Cleaning House

I’ve been to Texas 3 times since the beginning of May. Before this year, I hadn’t been to Texas since 2012.

I flew into San Antonio for Wanderlust Book Signing (which I WILL write about when I get around to it!) . The hubs and I planned on coming down for a week in June with the kiddos to visit family. His dad died 11 days before we were supposed to come. So, we packed up and ended up coming down early and stayed for 13 days. And now, I’ve been here in Dallas since Friday night.

This time, I drove down by myself. The drive down wasn’t so bad. I listened to my audiobooks (I still want to call them books-on-tape… I feel old!) I’ve spent the last 2 days going through boxes and packing up boxes and doing laundry and going through 40 years of paperwork!

I’ve read through paperwork for computer coding that makes my eyes cross, I’ve gone through print outs from 15 years ago when they bought their last house and my MIL was decorating (none of the stuff she printed out was purchased, as far as I can tell – so I’ve really been going through her dreams), I’ve read cards and letters from family and friends – deciding what to keep and what needs to go, and I’ve read love letters from my MIL to FIL. It is really super sweet. My husband and I were together a little over 4 years when his momma died, and they lived in Chicago and then Texas, so we didn’t really spend much time together, so I didn’t see that side of them. When we were going through pictures for FIL’s memorial service when we were down a few weeks ago, I was struck by the love I could clearly see in the photos. It made me sad that I feel like I didn’t even know them until they were gone. And let me tell you, you REALLY get to know somebody cleaning out their belongings after they have passed.

So Much….

Oh my God. I’ve got so much to talk about, and so many books to write about. I don’t even know where to start! I got the amazing opportunity to go to a book event in Texas, so I went on my first kid free vacation since the kids were born! I flew on a plane for the first time since 2009, I did touristy shit all by myself, I stayed in an Airbnb for the first time, I rode a city bus for the first time, and Holy Shit: I met Jonny James. For real. Can I just have a whole post to talk about him? I think I will! And I’ve read like 15 books, done all sorts of end of the year stuff with the kids at school, and worked on the damn yard and house. I’m exhausted and happy and so overwhelmed to talk about all of it!

The kids only have 5 days of school left! How is that possible?! Come on Summer!!! We have a trip to Texas to visit family the first week of June, and then after that I’m spending the next 7 weeks floating in the pool pretending that is all there is to live.

The Real Housewives of Christiana. hahaha.. <———–I don’t own “The Real Housewives” franchise. Don’t sue me, please. Ha!

I can only relax if all the landscaping I’m trying to do gets done and the pool gets opened. So, we’ll see!!

 

Doll Face: A Doll Face Novel (The Doll Face Series Book 1) – by Sadie Grubor and V Fiorello

Dollface

 

Find it on Amazon

Sadie is on Facebook –  Sadie is V Fiorello. I don’t exactly know how that works. I don’t understand the “writing as” someone, and then telling people that that is you. But, it is what it is.

I met Sadie at Naughty Nashville. She is super nice and if I was a little cooler, I’d make her be my best friend. Ha. I was super nervous about the whole thing (obviously) and she was the first author that reached out to me beforehand and let me know to just breathe and that I’d be okay! Plus, she gave out cheesecake in little jars with the cover stickers on them, and I can almost always be bought with food. haha

I started reading Doll Face before Naughty Nashville. But, I put it down and somehow didn’t pick it back up to finish it. My mistake. Maybe. Because as I got to the end of the book, I realized there isn’t an ending!!! AAAAgh. It appears that the next book in the series, ‘The Geisha’, should be out soon according to the author notes at the end of the book. So, I don’t have to wait so long! I hate cliffhangers. I don’t deal with them well. Mainly because my memory is so shitty that I can’t remember the little details later. When something significant happens in “Book 2” that I should pick up on because of some randomness in “Book 1”, I totally miss it! I suck at book clubs! haha

Now, this morning I got on Amazon and like 14 of my deleted reviews are back up. woohoo. I guess. If I had to go through and pick 14 reviews that I have written, the 14 that are back up would not have been the ones I picked. But, it’s a starting point hopefully. So, I left a review of the book on Amazon and it posted immediately! So, maybe I’ll be able to leave reviews on the books that I get through Kindle Unlimited and the ones I buy directly from Amazon. It’s a start!!

My Amazon Review:

I really liked this story! The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, is that I didn’t know that it wasn’t going to have an ending! I don’t do well with books that have cliffhangers, and I wasn’t prepared for it! I can’t wait for The Geisha to come out!

I’m not into blood play and things of that nature, but this book wasn’t really about that, so those parts weren’t a put-off. This was really a story of two broken people who are both fighting their own demons and the acceptance they find with each other. People are scared of both of them and what they are capable of, but the 2 of them together brings a harmony. And in reality, isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Someone who looks and us and loves us because of who we are and not in spite of it?

I liked Mei for the most part. She was strong when she could have been a weakling for what she had endured. The parts that I wasn’t 100% in love with? Well, you can’t live through the trauma that she did, and come out completely whole. Parts of her personality that would have developed as a normal child into adulthood didn’t, but those holes made her more real!

Saint?! Oh Saint. I love him. He isn’t a good guy. But he is. He’s done bad things, and wants to do bad things, and needs to do bad things, but damn, I love him! He is gruff but can be soft. He sees the broken pieces of Mia and wants to understand them, without wanting to change her by putting her back together.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Sadie Grubor, and I can’t wait to read more. She really brought the whole story to life in such detail that by the end of the book I was bouncing. Especially once I watched the page numbers and realized that there was no way the story was going to end now!

And let us talk about Jacob. I hoooope Jacob gets his own book!

^^ Look at me learning how to change text color! I’ll be able to take over the world soon. And, when they write my biography, that will be the beginning. “She learned to change text color, and that was the catalyst for world domination”… For reference, my 9 year can put together a kick ass PowerPoint presentation, and I fight with the transitions…..

But, anyway! Yeah. At the beginning, with the first time Mei and Saint go at it with the knives and blood and shit, I wasn’t sure I was really going to be able to read the rest of the book, because for real, blood play scares me. But, I kept going and I’m glad I did. I really enjoy horror books, and parts of it had that feel to it. When Mei would flashback to the past, I would totally read that story on how her father got started with all that shit.

And yes, Jacob…. He can spar with me any day! ❤

Midnight Ramblings

So there was a signing not so long ago, that it seems every indie book person in all of my Facebook groups attended. Everyone but me. Which is fine, it was a long way from me and I didn’t want to even try to make it work. But, I’m seeing all the pictures and reading all the posts, and parts of me are jealous.

  1. Because of the smiles and friendships. None of my friends here read any kind of romance, and I don’t make friends that easy and anxiety seems to get the best of me in situations like signings so I am alone and I tend to babble…..which leads me to…
  2. One of the authors there, every post that was made about them was super nice. How nice they are and over and over how great it was to meet them. When I met them? I could see in their eyes (as they looked around for someone they’d rather talk to) glaze over in boredom. I assumed they were just that kind of person, but according to the posts that have come out of this last signing, it was all me.

 

I have tickets to 2 more signings this year that I would really like to go to, and I thought I was going to be able to make it, but I don’t know that I can. I hate small talk, and even interacting with people on social media, it is still a day of small talk with a bunch of different people. Gah

Glitches Glitches

Well shit. Honestly, I don’t even like goodreads that much, because it’s not really user interactive for me. I wish I was able to blog and be more social and that sort of thing, but it’s not set up to be like that. Right now, I kind of use it as a place holder and replacement of Amazon. Since they (Amazon) wiped all my reviews out (which is how I came to be with a blog), I’ve been pretty pissed at them. I hate that I really have to use Amazon to be part of the indie book world. If there was any other way, trust me, I’d be all upon it!

Since this is not an Anti-Amazon post, I’ll move on.

Good reads has a “glitch” today. But, is it really a glitch? I don’t know. All my reviews (maybe?) are still there, but it just makes it harder to get to them. But, since I don’t have any “friends” on there (should I? – Does it make it a better experience if I do?), I don’t think that part really matters anyways!

I like the way that I can get in and see what books I’ve read without much fuss, and I just don’t want them to go the way of Amazon proper. I don’t wanna end up one of those people that has to have a spreadsheet of what books I’ve read. I’m just not that organized.

Are there any other websites out there that are set up to review books and interact with other readers and authors? If so, let me know!

 

Snow Time!

So, it doesn’t snow much in Middle Tennessee. When it does, shit shuts down!

My kids went back to school from Christmas Break for 4 days, before schools were closed another week for weather! An extra 10 days of vacation?! Yes, Please!! I find I don’t get much accomplished when the kids are home, but I love it anyways. Going back to school yesterday morning was rough. I hate the alarm clock, and only 4 days of school in 4 1/2 weeks had us on our summer schedule (Sleep late, stay up late, do whatever the hell we want). I’m not a schedule in the summer kind of mom. So, if they wanna be up til 2am and sleep til 1pm, I’m all about it. I’m a night owl, and they have come by it naturally. Sadly, the world just isn’t built around night owls. We have to conform to the day walkers. Bah.

 

 

I’m baaaaaack

Oh my God. The last 6 weeks have been crazy! Once Thanksgiving hits around here, things get a little crazy. And, my dad has been staying with us on and off, and he sleeps in the rec room for the most part, so I feel awkward sneaking in to get on the computer in the middle of the night. The last time I got on the computer before today was when I was printing out recipes for a couple of GlutenFree dishes for my brother’s girlfriend to have on Thanksgiving. Spoiler Alert: It was a disaster. Have no fear, you will hear all about it. And more. I have like 15 blogs I wanna write. They are all just swimming around in my head!

I have food, books, audio, crafts, clothes, parties, and new year resolutions to write about! Stay tuned! ❤

The worst of it

I hate not finishing a book. It irritates me in ways that I can’t even explain. I’m a finisher. I am not a live-in-the-moment kind of person. Honestly. I’m a memory-steeper. I very rarely am “I am having so much fun right now!”. I’m usually “We are making a great memory!”. So, I can’t wait until something is done and the memory is there. I don’t know why I’m like that. I’ve always been like that. Maybe that’s why I’ve always had my camera. I’d go to camp as a kid, and take 5 rolls of film. I have hundreds and hundreds of pictures of people, places, and things (yes, all the nouns) that I don’t remember.

Anyway… Finisher.. Yes. I like the checkmark. I did this. I read this. I watched this. I love To-Do Lists. It may be a problem.

Sidetrack City – I’ve had way too much coffee today and nothing to eat, and I feel like I’m about to take flight and my brain is ADD unfocused.

 

You know what is worse than not finishing a book? Finishing a bad book. But as I’ve come to read more and more Indie and Kindle Unlimited books, some stories are not meant to be finished. I don’t write bad reviews very often. I really try hard not too, because some things are very clearly subjective. I don’t like “Daddy” books. ugh. I don’t understand people who like them. But, that is their thing. I’ve read some of one. And it was just a friends older brother book where she started calling him daddy, so it wasn’t a older man/younger woman daddy book. And I couldn’t finish it. Of course, she called him daddy all the damn time and it lost even the remoteness of tabooness, it just turned into a sister’s annoying friend at that point. I wrote a 1* review of it. And the 1* was generous, but I couldn’t leave a review with it.

You know what’s worse than finishing a bad book? Finishing a bad book that the author sent you and knowing you have to email the author and tell them it was bad. Gah. I really like this author, who I’ll call Jenny, and I’ve really like everything I’ve read by her. Then, I get an audio ARC from her, and I’m so excited. So I listen to it. And I sit for 4 days past from when my review was due. Just sit. Because it’s pretty bad. Like. I don’t like either of the main characters (I like the man more than the woman), and although I like the woman’s voice, the man’s voice is crap for the character. So, I had to write her an email. Because I have this arc. I can’t just ignore it. It’s not going to go away. So, instead of leaving a horrible review, I have to email her and let her know that I did not like it. And now, I’m sad that I’m afraid that I’ve hurt her feelings, and I’m scared I’m never going to get another ARC from her. Boo.

You know what is worse than that? Looking at other people’s reviews and seeing that they feel the same way about it that I did. Because now I hate that Jenny has to see all of this, and I wish Jenny was my friend in real life so that I could take her out for some tequila and some crying and move on. Because Jenny is a great author. And I’ve read books that she’s written after this one, and they are great. And I’m glad that I’ve read other things by her, because I would be super sad if I never read anything else by her because of this book.

 

 

 

 

 

Beta-Down

In the Indie Book world, there are a lot of roles/responsibilities that readers take on to support authors.You can share posts, like pages,  sign up to be a beta or an ARC reader, pimp their promotions, join fan pages, share posts, like everything – did I mention share posts?! An Indie author can not be an indie author without readers. I mean, I guess they could, but why?

Anyway, I have really gotten to see how a lot of sides work in the past 3 months. I enjoy being an active reader. Yes, sometimes it’s hard; but you’re getting paid in free books and interacting with a great group of people (for the most part), so I find it worth it. I am a beta reader for a couple of authors. I’ve done tons of ARC’s – and there are email lists to sign up for where you can do nothing but read and review ARC’s for authors. The difference between Beta and ARC reading is really just the amount of feedback given. If I read a beta book, I take notes while I’m reading and then email or pm the author and  let them know what I like, what I don’t like, what doesn’t make sense, and what works really well! An ARC reading is just reading the book – usually about a week before it comes out – and writing a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or a blog once it goes live. The beta I just finished reading the first go-round of, was done totally different than anything I’ve done before.

The author – hereafter known as Penny- gave us the book link in google docs, so we could read and make notes for changes. For the most part, I really really liked that format. There were only a couple of PMs, but mainly, just notes in the document. Have you ever been reading a book and were like “Damn, that is fantastic!” or “Fuck that, no!”? We all have! With this format, it was just clicking on the ‘add comment’ button and typing that shit in. That part was great – except for I’m an oxford comma user and this author isn’t, so I legit added like 600 commas to her book. hahahaha  The downside of this was that google docs does not work well on my phone, so the 500 pages had to be read on my computer. It took me almost 2 weeks of every time I was sitting at my computer reading some of it. It’s a good thing I liked the book, or I would have dropped that shit with a quickness. Once she’s ready with a hard roll, I can’t wait to do the review of this book.  Penny may be tired of me tho, because I don’t really hold back, and I’m a little scared I won’t get the 2nd book and find out what the cliffhanger of the 1st turns into. Penny, don’t leave me now!

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Started

I am not 100% sure where I want to start. I’m not 100% sure that I want to do anything. Do I want people I know knowing who I am? Do I want all that smut-ness and reviews out there? I haven’t decided yet. I know I’ll have to figure that out or the only person who will be reading my reviews is me.

I guess I’ll just review and decide later what I want to do!