Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I think middle school/puberty/7th grade homework is going to kill me.

Field with mother and young rhino - geograph.org.uk - 1007185Ever wonder how you made it out of middle school alive? My 7th grade days were not pretty, not with the cussing, bad hair phase, and determination to dismiss any and all authority. I had two best friends. One had fresh ketchup stains on her uniform shirt by the morning bell every day. The other was a living angel. Seriously a beautiful person. I had a certain rapport with the teachers. They didn't like me and I didn't like them. They actually got together and agreed to fail me if I ever turned in another paper written in cursive. Well, fine, my print was pretty terrible too. And I had an arch nemesis. She insulted me every day and I flipped her off (in my head). But I made it. Now that I'm a mom, I wonder how my mother survived my middle school years.

See where this is going? My oldest is in 7th grade. He is no longer the smiley sweet little guy who gave me pats on the back. Now he tells me, "Fine, I'll follow your lame-o rules!" He's actually very unpleasant, swears like a sailor, and can't stand anyone telling him what to do! What is that about? And school? Forget about cooperation to get him through that particular chore. Let's take his science class. 
"Will, do you have science H/W for tomorrow?" 
"Dunno." 
"Check." He checks after telling me he's tired of people bossing him around. 
"Yep." Since he doesn't have a textbook (budget cuts), I ask him what we're supposed to do. "Well Mom, you require five things to complete the task." 
"Uh" 
"First, you need a rubber band." 
"Wait, I need five things?" 
"Yes, first you need a rubber band. Second you need wax paper." 
"Uh." 
"Third you need a block of wood." 
"Wood? What?" 
"Fourth you need a force scale." 
"No, that's not even a real thing." 
"Fifth, you need a meter stick." Well, shit.

"Darrin Antrobus [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Feeling giddy anyone? Check out this song.

Crushing on anyone new or looking to crush on the one you've been with forever? Fall into this song (I like you by Ben Rector) and get giddy. It's a little bit of magic I tell you!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm a terrible football girl

Blitz-nfl-mascotSome of you know I'm a total sports movie girl, but my mom and sister have been on a year long push to suck me into the world of the Seahawks and everything else football. I used to hang out on my computer during the games and now I growl if they change the channel to watch one of their shows before a game is over. That is not right. I'm not even sure what's happening here, but it's possible I love football. I love it when there's a loose ball and the guys just keep jumping on top of the pile. It's even more fun when the refs have to toss the players off the pile. I'm starting to have favorite players on other teams too. That has to be a bad non-football girl sign. Like Cam Newton. Wow. A few weeks ago Jon Ryan faked the other team out and instead of kicking the ball (punting?), he ran it in for a first down. I jumped to my feet, "That's just like in the movies!"

"By Doublezero at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Writers' Conference time and a few mini-reviews of some rockin stories!!!

I'm headed to the Emerald City Writers' Conference. Yay!! Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I will be in book girl heaven. I've already made a mixed CD for the long drives back and forth. The boys are already grumbling about me not being home to tuck them in. I just can't feel too bad about that because...book girl heaven people!!!

Last year I wasn't the most social girl or promotional girl either. I maybe passed out a dozen business cards. Ack! I also had to keep telling myself not to dig out my paperback in my backpack and find a quiet corner away from all the chatting. I do remember how good the food was and how much restraint it took not to get another plate of cheesecake. Oh, and one of the keynote speakers made me cry, but since I hate crying in public she made me contort my face into ridiculous expressions to keep from crying. So my plan this year is to chat, listen, promote, eat super good food, bawl my eyes out freely if the situation calls for it, and most importantly throw my business cards at as many people as possible. Okay, okay, my only real goal is to have a good time.

In the mean time, here are a few books and movies that rock the planet.


Guardians of the Galaxy! 5 STARS because this was so much freaking fun and the music is the best! The beginning is emotional, the rest is action-packed, funny, and sometimes sweet. The cast is supreme. The snark is smart and so good! I loved it. I'm going to own it when it comes out. Yep.







Divergent (the movie)! 5 STARS because I just loved it. Sci-fi/futuristic/dsytopian movies have a special place in my heart and this one did not disappoint. There weren't many surprises (even though I haven't read the book), but the story and characters compensated for that. Plus there's a sexy factor going on probably because even when you have to take a test that determines where you will spend your life, you look pretty dang good.




The Fault in our Stars (the movie)! 5 sobbing, smiling, sobbing some more STARS. Man oh man, I freaking loved this movie so much. I know I'm a terrible book girl that I like to watch the movie before reading the book, but movies, not books, offered me comfort and escape when I was a kid. It will always be that way for me, I think. This story had the most amazing characters, no villains, unless you can count cancer as a character. Maybe you can. The parents stole my heart. The love story is precious, beautiful, breathtaking, and forever.




Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl is such a fantastic novella and start to the Girls' Night Out series. It's sweet, sexy, and relatable. Not every empty-nester wishes her kids back home. Some are ready to let loose and this story speaks to that lying-in-wait group. Plus there are firemen. Enough said, right? 5 STARS for sure!







Daylighters (Morganville 15) by Rachel Caine is the last installment of one of my favorite series. I put this book off as long as I could and now I wish I had more pages hiding somewhere. I want more and not because Caine left us with loose threads. She did right by the fans and I am so close to starting the series all over just to enjoy it from the beginning. The gang is back with the snark and terrible life-threatening plans to save the day. The bad guys are supremely awful and deserve a manic session with the trapdoor spider that we all know and love. Who knows how the web series will be, but the book series will remain one of my top favorites. 5 STARS! Good job Caine!


Slammed by Colleen Hoover is not new to almost anyone in the blogosphere. And I am late to the party, but so what? I fell so easily into the story and even though there weren't any surprises for me I still have to get it 5 STARS because I fell in love with Layken and Will. They both chapped my hide something fierce at different times and I wanted to throw something at them, but no matter. Hoover still got me. Plus the kids were so cool! What characters.





Chained by Night by Larissa Ione is just fantastic! From the first page I fell right back into the world Ione created in Bound by Night. And never once did I feel bogged down by backstory. How did she do that? I'll have to go back and see because that's good stuff. In the set up for book 2 in Bound by Night there was a shift in the story from a great dystopian vampire story to the addition of demons. I wasn't sure at all about that. Ha! I want more of the demon now. He should at least get a novella hook up. The romance in Chained by Night was never over the top for me or too far out of the story, which happens a lot in urban fantasy. Oh, and the multiple POV's have a bit of a Nalini Singh vibe, but the style of writing is completely different. Ione is very straight to the point without too many flourishes. 5 super STARS!!

That's all I got for you. Have a great weekend!




Thursday, October 9, 2014

Duel Review of Rock Chick Regret by Kristen Ashley with Bookworm Brandee


I had no idea what to think of Sadie Townsend, the woman who tossed Hector Chavez to the curb. I figured she'd be a total crazy. Turns out Sadie is crazy in a great way. Most of her life she locked her heart away in a vault of ice. To the outside world, Sadie is untouchable. Hector knows the truth, she's combustible, made of pure steel, and most of all meant for him. He can see through the layers of cold composure and high end clothes. If only Sadie had the same faith in herself. She's put on a front so long she has no idea who she is anymore. Now that her life has been torn apart in the aftermath of a vicious attack, she's on a mission to rebuild, and she does this with a colorful cast of characters from the best friends ever to the Rock Chick gang.

Rock Chick Regret will have you cheering for Sadie and swooning over Hector. I absolutely loved it! 5 STARS for sure! Bookworm Brandee and I have been buddy reading this series after a Superbowl bet went my way (go Hawks!) and she gifted me Rock Chick. As always, we chatted and chatted. So here's our little back and forth (mostly our fangirling over Hector).

(Brandee) Man, I thought Mace & Stella's story had a different feel. I've spent so much time crying over Hector & Sadie's and I'm only on chapter 4.

Okay, one thing that's standing out the most to me is Sadie. She's not the typical Rock Chick. It's very interesting that KA created a Rock Chick that's...well, she's not weak. She's actually a smart and touch chick but she seems so much more fragile. Is that a good word for her? It fits with her looking like a fairy princess, I suppose. Does she seem fragile to you? Fragile and yet she'll jump in with both feet to send her drug dealing daddy to prison. Hmm...

Hector...ay, Dios mio! Yes, I speak some Spanish and Hector Chavez is mm-mmm. (by the way, that sentiment is the same in both Spanish and English) I can't imagine the regret he feels over the actions he took. But he's so tender with Sadie. He knows he has to handle her with kid gloves and he's managing. He's a hot-headed hottie. But he's completely different from his brother. And although I like Eddie, I like Hector's brand of machismo better. I love that he's determined to bring out the 'real' Sadie - the one he seems to see even if Sadie isn't that acquainted with her.

Okay, back to Hector....

(Robyn) This one does have a totally different vibe. Sadie isn't immediately endearing like the rest of the girls. She's so good being cold when threatened, she goes cold at the slightest hiccup. I think Sadie is more vulnerable, at least the sweet side of her is because her sweet side is like a fledgling with no armor. 

Oh Hector. Man, that guy. I love how different he is from Eddie. They're both Alpha bossy males, but Eddie would have pushed Sadie back to her icy mountaintop forever. I think of all the males we've read about so far, Hector carries and uses his guilt differently. He didn't wallow once or push Sadie away. He's a thinker first. All the other guys were charge in and throw shit kind of men. Perfect for Sadie who is also a thinker. She's so much of a dang thinker she divided up her personalities. She's nutty!

I was trying to think of standout characters for this one, but everyone showed up and bedazzled me. Duke. Tex. Marcus! I was so happy to have some scenes with Daisy's husband. Buddy and Ralphie, they are so freaking awesome. I love them.

My goodness do I like Sadie. And for completely different reasons than I've liked any of the other Rock Chicks. I'm loving the comparison to a fairy princess, because that whole dream she had which she remembered when she walked into Hector's house? Awesome!

I was really, really happy that KA dealt with the after-affects of rape. I was kinda worrying that things would just move forward so I was relieved when bumps on the road were hit. (bad analogy?)

Hector...seriously in the running for #1 Hot Bunch. That he's so compassionate, gentle, patient with Sadie is winning me over. I know he's a hot-headed guy but he's not being pushy with Sadie at all. Oh and that tattoo??? **SWOON** 

Ralphie and Buddy make me smile. And Shirleen planning the menu for an art opening was classic! Pigs in a blanket...made with croissants because that's classier. OMG! I haven't seen the other cast members all that much and Tex *still* steals his scenes! And that they're ALL so accepting of Sadie - even though she thinks she is undeserving and doesn't belong - is heartening.

*cocks head* Oh, Hector's calling... ;)

Yep, Hector is edging out Hank. No worries. I have enough book girlfriend love for all of them. It's so neat that she looks like a fairy princess and has premeditated personality shifts, not always, but she goes into things with a plan who she's going to be. The need to discover who she is has to be one of my favorite things about her. How can you not root for her? Of course I love the Veronica Mars tie-in. I love how Buddy and Ralphie gave her so much love and helped her climb out of that terrible dark place she had to have been in. KA did a great job handling the rape storyline, I just wasn't so sure about how often Sadie said the word rape out loud. That seemed...not realistic. Then again, Sadie doesn't mince words. She's a straight shooter.

Tex always steals the show. I love his whole "VIP!" mixed in with yelling and swearing to clear the line at Fortnums. He does it with every Rock Chick. Duke, I'm telling you, he knows how to pick his freaking moments. I want him to have a chat with me and straighten me out. I felt terrible for Lee for a while, even more than Hector. What a beginning, huh? Heavy. 

I just realized one thing for sure that's different about this one, there was not competing Hot Bunch guy. Right? KA ran out I think. Say it ain't so! I love how welcoming Blanca is to Sadie. I just love it. And I love when Sadie has moments when she's not thinking how she'll react. She just does and that's Hector's Sadie that he usually messes up telling her. Have you noticed he's not a "sorry" man? He's a "this is me" guy. Sadie's the best one for him. 

Aww, she didn't endear herself to you immediately? Getting the inner monologue made me understand her actions right off so I liked her from the start. She is definitely good at being the Ice Princess...until she isn't. But you're right about the sweet side of her being like a fledgling without armor. That's a really good comparison. 

I'm in love with Hector. True. I can't think of the exact moment it happened right now - it might have been the "I'm not fucking around anymore" speech. But LOVE.HIM. He is a gentle alpha, much like Hank. The difference is that Hector says so much with his actions where Hank's good with his words. Of course, Hector has good words too...like the point where he tells Sadie all her Sadies make up her. He just melts me into a puddle of goo.

Yes, there aren't any standout characters this time...they ALL are! I loved getting some good Marcus, too. Ralphie and Buddy made me love them. And Jack made a big impact even if he's only present a very little while. I want Duke to set you and me both straight! He does know just what to say and when to say it, doesn't he? He's awesome. I can hear his voice so clearly and even feel his hugs. They ALL make me comfy, warm, safe. I sooo get it now. I get the message that we can do anything with our friends by our sides.

*haha* Yeah, I have enough love for them all too but Hector is definitely edging out all the other Hot Bunch hotties. 

I like that you mentioned Sadie's need to discover who she is because I was thinking that this book, more than any of the others, has been a journey of personal discovery for our Rock Chick. And watching that journey is one of my most favorite things. It broke my heart to think that Sadie hadn't ever experienced some things we take for granted....like smores. Or having girlfriends to have coffee with.  

I really am pleased with how KA handled Sadie's recovery from the rape. And I didn't think anything about her use of the word. I guess because, like you said, she's a straight-shooter and doesn't mince words. Especially once she's thought about things, gotten mad, or clicked a certain Sadie into place. So while it might not be realistic for some, it seemed to fit with Sadie.

Hector is a "this is me" kinda guy and you can take him or leave him, he doesn't care. It's ironic that he doesn't say he's sorry and Sadie is constantly apologizing for things she has no control over. Yep, they're perfect for one another.

Hmm, it didn't occur to me that we hadn't had a rivalry for Sadie in this one. But you're right. And she's been with other Hot Bunch hotties... Ren sure didn't make Hector happy when he touched Sadie but he didn't make any moves. And, well, we know how that one works out. Maybe there wasn't a rivalry because of all the Rock Chicks, Sadie's the one least likely to accept any advances?? 

It made me exceptionally warm and gooey feeling that everyone so quickly accepted Sadie...but especially Hector's family. Blanca accepted her more readily that Jet, don't you think? And that one was fast too. I also love Sadie's reactions to all the hugs, kisses, and acceptance she's been given. I've giggled over her painting, sanding, etc. at Hector's house. And I cried...boo-hooed! - over what she said to her dad about what living a good life was, in her opinion. True, that.

I'm finished! Let me know when you are....

I finished reading Rock Chick Regret. Holy cow I loved this one so much!!! Hector is plain awesome. His brand of alpha is the most appealing to me. He's not physically controlling. He has fits and mood swings which just make him more real. He handles Sadie with such care and patience. Sadie won me over instantly because we had the inside track, but that first scene with Indy and Shirleen and the complete freeze out, it's the first time one of the Rock Chicks didn't think the upcoming Rock Chick was badass. 

I cracked up at how much Sadie loved fixing up Hector's house. When she had paint all over her, I could see this woman who showed the world a perfect Sadie and then she got to be a kid. Her dad is sure a complex character, that's for sure. You know what would be kind of fun, the old guys getting stuck on some winter retreat, cops and sort of and not sort of bad guys and they all have to solve some mystery together. Cliche maybe, but how fun would it be to see Duke and Tex there too? That's another fanfic I vote for us writing. 

I couldn't get over Jerry...that he felt so entitled to Sadie that he'd do whatever he felt like in order to get what he felt was his due. Ugh! What a creep! And Marcus got to be a good guy again! Yay!!

That scene between Sadie and her dad was fan-freaking-tastic! I was so proud of Sadie...the real Sadie for standing up to him and asking for what she deserved...her dad.

That last 'talk' Hector and Sadie had - I was so thrilled that she held her ground and told him, just as he'd told her, how it was going to be. I love the real Sadie.

The epilogue...loved that. Hector's explanation of Ally and Ren was great. And that Christmas morning scene...god I love Hector. And Sadie sure does too! 

Can I say that I think it's kinda amusing (like I'm fighting a grin) that we just might end up being in love with the same Hot Bunch hottie?!? Hector is firmly in first place in my heart.

Sorry I've slacked on our RC chat! Jerry was something that's for sure. Of course I hated him from the start, but still, he racked up more hate points as the story went on. There was still kidnapping in this one, but totally different than the other ones. Sadie was so badass and not because she kicked ass, but because like Hector always says, she has an iron will. Oh, Hector. Of course we'd fall for the same Hot Bunch Hottie. Luke has the weird mustache thing. Seriously, that drives me crazy and not in a good way. Eddie does all that physical pushing around. Lee was made for one girl. But Hector, oh man. He pushes the right buttons. Christmas day rocked. 

I can't wait to read Ren and Ally's story, but then again, procrastinating sounds like a great plan. I'm not ready to close out the series. We do have a good consolation plan...writing a bit of fanfic, but still! It's been such a fun ride, Brandee!!

Hey, no worries! 

Yeah I loved how Hector kept repeating 'will of iron'. He totally makes me swoon. And of course we'd both fall for the same Hot Bunch hottie. 

I am not minding the idea of procrastinating on Ally and Ren's story. I hate for this ride to be over. But you're right, we do have some fun on tap. And lots more KA to read. ;) Ooh, and the fanfic...that's intimidating. *haha*





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [10] #ACLFest

Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl inspired this month's theme song challenge because the girl absolutely loves the Austin City Limits Music Festival. So check out the list and go nuts! The second I saw OutKast I thought of Hey Ya! because Will used to ask me to replay the song over and over. It was so dang fun to sing along with him (when he let me). 

I'm hoping October is a bit more easy going than the last few months. I'm sort of overwhelmed at the moment with just about everything. The mom gig is plain tough right now. On the bright side, the story ideas keep hitting me and I thought maybe I should venture into some short fiction just to feed the beast. I hope to dive back into the blogging waters soon. I miss you all! 






Thursday, September 11, 2014

YA heartache and healing: Review of Girl Nevermore by R.A. Desilets

Girl Nevermore by 
YA Contemporary
(author gifted me ARC for honest review)
4 STARS
Last week, Cooper Mesa was a quiet, studious bookworm.

This week, she feels unworthy of love or forgiveness.

When Cooper's twin sister, Kayla, tries to end her own life, Cooper blames herself. If only she had paid more attention...

Desperate to understand her sister's decision, Cooper starts down a dark path, discovering her own inner turmoil. Losing herself is easy, but finding a reason to live is becoming impossible.
(Goodreads blurb)



Cooper Mesa is your typical teenage book girl. For her, life will truly begin once she's free of high school and her mother. She loses herself in stories until her twin sister looks at her in English class and confesses something so terrible, so painful and shocking, Cooper can only sit and watch as life seeps out of her sister one breath at a time.

Girl Nevermore takes us on the emotional roller coaster of loving someone who tried to commit suicide. It's not pretty. Cooper has moments of such grief, I want to hug her. Other times she's so dang selfish I want to shake her silly. That's what suicide does to the loved ones left behind even if the person failed in the attempt, it makes you crazy. It makes you question your role in it. It makes you hate and love at the same time until you're dizzy and in need of the biggest tantrum. I just saw an interview with the late Joan Rivers talking about her husband's suicide, it went something like this, I was so livid, I wanted to kill him! That's it right there. So just imagine a twin sister left alone to this emotional storm because her mother is a clueless asshole. The mom is not a bad person, just a total selfish jerk. I'm sure there are moms like her, but I could not make sense of her actions when it came to Cooper.

My favorite part of the story has to be Logan. Yes, there's a burgeoning romance, which grew from a long time friendship. I'm crazy about him!

Girl Nevermore spoke to me. I'm the opposite of Cooper. She dove straight into her grief. I'm more of a runner and freeze-girl. I freeze out my feelings. I freeze my relationship with the person who at any moment could choose to quit all over again. That was the hardest part of the story. I was worried the whole time Cooper would get herself so twisted up in her head that she'd go the route of her sister. I also kept waiting for news that her sister tried again. So not a relaxing read in any way, but powerful and emotional, and even sweet and lovely.

You can check out author R.A. Desilets on Goodreads and her website. And don't forget to check out Girl Nevermore.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sidekick Showcase [54] Best Friend

Sidekick Showcase is a monthly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! I will post my Sidekicks on the first Saturday of the month, then whichever day during the month that you would like to post yours, you can put your link in on my page. Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in the week's topic
• Share a picture (if you can) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• The day of your post, click the 'Sidekicks' link in my header and enter the link for your post. Here, you can also see anyone else that posted during the month to visit their Sidekick Showcase's as well.

Topic ideas for September:
Best Friend, Fun, Ball of Energy, Humorous

There are so many stories with best friends I've adopted as my book best friends. Pick any of the quartet from Morganville, or Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy, or Jinx from The Hollows, but I've listed all of them before in my sidekick posts (more than once). So I'm going with Cookie Kowalski from Darynda Jones' Charlie Davidson series. Cookie is Charlie's receptionist, best friend, neighbor, partner in snark. I love Cookie. She's a single mom in her thirties with the most obvious crush on a guy who has a balance of hero moments and total asshat moments. Actress Melissa McCarthy would be the perfect Cookie.

“Make it quick," I said when I picked up.
"Okay. Two men from the FBI are here." Cookie said. Quickly.
Crap. "Men in black are at the office?"
"Well, yes, but they're actually in more of a navy."
Crapola. I so don't have time for men. In any color. "Okay, two questions. Do they look mad, and are they hot?"
After a long, long, pause, Cookie said, "One, not really. Two, no comment at this time. And three, you're on speakerphone."
After another long, long pause, I said, "Okie dokie then. Be there in a jiff.”
Darynda Jones, Second Grave on the Left


I asked my own sidekicks who'd they choose. My sister's pick is Molly from Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series. Molly is a powerful witch with even more powerful witchy kids. She has every reason to steer clear of Jane, but those two will do anything for each other.

My mom is going with Henry Pitts from Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone detective series. I love Henry. He's a retired commercial baker who spends his golden years baking, creating crossword puzzles, and offering Kinsey a safe refuge from her isolating, dangerous world of detective work. He's plain cool.

How about you all? Any best friend sidekicks you can't live without in a story or wish were your best friends?







Monday, September 1, 2014

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [9] Oldies baby!

September! The end of summer, the first glimmers of fall, and most of all, my birthday month! Yay! Okay, that's all fake enthusiasm. I'm not sure how I feel about this birthday, but if I had to guess, I think a panic attack is forthcoming. All the more reason for awesome music, and to make fun of myself a bit, how about tapping into Oldies! Yes, 80's count. Rock on people!
rob's pick!
Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses
Shann's pick!
I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow

Mom's pick!
(I can't get no) Satisfaction by Rolling Stones!