Sunday, September 18, 2016

Big love for Kristen Ashley

Yesterday I met Kristen Ashley. This is my first fangirl picture. In the last few years, I've met Patricia Briggs (sort of-I took a writer's workshop she gave), chatted (very briefly) with Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Ann Aguirre, JA Huss, the list goes on, and attended as many author talks I could manage. But I've never asked for a picture. And after this photo I awkwardly hurried away. Seriously, why is it so hard to talk to your favorite authors? The event was held in Seattle, a big to-do with a banquet room full of women dressed up ready to celebrate our love of KA and her stories (uh, I wasn't dressed up because I'm a jeans girl). I danced, laughed, and made some new friends, all this through total book love. Gotta say, book girls rock. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? Sunshine and Reese's Pieces

Two huge things happened this summer. Okay, just one, I tried Reese's Pieces for the first time. Oh my goodness, they rock! I love them. I wish I could go back in time and watch E.T. for the first time and at least appreciate the Reese's aspect of the movie instead of want to beat the movie into the ground for making me cry my eyes out in front of everyone. It has been a kid/pool/sunshine/travel summer. In other words, busy as heck. Through it, one song popped into my head and out my mouth. Just so you know, I have terrible music memory so I only sing small bits. That means my family has had to hear "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day..." over and over again with flair but with not much else. I hope you all had a wonderful summer. I'm not quite ready for the school year to start, but I'll just sing my way there. Any Reese's Pieces lovers out there? And how much of a song do you sing when it won't stop running through your head?

Have a bad ass September!

My Girl by The Temptations

p.s. I have to give credit to my youngest for sharing his candy with me and broadening my horizons. That was real sweet of him. Ha! Sweet.

Monday, July 4, 2016

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? July audiobook love!

Let's switch things up and talk audiobooks because I freaking love them! Rather, I love the narrators. So here are a couple of my absolute-I'll-follow-you-through-any-story-favorites starting with ...

James Marsters reading as Harry Dresden in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. If you're thinking the name James Marsters sounds familiar, it sure does! He's Spike from Buffy! Harry looks and acts nothing like Spike and the narration is so spectacular that I never confuse the two. Harry doesn't suddenly appear in my head as a platinum blond with an accent, fangs, and a near dying need for self-preservation. Harry Dresden is a wizard who works as a P.I. On the side he saves humankind over and over from some seriously scary supernatural baddies. If you haven't given this series a shot yet, get on it.

Kirsten Porter reading as a number of awesome heroines from back in the fictional day. I first heard her narrating for Maya Banks in Never Seduce a Scot. I followed her through all of Banks's historical romances and then discovered Joanna Bourne and her Spymaster series. If Porter is reading, you are sure to fall deep into the story and wish everyone understood if the earbuds are in, do not talk to me.

Happy July people. I hope it's filled with summer respite and ice cream.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Big America's Got Talent love for Grace!

Here's a feel good video going into the weekend. Oh the beauty of this girl!
Grace VanderWaal

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Movie Love Then and Now

I lived on movies when I was a kid. It was the 80's. Michael J. Fox ruled the teen scene and I could not tell the difference between Helen Hunt and Jodie Foster. John Candy made me laugh and a little Bill Murray went a long way. That's still true.

Recently I started digging up those old movies and attempting to watch them with my youngest. Just the PG ones so why not? Holy cow! It's hard to believe it, but I really am from a different generation. Oh the swearing! Back to the Future, that wonderful, funny, exciting time travel movie with Marty McFly skipped the f-word but that's about it. That doesn't even touch on the  big high school bully being far worse than a jerk. Biff, no means no. 

So where are we now with family-geared movies? I recently read The Martian and loved the hell out of it. The first line of the book hooked me, the line with the f-bomb so perfectly placed it cracked me up right there in the book section of the grocery store. I couldn't wait for Matt Damon to give me a whole new take on the story because that's how I feel about books to movies. It was good, great even, but it felt watered down. The tempered language annoyed me and stood out as blatant rating chasing. I imagined a school of persnickety old looking ladies who aren't old sitting around a table pointing their fingers at each scene that needs to be cut in order to keep a PG-13 rating. At the same time, I want something my son can watch that won't give him nightmares or rob even a minute of his childhood. 

I'm thinking we're fighting the deluge of information we can't control that pummels the kids of today with cherry picked hardships...or we're just holding onto their childhood by our fingernails. I love visiting the movies I couldn't get enough of when I was a kid, but the old line "You can't go home again," sneaks into my thoughts now and again. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? Favorites from The Voice!

Summer! It's almost summer! I think it will go by in a speedy blur of so much play and so many battles. Bet on both because we are a loud emotional bunch. Music will be more important than ever. Here are a few of my favorites from the latest season of The Voice. My apologies to those who don't get the show or watch it, but the songs are neato anyway. Here are just a few that I loved.

Alisan Porter, Let Him Fly
Ryan Quinn "Can't Find My Way Home"
Bryan Bautista "Pillow Talk"
Mary Sarah "Johnny and June"

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Working mom, dreams, and little kid basketball

Hi, how are you all doing? 

I thought I'd start with that since I've been out of touch for months. My writing dream took a hit this winter when I got a new job. Not just because I was too dang tired after work to be creative, but because the new job came with the discovery of a new dream, one that will actually pay me (after a bit of schooling). I kept at the writing (and editing) because I realized writing isn't just a dream, it's part of my soul to see the world and recreate it, retell it, sometimes just keep it for myself until I'm ready to share it. You can have more than one dream, maybe you'll move slower, and success will have to be measured in happiness and not accomplishments, but there is no finish line I'm thinking. 

In the meantime, I've been doing the mom gig. Meaning figuring out how to motivate a teenage boy with autism who is in the grips of puberty and sullenness that it is in his best interest to do his school work, not beat up his brother, and lend a kind word to his mother once in a while. Oh he drives me crazy. I asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up and he said, "Live with you." I told him I'd annoy him and he needed to live on his own. "No Mom. You only annoy me some of the time." The kid makes me laugh. He's also a Special Olympics Gold Medal athlete in swimming! He swam his butt off this spring and gets to go to State.

My youngest is on a basketball team and there is nothing cuter than watching a bunch of little kids running around playing basketball. He doesn't race off the court to give me a hug anymore, but he did give me a "What the heck?" look when a kid was defending him by way of holding him in place and then throwing him. The parents next to me were shouting, "Give it back to em!" while I was shouting "Good sportsmanship!" I'm thinking I don't have the sports mom role down. And maybe during practice while I was listening to Mercy Thompson be an awesome coyote on my audiobook and I noticed the coach teaching the kids to fight back when the defense plays street ball, I jumped off the bleachers and told him sportsmanship is primary, it's basketball creedo man! No one rallied behind the creedo bit. 

I'm still here folks. I'm working on Anna 4 and a novella from Eric's POV, both beyond the second draft stage. I'll try to hop around blogs and visit with you all. I miss you guys.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? December dancing and January beginnings!

Happy holidays! I say this with a bit extra cheer. A couple weeks ago I was feeling pretty sorry for myself while sitting at the longest stoplight known to man. It was pouring. A Christina Perri song was promising that life was big and wonderful and we're all stronger than we think. Through the windshield wipers across the massive intersection danced a bright blur wearing a yellow rain slicker, sweats, and a gym bag. Shake shake shake. The movements kept going as cars drove past. After a minute I started laughing, not at the enthusiastic pedestrian, but in celebration. A black man walked up the sidewalk next to my car and stood on the opposite side of the crosswalk to the dancer. The yellow raincoat person pooped out after another minute but then the man started dancing and just like in a music video about living life no matter what's pressing down on you the two moved to their own beat facing each other on opposite sides of the street. I sat in my car clapping because it was so good. I thought for a second maybe they knew each other, but when the light finally turned green they crossed paths with grins, no hugs or high fives. Strangers, all of us, but I felt that music.

So let's dance ourselves into the next year and sing no matter what comes our way in 2016. I have goals, but that's not new. I could use a few less goals, so maybe that's a new goal of mine, to chill a little. Probably not. No matter.

Alabama Shakes - Hold On

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Friendship, fangs, and a bit of gore of course! #Review of E.J. Wesley's Devil's Snare

5 STARS!!!

Before I fangirl over Devil's Snare (my absolute favorite in the Moonsongs series), here's a taste of my first encounter with this story with Blood Fugue...

Jenny does her best to be your typical hostile gaming hermit. Then she opens a seemingly innocuous email. Suddenly she has a living grandfather she believed long dead, commits to doing a favor that involves bullets, and discovers a destiny that will test her tendency to push people away. You can read more of my review here.

Jenny is all sass and toughness as in the girl sports a purple mohawk and feels naked without her tomahawk. But Jenny isn't whole without her best friend Marshal. He's the bee's knees (in designer loafers). They come across some seriously gruesome baddies and they survive with a healthy dose of fear and an even healthier dose of humor. I love them! In Devil's Snare we see through Marshal's eyes at the start, which rocks the planet because Marsh isn't just sitting back being the gay sidekick. In E.J.'s world of monsters, you sink or swim or get eaten. He can write gnarly things that bite. I'm telling you. 

After a suspenseful glimpse into what Marshal is going through, we dive into Jenny's precarious situation. Back to the suspenseful glimpse for a second...I was reading my kindle at the window of my favorite coffee place waiting for my drink. In the few minutes it took them to make my white mocha I had sunk so deep into the story that I jumped when the barista reached toward me with my coffee. The writing is that good.

If you haven't started the Moonsongs series, dive in. They're divided up into short novellas E.J. calls episodes. 6 episodes so far and I cannot wait for the next one!