Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Busy Little Bee

Ok so I've definitely created a lot of work for myself by acting on my ambition, but I'm super excited about it.  I've got a bunch of interviews scheduled, and a bunch of reviews as well.  I'm editing that schedule more and more every day.

First up will be Jennifer James.  She's first because I'm so excited for her, as she's about to publish her first book, and also because she's a close friend.  That's important for this because we'll be able to laugh together as I stumble my way through giving my first interview :P

*takes deep breath* Holy progress, Batman!

I've also signed up for my first bloghop!  It's the Small Blogs, Big Dreams Blog Hop, hosted by Forbidden Passions Reviews and Walking on Bookshelves, and it'll run from April 16th to April 21st.

Alright, back to my books!  Starting Sunday (with a new SSS), you'll see posts every few days :-)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Reviews

Ok, so in an effort to be more active, keep myself on track reading, and be more active in the community, I've decided to do some book reviews for my own blog as well.  I'm going to start off with a few books that I've already read, primarily because I have listed as few as favorites, but have never left a review or rating on Amazon or anywhere else.  I'm a horrible person, I know.  But I'm going to rectify that.  After posting a review here, I will also go and post it to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Over the next few weeks I hope to post a review a week, then post reviews whenever I read something I feel comfortable reviewing.  Some of the first books in line are (in no particular order):

The Mystic Wolves by Belinda Boring
Significance by Shelly Crane
Collide by Shelly Crane
Madly by M. Leighton
Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell
Lean on Me by Tori Scott
Kate's Crew by Jayne Rylon
Blood Awakening by Wenona Hulsey

I have others that I've read that I'm debating on writing a review for, for one reason or another.  A few of those are:

Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

There are also PLENTY of books that I have not read that I'll do a review on once I have.  Among them are:

Of Darkness and Light by Lily Crussell
Kiss Me, I'm Irish by Bella Street
The Trouble with Spells by Lacey Weatherford
Blood Will Tell by Samantha Young
Moon Spell by Samantha Young
Meant to Be by Tiffany King
Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

There are soooo many, as you can tell by my Shelfari lists.  This doesn't even include my wish list!

You might notice that several are by Indie authors.  I love them, and want to support them, hence why I want to start off with their books.  You might also notice that any books listed that are part of a series are book 1s.  I am very OCD about reading a series in order, and will never post about a later book in a series if I've not posted about the previous one(s).

As time goes on and I get more comfortable with writing reviews, I will accept requests, but for now, I'll stick with my own lists.  However, if anyone wants my opinion on a book I've already read or have listed as a favorite, let me know and I'll discuss it with you or write a review for it (since I shouldn't need to reread it to do so).

Anyway, I think that's enough of my rambling for now.  I'm off to read some for GraveTells :D

P.S. - I'm so excited that my good friend Kari is working on a profile image for me and a button for my blog.  Cause she's awesome!  I might even ask her for Cover Art when the time comes ;)



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Life Goes On

Well, I can't put my finger on exactly how or why, but that last post...really helped.  I'm now working on getting back up and running as normal as possible.  I'm going to be jumping back into books regularly (at least trying to, my attention span is still a little erratic, but less so that it was).  I'm going to be working on some reviews both for GraveTells and maybe a few here (haven't decided on the latter yet).

I'm also trying to into the writing/blogging/reviewing etc community more.  I LOVE blog hops for this reason.  I've discovered some AWESOME blogs and even greater people through them.  I plan to eventually participate in them, but am not quite ready for that just yet.  For now I'll settle for entering as much as I can (I'm an absolute book addict, so if I can get free ones, hells yeah!).  I also want to eventually do my own giveaways and host some guest authors etc.  I know a couple I can probably approach with that, so I might work on that over the next couple months as well!

I've also been updating a few things here on the blog.  Getting links/buttons up for all my favorite blogs and authors, and hoping for followers and traffic too.  Naturally I'm totally girling out for every one I get and for every hope that my favorite people will check me out lol.  I'm also updating my book lists on the left.  They're all accurate.  I decided I should be shameless ha!  So all the smutty books I love or want to read are listed as well as the YA ones.  Just be sure to read the descriptions and warnings before jumping into any so you don't get an unexpected surprise.  I figure everyone's got different tastes, and I have fairly eclectic taste, so I have to have something in common with most people!

Anyway, that's just a little bit about where I'm at and what I'm up to.  Thanks to everybody for the continued support and for reading/following my blog :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grief, Life, and Children.

As my previous post stated, my 2 year old nephew passed away last week in his sleep.  I sit here just over a week later, unable to sleep despite the Tylenol PM I took 3 hours ago.  I couldn't stop crying, and if I didn't do something, I was going to have a complete breakdown, and I just really wasn't feeling up to handling that implosion.  So I reached out and texted a friend.  She asked me what another friend had days earlier.  "Have you thought about writing about your feelings?  Just for yourself of course, but just to let them out?"

I'd thought about it, but hadn't been able to get my thoughts together to unload something coherent, and I couldn't decide if I should do it purely for myself, talk it all over with someone instead, or post it somewhere.  As usual, I was overthinking it (and was called out on that fact, thanks for that nudge).

I sat down (with a fresh box of tissues), and just typed away.  I don't really know how coherent it is, but whatever...it's my thoughts, extended beyond the confines of my head.  I decided to share it because I do have a message for other people that might read this blog post in it (somewhere).

Darling Billy was laid to rest yesterday.  He was incredibly loved, and there was a great deal of support for his parents and their families.  The entire experience was one of closure.

So why then can I still not sleep?  Why do I continue to cry?  I cry for the parents who've now lived the nightmare every parents dreads, and now face a house with a million reminders of their little boy that they got so little time with, as well as each other as living reminders.  I cry for the child who didn't get enough time to experience life and all it had to offer.  He loved lollipops, and now I can't help but think that even the ten he carried in his hand on his 2nd birthday were not enough.  I cry because I took his time and company for granted, and now I can never get that time back or even try to make up for it.  I cry because, as much as I hurt and the rest of the family hurts, it could just as easily have been someone else's baby, and I wouldn't wish this on anyone in the world.

I expected to start feeling better.  Be able to sleep, maybe even without medicinal help...be able to start getting back into my regular daily habits...get back to reading, not just things recommended by others because they're supposed to be lighthearted or might help me through this, but purely because I am interested...get back to my writing.  I began to do just that.  I was excited about a book I've been waiting months for.  And hell I even finished it in 24 hours.  Then the crash came.  I didn't have the distraction anymore.  In the quiet of the night is the worst.  I often hear phantom sounds of when he was here (he rocked himself to sleep and often knocked his crib against the wall).  And I can't shut my brain off, thinking of him, his parents, grandparents, even his 5 year old brother.  Not to mention, how dare I enjoy anything, when he no longer can?  When his parents still grieve so desperately?  I am literally excited or normal one minute, and tearing up or even bawling the next.

I don't know quite how to get through this.  I've known death plenty, and it sucks.  However, this is the first time it's ever been someone quite this close to my heart, and someone so impossibly young.  He was a beautiful boy and so vibrant.  He was truly a good kid that could just brighten your day, especially if he just gave you a happy little grin.  My husband once said during one of his breakdowns "he was such a good kid.  He could have at least been an asshole, but no, he was a really good kid."

The first time my husband and I babysat him (overnight even), it took both of us to change his first diaper.  It was pathetic and hilarious.  Even Billy endured it with this look on his face like "really?"  I texted my mother in law, who usually watched him on weekends, about a hundred times.  I asked about what to feed him because we didn't know what he liked, and when we should do this, and how do I know that, and just on and on.  She was patient, and easy going about it.

I have taken Nyquil, Tylenol PM, Hydracodone cough syrup, all in an effort to help me sleep, and still I only get a few hours sleep if I'm lucky.  Time is precious, and I guess every now and then, Fate or God or WHOEVER, decides to remind us of that, sometimes in the worst of ways.

I search for the one food, or drink, or thing, or even person that will be comforting enough to help me through this, but the bottom line is it just sucks.  There's nothing anyone can say or do, and there's nothing on Earth that is going to make it all better.

It's a God awful experience, and I really wish I never knew it personally, but you can't turn back time.  All I can say is that to anyone who has children, has nieces/nephews, or has friends with children, keep the following in mind: be grateful.  Children are scary, because they're little people, and their lives are in others' hands.  I was afraid of kids, but in asking questions, and following examples set before me by the child's parent or grandparent, I got more comfy with them, and I imagine I will one day with my own kids too.  So if you're that way, just be brave and spend time with kids.  And cherish every single second you get, because you just never know.

When I told a good friend friend what had happened the day we found out, she rushed home and spent the rest of the day with her 18 month old baby girl, probably just watching her play and thanking God for every glorious sound she made.  She held my hand, and let me cry on her shoulder both in private and at the funeral.  Another good friend of mine offered to stay up with me that night to talk, cry, vent or anything I needed, even if it was just a text in the middle of the night.  She recently made a post on her own blog, detailing some of the past week and I know she cried for me, and for her own children that she was so thankful for.  The majority of my family lives only an hour away from me, and I was able to visit with them the day after, and they all let me bawl all over them, hugged me like I was fragile and only they could keep me in one piece, and some even cried right along with me.  Hell, I was about 10 seconds away from crawling in my uncle's lap and curling up to just be rocked and held like a child myself.

I don't think I can ever adequately express how much everything in the above paragraph touched me, how much I appreciated it all, and just how much it meant.  Oh and I've been extra mushy and they've all taken that in stride too...

Sometimes I wonder if my inability to go anywhere near the casket is what's keeping me in this state. I would look up during the viewing and funeral and everything and see pictures.  I'd cry.  That's ok though.  It was the looking up and see the top of his little blond head, even from my seat halfway into the room (impressive considering how I handle funerals) that made me a flight risk.  There are pictures of him in the casket, surrounded by pictures of his loving family, some of which he never even got to meet.  One day I'll need to see those pictures, but by God that's not today.  No, I don't think that's it.  Once again it comes down to shit happens and, short of bringing him back to life, nothing's going to make it better.

Now I'm off once again to try to settle my tummy after having been all worked up, and to try to get some sleep.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tragedy

My 2 year old nephew passed away Monday morning.  He had barely begun to live and show any personality, and his life is already over.  All I know is that he liked playing with shoes, and he loved lollipops.

Anyway, as one would imagine, it's a really rough time for me and my family.  For an unknown "while", I may or may not be around much, and since my writing is on hold at the moment, my Six Sentence Sundays will be on hold as well.

Thank you for your understanding, and thank you tremendously to all my friends and family for all your support!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY - TWO

Also from Earthbound Angel book 1:

The car has come to a stop upside down, and looking to my left, I see the truck that hit us several feet away. It’s a big truck.

Amber is screaming in the back seat, which is good, right? At least it means she’s alive. Her mom is limp next to me though, and there’s blood dripping down her hair. “Oh, God” I whisper.