07 December 2011

In Which I Welcome You to the Next Stop on the TATTERED Blog Tour!

Mood: Excited (It's not every day a girl gets to host a stop on the awesome tour of awesome!) 

LK: First of all, I'd like to thank Rhonda Cowsert for hosting the Tattered tour.
  1. For today's prize of a paperback copy of Misfit McCabe along with with The Hammer by K. J. Parker AND an ARC of Tattered, simply comment on this post.
  2. To get a free ebook copy of Misfit McCabe:
    • Put together the puzzle and write down the code. Each day will give another part of the coupon code. Please note at the top whether it is for eBook or Print.
    • Once you have collected the entire code, go to Smashwords and purchase Misfit McCabe input the code and download whichever ebook version you need for free.
  3. To get 50% off the print version of Misfit McCabe:
    • Put together the puzzle and write down the code. Each day will give another part of the coupon code. Please note at the top whether it is for eBook or Print.
    • Once you have collected the entire code, go to Griffie World Store and purchase Misfit McCabe input the code and receive 50% off the purchase price.
  4. To win the KINDLE FIRE
    • Support this tour by commenting on each of the daily stops -- It's only 11 days, not even as long as the 12 days of Christmas.
    • And since Rhonda was nice enough to help me promote my new book, please don't forget to subscribe to to her blog and follow her on Twitter - @rcowsert 
Tattered is the third novel in the heartwarming young adult series, Misfit McCabe. A little about the book:
What do Sunday afternoon court proceedings, cheerleader tryouts, and a book burning have in common? Katie McCabe is back in action.
After her nemesis Harvey is found guilty and sentenced to community service, Katie wants to believe her troubles are over, but Harvey won’t rest until he gets revenge. When blackmail rears its ugly head, she’s caught between friends and enemies putting her growing relationship with Tom at stake. Books go up in flames and Katie’s world rains down in tatters.
Rhonda is someone... you guessed it... I met on Twitter. I first noticed her when she'd end up in conversations with mutual friends, and I enjoyed her sense of humor in the snippets I saw. Then we bonded over our love of the show Designing Women, in particular the character of Suzanne Sugarbaker, and her pig, Noel. After that, there was no looking back, and you can't find a better supporter for cheering you on in the writing process. She's always willing to whip out the pom poms, or don the tiara. Now I'll turn things over to Katie McCabe, the fourteen-year-old main character of Tattered.
Katie: Hi Rhonda! Thanks for having me today. Although, today I have to talk about *gag* Harvey.
Harvey Denton, Jr. is a despicable toad. He is so awful that most of the words I'd use to describe him, I'm not allowed to say. He's mean, and it shows in everything he does. I'd call him a pig, but that'd be an insult to Noel.
Do you know what he did to me? This just shows what kind of creep he is. When I was brand new in town... it was my first day there, and he was showing me around town -- only because his mother made him, but I didn't know that. Anyway, after he was already insulting to my entire family, we went to Max's, and Harvey asked me what I wanted to eat. I told him I didn't have any money, and he said not to worry about it. I started to feel a bit guilty, like maybe I misjudged him, but then he left me there, not knowing how to get back to where Sarah was waiting for me, and he stuck me with the tab for both of us. I thought I would die when Max told me I had to pay. And THEN, when we walked back in the shop, he lied about everything to Sarah, and told her my new friends did terrible things to me. He's just disgusting. In EVERY possible way.
LK: Put the puzzle below together for part of the code to receive 50% off a paperback of Misfit McCabe. And make sure you visit Katelyn Torrey on tomorrow's stop on the tour. And for all details on the tour, the prizes, and the stops, please visit Griffie World.
If the puzzle does not load correctly, please refresh your browser and it should display correctly.


05 December 2011

Monday Must Reads... Chosen by Denise Grover Swank

Mood: Monday - bleh. 

Chosen - By Denise Grover Swank

Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma's never needed help before. And even though she's learned to trust her son, it doesn't mean she trusts Will. 

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma's freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake's proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn't know she has. 

Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will's overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it's too late.

My Take
Denise Grover Swank has delivered another amazing novel! Chosen is a dark thriller that is a definite departure from her previous release, Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes, and proves that Denise's talent as a writer is not limited to a single genre.

Emma is a woman on the run. Jake is a little boy carrying the weight of a gift that would be too large for most grown men to handle. Mother and son are being hunted by nameless, faceless people who are willing to do anything to get what they want - Jake. Without understanding exactly why they are being hunted or by whom, Emma does the only thing she can to protect her son - she learns to live her life on the run.

They run from one town, one hotel to the next, depending on Jake's ability to see the future to give them enough warning to move on before they're caught. Until they are. Jake insists that they need Will but Emma isn't willing to let her guard down and trust Will completely. Which is probably a very good thing since Will Davenport is not exactly who or what he seems.

At a Glance

1.) Emma is a completely real character. She's a mother who is willing to do anything and sacrifice everything to keep her son safe. She's also a woman who is tired, scared and weary of fighting the battle to keep them alive. Denise manages to brilliantly balance both of these facets of Emma's personality making her a very believable and sympathetic character.

2.) The plot is confusing enough (in an awesome way) to keep everyone - including the main characters - guessing from one moment to the next but expertly woven into a narrative that makes it impossible to put down. I LOVE this.

3.) While there is a definite supernatural element it just simmers in the background adding another brilliant layer to the story.

4.) Will - absolutely swoon worthy as the dark and tortured anti-hero hero of this book. LOVE him - also, might hate him a little.

5.) There is just the perfect amount of humor and snark in Chosen to keep it from being too dark - which is awesome for those of us who like to read well into the night!

Chosen is the first in a series of books about Emma, Will and Jake!

In Other News
Don't forget to check out LK Gardner-Griffie's continuing blog tour of awesome! Today she's over with Christine Fonseca!

03 December 2011

The Saturday Six!

Mood: Content

I missed the Friday five so I'm gonna go for the Saturday six because that's just how I roll!

1.) I find the low carb lifestyle very easy to maintain 99% of the time the other 1% of the time? Falls directly in the month of December - when I am surrounded by all things sugar filled and wonderful. I would like to say that I have committed myself to staying the course through the Christmas season - but that would be a big.fat.lie. Instead I have accepted the fact that I will do my best and probably spend the month gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over again.*

2.) It's December 3rd and absolutely beautiful outside. Like, don't need a coat and let's crack the windows open beautiful. One part of me LOVES this - the other part of me is confused by the combined lack of snow and Christmas decorations. **

3.) I'm fairly certain that cinnamon and sugar roasted pecans are proof that God loves us.

4.) I've discovered the internet crack which is called Pinterest. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should totally do it but be aware this is exactly what happens:

5.) I'm not a Coke fan and, since going low carb, I really don't even like soda all that much anymore but did that stop me from buying this?

No it did not. Christmas? Check. Santa? Check. Old fashioned Coke bottles? Check. Do I like soda? Not so much but who cares? MUST HAVE!

6.) Our Christmas Tree!

So there you go - six totally random things for this lazy Saturday. What's the random in your life this weekend?

*Yes, I know I'm weak - but I'm weak with Christmas treats! 

**This? Is why I could never move to California. 

01 December 2011

Tell the Truth Thursday - And Fun Stuff!

Mood: Festive - it's Christmas time!! *passes around the eggnog and cookies* 

It's time once again for Tell the Truth Thursday - so *deep breath*  here goes:

1.) Since I've been doing the low carb I've replaced my McDonald's Coke addiction with a slightly more obsessive addiction to the fresh brewed unsweetened iced tea at a local gas station. You know how some people need their coffee to function? Well, I need my tea - and the person who took the last of it yesterday morning? You are on.my.list!

2.) I gained EIGHT pounds over the Thanksgiving holiday (which, to be honest, lasted from Wednesday night until Sunday night - but still). It's not that I ate too much - it's more that I ate too many yummy, delicious, starchy carbs. #omnomnom

3.) Apparently I've begun to think it's appropriate to utilize hash tags everywhere. #tagALLtheTHINGS

4.) I totally sparkly heart everything Christmas. This may make me annoying at this time of year. #noapologies *turns Christmas music up louder*

So there you have it folks, my truths this Thursday - what about yours? Anything you've been keeping locked away?

Before I leave you today - 

Filed under amazingly awesome writer stuff:

The awesome and talented (awesomely talented?) LK Gardner-Griffie is sending her latest book baby "Tattered" out into the world and to celebrate the release she's having an "Awesome Blog Tour of Awesome"* Not only will you get the chance to read more about her characters and their stories, you'll get to visit with great bloggie type people AND have the opportunity to win STUFF! And not just any stuff but amazing stuff - like ARCs, e-books and actual books from LK Garnder-Griffie and other great writers!

The first stop of the tour is here at LK's very own blog - so hop on over and join in the fun and celebration! And don't forget to visit the other blogs (including this one) on her tour!

*say it in a really deep echoing voice - now isn't that awesome? (also, please note, this is NOT the official name of the blog tour. I don't even know if it has a name.) (Just kidding. It has a name. Its name is George.) 


12 September 2011

Where Were You?

Mood: Reflective

Today is September 12th and, for the most part, life has gone back to normal. I got up this morning, got ready for work, goofed off on Facebook and now? I'm blogging. But yesterday was different - as September 11 must always be different.

The 10th anniversary of the horrific attacks of September 11, 2011 meant that we were absolutely bombarded with the memories, images and devastation that occurred on that fateful day. Almost universally people turn to one another and ask "Where were you?" and "What were you doing?" There's an almost undefinable need to share those stories - as though we have to remember that moment to fully realize that we actually lived that moment.

Where was I? I was in my bathroom, drying my hair and getting ready for work when the hubs (then fiancee) called to tell me something was happening in NYC. He was on his way to work and listening to the radio - he said "turn on CNN a plane crashed into the World Trade Center."

I quickly switched the television on but finding CNN wasn't necessary. The news was on every channel. I watched in horror as the second plane crashed into tower 2.

My world was such a different place on the morning of September 11. I couldn't comprehend what had happened. My brain tried to make sense of the senseless and the only thing it would allow me to believe was that something had gone horribly wrong to allow two such horrific accidents. It wasn't until I got to work and heard the news about the plane hitting the Pentagon that I was fully aware that this was not an accident, but an attack.

In some ways I can't believe I was naive enough to think that, even after the second plane hit, it had to be some sort of bizarre accident - and in many ways I wish I were still that naive.

It makes me sad that my nieces and nephews will never have the luxury of being that naive. Born in a post September 11 world they will always know that there are people out there who are pure evil and they will never be able to look at an event as "just an accident" without first processing through whether or not it was a terrorist attack.

It makes me sad to hear my sister tell of her struggle to explain to the kids what happened that day while still assuring them that they're safe. How do we explain something that we can't even hope to understand ourselves?

Every September 11 we stop, we remember how lucky we are to have what we have and how quickly it can all be ripped away - but for those of us who are lucky enough to wake up on September 12th? We carry forward.

Today is September 12 - and we remember but we go on. I will go to work this morning and I will wish that I was at home because it's Monday and I'm tired. I will complain about our politicians and the state of our economy because I can. I will put terrorist attacks at the back of my mind and I will focus on other, far more trivial things. My world will get back to its "new normal" and that's okay - because that's the only way we can win.


02 September 2011

The Friday Five

Mood: Whiny (I'm sick so I get to whine)
It's Friday!! It's a long weekend!!  And I'm sick. So, yeah...

1. Circus Days
On Monday, we went to the circus with my family. It was the first time the bubbies had ever been to the circus and, ranging in ages from 1 to 8, their reactions were varied and absolutely precious. My favorite reaction? Was from my little niece Miley who promptly fell in love with the Elephants and declared them her "puppies".

Clearly on board with John Green's desire for puppy sized elephants, she just decided that she would bypass evolution and declare the elephant sized elephant to be her very own puppy.

2. My very own superpower identified

I totes want this shirt! It's SO ME!!!!

          You can get it here:
 Awesome T-shirt of Awesomeness

3. If my next car has GPS, I totally want it to be Snape guided GPS!

4. It seems that my landlord has superhuman abilities to see issues within our apartment that we don't even know exist! He showed up at the door this afternoon telling me that the seal on our bedroom window was broken and he needed to come in and take some info from the window so that he could get it fixed and/or replaced.

On the surface this sounds like an amazingly attentive and responsible landlord. However, his attentiveness is just a little creepy considering we've been waiting for over 7 years for him to fix the hole he put in the cabinet under our kitchen sink, 4 years for him to properly fix the tile surround on our bathtub and over 5 years to do something about the mold in our bathroom walls. So, yeah. Wonder what the wait time is on the window thing?

5. It's a holiday weekend and cold or no cold, hubs and I are going to have fun if it kills us!!


29 August 2011

It's Monday - With Books!

Mood: Happy - the circus is rolling into town (and no, I don't mean family - I mean the honest to goodness circus with tents and everything!)

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, but the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear.  Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession.  But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons.  Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

 My Take:

Gretchen McNeil has delivered a truly spine chilling story with her debut novel, Possess.  Bridget Liu has a lot on her plate. At 15 years old she has the typical teenage baggage in the form of friends, boys and family drama but she also has darker, heavier burdens that she carries. Her father, to whom she was incredibly close, was brutally murdered by a patient, her mother seems to be moving on with one of two suitors who tend to hang around the house a little too often and as if that weren’t enough, Bridget discovers she’s a Watcher.

As a Watcher, Bridget has the power to banish demons back to the hell from which they came – and suddenly demons are cropping up everywhere – even in creepy dolls who insist that she listen to the message they’ve been sent to deliver to her.  It’s up to Bridget to decide who she believes and solve the mysteries surrounding her father’s murder, her own family history and get to the bottom of the demonic activity before it’s too late.

At a Glance
1.)    This book is genuinely creepy without ever going over the top – it will definitely make you think twice about the things that go bump in the night. Although the story is definitely creepy and there is some violence – none of it is gratuitous – it’s all organic, flowing from the story and serves to make the story stronger and more real.  LOVE

2.)    Bridget – she’s is an amazing heroine – sarcastic, smart and full of snappy one liners. At the same time, she realistically struggles with the reality of her situation and what her abilities really mean. 

3.)    The mystery – there is one and it’s well woven throughout the story. I admit I pretty much figured it out about ¾ of the way through but that did not diminish the enjoyment for me at all because there were still so many unanswered questions that I could not stop reading!

4.)    I LOVE that McNeil has explored the divide between good and evil – and found that line to be quite blurred and the divide not that wide.

5.)    As usual, there are boys and Gretchen McNeil definitely delivers a totally swoon worthy crush in the form of Matt Quinn. The handsome son of the local police chief is always there for Bridget – whether she needs him to go with her to see her dad’s psychotic killer, search for secret files, do a little breaking and entering or take her to the winter formal.

Bottom line - I loved this book and can't wait to see what the author brings next! 


26 August 2011

It's Friday and It's a Freaking Hurricane!

Mood: It's FRIDAY!!!!! 

Given the events of the past couple of days it's pretty clear that the earth is seriously pissed off at the East Coast.  Honestly, I'm not sure what they've done that brought down the wrath of Mother Nature but whatever it is I'd suggest they stop - ASAP!

In the meantime, they are all battening down the hatches to weather the next disaster in the form of Hurricane Irene. Here in the Midwest, our violent storms usually come in the form of severe thunderstorms/tornadoes. There's usually not much warning and, if you're lucky, you'll have time to run and hide in a basement or bathroom* before all hell breaks loose.

Unless, of course, it's winter - and there's a blizzard on the way. In which case we must all run to the store in a dead panic to buy all the batteries, milk and bread we can find.

<----Clearly, this is the general 'prepare for disaster' protocol. Oh, sure, East Coasters aren't running out to buy all the milk and bread they can get their hands on but the idea is still the same.

The good news is that generally, after all that milk and bread buying, the blizzard is rarely as bad as predicted and we all end up feeling a bit foolish scrambling to find recipes to use up all the bread and milk we've hoarded in preparation for our own personal version of the apocalypse.

So, to all of those in the path of Irene - batten down the hatches, stay safe and here's hoping that in a few days you end up with a whole bunch of unused panic induced apocalypse purchases.

Oh, and for those of you who are having hurricane parties? Let's get things started!

*This is at direct odds with my number one death rule: DO NOT DIE IN THE BATHROOM


25 August 2011

Tell the Truth Thursday

Mood: Hungry (Not exactly a mood but it's dinner time)

My truths this Thursday:

1.) I'm totes excited to find this

I've got a tiny apartment sized stove with an even tinier apartment sized oven with only ONE rack. Christmas baking literally takes me days to complete. With this I'll have THREE racks and I'll be able to finish my holiday baking before I get all stabby and Grinchy.

2.) I finally dyed my hair. The result was a bit redder than the auburn color indicated on the box. It's a bit of a change but hubs likes it and I didn't think it was too bad until...my boss said "Wow! Red hair - did you do that to yourself on purpose?" head.desk.

3.) The circus is coming to town on Monday!  I LOVE the circus but I always secretly worry when I’m sitting there under the big top. What if there’s an elephant stampede? Or what if the lions and tigers go rogue and start scratching all our skin off?  I mean, what if the HUGE, GIGANTIC SCARY animals suddenly realize that they’re way bigger and stronger than we are and they decide to kill us all!?!
4.) I've been a massive exercise slacker lately. Video Game Barbie and I have not tangled in quite a few weeks. I'm slightly ashamed of this but I admit it's the same sort of shame I feel about my junk drawers. I wish things were different but I'm not sure I have the actual drive to get up and do anything about it.

So, there are the truths in my world - what about you bloggie friends? Anything you want to share?

24 August 2011

WIP Wednesday

Mood: Stressed (it was one of THOSE days!) 

I'm working on my shiny new idea - we're in the honeymoon phase - it's a pretty, sparkly idea with no bad habits and it's just perfect and we're going to be happy together forever and ever!*

As with all shiny new ideas, this one requires that I do some research because, while I am a walking encyclopedia of useless information, I don't know everything.**

This week, my topics of research have included the following:
  • how long DNA results take
  • how long a body takes to decompose in water - in the summer
  • Whether bodies can be identified by standard means (dental records, etc.) or if a DNA test has to be done to confirm. 
  • Post traumatic stress syndrome
  • Psychopathic tendencies
All interesting topics but I fear that I'm going to have some 'splaining to do if the FBI ever decides to check into my on-line activity. 

*Or until it starts leaving its wet towels on the floor, refusing to cooperate and just generally being a major pain in my ass. 
** I know, it surprises me too. Also, do NOT tell my husband I just admitted that. 


23 August 2011

Tuesday Tunes - Empire Records Edition

Mood: Confused? Meh.

Time to show the little known, very underrated Empire Records some blog love

Sugar High! Couldn't find a version of the actual movie clip that would allow me to embed but I did find this nice edit without the movie playing and that works too! P.S. I only like the version of this song as it's played in the movie - the actual full version? Is a little too rated R.

I Want Money - Lots of Money - Joe's Money! A tribute to Lucas!

It's Rex Manning Day! Also? Video Killed the Radio Star...just saying...

I could keep going here because this movie is just made of dorky awesome so check it out. Seriously!

So Bloggie friends, what random earworms are travelling about in your brains today? Any movie soundtracks that just get stuck in  your head from time to time?

22 August 2011

Monday...Without Books. :(

Mood: Tired and a bit cranky (probably best to keep a safe no fly zone distance away from me today). 

It's Monday - which would possibly normally mean that it's time for another book review - but not today. Because today is a Monday without books. :-(

Okay, so not exactly a day without books - anyone who knows me knows that I've got three book shelves and a Nook filled with books so there are obviously books everywhere in my world. The problem is that I haven't finished reading anything in the past week that would lead me to say "YAY!! I must review this book on my blog! I just have to let others know about the awesomeness contained in these pages!!!"

Sigh. The truth is that I've been an epic failure as a reader. I partially blame my Nook. I love it. It's cute, and it's color and it allows me to have access to every.single.book I want to read. On the surface, this seems like a very good thing. In reality? Not so much.

Before I had my Nook, book shopping was an event. I would only get to visit a Book Store once in a great while. There are no book stores in my town so time had to be set aside to drive the 40 minutes to the nearest town with a large bookstore (my personal fave is B&N) and then I had to set aside a certain amount of money that I was allowed to spend on my book buying (because I have an ever so tiny book addiction and a very tight budget). THEN, I had to actually peruse the shelves and find books that I wanted to read that A. I could afford and B. I could find in less than the amount of time it would take my hubs to lose his mind waiting for me to find my books.

This plan worked for me. I had to decide what books I wanted to read and could afford in a relatively (by my standards - don't ask the hubs) short amount of time. Sometimes my choices were based on recommendations or my liking an author but most of the time my choices were made based on the shiny covers and the blurb on the back of the book jacket. I would take the books home, read them - like them or not - and that was the end of it.

NOW - I have all the books I could ever want available to be downloaded 24 hours a day! I can download samples, read the first few pages at my leisure and decide if I want to buy it to read the rest. Unfortunately I still have the small matter of a tight budget to consider - so what happens? I read sample after sample - wondering if each book, no matter how promising, might not be as good as the NEXT book sample I read. I worry that some night in a book nerd fueled frenzy I'll end up spending all of our bill money on downloading all the shiny looking new YA books and then hubs and I will end up sitting in the dark eating bologna by candlelight and not in the 16 candles romantic Jake Ryan way but more in the "I hate you and want a divorce" War of the Roses way.

Sigh. So, my fellow bloggie friends, anyone have any great recommendations? Something you've read recently that just knocked your socks off and you just have to share?


19 August 2011

Freak Out Friday...

Mood: Lazy

Most of the randomness knocking about in my brain today are the creepy and/or freaky variety - So...

1.) Brain Eating Amoebas!

I am not making this up! When  I loaded up the Yahoo home page to check my e-mail last night, the headline was something like “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES BECAUSE THE AMOEBAS ARE INVADING OUR BRAINS!”

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the exact headline but it might as well have been. My overly worried, OCD hypochondriac self was seriously freaked. Like seriously. Freaked. But then I realized that these nasty little bastards only hang out in warm bodies of water so as long as I don’t go swimming in a lake or pond, I should be golden, right? Wrong. Because it turns out that a young man was killed when he came in contact with the brain eating amoebas from his own tap water.  *Looks at shower* *whimpers* I don’t want my brains eaten by creepy amoebas!* 

2.) Creepy FISH CARS

We have a new neighbor and honestly, he kinda creeps me out. Or, more specifically, his vehicle creeps me out. I get that he likes fishing. That’s great, go fish, be happy. Whatever. But really? Walking out of my apartment building every morning and coming face to face with a giant Bass named Peggy Sue** with some sort of crickety, cockroachy type bug in her mouth makes me all stabby. (I don't even want to talk about the fish skull with the gaping mouth on his dashboard) 

So my bloggie friends, what is freaking you out this fine Friday?

*if my brains are to be eaten, I want them to be consumed by totally bad assed zombies. 
** You can't see it in the picture, but trust me - Peggy Sue is spelled out in sparkly letters on the mounting hardware. 


18 August 2011

Tell the Truth Thursday

Mood: Tired and ready for the weekend. 

My truths this Thursday

1.) I totally need to dye my hair. I've needed to do this for the last three weeks or so. I've got massive roots showing* and yet I've been too lazy to actually get it done. I did take the box out of the cabinet and open it so that's something, right?

2.) I've recently discovered the Vlog Brothers. How did not know about the awesomeness of these guys? If you haven't checked out their channel on YouTube, you should totally do it. Now. Also? This has helped clear up some confusion on my part over Maureen Johnson's use of the word "nerd fighter" in her Tweets.** If you're not following her on Twitter you should do that too.

3.) I cannot seem to stop watching all kinds of really bad reality type documentary shows. Hoarders, The Weird Addiction Shows, even a show about people who are obsessed with entering sweepstakes. I suspect this is because these nut burgers are the only people in the world who make me feel even remotely normal.

So, there you have it - what are your truths this week?

*I know, people don't have roots, trees have roots but the point is that my hair is way too technicolor with all the browns, reds and grays. 

**to be honest the term "nerd fighter" kind of scared me at first. I mean, I'm kind of a nerd and I totally can't fight so, yeah. I wasn't looking to encounter anyone who called themselves "nerd fighters". I have now been schooled. 


17 August 2011

Adventures in Writing

Mood: Happy - my sister's baby is perfectly healthy (there was some concern) and a BOY! We will be welcoming my new little nephew sometime toward the end of October. 

This is how my writer's brain has been feeling lately:

funny pictures - Too manee shinees fur my brain to handul!I've had tons of shiny new ideas running around in my head - each trying to claw their way out into the real world. Some good and some, well, remember that Eyes Wide Shut* was once someone's idea. *sigh*

And then there's my completed manuscript that I've tucked away for a while. I've come to realize that it doesn't just need edits, it needs a massive rewrite. *sighs louder* I still love the story and I'm crazy about my characters but I think it needs to rest a while longer before I start picking it apart again.

So, while I'm constantly writing, plotting, outlining and researching it seems like I'm spinning my wheels in mud and going nowhere fast.

I did start work on a new project last night that has me really excited so hopefully I'll soon break free of the mud. If not, someone feel free to give me a push. **

*That? Was a truly awful movie. I still want my 2 hours back. And Tom Cruise? No. Just NO! 
**and if the push is in the direction of cake? That would be made of awesome. 


16 August 2011

Tuesday Tunes

Mood: Kinda bleh

It's Tuesday - time once again to share the random earworms that rear their heads at the oddest times.

If I Die Young - The Band Perry
Hauntingly beautiful and sad this is the perfect song for my shiny new WIP idea so it has wandered through my brain quite a lot over the last few days.

Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae 
This just a fun song - it never fails to make me smile and sing along! *la la la*

Those are the songs that are constantly buzzing in my ears - what about you? Do you have any current earworms that just won't leave you alone?


15 August 2011

Monday In Books

Mood: Monday (it’s a Mood)

Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank

“It all started when I saw myself dead.”

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen– do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.

My Take

In Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes, Denise Grover Swank has spun a tale that is part romance, part mystery and a compelling character study filled with a heavy dose of sleepy southern charm.

Rose, the product of an extremely critical and overbearing “momma”, is used to being the object of scrutiny in her small home town but she’s definitely not ready for the amount of scrutiny that comes with being the prime suspect in the murder of her momma.  The local busy bodies are ready to run her out of town on a rail. The police are keeping an ever watchful eye on her and her sister, Violet, is sure she knows what’s best for Rose. Also, her totally crush worthy but completely mysterious neighbor Joe is an unexpected complication in her life – but Rose is a woman on a mission to discover herself and live her life to the fullest – at least for the short amount of time she might have before either the local police arrest her or the murderers who killed her momma succeed in coming back for her.

At a Glance        

1.)    Rose is an amazingly real, three dimensional character and through the course of the novel she grows and really gains a sense of who she is and what she’s capable of doing. It’s a completely organic transition that is flawlessly woven through the story. LOVE this.

2.)    The “supporting” cast of characters is well rounded and very believable – from the busy body church ladies to Violet who desperately loves her sister but, in some ways, is just as overbearing as momma was.

3.)    The southern charm.  I’m just sure if I drove far enough through the south, I’d stumble across the little town of Henryetta where Rose is working at the DMV and the blue haired busy bodies are still fussing.  It’s this realism that keeps the reader engaged in Rose’s story and keeps Rose in your mind long after you’ve finished reading.

4.)    Joe *swoons*. Seriously. This is a massively crush worthy hero and not just because he’s totally sexy and mysterious enough to keep you constantly on edge, but because he’s strong enough to let Rose learn to be strong as well.  The fact that he’s willing to help her cross a few things off her list? *ahem – do more with a man*  Is an added bonus. 


12 August 2011

The Friday Five

Mood: Happy (It's the weekend baby! Although I'm a bit bummed b/c the hubs and I wanted to go camping but it's supposed to rain and while I don't mind camping in the rain, I loathe setting up and taking down in the rain). 

It's Friday, so it's time once again for the Friday Five!

So, the five random things knocking about the back of my brain today?

1.) Our new veggie to try this week is turnip. After my reaction to the Eggplant of Doom, I'm a bit nervous about trying the turnip. What if it's a TURNIP OF DOOM????

<-----------   See? Scary TURNIP OF DOOM! 

2.) I'm really, really loving the cooler weather that has been visiting our area for the last couple of days. It reminds me that fall isn't that far away.

3.) Speaking of fall, I totes love our new fall candle holders that we found at Walgreen's.

Super cute. We plan to fill them with some candy corn to stabilize the candles that we put in them. I think they'll be perfect fall centerpieces.

4.) I've been doing the low carb diet thing for almost 2.5 months now. It's working well (I'm down nearly 45 pounds! Yay and stuff) but there are times that I think I'd sell a kidney for a spoonful of mashed potatoes. #carbsaremycrack

5.) I've been watching a marathon of the show "A Haunting". Little piece of advice? If you go to look at a house and the current owners have boarded up rooms, run out and left everything including food in the fridge or are willing to part with it for a ridiculously low price? You probably want to keep right on moving. Just saying...


11 August 2011

Tell the Truth Thursday

Mood: Tired (it's been a LONG week)

My truths this Thursday:

1.) It's been way too long since I've blogged - I read somewhere that you're not supposed to point that out in your blog because it makes you seem "unprofessional"

2.) Clearly I don't care about vaguely random internet blogging rules

3.) I'm seriously thinking about attending my 20th high school reunion. Given the amount of emotional torture I endured during my high school years...

4.) I suspect this means that I'm either A. crazy or B. a masochist

5.) I think you should check out a copy of Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank. I was lucky enough to be a beta reader for this awesome book and I STILL bought a copy when it released. I will be doing a review on my next review Monday but really, just buy it because it's awesome.


07 June 2011

Bad Boys, Bad Boys...Whatcha Gonna Do?

Mood: Stressed

Hubs got pulled over yesterday on his way home from work for a loud muffler. This? Was a totally fair stop considering he technically has no muffler and most of his exhaust system is currently laying on the floor in the hallway outside our apartment door.

However, once the officer made the stop something prompted him to go all COPS on hubs.

Officer: "Where are you coming from?"
Hubs: Work
Officer: Where are you going?
Hubs: Home

"Sir, can you please step out of the car?"

At which point, the officer decided that hubs looked so dangerous he needed to be completely patted down for weapons and drugs.

What the officer found? A work badge, a cell phone and a pen drive hooked to the cell phone in a nerdtastic pen drive case. Apparently there was something about the sheer level of nerdiness that then prompted the officer to think that hubs MUST be hiding all of his contraband in his car.

Yep, he was totally rolling White and Nerdy.

Officer: "Sir, do you have a problem with me searching your car?"
Hubs: "I guess not"
Officer: "Do you have any knives, weapons, or drugs I should know about?"
Hubs: "Uh, no"
Officer: "You sure?"

Really? *sighs for the state of law enforcement* Hubs then had to stand on the side of the road in 95° heat while the officer rifled through every little corner of his vehicle. Finally, a half hour later, hubs was allowed to go on his way without even a warning for the muffler.

I suspect that the officer either A: realized what an idiot he had been.

Or B: Seriously needed a shower after having spent an half hour in the heat going through the toxic waste dump that is my hub's car.

Either way, I cannot believe that hubs didn't ask the question "what about my nerdy self and my 14 year old craptastic car with 250,000 miles on it made you think, drug dealer?" Because I'm seriously intrigued. Was it the white fuzzy teddy bear he has on his dashboard (with a pink ribbon around its neck) or maybe it was the fuzzy blue teddy bear print blanket in the back seat? Or possibly the kindergarten nap mat? Really? What about this set up screams "I MUST be hiding tons of illegal drugs and weapons!?!"

I guess, like the owl and the tootsie pop, the world may never know...


17 March 2011

Tell The Truth Thursday

Mood: Irish (it's St. Patty's day so it can be a mood) 

My truths this Thursday

1.) I am part Irish but I don't like corned beef and cabbage.* This was a source of eternal disappointment to my grandmother who was very proud of our Irish heritage.

2.)  It would seem that my OCD is expanding to include friends and family.I spent part of this evening with my sister at prompt care. As we were leaving I whipped out my hand sanitizer and demanded that everyone with me be degermed as well. **

3.) I've been taking a spring break from both my healthy eating and exercise regime. I'm not saying that this is a great idea but I was so tired of always worrying about every calorie eaten and burned that my brain was about to explode - so I gave myself  a week off. ***

What are your truths this Thursday?

* Corned beef and cabbage smells like feet but I totally LOVE potatoes so I figure it evens out.
** In my defense prompt care is filled with nothing but super germy people and friends and family will thank me when they don't have to suffer through the plague.
*** This may or may not have been cleverly timed to take advantage of the reappearance of the Shamrock Shake.

16 March 2011

WIP Wednesday

Mood: Mad and sad - I'm SMAD (got some not so great news about someone I care about this afternoon)

I've been working the edits on Legacy and, while working the edits I've discovered that there are major parts that just don't work, chapters that are in the wrong places and entire plot sections that need to be disposed of.

While working on cutting, ripping and tearing bits and pieces apart I've also discovered that the creative part of my brain isn't willing to rest quietly while my internal editor wrestles over word choices and timelines. Oh no. She wants her voice heard as well.

Creative Brain: Wouldn't it be awesome if we added 'completely awesome but complicated storyline idea'?

Me: Uh yeah, that would be awesome but to do that I'd have to re-write the entire book almost from the beginning.

CB: So?

Me: So? So that's a heck of a lot of work and I'm not sure I can do that kind of rewrite on this story.

CB: So you just want your story to suck then?

Me: No

CB: You must, you want to suck. Suckity, suckity, suck.

Me: Look, you don't have to do the work - it's not easy doing that kind of change

CB: LALALALALALALALA I can't heeeaaarrrr you! Suckity, suckity, suck!

So, yeah - that's what's going on in  my writing world - what about yours?


14 March 2011

Monday in Books - Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Mood: Tired (curse you DST!)

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Acher to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

My Take

Rachel Hawkins delivers another amazing entry in the Hex Hall series.  This time Sophie and her bff Jenna  (with super handsome healer Cal) are off on an adventure to England to spend the summer with Sophie's dad. Frightened of her own power to potentially harm the people she loves most, Sophie is at first determined to undergo 'the removal' - a dangerous ceremony that will strip her of her powers. However, she quickly realizes that all is not as it seems in the world of the Prodigium and having her powers stripped is perhaps the last thing she should be doing.

The Eye is actively hunting Sophie in an attempt to destroy her. Someone is raising demons and no one seems to know who or why. The Prodigium council, the staff at Hex Hall - suddenly no one is who or what they seem and Sophie is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. To get the answers she seeks she's going to have to rely on her old frenemy, Archer Cross - but as a warlock working for The Eye can he be trusted?

At A Glance

1.) Demonglass is that rare perfect combination of pacing, humor, suspense and action making it a read that I just couldn't put down.

2.) I LOVE that Sophie has evolved and grown as a character. Sophie is not a one dimensional, stagnate character - she's learning, changing and adapting.

3.) As much as she might be evolving, Sophie never loses her sense of humor or her sarcastic responses - this makes her the most awesome demon I've never met! Demonglass will keep you smiling as much as it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

4.) Almost nothing is black and white in this book - but there are TONS of shades of gray. Bad guys aren't always all bad - good guys aren't always what they seem to be and the decisions between the two aren't always easy. For me this a great addition to a story - I like feeling the conflict of two 'almost right' decisions.

5.) The guys - sigh. Archer and Cal - which one will Sophie choose? Which one should she choose? Personally, I'm glad I'm not Sophie because the decision would be WAY too hard to make. *

6.) The ending - another sigh. I didn't hate the ending but it definitely left us hanging and I do mean HANGING!!!! Not that this is necessarily a bad thing but it did make me want to station myself in front of Rachel Hawkins and poke her constantly with incessent questions like "is the new Hex Hall out yet?" "What about now?" "now?" "is it out yet?" until she is forced to give in and hand over the book so I can find out what happens. **

*I'm leaning ever so slightly towards team Cal.

** Not that I would actually do that? Or....would I? *insert evil laugh here*

11 March 2011

The Friday Five

Mood: Weary (the earth has gone crazy today - praying for everyone affected)

It's Friday so it's time for the Friday Five - Five random things that are knocking about in the recesses of my brain.

1.) The earth has gone completely crazy today. Earthquakes and tsunamis affecting people all over the globe. I pray for the people affected and give thanks that my brother, who was stationed in Japan, is safe and sound at home.

Those of us who are safe and sound may want to consider making a donation to the Red Cross to help assist in the disaster relief efforts following this massive event.

From the Red Cross Website:
Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org  and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

2.) My sister drives a 1980 - something Chevy Blazer that we affectionately refer to as "The Geez". The Geez has a zillion miles on it, sounds like a Sherman Tank and drives like a little old lady with arthritis - but it's her baby. For Christmas the hubs and I got her an emergency roadside assistance kit because we were worried about her driving The Geez and not having proper emergency tools.

This morning my 2006 Ford Fusion with less than 60,000 miles refused to start. I had to call my sister to bring The Geez to come rescue me. She cracked open her brand new roadside assistance kit for the first time to attempt to help me with my car. The irony of this is not lost on me.

3.) My car still won't start. I'm sincerely hoping that it's a dead cell in the battery - if not then it's probably the starter. The battery is roughly $100 - the starter? $400 (installed). It has to be the battery. *Gives car the stink eye*

4.) Nearly everyone in my family who has a car has been involved in a car accident in the last couple of weeks. From minor fender benders to a fairly serious car vs. semi truck accident everyone walked away without a scratch. I can't decide if this means we should play the lottery or wrap ourselves in bubble wrap.

5.) I like bacon!! This is a seriously epic announcement because my entire life I've loathed bacon with a loathing that is usually reserved for things like liver and other icky organ meat. However, recently I've come to embrace the yummy goodness that is a perfectly crisp piece of bacon.

I suspect this change of palate is due, at least in part, to a rare but acknowledged side effect of one of my medications - "change in taste". So chances are if I go off this medication bacon will once again be banished to the land of liver but until then? Bring.it.on. #nomomnom

10 March 2011

Tell The Truth Thursday

Mood: Sore (Video Game Barbie is going down - seriously) 

My truths this Thursday:

1.) I'm ridiculously obsessed with the Charlie Sheen saga. I get that his little red choo-choo has gone right round the bend and that's sad but I can't.stop.watching.

2.) I totes want this shirt

3. I've given up nothing for Lent. I'm hoping God doesn't keep really close tabs on things like this.

4. There has been a black garbage bag in the hallway outside the neighbors apartment door for the last 3 days. I have half convinced myself that there must be body parts inside because that's somehow better in my mind than the idea that the neighbor has just dumped her trash in the hallway to rot for all eternity.

So, bloggie friends, what are your truths today?