Thursday, November 19, 2015

Respect


I see this shared around social media rather often, and I wonder, how many actually do?

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about a situation I had at work. One of my now ex-coworkers was incredibly rude, disrespectful, and plain mean to me. It was stressing me out so much, I wondered if I'd made the right choice in switching jobs. I was nauseated, cried on my way home, stressed out, and frustrated. You see, I had done nothing to provoke this. And even if I had, that was no way to treat someone.
Finally, I'd had enough. When we were alone, I asked her, "have I done, or not done something to upset you?"
Even confronting her on this level had me so nervous I wanted to puke. But it had to be done.
"No. Everything's fine."She replied without so much as glancing in my direction - a normal behavioral trait from her.
"Well, everything is not fine, and it's extremely obvious. The way you roll your eyes when I talk, and flat out, physically turn your back on me when I join conversations, and your over-all demeanor towards me makes me feel as if I've done something to really piss you off. And as we have to work with each other, I'd like to fix this." I mentally gave myself a huge pat on the back for not attacking her, for using the stupid "I feel" statements, and for staying calm - when I really wanted to tell her what a freaking bitch she was and to grow the f* up.
"Nope. Everything is fine."
I sighed quietly, shook my head, and went back to our strained silence, working and trying to figure out my new job without asking questions I knew wouldn't be answered.
A few hours later, she turns to me. "Remember what you asked me earlier? Well, I've been thinking about it, and you haven't done or not done anything. We simply have a personality conflict that is never going to change."
Not having a clue how to respond to that I simply stated, "well, thanks for telling me."
The rest of the day I fumed. She didn't even know me! How could she hate me on sight? How can people be so rude? As the days went on, I went on vacation, she left for maternity leave, and I thought about it.
My friend that I was telling this to was horrified that I could be truthful and say that while I never wanted to be that girl's friend, and still don't, I do respect her for her honesty - no matter how difficult it was to hear. And she probably said what she said to piss me off, but at least it was some level of honest. Could you, when presented with a challenge to respect those who've hurt and pissed you off with their honesty, truly respect them for it?
Be honest now. ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Summer from Hell

Many of you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, so you already have a general idea that things have not been going well lately. Let me tell you, that is the understatement of the century. This post is almost entirely for me, and is extremely personal. It has almost nothing to do with writing, perhaps it's only so that you can understand why I've been away, and will be for a while - but not forever.
It started in May.
In work life, I finally got out of being a CNA and landed a dream job doing something I've wanted to do for years - work in a cube in surgery. I work behind the scenes and love the low-stress job I have. The only problem, the main girl there HATED me. The tension was so bad, my supervisor and I discussed the possibility of me going somewhere else. Then, as a stroke of luck, the girl who made work-life a living hell decided she wanted to work somewhere else. For the first time I can remember, I like my job.
While dealing with this girl, and before I discovered she would be leaving, my husband and I went to visit my family across the country. It was tight financially for us, but as we hadn't visited in about 9 years, we figured it out and made it work. The hardest part was leaving our 9 cats alone. My mom kept watch over them, visiting them daily and making sure they knew they weren't abandoned. They got treats galore and were spoiled beyond rotten by the time we got home.
It took us a few days to realize Gunther wasn't eating.
It was Memorial Day weekend when we rushed him to kitty ER because he refused any sort of treat, and we could feel each ridge of his spine. We were there for hours, running every sort of test the vet could think of and pushing fluids through him to rehydrate him. He spent the night there and we spent a very restless night thinking of the worst.
I picked him up in the morning and cried as I took him to our vet, where she ran more tests and watched over him for the rest of the day. That day was filled with unbelievable anxiety, but the worst was yet to come. When we picked him up, our vet couldn't find a single thing wrong with him. She gave us some formula to force-feed Gunther about 4 times per day until he started eating on his own. It took us a week of force-feeding, vet visits, antibiotics, and medication before my husband and I snapped on each other.
I broke down, weeping harder than I ever thought possible with the knowledge that Gunther was starving himself to death and there wasn't anything I could do about it. Even after 2 months, I still have tears streaming down my cheeks as I type this. This is by far, the most painful thing I have ever written. But I feel it's important. Not so you'll understand, but to help me heal. Today I write not as an author, but as a woman needing release from a heartbreak I hope none ever have to feel. Today is journaling. But I digress...
I don't know how to seek comfort from others. I can't even bring myself to find comfort in Bry's embrace. I knelt against the bed, sobbing for the impotent frustration at watching my child die. Two days later, he started eating. Life appeared to return to normal and I went to visit my sister.
A week later, Gunther was as wide as he was long. To most, this wouldn't seem strange. But he'd always been slender. Now he was the fattest cat in our house. We brushed it off, thinking it was just taking his body time to re-acclimate to the digestion of food. We thought he was like a kitten again, with his fat belly that would dissipate in a few days and he'd be fine again.
I know my timeline is fuzzy, but this all happened from Memorial Day to my birthday, July 16. Somewhere in the July 20th range, we took Gunther to a kitty specialist, where the vet told us in a cold, unfeeling, matter-of-fact tone, that Gunther had FIP and was dying. There was nothing we could have done to prevent it. And nothing we could do to cure it. A diagnosis of FIP is not made lightly and is always, always fatal. My heart broke.
We had him drain Gunther's stomach of the fluid he'd accumulated from the virus, gave him some shots to ease the pain and keep his appetite up, and went home. I wept, begging and pleading to any god that would listen, to just give me this small miracle. Don't let my baby die.
On July 23, 2015 we said our final farewell to Gunther. A part of me died with him that day. I felt my heart tear, shattering into bits as I held him. It is a pain indescribable. It literally feels as if that flimsy organ in your chest rips apart, leaving the delicate strands barely enough momentum to continue to push blood through your arteries.
That next weekend, when we received his ashes, a close family member crashed a vehicle, and my grandmother died. A week or two later, my brother was beaten up by a gang for trying to help a kid. This past weekend, another family member is struggling to regain - everything - after an accident.
Most people would be upset more about the human tragedies in my life. Those people know nothing about me. I can't have kids. My cats are my children. In every way. They are my everything. I have just lost a child after only having him for 8 years. It is not a thing I would wish upon my greatest enemy. I look at people and their mundane lives, and think, "what the hell is wrong with you?" I need the world to stop. I need to grieve and learn to cope with a torn and shattered heart. But I don't know how.
So that has been my life this year. I'm having trouble coping, and finding the energy to do anything more than work and come home. The other cats are adjusting, but it hasn't been easy on them. Psydon searches for Gunther from time-to-time, wondering where is best buddy is, and Frost mopes in the hall and bedroom, missing his brother-by-birth. We have good days, and things start to look like they'll get better, then life reminds me that I'm not done with the emotional trauma, and something else happens. I'll see him out of the corner of my eye, I'll pour too much ranch in my dip cup, or I'll catch myself calling him for his butter treats, or yelling at him to stop fighting. Each day does get better, but for now, I'm trying to heal and learn to deal with a broken heart.
Thanks for listening and understanding.
~Jean

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Alpha's Search

3 Stars
I absolutely love reading books from across the pond. The differing language between American English and English is so fun. This book was very meh for me. While it had potential, I feel as if it went flat. It was great that she was FINALLY told her past, instead of "just trust me, I'll protect you." At least then, the reader understood the relationship and attraction. The fact that he gave up so much and was so in tune with her needs was sweet, if a bit annoying. I would love to know what happened to her, but am irritated that I have to get a whole other book just to get to that. The end just ended. Didn't leave you satisfied, just frustrated. It's a good shifter book, and great for the hopelessly romantic, but for me, meh.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Destiny's Wings by D. S. Schmeckpeper

4 Stars

I really enjoyed this book. It was slow-paced, choosing to focus on depth of characters and their development, rather than on action-packed excitement. That doesn't mean there wasn't action, adventure, or excitement on the journey - quite the opposite. The characters faced incredible struggles, battles with ancients, demons, and dragons, but the focal point of everything wasn't the fighting. Throughout the journey, you are drawn into the characters - into their lives, their emotions, their thoughts in a way a fantasy adventure rarely achieves. The ending happened quickly, as most endings tend to do. I was left both satisfied and annoyed at how things turned out. I am, however, incredibly interested in seeing how Chika's life progresses.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

2 Books by Woelf Dietrich

4 Stars

This was a well-written, strange book.
Sebastian wakes, bludgeoned and bloody, tied up, on his basement floor. You learn about his history in Ancient book collecting, and his health issues, and then wonder how he can take such a beating without dying. He appears docile and naive and proves to the demon that he's ignorant, up to the point where eh reader wonders how he's going to get himself out of his mess. The ending completely caught me off guard and left me with more questions than answers. Not sure if I actually liked it or not yet, but it's definitely a book that will stay with me for a while. So, kudos to Dietrich.



4 Stars

Interesting short story that was well-told. It drew me in, even if it wasn't a book I'd normally read. Having never really been bullied like that, I enjoyed learning of the kid's experiences. It's good to be confident and comfortable in your own skin and not let people push you around.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke

5 Stars
While I felt a little bereft at the end - there were questions I'd have loved to know the answer to, I thought this was an excellent book. The romance was tasteful without seeming forced or overpowering. The fighting was exciting with just enough gore to make you cringe uncomfortably. Kiera is a feisty main character and I hope she finds some of the answers she seeks in the next book. I'd definitely recommend this book to vampire fans.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Broken by K. R. Jordan

5 Stars
Jordan captivates her readers with every story she tells. The Broken is no exception. You are thrust into a story of a woman who's seeking asylum from political upheaval in her country, only to be betrayed by those promised to help her. This is a heart-wrenching tale of death and revenge that leaves you mostly satisfied. It's amazing what can be accomplished with a little faith and a lot of anger.

The Rustler's Daughter Release Day Celebration!


Congratulations M. E. Franco! 

Kindle Edition


I'm rushing to grab my copy of The Rustler's Daughter right now - so should you! 
Not convinced yet? Well, here's a tasty little excerpt:

Hannah took a deep breath and wished she had waited in the store. The heat was already making her uncomfortable after only a few minutes in the sun.
"Well, well, aren't you a pretty thing?" slurred a voice.
The smell of whiskey and sweat was overpowering, and Hannah wrinkled her nose before turning to see who was talking. She hoped the words were not meant for her. No such luck.
The man on her left was dirty and smelled as if he lived in a saloon. He hadn't shaved in days or changed his clothes by the looks of them. He leered at Hannah looking her up and down, making her stomach turn. She hoped Mr. Carter would show up soon.
"Whassa matter girlie? Cat got yer tongue?" He reached out to grab Hannah, but she easily dodged him.
She looked over her shoulder nervously, expecting Mr. Carter to show up any second, but he wasn't there. Hannah decided it would be best if she ran back into the store for her own safety.
Before she could make her move, the man suddenly disappeared from her view and was flying backwards. He landed on his back in the street with a loud thump. His face was replaced by a handsome young man who was smiling broadly.
"Hi!" he said excitedly, tipping his hat. "I'm Lucas Scott. We haven't formally met yet."
Hannah returned his smile with a beauty of her own. She was both relieved and amused by his obvious appreciation of her. He was every bit as handsome as his brothers, but he still had some growing to do.
"Why Mr. Scott, I do believe your timing is impeccable." She giggled nervously, still shaken by the drunken man's advances.
"Hey!" The man yelled from his position in the street.
Lucas turned around. "Sorry Travis. Didn't see you there."
Before the man could respond, Matthew Scott came around her wagon and stepped right in the middle of the man's chest before feigning surprise.
"Travis? What are you doing in the street? I didn't even see you." Matthew winked at Hannah and smiled. "Miss Hannah."
He tipped his hat. She covered her mouth to stifle her laughter. Both brothers ignored Travis and started to load Hannah's supplies into her wagon.
Travis got up and fixed his angry gaze on Hannah. "You think that's funny?" he hissed, causing Lucas and Matthew to move in his direction.
"Enough." That one word sent chills down her spine. Even filled with anger, Jackson's voice made her heart race. He was standing right behind her, so close she could feel the heat from his body over the warmth of the sun.

***

"I believe you owe the lady an apology, Travis." Jackson was trying hard to keep his anger contained. Right now, he wanted nothing more than to tear Travis apart with his bare hands.
Seeing Travis leering and grabbing at Hannah had him seeing red. He was almost glad his brothers had reached the man first. Almost.
Travis looked at the Scott brothers with disgust. Even in his inebriated state, he knew he was outnumbered.
"Fine. I'm sorry," he spat out, bowing awkwardly in Hannah's direction before stumbling off down the street.
Hannah nodded gratefully to Matthew and Lucas who both smiled at her before loading the rest of her supplies.
She turned around to face Jackson. He fought the urge to touch her.
"Thank you. It seems I owe you and your brothers yet again." Jackson noticed the color heating her cheeks. They were standing closer than was proper, but neither made a move to back up.
"Are you okay?" Jackson asked, concern filling his eyes.
Hannah tried to focus. "Yes. I'm okay," she said softly. "I'm glad you showed up when you did though."
"One of us should go with you when you come to town next time." He said it in a way that didn't invite opposition.
"Are you offering to come yourself?" Hannah wasn't used to being so bold, but with Mr. Harding's proposal fresh in her mind, she wanted to know where Jackson stood.
Jackson looked at his brothers who seemed to be just as interested in his answer as Hannah was.
"I'm sure we'll be able to work something out." Jackson dodged the direct question. He knew he had hurt her, but better he let her down now than break her heart later.

And don't forget to check out what else M. E. Franco has to offer. Follow her on AmazonFacebook, Twitter, and Goodreads

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Rustler's Daughter

One of my favorite authors, M. E. Franco, has recently signed with Booktrope and is re-releasing her books. The Rustler's Daughter will be available 8-6-2015 and she's shared a peek of her amazing cover!




When Hannah Miller’s mother dies unexpectedly, she is forced to go live with her father, who she thought was dead. Hannah has high hopes that her father will be happy to finally meet her, but Roy Miller quickly puts Hannah in her place. She is a burden, just another mouth to feed, and an ugly reminder of the wife who left him.

Her father's act of desperation puts Hannah at the mercy of his enemies, the neighboring Scott family. Despite the bad blood between their families, Hannah is immediately attracted to Jackson Scott, but he has his own secrets and feels Hannah would be better off with someone else. When someone else does offer Hannah a way out of her predicament, will Jackson be able put aside his past and fight for the woman he loves?

To get more from M. E. Franco follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.


Pot Luck Reviews

5 Stars
Cape Seduction by Anne Carter
This was a very fun story. I liked the historical love story/triangle and how it mixed with and added suspense to the current time love story. The deviousness, cunning and manipulation of the two older women was fun to witness. The chemistry between Matt and Bec was adorable. I greatly enjoyed my little escape into Cape Seduction and may try to find out if that's a real movie or not. It sounded like it would be a cute, fun movie. There was one oopsie with a name, but not a big deal at all. I'd totally recommend this to someone who likes the 1940s - 50s era and romance.


5 Stars

Captivating. I'm not even sure how to classify this book. Apocalyptic - yes; SyFy - yes; Exciting - yes; Fast-packed-adventure - yes. It's an incredible twist on the end times without really being biblical or preachy. The times bible verses or passages were mentioned, I never felt as if I were being lectured - more like the villagers were discovering some lost history and figuring how to deal with it. It kinda reminded me of "The Time Machine" without actually having anything to do with that story. I highly recommend this book.

4 Stars

Fun, exciting, albiet mildly confusing futuristic spycraft. I'd have liked to have seen Mina and/or Miko's names be different as it was ridiculously confusing in the beginning, and during parts where they were doing a ton of stuff together. The story itself was highly enjoyable and fun though. It was exciting and leaves you wanting more - excited for the next adventure.


4 Stars

This was a fun book. The more I think of it after reading, I find things that I'm meh about, but the romance was fun between Ammy and Rob was sweet and at times super hot. As long as you remember it's a work of fiction, and don't look too closely at the financials and the freedoms people have with their uncanny survivalist tendencies - it's a great read. I love the setting and was greatly surprised they didn't run into more predators on the island or in the water. You definitely smile and root for the two lovers and hope that they end up happy and together in the end. I too, never wanted them to leave that island.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sexy Witches by Charity Parkerson

4 Stars


This was a very cute collection of romance stories. I think I would have felt kinda jipped had they been sold alone, but as a collection, they were great. My favorite story involved Giddeon. I giggled and sighed and just really enjoyed that particular story more than the others. I felt as if each story were similar in the sex and foreplay, with just the bit of storyline differing slightly. Some parts felt rushed, leaving the reader going, "huh?" for a moment, but they were easily passed by as unimportant. If you're looking for a sexy bit of fun, you've found a great book.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Secrets of Midnight by Miriam Minger

5 Stars

Totally tearing up right now. This is such a great book filled with suspense and so much love. It's just a flat-out good gushy romance that has you craving more. Donovan. Sigh. What a man. I hope the next book has at least a bit of them in it - if only to find out about his daughter. This was very well written and just an excellent read. I will be getting more from this author. <3

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto

3 Stars
Entertaining and suspenseful. For the main portion of the book, I couldn't help but think, "Kate's in a dream-trance/astral projection state. How is she able to do all this crap? did she suddenly develop a talent for teleportation and if so - why isn't this, like, an amazing thing?!" If you can ignore this HUGE plot hole, then the book is quite entertaining and fun. I'd love to know more about this world and sometimes wish Michelle would've expanded more in her detail, but I had a lot of fun with this book.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Protecting his Witch by Zoe Forward

5 Stars
I have a stupid, sappy smile on my face. I really enjoyed this love story between Kat and Matt. It had the right balance of fantasy and reality without sounding unbelievable. Fast paced, quirky and smoking hot book. I'd definitely recommend this to someone who just loves a good romance. It's even better with the paranormal tossed in.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Dragon's Call Trilogy by A.D. Trosper

5 Stars
Short and sweet. I want to know more about Emallya, Rylin, and the beginning of the war. This books sets up an amazing fantasy, enticing the reader, making you crave more. Definitely read this before Embers, but make sure you have Embers handy when you start reading!


5 Stars
Flat out loved this book. For a Young Adult, it had everything an adult reader could ask for in a book. I'm so god I read A New Beginning prior to reading Embers and I can't WAIT to pick up Tears of War. If you like fantasy, dragons (who doesn't?!?), adventure, or just a flat out amazing read- pick up this book. I don't even want to tell you anything about it - I don't want to risk ruining what is set up to be an EPIC fantasy.



4 Stars
This is such a fantastic series. I was a bit frustrated in the beginning of this book though. There were quite a few new characters that were talked about, but never introduced. I understand that they are minor characters, but to just start talking about them, without having the reader know anything about them, it was confusing. Just a small paragraph or two explaining how many new riders appeared over the missing time would have been perfect. That being said, I loved this book and I'm so glad I don't have to wait for the completion. There were a few other editorial oopses that were a bit confusing, but they didn't distract too terribly from the reading. Without giving too much away - and even with knowing, or having an idea of what was going to happen, I couldn't stop the tears or heartbreak. Shadow Riders must die.


5 Stars
AAAAAHHH!!!!! Such a great way to end this series! I'm a bit miffed about the epilog, but very excited at the same time. I loved the "knowing the future" theme that Maleena struggles with and how that panned out. Gah. I want to say so much, but I don't want to ruin the excitement or stress for anyone else. I could feel my heart pounding during Loki and Vaddoc's battles. I wasn't sure my heart could take more death. I spent the first half of the book in mourning with Kellinar, wiping tears that just didn't want to stop falling. This is a fantastic series. Dragons, magic, epic battles, and oh so much more. It's series'/books like this that once you finish reading, you're never quite the same again - and you expect everyone around you to have had their world slightly shifted as well.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Birthday Sale!


It's my birthday - you get the gift! Zombie War is available in ‪#‎ebook‬ for a limited time. Grab your copy today! 



Decode and 318 by Autumn Kalquist

5 Stars
I have decided that Autumn is one of my new favorite authors. She has a talent to suck you not her stores, make your heart race, and have you constantly demand more from her characters. Decode is no exception. It sucks you in and has you hoping for the best, yet still wary of what it could truly mean. Sure, genetic manipulation should be helpful, but what is the cost?


5 Stars
Chilling, but I want more. I love Autumn's books, but I really, truly wish they were longer. Just as things get awesome - they end. It's frustrating. Great, captivating story that has you biting your nails in suspense though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stone Guardian, Stone Embrace, Cage King, & The Rooftop by Danielle Monsch

5 Stars
Such a good book! Captivates you from page one and doesn't let go. Tera is beyond the perfect male and the whole story is just - puts a say grin on your face. Love it. Whatever happened to the creature Larissa's dad saw at her birth, I wonder...


5 Stars
HOTT!! I love Terak and Larissa. This short story was smokin' and adorable. I want more of them!



5 Stars
I think I've found a new favorite author. Danielle doesn't fail to hook you in on the third Entwined Realms book. She lures you into her intriguing world and leaves you craving more - always more. Eh and Nalah are fun, believable characters that have you continually loving this series - even if you miss hearing more about Tenak and Larissa. I can't wait until the next novel is out!


4 Stars
Not as awesome as the others, but still great foreplay. I'm anxiously waiting for what's next. How to Fallon and Reign end? Do we ever learn more? Is she strong enough to tame the beast? Argh!




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dark & Stormy and Taken by Felicia Starr

3 Stars
Super cute and corny book. There was one moment when a character's name slipped, but it didn't distract from the story. The beginning and end of this book was super crazy corny, but the romance between Regina and Reddick was HOTT! Exactly what you'd hope for in a steamy, erotic story.

4 Stars
This was a very suspenseful, interesting story that leaves you hanging in the middle of the climatic scene without any inclination of satisfaction. The abuse and torture are extremely vague - with hints at nefarious activities and you're constantly wondering if what you think happened, actually happened. I definitely want to read more, but only to finish the climatic ending than to know more about the story. Had it came to any sort of satisfying ending, I'd want to know more about the characters - is dream hottie her captor? Where's Axel? Does she ever discover her abilities? Does she find love with Gravin? Does she ever get out of that compound?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Confessions of a Small Town Librarian by A. McEwan

3 Stars
This book was just "meh" for me. I think fans of 50 Shades would enjoy it, but for me, no. The storyline should've been plotted out better and expanded. The naughty bits never sucked me in and the whole story was just missing something. It was a super quick read that was definitely steamy.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Athol Trilogy by Miranda Stork

5 Stars
 O. M. G. It has been forever since I've picked up a book that I literally could not put down. This book was so captivating, I found myself losing sleep in order to finish it. Conner is such an intriguing person, and his dynamic dual personality was insane! While I knew what was going to happen, it was wonderful to discover how Miranda played everything out. She leaves you in suspense and on the edge of your seat - hoping things will turn out well, and wondering what will happen next. LOVED this book. I had to immediately get Erin, just so I could read more about this couple.

4 Stars
 This book doesn't fail to continue the same suspenseful vein as Conner. It starts off with a bang and doesn't let go. While there's a few editorial mistakes, they don't completely distract the reader from the plot line. You are determined to follow along with Erin and Conner/Filtiarn as they try to discover ways to fix what had been done to them. To discover that both of Conners parents are still alive and what their purpose in the story is - so fun. I just think it was a rather quick discovery/conclusion for that particular part of this tale. I think the author summarized what was going on in her head, and it could definitely use some fleshing out to make it more interesting. That's not to say it was uninteresting, just a tad abrupt. It's a great tale of violence, deception, and love.

4 Stars
Great pseudo ending to this trilogy. I kinda groaned at the end, but do think it led up to an interesting follow-up series. While there were still some editorial mistakes, this was an exciting way to end the trilogy. I kinda wish Miranda would have given the reader some more information on Filtiarn's past, but even without it, the story was great. He was an excellent bad-guy. I hate giving too much info about the story in reviews, and I really want to delve into a few particular scenes, but I think I'll just finish this by saying the battle scene was great. The ending was clean without feeling as if the author was trying to tie up all the lose ends in a nice bow. I would definitely recommend this trilogy to fans of werewolves and paranormal romance.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DreamHunter by Maya Tyler

2 Stars
The difficult part of fiction is making it more believable than real-life. This book is so beyond unbelievable - and not because of the fantasy aspect - it was borderline stupid. I think if Maya spent some time fleshing things out, it could be a really fun story. But having this deadly drama appear from no-where - all started from a seemingly innocuous package - was silly. Not ever does the reader feel danger - just a confusing sense of, "who cares, it's an envelope." Then for Cynthia to just immediately accept and trust Gabe, without so much as a, "hi," was just strange. The guardian/dreamweaver aspect was fun and creative, and Maya's writing was excellent. I just think the story itself could have used a lot more thought and development.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Survivors of the Dead by Tony Baker

4 Stars
This was an intense, interesting read. While repetitive and redundant at times, Survivors was descriptive in the detailed account of a cop's life and how someone jaded and controlled would handle the apocalypse. I liked how Tony used water as a way to fight off the hordes and I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel. Get to writing Tony! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hellhound by Rue Volley

4 Stars
Very different, yet a fun story. I really liked Rue's interpretation of God and Lucifer. There was a bit of confusion for me in some parts of the storyline, but it didn't distract too much from the plot. Definitely a fun, vulgar, fast-paced story. Not quite sure how everything got wrapped up in such a tidy bow so quickly and perfectly - but I guess when you're dealing with god-type creatures, anything can happen.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Midnight Never Ends by Thomas Amo

5 Stars
OMG - This book is CREEPY! Just enough terror in each short story to have your pulse thrumming, yet tame enough to be able to read at night. Midnight Never Ends proves again that Thomas is a truly gifted writer of things that go bump in the night. My favorite tale was Along for the Ride, however, If you Should Die Before I Wake left me in chills. All of these stories could easily stand alone and be excellent tastes of what Thomas has to offer, but I love the collection - and the new nightmares!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Here be Dragons by Hannah Steenbeck

5 Stars
This is a cute collection of short stories. Well written and fun, if you like short stories. The title is not at all what you would expect the book to have, but there were a couple mentions of dragons in the tale, so not entirely misleading. My favorite was the third in the book, but all were original, imaginative, unique, and fun in their own way.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What you wish for

I like to follow the moons. First, I think the moon is an absolutely, breathtakingly, beautiful orb. And secondly, it's fun to see what each full moon means. For example - June is the Wishing Moon. During the night of the full moon (which was on the 2nd) you are supposed to go out and state your intention (wish) with the moon's rays lighting the sky. It is said that with the power of June's Wishing Moon, and your vocalizing your deepest wish, it is more likely to come true.


So, I was outside on the second, stating my wish to the heavens and my neighbors. Before the words even left my throat, I felt the stirrings of a panic attack. My palms were clammy, my chest tight, my heart thundering. It was then that I finally understood the phrase "sometimes what your fear the most, is the very thing that will set you free." What I fear the most, also happens to be my heart's greatest desire. And in that moment, I doubted. Before I uttered a single word, I let fear wiggle it's way in to show me everything that could go wrong with that wish. And then the words were uttered and a profound sense of freedom engulfed me.

"I wish..."

Be careful what you wish for, for it just might come true.

"I hope..."

"I believe..."

"I will...."

Sabrina's Vampire by A. K. Michaels

2 Stars
Interesting erotic novella that seriously needs an editor. I think if the story was fleshed out more ant the characters had more background and substance, it'd be a bit more interesting. But as it stands now, nope. It's really hard to believe Sabrina would just jump into bed with Kyle after what he saved her from. Perhaps if Michaels' focused more on the internal battle with Sabrina's feelings before the sex, it'd be more powerful and believable. As it stands, this book is just "meh" for me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Number 75 by Ashley Fointaine

5 Stars
This is a super fun, exciting short-story about survival and revenge. Not sure a .22 would have done as much damage as the author depicted, but i.e. was certainly gratifying. (My husband is absolutely adamant that a .22 is not an adequate carry gun as he doesn't believe it has enough stopping power - probably would have been more exciting with a .38 or a 9mm, but I think it's still cool.) This was a very well written, satisfying book about a serial killer and a survival's revenge. I think I might have liked a bit more detail about the best friend and the ex-husband and their role in the ending, but it was a fun, quick book.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bari-i-i-ins and what to do now

Been turned into a zombie and not sure how to prepare your new addiction? 
Tired of raw, uncooked, unflavored brains? 

Try:

Deep Fried Brains


Ingredients
1. 1 head of garlic, skin on
2. Black peppercorns wrapped in cheesecloth
3. 1 bay leaf
4. Bundle of fresh herbs
5. 1lb brains
6. Almond flour
7. 2 eggs
8. 1/2 cup almond milk
9. 1quart olive oil for deep-frying

Instructions
·      Prepare 3 bowls with the flour, the egg whisked with milk, and the breadcrumbs.
·      Bring a 2quart pot of water to simmer and add in the garlic, peppercorns, and herbs. Simmer for 15 minutes. Gently lower the brains into the pot and simmer for another 6 minutes.
·      Remove the brains with a slotted spoon and let cool. When the brains are cold and firm, separate the lobes into 2-inch chunks.
·      Heat the oil to 350ºF. Roll each brain segment in flour, then coat in the egg mix, then coat it in the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the brain until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes.

·      Drain and serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce. I prefer teriyaki.

This, and other recipes can be found at: http://bit.ly/1G2gLCr

Zombie War is available in Paperback, Audiobook, and as an eBook on Kindle & Kobo.

Deaders by Steven Bynum

5 Stars
This was a really fun zombie book. It had everything you could want in a zombie book and more - gore, death, biting, and a cute sidekick. I greatly enjoyed Jacob's psychosis and obsession with his "buddy." I liked Steven's take on how the virus was spared and how Jacob's attacks on the readers were a realistic depiction of an everyday average Joe. Such a fun book.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Frustrated - a very personal post

I'm not big into crying. And I don't mean the tiny sniffles that come with one of those Humane Society commercials, or the tear that sneaks down your cheek during some terribly emotional scene in a movie/show/book/life event - I mean crying. Tears, sniffles, puffy face and eyes, feeling like your heart is breaking, crying. To me, it's a huge sign of weakness that I have never been able to afford. So, when I break down, things are usually really, seriously, bad.
At 3:30 this morning I started crying. And I quickly went past the upset cry into the had-to-shove-a-pillow-in-my-face weeping, where I was hiccuping, gasping, and thought my soul was shattering. While I've been able to maintain some semblance of control, the tears have been here all day - along with sporadic cry fests. I'm fighting the good fight, trying to gain composure and find strength again, but I feel like I'm failing.
Backstory - My cat, Princess, gave birth to Frost, Gunther, and Saphyra a little over 8 years ago. I have 5 more cats, and for the most part, everyone gets along. Princess and her kittens (who have always been called either the triplets, or the kittens - even though they're 8) are the bullies of the house - everyone is wary of them and basically lets them do whatever. They occasionally get into trouble for picking fights with the other cats, but by no means are they abused, neglected, or ignored. All 9 of my cats are ridiculously spoiled and pampered. People tell me that if reincarnation exists, they want to come back as one of my cats - their lives are that good. The cats are like children to me. They are my babies and while that may be silly to some, I love them as much as I would a human child.
They free feed on specialty dry food, have fountains and almost all our sinks have water trickling from the spouts. They get shaker treats almost weekly, along with moist food on special occasions, and people food scraps. Each cat has their favorite treat.
What's wrong - A little over two weeks ago, we went to Kentucky for 5 days to visit some of my family. When we returned, I started a new position at work - working days. So the first time in our relationship, we're working the same schedule. On Saturday, my husband randomly stated that Gunther was looking thin. As he is our lean cat, this was not abnormal, so I blew it off. We continued our weekend activities as normal. On Monday, Gunther came to beg for some table scraps because I was eating fries with Ranch - one of his favorite treats. I gave him the Ranch cup, he sniffed it, and sat back down. It was then that I noticed his weight loss. I could see his hip bones. When I pet him, I could feel his ribs and each one of his vertebrae.
We immediately took him to kitty ER where they ran a ton of tests, strapped an IV to him, and pushed fluids through him. They kept him overnight, not finding anything medically wrong with him. Some of his levels were elevated, but that could've been because of the stress of being in the ER and the 45 minute drive to get there. So I picked him up in the morning and took him to our vet, where he stayed the day, continuing to get fluids. She sent him home with us last night, along with liquid food that we are to force-feed him four times a day. He HATES this.
He still has the IV strapped to his leg, just in case he doesn't start eating on his own and we have to take him back to the vet. Last night we decided to lock him into the spare room that our oldest cat usually shares with our youngest. They were both kicked out into the living room so Gunther could sleep, eat, and poop in peace. At 3:30 this morning, he decided he was done being in that room and ran out as I was opening the door to give him some liquid food. Every ounce of food and water that had been left for him was still there. Upon his escape to the rest of the house, he pooped, and went into one of the window seats and promptly went back to sleep. This was when I finally lost it. My baby is starving himself to death - and there's nothing I can do about it. At 6, we force-fed him some food. At 9, he started vomiting. By 11:30, my vet had heard from me five times. They have limited hours on Wednesdays, so we are taking him back in tomorrow for more tests, antibiotics, medications, fluids, force-feedings, and observation.
I have never felt so terrible in my life. Helpless, frustrated and impotent don't even begin to touch on the bone-deep desperation I feel. I know I'm going to outlive my kids. I'm not in denial about that. But he's only 8 - and there's NOTHING wrong with him. I'm not ready. And I don't know what to do.
That's probably the hardest part. The not knowing how to help your kid. Watching him waste away in front of you, and not being able to do a damn thing about it.