surprise is erotica.

Last year after exhausting all efforts to find a new book to read I came across a review of Fifty Shades of Grey. Being one of those people who always judges a book by its cover I was drawn to the simple and sleek monotone colors of the E L James book cover. After reading the review I quickly decided it would not suit my needs and moved on. I’m not sure what I did find to read. I was waiting for the release of two books from series I had started reading and was dying to continue, The Rae Wilder Series by Penelope Fletcher and The Iron Fae Series by Julie Kagawa.

Any who, in June of this year, Fifty Shades of Grey came back up. By this time it had really gotten some wind in its sails and everywhere I turned I was seeing the book cover again. Finally I relented and did research to find out it was tied to…. TWILIGHT! I don’t know the specifics and don’t really care, the mention of my absolute favorite book was good enough for me, so I immediately read the first book and two pages in told my husband I thought a gifted thirteen year old had written the book. But not finishing a book is like falling asleep in the movie theater for me and I continued on. The first sexual encounter between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele caught me off guard but was a pleasant surprise. The love story developed and while I still don’t see any similarities between Fifty and Twilight it turns out that the book is my 2012 favorite.

Reading the reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey are as entertaining as reading the book. I haven’t really read any good reviews but find it funny how everyone and I mean EVERYONE can’t seem to stop talking about it. I think it’s a lot of people guilty pleasure. By book two the sex dominated the story and I agree with one of the many reviews that I’ve come across and I too, got to the point that I skipped the sex scenes so I could get to the love story (but I didn’t skip them all and halfway through the book I found myself looking at my husband differently and wanting to go out and purchase a riding crop and a ball gag). I think book three is my favorite but by the time I’d gotten that far I was hooked and I’m not embarrassed to say I’ve read them three times.

With certain obsession looming in the horizon that would rival Christian Grey’s I put the book down and decided to try my hand at finishing the book I’d started last year (my first) and revisit some of the young adult books that I’d discovered, as well as, read the new Cassandra Clare Mortal Instruments book City of Fallen Angles.

Fast forward a couple of months:

Fresh out of College Girl – Check , Overprotective roommate – Check,  Mysterious Young Billionaire – Check,  Crazy, Mind-blowing, toe-curling, mutli-orgasmic sex – Check

Gideon who?

Jonesing for a Fifty Shades fix and refusing to read it for a fourth time, I read Bared to You (suggested by many If you Like Fifty Shades of Grey than…)in one sitting. Not sure if this book was meant to ride the coattails of the Fifty Shades books but judging from the book cover, I almost though this novel was a companion book for my beloved Fifty trilogy. This book is better written and has enough similarities that I thought Sylvia Day was trying to show E.L. James what a more accomplish writer could do with the storyline.

I liked that Eva held her own with Gideon from the start. I also like that she had her own demons to deal with, because let’s face it, don’t we all. Anastasia’s sweet never been touched, Oh My, worked my nerves which is why for me all my focus was on Mr. Grey. Both women wants to love against her better judgment and when she does she struggles with her decision until she throws caution to the wind and enters into a no holds barred relationship. Eva and Gideon fight side by side trying to exorcise their past with something that they both love… sex.  Anastasia and Christian takes a different approach caused mainly because Anastasia is so “pure” and so she’s dealing with a very damaged and tortured soul while having sex that she considered wrong but loving it anyway which leads her to look at herself in a different light. In both I found myself rooting for the blossoming relationship early in the book (true romantic that I am). In Fifty the sex scenes were descriptive but in a gifted thirteen year old way. In Bared the descriptive language was sometimes sweet, sometimes jarring and a few times vulgar and I loved every word of it.

But let’s face it. Christian Grey is The Hulk to Gideon Cross’s Bruce Banner.

Gideon shows restraint and reasons through the many problems that he and Eva encounters while Christian makes it happens by any means necessary. His love, and need, and yes,  even his  obsession/addiction for Anastasia, is completely out of his hands. You watch him fight to figure out how to have his cake and eat it too,  But he does through sheer force of will and it makes you fall in love with him each and every time he reaches a new orgasim milestone.

I loved them both Christian and Gideon but it is Christian that I will go to tonight when I settle in with my glass of iced tea and bag of candy and turn on the backlight of my Nook w/Glow and I’m not even embarrassed to say that I can’t wait.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

 Let me first start off by apologizing for the large amount of time that has passed since my last post. I went back home (Alabama) to attend the wedding of the little boy (grown man) whom I babysat forever ago. When I returned home last week and felt that it was more important to try to catch up on writing my second book.

Smashwords suggested that I start a blog and so I have, I also have opened, registered and joined numerous other social networking sites to help me in my quest to becoming a published author.

I don’t have many post on this blog but if you have read earlier ones than you know that I am a diehard Stephen King fan. I read On Writing shortly after posting my first book online (at Smashwords) and while reading it took it down realizing that it was far from completion. It now sits by the wayside until I finish my second novel, which is coming along smashingly.

Regardless of your genre there is no denying Mr. Kings talent and status as a great author and who better to give advice on the art of being or becoming a write (in my opinion). I read this book and it has since become my bible. There are three things that stuck out and I follow religiously since I read it.

1. Write 2,000 words a day – I read this short book before going to Alabama in mid or late July and started writing my 2,000 words the very next day. It is hard some days and easier others but for the most part doable. I’m not sure if this is how all writers go about it but I’m now 73 thousand words into my second book. Yesterday I wrote about 10 thousand words but I counted it as catch up from missed days when I was on “vacation”.

2. Let your book rest before editing – My first attempt at writing I must have re-read a hundred times (this is no exaggeration). Each day I would re-read what I had written the day before, sometimes numerous times. I was fascinated by what I had achieved but I also thought i was really good. Whether or not it is, is yet to be seen. I also rushed to finish in my excitement which led to me posting too early (a mistake that will not happen again). I took the first book down and have let it “marinate”, as my younger sister would say.

3. The only way to become a good writer is to write and if you’re not writing than you should be reading – I read every night. Usually right before I call it a day. I recently purchased the Nook w/Glow and it is by far my favorite gadget. I’ve dedicated two posts now to Stephen King and it just so happen that I am reading a Stephan King book right now (Full Dark, No Stars) but I just finished reading Amanda Hockings, My Blood Approves Series. Mr. King suggested that you read what you want to write and so I’ve gone back and started to re-read the novels that I fell in love with, by the people that first made me think that I could do it too (next is Penelope Fletcher’s, Rae Wilder Series).

Mr. King does not promise these practices will make you a good writer. But all that he has to say makes perfect sense. My husband, who is an artist, and probably would write circles around me would like to write a sci-fi book. He has yet to write a single word. He has started reading again so hope remains. I’m not sure if I’ll make it as a professional writer but I get up each day and look at it the same way I did when I had to get up for a regular 9 – 5 and I’ll follow the advice that I give my husband everyday when I ask him if he’s started on his. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it or not. Just do it and have fun while you are.