Tuesday – Character I love

Things I Love Tuesdays is a weekly feature on my blog where I talk about things I love. Books, movies, it’s all good. Keeping things light and fun.

This Tuesday I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite characters in my books: Hank Abraham. Hank made his debut as a side character in Angel 1089. He was meant to represent everything about downside that Gabriel would hate. He was a hedonist, a masochist, and he had a secret past. But Hank grew beyond that symbolism.

Hank was one of those characters that sprang to mind fully formed. I wouldn’t say so much that I created him as that he just started talking one day and wouldn’t shut up. That doesn’t always happen to me. This was one of the rare cases where it did. And of course, he needed his own book, hence Exodus.

In Exodus we learn about Hank’s past, how he was once one of the pampered elite living in the floating city of Heaven. He starts out incredibly immature and privileged but we grow with him as the book concludes. Despite his immaturity, Hank has always had a good heart, and when he sees the injustices of his city, he ultimately can’t live with them.

Hank is also one of the two characters (His partner and Dom Ian is the other) who appears in all three Heaven Corp books. He steals the show in Angel 1089 (more than I meant him too), and gets to implant some good advice in Raphael’s ear in Angels Rising. I guess I couldn’t let him go completely, so we get that glimpse of how he and Ian are doing.

Cover wise – I think the first edition of Exodus had the best cover of Hank. It’s quite intense, but I really think it does him justice. So when I was re-releasing the book, I thought it was a good opportunity for Ian to shine instead. Which cover do you like better?

Have you ever had a character show up your head and demand his time in the sun? Tell me about it in the comments!

Tuesday – Boardgames

Things I Love Tuesdays is a weekly feature on my blog where I talk about things I love. Books, movies, it’s all good. Keeping things light and fun.

When most people think of boardgames, they might come up with something like Monopoly or Checkers, or even these days Settlers of Catan. I started out with many of the same. However, about 15 years ago we began to get into boardgames that took up a lot more time and, well, space.

My first foray into such complicated gaming was with the second edition of Arkham Horror, which pits the players against the game itself. You play as a team of investigators, and from the very beginning the game is stacked against you. We rarely won, and when we did, it was an incredible sense of victory. And remember when I talked about space? Well this game took up our entire dining room table with two leaves, and we had to store the component pieces in two separate plastic boxes that hardware stores sell to keep nuts and bolts in.

As my son has gotten older, we’ve gotten him into more and more complicated games. Some of his favorites include Clank!, Quacks of Quedenburg, Space Base, and Everdell.

But the idea of boardgames conjures up images of groups of friends gathered around a table, sharing food and drink as they play. Right now, that’s not possible to do in person. But we have found a way to have virtual game night.

There are two main digital ways to play games (that I am familiar with! I believe there are others!). Tabletop simulator, which is available on Steam for about 20 bucks, and Board Game Arena, which is a browser based system. Sometimes we even play online when the three of us are home together – it makes it a lot easier to clean up (Clank! Legacy, for example, took a good twenty minutes to setup and just as long to break down).

And while it’s not the same as having a game night with friends, right now I’m enjoying our virtual games and conversation.

Would you like to check out virtual game night? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday Post – Slightly Sinful

Things I Love Tuesdays is a weekly feature on my blog where I talk about things I love. Books, movies, it’s all good. Keeping things light and fun.

Do you keep every book you read? If not, how do you decide what is worthy of shelf space?

I read a lot of regency romance novels, and I rarely hold on to the books after I’m finished with them. They all go on to good homes, but I am rapidly running out of shelf space for the books I do want to keep. So it’s a rare occasion that I end up putting something on my keeper shelf.

One of those books is Mary Balogh’s Slightly Sinful. I’ve read quite a few of Balogh’s books, and she’s one of my favorite authors in the genre. But I don’t keep all of her books. In fact, most of the time I try to check them out of the library.

I can’t actually recall purchasing Slightly Sinful. It seemed to appear in my ever growing to-be-read pile. Even though it’s part of the Bedwyn series, I hadn’t sought it out for that purpose – in fact, I don’t believe I’d read any of the other books in that series.Cover of Slighly Sinful

This book is incredibly tropey. The heroine is hiding in a brothel (and all the ladies she works for have hearts of gold). The hero has amnesia. They have to pretend to be married! And not only did the heroine and hero have their happy ending, but so did all the women in the brothel.

And yet…when I closed the back cover of that book, there were tears in my eyes, and I sighed. I felt too full of emotion. I knew I could not give this book up – not to a friend, not to the free cart at the library. No, I needed to put it back on my keeper shelf, where it has sat for several years.

I read so much I can’t always recall plots of the books I’ve read. But I mostly always remember how a book makes me feel. And for that reason, Slightly Sinful is one of those things I love.

Do you have a book you can’t give up? Tell me about it in the comments.

Things I love Tuesdays: Crafting

Things I Love Tuesdays is a weekly feature on my blog where I talk about things I love. Books, movies, it’s all good. Keeping things light and fun.

Welcome to the first installment of “Things I love Tuesdays.” Here is where I get to talk about things that make me happy. In the words of Marie Kondo, they spark joy. This week, I’m going to talk about crafting.

Now, I’ve always been a yarn crafter. I’ve been crocheting since I was about 4 years old, which puts me at…well, at a couple of decades of crochet. I tried knitting, but I could never get into it. Crochet was just easier for my brain. I could work on a scarf or a blanket and not have to think about it too hard.

But right now it’s summer, and it’s a little too hot to have a lot of yarn on my lap. Somehow, I ended up diving headfirst into paper crafting, specifically card-making. It’s not really surprising – a friend of mine is a demonstrator for a stamping company. I’m not going to name the company because this blog isn’t about me selling anything (although if you really want to know, leave me a comment and I’ll tell you:).

I started small, with a card kit, and I loved it. But I was quickly frustrated by the limited options. I wanted to do more. Hence me placing an order for much more stuff, and watching more tutorial videos on YouTube that I care to admit. I found my favorite presenters, and subscribed to their channels. I started by imitating their designs before playing with my own. I wouldn’t say I’m good at it, by any means.

It’s incredibly relaxing. I had a migraine the other day, so I disappeared into my “craft room” where I have all the paper supplies set up and made a card. There’s something meditative about cutting the paper, stamping the image, and then gluing it all together. By the end of the session, I have something pretty that I’m proud of, and that I can send off in to the mail to a friend to brighten their day. (The “craft room” is a spare table set up in the basement with all the boxes of Christmas decorations and my husband’s classic video game collection, so hardly instagram worthy stuff here).

Now I’m excited about the Holiday catalog, and making cards for Halloween and Christmas. I don’t know what I will end up creating, but I do know there will be a lot of glitter involved.

Do you have a favorite craft? Tell me about it in the comments!

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