Saturday, August 1, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? It's going to take an album.

August is going to require an entire album. And I have just the one. Man, it's so awesome. Elle King, Love Stuff. I'm crazy about the entire album. Rocker chick, soulful, takes you places. So dance and rock it out this last month of summer. What about you? What are you listening to?

Here's one of their most popular songs Ex's & Oh's! I love it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rachel Caine rocks the planet with Ink and Bone! Review time!

I tore through this story, not quickly, but with this hunger to be in the middle of Jess's world, to be inside his head and know the people around him. From the beginning your heart will pound. Even as a young kid his introspection crawled into my heart and took over. The world is an alternative here-and-now with this all-seeing, all-knowing Library that controls all information, even controls how, when, and where you have access to it. You can imagine not everyone liked that plan for society. So there are your activists, the Burners. Then you have the black market traders who like that plan because it's their bread and butter. The idealists are a danger to everyone, especially themselves. The bad guys range in degrees. But throughout there was this creeping dread that no one had it right yet. The Burners have some thoughts on the right track, but mostly they are a bunch of crazies. The Library scholars live in golden towers far removed from the real world. The young idealists who desperately want to become scholars fight to serve the Library, but fight even harder to hold onto their long held vision of an ideal run amuck.

Rachel Caine's Ink and Bone had a very Orwellian vibe all the way down to the feeling that this could have been performed over the radio with static and voices that drew you in. There was also a steampunk slash hopeless dystopian feel. The world building was phenomenal. The characters will be with me...forever. I'm hooked.

On a book girl side note, I remember reading an emotional post from Rachel Caine years ago about censorship. I think it was in response to hate mail or some internet troll and when I started reading Ink and Bone I thought of my walkaway feelings from that post of Caine's, that any kind of censorship is a suffocating band around freedom. She didn't say it like that, but I had to breathe deeply after reading it. If I was a betting girl I'd say Caine spun those feelings until an amazing intricate world was formed and created Ink and Bone.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The summer drama of a newly minted teenager, a six year old who decided he has to be a drummer right now, and a mom who can't remember her kids' names.

I took Will and John to a library event called Tinkertopia. So cool. They bring bins of random stuff, junk in the minds of anyone who likes things tidy and minimal, candyland to anyone who lives in their imagination, and you build whatever you want. The program guide said six and up. Will took one look inside the room and fixed me with his death ray stare. So maybe a few parents brought their little tykes and maybe there wasn't a soul in there older than eight. "Mom, I'm thirteen!" I was speechless because my mind spat out "So what!" Not the most sensitive approach. He walked out. John created Bumblebee from Transformers and told me that it is also a drum set. Awesome. I scored as mom of the summer by getting wave pool passes for all of us. It's a place where you cannot not bump into random strangers wearing almost nothing. I try to encourage the boys to play with kids their own age but they still swarm me. I run and screech, but they catch me by way of tackling. The lifeguards think it's funny. Ha ha ha. In between, they bicker. They push and pull and yell at each other. I separate them and like some cosmic genetic twist, they gravitate back immediately to play the game all over again. I've taken to calling them "Whatever your name is there, quit it. Grrh." There are laughs and time outs and the little guy keeps telling me I'm adorable to throw me off. He also tells me I'm a fuzzy pink bunny, which I am not. It's been that kind of summer. How has it been for you all? Laughs, shouts, cries, maybe a couple sunburns?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Buddy Read Chat Time! Bookworm Brandee and robgirlbooks fall for Own the Wind by Kristen Ashely

We read the entire Rock Chick series. We started the Colorado Man series. And now we're hitting the Chaos series where bikes rule and girls drool. I know, that was pretty lame. Own the Wind gives us the story of Tabby and Shy. The timeline is completely wonky and the layout is different from any story I've read before, but the voice is all Kristen Ashley. Tabby is an MC brat, like a military brat, the daughter of an MC leader, raised and cherished in the culture of bikes, revolving women, and danger. Shy is one of the brothers, meaning his job is to protect his fellow brother's daughter. Not crush on her, or fall in lust with her, just keep her safe (even from her self as far as Shy is concerned). He crosses the line. She decides to hate him for eternity. And that's the start of their story. Cool, huh? It's good stuff. Here's my chat with Bookworm Brandee. We had a blast reading Own the Wind! Can't wait to hit number 2.

I'm loving it! Are you loving it? I'm still at the beginning, but it's KA all the way! And Fortnums for that one second was such a thrill! How can we love a series so much that the mere glimpse of past characters feels like we just ran into old friends at the airport? 

Off to read more (of course!!)

I stayed up later than I should have reading because yeah, I'm loving it! I don't know how it is that we can love a series so much that being in Fortnum's for a second was so awesome. But it certainly was. KA is an author who can just pull you in immediately. OtW does have a slightly different feel from other KA books we've read. I'm thinking maybe it's because there hasn't been anything least not yet. 


Dang it! It's killing me to have to stop and do anything because, as with every KA book we read, all I want to do is READ!

So yeah, I'm finding that KA's distinctive voice is present in this series as well. I really do adore the cadence with which all her badass heroes speak. Shy is no different. And I adore the Tabby isn't going to take shit - not even his.

Specifically, I was cheering even as my heart cracked when Tabby told Shy he'd made judgements and he didn't know her. And as much as I delight in reading about a badass alpha, particularly one who rides a motorcycle ;) I'm going to rant on him for a minute. I could give him a pass over his error in judgement...I didn't like that he did that but I understood where it was coming from. You know? He made me a melty puddle of goo when he was there for Tabby when she needed him to be. BUT I don't understand how he could take on a *woman* when he was just passing the time. How can guys do that? And how is that fair? (in fairness, I'm ranting at the general male population, not just Shy)

I think there are some books (and some authors) that should come with pause buttons so we can stop everything around us and read our book! I'm reading and then suddenly the phone rings or the kids demand food as if they didn't eat yesterday! Rant over. KA is awesome. OtW has a different vibe than RC and you're right about the girls not being as wild. The men are alpha enough, but in a different way, less broody and more entitled. We're bikers, deal, babe. Or not and get out. This one also jumps ahead regularly where RC cuts to the past regularly with backstory that never was annoying (a hard feat). What did you think of the time jumps? 

Oh and getting the male POV first and for a while was cool. I think we needed a solid footing with Shy or he'd piss us off too much as the story went on. He does not pull punches when he needs to "sort shit out." Then we meet Tabby and she's feisty and unforgiving. I liked that she didn't melt for Shy and held a grudge and just kept holding it. I liked how pissed that made Shy. But I loved that part when he sees her in that red dress with her man and he's on his bike. I loved how that just pushed him into wanting that love for himself and not just wanting Tabby. 

So you were pissed about the side girlfriend, huh? I was shocked and not shocked and shocked some more! I didn't know how to process it. He made me love him (not as much as Tabby, but still). They cuddled. Freaking cuddled. You don't cuddle when you have a girl. Nope. I guess I'm right there with you and Tabby. Still, they both needed a fire lit or they'd friend themselves to death! 

Okay, I've read further...of course! And Shy redeemed himself a bit in my eyes. I'm glad he explained Rosalie to Tabby. That made me feel better right along with her. I still don't completely understand but I'm glad he took the time to explain. And can I just say that once Shy starts talking, the man lays it all out. Am I right? Damn! 

The next scene in Fortnum's...loved it! Tex booming VIP, slopping coffee grounds. *sigh* And Jett telling Tabby he was harmless. Good stuff! And the talk between Tabby and Shy's brother, Landon...excellent stuff! I was really kinda wishing Shy had overheard what she had to say. Because in a way, I felt those words belonged to him first and foremost. But I was glad they were out and it did need to be said to Lan.

I'm really excited to see how Tabby is going to find that *balance* she so admires between her Dad and Tyra. The way the sparks fly between her and Shy, I'm sure we're in for a hell of a ride. :)

Fortnums! More Tex and his coffee and shouting. I loved that they had coffee there and the tension building with Landon and what he had to say, I was just as nervous at the start as Tabby. And then she let him have it in a good way because it was slightly out of control like she always is when it comes to Shy. I'm thinking we'll get a Lan book, right? Maybe a Rush book too? Her brother wasn't a big part of the story but the building conflict, the fact that he's gorgeous and bossy speak to future main character potential. 

I was still conflicted about the Rosalie situation. I liked how Tabby listened and wanted to sort it out. She let Shy have his say and she could see he needed her to listen. Way more mature than I am. 

You mentioned sparks, whoa! In battle and in love. Those two. I love how they bicker. Some people bicker and you want to close your eyes and make yourself disappear. Those two fight and I want a bag of chips and a comfy seat.

I finished earlier today. Are you finished? 

Hot damn! That's what I gotta say. We've begun *another* KA series that ROCKS! Tabby is a kickass heroine. I so enjoy watching her stand up to Shy - or try to - when she feels strongly about something. Her "freeze outs" crack me up. Shy also delighted me with always knowing just what to say...even if Tabby may not like it. And I was right about those sparks flying! But dang! Watching them find the balance...that's something.

I'm glad we're getting acquainted with other characters - particularly Tack and Tyra but I enjoyed meeting Hop, too. And Elvira! Woowheee! I'm thinking we'll enjoy seeing more of her and Malik. 

What did you think of Chaos' reaction to Tabby and Shy? It kinda broke my heart, honestly. I mean, I knew they wouldn't necessarily be happy about it but I didn't expect the way things went down. I adored how Shy handled it...what he said. I was thinking "God, I love my man" right along with Tabby. And Tabby's *talks* with both Tyra and her dad? Priceless. I could only hope to get out all that needed to be said as eloquently as she did. 

Natalie? I have to say I had no real love her that girl. Especially after she came in and said all those things she said to Tabby and Shy...about Shy. If she reappears, it's going to take a lot for me to forgive her.

Did you enjoy getting to see Lee? I'd completely forgotten about Tabby's meeting with him. And then, there he is in all his badassness. I could totally see him standing there. He's such a good guy, isn't he? I mean, he may do things in his job that stretch moral boundaries, but he's a good guy. I was tickled pink getting to see him. And that he did what he did? 

What did you think of how things went down with Shy, his aunt and uncle, and the scumbag? I wanted to hug each and every one of his brothers. They totally had his back and I was proud of them. And I was proud of Shy as well. 

The ending - and epilogue...KA made me cry!! CRY, Robyn! "I dreamed a dream..." That's good stuff right there. Left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

The only thing noticeably missing from OtW was a girl brawl. But I'm thinking we may not get one of those in this series because these babes, they're not quite as wild. I think that's kinda funny in a way. But I also think it's a reflection of the lives they live.

I freaking love this book! I can't wait until we can read the next one. 

I finished too! I was more obsessed with this one and I think it's because we haven't had a KA fix in a long time. Too long, Brandee. Not pointing fingers at anyone. I needed to follow the relationship along. I loved when they were friends. Truly. It was so good and real and they both needed that. And then when it became more and the real world jumped in with their two cents, boy. I was just as pissed at Tabby and Shy! What the hell? I loved her not holding back and LOVED Shy's speech. Hot damn! 

And Lee! I did not forget about that meeting. I thought KA forgot about it. She told us there was going to be a meeting and then said nothing more. I was waiting and waiting and she still caught me off guard. The brothers needed to go big to redeem themselves and they did. 

So you cried at the ending did you? That line "dream" line got me every single time! That was such good stuff. I told you already I loved the red dress scene. And "dream" links back to that and to the first time Shy really want something. 

What did you think of the supporting cast? I was a little frustrated with this history with Tyra and Lanie that we know nothing about but was referenced several times. Was that a novella or do you think we'll get it during Lanie's story? I think we need a Tex type figure. We need some comic relief because it looks like things are going to get serious. Still I loved it. LOVED IT! The tone and vibe were different, even the style, but not the voice. And not the dialogue. You're so right about that. 

When dear Brandee are we hitting Chaos 2? Crazy how one Superbowl bet turned into a life of its own and characters that are so part of us now! You chose to give me Rock Chick and see what happened?

Good stuff!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [19] Teasing your favorite character!

July people! It's hot here, not Southwest hot or Midwest hot or east coast hot. Okay, it's not really hot unless you're a Pacific Northwesterner. Last time we had a summer like this, and I can remember vividly, my oldest was brand new to this world and I was so very lost. I'm not so lost anymore and the feeling, the feeling of distance and perspective and knowing what I've pushed past, well it's time for some fun!! I've been on a Fever Series reading bender. If you haven't dived into the world of Mac and Barrons by Karen Marie Moning and you like your urban fantasy on the unscrupulous side, what's keeping you? Pick up a book. Anyways, Barrons is beyond an Alpha male. He's an endless storm always free of human shackles like morals. He's not big on words though his actions require a very open mind to remain judge-free. After devouring seven books I heard Hugh Laurie's "You Don't Know My Mind" and I laughed the whole time imagining Barrons drunk crying in his beer or warm blood (whatever sauce he gluttons himself on). So here's my July pick. He'd kill me hard if I played it for him and told him "This is you, Barrons, you whiny baby!" Oh, by the way, you know who Hugh Laurie is right? House from the retired doctor show of the same name on Fox?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer's here and I missed my June theme song post!

Have you ever sucked at something? Thought you were going to rock it out because in your mind you're so awesome, but then real life snickers at your pretty daydream? This happens to me a lot. Maybe I have an ego problem. Anyways, I have a new job (substitute teacher). And as you can guess I'm not so great at it (yet). I thought because I wanted to be a teacher so long ago and I tutored math, reading, and writing for years before my life veered into the land of mom-town that I'd fall right back into teaching mode. Well, the Kindergarten kids chewed me up and spit me out. There was a girl fight on the way to class at 8:55 in the morning! I really had no clue little six year old girls had anything to brawl over. I was six once. I loved climbing trees and listening to the Cinderella soundtrack until my mother took the record away. Okay, I also stole my evil step brother's quarters from wherever he tried hiding them (never a good enough hiding place). Still. I was not prepared. Then halfway through my shift I heard "Ms. Jones?" I jumped and looked up, "Yes?" "Ms. Jones, Robert's mom is coming to pick him up." Okay, so not a heavenly intervention. I spun around and found the intercom. Robert then preceded to tell me the woman walking down the hallway was his mother so he could stay in the hallway instead of waiting in the class. "I am not his mother," the woman told me. I did not tell Robert he's a stinker but my smile told him all he needed to know. I also did not tell all the crying children to suck it up. Mostly I said, "Uhhhhhhh." One girl left the classroom and hid behind the door then pushed the door in my face three times to keep me from bringing her back inside. My win for the day was at the end of my shift (three very long hours later) when I offered the girl who closed the door in my face a hand and she took it.

It's June with a summer of greatness ahead full of playing, reading, and writing. Here's a song that makes me think of summer heat and barbecues. It also clears my head of everything but the song because it's so dang fun to sing to! Any songs out there that stops the daydreaming or quiets the admonishments? Happy summer people!
Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky"

(Photo found on Public Domain Archive, source public domain images)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pete and repeat?

I'm here and I'm not here. Kids, work, kids, chores, bed. I fit in exercise, Pinterest (because I'm freaking addicted), and writing (because). And I'm tired. Some days I'm on it like a bonnet. Others I try to clear the fog, but only more sleep could do that. Friday I drove to work in tears, but bitch slapped my emotional state in line because there is no crying at work! Yesterday I gave my boys the "I'm a single-working-mom-with-a-dream lecture." If you haven't heard it before, feel lucky because only an overtired ready to snap mom runs with it with enough gusto to count the words off with her fingers. Today I took the keys out of the ignition . . . while I was driving the car! A story just came over the radio that spun my head into so many writing threads, I was smiling and probably mouthing lines I hadn't even typed yet when I yanked the keys out thinking I already reached my destination and parked. The car was still going when I lifted the keys in my hand and shouted "Oh shit!" My six year old thought it was so funny. Me? Not so much but sort of. Will it calm down any times soon? I'm not sure. Last summer I got exactly nothing on my to-do list done. Still, I think I'm going to rock it this summer. So let's get shit done. Anyone out there drowning just a little bit? Maybe treading water until your limbs feel like jello? I'm with you, so you're not alone.

(Photo found on Public Domain Archive, source public domain images)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [17] It's all about mom

May. What the heck? Fine, we're up to May and I'm not ready for it, but I am ready for summer. I keep daydreaming about sunshine and laughter and the water, pool, ocean, doesn't matter. But back to spring time and Mother's Day coming up and a song that reminds you of your mom (or mom figure), or of being a mom, or gets you all sentimental about your kids. Happy May people!

My mom is a big music girl. She taught me the classics and not so classics. She danced and sang and still does. She's got music style.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Always an artist

Flamingos flying
I was an artsy student in college (but don't think I was cool or anything because I wasn't). I had paint under my nails and holey overalls and a constant faraway look on my face. After parties, I'd study my coursebook to plan out all the amazing classes I could take. Then in my less than sober state, I'd plan semester after semester. Which was why I ended up taking classes like History of India and Artificial Intelligence (it had a seriously cool title).

In the mess of liberal arts classes that would in no way prepare me for the real world, I discovered poetry. I don't write poetry now, maybe because I don't drink anymore. I plan to start drinking. It's on the list of things to do, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. But back then with a glass of wine I'd climb out my older than dirt living room window onto the older than snot roof and write (and drink...just a tiny bit, honest).

I was inspired and a little broken. I'd lived enough to see too much but not long enough to move on. Maybe it's the artist way, to hold on to what cuts us, to hold on so we can give it away one day in a magical way. I'm not broken anymore. Not healed either. I'm holding on just long enough to find the world my story fits into so it's not my story anymore because I'm finally ready to let it go. I think that's good.

(By Paul Mannix (Flamingos flying, Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

On another note, check out those freaking flying flamingos!