Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Think Out Loud [53] Mimic octopus...just wow!

I recently saw this video on YouTube about an octopus that mimics other marine life. Holy cow, it is so neat! Here it is for you. What do you think? Amazing, right?
So after I watched this, the wheels wouldn't stop turning. Here is this amazing animal using mimicking as a primary defense. And since I am always coming up with theories on autism, I instantly dove into one of my primary theories, that the brain is caught up in a series, nest, web of defense mechanisms starting at birth with the most basic lay a baby down on a table and he cries because the brain senses a falling sensation. Poor water over a baby's head, the brain says, "You're drowning! Scream for all you're worth." So going with this, the rest of the stims, behaviors, quirks, common with people with autism are somehow related to the brain's dilegent and confusing attempt at defense. One of the most common stims? Mimicking! Also called echolalia. The octopus mimics other marine life to survive. Messages are being sent, data is being processed, and in all that, the octopus decides what animal to become. Despite my working "defense" theory, I hadn't considered my son's echolalia until I watched this short video, but wouldn't it be neat to compare the chemical reactions this amazing octopus experiences to those a person with autism experiences in the midst of mimicking? (Not compare in a way that endangers human or octopus)...Okay, so I'm nutty. I do this, theorize. 

How about you all? Any nutty people out there with something to say? Crazy or not, Think Out Loud is for anyone to post anything! ANYTHING. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

COYER Review of Avenging Angel by Cynthia Eden

4 STARS! Some time back I won a signed copy of Avenging Angel (The Fallen #4) by Cynthia Eden. Thank you Jillian at Busy Moms Book Reviews and author Cynthia Eden. I was so excited to win, but then the book sat on my shelf forever! For summer COYER, I've decided to hit my contest wins, starting with this steamy paranormal romance. If you're looking for a book that will take you away from the real world for a spell, dive into Tanner and Marna's story.

Marna is an angel trapped on earth, not because she chose to fall, but because a shifter clawed off her wings! Brutal. Tanner saves her life, but will never let himself off the hook since her attacker was his brother! He vows to keep his beautiful, innocent angel safe. She vows to keep herself safe (with a touch of blood vengeance). Not your typical sweet angel that Marna girl. The two do not get what they aim for when some supernatural bad guy uses Marna's image and commits murder. Did I mention Tanner is a cop? So he arrests her. She's pissed. He's pissed (because he's always a bit angry). Quickly, the two find themselves tangled in a mystery they must solve and a shared desire that has no end in sight. Good stuff.

I loved returning to straight up paranormal romance. There were a few twists I didn't see coming. The romance wasn't a surprise, but Marna is a with it woman and I loved her curiosity and honesty. 

If you're interested in signing up for COYER (clean out your ereader - but this time you can read any book e or otherwise), click on the cool graphic.

Also, there's still time to enter the Soul Twister giveaway for a chance at Amazon gift cards and any one of my Touched Girl books. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Soul Twister Blog Tour!!!

Soul Twister, the 3rd book in my Touched Girl series, is finally live on Amazon! Click HERE to check it out. To celebrate, we're having a giveaway plus a bunch of fun posts throughout the blogosphere. There will be reviews, character bios, a couple Top 10 lists, and an author interview or two. Please join us, hang out, comment, check out the Touched Girl series because books 1 & 2 are only $0.99 on Amazon and Smashwords!! And don't forget to enter the rafflecopter giveaway!!

Here's a quick look at Soul Twister.

“Peter and I are about to play a game. Don’t help him.”
“Game?” crazy Shopgirl asked.
“A hunting game,” Peter answered. His voice had a new quality to it. He caught me staring and instead of smiling, he held my eyes. “First one wins the bite. I’m going to win, Anna.”

Months into recovering from the bloody events that took place in Soul Bender, Anna Pierce is ready to get back out there and fulfill her self-crafted destiny. Sadly, no one in her life feels the same way. The emergence of buried memories and out-of-the-blue powers send her straight into regular sessions with the school counselor. If only she could talk about her overly protective vampire boyfriend or the real threat posed by former friends turned enemies or her new guide who makes her former guide look like a bowl of sunshine. Anna has a lot going on, but at least she's too busy to think about her first Christmas at Ella's.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out today's tour stops!
Bradee @ Bookworm Brandee gives us her review and a fun character interview!
Kye @ Eternity Through Pages gives us an author interview!
Athina @ Between My Lines gives us an author interview!
Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are gives us a Top 10 list and a Soul Twister excerpt!
Ki @ Doing Some Reading gives us a Top 10 list!
Tobi at Forget the Housework, I'm Reading shares her review of Soul Twister!
E.J. from The Open Vein (E.J. Wesley, Author) shares a character spotlight...get ready for some sass.
Brandee @ Bookworm Brandee gives us an author interview plus favorite quotes!
Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven shares her review of Soul Twister and a character bio!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fangirl time! Bookworm Brandee and robgirlbooks duel review Rock Chick Revenge by Kristen Ashley!

5 STARS!! The second you meet Luke you want more and Rock Chick Revenge gives us so much Luke, I'm drunk on him. He teased us with Roxie and nearly made me faint (if I were the fainting kind) with Jules, but once you meet Ave you know she's the only one for him. Bookworm Brandee and I have been buddy-reading Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick series since we made a Superbowl bet and she lost (well, the Broncos lost-us blogger girls, we won). I found my Rock Chick in Roxie and now finally Brandee has found hers in Ava.

With all the criticism Ava grew up with from her mom and two sisters, she shouldn't have been able to remain a sweet and caring person. With all that Luke has seen and done in his life, he should be too much of a hard ass to want something as precious as the girl across the street when he was a kid. When the two meet up for the first time in years, the fireworks and attitude are off the charts. Keeping up with tradition, here's my chat with Branee about Rock Chick Revenge!

(Brandee) Okay, here are my initial thoughts and comments...

What was your reaction to Ava's visit to Nightingale Investigations? I was laughing at everyone being in on the joke and Shirleen telling Ava to just go with it!

I also laughed at Luke's entrance - and his comment 'too late again' but then I wanted to smack him with his seemingly unfeeling question to Ava!

So what do your Good and Bad Robyns wear? I'm thinking my G&B Brandees need a new wardrobe! ;)

How'd you feel about Luke's use of handcuffs right off the bat? Oh, and his Neanderthal'ing at the office?? Is he too pushy for you? Nah, me neither! I'm rather digging it! LOL

You know, I always wished I had a sister. But after how Ava's treated her - and seeing as how my little brother was such a schmuck, I'm thinking I'm glad I didn't.

I'm identifying quite a bit with Ava - being called fatty and four eyes. Although I didn't have a Luke to rescue me. I like that she chose to develop her sense of humor to cope rather than turning shy and quiet. 

Luke...well, I withhold judgement until I'm a little farther in. ;)

(Robyn) Okay, I'm typing this without my glasses on because I'm worried that if I'm wearing them I'll start reading more Rock Chick Revenge. And I need to sleep, but I also had to write back. 

Ava's good and bad angels rock the planet. Mine need a new wardrobe for sure. If I was honest they're probably in clothes circa 1985 since I haven't listened to them since I was a kid. 

Luke and the cuffs. I have no idea why Eddie's physical pushiness bothered me but Luke's makes me smile in a drunk way. Maybe because of the history between Luke and Ava and because we know he needs Ava to stay safe. Or maybe he's just really into cuffs. Yeah. I'm drunk smiling again. 

So you finally have your Rock Chick. I hate that you were teased like that. You didn't have Luke to save you because you saved your own dang self. 

You are not withholding judgement on Luke. You're mad about him in an Ava way. So go on and yell at your new book boyfriend and then swoon.

It took everything I had not to email you early, early this morning about Rock Chick. (or tweet at you) I have no idea where you are in the book - and I'll send a detailed email separately but I have to say that I have indeed found my Rock Chick. And Luke.............*sigh* The most surprising thing is that I've spent a great deal of time crying while reading this one. That's also how I know I've found my Rock Chick. Oh, and I'm not done yet. :)

No Rock Chick at all yet. And it's at a really good part (they're all really good parts)! Yay! You've found your Rock Chick. Roxie made me cry so much during her story so I get your tears. 

I cannot believe Ren. Holy goodness. Want. I cannot believe that Kristen Ashley spun everything on its head and put a bad guy in the mix. I know she's been playing with fire with Hector and Darius, but Ren is probably up for taking over his uncle's business. Right? And Ally wants him. She was yelling at him and wiping away his blood at the same time. And what about Mace? His story is set up. He lost track of the person he was guarding. Bad horny job. Man. 

I just love Good and Bad Ava's. They crack me up constantly. And the girl/girl wrestling scene had me laughing my butt off at the pool while the boys were taking their lessons. I had to put the Kindle down and laugh. 

I love the addition of Shirleen. I miss Indy and Tex and their brand of crazy, but Shrileen is almost an Indy/Tex combo but with Days of Our Lives in the mix.

Have you noticed that each Mr. Tough Guy Hottie throws around the word bitch? I don't like it and I want to hose each of them down with a fire hose whenever they use that word. One quick fire shot will do I think.

Is Luke taking over top spot for favorite Alpha or does Hank still hold the honors? Vance is still my number one, but I sure love how much he wants Ava.

Okay, that's my quick, not so quick Rock Chick check in. When are children able to fend for themselves? I need more reading time!

Sorry our Rock Chick convo is in separate emails. And I'm sorry I haven't sent many thoughts but I didn't want to ruin anything for you and I was reading a bit faster. BUT I wrote it all KNOW I did!

Shit - I can't remember where I left off, so I'm going with


Okay, I totally yelled at him a few (read: many) times. ;) But then, just like Ava, my knees went wobbly and I swooned. Yeah, I'm completely mad for him. And I don't like a 'tache but I'm totally digging on Luke.

You know who's super-fly? Luke Stark is super-fly!! I can't believe how much this man says with 'babe'. And when he does speak, the things that come out of his mouth...My knees are wobbly again. :)

How'd you feel about getting to see Mrs. Stark? Again, I love that the Hot Bunch, for the most part, come from decent families. Luke and his dad may not have gotten along but he was close to his Ma. 

What did you think when Ava said "Men suck,"..."They take everything. Everything." I thought it was a profound observation. But I love how Luke - well, especially Luke, but a few other men as well, showed her not ALL men suck.

So, at about 75% I think, Luke hadn't entirely won me over. I was waiting on him to say one thing...and then he totally said it. *swoon* And the confrontation with Ava's sisters...holy wow! I wanted to clap and I was totally balling my eyes out and jumping for you at the same time. 

I know we both love a strong heroine and Ava is strong. "Solid" as Luke said. But she just couldn't stand up to her mom and sisters. And I totally get that. So I didn't think less of her for that, at all. Because let's face it, she was pretty super-fly! That car chase scene when she's telling Noah off....anyway. So all the things that Luke said and did and standing up for her...but particularly standing up for her...that's how he won me over and I adored Ava for letting him 'save' her. Loved that scene afterwards (after the confrontation) too. ;)

Did you just melt at the fireman hold???

Ren...yeah, I kinda have a mini-crush. Yeah, I am delighted that KA worked a 'bad' boy into the mix. And it'd be fitting for him to win Ally. I hope we haven't seen the last of him. (I know who the next book is about but I haven't looked farther ahead than that)

I enjoyed the wrestling scene too - but I missed the bar brawl!! We could have at least had a throw-down with Ava's bitchy sisters. That would have been righteous! ;) 

How do you feel about throwing Olivia into the mix? And the bets on who's next?!? Laughing over that. Even Det. Marker getting in on it. 

SHIRLEEN!! Damn, I'd love her to be my Rock Chick mentor. She rocks! She has almost as much personality as Daisy - without the sparkle. *ha*  

I had a really sad realization, Robyn...there are only 3 books left. ONLY THREE!! This is a series I'm definitely going to re-read. But it's one that I'd really like to be able to read for the first time again. *sigh*

Oh, the Hot Bunch's use of 'bitch...are you talking about Luke telling Ava she's being bitchy?

Oh my gosh, your email is jam packed with good stuff. I fell completely for Luke when Ava's lies started amusing him. At first it pissed him off that she kept lying, then he just went with it. If he could do that and take her the way she is, a scared runner with a fiery temper, then WOW! 

The 'tache' was too much for me! I tried to accept Luke, but my mind made up a shaving session with him and Ava where she did away with it. But he did say some really good stuff. I loved how he studied her and waited for what he's been waiting for from her. Even though he was more trigger happy with the cuffs than the other hotties, he seemed the least pushy. Or was I just lost in some Luke Crush Fog?

You are so right about Ava being a strong heroine. First off, she loses her head and starts yelling even when she tells herself to calm down, then she commits to being pissed. I like that. She keeps it together She's an amazing bestest best friend. I love the lengths she went through to protect Sissy.

There was a lot of swooning going on for me in this one (in all of them). I wanted to have a chat with the mom and sisters, but never would I have been as awesome Luke. Holy cow! I thought it was realistic for Ava to be powerless when it came to her family. You either have to become unfeeling or uncaring or mean right back, and none of those things are Ava. 

For me the best thing about this story is the past Ava and Luke shared. It gave the story a slow build feel.

I loved the 'Moms' in this one. And Olivia being added was hilarious. I did not expect that. Actually, Rock Chick Revenge had the most surprises. I loved that. No bar brawl, you're right. Not much Indy or Daisy either. But Shirleen, I want to know her and give her puppy dog eyes (not that I'm capable of pulling that off) until she takes me under her wing. 

Oh, the bitch usage. I just remember a boyfriend once calling me that and it didn't go over well. Do guys really freely calls girls bitchy and bitch to their faces like that in real life and get away with it? I'd have a total bitchy fit.

Our Superbowl wager has been the best bet ever! This has been so much fun. I was sad this weekend that I already finished the book. And I've already been wracking my brain for other series for us to tackle.


At the end with the wedding, did you think it was Indy's wedding? I did and I was totally put out that not all the Rock Chicks were invited and really hurt for Daisy. I should have guessed whose wedding it would be but I was too busy making exasperated sounds.

LOL It was amusing when Luke found Ava amusing. ;) I think maybe it took a few days for him to remember that about her?? I was falling for Luke for sure. But it wasn't until he said those things to her - those things I'd been waiting for him to say about how he'd always felt about her - that I really fell for him. Like I said before, Luke's not very verbose but when he decides he needs to be, the things that came out of his mouth made me melt. (and maybe my panties melt too ;) *sigh* Those Luke Lip Fogs...*swoon* And I'm not a 'tache girl myself. Well, let me restate...I actually find facial hair HOT!!! Soooo hot! I just don't like kissing it. *haha* So Luke's 'tache worked for me. 

Ava truly is the bestest best friend. I loved her internal dialogs - especially when Good and Bad Ava were involved. And I giggled when she'd be waiting on their input and they were nowhere to be heard.

I love what you said about how there's no way Ava could be anything other than powerless against her Mom and sisters. Too true - she Ava is far from uncaring, unfeeling or mean. I know I'm biased though, since Ava's MY Rock Chick! ;) Luke's handling of her family though...yeah, awesome! I was laughing hard when he asked if they'd visit often and if he had to be nice to them! And the history between Luke and Ava did give them the slow burn...and they burned so good. I actually love the trope of friends to lovers, so Rock Chick Revenge was made for me all around. 

You're right that this one did have the most surprises. I enjoyed Luke's Mom - Super Mom Stark. I wouldn't mind her adopting me, for sure. And that she'd picked up on the bond between Luke and Ava all along...that made me love her all the more. 

Yep, no bar brawls but it didn't lack for action, I didn't feel. That's one thing KA seems good at - varying the type of action. Shirleen added a whole nother level. I'd like her to mentor me too. And she wouldn't try to put me in sparkles and give me big hair! *ha* Olivia - I was kinda scared and thinking we were gonna get a brawl when she showed up. I liked Ava telling her like it is. 

I have no idea whether or not men really call us bitches like the Hot Bunch do...or the baddies...but I can see where you're coming from. I don't know that I've been called a bitch by anyone other than my brother, in a mean way. But a certain author we both know and love, refers to all us women who stick together as 'bitches'! *ha*

Yes indeed, this is one wager I'm happy to have lost. I am very sad we're almost finished with the series. BUT I'm thinking maybe we start in on another of KA's series. What do you think?


LOL Hell yeah, I thought it was Indy's wedding. And I was like WTF??? And why is Indy wearing that color dress? But when it was revealed, yeah, that was sweet. And it made complete and total sense. And it is weird that I feel like all these people are my friends and I couldn't be happier for Vance and Jules??? And that convo between Luke and Ava there??? *sigh*

I'm so happy you found your Rock Chick. Life demanded I read this one slower and when it was over and I didn't have bits of Rock Chick to sneak in while cooking or during the brief moments when the boys weren't talking my ear off I was plain sad. Yes to moving on to another KA series! Of course crazy lady. I cracked up when you mentioned one of our favorite authors and her favorite word. I think I heard her say "bitches" a dozen times at the Emerald City Author Event. Now, I love that use of bitch. I guess I'd just like to know what hot button word do guys not like that is equal to bitch. They could tell me. Your brother better have grown out of his name calling phase. I mean it. The sisters, I kept thinking Cinderella and the step sisters, but Ava has more fire in her (and lust). I have a feeling the next installment is going to be grittier. Or angstier. 

Luke and Ava. I'm all dreamy about them. Super Mom Stark was the best. I wanted to give her a hug and have breakfast with her. I freaking loved that last breakfast date in the movie. That was so funny. I wonder if KA laughs her ass off while she writes. She rocks the planet. So when are we going to start lusting after Mace and his rock band girl?

I took more time with Luke & Ava too - it was nice to savor their story. And you're right in the Cinderella comparison and about Ava having more fire. Yep, I think Mace & Stella's story will be grittier. It's gonna have to wait until the week of July 21 though. ;) Oh, and which KA series do you want to do next? Oh, I guess we have time to think about it. :)

My brother did get over his name-calling phase...probably about the time he got married! *ha* I'll ask James if there's a word boys dislike being called. That should be an interesting conversation. *ha*

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Movie Review and a chat with my 12 year old about Transformers: Age of Extinction

5 STARS!! As soon as my 12 year old found out about the new Transformers movie he made me promise that I'd take him to see it. Easy promise. I love the movies (not the second one even a little bit) and I couldn't wait to see Mark Wahlberg breathe new life into the franchise. So I packed him a baggie of chips and me a baggie of Skittles and off we went. We were bouncing in our seats from the opening scene to the end. We squealed. We fist bumped. One time he put his arm around me because he was just so happy to be watching this movie after seeing the trailers on youtube. The kid is a youtube master.

Will won't say this one is his favorite in the series because he doesn't think in terms of favorites, but I do and this one was for sure. The story was less sexualized than the previous installments. There were less swear words with the exception of an out of place f-bomb that wasn't necessary and I'm usually all for throwing the f-word around. The comedic timing was spot on. The young couple was a tad scandalous, but nothing tactless. The bad guy a little over the top, but how do you share a screen with awesome transformers and not go too far? The action was from start to finish and so much fun. I had a little chat with Will about the movie and I thought I'd share it with you.

What Transformers did you see in the movie, Will?
The Autobots, Decepticons, and Dinobots that we saw were Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Drift, Crosshairs, Hound, Grimlock, Slug, Straffe, Slash, Scorn, Galvatron, Ratchet, Leadfoot, Lockdown, and Stinger.

What was the movie about?
The Autobots were being hunted by the general. He hated robots. He worked with Lockdown. Kade, Tessa and her love were the good guys. My favorite human was Kade because he was a good guy and Tessa's dad.

Was the movie scary?
No way. It was exciting. The Autobots in action freaked me out and made me happy.

What was your favorite part?
The humans meeting the Autobots.

Was there a part you did not like?
Yep. I didn't like the part where the humans were working with the Decepticons.

There you have it. We both can't wait to watch it again!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Where do you find your villains?

Dark Days Are Coming
I recently read Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Odd is one of the best characters ever. He has the most amazing spirit, but he often falls into deep thoughts about evil, what makes a person evil, what counts as evil, the different types of evil. In that way, Odd and I are a lot alike. The first time I ever truly believed in good guys and bad guys I was in third grade. I'd already met assholes in my short life. I'd been bullied. Hit. Teased. But none of that made it on my radar until Bob. Yep, that was his name. He was our neighbor. I babysat his little girl. One day at the beach Bob and I were in the water. I splashed him. He gave me a funny look before slamming his hand on my head and shoving me under water. I thrashed and fought, but I wasn't going anywhere until he let me up. When he finally did, he looked down at me and said, "Mess with the bull, you'll get the horns." That was it, but he had created my first villain.

A cousin of mine in Iowa raced me in the pool one summer day. I won because when I was fourteen I was a force. He didn't like that and started a splash war. My girls didn't like that, but quickly he won the war by putting me in a genuine choke old. A real one because in a couple seconds he had wrapped around me and cut off all my air. I went still, completely mesmerized by the turn of events. We had been playing and he just lost it. Not too long after that while crossing some train tracks he got hit by a train and died. A different kind of villain, someone who could threaten me and still make me care and mourn him.

My eighth grade homeroom teacher subbed for my science teacher one day. He started telling us about walking along a river. He was a small, wiry man and the kind of person you kept your eyes on because there was no mistaking that he was ready to explode. One second he was telling us how beautiful the river was and the next he was talking about bathing in the blood of his friends who were killed upstream. He retold that day in the Vietnam War as if it was happening right there in our dark, hot classroom. All the rooms were dark because light equaled heat, and on Guam without air conditioning you had to do what you could to stay cool. Later that day he had locked himself in homeroom with Jesse. They never got along. Jesse was like me, an outcast, but he was a cool dangerous outcast. I was just on the outside. They fought and our teacher never came back to school. He'd beaten the shit out of a student. A villain who needed help. Not a bad guy until he snapped.

Where do you get your villains? I wish Odd Thomas were real because I think we'd have some neat chats.

"By Taro Taylor from Sydney, Australia (Dark Days Are Coming  Uploaded by Multichill) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons"

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [7] Love

So I'm writing a romance. Yep, but I'm at the part of the story where it's simply impossible for the two to ever find a way to each other. There is such a journey ahead for my characters, and when I think of emotional journeys I think of the songs that play in movies when the person is finally on the path of discovery. I think of love songs and I'm just so excited to work my way toward the song I chose, All My Days by Alexi Murdoch. It's such a neat song!! So how about you? What song says love to you? Because when life is truly kicking your butt, why not get giddy about something?