Thursday, April 30, 2015

His Name is Killian

So, this review has taken me awhile to draft because I've got some varying opinions.

His Name is Killian - Ella Adamian

Killian Stone paints harpies.

Killian Stone is not into vanilla sex.

Killian Stone suffers from mood swings.

Killian Stone has done something very bad.

The day the painter approached her on the bridge and asked her to pose for him was the beginning of a lust Melissa wouldn’t be able to bridle. When he offers her a month of submission, she’s already too captivated to turn him down. His unhinged sexuality lets her explore her own dark fantasies, but his anger outbursts are scary and devastating. As the time goes by, Melissa realizes there’s something more than just irritability and anger. He has done something which doesn’t let him rest.
 


So first and foremost, you know that I will read basically anything. There isn't much that freaks me out and I've read some fairly dark material. This is maybe the first book I've read with a BDSM story line in which I was genuinely scared for the female and I genuinely felt uncomfortable. Whereas when people read things like Fifty Shades they say, "that's not a love story" whereas I see it as one. I get exactly what the author was trying to portray and I think she did it well. This book, this book very much is NOT a romance. When it says it has explicit scenes, it's not messing around. There were points in this book where I felt so uncomfortable I seriously debated on putting it down all together because it's beyond what even I am comfortable with. 

BUT. 

I really wanted to know what the hell was up with this guy. Because he goes from nice guy, c harming, and seemingly normal to incredibly angry and terrifying in no time. 

Then we have Melissa, who is seemingly naive to basically everything. She agrees to model for Killian for two weeks and once that's over, she finds herself missing him. So he comes back and basically tells her it's a D/s relationship or nothing and she blindly agrees. The first thing that struck me as odd was at no point was a safe word established so right away I'm scared for her. Because hello, you need a safe word. But she very much wants to learn more about Killian and she finds herself craving him although she at times is also very scared of him. 

I really questioned whether either one of them were right in the head but for very different reasons. I think he opens something up in her she didn't know was there and I think he clearly has disturbing things in his past that prevent him from chilling out. So Melissa starts investigating him because it's clear something isn't right and I won't tell you what she finds but I can say there is a sequel to the book coming. So the story isn't totally over. There's more to come and to be frank, I'm a little scared .

If you think you are up for a challenge, I really want to hear what you think about this. The book is available on Amazon and you can connect with the author on Google+. I am giving this book a reluctant 3 stars. Mostly because if the point of the book was to push the boundaries of what is acceptable of BDSM or to give you a hard limit of what is acceptable to read, it absolutely succeeded. If you haven't read any other BDSM books I do think this will turn you off of them all together and scare you proper. So if you know that going in, you will likely come away from it differently than I did. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

39 weeks: Fake outs and freak outs.

Well lambs, here we are. Week 39 of what feels like the Longest Pregnancy Ever. I can't even believe we are in the last few days of April, it really feels like April just got started but no. We're at the end, which means we're also at the end of this pregnancy. Technically my due date is May 6, but at every doctor visit I hear the hopeful lie of "any day now". I've basically stopped resting these last two weeks because I feel pretty exhausted and anxious. I don't want to wish for the pregnancy to be over because it very well could be my last, but I think every woman hits a point where you are physically, mentally,and emotionally done.

39 weeks. Moo. 

So this week I've been walking quite a bit. The downside of being home all day is that Twinky believes I am at his beck and call all day every day. Which is not going to happen once Penelope is born. But him having to pee all of the time means it gives me incentive to get out and not only walk around but to get some fresh air and sunshine, both of which I'm in desperate need of. So that's been kind of nice. 

The biggest excitement actually came yesterday. Actually, it started in the morning. After I dropped the kids off at school, I came home and had kind of a big breakfast. I'm on a breakfast kick right now. So I eat that, got some blog work done, book review stuff organized, checked my emails, and then Twinky began his daily whining and acting as if his little bladder is going to explode. So I decided that while I normally walk him at lunch time, I'll go a little earlier and maybe get a nap in before picking the kids up from school. So we head out. Almost immediately I realize that what has become my normal two mile walk was not going to happen, I mentally tell myself it's going to be a one miler. So we start off. I get to the point where I am about eight blocks from my house when I realize that the side cramps that were annoying but not bad were quickly turning to worst-cramps-I've-ever-had. And not contractions, but more like the cramps you'd get if you drank a ton of soda and thought you could run a 5K with no issues. So I end up sitting on some stranger's front steps for about 10 minutes all the while calling and texting Matt because I didn't think I'd make it home and I figured he works a mile away, he could take a break and come get me. 

Except he DOESN'T ANSWER HIS DAMN PHONE. Like not at all, folks. NOT AT ALL. 

So after 10 minutes I decide I can't sit here all day and now I had to pee, so I start hobbling. And by hobbling? I mean I looked like one of those Weeble toys (weebles wobble, but they don't fall down) making my way down the street. It takes me almost a half hour to go eight blocks. By the time I get home I think to myself I might actually be starting labor. 

But I wasn't. 

So I decided an hour later to go shopping with my mom and run to the bank. Nothing notable or exciting happens, no cramping, all is well. 

I get home and realize I have zero energy. I have literally done nothing all day and the act of getting up to pee feels like it's just too much. To the point where I wonder if peeing my pants is acceptable. I went to pick the kids up from school and I feel basically like crap. Like every ounce of energy I had was gone. 

By 6pm, I started getting those weird cramps again though I was doing nothing but laying on the couch. They progressively got worse and I could feel them in waves and I think- holy shit, I'm having actual contractions. So I start timing them. They end up being an average of 4 minutes apart, lasting anywhere from 45-60 seconds. But they aren't horribly painful, I can talk through them, I'm not feeling like I really need to take action. But I manage to fold some laundry, move my bag to the door, start the dishwasher, and I figure I'll take a shower and lay down and rest. I knew that they'll either go away or get exponentially worse. 

Well I fell asleep and they apparently went away. I woke up at 4 am to pee and it was then that I realized that nothing had happened and they were gone. Cue disappointment and irrational rage, and possibly some swearing that wakes Matt up. 

I ended up going back to bed and I woke up at 6 and when I went to pee again, my pad had a brownish goo in it and when I wiped it was a light brown. Like the color of a tan crayon, but no blood. But I haven't had anything since. I have had super random contractions and I'm now debating on taking Twinky for a short walk around a block or two or just resting. I did manage to eat breakfast, so I'm waiting until my orange juice needs to be peed out, which should be any minute. 

So that's the fake out portion. 

The freak out portion is where I realized last night my floors are in a terrible state so I also have plans to mop it today. I figure between that and a short walk, if that doesn't get labor going I don't know what will. I'm scheduled for my 39 week appointment tomorrow.... so we'll see if it's an office visit or her delivering baby Penelope. 

Keep your fingers crossed! 

Welcome to Sara's Organized Chaos

Narvla's Celtic New Year

I've been on a roll with reading, can you tell? Lots more to come!

Narvla's Celtic New Year - Therese Gilardi
Narvla's Celtic New Year
Narvla’s life is as precisely choreographed as the routines that have made her a national step-dancing champion. She has a loyal best friend, a devoted boyfriend, and a lock on admission to her dream college, the University of Notre Dame. Until her mother is named U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, and her life unravels. First Narvla receives a disturbing picture of her boyfriend and her best friend. Then she struggles to qualify for the Irish elite step-dancing squad, and her grades plummet.

But the biggest obstacle in Narvla’s new life is Dublin Boy, a cheeky musician with a disdain for academics and a distrust of Americans. Although Narvla is upset when she’s paired with Dublin Boy for the most important semester of her life, her real concern is the growing attraction she feels toward him. As the Celtic New Year unfolds, Narvla is pushed to abandon her lifelong need for control and embrace the charm of the unexpected.
 


When I started reading this book, I wasn't totally sure how much I was going to love it. It starts kind of slow for me, but it does pick up, so don't give up so quickly on it. Narvla basically has the perfect life. She's a dance champion, she has great friends and an even better boyfriend and she's super smart. Then it all basically goes to crap when her mother's job forces them to relocate to Ireland, which let's be honest, not the worst place to be relocated to. At least you have a rich culture and history to take it and countless opportunities to be a tourist where you live. But the move is the catalyst for everything previously great about her life going to crap. And it does. In big ways. But then she meets Colin. Who is a bit of a jerk. He's that kid in high school who is too cool for school and comes off as an arrogant asshole because that's basically what he is. He is the complete opposite of the boyfriend she had at home, but since that's clearly not working out, she develops a romance with Colin, though reluctantly .

The really great thing is the author does a great job with character development because we obviously see Narvla growing into the young woman she's meant to be and we see all of these internal changes in her, the real challenge in this story is Colin. He is introduced as a character that is VERY hard to like or even root for, but the author really does a bang up job developing him. He goes from asshole to someone you find endearing once you realize how his start in life sets him up for shutting others out. And I really did not want to like him, I didn't want to root for their relationship and then I was forced to agree, it's kind of adorable. 

Dammit. 

The only gripe I have with the book is that some of the conversations are a bit too teenager for me. Which I understand sounds ridiculous considering this is a YA geared book. I know. But I wonder if because I've read quite a few YA books that sound more adult that it was hard for me to look past that? But overall? Solid book. You can pick this one up on Amazon. But as always, if you want to learn more about the book and the author, head over to Therese's website

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Re Jane

I'm kind of on a roll with books considered to be "re-telling's" of classic literature, aren't I? Well this one is a re-telling of Jane Eyre, which I realize is going to make you love it or hate it.

Re Jane - Patricia Park
Re Jane: A Novel
Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut
 
For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.


I'm going to be honest, the first group of people I think that will enjoy this book are people who are Asian and have family who identifies with the old country more than they do America. Because the entire book kind of circles around that with Jane being half-Korean and half-American, but living with her very Korean uncle and his family since her parents are long gone. I also have to be honest that I am not a huge Jane Eyre fan and I can't even lie and tell you I finished it. There was a summer a few years ago where I planned on reading several classics to say I did it and I failed miserably and decided maybe it was a good thing I didn't go to college to study literature after all. But this book? I enjoyed. It's funny, there are a lot of one-liners in it that made me laugh and I kind of felt sorry for Jane. 

Her uncle is kind of a jerk to her but it's hard to tell if it's because he doesn't actually like her and only took her on in his family out of familial duty versus wanting to make sure she grew up OK, or if his personality is such that he's just that way with everyone. She's kind of like Harry Potter in a sense. Sure, they take care of and provide for her but they don't really want her there and they hold her mother's indiscretions against her, though her mother has been dead for years. So it comes as no surprise that as soon as an opportunity to leave her uncle's house comes up, she takes it despite not being totally sure she wants to do it. 

Which is how she becomes an au pair for a Brooklyn family who recently adopted a daughter from China. Her "interview" and the discovery that not all Asian looking people hail from China, is kind of hilarious and then you immediately feel bad for laughing because it feels like you're laughing at a minority. But I wasn't! I promise! 

The book itself is very chick-lit and modern, something that would appeal more to a younger generation versus the original Jane Eyre. I can't draw comparisons between the two obviously, but I think even if this wasn't being marketed as a re-telling, it would be a great read for anyone. It's engaging, it keeps you wondering what's going to happen to Jane, and the family dynamics of her uncle's home versus the Mazer-Farley family (who she is an au pair for) are so completely different and seeing Jane navigate the two is kind of hilarious. I mean it's like being in two totally different countries though you're only really in different boroughs. And of course, Jane meets a guy. I can't tell you what happens with said guy because it's a major spoiler, but it really is refreshing for an author to say, "You know what? I'm not going with the obvious, and I'm not going the easy route because every one else does." and ends up doing something that makes you want to high five her. THANK YOU for not going the obvious route. 

You can get your very own copy of Re Jane either on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And of course, if you want to know more about Patricia Park, head over to her website

Monday, April 27, 2015

Still Pregnant. Maybe she's stuck.

Oh yes, with only nine days until my due date, each and every day feels like it should be a "Yes, I'm still fucking pregnant." post. Clearly, it's a good thing she's still incubating if she feels she needs to do so a little bit longer. Obviously I don't want her born before she is fully baked. But I do know that my pelvic region hurts a whole lot right now and that third babies are no joke.

I can't even tell you how many times I've searched Google for ways to induce labor. We've done sex, I've done copious amounts of walking, I've eaten spicy foods, and I even tried raspberry leaf tea. I had two sips and called it good because I don't like hot drinks in general and tea is foul anyways. I also didn't do castor oil because that sounds horrific and then I think, meh- what's a few more days? The only promising thing at this point is that I can tell things are happening. Kind of. I'm a teensy bit dilated (as of last Wednesday, maybe I'm more now?), I've lost my mucus plug and one evening it was streaked with brown so I got hopeful. Yesterday I had ONE drop of blood. I mean, nothing major but at this point I feel like anything is something and worth getting excited and anxious about. Then Saturday and Sunday evening I had some light cramping. To the point where I thought I had better get to bed early in case I'm awoken at 2am with real awful contractions, but nothing. It's totally disappointing to get up in the middle of the night to pee and realize the cramping is totally gone. Lame.

So at this point, I'm cursing my mandated "rest". My doctor made it seem like I absolutely had to make it to 37 weeks and t hat she wanted me to take it easy. And I hate taking it easy, so I really struggled but then I thought well, I don't want a premature baby if I can  help it. But now here we are and nothing. It's like she's decided she's just fine in there and who cares if I feel like my pelvic bone is going to shatter. No big deal.

In the meantime, I'm just making sure everything is ready. The house is as clean as it gets. I could and should mop the kitchen floors and the bathroom ones as well. Maybe I'll do that this evening once the kids are in bed. A lot of the projects I wanted to get done are done. I just didn't get to do my South Dakota vacation scrapbook, but that's because I haven't had money to get the photos printed. So that'll get done when it gets done. I am caught up with book reviews and that's always a good feeling, for sure!

This weekend I had the kids help me pack the hospital bag for Penelope. Here's what we came up with:
1. A package of wipes. 
2. A couple of newborn diapers. 
3. Two receiving blankets. If she's anything like her siblings, she'll be a spitter at every feeding. YAY. 
4. A thicker, fluffier blanket to cover her up in the car seat. 
5. Jackson gave her his blue dog toy. That was his car seat toy when he was a baby, loved it. 
6. Olivia insisted we bring two cute rattles in case Penelope gets bored and wishes to be entertained. 
7. Her going home outfit, of course. It's hard to see, but it's a cream outfit with little gold hearts all over it, with a mint green cardigan and mint green headband. And of course, super cute warm booties. 

That bag is in the van, ready to go, along with her car seat. My hospital bag is far less exciting, but that also is ready to go. We even have a third bag ready to go full of kid activity things should we have to go and don't have a sitter readily available. Olivia and Jackson will have snacks and things to do in the family room until someone is able to come sit with them or take them home. 

So we patiently wait. Still. 

*sigh*
Welcome to Sara's Organized Chaos

Pleasures of the Night (Dream Guardians #1)

It's always fun when you find clearance books at Barnes & Noble. This was one of my more recent finds, totally buried underneath lame yoga books. So it pays to dig, folks.

Pleasures of the Night (Dream Guardians #1), Sylvia Day
Pleasures of the Night (Dream Guardians, #1)
There are sensuous pleasures that can only be tasted in the night . . . 

He comes to her in the twilight between sleep and consciousness to fulfill her secret desires. Lyssa Bates has never experienced such ecstasy, brought to her by a man whose deep, soul-penetrating blue eyes hold the promise of tempting intimacies and decadent pleasures. But this stranger, this lover, this immortal seducer is only a dream—a phantom of her nocturnal fantasies—until he appears, inexplicably, at her door in the flesh!

Lyssa aches for the reality of him, but there is grave danger in surrender. Because Captain Aidan Cross is on a mission, and the passion that consumes them both, body and soul, could have dire consequences in a world of dreams . . . and in the waking one as well.


I didn't even realize this was going to be a series until I was maybe 50 pages from the end and I realized there wasn't a chance in hell the author was going to finish this story up in those few pages. Which, can I just say? I'm getting tired of. Does EVERY book need to be a series? What ever happened to crafting a story to fit into one volume? I keep complaining of this and nobody listens. Jerks. 

Basically, this is about Aiden, who is a Dream Guardian. He comes to people in their dreams, usually engages in a sexual fantasy, in pursuit of keeping the Nightmares away. And the Nightmares, for me, are basically like demons from other paranormal novels. At least that's how I pictured them as being. But Aiden meets his match when he is sent to Lyssa, who has built a formidable door that most Guardians can't get to. Something about Aiden's voice convinces Lyssa to reluctantly open the door, and in walks in a hunk. He's walking sex and she doesn't give a second thought to the fact that she's going to indulge in a sexual fantasy with a stranger. But Aiden soon realizes something about Lyssa is different, and that's alarming. 

Once back "home", Aiden is starting to think Lyssa might be The Key, someone the Elite (a team kind of like Special Op's in modern  military terms) was created to kill. They believe whoever The Key is, they would be the ones to unlock the door that lets in the Nightmares and it would end the world as they know it. So though Aiden is trained to locate and kill The Key, he's skeptical of the entire premise, even more so when his gut tells him Lyssa is The Key. So he basically risks his life keeping her alive when it becomes apparent that everything is not as it seems and there's an ulterior motive going on. I can't even give you any hints on the ending because there really wasn't one. We have no real conclusion in this book, we just know that both Aiden and Lyssa are willing to risk their lives for the other in the name of love. 

But let's talk about two things that I took away from this book, in comparison to other Sylvia Day books. First, she writes a damn good sex scene. She just does. I liked Aiden and Lyssa as characters and I liked how she doesn't paint Lyssa as a totally helpless heroine with no personality. She's funny, she's sarcastic, she's mindful, and she seems like a totally normal person. And Aiden is walking sex, which I believe I've covered. Secondly, this is the first book outside of Sylvia Day's Crossfire Series that I've read and I have to be honest, I see why she is riding the coat tails of Fifty Shades of Grey  there. Nobody can say that Fifty Shades and Crossfire share no similarities when the stories are nearly identical, which is a huge issue I have with the Crossfire series, though I love Gideon. But this book is a paranormal romance, no getting around that, and maybe she's gotten better since (this was published in 2007), but you can tell this is out of her comfort zone and she really struggled. I think she tried to get on the paranormal romance bandwagon as it became hugely popular. I honestly don't know how interested I am in reading the others in this series, but I suppose if I found them in the discount bin at Barnes & Noble, I'm not going to skip it completely. I just don't know that I'll go out of my way to find book two. 

Overall? It was a good book. It's a fast read, and it's pretty solid if you are looking for a paranormal romance with solid sex scenes in it, along with a budding relationship. So don't dismiss it entirely. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Struggles: Bras.

You know what? I've decided that there is too much "my life is awesome" out in blog land so I'm going to bring it back and talk about actual things that are issues. I'm all about keeping it 100, as they say on ghetto reality TV.

The struggle this week is going to be about bras. Specifically, maternity and/or nursing bras. Currently, my boobs are huge. They are huge anyways but incubating a tiny human makes them get bigger and quite frankly, it's absolute crap. I wish there was a way I could be like, "Boobs? No sense in producing milk, I'm not going to use it, so let's save yourself the work and my back from the pain and cut it out." Because this is absolutely awful.

I have purchased no less than 20 bras over the course of this pregnancy. Each one has been absolute shit. I'm convinced that the people who design these bras are either men or girls with no boobs. Or, at their best, swell to a B cup and complain of back pain. These are people who absolutely should never, ever be in charge of designing bras. I thought for sure the Jessica Simpson line of nursing bras would be OK because she's a busty girl, surely she has gone through the extra steps to ensure that the cups actually hold a boob in and the straps do their job all the while making your ribs not feel like they will snap in half.

As it turns out, she either has zero say in that entire process or she's actually stupid. Because none of that happens.

I've been measured in three different stores and each store gives me a different size. My standard size is a 38D. But my boobs are larger so I very much need a DD cup. One gal in Motherhood Maternity tried to sell me on a C cup and actually argued with me. It came down to me putting it on and coming out with my boobs clearly spilling out the top and sides and then she shut up and left me alone. Yeah, that's right- you're WRONG, lady. WRONG.

My other issue is support. When you are sporting a DD cup, I'm sorry, but you need underwire. You just do because no-wire leaves your boobs saggy and at no point is a saggy boob appropriate or attractive. Fun fact: it makes you look fatter. It just does. You need a good, supportive cup to bring the girls to where they need to be and it totally slims you out. The next issue? Straps. Even on the smallest setting, the straps do not hold my boobs up. They just don't. It's like the weight of my boobs pull the straps and so really, that bra is only going to be good for short periods of time and if you're lucky, won't be stretched out after a week and useless. But if you buy an underwire? Well you just got the next problem: rib pain. It doesn't matter if I get a size 38, 40, or 42, rib pain if for real. Normally, I don't have this issue with regular bras when I'm not pregnant, so maybe it's because all my innards are all moved about and my ribs aren't naturally this high? I don't know, but it's annoying and after two hours of wearing a bra I feel like I've bruised myself.

It's just another reason I can't wait to birth this baby. My boobs will go down after a few days and I can go back to wearing my regular bras which are comfy and supportive. Come ON, Penelope. Get out already.

Friday, April 24, 2015

In the news: high school dress code too strict?

I've decided I'm going to bring back my "In the News" series because now that I have time on my hands and some thoughts together, I figure it's time. It's time to bring it back.

In the news today is actually an article from a local newspaper in regards to a student's outfit being too revealing and a violation of a dress code. The student, who is 14, thinks her outfit is just fine and is outraged at being "shamed" in school. You can read the article HERE.

First and foremost, the girl with the sweatshirt and jeans? She's fine. Seriously. The complaint was that if she moved around too much, you might see her bra strap. Well, the fine makers of a lot of women's clothing forget that most women have to wear a bra and make the neck hole in a way that you see a bra strap. It happens. Seriously. It's not like it's one of those off the shoulder sweatshirts where you are meant to see the bra strap, which is tacky as it is. It's not cute, folks.

But the other girl? Yes, I can see where the school has issue. Some talking points I've seen in the comments section is that while she has tights on, they are see through. Her skirt is meant to be a high-waist one. Maybe her parents can't afford better. Things of this nature. Here are my arguments:


  • The school these girls go to a school where parents pay tuition. It's not considered a public school, this is separate from the public school system. So an issue of whether a parent can afford specific attire doesn't seem like an argument I'd make off hand. If you can't afford to clothe your child appropriately, you likely cannot afford to send them to a school which requires you to pay tuition. 
  • The dress code for the school is pretty clear. You can't wear spaghetti straps and the one girl is wearing a dress that has spaghetti straps. 
  • The skirt is too short. It really is. I know a lot of young women wear similar outfits, but they are over the age of 18 and the law says they can make decisions for themselves. But as a mother who has a daughter, there isn't a chance my daughter would wear a skirt that short, even with the tights.
  • Because the tights are see through. I think every woman out there can honestly agree that if this girl were to bend over to get her pencil, something out of her locker, in gym class, whatever- you'd see that weird line in the upper thigh of a pair of tights and that's too much. Too much for other 14 year old boys to be seeing. Let alone the fact that in some circumstances, you'd likely see more. 
  • And let's say she's working diligently at her desk and is dutifully writing out her assignments. The act of bending over to write could (and probably would) cause her top to gap open so you could see the top of her breasts. That's not OK. I don't want anyone to see my daughter's breasts. 
What gets me is how offended the girl was, and I'm assuming her mother was, as being told that her outfit wasn't OK for school. Instead of saying, "Wow- I guess I didn't realize" and having mom bring her an outfit, she feels "shamed" and "humiliated". Get over yourself. You're 14. I can't even emphasize the fact that you are 14 enough- life is full of rules and expectations. We don't always like them, we don't always agree, and we may not always understand them, but nonetheless, we're expected to follow them. That's just how life works. 

(This is where all of the "to hell with the system" and "stand your ground" groups will chime in.) 

When I was a kid, there isn't a chance in hell my mom would have let me out of the house in that. It wouldn't have even been purchased. I wouldn't even think to ask for it because I knew better. I got to wear a plain, ill fitting white bra from Walmart until I was 18. Only then, with my own money, did I venture to Victoria's Secret and I bought a pink bra. My mom found it in the wash and demanded where the hell I got it and who did I need to impress with a pink bra. 

I didn't get to wear makeup until I was in high school and even then, all I got was pressed powder and the palest pink eye shadow that basically looked like my skin color. And Lip Smacker chapstick. When I got my first job I bought other makeup and my mom showed me how to put it on but it was clear that if I had too much on, I'd be told to take it off and that would be the end of that. At the time this all seemed really strict because I had friends who got to wear sweatpants with "juicy" written on their butts and full makeup, got their nails done, work shirts where you could clearly see their push up bras, etc. Not me. Nope. 

But as I grew up, I understood why my parents were so strict. Because in my late teens and early 20's, you never saw me acting wild. You never saw me dressing to impress for a boy. I was a Billabong t-shirt, blue jeans, and Vans kind of a girl. You either liked me for me or you didn't. I wasn't going to show you my tits, you were never going to see my thong, and I certainly didn't get a tramp stamp. Because my parents, unbeknownst to me, was teaching me how to value myself. That what my body could advertise wasn't important. That I could be worthy of affection even if you couldn't see what I had under my clothes. 

Which ended up working out because I can't say I've ever had body image issues. Do I wish I were thinner? Sometimes. I was always realistic enough to know I wasn't going to be skinny, that I'm genetically gifted with breasts and a bubble butt. I can't change genetics, but I can be healthy. Which is the goal I have for my children; to teach them that what they have is good enough, you don't have to enhance it or draw attention to it. Which sadly, is not the lesson this girl is getting from her mom. And to me, that's the tragedy here. It's not that she has an outfit she can't wear to school. It's not that she's mad the rules won't be bent for her. It's that her parents not only condone the outfit but her behavior. So now not only have you taught her that walking the line of what's appropriate and not at school is OK, and that it's OK to possibly give her classmates a show because they shouldn't judge her based on what she wears, but now you've taught her that if she complains enough, she'll get attention and she might get her way. Which is everything we're told not to do when we become parents. Don't give your screaming toddler the toy in the store otherwise you've taught them that screaming = toy. And that? That's what's wrong with today's kids and the coming generation. They haven't learned that actions have consequences. And consequences aren't meant to be fun. 

Running Fire

Guess who all of a sudden is on a hunt for Lindsay McKenna books because I was a Lindsay McKenna virgin, and now I'm not, and I am probably going to end up a super fan?

This chick.

Running Fire - Lindsay McKenna
Running Fire (Shadow Warriors, #8)
He was a haven in the midst of Hell…

Temporarily assigned to the Shadow Squadron in a troubled region of Afghanistan, Chief Warrant Officer and pilot Leah Mackenzie is no stranger to conflict—even if most of her physical and emotional scars are courtesy of her vicious ex. Still, she's got a bad feeling about picking up a team of stranded SEALs. A feeling that's all too justified once enemy fire hits their helicopter and all hell breaks loose…

SEAL Kell Ballard's goal was to get the injured pilot out of harm's way and find shelter deep in the labyrinth of caves. It's a place of dark intimacy, where Leah finds unexpected safety in a man's arms. Where prohibited attraction burns brightly. And where they'll hide until the time comes to face the enemy outside…and the enemy within their ranks.
 


If you know nothing else about me, you need to know that I am a romantic suspense JUNKIE. When I say junkie, I really mean it. If the book also has a super hot military guy as a lead? All in. The plot could be 100% ridiculous and so far fetched and it doesn't matter because I am all the way in. (I could make a super inappropriate sexual pun here but I won't because I'm trying to keep it classy.)

The only thing that could be construed as negative in this review is that Leah is super annoying. I mean, I appreciate that when things basically go tits up, she can do what needs to be done. She's not falling apart during a crisis. But when it comes to her personal life? Oy vey. Kind of a hot mess. And yes, she has legitimate reasons considering her ex-husband was a total abuse douchebag. Understandable. But I think even if she hadn't been married, she'd still be kind of a needy mess when it came to Kell. 

And Kell. *swoon* Kell sounds delicious. I'm just putting that out there. I like how despite his own divorce, he's not this hardened nobody-can-love-me guy. He thinks there is someone out there for him he just doesn't know how to reconcile that with his career as a SEAL. Which is understandable. 

The story overall was good. It was everything I wanted out of a military romantic suspense novel. Sure, the story seems a little not plausible with a romance going from zero to sixty in a matter of days given the stressful situation, but who cares. That's part of what I love so much about books like this. I also love the side drama with Leah's ex-husband. Yes, we have them weaving their way through Taliban infested territory, dealing with Leah's intimacy issues, but then we have Leah's ex-husband basically trying to ruin her life for his own benefit and that has it's own super great ending. I also love that we have some follow up/ending with Leah and Kell. It feels like their story is squarely finished and you're left wanting to pick up another book by Lindsay McKenna, which is what any author can hope for. 

Running Fire can be purchased on Amazon, and I highly suggest you pick it up. It's pretty yummy. But you can also connect with Lindsay McKenna through her website, Facebook page or Twitter!



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

38, 1.5 and come ON already.

Well, this is week 38 folks. I had my 37 week check last Friday and at that time, I was dilated to 1.5 cm. My cervix is still posterior, but it typically always is right until I give birth. One thing I've learned is that my cervix is shy and my ovaries like to hide during every exam I've ever had for anything, ever.

So the fact that's still hanging out where it hangs out wasn't a surprise. The doctor could very much feel Penelope's head so she's down where she needs to be, which is good. Today my visit didn't bring much change. I'm still only 1.5 cm and to be honest? That's disappointing.

38 weeks

Mostly because I've been feeling like absolute crap as of late. I feel like I'm constantly on the verge of getting the flu, though I'm not. Generally it hurts to move around at all from all of the pelvic pressure. I've been walking the dog after lunch trying to get my pelvis to just open up a little more or do something to relieve the pressure but so far no luck. But hey- I'm down a pound! I have started to lose my mucus plug and I have to think almost all of it has come out, I've had quite a bit come but so far it's all clear and not blood tinged or anything to get me excited about things maybe starting up soon. 

Sleeping is basically not happening anymore again. It's now painful to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night and considering I have to do that several times, it's safe to say I don't look forward to bed time. I'm at the point where I am strongly considering sleeping on the couch, though I'm sure my back would then hurt like a mother fucker so who knows. It's basically a no-win situation up in here. 

The other thing? I go from being super excited, can hardly wait for labor to start so I can meet baby Penelope to being scared shitless and not wanting any of it to happen. And this isn't a daily thing, this could change by the hour so Matt's had a ton of fun trying to keep up with it. Poor guy. I do know physically I feel drained already and that's a little alarming considering I haven't even done anything so it makes me worried about actually being in labor let alone delivering. 

So cross your fingers something happens soon because my poor pelvic bone feels as if it's on the brink of falling apart. YAY. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Allergies and Asians.

I'm going to start this post by making it very clear that I raise my kids to be kind to everyone. Like no matter what makes someone different than them, any kind of discrimination point blank will not be tolerated. And I start with that because I know that some asshole out there is going to read this and send me an email detailing all of the reasons I'm a shit mother. So I'm just heading that off right off the bat.

So anyways.

Jackson has seasonal allergies. He's had them since birth but seriously, it's like every year they get worse. Last year was super bad, to the point where the poor kid woke up with his eyes swollen shut. And that's before he even went outside. I managed to get him a daily prescription that he takes at night and then he takes a Claritin in the morning as a double back up for when he goes to school.

Now that it's spring (well, it was the last two weeks anyways), his allergies have started up again. I sent him to the park last week when it was super nice out to go play with his sister. He came home a short while later to get a drink and to tell me he met a new friend. He then tells me his new friend, "Has allergies just like me, mom!!".

Which, weird thing to learn about someone in the span of five minutes.

I asked him how did he know his friend had allergies? He says, "Her eyes are swollen almost shut like mine in the morning!". Um, ok. This is weird. The best part? He says, "I told her I had allergies and that I take Claritin. Claritin is really good." (Do you love how my child is pushing pharmaceuticals at the park? He's seven and kind of a drug dealer.)

He then tells me he wants me to meet his friend and see his new trick on the monkey bars. Since the park is across the street, I grab my water bottle and walk over with him. Where he enthusiastically starts pointing at his new friend.

Who does not have swollen eyes.

I'm pretty sure she doesn't even have allergies.

As it turns out, she's Asian.

My child now thinks if you're Asian, you automatically have allergies, just like him.

I proceeded to laugh so hard I basically pissed my pants. Thankfully, I had a pad on given the unpredictable nature of my bladder as of late. But I laughed. And laughed. Then I told the kids we should go home for popsicles because I didn't think I could meet this kids' parents and not laugh and piss my pants even more. Jackson was thoroughly confused and was very adamant that I was wrong when I explained to him that I didn't think she had allergies, but rather she is of an Asian heritage.

He still believes I'm lying and that I'm saying no to him playing with (as he calls it) "a disability friend".

Because apparently, allergies is also a disability according to Jackson.

Again, I laughed. It's the only appropriate response, I think.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prophecy's Language

I only have two book reviews for you this week, the rest of my posts will be other stuff. Including... baby things. Yes, shocker, I know. But I think things are moving along, so I have some posts I want to get done should I go into labor. It's only 15 days until my due date, I believe.

Prophecy's Language - Brenda Dyer
Prophecy's Language (Prophecy, #4)
She’ll need persistence to break through to his heart 

Author Eleanor Donavon’s life is finally going her way. She kicked her mentally abusive ex-husband to the curb, and her writing career is taking off. But her contented world changes when a stranger, who’s the spitting image of one of her fictional vampire warriors, appears in her home on the pretense of whisking her away on a vacation. Believing him to be a cover model sent by her agent, Eleanor takes him up on his offer in hopes of getting to know him better. When she learns the truth about who he is, and the reason behind her imprisonment, her existence is rocked to the core. Now caught in the brutal politics surrounding the vampires, her only hope of surviving is to trust Sin. To complicate matters, she’s spellbound by the fierce warrior and falling for him hard. With her heart at stake, she must somehow break through his icy defenses to the man inside or forever lose him to his haunted past.

Her love gives him the faith to live again

Sin lives by his own code: don’t care for anyone and you won’t let them down. His past actions taught him that valuable lesson. When he receives the mission to abduct Eleanor, a beautiful author writing about the Vampire Prophecy, his heart jolts awake. For the first time in years he yearns to go against his principles and make her his forever, but fear won’t allow it. When she becomes a target of the Sacred Order, Sin risks his career to save her, but the real danger lurks when he realizes he can’t stop his head-on collision with love.


I am an absolute JUNKIE for Brenda Dyer's books, specifically this series. If you remember my review from book three, you'll remember I was pretty sure Sin was the next vampire to be romanced and I was TOTALLY RIGHT. I am putting my prediction that Black is next. Ace will be last because I think he has a few screws loose and he's going to be a very tough character to win readers, let alone a heroine over. But we'll see. I'm just putting that out there. 

Here's what I loved about this book: we didn't focus a whole lot on the prophecy. Which, I know, you're thinking it's book four and we should be getting to the nitty gritty, but surprisingly, we aren't and I'm absolutely OK with that. We're getting bits and pieces with each book and we learn what Eleanor's role in the prophecy is and why she was chosen. We also don't have as much interaction with the other characters like we have in the previous books, but that actually works out for this story because a lot happens in this book as far as the Sacred Order (they are total douchebags and I see them making an appearance again), Eleanor's ex-husband being mixed up with a demon, and the visit from Vampier. So though we don't learn a lot more about the prophecy, it's totally OK because there is enough other stuff happening that keeps you entertained and busy. Not to mention the budding relationship between Sin and Eleanor. 

I wanted to not like Sin, I was so worried I was going to really hate him as I followed Brenda's post on her Facebook page as she wrote, but surprisingly, I kind of loved him. He's so damn clueless about women and he's kind of an asshole, but he's very much that guy a girl wants to fix. Eleanor is a fixer (welcome to club, girl, we have cupcakes in the corner) so of course she sees Sin not so much as a project, but THE project. The one that will matter the most and who needs it the most. I also loved how while he is an alcoholic and uses it to cope with stressful things, she doesn't nag him. It's like her silence is enough to help convince him he can, and should, do better. Which I love. 

I even loved Eleanor. Maybe because she seems a lot like me and that makes her more interesting? I didn't like the heroin from book three, but I totally got why she was developed the way she was. But Eleanor... Eleanor is kind of a moron in her own right and she basically lets people walk over her until she grows a pair of balls and takes charge of a situation. She's a bit of a diffuser, she's the calm in the storm that can take everyone down a notch and help them see the larger picture. 

I flew through this book and I'm so glad there is more. I'm going to have a dark void in my life once this series is done, I assure you. This book is available on Amazon and it's super inexpensive. You don't have to read the previous ones to get into this story, it's not like you won't have a clue what's going on, but the books are so good and you'll fly through them so just get them at the same time and read away. And to keep up with Brenda and what she is working on next, go to her website. I'm there kind of a lot. Don't judge, it's better than being in her bushes. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#LetMatthewTeach

It really amazes me that in 2015, we still deal with things such as discrimination. I'm not even talking about racial discrimination, which is absurd because as we all know, it's not like we can control our ethnicity or how we look. Yet people think it's completely acceptable to treat someone differently based on that.

What also is unacceptable is discriminating against someone based on who they have relationships with. You may not agree with a persons life choices, and that's OK, but it doesn't give you a right to treat them differently based on, or blatantly discriminate against them.

Yet that is exactly what is happening in a Catholic school in Nebraska.

You may have heard about the #LetMatthewTeach movement, and maybe you haven't. Maybe it doesn't concern you because you don't live in Nebraska and your kids don't go to Skutt Catholic School. I encourage you to keep reading because this could lead to a domino effect that could land right in your city. Currently there is a petition outlining details of the possible termination of Matthew Eledge solely based on his romantic relationship with another man. Let that sink in: he's facing termination of his teaching job because of who he goes home to at night, who he enjoys spending his free time with, and who he partners with in life. Not because he's a bad teacher, because a student complained, not because his students have low test scores or any other reason pertaining to his ability to lead a classroom and further the education and provide stability in a school setting for students every year.

Because apparently, Skutt Catholic believes none of that is more important. No, what is more important to them is what he does when he goes home. Which isn't even lascivious. It's what we ALL do when we go home. We often go home to our own partners, man or woman it doesn't matter, we give them a hug, maybe a kiss, we ask how their day was. We talk about plans for the upcoming weekend. Maybe we discuss what we're having for dinner. And sometimes, we may share intimate moments with our partner.

The great thing is that none of that is criminal. It also is nobody else's business.

When faced with the ridiculousness of this hate campaign this school is pursuing, their best argument is from the Chancellor of the Omaha Archdiocese who said, "There have been single, pregnant teachers and those who've divorced and remarried outside the Catholic church who have lost their jobs." That's a direct quote.

I won't even get into the irony that Jesus apparently forgives but the Archdiocese won't at all. God forbid you find yourself single and pregnant, for whatever reason, because you also could lose your job. (Could you imagine if you had an abortion and they found out? Basically, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.) It doesn't sound like they take into account the circumstances leading up to this because if you end up pregnant and aren't married, surely you must be a slut, there can be no other argument.

While I don't agree with most religions because of things just like we see playing out in Nebraska, I understand that some people really need religion in their life. It's their guiding light through life and if that's what you want to do, super. That's really great that you have that at your disposal and I hope you have a wonderful, blessed life.

What you don't have a right to do is discriminate against someone and hide behind your religion. You can't discriminate against a person and say, "Jesus says so." when Jesus doesn't say so. You can point out all kinds of passages to support your argument, but so many other passages can be used to refute it. It's hard to take a text seriously that provides arguments against itself or can be interpreted in many different ways. Let alone the fact that there are many religions out there, that we know about, and yet they all claim to be "The One". At the end of the day, it isn't on any of us to decide if the way a person lives their life is right or wrong. I have found in my short 33 years of life so far, that some of the most hateful, hurtful, and toxic people cling to religion as the basis for their actions.

Which, if Jesus was real, he'd be real disappointed in you. Shame on you for treating any human being less than how you would want to be treated.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if we just thought kindly of others? Even if they are so completely different from us and we don't understand their choices? What if we just chose to say, "You know, I don't get it. But you're a great person and I like you anyways." Especially in the case of Matthew Eledge. The Catholic Church very well may fire him anyways. I don't think they really care what kind of upset they cause because at the end of the day, there are others who support them. Who think that this kind of discrimination is OK. The other thing I find interesting is that when Skutt Catholic alumni reached out to the school to say they don't support this move and want Matthew Eledge to remain a faculty member, they are promptly ignored and/or banned from their social media. (But you can bet these alumni will still get a request of donation, right?) It's like the Archdiocese believes they wield more power than God himself.

That's the real travesty here.

The second travesty is that the students are missing out. There is a Buzzfeed article discussing this in depth.  In a generation where students are not competitive globally, where students could care less about school and spend more time taking pictures of themselves for social media, where they are not able to be articulate enough to gain employment and keep it, we need more Matthew Eledge's. As a parent with children in school, as someone who works in a school, and who is at a school almost every day- I know first hand the challenges teachers face day in and day out. When you have a teacher who is as engaging and mindful, who is willing to go above and beyond to encourage students to keep trying, to try harder, to expand their goals, and helps them achieve those goals long after they've left his classroom? You need to keep that person. You need to keep them and snatch up anyone else like them for your school if you want your students to succeed and be a worthwhile alumni of your education system.

Because here's the thing: being gay isn't catchy. I firmly believe it's just how we're born, your brain is hardwired to love who it wants to love. Even if you are not of that opinion and you view it as a lifestyle choice, it doesn't give you the right to discriminate against someone. You would feel angry if you were being fired from your job because you preferred dogs over cats. Or because you like to go to the casino on payday. Or because you like to drink wine at your book club. If you look at the basics of this, and you don't weigh the validity of being gay as genetic or a choice, the ramifications of this are huge. Absolutely huge. Because it would open the door to employers discriminating against anyone for anything.

Is that fair?

Seriously, think long and hard about that. And then look at yourself. Look at your current lifestyle and your past. Would you want someone to discriminate against you because of any of it? Can you really say that you live a 100% authentically Christian lifestyle? You never partake in vices, you are kind 100% of the time, you are 100% selfless, you do not revel in wealth and you help those less fortunate than you all of the time leaving you on the brink of poverty? I can tell you right now that describes nobody. Not one person I know who considers themselves a child of God lives their life in the manner God tells them to. You don't get to pick or choose. You can't do what you want and go to church on Sunday and beg forgiveness so you get right with God, only to start Monday off no better. That's an abuse of religion and you make a mockery of the entire system when you do that. I often compare it an abusive husband. He comes home, beats his wife, but the next day he apologizes and all is right again. Only for him to come home later and beat her again.

We need to teach children that there is more value in being a decent human being, and being kind to others, looking at someone else's differences from you as a strength and as something that makes them unique and special, than learning how to judge someone based on what they look like, what they believe in, or who they love. Period.

If you want to learn more about this issue, I invite you to read the petition, sign if your heart moves you to do so. There is also another blog post written by someone who is far more articulate than I am that you may find interesting as well. Also, there is a Facebook page giving updates on the situation. If you weigh in on this controversy online, you're encouraged to use #LetMatthewTeach.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

37 Weeks. Sweet Jesus, let the end be near.

I can't even believe I'm already 37 weeks pregnant, yet I feel like I've actually closer to 57 weeks pregnant. My pelvic bone and vagina agree with me. As does my belly button, who feels like it's ready to wave the flag and give up any minute now.

This is the look of 37 weeks pregnant. 

Last week at my OB appointment nothing super exciting  had happened. Penelope has dropped, and I could have told anyone that from the amount of pain I'm in down there. It really does feel like a bowling ball is sitting precariously on my pelvic bone to see how long it can stay before the bone breaks into a million pieces. A few weeks ago it would hurt, feel fine, hurt, and then feel fine again. Now it's hurting all of the time. I really thought that meant that I'd be effacing and dilating but no. 

No, because Penelope will not come quietly into the night. I've already mentally prepared myself for that. 

I go for my check again this Friday so here's hoping for something

I've been walking every day after lunch, not just because I want action to start, but because it's really super nice out. I really need to get fresh air and sunshine, so Twinky and I go on walks around the 'hood, armed with my cell phone in case my water were to break in a random stranger's yard. I don't really have a plan if that were to happen because god knows Matt never hears his damn phone anyways, but having the phone makes me feel less crazy. 

Let's see... what else? 
  • Belly Button or Bust: Oh yes, the belly button pain. To be honest, I've never been an outie, I'm strictly an innie. I was never an outie with the other two so when Matt pointed it out a few days ago I rightfully called him a liar. Then promptly went to the bathroom to investigate and woah- he's right. That sucker is sticking out and it hurts. Like it hurts to touch the damn thing, let alone put lotion on it. 
  • It's like I botoxed my belly: The skin is as tight as Nicole Kidman's forehead. It really cannot get any more stretched out, I refuse to believe it. The fact that people pay a lot of money for this kind of thing but on their face blows my mind. This is horribly uncomfortable. Sometimes when I roll over in bed at night, I have a real fear it's going to just split open. 
  • Let us pray she's a good sleeper: I really hope the fact she doesn't move much at all anymore is a sign she enjoys long hours of sleep like her brother. Jackson got super lazy towards the end and didn't move much and he sleeps a lot. Olivia never stopped moving and consequently, she hardly sleeps at all. So if there is any kind of justice in this world, Penelope was a bear in utero early on and will be the best sleeping baby EVER. 
  • I don't feel super crazy and anxious: Unlike the last few weeks, mentally I feel far more prepared. I don't know if it's because I'm in the home stretch or what, but I feel very calm about labor and delivery. I've decided I'm just going to wing it and see what happens. I'm going to go with the flow and I really don't give a damn how it turns out, so long as she comes out and all is well. Selfishly, I'd like to not tear super badly, but I'm realistic enough to know I probably will. I'm already going in preparing to not be able to sit for 6 weeks minimum again. I figure the whole "plan for the worst, hope for the best" method is the best at this point. That way I can't really be disappointed, can I? 
So that's where we are. Penelope is just chilling, apparently the size of a winter melon though I don't know what the hell that is. Even the picture on my pregnancy app doesn't look like anything I've seen so who knows. 

I've got my hospital bag pretty well packed, hers is set to go. Someone said they wanted to see what I packed and maybe I'll do that post tomorrow. I've got all of this time now during the day to do photos and stuff. So stay tuned. 

The Bookseller

I promise you, later tonight I will have a pregnancy update/non-book review post for you. Swearsies. But for now, book review!

The Bookseller - Cynthia Swanson
The Bookseller
A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . . 

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It's everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?


Yes, it's reminiscent of Sliding Doors, but it also reminded me of The Other Life by Ellen Meister. I will say that I am so split on this book. I've had a hard time figuring out what I'm going to write as far as a review because there are aspects I absolutely love and others where I'm just left feeling like... it's been done. I have a hard time enjoying something that's been done. Yes, there are elements that are different than things it can be compared to, but there weren't enough for me to feel like it's a fresh idea. Of course, if you haven't read anything else like this, then this entire paragraph is meaningless to you and you'll find the book absolutely fascinating. The premise of being able to live two lives, simultaneously, is interesting. It's like seeing what your life could have been. Though it then begs, would you love your "normal" life less because you know what you could have had? 

Also I had to keep reminding myself that this is set in the 1960's, so there is some language that was a little alarming in regards to a child with autism who was aggressive. Now, back then I get autism wasn't totally a well known thing but man, it made me pause while reading it for sure. For me, that was the most exciting thing in the entire book. The other thing with it being set in this particular time period is that you also are thinking about a woman's role in society. Back then, it was kind of unheard of to not actively look for marriage and start a family. Instead, Kitty and her best friend open a book store to be their own bosses and both kind of let dating go to the wayside for various reasons, and it leads them to look like spinsters, basically. And maybe it's that perception that leads Kitty into fantasy land and explore what her life would have been like if she had continued on with Lars? I'm not sure, to be honest.  Overall, it was a bit boring compared to other books in my reading list as of late. I think between that and me comparing it to The Other Life, and being reminded on how frustrated I was with the main character of that book, I really struggled to love this book. 

But I absolutely cannot stress enough- if you have not read a book with a similar premise, give this one a shot. I wished I had read this years ago before I read anything else like it because I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. 

The Bookseller is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also learn more about the author, Cynthia Swanson, on her website as well as her Facebook page