Suzanne’s Favorite Things

Okay, so I realize I’m not Oprah and I’m not giving these things out to anyone (except myself). However, I also have favorite things and I thought you’d like to know about them. This is a public service announcement for everyone. AND since the holiday season is almost upon us, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. In case, you know, someone wants to buy me something…just saying. #Ilovepresents #ultagiftcards

  1. Cosrx Pimple Patch

These things are AMAZING! Seriously, how have I never heard of these things before. I just wish they were bigger so that I could cover my entire face in this patch like a mask and in the morning have a completely new face. I’m not joking. Slap one of these things on a pimple before you go to bed and in the morning if it isn’t gone, it’s greatly reduced. I hear they even have patches thin enough to wear under your makeup. I don’t wear make up so but now I’m wondering if anyone would notice. You seriously can’t really see these things once they’re on.

2. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore cleansing Mask

Okay, here’s the thing. I have no idea what this thing does to my face but it feels amazing afterwards. Yes, this jar may be $35 but I only use it two or three times a week so it lasts FOREVER.

3. Rothy’s

These shoes are comfortable, WASHABLE, and made from recycled plastics. Need I say more? Oh, they run a bit small so go up a half size.

4. Star Wars Toms

So this is my first pair of Toms. I know. I know. How is that even possible? I have a lot of shoes, mostly heels, and I usually don’t buy casual shoes for myself. I just don’t. Anyhoo, I bought these. Mostly because of the reason stated above. I had no casual shoes. And two, they’re Star Wars. I think Ross was a bit jealous. Nope, I know he was. He has to wear a particular kind of shoe for his planter fasciitis, so no fun Star Wars shoes for him.

So, there you have it. This week’s edition of Suzanne’s Favorite Things.


This is not a drill!

Cornelius, my office spider, is missing!

Some of you may think this is nuts, Ross sure does, but I liked having this spider in my office. What started off as a joke, became practical and entertaining. He ate the bugs in my office. Trust me, my window doesn’t close all the way and I had plenty of bugs for a spider to eat.

Now, he’s gone and a part of me is distraught at the loss of my very large Daddy Long Legs spider.

And yes, I made a missing poster. I’m all in on this thing.

Amber Ruin

We’re on a blog tour this month in celebration of Amber Ruin which is being released on 10/9/2019.

Amber Ruin is up for Pre-Sale!! Get your copy today!

Here’s the schedule so you can follow along and enter to win fun prizes!

October 1 – A Bewitching Guide to All Things Halloween

October 2 – Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

October 3 – Books 4 Book Nerds

October 4 – The Book Junkie Reads

October 7 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!

October 8 – Don’t Judge, Read

October 9 – Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog

October 10 – T’s Stuff

October 11 – Supernatural Central

October 14 – Authors’ Secrets

October 15 – Boundless Book Reviews

October 16 – Celia Breslin

October 17 – Reading Authors Network

October 18 – Lisa’s World of Books

October 21 – Paranormalists

October 22 – Roxanne’s Realm

October 23 – The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

October 24 – Jazzy Book Reviews

October 25 – Sapphyria’s Books

October 28 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder

October 29 – SImply Kelina

October 30 – Stephanie Hansen

October 31 – Fang-tastic Books

Memberships and Contest Scores

I finally got my preliminary scores back for Hereditary Magic from the Rita contest.

Below please find the scores for your entry, Hereditary Magic Blood and Bone Legacy, in the preliminary round in the 2019 RITA® Contest.

Paranormal Romance 1



Score4.89. 8. 6.58.   
Does the entry contain a central love story?YesYesNoNoYes
Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic?NoNoNoNoYes
Does the entry fall within the category description?YesNoYesYesYes
Did Not Finish (DNF) Reason (craft or grammar). The field will be blank if the judge did not select DNF.    

Final Score: 7.5      

Final Scores are calculated by dropping the high and low scores and averaging the three remaining scores.

If there are 3 negative responses to any one question, the entry is disqualified.

You may refer to the following information in order to determine the ranking of your score.

For the Paranormal Romance category:

            Top quarter; final scores equal to or greater than 8.3

            Second quarter; final scores from 8.26 to 7.83

            Lower half; final scores equal to or less than 7.8

Let’s talk about these and my own experiences with the Rita entries for a moment. As you can see from the underlined contingency above, Hereditary Magic was disqualified for having 3 “No” responses in a single category. The category question was Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic? The quick answer to that is of course not. It’s a series and if you solve the central romance in the first book, the series is basically over. There has to be some conflict and growth. Otherwise, THERE’S NO POINT.

There was one judge, #2, who actually got the book. And he/she is right. This book doesn’t fall within in the strict category of paranormal romance. None of my books do. That’s part of the problem.

I don’t write romance.

I write genre fiction that doesn’t subscribe to the regimented format of romance. I don’t have a happy ending at the end of each book. I don’t have the romance as the focal point in each book. My romantic entanglements are not always resolved at the end of each book. That’s part and parcel of writing series.

As a judge this year in the Rita contest, I find it disheartening to learn Hereditary Magic was disqualified while more than half of the entries I was given to judge were subpar, not just in their character development but in grammar and writing style.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that I’m no Margaret Atwood. I am very cognizant of how minuscule i am in the publishing world and even more so about how niche my genre is within that publishing world. However, I can construct a damned sentence properly…most of the time.

So, this is what it has all come down to…

I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America now for 10 years and each year I renew my membership with reticence. What is RWA and the affiliated chapter memberships providing me? Honestly, not a whole lot at this point.

This year I paid my $99 membership fee in August to maintain the other chapter memberships through December. It will be my last year. Each year, I feel more and more marginalized in an organization where I clearly don’t fit in.

I have plenty of romance writer friends that get a ton of benefit from their memberships, and that works for them. I’m not one of them. And that’s okay. I just can’t seem to justify sinking money back into an organization that isn’t beneficial to me and my writing career. Not anymore.

This isn’t a condemnation of RWA or their contests. They do a lot of good for quite a few people. I’m just not one of them. I think that saying goodbye may be the best option for me. I have made many great friends in this organization and relish those friendships and support I have found in their company. But I must say goodbye to the organization that brought us together.

Farewell, RWA. It’s been nice knowing you.

Spiders, Husbands, & Parties


If anyone is looking for an update on Cornelius, here it is. He is doing very well, created himself a little web in the corner in between my wall and the recycling bin. Now, This poses a problem on trash day but I’ve got that covered. Actually, I told the custodial staff that I was keeping him and now they’re checking in on him to make sure he’s still there. I’m getting everyone involved in Cornelius’s well-being.

You might say, “Suzanne, this is crazy.”

Maybe, but what started off as a joke is now something to look forward to when I go into the office. Plus, this little guy is doing his job. There hasn’t been a fruit fly to be seen since I left him alone.

Thanks Cornelius, because those little assholes were annoying. Ross commented the other day about why I was killing spiders at home and not at the office. Here’s the difference. I sleep at home and I do NOT want those little legs crawling all over me when I sleep. That’s just creepy.


So, Ross has been out of town this week at his annual store managers conference. What this means is that I’ve been alone with Scarlett all week while he’s in Orlando. All I can say is there better be a present in his suitcase for me when he gets back. A good one too.


This Saturday I am having a party for my parents in honor of their 50th Wedding Anniversary – plus they haven’t managed to murder each other in the process so that’s a bonus. I’ve been cleaning and prepping all week. If you read the above paragraph then you realize that I’ve been doing it alone. ALONE!

I sent out the invitations at the beginning of June and received about three RSVP’s. I’m pretty sure that no one is coming to this thing and that I’m going to have a shit-ton of chicken left over. At least I won’t have to cook dinner for about a month afterwards. So there’s that.

Look on the bright side, people. No cooking for at least a week.

Amber Ruin countDown

We are at just over a month before the eighth book in The Blushing Death Series is released.

Here’s a small snippet to keep you ready. Be prepared this is adult content, a.k.a there’s are some grown up words in this snippet and if you can’t handle it, now’s the time to back out. Just saying…

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I snarled from the doorway. I’d almost refused to come out of Jade’s bathroom, but this atrocity just couldn’t stand.

“Whatever do you mean?” Jade asked, her rich, chocolate-brown eyes wide with an innocence I didn’t believe for one good-god-damned minute. She’d done this on purpose. Also, she was a horrible liar.

“Have you lost your damned mind? This dress is Beauty and the Beast on crack!” I answered, trying to find a position where the fabric didn’t irritate the hell out of my skin. This thing was like wearing sandpaper. The lemon-yellow chiffon overlay in conjunction with all the layers of tulle, and nonsense underneath made this atrocity of a dress enormous to boot. There were ruffles everywhere and I had to tilt my body just to fit through the fucking door. There was a hoop skirt for Christ’s sakes, cause, of course, there was. Not only that, I was starting to sweat. A shiver of revulsion swept over me and I squirmed as the air conditioning chilled the sweat running down my back and the fabric turned cold and clammy against my armpit. A disgusting sensation I hadn’t anticipated.

“You don’t like it?” she asked, and her voice which was usually acerbic and, well, jaded was now sugary sweet.

I glanced around the room. Alex was lounging in a chair without a care in the world. Her hair was a Smurf blue color today and spiked up into a mohawk. She wore a black T-shirt that read ‘Meh’ in bright bubblegum pink letters. Her fingers drumming on the arm of the chair made my anger prickle higher. A smirk turned up the corner of the vampire’s elven lips. God damn it, she was laughing at me.

Brittany, the resident witch who was also standing in one of these horrifying dresses, was trying very hard to look anywhere but at me. The ruffles on her shoulders and around her chest began to float as far as that seam would let them. She floated shit when her emotions were high and whatever was going on here, Brittany knew and was edgy about it.

Niyati stood in front of the full-length mirror, her gaze returning to her own reflection as she too stood engulfed in the lemon-yellow monstrosity. “I like it,” she said without guile or pretense.

“Of course, you do, love,” Alex chimed in, her tone indulgent. Niyati liked everything because she didn’t look bad in anything. Tall and slender, Niyati’s long black hair slid down the center of her back in a silken waterfall and her dark South-Asian skin appeared almost radiant against the bright yellow fabric.

My New Office Mate

Meet Cornelius. Yes, I’ve given the spider in my office a name. I am thinking about keeping him as a pet. That isn’t weird is it?

This spider has moved in and made a home in my office. I’m debating on whether I want to start feeding him or not. How big can I make Cornelius so that I can have a giant spider as a pet.

He was already dislodged once when the custodian came in to empty the trash. However, Cornelius is spry and a survivor and rebuilt his little spider condo on the other side of the wall. My spunky little spider is in it to win it.

Toy Story 4

As you can see from the banner, my kid loves Toy Story. She happily waited in line for 40 minutes to see Woody and Buzz. I’ve seen Toy Story and Toy Story 2 more times than I could count. So, there was no way we WEREN’T going to go see Toy Story 4.

Blurb: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they’re worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy.

******Spoiler Alert******

I may be the only person on the planet that feels this way but this movie. It’s true. Toy Story 4 pissed me off. There. I said it. Everyone loved this damned movie. Let’s be honest, this thing got a 98% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 94% audience score. That’s pretty fucking good.

I’m not even going to lie to you and tell you it wasn’t enjoyable. It was. Bo Peep was kind of a badass and Ioved it. She had an edge to her that she hadn’t had before. When Woody dislodges her arm and starts screaming, Bo fake freaks out and then laughs at him. That is some sarcastic and wicked shit right there. Bo turned into an actual super hero. That’s pretty f’in cool.

Also, Keanu is making a huge comeback and I’m loving that too. He’s laughing at all of his haters as he cashes his checks and just generally being a wonderful human being with his Buddhist self.

This is just amazing.

Let’s get the crux of my anger with Toy Story 4.

I was promised a Bromance to end all bromances. Woody and Buzz led the entire world to believe that they would stay together forEVER. This is the same feeling I had at the end of Lord of the Rings (book not the movie). I remember calling my friend at the end – who was on a date btw – and balling about how the fellowship was splitting up and that shit wasn’t right. She listened to me for like 10 minutes. I wouldn’t have, especially on a date but that bitch understood. Plus, she thought it was funny. If you’re wondering – and why wouldn’t you be – I also cried at the end of the Man in the Iron Mask. I am a HUGE Dumas and Musketeers fan. That book was basically the death of the Musketeers. I’m fine with them dying. Their fictional life was hard and grueling. But they each died ALONE! NO! Just NO. They should have gone out together in a hail of musket fire or in a sword fight. It just wasn’t right.

These characters have all been cheated and I won’t stand for it.

In addition, the last three movies have been priming all of us for the importance of a toy to a child and getting back to their kid and how important being there for them was. Well, Woody isn’t the favorite anymore and now, we’re just going to ditch our kid and go off with Bo Peep to do . . . whatever.


All that crap about staying with your kid and being there for them was a bunch of bullshit as soon as Woody wasn’t the favorite. Toy Story 3, the entire f’in thing, Woody was trying to convince the other toys to be okay with the relegation to the attic. Suddenly, being left in the closet for a while isn’t okay. This whole movie really exposes Woody’s ultimate selfishness and his fragile ego.

I can’t take it. I’m angry at the hypocrisy but ultimately, the thing that makes me the most angry is the collapse of the bromance I was promised.

I was incredibly disappointed.

Not Everyone is Meant to Walk in Darkness

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