Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Late Night Tuesdays Tunes

It’s a late night edition of Tuesdays Tunes this week. If you follow the Facebook page (or any of my social media accounts) you’ll know what I’ve been up to today and why I’m posting late at night, while Tuesday is quickly coming to an end. Actually, I mentioned what I’d be doing in last week’s Tuesdays Tunes post too. Remember?

Well, this is a fun post for me, and caps off what has been a pretty damn fun night for both Princess Z and I. It’s not very often that we are able to get to a concert – between school, work and all the other things that eat up our time, seeing live music is simply hard to make happen.

But it’s Easter holidays for the kids (aka Spring Break) and we made it happen!

Tonight’s late Tuesdays Tunes is a LIVE MUSIC edition.


Kieran Mercer 
Remember his name.

He’s a new artist that has catchy tunes and, honestly, he seems like a really sweet guy. He played a few songs to get the crowd warmed up. He chatted with the crowd like a seasoned performer and did a really great job.

You can check out his album – Help Me Help You on iTunes here.

Walk Off The Earth

They opened with Gang of Rhythm and between the new songs off their newest album Sing It All Away, older favorites from the R.E.V.O. album and the incredible covers they did, they simply did an amazing show. Sometimes you watch artists live and they’re just not as good live as they are on their LP’s. Not so for Walk Off The Earth.

If you ever have the opportunity to see them live – take it. You will not be disappointed!

Marianas Trench

Heli Dad and I went to one of their shows about 3 years ago and we loved it. (Me more so than Heli Dad but he did enjoy it.) This time Princess Z was with me and lets say that she enjoyed the show far more than Heli Dad would have!

The show was an incredible mix of titles from the current album Astoria as well as songs from the older albums. Songs included: Yesterday, Burning Up, One Love, All to Myself, Stutter, Desperate Measures, Pop Music 101, Dearly Departed, Cross My Heart, Wildfire and End of an Era.

It was seriously like every one of my favorite MT songs was on the set list.

I managed to catch a bit of Josh singing One Love, which I seriously love by the way (it’s one of my current song favorites on my writing playlist) and I hope you enjoy it.


So yeah, a Live Music Tuesdays Tunes and something of a three-fer too!

Happy listening. Rock out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday's Tunes: An Old Favorite

I have such wide variety of music that when I'm not writing (because I always listen to specific music lists when I'm writing) I can listen to my music library and not repeat a song all day. But like any music lover I have favorites - favorite bands, favorite albums, favorite songs. And like many music lovers I may choose to listen to songs to make me happy, to remind me of another time or a specific person. I may pick an album because a particular sound or style of the music appeals to me that day. Or I may choose to listen to a song or series of songs because of the story I imagine they tell me.

Today's Tuesday's Tunes is one of the "story telling" songs that I particularly appreciate. In fact there are a series of songs from the artists album that this song appears on that (Marianas Trench - Ever After) tell a pretty fascinating story and I enjoy listening to them (and watching the videos) every once in a while. Lately I've been listening to the newest album from Marianas Trench - Astoria and it has a number of songs that I really enjoy too. (I'll talk more about that album next week as I'll actually be attending a live concert with Marianas Trench and Walk Off the Earth next Tuesday.)

But for now, here is the song currently playing on my iPhone... Enjoy :-)

Marianas Trench - STUTTER

And hey... now that I'm thinking about why I listen to particular songs, tell me some of the reasons that you might listen to a song?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weekly Round-Up of the Daily Featured Book

It is that time again... The time when I do a quick review of all the books that have been shared on Facebook as "Featured Books of the Day"! I have begun cross posting the featured books on to Twitter, Instagram and Tsu as well so you will begin to see them more frequently there too. As promised the books will all be available in the Ups & Downs Shop - but please remember sale prices at the time of posting may become unavailable, so get them while they're good!

So here we go with the Daily Featured Books from March 14-19, 2016!


Trey Domato is the next big thing in football. A quarterback with a cool head, smoldering eyes, and a cannon for an arm, he's collected awards, trophies, and hearts across the country. He's on every girl's mind. Every coach's dream sheet. Every agent's wishlist.

Including Sloane Ashford's.

Sloane grew up at her father's side in the Ashford Agency. He built the company from the ground up, representing some of the biggest names in sports, and now Sloane is determined to find her place among its top agents. She's got the knowledge, she's got the drive, and if she can land Trey, she knows she's got her 'in'.

But it's hard to keep your eyes on the prize when the sweetest, sexiest smile you've ever seen is constantly on your mind. When the hottest hands in the nation are in your hair. When you're whispering the name thousands of fans are screaming at the top of their lungs.

Sleeping with a client is a mistake, but falling in love with him? 

That's some rookie shit right there.

The final page will leave you breathless.

When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she's safe, her new "friends" show their true colors.

Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea's monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there's something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

BURY THE HATCHET by Catherine Gayle
Book 1 of the Tulsa Thunderbirds series 

They both need to make amends…

But they might be making more than that.

Tulsa Thunderbirds goaltender Hunter Fielding has a lot of kissing up to do following a few brash and uncalled-for statements. Now he needs to prove to the watchful eyes that he’s changed for the better. But cozying up to Little-Miss-Perfect-Gone-Bad isn’t his idea of making amends.

Agreeing to marry a hockey star to clear her “bad girl” reputation is the worst idea Oklahoma’s former sweetheart, Tallulah Belle Roth, has ever heard. With cameras constantly in their faces, Hunter and Tallie need to prove their sickeningly-sweet, do-good lives are the real deal—just to Bury the Hatchet once and for all.

But when the cameras are off, desire burns hot. Can fake and just for show turn into something real and forever?

Gayle’s Tulsa Thunderbirds and Portland Storm hockey romance series have quickly become among some of my favorite contemporary romances. Since the first time I read about these rough-and-tumble but super sweet hockey players, who lets be honest are simply HOT, and the women who come to fall for them, I haven’t been able to get enough!


Irish settings are among my favorites for story settings. So for St. Patty’s day I decided to share a couple of my Irish favorites with you. 

JEWELS OF THE SUN by Nora Roberts
Book 1 in the 'Gallaghers of Ardmore' Trilogy

Determined to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish folklore and discovering hope for the future of the magical past.

Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country’s haunting myths. Although he’s devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his eyes—and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her—while they create a passionate history of their own.

Also in the 'Gallaghers of Ardmore' trilogy:
and Book 3 - HEART OF THE SEA

DARKFEVER by Karen Marie Moning
Book 1 of the Fever series

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….


When Drake Hart's security team is hired to find a stalker, he has no idea what's in store for him. However, the day Zoey Lewis' picture lands in his lap, there's nothing he won't do to save her. He's always been quiet and shy, but seeing her changes everything.

Zoey is missing a filter when it comes to interacting with people. She's used to being lost in her computer and being taken care of by her sister. She's an oddball, and people find it hard to deal with. But when Drake Hulk-smashes his way into her world, she doesn't feel so out of place.

When Zoey is threatened and needs protection, will Drake save the day? With a body like his, all signs point to yes!

DARK PROMISES by Christine Feehan
Book 29 in the Dark/Carpathian series

Gabrielle has had enough of battles, of wars, of seeing the man she’s engaged to nearly lose his life when it isn’t even his fight. Once Gary was a gentle and very human researcher. Now he’s a fearless and lethal Carpathian warrior with the blood of an ancient lineage coursing through his veins—a man Gabrielle still needs and dreams of with every breath she takes. All she wants is a life far away from the Carpathian mountains, far from vampires and the shadows cast by the crumbling monastery that hides so many terrible secrets. But Gabrielle soon learns that promises made in the dark can pierce the heart like a dagger.

And she isn’t the only one in search of answers in the corners of the unknown....

Trixie Joanes has come to the Carpathian mountains in search of her wayward granddaughter, fearing that she has been lured there by something unspeakable. Instead, Trixie has stumbled onto the path of a desperate woman on the run. And they’re all fated for the lair of a mysterious ancient with revenge in his soul and the undying power to make bad dreams come true.


Happy Reading Everyone and ENJOY!!!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday's For You - Show and Share

On my Facebook page I will quite often invite Authors, their PA’s, other bloggers and even fans to share books that they want people to know about. There isn’t always a schedule or there hasn’t been in the past, and I haven’t previously thought to do something similar on the blog as I’m not sure that it would really work.

But I think it’s worth a try – all things considered, especially the abysmal way that FB visibility seems to be working lately, anything we as bloggers, authors, PA’s or fans can do to help promote our favorite books is a good thing…

So let’s see what happens?

What book/reading suggestions do you have for us??

And of course - if you have something to share, share it here, share it on the Facebook page (people do see it), share it on Twitter with @apalusa_light and I'll re-tweet... 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesdays Tunes: "Thief" Our Lady Peace

This song is one of my classic favorites. More than 15 years ago these guys were in town and my mom (who owns and operates a clinic for massage therapy) gave Raine Maida a massage, my sister gave him a ride to his sound check in her car, and the love affair of a life time - with their music - was born. To this day my sister and I will both pull out their albums (we've got them on CD and digital now) to listen to when we need a pick me up or when we need to listen to songs that really touch on how we're feeling.

THIEF is one of the songs that I've actually got on my playlist for one of my current writing projects, as it helps me connect with a couple of the characters mindset(s) after they loose someone close to them to cancer. Granted that hasn't been a big stretch for me over the last month anyways but still the song is there.

Our Lady Peace made a lot of songs that continue to resonate with me still. Honestly there's a OLP song on almost all of my writing playlists because they've got something that works for me for just about every emotion, and every situation real or that I can imagine. 

Have a listen and I hope you enjoy!

Thief - Our Lady Peace

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Ups & Downs Shop is OPEN!

I've been reading, reviewing, discussing and promoting books here (and on FB) for years. Occasionally I'll get a note or comment from someone asking where to get a book that I've talked about. An increase in general internet knowledge has changed that to a certain degree but the question still pops up now and then. Over the past 18 months I've made a concerted effort to ensure that I am adding online purchase links to all my posts, so that people are able to get the books they find interesting based on my posts.

Now I've upped that effort.

At the top of the page you'll see that one of the tab-links running across the page is the 'Ups & Downs Shop'. In this shop you'll find links for the books that I've reviewed, as well as the "Featured Books of the Day" that I now share on FB daily, and round-up here each weekend. These links will allow you to purchase these books directly from Amazon(
Please note that for a while now there has been an advertising disclaimer at the bottom of this blog page, regarding advertising links that I share on my blog(s) and on my other social media. The Ups & Downs Shop is part of this same program. You are not purchasing anything from me, I am merely an advertising affiliate for Amazon, and in return I earn a very small commission for your purchase.
The goal of the shop is to earn the funds necessary to purchase giveaway prize items for this blog, it's readers and fans, and those connected to it through the social media accounts that are used in conjunction with it: Facebook, Twitter, Tsu, Instagram, etc. 

As new blog features are added to the site, more purchasing categories (as displayed on the left side of the Shop screen) will be added to the Shop as well.

Happy Shopping and Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Round-Up of This Week's Daily Featured Books

The week of March 7-12 was a good one. It included a new release from a debut author, a couple contemporary favorites, some paranormal favorites, and, in honor of the time change this weekend, a couple time-traveler favorites too.  You even ended up getting a couple extra recommendations out of me during Thursday’s double-double-header features (2 sets of First- and Last/Most Recent- in a series) after I forgot to post a featured book on Wednesday.

So let’s get to the round-up of this week’s daily featured books!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

INTERVIEW With Debut Author Ginger Sutter

I've been chatting back and forth with the author Ginger Sutter for several months now. We often talk writing and everything it entails - the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly moments of writing, publishing and promotion. With the release of her debut novella Where There's Smoke There's Desire I insisted that she let me ask her a few questions so I could share with you her responses. 

First, some things I've learned about (or from) Ginger over the past 6 months.
  • Ginger Sutter is a pen name. Like many authors and artists, Ginger hopes and strives to maintain some semblance of privacy in her personal life. (Or maybe authors are simply endeared to the idea of living double lives? LOL!) 
  • This writing gig? Not for the faint of heart. There's a lot that goes in to writing a story. Then you've got editing, re-writing, formatting, networking, promotion, and a dozen other things that go into getting a published copy of your story into someone else's hands. We touch briefly on this in the interview below. 
  • You HAVE to stay positive. It's not easy to become a published author but the moment you let yourself get down, that's when it gets even harder!
  • It's good to have friends. Someone who will tell you if what you've written is crap or precious gold. Someone who will listen to you bitch when you're having a bad day and then give you the kick you need to get back to work. Someone to cheer you on and celebrate your success with you...
Now, everyone, I'd like you to meet Ginger Sutter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

REVIEW: Where There's Smoke There's Desire by Ginger Sutter

Where There's Smoke There's Desire

by Ginger Sutter

Last fall I had the pleasure to meet (online) an author who was working on her debut novel. We hit it off right away with our shared appreciation, nay - love of all things paranormal. She was kind enough to offer to let me read some of her writing while she was working on it. Then she upped her awesomeness by asking me to accept an ARC of the completed book and to ask me what I thought. Of course I accepted. (Why wouldn't I, right?) And well, this review states pretty plainly how that went... 

The Review

What do you get when you put a multitude of paranormal beings in a bar with a bunch of unsuspecting humans, and set them up in a super-speed-dating for charity event?

Chaos. Beautiful, hilarious, erotically hot chaos.

But you know, you also get a pretty damn good story too.

Ginger Sutter caught my attention with the mention of dragons in her debut release Where There’s Smoke, There’s Desire. Then my reading of the story was absolutely ensured when she continued to explain there were also sirens, pookas, succubi, werewolves, gremlins, vampires and more. I am after all a sucker for anything paranormal, but put it all together and I’m a goner.

And then I read it...

“A Siren, a Pooka, And a Succubus Walk Into a Bar…”

Right from the start I was laughing. The character’s personalities simply leapt off the page to tickle my own (somewhat twisted) sense of humor. They are not however merely funny characters - they have depth and history, and there's so much more to them than just being entertaining to the reader. Within pages you discover friendships that are centuries old and have survived ups and downs, and twists like you wouldn't believe.

The three primary female characters: Rena, Ava and Leine are the type of best friends who can finish each other’s sentences, anticipate each others madcap activities and still be surprised when one of them throws the others for a (fantastic) loop.

And the three primary male characters - those dragons that Ginger hooked me like a trout with? Well I can think of no better way to describe the brothers than to use Leine’s words from the book: the “...Welsh, walking, wet-dreams,” (the WWWD as I’m come to think of them) more commonly known as Dylan, Alec and Noah.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Desire is a novella that introduces the Gate City world created by this author. This short, but oh-my-gods so wonderful, short tale has pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be returning to read whatever future stories may come out of this world and from Ginger Sutter. Take a chance and read this hot little story – you’ll laugh until your belly hurts, you’ll sigh with happiness and you’ll wonder about all things that make up the rich characters that Ginger has introduced. And I can pretty much guarantee that if you like paranormal stories, comedy and nice dash of hot lovin’, you’ll be as desperate as I am for more of these characters and this new world of theirs. 
Sounds awesome, right? Get your copy today...

New Release: WHERE THERE'S SMOKE, THERE'S DESIRE by Ginger Sutter

Where There's Smoke, There's Desire

by Ginger Sutter

Paranormal, Romance, Comedy... Hot

Released: March 8, 2016

Welcome to Gate City, Virginia, a small town with literal charms!

When the firehouse manned by winsome Weres, sexy Shifters, and delectable Dragons requires a new engine for their truck, sultry Siren and local bar proprietor Rena Karahalios, offers to organize a benefit to help raise the money—and perhaps spread some harmless community-wide debauchery in the process...


It took some doing, but Rena's schedule would provide the perfect balance for commingling mortals and Supernaturals without overtly risking exposure to the mortals. Then, days before the event, Rena finds herself in need of two extra bodies. Luckily, the lure of alcohol and a well-played hustle allows her to draft her two best friends, Leine O'Quinn and Ava Nassar, a Pooka and a Succubus respectively, and the crisis was averted. So, what's the event? Speed dating! The epitome of a little less talk and a lot more action! And when the room is filled with hot men and gorgeous women, the possibilities are endlessly...steamy!

Get YOUR copy of 

And don't miss the REVIEW of this book or the INTERVIEW with this debut author!
(Review will be posted 3/8/16 and Interview will be available 3/9/16)

**This title was a Featured Book of the Day on my Facebook Page - 3/8/16**  

Sunday, March 6, 2016

NEW!! Weekly Review of Daily Featured Books

Earlier this week on my Facebook page I started posting a ‘Featured Book of the Day’. Just one book every day. A simple daily recommendation, an offering of something new or different to give a try.

Some will be books that are on sale and seem interesting.

Some will be popular or new books in favored genres.

Some will be books that I’m dying to get my hands on and simply can’t help but share with you!

No matter what they are I hope I’ll find something that people will enjoy if they simply take a chance.

At the end of the week I’ll review the week’s ‘Featured Books’ on the blog with all the books and their info in one place.

So that’s it…. Here’s to finding something new and (hopefully) amazing to read!!

For the week of March 3-6, 2016 here are you Featured Books…

ROYAL by Winter Renshaw

About the book:
His name is Royal, but he’s no prince charming. He’s not even a prince - though you could say I loved him once upon a time.

He was my older brother’s best friend.

Growing up, he sat at our dinner table every Sunday, teased me mercilessly, and pretended I annoyed him.

When I was old enough, he took me on my first date.

Royal taught me how to drive. Escorted me to my junior prom. Gave me my first kiss…amongst other things. He was my first taste of toe-curling, all-consuming, can’t-sleep love.

We had our whole lives ahead of us. There was never anyone else for me but him.

And then he disappeared. No letter. No explanation. Not even a goodbye.

My sisters and brother never forgave him, and my parents forbade me from speaking his name in our house ever again. For all intents and purposes, we were to pretend Royal Lockhart never existed.

I’ve spent the last seven years trying in vain to forget my first love, but just when I think I’ve finally moved on, guess who’s back in town?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New Release: SILENCED by N.R. Larry


by N.R. Larry

** Available Now! ** 



A jaded and dark-humored, young black man is forced to start killing again.

Pike Richards is used to having women beg him to kill them. What he isn’t used to is refusing to do the act. As a blood-cursed siren, he’s only allowed to live as long as there is someone to hear his song. However, after witnessing humans round up and kill descendants of the gods for fear of magic, Pike is ready to die alongside them. Mankind created the tech virus, a scientific breakthrough that could allegedly make them immune to the effects of magic. It backfired, and now humans are turning into beasts, and mankind faces the potential end of its race.

Pike enters into a contract with Compound Six, one of the last safe havens left in the world. He’ll help them retrieve the cure if Sadie Evans, a young girl he sees as a daughter, is given a dose. The cure is located at one of the crossroads, a magic space considered sacred to the gods. Only a siren can enter this space. The blood-cursed, however, are not permitted to leave. As everything spirals out of his control, Pike needs to find a way to beat the law that would force him to stay. He must return to Sadie. If that weren’t enough, he develops confusing feelings for a strong-willed fury, who is also part of the mission but who seeks answers that, if found, threaten to undo him. Pike must decide between returning with the cure and living in a world that no longer has a place for him or silencing mankind once and for all.