Sunday, March 12, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Dancing at Midnight: The Life of June Parker by Rebecca Yelland

Once again Twitter has yet to fail me when it comes to finding amazing reads. A rare encounter with Author Rebecca Yelland blessed me with another wonderful story to lose myself into. 'Dancing at Midnight' really hit close to home for me, and for personal reasons made the story much more enjoyable to read than it would have if I had no connection to the characters. 
'Dancing at Midnight' intertwines two stories of a mother and daughter who struggled to connect as a normal mother/daughter relationship. Growing up, I faced the same issues with my own mother, which is why this story had me sucked in from the beginning. 
After the recent death of her mother, Carolyn goes home to take care of the last few business and estate issues of her mother's, and in doing so stumbles upon a story that would answer so many questions from her own childhood and the missed connection she had longed for with her mother. 
As a reader, we go along on the journey of the heart ache Carolyn's mother, June, had to endure during her own childhood that led to the struggles she faced after having her daughter. 
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good history story. As a writer, I love the way this story was laid out and I felt myself travel back to 1942 and on with Carolyn as she discovered secrets from her mother's past and answers from her own childhood. 
I cannot wait to read the sequel to this story as at the end of this book, I was aching for more. Check out this book, and if you haven't, let Rebecca know what you think after you read it. I found my copy on Amazon at a very reasonable price. Comment below when you finish it, I'd love to have a book discussion with anyone who is interested! 

5 stars because I'm not allowed to give more than that! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

'You May Just Be A Dinosaur' by Heather Macht: BOOK REVIEW

I LOVE Twitter and the connections it has given me. Recently, by the very grace of God, I met an author named Heather Macht who followed me on Twitter. Heather is a children's author and in 2015 released the children's story; 'You May Just Be A Dinosaur'.

Curious, because my kids LOVE Dinosaur's, I checked out the trailer for her book. I had NO idea that trailers for book releases even existed!!! You can check it out here: You May Just Be A Dinosaur Trailer

Watching that video prompted me to go onto Amazon and purchase the book for my kids. I knew it was something they would enjoy.

'You May Just Be A Dinosaur' is an adorably crafted children's story about trying to discover if YOU could be a dinosaur. As you read the story to your child you can ask them questions about what they eat, how they go to school, and more and see if they compare closely with being a dinosaur. It's a funny story all while learning new facts that even myself knew nothing about in regards to dinosaurs.

I encourage to check it out and broaden even further your child's imagination and their love of the creatures that once roamed our earth. Don't take my word for it....choose for yourself!

You can find this book by the multiple links found on the authors website.
or follow my example and purchase from Amazon

If you're interested in following Heather on Twitter, I'm sure she would LOVE to get to know you and share many of her works that are sure to come.

*I obtain nothing for this review, I'm simply doing it out of the kindness of my heart and my love for this story. This will be front and center on our bookshelf and a nightly family read.*

I'd also love to point out the illustrations in this book are suburb. The amazing art work is done by: Jason Gillard

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Writing Life ~~~ 2017

Lately, when strangers ask me what I do for work, I tell them honestly; “I’m a writer”. It’s what I do every day. Outside of my job as a freelance journalist with our local small businesses magazine, I work every day to create what will someday be a shelf full of novels. The ideas that are floating around in my mind daily, range from romantic stories to science fiction reincarnation stories and even some action type stories. One day, I’d even love to create a historic fiction novel based on the Tudor Family.

As a mother of 2, which includes an energetic two-year-old boy, the novel writing is mostly on the pages of my mental notebook for now. Every day I wake up and my main focus is my children’s wellbeing. Making sure they are fed, entertained, and educated (yup! I homeschool too)! Life is hectic but trying to make the best of it.

In 2017, I plan to focus more on getting the stories on the computer pages and out of my mental notebook. I look forward to being in a better mindset of being organized, cutting out unpleasant distractions and honestly, trying to do it all and doing it well.

What can you expect from me in 2017? Here are some changes and goals I want plan to accomplish:

  • The Edge of Darkness (Parker and Gabriella’s Story) up on Amazon (Kindle) by June 2017.
  • Untitled Novel (Brian’s Story) First Draft/Beta Ready by Aug 2017.
  • More Active/Engaging Blog

I will be honest with you. With a few...and I mean very few exceptions, I hated 2016. From social media responses...I take it I’m not the only one who thought 2016 would be better if forgotten. Like I said, there were a few good things/experiences in 2016 that were worth carrying over to 2017 but not many. I’m ready for a new year, a fresh start, and amazing memories.

I originally planned to post this on New Years’ Eve, but here’s to getting an early start…. :D

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2016

All About The Music...

To those who know me, it's no secret that music is my therapy. When I'm stressing about something, in a mood, or simply need a break; I plug in the headphones and lose myself in the lyrics and sounds. Back when I was considering a career as a Psychologist, I wanted to study the impact of Musical Therapy and that would have been the focus of my practice. Who knows what the future will hold...but for now, I simply use the technique on myself.

Each month, or as my mood changes...I create a new playlist on my Spotify account. Currently, this is my playlist. Comment below some of your never know when they'll be added to the next playlist. I'll try to include what I enjoy about each song.

My December 2016 playlist:

- Middle of a Memory: Cole Swindell is an artist I recently started really listening to. When this song came out, it hit home more than I cared for it too. I love it, though. There are some days I can't listen to it because it physically hurts to do so. For me,this song talks about someone who comes into your life and makes a huge impact without even doing much of anything but just showing up in your life. Naturally, they leave for whatever reason; usually with no explanation. It could because their time and purpose in your life had come and gone even if you weren't ready to say goodbye, or maybe they pass away suddenly. Who knows...I have it on the playlist this month because I love the song that damn much. Cole's voice alone is enough to make a girl's heart swoon, especially when he sings..."...babyyyy". ;). Haven't heard it? What is WRONG with you!?!?!? <---- just kidding...kinda.

Your Love is My Drug: Kesha brings this song to life like no one else ever could. Ever had a relationship no matter how serious, that felt like a drug? You know you shouldn't but it's like fighting an addiction? Yup, that's why I love this song. It's also motivation for writing material. On my novel's "unofficial soundtrack". "I don't care what people say, the rush I feel is worth the price I pay, I get so high when you're with me, but crash and crave you when you leave." <---- my FAVORITE line!!!!

- Me and My Broken Heart: This song is by Rixton and I'll be honest, no clue who they or he is. I heard this at the command Christmas Party and enjoyed the beat. It reminds me of being carefree. Maybe I should listen to the words....but I don't want to ruin the beat so for now...I'll leave it as is.

- This I Promise You: I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for love songs. Back in my rebellious 'Not a fan of N*Sync fan days*, I slipped once or twice and this song hooked it's lyrics and music into me. Justin Timberlake's voice in this (well everything he sings but especially this song) melts my heart. I really enjoy the lyrics to this song because it really makes me remember what being in love is about. The emotion in this song is why I love being in love. A person becomes to mean so much to you, that it almost makes you a sappy lovesick human. Which occasionally it's okay to be that kind of person. ;). *cough...guys*

- My Happy Ending: Avri Lavigne has an amazing voice and her music is strong yet so laid back at the same time. This song speaks a lot to me lately...though I'm not fully sure why...but it's a favorite on my playlist. I have a few favorite lines in this one....:

Let's talk this over                                          
It's not like we're dead
Was it something I did?
Was it something you said?
Don't leave me hanging
In a city so dead
Held up so high
On such a breakable thread

It's nice to know that you were there
Thanks for acting like you cared
And making me feel like I was the only one
It's nice to know we had it all
Thanks for watching as I fall
And letting me know we were done

- Yeah Boy: The ever so talented and beautiful Kelsea Ballerini sings this song and I've become a major fan of hers lately. You'll have to listen to this yourself, but this song throws me back to being 15/16 years old and my first love. <3 *sigh* I wish I could sing..... :D. I think it's the perfect way to express how you feel about someone.

- Smack That: *hangs head* A nice girl like me shouldn't like this song as much as I do. But I do. Akon and Eminem do an incredible job with this song. During those nights or days when I'm feeling fat and ugly...I throw this tune on and for some reason it makes me feel sexier. Gosh! Why am I blushing as I type this....! ;). #Therapy I tell ya!

- What Goes Around/Comes Around: *sigh* Justin Timberlake....that Jessica Biel is such a lucky girl to have his voice at her disposal every day. <3. This is another song I really love the beat too. "I should have known better when you came around, should have known better you would make me cry..." <--- favorite line!!

- You are not Alone: This obviously isn't a "happy" song, but it's heartfelt. This song reminds me of my Mama and my Nanny, both who I miss greatly. <3 Plus I'm in love the emotion that Michael Jackson put into his songs.

- I Miss You: This song is on the playlist because Blink-182 used to really turn me on. Their voices, I mean ;). I also may have dated a guy who could have been the lead singers twin but whatever. #honesty.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bucket List

With 2016 coming to a close, it's important to begin accessing the past and clearing the slate as much as possible to begin anew. Many people think it's stupid to create "resolutions" because no one ever really does them anyway. I believe in making goals. If you don't complete them all, so what...the point is to try, and making the list alone is trying.

These aren't my resolutions, though, it's my "before I die" bucket list and while some may be completed in 2017, I know many won't be. I'm okay with that.

Here are my current Top 6 goals I have for the future. I believe in living my life happy. If this past year has taught me anything, it's that I'm important too. My happiness is important too. Could my choices hurt others? Of course, someone is bound to get hurt in some way or another. However, while I try to avoid that, I can't let that control my own happiness. May your future be bright, and you take the chance to make it so. It starts with you....and only you.

My Top 6 Bucket List Goals:

1) Walk Behind a Waterfall.
For me, this would be amazing! I love waterfalls and dream of creating a photo book of some of the most gorgeous ones all over the country. I'd love to be able to walk behind one, and may set out this Summer and try to do this...we shall see. Either way, it's on the list.

2) Dance in the Rain.
Every girls' dream right? I know it's one of mine. However, usually, when you see me in the rain, I'm racing to my car with a baby on my hip and ushering my 6 yr old to get into the car. I end up looking like a drowned rat and miserable. But, I know that I'd love to cast all negativity aside and do this with someone I love. <3 ;).

3) Random Exploration.
Ever heard of the idea of throwing a dart at a map, and going where it lands? I so want to do this one day. Maybe when the kids are a little older or a sitter I trust since the trip will likely be more than a single day. In 2009, during our second deployment, I drove with our dog Rascal from San Diego CA to Tallahassee FL, in three days. It was a trip home, where I spent nearly a month but the drive itself was so liberating. I drove an average of 10 hours a day and enjoyed every minute of it. I love solo travels, and I can't wait to do this one.

4) Write a Letter to Myself to Open in 10 Years.
In the last 10 years, I've gotten married, moved across the country and back, and carried and birthed two children. I've also written 3 full-length novels, though none have been yet published. So much can happen in a year, and even more so in 10. This is a bucket list item that will happen in 2017, and who knows...maybe I'll share it on the blog in 2027. Gives me something to look forward to, if I live that long.

5) Rope Swing into Water.
This one is all about bringing out the country girl in me. She's lost a bit of herself over the last 10 years because of too much city living. I cannot wait to wash away the city grime and get my hands dirty again. One of my favorite things I remember doing as a kid is going to the nearby sinkholes and swimming. I was never brave enough to try the rope swings...afraid I'd let go at the wrong time and end up on the rocks... ha. ha. <--- I'll admit this. I hope to knock this one off the list in the next 6 years.

6) Spend a Night on the Beach.
One of my biggest fears is a massive wave washing onto land and engulfing everyone and everything in its path. I'm not afraid of the beach.  I will admit I'm so much more alert....not like I could do anything but whatever ;). I love camping, and I even more so love the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. I would so much enjoy doing this...but with two kids and possibly moving away in less than 2 yrs far away from the beach, it's not as much of an easy task as it should be. I'll get there, though.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Comeback Kid

The Band Perry, an awesome band, recently released a song called, "Comeback Kid". To me, it's talking about being bullied and torn down but fighting and believing in yourself so that you get stronger and win the battle. I don't know the story behind this song, though I plan to look it up and I recommend you do as well. For me, it hits deeper than just a bully on a playground, or at work. Bullies don't have to be people, did you know that?

But no, I'm not leaving, even though I'm bleeding
Even though this nightmare makes me wish I was dreaming
Even though I hate it, I'm gonna take it
Until I win

I was lucky, I guess...I was never bullied in school. I was stuck in the middle; not popular but not hated either. My bully showed up after I had my daughter. No, it wasn't her ha.ha. It was the Post Partum Depression.  If you've never encountered this; be it personally or having stood by someone as they dealt with it...count your blessings. I wouldn't wish PPD on my worst enemy.

Don't know why bad things happened, but they did
I don't think I deserve the hurt I get, but I'm made for it
It's not the end, no, it's not the end
I'm a comeback kid
Down for a minute; I'll get up again
Looks like I'm breaking, but it's just a bend; it's not over yet
Cause in the end
 I'm a comeback kid

Everyone around you suffers when you are dealing with this bully. A force that tries to cripple every dream you ever had before you had kids. It destroys families because, let's face it; it's not easy to be around someone whose dealing with this. Many people find help through therapy, drugs, and an abundance of understanding friends and family. Therapy didn't work for me....I was told I didn't have PPD...I was just "overwhelmed"...and I was "borderline". Drugs aren't my cup of tea, I believe they numb the issue and not actually fix it. As for understanding people, I can count on half of my hand the people who have stood by my side through this over the last 6 years. The worst is over, but I still have days where I feel like I'm not good enough, that my kids would do better with a woman whose built to be a good mom, that my husband would fair better with a wife that didn't have days where she wanted to dig a hole and live there forever. PPD is dark, lonely at times, and scary.

  I'm gonna finish what I started now
           You interrupted me with all your doubts
           How dare you forget where I started out

To the people who are still here, thank you does not begin to describe the love I have for each and every one of you. Thank you for standing by me, even during the times I didn't want to even be with myself. Thank you for not giving up, and trusting that the person I was meant to be was there, fighting hard to erase the dark cloud that attempted to permanently take over my life. 
To bands like The Band Perry, thank you for writing, singing, playing and believing in music such as this song. It's because of people like you, that those like me have hope that brighter days will follow. Thank you for reminding me that I am indeed: A Comeback Kid! <3

photo courtesy of  the image section of yahoo :)