Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Musings

Normally I am all too ready to put the heavy lifting aside and enjoy some light hearted Friday fun by sharing some things that have made my week a little easier.  However, this week has been h.a.r.d.

I tried to ignore my dull, dreary attitude and head over to pinterest anyway to find some pretty things to share in all the usual Friday revelry.  I made it about 45 seconds before closing out of it in a huff.

I am not here to perpetuate "pretty".  I am sick and tired of people pushing and pulling "pretty."

I need easy.  Or at least easier.  I need practical.  I need fun.  And I need clean.

I have been percolating over our society's pressure for "pretty" for a good while now, but I'm not ready to get full on rant here.  It is still Friday.

My brain is fuzzy and worn out from toddler wear and tear.  I am emotionally drained.  I'm going to go find some way to shake it off and be grateful and get through it.  But, if anyone out there is wondering and questioning, I think it's the hardest thing ever too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

Autumn Leaves

Don't forget to check out this post for a Giveaway of my newest novel, Autumn Leaves.  Quick synopsis:

Angie Demarco is a small town, family girl. She’s the ultimate peace keeping middle daughter of a tight knit family in southeastern Tennessee. When the youngest girl announces to the family that she’s pregnant at 17, it sends shock waves through the family, and Angie finds herself picking up the pieces.

Carter Haage is an active duty soldier stationed two hours north of Angie and her family at Fort Campbell. Upon returning from an arduous deployment, he and some friends take a much needed retreat to her small town.

While Angie and Carter are instantly drawn to each other, the timing is terrible for both of them. Angie is trying to untangle her family’s drama. Carter has committed himself to serve our country. This is a contemporary clean romance novel with a lot of heart, redemption, and family angst.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Love Warrior

This is a memoir that hit my radar before it was published.  I don't remember how now, but I was jazzed to see my library pick it up immediately.  I put my name on the hold list, and I had no idea I'd really want to be reading Pierce Brown's next installment, Golden Sun, instead.  The only reason I'm not is that I haven't actually checked it out from the library yet.

Luckily for me, this memoir is written so beautifully.  I'm about a third of the way through, and Melton's struggles speak volumes about the concern I have about our society.  It is very thought provoking and deep while urging the reader along her life.  Her metaphor for mining canaries is alone worth the read.  Surprisingly, it reads quickly.  I hesitate to call it a light read, but I think I'll have it done in 3 or 4 days which is lightning speed for me these days.

Love Released: Women of Courage Episode One by Geri Foster

Love Released (Women of Courage, #1)

This is my first BookBub freebie read.  I was hesitate to actually pick this one out of my list of 5 or so downloaded for right now because Golden Sun!  I'm often like a broken record player.

I am still a little hesitant because I couldn't track down how explicit this author or this novel is, but I'm enjoying the read so far.  It's a very short read, maybe even novella length.  It's immediately intriguing.  I am already devoted to the characters, and I am really enjoying it.

While I am completely impatient to get my next Brown book, both of these books are very satisfying and enjoyable to read in the meantime.

What are you reading?

Monday, October 17, 2016


I am so pleased to mail out an actual, physical copy of my first novel, Autumn Leaves.  If you love sweet, heart warming stories full of lovable characters trying to get their lives sorted out, you will fall in love with my first novel.

Autumn Leaves

Check out my first amazon review:

Lovely little read, especially good for lazy afternoons or before bed. If you like a little love story with a predictable and happy ending, you will enjoy this book. In this day and age with nothing left to the imagination anymore, it is so sweet to read something that is nicely written and clean and leaves all the "lovin'" to your imagination :) I recommend this for ladies everywhere who like a tidily wrapped up love-story that keeps your interest piqued throughout the novel :)

For a quick synopsis of the book, check it out here.

You have one week until the contest is closed, and I notify the winner.  And get an original cover copy to the winner!

Just leave a comment below to enter.  Who's your favorite romance author?

Hope you all have a great week!  See you on Wednesday for a reading check in.

*US Addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 14, 2016

Favorites on Friday

1. Modern Mrs. Darcy What Should I Read Next podcast


I am not an auditory person.  I am very very visual.  I want to read my books, not listen to them.  In fact, I have a hard time following along when being read to.  I struggle with podcasts as well, but the few that I like are amazing.  They are easy to follow, understand, rescue a child from a halfhearted attack from the cat, and come back to.  And this one is my favorite.

Perfect for the bookishly obsessed.  Please share any of your favorite bookish podcasts!

2. Fall Television

Remember the time when you only had 5 working channels that didn't require banging on the tv and repositioning the antennae.:

I am still old school.  I pay $10/month for a very basic Xfinity cable package, but I do have onDemand or I might truly only watch the news and Modern Family.  9pm is just too late for me to be watching television, and it seems like that's when the best shows are on.

I don't have Netflix.  I tried it plus Hulu.  It didn't work out for me.  With little miss devouring my time, I sit down for maybe an hour in the evenings to watch tv, read, then bed.  No binge watching is happening here.

Here's a couple new shows my husband and I love.

This Is Us

Image result for this is us

No surprise that this is on the top of the list.  Everyone is talking about it.  It's a moving, compelling family drama that we BOTH love.  Go watch it now.  Unless you are a Netflix person in which case you'll have to wait.

Designated Survivor

Image result for designated survivor

I picked this one out of our onDemand lineup last Saturday night when we both knew we would not last through a movie, but we didn't have any shows that we knew of to watch.  It is fast paced, thoroughly interesting and well done.  The politics, so far, are not overwhelming or preachy.  The new President is probably liberal, but he comes off very middle of the road and level headed.  More like a very smart, well informed, average joe than an average politician.

What are your favorites today?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

I am a little late getting this post together.   Better late than never?  My 13 month old has recently decided that she doesn't want 2 naps a day anymore.  Today we are trying 1.  Wish us luck.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I was in the mood for a total escape and adventure.  This is a dystopian sci-fi trilogy.  It is pretty brutal with violence and language, but it is the perfect escape after a long mom day.  It has me totally engrossed and sucked into this multi-tiered hierarchy spanning Earth, Mars, and into the whole solar system.  A wild ride!

Eyes Unveiled by Crystal Walton
I am still enjoying this fun,  lighthearted read.   Ebooks are a little tougher for me to get to during my large chunks of time so I'm not getting through it as quickly as I would like.  Plus the contemporary college day trials are exactly the things I struggled with.  Right now, it's not exactly the escape that I'm looking for at the end of the day, but I'm still enjoying it in little pieces as I have time to fit it in during the day.

Eyes Unveiled (Unveiled #1)

I did get all the way through The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.   My Goodreads's account is linked to the side of the blog *upper right* if you'd like to see my final review on it.

The Paris Wife
What are you reading?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Favorites on Friday

1.  This Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup from Cooking Light

Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup

This is the second time I've made this recipe with a few alterations I'll note in just a moment, and my family devours it.  While it does take a little upfront time, morning prep is so much easier in my house than afternoon prep.  By the afternoon, both me and the little one are crankier and less motivated to do anything other than just play outside.  Slow cooker to the rescue.  In fact, I'm prepping a roast as I type.

I made a few alterations to make this recipe simpler.  Instead of a specific seasoning mixture that I am not going out to buy, my go to mixture is salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Woks like a charm.

I substituted onion for leek, because I buy a bag of onions every week.

I threw all the ingredients into the slow cooker at once and cooked on low most of the day.  The whole point of the slow cooker is 15 minutes of prep, throw it in the pot, and done!  Ready at dinner.  I'm not going to be fussing over it all day.

I also ditched the spinach.

2.  Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from the Oh She Glows Every Day Edition of Angela Liddon's newest cookbook

Oh She Glows Every Day: Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes to Keep You Glowing from the Inside Out

While I don't always have tremendous success with her entrees, her breakfasts, smoothies, and desserts are on the mark every single time.

I made this cupcakes for the little's birthday a month ago, and they were heavenly.  I was thinking about them because my husband requested them for his birthday this weekend.

3. Best Cooking Tip

The Chew

Since I seem to have a food theme going here - anyone else hungry? - I thought I'd stick with it.  On The Chew, Mario Batali suggested layering seasoning.  A big pitfall for my home cooking is lack of flavor.  He suggested that every time you add a new "layer" to your skillet or whathaveyou that you also add a pinch of salt.  Genius!  It has made such a difference in my humble kitchen.

What are your favorites this week?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

I abandoned this psychological thriller about 2/3rds of the way through.  If you remember from last week, I was struggling with really getting hooked into this book.  If you ask me, that's a pretty serious flaw in a thriller novel.  It's inherently supposed to get you wanting to read the next page and the next chapter as quickly as your hands can fly through the pages.  I found myself putting it down after each and every chapter in search of social media distraction.  Not good.

I can't really put a finger on why I didn't like it up until the event that had me say, Enough.  The characters were dynamic, the twist hit me like a falling piano, but I couldn't relate to anyone.  I guess I need that.  To have at least one likable, relatable character in the bunch.

If you want to see the event that finally convinced me that life is too short to read fiction that is too graphic, explicit, and dark for me, check out my Goodreads account.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife

I know.  I know.  I am super late to the party for this one, but when you're a library goer, this tends to happen.

I'm around page 100.  I am enjoying it, but I don't have a sweet spot for the Roaring 20s.  Boozing, partying, and lazing around in near poverty to write seems fairly irresponsible to me.  However, Hadley, the wife of the infamous Ernest Hemingway, is a sweet narrator that I'm enjoying.

The writing itself is beautiful, easy, and I hope enough to keep me going through a book that would not be for me inherently based on the subject and characters.

Eyes Unveiled by Crystal Walton

Eyes Unveiled (Unveiled #1)

I am reading this one on Kindle which is challenging for me.  I vastly prefer a physical copy of a book, but alas, this was the more economical option for me.

I just got through the initial, I'm not sure if this book is for me, blind date phase (the first 10 to 15 pages), and now I'm entranced with the characters.  They are so sweet and likable.  This cozy, contemporary romance is just want I need right now after some very discouraging reads.  I am excited to keep returning to this one even though it's on my phone.

What are you reading?