Posted in ebook reader, Kindle Fire, Uncategorized, writing

The world at our fingertips

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I’ve spent a lot of time in waiting rooms lately, and like many of the people sitting quietly around me, I found myself turning to my phone for entertainment. I was a long-time holdout when it came to smartphones, telling myself it was an expense I didn’t need, a distraction I couldn’t justify. And then, nine months ago, my grandson was born. And he lives some 1400 miles away from me. And suddenly those i-messaged photos and live facetime became too tempting to resist. When my son did a smartphone upgrade, I inherited his older model, and now I have to admit I’m a convert. The facetime is my favorite feature, of course — though watching my grandbaby growing and changing on a tiny screen is bittersweet.

In those waiting rooms, the entertainment I access most often on my phone, no surprise, is the free Kindle app. How many times during past years have I found myself spending long blocks of time in waiting rooms and hadn’t remembered to bring a book? Reading the two-year-old gossip magazines around me or the crumpled newspaper someone had left behind. Sometimes scribbling in a notebook, though I can’t usually write in public places with too many distractions. Or the wait lasted longer than I expected and I finished the book I brought, and couldn’t, of course, carry my entire TBR pile with me. The Kindle Fire I received for Christmas a couple of years ago has been a joy, but I don’t always have it in my purse — and I always have my phone. Which means, I am literally never without a book. Not only a book — my entire ebook library! Finish one? Start another. Not in the mood for this one? Try that one. Can’t concentrate on a new story? Spend a few minutes immersed in an old favorite, just for a brief visit with those old friends (yes, I’ve purchased a few of my treasured bookshelf “keepers” in ebook format just so I always have them with me). My only limit now is battery life, a frustration in itself, of course.

I can’t help thinking back to my childhood, when my friends and brothers teased me for never leaving the house without a book. Like most book addicts, not having one nearby always made me itchy — and that hasn’t changed with maturity. All three of my children were readers, but my middle daughter, Kerry, was the one who was never seen without a book in her hands, to the extent that she was known to walk into a few walls in her time. She still loves the feel of a “real” book (though as a new mom and medical resident, her pleasure reading time is quite limited for now), but she commented recently that she reads on her phone or tablet when she’s holding a sleeping baby and has only one hand free. My other daughter reads on her phone or tablet during otherwise boring bus commutes to work.

There was a time I wondered if the new electronic options would limit reading, but for me, at least, they have given me more opportunities to escape into a book. The boring waiting nook where I get my oil changed and tires rotated, with nothing but old sports, mechanics and hunting and fishing magazines available? I can slip away to a windswept beach where two lovers try to outwit their evil pursuer. Hospital waiting room with sneezing, coughing bench mates and a silly cartoon blaring from an overhead TV? Time to go off-planet for a futuristic romp with animated dust bunnies. Waiting in the car while hubs checks out yet another woodworking supplies store? I’m in New York in the future where a tough female lieutenant solves murders with her sexy Irish billionaire spouse. Mystery, romance, sci-fi, drama, family sagas or whimsical comedies — all within that roughly four-by-two inch little box. Maybe it wasn’t such a splurge, after all! (But the best thing in there is still the collection of my grandson’s photos.)

♥♥

Since I’m talking ebooks, I should probably insert a plug here — Almost all my titles are available for Kindle, Nook and other ereaders, the majority for less than $3. Click the “Books” tab above for links.

And I would love for you to join me on Facebook for more photos and conversations. Click the link at right to “like.”

Posted in ebook reader, Uncategorized, writing

Ch – ch – changes

It’s been an exciting time in the Wilkins household lately. Our daughter Kerry and her husband Justin visited last week from Massachusetts, and gave us permission to announce that they’re expecting our first grandchild early in December! Justin just received his Master of Library and Information Science degree (we’re so proud of him!) and is now working for ancestry. com. Kerry has two more years of her psychiatry residency to complete (she has almost finished adult psych and is preparing for two years of child and adolescent psych training, which is where her true interest lies), and then we hope they’ll head back south for her to set up practice (hint, hint, kids). We’re all looking forward to welcoming this new addition to our family and to the equally-eager family of our son-in-law. I have to confess that it’s odd to think of myself as a grandmother — or to accept that our middle child who was surely just yesterday playing with her Barbies and My Little Ponies will soon be a parent, herself!

During the coming week, our daughter who’s working in Seattle will be home for a visit. Courtney is still struggling diligently to recover from the debilitating brainstem stroke she suffered in October, 2010. She’s come a long way. She can now walk unassisted indoors and with forearm crutches outdoors for short distances, using a power wheelchair only for longer distances or when her energy flags, and while she has not regained use of her right hand, she has more control over the arm than she did at first. She has become quite adept with her left hand – writing, drawing, even using chopsticks! Post-stroke fatigue is her greatest enemy at this point. For a young woman whose nature is to always be on the go, running, hiking, climbing, traveling, it’s very hard for her to concede that she now needs a great deal more rest than before the stroke. A lifelong overachiever, she’s been known to over-do to the point of exhaustion now, so she’s looking forward to resting here with us for a couple of weeks. She continues to pursue her career in medical research despite her challenges. She has blogged about her stroke experiences, but hasn’t been able to update recently because her limited energy has been used up in work, therapy and daily living activities. But for those who’ve sent me notes asking about her, she wants everyone to know she’s doing well and will update soon. We are grateful for your concern.

Maybe you’ve noticed a new tab above. Every Monday, I’m featuring another re-release of one of my books, including an anecdote about the story behind the story! I hope you’ll visit me each week to check out the latest update.

Don’t forget to click the Books tab above for links to purchase all my books in e-format, a few Kindle exclusives, others also available at Barnes and Noble and for other ereaders. Want to have a book always available on your smartphone? Download the free Kindle reader from amazon.com!

I hope to see you again next Monday!

Posted in Uncategorized, writing

Check it out!

I’ll be in Seattle with my daughter for another few days, and while summer seems to have already settled in back home in Arkansas with highs in the 80s, spring is just coming to the Pacific Northwest. The highs here have been in the 40s and 50s, still a little cool, but warming. I’ve seen a lot of rain during the past few weeks, of course, but also some absolutely beautiful blue skies above the surrounding snow-capped Cascade and Olympic mountains. The cherry trees are starting to bloom, along with daffodils, early rhododendrons, other flowers, bushes and flowering trees I don’t even know names for. And everywhere I look, towering evergreens remind me why Seattle is called the Emerald City. Just beautiful.

While I’ve been with her, my daughter has helped me update my site here a bit. I have a new front page with covers from current books, links for FAQ and a sign-up for email updates of upcoming releases, and links to all my past books that are now available for Kindle and/or Nook. Within the next few days, my first fifteen published books will be re-released as Kindle exclusives (some are already available there — links are provided on the Books page). And my paranormal suspense novel, WAKE ME, will be released very soon. HUSBAND FOR A WEEKEND, my newest Harlequin Special Edition, is available in stores and for ereaders now. It’s a very exciting time for me, and it was definitely time for an update here! Thanks, Courtney.

Join me on my Facebook page (link provided at right) for more frequent updates and conversations. I love hearing from fellow book lovers!