Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Heartbeat Trilogy

Raise your hand if you like a book trilogy? Keep them up if you like a romance trilogy that keeps you on the edge of your seat thinking things can't possibly get ANY crazier, but then they absolutely do?

Good. We all look like morons with our hands in the air at home or at work, but it's all for a good cause.

Heartbeat - Faith Sullivan
Heartbeat
Katie and Adam are afraid of love. She carries the scars of a first kiss gone terribly wrong. He uproots his life to flee the stinging betrayal of an ex. When trust is no longer an option, all romance is suspect. As a young paramedic, Adam rescues people for a living but cannot save himself. Katie, just out of high school, struggles with a tortured home life she cannot escape. Everything changes when Katie hops into the front seat of Adam's ambulance. Overwhelmed by what they are feeling, neither possess the confidence to make the first move. They walk away from each other, full of regret. To find her, Adam risks his future. To be with him, Katie sacrifices her security. Little do they know, what little time they do have, is being measured by a heartbeat that is slowly dying out.

I'll be honest, when I first started this book it felt wonky. I wasn't getting into it right away and Katie was a little too naive for my liking. She kind of gives off the "I can't even help myself at ALL" vibe and anyone who knows me this is the type of girl I'd like to kick in the girl parts. Like, grow a set of balls you hot mess. But then like any die hard romance novel fan, I pretty much start to love it. I see where it's going and I know there are two more books so I'm thinking this is going to be an epic love story. 

AND THEN THE ENDING HAPPENS. 

Again, I was *thisclose* to firing off an email to the author asking her what in the bloody hell is happening? Mostly because as we've discussed before, I read at night before bed. But I was so close to the end I stayed up well past midnight and then that ending happens and I am waving my fist in the air. The dog mistakenly thought I was like, "let's go pee" and so I'm angry, holding a dog's leash at 12:45 a.m. hoping he pees fast, because it's freezing. Like for real freezing out, and I'm talking to my dog Twinky about this ending. 

Immediately, I had to start book two because what in the mother hell is happening?? 

*word to the wise: buy all 3 books at once. You'll thank me later.*

Come What May - Faith Sullivan
Come What May: (Heartbeat #2)
Adam is through with love. He unravels blaming himself for what happened with Katie. His final moments with her echo through his nightmares. She owns him body and soul. To dull the pain, Adam invites a string of women into his bed. Fueled by alcohol and desperation, his meaningless hook-ups provide little comfort. When he closes his eyes, it's Katie he sees. The only one who helps to ease his guilt somewhat is Jada. But as his new ambulance partner, Adam considers her off limits. He doesn't want to get seriously involved with anyone, much less her. Yet he can't stop fantasizing about the feel of her caramel skin against his. Despite his intentions, Adam's bond with Jada deepens as they respond to a series of emotional calls. Their mutual attraction becomes undeniable. But how can he give his heart to Jada when it still belongs to Katie?

So now I'm confused because is Katie not real? I thought she was real? I find myself re-reading chapters and I'm so stinking confused. These moments of confusion make me think maybe I can't read literature for a living and scrutinize it if I can't even figure out if a character was real or not. This was my issue with Wuthering Heights, once I realized there was two of some people it was like, game over, I'm not that smart. 

But maybe Katie is real and this is like a really bizarre form of post traumatic stress? Jada enters the picture and she's kind of awesome. Adam is being a giant douchebag in this book which is the exact opposite of book one where he was just this little sensitive cuddle bug of love. When he says he's over it, he means it. But dammit if Jada isn't falling for him anyways, albeit reluctantly. Then I get to the point where I don't care if Katie is real or not, Jada is the real deal and Adam needs this in his life. Clearly. 

BUT THEN. 

He finds out that he may or may not be a baby daddy, his brother is unexpectedly getting married, and then oh yes- Adam decides to get high and drive an ambulance. You know, just another Tuesday. 

I'm just getting over this and then? BOMBSHELL ENDING. 

Oh yes, because Katie is real? 

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW???

I Am Yours - Faith Sullivan
I Am Yours: (Heartbeat #3)
Adam is at a crossroads. He has Katie on his mind and Jada in his bed. Now with the ultimate choice before him, he must decide between fantasy and reality. Katie's his dream girl, but Jada's his best friend, his partner. As a paramedic, he's supposed to save lives, not wreck them. Yet his failure to commit leaves a trail of heartache in his wake. Things come to a head at his brother's wedding when a surprise announcement leaves Adam scrambling to pick up the pieces. Sure, women find his shaggy blond hair and aquamarine eyes irresistible. But to him, sex is nothing more than a means of escape ... until it turns into a psychological trap. His mind is telling him one thing, while his heart is beating another. He's not sure what he wants when it comes to a serious relationship. Sorting out his feelings, he finally comes to a startling realization. He is capable of love. But what if it's too late?

I am telling you what, I spent one evening on book one. The better portion of a day on book two between taking breaks for mental anguish. Today is day three and I started this before bed last night and forced myself to stop. I finished it this afternoon. My house is a god damn mess right now, and I am sad this series is over but at the same time, THANK GOD because I feel emotionally unstable at this point. If I were a smoker, my lungs would be waving a white flag. 

Anyhoodle. 

So now Katie has come back (or has she???), Jada is upset because she finally realizes that oh hello- she loves Adam. Too bad he has been pining over a dead girl this whole time who apparently isn't dead. And he's going to be a father to his brother's fiance's baby and it's just so damn crazy. Jerry Springer couldn't even make this up. So basically, everything is going to hell. 

Katie is just as confused as Adam over their bizarre love connection because she has no recollection of meeting him. Like, at all. He is insistent she has died, which obviously would freak any girl out. Yet they are both having dreams/nightmares about the other and they both feel like this is fate's way of pairing them up. We've got a weirdo pregnant lady, a really pissed off brother, and then poor Jada who is in love with Adam and he could care less and essentially tosses her to the wind. 

BUT THEN. 

Woah- there's a sinister plot involving psychological test subjects, mind control, and declarations of love. 

I feel like when I read Faith Sullivan's book, I should have a blood pressure cuff on me to monitor myself because I can actually feel my blood pressure going up. When I say you have no idea what to expect but you are always going to be blow away? I mean it. She can weave a story like you won't believe. But I was Team Jada the whole time. I really don't like Katie. Or new Katie, whatever. I don't like either of them. 

And Kelly? The pregnant cousin of Katie's?? Can we say PSYCHO? She's nuts. She is several shades of crazy. I can't even comprehend it. It's just too much and I didn't like her from the word go. Thank god Jada also picked up on it because I think between her and Brian (Adam's brother)? They basically saved the day. 

Anyways. I liked the ending! Can I say that without giving it away? I think so. I'm not kidding, I feel like I need a nap after this. I don't know if I even have it in me to cook dinner- I'm that emotionally spent. 

I am highly suggesting these books and I am suggesting you buy all three at once because otherwise the delay is going to really eat at you. Just do it it now. Swearsies. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Perfect (and giveaway!!)

Here's a book that makes you say... "hmmmmm".

Perfect - Rachel Joyce

A spellbinding novel that will resonate with readers of Mark Haddon, Louise Erdrich, and John Irving, Perfect tells the story of a young boy who is thrown into the murky, difficult realities of the adult world with far-reaching consequences.
Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three of them leave home, driving into a dense summer fog, the morning takes an unmistakable turn. In one terrible moment, something happens, something completely unexpected and at odds with life as Byron understands it. While his mother seems not to have noticed, eleven-year-old Byron understands that from now on nothing can be the same.
What happened and who is to blame? Over the days and weeks that follow, Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Unable to trust his parents, he confides in his best friend, James, and together they concoct a plan. . . .
As she did in her debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce has imagined bewitching characters who find their ordinary lives unexpectedly thrown into chaos, who learn that there are times when children must become parents to their parents, and who discover that in confronting the hard truths about their pasts, they will forge unexpected relationships that have profound and surprising impacts. Brimming with love, forgiveness, and redemption, Perfect will cement Rachel Joyce’s reputation as one of fiction’s brightest talents.
I'm going to put this up there with one of the strangest books I've ever read. Normally I write my review right after I finish a book while things are still fresh in my mind, but I had to wait on this one. Mostly because I was left with what I would assume is a question mark on my face. 
Let's give you the quick and dirty. It starts in 1972, England. Byron and his friend James worry about a news report saying that in order to fix time essentially, they are adding two seconds to one day, one time. These highly intelligent boys fret about this and all of a sudden- Byron believes he sees this two seconds. But in the course of this two seconds, just as he worried something would happen, something does happen. An accident that propels all of the characters into chaos. Byron is worried for his mother, his father is clueless, his mother has buried secrets and combine that with the accident she's off in la-la land, and James? James is kind of a peculiar person. 
The book flip flops between the past and the present. The present being James, not coping well with life and his obvious OCD, among other issues. He had been institutionalized for years and it's heart breaking to know what institutions in the 70's and 80's were like and then to read about what his life is like now, it terrible. 
And every body's lives are all connected because of two seconds. That's all that it takes. 
Overall, the book is strange. You feel for characters, the story pulls at you and you won't be able to put it down. You suspect the ending, but the author goes a different route and it's fitting. It's not what you would expect but in the end, it's what was needed. Some of the dialogue is a bit strange, and there is some French thrown in there so I'll be honest- I have no idea what I read for sentences in some paragraphs, but it's OK. It's not to the point where you don't know what's going on, it's just strange that it's included. 
But man- the mother? Wow. I can't really tell you what happens because that basically ruins the second half of the book for you, but damn. I felt kind of terrible for her. It kind of makes you think if she had remained blissfully unaware- what would have happened? You just don't know. 
I do suggest you read it only because I found it to be so odd that you end up liking it. Definitely different from what I would normally read, but in a good way. It's not the type of book I would gush about and recommend and buy randomly for people. But it's the kind of book that keeps you thinking about long afterwards. 
If YOU want to win a copy (US/Canada only), leave me a comment on this post! I'll draw a winner on Friday, January 3. Please be sure to have your email in the comment so I can contact you easily. Good luck!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

First Position

I hope you all had an awesome Christmas. I have lots of pictures to share and stories of course, but I have a book review for you right now. And no, the title doesn't refer to a sexual thing- it's a ballet thing. But there is sex. So, best of both worlds?

First Position - Prescott Lane
{Virtual Book Tour} Pump Up Your Book Presents First Position Virtual Book Publicity Tour

Emory faces life’s challenges at the one place that never failed her, the ballet barre. But even the barre can’t steady her when fate brings her face-to-face with her old college flame, Mason, who’s hoping to return to the NFL after a career-threatening injury. Before they can surrender to their sexual desires and find salvation in each other’s arms, they need to come to terms with their past. Mason must confront the demons that have set him on a path of self-destruction, while Emory must decide whether to keep her painful secrets locked away, or expose them and risk losing the love of her life. But nothing can prepare Mason for what Emory has kept hidden, or the possibility that he himself may be to blame for the very secrets she keeps and why they continue to haunt her. 

Purchase your copy at AMAZON 
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE 

I'm just going to start by saying I really liked this book. I'll be honest- there are some religious aspects to it, but if you aren't into that (like me), you won't be turned off. They aren't all over the place and you'll be fine. 

I really want to tell you what Emory's big secret is but I can't because it will absolutely ruin it for you. Totally ruin it. But let's just say- her hesitancy about sex makes absolute sense once you get to the end. She makes the comment that the only person who ever hurt her was herself and you're left wondering what the hell that means, but once you get to the end and you learn of her secret, it all comes together. You see how she blames herself and then you realize why she is the way she is at that point in her life. Totally makes sense. 

I'll just say it- I loved Mason. He's kind of a self centered moron who finally gets that he was a self centered moron, and that's just the best. He makes real strides to do better for Emory than he did in college and his decisions are thought out, if not flawed. I also LOVED his mother. Sure, she's meddling and she wants the wrong things for him for the wrong reasons. But she calls another woman a cunt in a really epic smack down and I thought- bravo to this author for going there. For going there, and going all the way. Anything less would have felt contrived. You get the sense that the mother is a true Southern mother and she isn't afraid to lay the law down when it's needed but that she also always knows what's going on. 

Without giving too much away, I would have really loved an Alexis versus Emory showdown. You don't get one, and it doesn't ruin the book, but it could have been great. You're shaking your fist at Alexis the whole time because she's clearly a terrible person, but in her final meeting with Mason- you almost feel sorry for him. You get the impression she actually loved him but could never come up to the standard Mason set with Emory. To live in another woman's shadow is rough, and so I felt sorry for her. For like a nanosecond, but it was still there. 

Oh! And Wesley. I loved Emory's gay room mate, Wesley. He's like the gay friend you wish you had. I also loved at one point in the book where Emory, Olivia, and Wesley are with Mason's mom and they are all ribbing the mom. Her response that she's not above a homosexual hate crime, cracked me up. Which it shouldn't because hate crimes are bad and wrong. But you could almost picture Wesley's face and know that the point came across to him. 

Overall? I'd give this one 4/5 stars. I flew through it, it had romance, it had sex without being vulgar (if you like vulgar, you'll be disappointed), it had thoughtful relationships and the dialogue didn't make you want to roll your eyes. It also had just enough humor to make it almost feel like a novel by Dorothea Benton Frank. Which is huge, because I really like her too. So if you are looking for a solid romance that isn't over the top with ball gags, this is a good fit for you. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Stop being so damn lazy.

I've really tried hard to not say anything about the whole minimum wage dispute but today? Today I cannot hold it any more. So, I see this article in my Facebook feed and my eyes twitched. Not only did they twitch, but my armpits tingled. Anyone who knows me knows that when my armpits tingle?

Things are probably going to go down. Don't tingle the pits.

Here's the thing: I'm a die hard Democrat. I believe that we need to all help each other, the rich shouldn't be getting tax breaks while people who are middle class or less are essentially paying for this country to keep moving. It's wrong in every way that you look at it. I mean, if you had a canoe of four people, you wouldn't make the arm amputee row you to shore while the other three have a great time relaxing. You wouldn't do it, yet that's essentially what Republicans want.

And I see it from their end too- they don't want to pay for lazy people who refuse to get jobs and instead, live on welfare as a career. But you know what? Not everyone on welfare is like that. Admittedly, there are a bunch, probably more than we want to know about. But I feel like no matter what, there will always people who abuse it. You just hope that somewhere along they way, they feel ashamed and do better. They probably won't, but the optimist in me hopes that they do.

But when I see fast food workers lobbying for $15 an hour? No. Oh hell fucking no. You know what? I've worked fast food for years. I've worked in different kinds of fast food restaurants and they all paid about the same. Did my full time paycheck pay all of my bills? No. They didn't. So my solution for that was to get a second job. And then I picked up an internship at my college where I was oh yes, going to school FULL TIME. So I was a full time student, had one full time job, and two part time jobs.

Suck it you lazy assholes.

And that paid my bills. It gave me extra money so I could do something fun on my rare days where I was off from at least one job. I did my homework and often slept in my car in the school parking lot because it was closer to go there than home and I'd get more sleep that way. Was it awesome and amazing? No. It's actually really terrible to sleep in a 1998 Chevy Lumina. I don't recommend it. Also sucks when you don't have seats that recline like they are supposed to. Thank you, previous owner, for breaking that function.

I went to college because my entire life- I watched my parents work at low paying jobs. My mom bust her ass at gas stations and then in the most boring lumber store job ever. My dad was an over the road truck driver and we hardly saw him. There was one year we maybe saw him once in a 5 month stretch because to make any money he had to drive all day, every day. My parents have always been hard workers and they always told me if I want to get anywhere in life you need to finish high school and go to college. It doesn't even matter what I go to school for- just get a job that requires a degree so I can make a living.

So that's what I did. My parents didn't pay for any of my college. There was no college fund. On my 16th birthday I didn't celebrate with a party. I had a cake, some tacos for dinner at home, and I was driven around town for job applications. If I wanted name brand shoes for school or expensive jeans? I had to buy them myself. I learned early on to work for what I wanted. And maybe that meant I didn't get nice stuff. Maybe I couldn't go see the movie all my friends were going to. Maybe I didn't get to be on the poms team because my parents couldn't afford it. My first car? Cost $2800 and my parents took out a loan that I had to pay. I had to pay my own car insurance and gas. If I missed a payment? I didn't get to drive it. If I lost my job because I couldn't get to work? Life lesson. There were times I had no gas money so I had to ride the city bus, or worse, walk the four miles to work from my house.

I thank my parents for denying me lots of things I wanted because ultimately? I get it. I see the lessons they were teaching me. I was angry and upset when I was 17, but I absolutely get it now. I get the money lesson they were trying to give me.

So when I see people complaining about their wage? It makes me want to scream. Literally. If you can't pay your bills on your one job? Get a second job. If that means you are working 50 hours a week? SO BE IT. Matt works 70 hours EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK because between that and my paycheck- it pays our bills. Does he want to work 70 hours a week? No. Do we miss him? Yes. Do I sometimes feel like a single parent, exhausted and overwhelmed? Yes. But we're adults now and this is what we have to do. Nobody is going to bail us out if we need it.

We say we encourage small businesses in this country but do we really? I mean, what kind of small business do you know that can afford to pay $15 an hour? They can't. It doesn't mean they don't want to, it just doesn't make financial sense if they want to thrive in the long haul. I know people look at McDonald's, for example, and say, "Wow- they make billions of dollars ever year, they could do better.", and maybe they could. Maybe they should. But let's look at the job- you are flipping burgers and punching buttons. Is there any real skill involved? No. Sure, you get yelled at a lot. It's a pretty under appreciated job. You will sometimes have to clean up actual shit and piss and sometimes vomit from the bathroom, or have a garbage bag full of gross food break open and spill on you. That will ruin your day because you will now smell like garbage until you shower and find yourself profusely apologizing to job #2 when they ask, "God DAMN- what is that smell??" It's embarrassing, and it's not awesome, but oh well. You will have old men throw shakes at you because it's too lumpy or not lumpy enough. You will have mothers with 5 kids having their 2 year old order and hold up the line for a full ten minutes, then order said children soda. Which will only cause what looks like a riot in the dining area that you get to clean up with ice cream smeared on windows, half chewed hot dog chunks on the seats and garbage every where.

I'm not saying that you don't hate your job almost every time you go there.

But it's a paycheck. It requires no skill, just patience not to kill people. It requires no education because those cooks can never seem to read "no mayo" and slather it on anyways causing a really angry lady to throw a burger at you later.

But it doesn't warrant $15 per hour.

In my job, I work in a college. My job requires a college degree. I had to take a math test that required 80% or above. I had to take a writing test. I had a long interview. And I barely make $15/hour. I went to college for two years to get this job. I paid off $20,000 in student loan debt to get this job. I'm sorry if I don't feel like your high school drop out ass deserves more than minimum wage. I have to point some of the blame at unions on this. Even though I'm Democrat, I'm really against unions. Yes, I know they fight for safe work places and making sure people working dangerous machinery aren't working too long on them where it puts them, and others, in dangers. I get it. But when I see 20+ people on duty to put a roof on a building and half are on the ground shooting the breeze and I know they make over $20/hour? I'm going to say, I'm a little angry. I think unions negotiate unfair wages, union employees often make FAR MORE than their job warrants. It's ridiculous and out of hand.

When I see stuff like this, it makes me think of these questions:

1. What happened to work ethic? What happened to working long, hard hours to get a job done? What happened to going the extra mile at work not because it's expected or asked of you, but because you took some pride in your role as an employee and your job? We've gotten lazy.

2. What is the incentive to stay in school and pursue higher education if you can get a well good paying job without either? If that happens, the education level in this country is going to tank even further than it has.

So before you buy your kid the next fancy gadget, a car to drive to school, or drop another dollar in their college fund- think about what you are promoting. Will my kids have a college fund? HAHA- NOPE. It's not because I don't want them to go to college, but college is a process. As an adult, you need to make decisions and they won't all be good. Did I really need to take an extra student loan out so I could go shopping? No, terrible choice. But it was one I made and I paid the consequences, literally. I want my kids to learn how to apply to schools, find out about their financial aid options and then work their asses off to fill the gap. Nobody will pay their way through life and it's best they learn that right out the gate.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winners & Thunder Thighs

Let's get some winners out of the way, shall we?

The winner of the digital copy of Haven is...... STEFF!

The winner of the book The Seduction of Miriam Cross is.... Anita Yancey!

I'll contact both of you to get your prizes out to you very soon!

Anyhoodles.

I have been baking up a storm and getting appetizer type things ready for Christmas. In lieu of a big dinner we have opted to just do an appetizer and dessert buffet. It's so much less stress and I don't know why we haven't done this sooner. Because it's hosted at my house, I feel like it's only fair I do the bulk of the food so in prep of this, I've been a cooking making machine the last two days.

It probably only should have taken one day but the fact that I ate the first two batches of both the Rolo Cookies and the Brown Butter Snickerdoodles, I'm making more. God help me, I hope I can control myself until Wednesday. But those cookies are changing my life. I need to slow my roll because pretty soon I'll be rolling myself instead of walking.

Other than that, I'm all ready for Christmas. Presents are wrapped and organized, safely hidden in a closet. I have a few gift bags that need to be delivered to friends locally, which I'll probably send Matt out to do tonight yet. The basket of stuff going to Matt's parents house tomorrow is all set aside. I've even got invitations for a baby shower I'm throwing in process. I need to get the house cleaned up tonight since I won't have time to do it tomorrow, and then I'm going to bed. Well, I'm going to physically be in my bed, but I'll be reading a book and relaxing. If I didn't think I'd drop my Nook in the tub I'd take a bath while I was at it to multi-task while relaxing.

Oh- but I am waiting for the UPS guy to get here. I had to order some Ninja Turtles to go with a Ninja Turtle van my brother got Jackson. Which is going to be fun, but he had no turtles and what kind of loser gift is THAT? So I ordered it yesterday from Walmart and they said it would be delivered by 3pm today. Well, it's 5:42 and do you think it's shown up? Nope. Not yet. Here's hoping it actually arrives at some point tonight otherwise this mama won't sleep.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's OK to be fat, but you should do better.

I went for a walk around the really sad mall in Superior with a friend tonight. You see, I am feeling kind of fat and honestly- I've had the urge to run (gasp!!) or do something because I can, and should, be doing better. I've eaten like crap lately and I'll be honest- seeing so many of my friends being fit and skinny on Facebook is making me feel like a fat cow. You're quietly shaming me, and it's not your fault, and I kind of appreciate it.

But my friend and I talked about this and somehow the whole Maria Kang vs. Curvy Girl thing was brought up and she is very pro Curvy Girl, anti Maria Kang. And while it's easy to hate on Maria Kang and her skinny ass and her whole "What's Your Excuse?" campaign, I kind of can't.

Look- I'm not skinny. I never will be. I have boobs, I have a bubble butt, I have a kangaroo pouch I have had since freaking puberty so I can't even blame that on my children, and I'm just not genetically built to be a size zero. But at the same time, I'm not dumb enough to be thinking that my current weight is OK. In fact, it's not. I'm 5'3 and I'm 182. I'm considered obese. Now, do I look like I'm going to fall over with a heart attack? Am I leaning on walls to walk down a hallway, avoiding stairs because I can't do them, or wheezing? No to all of that. When I go to the doctor do my labs and other tests indicate I'm not healthy? No.

Just because I look healthy, doesn't mean I am. I know I'm overweight. I know I should be doing better and I can be doing better.

I'm choosing not to because I'm lazy.

Do I hate how I look? No. I think I look just fine. If I could choose to wake up tomorrow with a flat stomach and thighs that don't jiggle- I would.

I think it's wrong to fat shame someone. We don't know their physical limitations that prevent them from running around the block a few times. (Unless of course they are wearing too short of shorts or god forbid, white leggings as pants, because that is wrong.) But at the same time, it's very dangerous to make it seem OK to be fat. To say, "I'm big and proud!". Well, why? Why are you proud? Is it your way of giving skinny people the finger? Because that's just as bad as fat shaming. I'm all for good self esteem and embracing the way that you are, but there is a real difference between a bigger girl versus 300 pounds. I don't care what you say, 300 pounds is not healthy to anyone. Ever.

And let me just say, I always give a giant eye roll to the people who will say they are emotional eaters. You know, when I'm feeling down I'll eat a couple of cookies. But by cookie number three, my brain is screaming at me that my thighs are growing by the second and I need to slow my roll. It's called self control. You are an adult, you need to act like it. But to eat emotionally, then complain about being large? You know what, I don't care.

I get annoyed at myself when I get up in the morning and think, "God DAMN my ass just jiggled four times. You fat ass." because I should just shut up. Not because I'm bullying myself but because I have a fat ass and I'm just too lazy to do anything about it. I don't compare myself to other women and use that to decide if I'm fat or not. I look in the mirror and I see the parts that keep moving when I stop. That right there is my basis for thinking I need to get a handle on my shit. And I will. Eventually. You remember a week ago that video about women going into a store seeing taglines of fat shaming that they say to themselves? And they break down into tears thinking, "my god, I'm bullying myself"? I hated it. Because if I'm shopping with my friend and I come out in jeggings, I want my friend to tell me no. Tell me no, because a muffin top doesn't look good on anyone, and get me a larger size. You know why? Because I don't want to go out looking like an asshole that ends up on a People of Walmart site. I don't take it as "oh god, she's making fun of me" or "I hate myself. I'm going to eat three bowls of ice cream to soothe my sads". I take it as, "maybe she's right and I'll get the next size up. I'm glad my friend is honest with me." That's the whole point of bringing reinforcements when you shop- sometimes you need an honest opinion.

But at least I have a legitimate excuse. I really want to go walking and running outside- I prefer that over a treadmill, but it's really cold. I know I can buy the gear to go out into the cold but I don't even own a proper winter coat nor snow boots. I really hate winter, I hate it even when I'm bundled up. I get upset if I have to park far in the lot so I'm walking more than a car length to the door. So in the winter, I feel like I have that excuse I can use. Not in the nice weather though, that's just me being incredibly lazy.

Anyways. I will say that with 36D boobs and a bubble ass, I feel angry when I go into Victoria's Secret and their full coverage bras are in fact, not full coverage, they are more 3/4. Then to buy cute lingerie? Um, no. Most of the time the store doesn't even carry anything over a large and even an XL when you buy it online is ill fitting. So in that case- I do appreciate places like Curvy Girl because even when I do lose weight, my boobs and ass go nowhere. It'd be nice to fit in somewhere.

So I think it's OK to be fat. I just think you should try to do better. Don't be fat and think, "meh- good enough". Be fat and active. Get out there and exercise. Stop eating shit. To my credit, I now have a treadmill, elliptical and a gazelle in my basement. I'm going to use them. Maybe not every day, but I'm hoping once I get into a routine I'll get better. If only through the winter until I can get out and run again. I've got big plans for myself for 2014 and I hope this is my year.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Seduction of Miriam Cross (GIVEAWAY

It's crunch time! I've got lots of reviews coming up so expect to see these popping up in your feed the next few weeks!

The Seduction of Miriam Cross - W.A. Tyson
The Seduction of Miriam Cross
A sordid sex tape.
A venture capital firm.
A secret society of women.
A Catholic nun.
Miriam Cross, author, feminist and philanthropist, disappears from her Philadelphia home.  A year later, a lonely recluse named Emily Cray is brutally murdered in her bed in a small Pennsylvania town.
 The police discover that Emily Cray and Miriam Cross were one and the same, but if they know who killed Miriam, they’re not sharing.  Miriam’s niece wants answers.  She turns to the one woman she knows she can trust – private investigator Delilah Percy Powers.
As Delilah and her staff of female detectives – a militant homemaker, an ex-headmistress and a former stripper – delve into Miriam’s life, they become submerged in an underworld of unfathomable cruelty and greed with implications that go far beyond the gruesome death of one woman or the boundaries of one country.  Eventually Miriam’s fight for justice becomes Delilah’s own . . . and Delilah’s obsession with finding the truth may prove just as deadly.
You really shouldn't judge a book by its cover because this cover is terrible but this book is really great. I have seen it pegged as a romance/suspense novel and for me, it's not that at all. It's more thriller/suspense because the romance element isn't huge and it's not at all what you expect for romance. So go into it knowing that. 
Second, this book was all over the map because whereas I can typically figure out the twists and turns- not at all the case in this one. Well written, complex and complicated, this one was hard to put down. The basics of it is that Miriam gets murdered. She's beheaded, and while that's awful, the entire thing is seemingly being covered up. Enter Delilah and her bizarre crew of private detectives. I can tell this is likely going to turn into a series because each detective is complicated and while you learn a little about them, you're kind of left wanting more. Delilah herself is kind of a mess, what I would call a controlled, refined mess. Instead of grieving the loss of her fiance, she is instead throwing herself totally into her private investigator agency. 
The crew of detectives are trying to figure out what really happened with Miriam but none of the puzzle pieces really click together towards the end. And holy buckets- it's kind of a sordid tale. I did like the book, and I found myself enjoying it far later than I should have because I have early days this entire week. My only complaint is that I feel like so much time is spent sorting clues, talking about things, that at the end- I sat there thinking, well duh. All of that, and this is it? I wanted a big bang. There is a bang at the end and people die but I expected it to have more of a punch. 
Admittedly, when I got to the end I was exhausted and maybe some of the flair was lost because I could barely stay awake. 
With that said, I did like this book. I am excited to see what comes next for Delilah and her crew. Does Anders stay on (you'll have to read to find out who that is), what about Natasha? She seems a bit of a loose canon. I don't know how I feel about Barb/Margot. Maybe if we got more of their story I would be more interested... but maybe that's for the next book?
The good news, as an early Christmas present to yourself, you can enter to win a copy! Leave a comment on this blog post (include your email address) to win! Drawing will be held on Friday, December 20. US/Canada only, please!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Whomp, whomp. That's me kicking the weekend's ass.

We're down to ten days until Christmas which means I am in over drive trying to finish things up. This is the last week of school before winter break, so that means some things on my list are a little more critical than others. Let's take a look at what I did this weekend:


  • I had a really great dinner with my friend Tammy. It was a much needed date away from the house and my family, to be honest. 
  • I got the rest of my Christmas cards in the mail. Phew. Seriously. Seeing that pile leave my desk is always a sure sign that the season is almost over. 
  • Have I mailed my packages? No. But I got them all ready to go. I just pay day to come so I can pay for the shipping. SO, that means you might not have your stuff for Christmas. Whoops. 
  • Finished getting my stocking stuffer stuff for the kids and Matt. 
  • Finished up Matt's gift. 
  • Got EVERY THING wrapped and either under the tree or in their top secret hiding spot. The thought of going to bed at a decent hour on Christmas Eve is kind of amazing. 
  • 3 dozen sugar cookies, 2 dozen ginger snaps, some weird chocolate chip cookie= all baked. 
  • Cream cheese mints? Done. 
  • Caramel popcorn chex mix? Done. 
  • Brown butter caramel snickerdoodles? In process. They are chilling in the fridge. I've never browned butter before- here's hoping I didn't fuck it up. 
  • 8 loads of laundry today? Done. 
  • Floors? Sparkling. 
  • Etsy order? Done!
  • Hand made gift? Working on. Seriously, I've picked a really hard project to do- I need to read things more clearly before I'm all, "I can totally whip this out!" because I cannot. I cannot whip it. 
  • Classroom treats for both classes? Done. 
  • Teacher gifts? Done. 
Seriously- I need to find some loose change to go buy a Mega Millions ticket because clearly, I'm on a roll. I have only sat down for less than an hour today that was to eat lunch and dinner and then now. It feels glorious. Ugh. I don't know if I can get up now. 

Damn. 

It's always these last few days where things start slipping my mind on what I'd like to get done and then I forget, then I obsess over what I didn't finish. My plan going forward to the end of the year is to stay so ridiculously busy that I don't have time to think about my ginormous property tax bill that I stupidly opened up and it almost made me vomit, or the upcoming bills that will surely arrive in the beginning of January. 

But, I am off to bed early tonight (the plan is to get there by 9 p.m.) so that I can be wide awake for this week. This week is awful. I dread this last week of school like you wouldn't believe. I have the holiday shop which I'm at for every shift in case a volunteer doesn't show, work, holiday concert, dance, and more Christmas prep so I'm not raging during all nighters before the holidays. I'll have the entire week of Christmas off..... I want to enjoy it by doing nothing. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Secrets & Lies

Hello, Lambs! It's time for a book review and it's Friday the 13th. Woah.

Secrets & Lies - Christine Armsden
Secrets and Lies

Cassie Scot,still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot Mystery series.



I had completely forgotten that I read the first one until I got this one, and then I was reminded on how much I liked the first one. Which is always a nice bonus. Basically, Cassie is from a magical family- except she has no magic. Nobody knows why, but this lack of magic essentially gets her disowned from her family because she's a liability basically. But that leaves her unprotected in a town of dangerous people with varying degrees of magic, so Evan saves her and now she owes him a life debt. Evan is her friend from when they were really young. The kicker twist is that with the life debt, she basically has to do whatever he tells her to even if it's against her will. Evan isn't a jerk though and you know that he does love her- except she doesn't believe that because she thinks the life debt is clouding things and that he has a hidden agenda.

Then all hell breaks loose because two girls go missing from camp and everything is indicating foul play with magic.  Then in the entire midst of this, Cassie is fighting feelings that she doesn't know if they are even real or not. She sees a seer who basically tells her "he will break her heart and soul" and in hindsight- I wonder if the seer means Evan or someone else? Because as pointed out in the book, the confession of a seer isn't always what you think it means, basically it's like a riddle. After I finished the book, I'm torn whether I want her to be with Evan or not. You get a confession from her mother, which explains a lot, but then her father confesses something else to Evan and it's a game changer. I'll be interested to see how the author wraps it up in book 3 Mind Games, when that comes out next year.


Excerpt:

I faced my former father for the first time since he had announced his intention to disown me. He looked just as he always had, with straight dark hair, brown eyes, a long, angular face, and a wide, curving mouth – curving downward into a frown, that is.

If Victor was the last person I had expected to see in the diner that morning, then my former father was the last person I wanted to see. Even now, with Victor explaining my part in his unusual scheme for revenge, I didn’t want my former father nearby. I didn’t want his help. I only hoped Nicolas and Juliana hadn’t broken their promise and told him about the life debt, or I would never hear the end of it.

The air crackled with visible tension. Sparks of shimmering red fire danced around my father’s head. Behind the counter, Mrs. Meyers twisted her hands together anxiously, as if afraid her diner might burn down. Her fears were not unjustified.
I stepped boldly between them, facing my father. “What are you doing here?“

“We need to talk,“ he said.

“I have nothing to say to you. You disowned me, remember?“

The color seemed to drain from his face as he stared past me, at his oldest enemy.
Victor raised his water glass in a mock toast. “I’ve known for some time. If it makes you feel any worse, so does everyone else in town who hasn’t been asleep for a week. Or at least, they guess.“

“I don’t care what you think you know. Stay away from my daughter.“With that, he grabbed my arm with a hand hot enough to leave a reddened imprint on my skin, and dragged me through the kitchen to the employee room at the back. Only then did he release my injured forearm.


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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dogs masturbate. <-- life lesson.

So the other day I posted a short video on Instagram of Twinky essentially humping a stuffed dog. He is not neutered yet, but he will be once Christmas is over and I can afford it. But since we got him back in July, it actually hasn't been a problem. Once, months ago, he tried to hump this same dog and he clearly was inexperienced.

But now that he has gotten a little bigger, and clearly practices a lot when we are gone, things have come to a new low. Or high, depending on who you are in this house. The only thing I can be appreciative of is that at least he isn't humping our legs, it's just this particular stuffed dog.

OK- and he occasionally tries to sit on our only girl cat's face. Poor Lola has resorted to just laying there and taking it. It's like they are a married couple or something.

The worst part about this is trying to explain it to the kids. I think Olivia knows what's going on because she made the comment that it's a good thing the stuffed dog can't have puppies. I chose silence as the appropriate response here because anything else would have prompted a larger conversation about sex and reproduction than I was willing to have with an eight year old right now. Jackson response has been a bit more animated. The first time he saw it he just stared. The second time he saw it, he tried to take the stuffed dog away but Twinky growled at him so he dropped it. The third time he saw it he started crying and wondered why our dog was broken.

Keep in mind that all three of these times happened within one hour.

Twinky is a machine. But he's a sensitive machine because he will snuggle with the stuffed dog, lick it, hump it like mad, sometimes lick it again, and then walk away for awhile. Then he comes back with a vengeance.

Matt says we should discourage this but I say, if we take the stuffed animal away he'll start on our leg. I'd rather have a sex toy on the floor than be a sex toy.

Then someone who has a sibling of Twinky says that even after her dog was neutered, it has not slowed his roll. Basically- I believe my dog is a chronic mastubater.

Because why wouldn't he be??

The Howling Heart

I'm just going to tell you right now- don't be alarmed by my review. It might scare you, it might freak you out, but I'm telling you right now that if you like romance- just do it and feel the feels like I did. 

The Howling Heart
Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.
Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv—wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.
Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.
I know you want me to talk about why this got weird for me, but I'm going to tell you upfront that I loved this book. The main issue I have is that the relationship between Paige and Riley seemed to happen fast and there could have been more between them. While I understand why we don't have more sexy times in the book because Riley (a shifting werewolf) wants to make Paige (a human) his mate and in order to do they have a ceremony and they mate and he bites her, etc. I'm not saying there aren't any sexy times, because there are, they just aren't happening left in right like a traditional romance would have. So it feels a little rushed and I kind of get it. Riley has been in love with Paige since they were children and their brief encounter and she dreams of the boy that she met in the woods, but she doesn't know the wolf and the boy are the same. 
So now let's talk about where it gets weird. I know the exact point in which some readers are going to be like, "Oh this is too damn much" and quit the book. But don't do that. I should have known it might get weird when Riley has the conversation with Paige where he asks her if she would still love him if he was a wolf, and he couldn't change back. This is not a spoiler, settle down, but it's like how you'd ask your spouse "Would you still love me if I were.... paralyzed" or whatever. Kind of. Anyways. So there is a point where I thought, oh shit- we're going to have girl and wolf sexy times, aren't we? And am I mentally ready to read this? Am I going to freak out? Keep in mind I'm reading this at midnight, I'm the only one awake so I can't even talk it out with someone, and lambs- it was a tough moment. So that right there might scare enough of you were you rule this book out and I wish that you wouldn't. It's not like I'm trying to sell you on dinosaur erotica because this isn't anywhere near that and I'm telling you, without spoiling it, that you don't need to panic. It's going to be OK and you won't feel scarred in anyway. 
In fact, I think you are going to like it. 
Can we talk about the ending? I hate it. That's not what I want for Riley. I feel like Paige needs to not be a jerk and maybe think about poor Riley. He's a freaking wolf- this is a terrible solution. So I sincerely hope there is a book two so Paige can come to her damn senses but also so we can learn more about Riley and Paige's relationship because I kind of love Riley. Have I mentioned he's British? He's a British shifter. EEK. So adorable. Anyways. 
You should visit April's webpage because she does have other books and her Goodreads page, too. I want you to read this, then email me and we'll talk it out together. Because I want you to read it so we can bond over this. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

YOLO needs to die.

Remember how you heard the phrase "YOLO" the first time and you wondered what it meant? Then you found out it means "you only live once" and you're like- dammit, I do only live once! Let me just chug this keg of beer because I could die in three hours (from alcohol poisoning), but at least I can say I've done it! While others would screaming this while zip lining down a mountain or bungee jumping or something else worthy of an actual story.

But mostly it was drunk college students and girls nervous about giving a blow job in the back of a taxi but you know what- you really only live once so why not make an ass out of yourself?

The great thing is that it has kind of died down. Which is why when I heard my five year old declare to me, "YOLO, mom!" the other morning, not only did I stop dead in my tracks, I wanted to punch the parent who taught it to their five year old who then told everyone in the class and quite possibly, the entire playground.

You're wondering what was it that Jackson was doing that would prompt him to say such a moronic thing, even if he is a boy and he is 5. Well friends, Jackson has said it a few times since then and each time  he's doing something dangerous.

Example 1: We have gotten a ton of snow and so there are snow banks that are really high. Clearly, kids gravitate toward them and want to hurl their bodies off them, with or without a sled. But it's not safe because the majority of these are near roads and you could slide out and die when a car hits you. So I see Jackson on one and I yell, "Jackson Matthew, get your ass down from there right now! You know you can't play up there!" His response was, "Oh, YOLO mom!". Olivia cracked up, but he came down and told me nicely that I worry too much.

He's five. I cannot stress the fact that he is five enough.

Example 2: I caught him trying to poor himself a glass of milk when the jug was completely full. Clearly, he's seconds from dumping an entire gallon of milk onto the floor. I say, "Jackson- let me help you with this. You hold the cup steady and I'll pour the milk." His response? "Oh mom- you should know you YOLO."

You see this? It's like he knows what it means because he's using it in sentences that make sense if you didn't say "YOLO" and instead said the words.

Example 3: Jackson attempted to slide down the banister of the stairs this morning. Not only could he fall and bang his head, but as some one who does not have a ball sac- I can only assume what's waiting for you on the bottom of that ride and it doesn't sound pleasant. So I say, "Jackson- that is not a park ride. You get down from there before you break your boy parts." His response? A very loud, "YOLO!!!!" that I'm sure all of the neighbors heard at 7 am.

How can I fix him of this? Is this is a phase? If he turns out to be a frat boy I'm going to be really disappointed and feel like a fail of a parent. But please lord Jesus- stop teaching your children this shit, world. I'm talking to you- every one of you. Just stop it. It's bad enough I have to field questions about masturbating dogs (more on that later), I shouldn't have to deal with YOLO and crap you'd learn by watching the Jersey Shore. I don't even have cable anymore for god sakes.

Haven (and GIVEAWAY!)

GAH! I'm so excited. OK, so I'm a big Laury Falter fan anyways, so when an opportunity came up to review her new book I jumped at it, no questions asked. I didn't even look at the book description- I just signed up and was pleasantly surprised that I was about to read my first apocalypse book involving zombies. WIN.

Haven - Laury Falter
Haven -LauryFalter-600x900
On an ordinary day in early September, Kennedy Shaw leaves for school unaware that within a few minutes the world she knows will be gone – succumbed to an outbreak of epidemic proportions. After finding a safe haven inside the security of her enclosed high school, she learns that four others have survived, one being a bold, mysterious transfer student from Texas whose unruffled demeanor harbors more than a cool interest in her. As they struggle to survive the dead fighting their way inside, will Kennedy discover there is more to life than survival? And will she and the others find a way to live in this terrifying new world?

This is a YA novel and it's about the end of the world because of zombies. You have your super strong female character who can shoot guns and throw Japanese throwing stars (Kennedy), you have the transfer student who is a little bit off but you don't know why (Harrison), and you have a cast of three other students they are essentially trapped inside of their high school with because zombies are eating people right outside. It's probably the worst school day you could have. And then of course,  you get a romance story with Kennedy and Harrison which reminded me so much of the movie Warm Bodies which I absolutely loved and I don't care what anyone says. 

This is an incredibly fast read- I did this in one evening after dinner and finished up right at bed time. I just really enjoy Laury's books because you get sucked right in. She doesn't add extra fluff, you're trying to figure out what the heck is going on and I appreciate that everything is part of a series. So this book is the first in the Apocalypse Chronicles and I'm already awaiting the next one because there is a HUGE cliff hanger at the end of this one. 

You guys know I'm picky about my characters and Laury never disappoints. I loved Kennedy. I thought at first with her being a moody teenager I'd hate her but it turns out I love her. She isn't dramatic- she is very smart, she's intentional, she's thoughtful, and she is very level headed. She isn't the girl that is going to freak out, and she knows exactly the implications of what is happening outside of the doors. She's meticulous and she is able to see things from every angle. She also has dreams that are very much premonitions. At what point will she learn that she can change an outcome by doing the opposite of her dream? I don't know, but I hope she does it in book two considering the cliff hanger at the end of this one. 

Then you have Harrison. I kind of adore Harrison. He's terrified of what he is, though he doesn't really know. None of them really understand but they also don't know what it means for the situation outside. Then you have your geeky girl, the athletic boy, and the drama queen thrown in with them and it's like perfect casting to round out the book. You can tell that this was the book that sets everything up in the next ones. You get the basic information of what is happening, you learn the strengths/weaknesses of everyone and you're able to really think about where this could go. 

And it's pretty freaking amazing. 

Again, I'm such a fan of Laury and if you are looking for something that will suck you in- you need to read her stuff. Truly- I would not steer you wrong. You can buy this for Kindle, Nook and everything else. Laury also has a website, Facebook, and Goodreads

But one of YOU lucky lambs can win a DIGITAL copy of this book! WOOT. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and follow me on Bloglovin (see button below) and I'll draw a winner this Friday, December 13. Good luck!

Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jet

Lambs. Good lord, lambs. You need to just add this author to your favorite list of everything because she is kind of amazing and I need her to never stop writing. This series also cannot be done with Rome- there are other boys in this group that need love as well. Get crackin' Jay. *psh, psh* (That? That is my attempt at the sound of a whip in written form.)

Jet - Jay Crownover
Jet
With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.
Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.
Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?
GOOD LORD. I have already read and reviewed the first book in this series, Rule, and it was really great. Then I got this one and squealed so loud that my dog Twinky piddled himself in the kitchen and Stumpy the cat knocked the water dish over. When animals go wild, things get serious. But this book did not disappoint. 
We have Jet, with his too tight pants, tattoos, and piercings. Then we have Ayden who appears to be a textbook good girl but as it turns out she is anything but. They are both conflicted about themselves being in a relationship and they both have all kinds of personal shit happening and then you combine it and BOOM, you have a really great New Adult romance novel that makes you think maybe you should have spent more time in questionable bars and tattoo parlors if this is the kind of guy you could have ended up with. 
And maybe it's just me thinking that, but it doesn't matter because it's awesome and amazing. 
The only thing that made me feel a little stabby was Ayden. Ayden is kind of... a moron. I mean, she's naive but she isn't, if that makes sense. She knows what she feels for Jet but she cannot figure out that he feels the same. She tries to deny what she feels and convince herself that it's not a big deal and that it's just a passing thing and it's like no. You are a moron and stop being so stupid and just bang the boy already. So then she does bang the boy and even still- she's being a moron. And you know there is little else I can't stand in a book than a female character being so self involved and stupid. Jet, for his part, is a little more reserved with love and such but he has had a really terrible example to follow with his douchebag dad and emotional bag of useless for a mother. So I mean, I get that. I get it coming from him. And while Ayden clearly doesn't have the childhood that's worth anything either, someone I expect more from her.  Which is probably sexist in some way but it's a book and I can say that so there. 
Anyways. 
I ended up LOVING this book regardless. Why? Because when Ayden finally gets it? She is all in. It's like she throws all caution to the wind and jumps head first and you're left wondering why the hell didn't she just do that in the first place? Good grief. And they are just a really great fit. By the end of the book it's like a well oiled machine and you can totally see why they are a good match together. 
And to say I'm eagerly anticipating the third book, Rome, is a total understatement. I WANT IT NOW. I seriously hope I'm on that tour because if  not I'm going to be bummed. I am such a fan of Jay Crownover, you will not be disappointed. 

Why Me No Drinky.

I think everyone who knows me, really knows me, knows that I don't drink alcohol. Like not at all. No wine, no fruity mixes, nothing. And it's really fine. I'm old enough now that it doesn't bother me when people ask my what the hell my problem is and come on, it's only one drink and it's super good.

I just always say no and it's fine.

(Confession: I had half a wine cooler at my wedding. I also had two sips of a margarita while in Vegas. Both times it was disgusting.)

When I was younger I will admit it was hard. People couldn't understand it, thought I was being a too-good snob. Then it became kind of a game to see if people could get me to drink without me knowing it. I'd have people order me a soda which obviously had something in it. And that's just offensive. Because while part of me was offended that people thought I needed to get tipsy to have a good time, the other part of me knew I actually had a real reason as to why I didn't drink.

One of my very first memories ever is of a really terrible argument my mom and my biological dad were having. My dad was, and still is, an alcoholic. He was abusive in every way and he was drunk. A lot. You couldn't count on him for anything. For awhile he worked but then he got hurt and it just got worse. My mom would work long hours and we'd go without basic things like utilities, clothes, etc because he would drink it all away. By the time my brother was born it was really terrible. But on this particular night, I remember watching him hurt my mom, yell a lot, and me sitting on the couch as a 3 year old or so with a friend of the family. He held me on his lap because I was scared and I remember stepping on glass that was on the floor. My baby brother was in a different room, seemingly sleeping, and I remember seeing my dad's face.

That was the last night I remember being with him.

As I got older, I saw my dad break promises, not show up when he said he would, try to kidnap us, terrorize my mother, and my mom- bless her heart, always said, "He really was a good guy at one time. But he drinks and it changes a person." I will never forget that. I remember being young knowing that I absolutely never wanted to change like that. That I wouldn't drink and that I would always be in charge of what I say and do. I never saw him again after age 7, that I remember anyways, and I was lucky enough to gain a step dad who was the best ever. He really still is. I am lucky to say both of my parents are really awesome and great. They've always been honest with me about my biological dad, they didn't sugar coat things, but they also never bad mouthed him. It's always been that he was an alcoholic and that's what happens.

So years later, and I'm talking about 6 years ago, my father contacted me out of the blue. At work, no less. It was pretty mortifying considering it was obvious that he was calling me from a bar of all places. But he rambled on and on about how much he loved my brother and I and how our bitch of a mom ruined his life, and just the regular crap you'd hear from a drunk. He mailed me pictures of us as little kids and a letter. the pictures were great because in one of his drinking binges, he managed to set our house on fire and all of our childhood mementos went up with it. So it was nice to see pictures of me and my brother as babies. But in the letter it was literally pages and pages of him ranting like someone who has rotted their brain out. It wasn't coherent, it was just rambling about how I owe him and if I cared about him as my father at all I would help him out.

Never mind he never helped out mom out. Never mind if he cared about us at all he would have gotten us school clothes, came to see us sing in holiday programs, show up sober once in awhile, something.

I packed everything back up and mailed it to him with a short letter saying thanks but no thanks. I said I was sorry that his drinking had caused him to lose family and that he found himself essentially homeless and without anything to his name. I was sorry that he would never get to see how great our mom did raising us and that he would never get to know his grandchildren. There is a consequence to everything but those weren't bad enough to get him to do anything different and I'm not sorry for that. He chose that road.

I haven't heard from him since. And that's OK.

So every time I see people out drinking for a "good time", I shake my head. I'm just glad that I can have a good time without feeling like I have to drink to be social. I know it makes others uncomfortable when I'm not drinking but I'm hanging out with them at a bar. That's not my fault- that's theirs. But while I hear the argument that if I drink in moderation, I'd be OK- I don't believe it. Because can any alcoholic tell you the exact moment they crossed the line from casual drinker to alcoholic? No. And that's not a chance I'm willing to take. Plus, I like knowing I have 100% control over myself. I have never had a drunken one night stand, I have never not remembered what I did the night before, I have never had a hang over, I have never vomited in heels and short skirt outside of a car, etc. And damn proud of all of that because I'm a god damn lady.

But all of this is a lot to explain when I'm out with new people and they ask what I'm drinking and I respond with water or soda. The great thing about age is that it does bring a bit of wisdom and self confidence and I no longer feel weird about it. I no longer feel the social pressure to just give in and have one with the guys. So it's OK. Be OK with it when I'm not drinking. I want to hang out with people, but I don't drink and it's really OK. If you feel weird about it, you should look at yourself and why that it is, because I'm not the problem here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Buy them ALL.

Lambs. I have to clean out my scrapbooking shelving area because Matt said he might put up shelves for my books after Christmas and he might build me better storage.

In order to do this, I have to clear stuff out and make room. Because if I do that, he'll feel guilty for being slow and he really will put up the shelving for me. It'd be like.... a Christmas gift if you helped. How do you help?

Buy stuff from my Etsy shop! I have a bunch of things just hanging out in my area and you'll get some extra goodies that I find with your order. I'll ship ASAP so you can have them in time for Christmas even. Because I'm a bad ass like that.

So go to MY SHOP and buy away. If you use the coupon code "THANKYOU", you'll even get 20% off. Win. It's like Black Friday without riots and muggings!