Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Cowboy For Christmas

Because who doesn't want a cowboy for Christmas? Shit, if he can cook, clean and clean up cat puke I'll take a non cowboy. This is all hypothetical because I'm happily married. *ting*

A Cowboy for Christmas - Lori Wilde

It’s Christmastime in Jubilee, Texas, but Lissette Moncrief is having a hard time celebrating . . . Especially after she accidentally smashes her car into Rafferty Jones’s pick-up truck. Yes, he’s a whole lot of handsome-from the tips of his boots to the top of his Stetson. But he’s no Christmas present. Lissy’s not about to let herself get whisked away by his charming ways and words . . . only to watch him drive away in the end. But what Lissy doesn’t know is Rafferty’s in town just to meet her-and to give her a share in a windfall that doesn’t rightly belong to him. At first, he just wants to do his good deed and get out. But one look at this green-eyed beauty has him deciding to turn this into a Christmas to remember . . . making promises he’s determined to keep-whether she believes in them or not. 

When I originally signed up to be on this book tour I was on a huge romance novel kick, which coincidentally always coincides with my period, and I kind of forgot about it. Then I got it in the mail and was like, oh... I hope this isn't one of those hokey romance novels where the woman just loses her breath when the cowboy whips a cow and and down on the farm loving. 

Oh stop it, you know I'm judgey like that. 

Fortunately, this turned out not to be like that at all and I totally loved it, finished it in the afternoon and really can say I'm a Lori Wilde fan after one book. What I love is that Lissette is not a wussy. She's a recently widowed mother of a son who she just finds out has a disability where he'll eventually become totally deaf. Which, single parent or not, that's a tough lot to handle. Her husband dies in combat and even though he wasn't the stellar husband she thought he'd be towards the end, it's still a rough situation. Then comes long lost half brother of her dead husband, Rafferty, and he just wants to do right by her and bam- it's kind of a tense situation but it obviously turns romantic. 

But what I like about it is that it was actually kind of realistic. Sure, the chance of a widowed mother of a partially deaf child falling in love with her husband's long lost half brother in a few short weeks maybe isn't the most realistic, but it's better than some of the novels out there. And none of it was over the top, everything felt normal and not overly dramatic and it was just a really great book. I thought the ending with Rafferty was kind of ironic because he is portrayed as this guy who's always trying to do good by others and save others and becomes a victim himself, but I loved how there was that final twist so not everything is as smooth as some romance novels will have you believe. 

So I loved it. It's a fun read, it's a fast read, and I think you'll like it. Check out Lori's website HERE, her Facebook HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cold Light

It's not very often that I tell you that I flat out hate a book when everybody else will tell you it's amazing and wonderful but here you go.

Cold Light - Jenn Ashworth

I’m sitting on my couch, watching the local news. There’s Chloe’s parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. It’s ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned. You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I’m the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.
Jenn Ashworth’s gripping and unforgettable Cold Light is the story of a friendship unsettling in its intensity and of one terrible summer when lies, secrets, jealousy, and perversion result in tragedy more twisted and evil than one unsuspecting community can handle. A dark tale with a surreal edge, it follows two fourteen-year-old girls, best friends, as they confront the dangers of a predatory adult world, where truth is cruelly sacrificed in the name of innocence.
Ok, so I was absolutely intrigued by this book because we've all had that one really best friend who we've done everything with and the thought of not having them is devastating, especially when you're 14. Plus, when you have a tagline like "They found a body. I know who it is." - who doesn't want to read that? 
But I was disappointed. I have a really hard time when the writing is so lofty. I mean, to explain one scene takes pages and it makes it really hard for me to continue, let alone care. Did I finish the book? I absolutely did because what I discovered is that I didn't like Chloe one bit and not to be cruel, but I kind of wanted her character to be killed. That sounds so totally wrong, but really. Bad egg from the start. But everything about this book is bizarre. You have a teenager with clearly low self esteem (Laura), you have a teenager who is clearly misguided and a bad influence (Chloe), and then you throw in this insane cast of characters- the family, Carl, Wilson, Emma, etc and it's just too much. 
Did I see the ending coming? OK, I will admit it and say no, I didn't. I didn't love the ending, but I guess in hindsight it all kind of made sense. It doesn't change the fact that this book was so hard for me to read just because it's written so difficult. Does that make sense? It's like all of this added time was given to lofty paragraphs and drawn out passages that I was so frustrated within the first 100 pages. Then I thought once the story got rolling it would flow better but it didn't. 
I really wanted this to be like a Jennifer McMahon where nothing is really what it seems and it blows you away at the end and it just wasn't. It took me three weeks to read this book and that tells you something considering I can get through about 3-4 books in a weekend. I'm a fast reader but I kept losing interest in this one and that was probably the biggest disappointment to me. 
I am still going to encourage you to read it because I've seen some other readers rave about this book so maybe it's just me. Maybe I'll feel differently if I read this one in a year, maybe I'd love it then. Who knows. Check out Jenn's webpage HERE too because there is a lot more book information that will likely sway you to read this. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


You know flat out that I bought this book based on the cover, right?

Wake - Amanda Hocking
Wake (Watersong, #1)
Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong. Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group. Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different. Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

Now, I started this book while I was in the middle of Amanda's Trylle Series which ended up being just OK. They weren't great but they weren't horrible either and because I'm so indifferent to them I'm just not going to review them. But having read those and now this one I will say that I appreciate that Amanda truly is stepping outside of the box. With the Trylle series it was mainly about trolls and while other books mention trolls, how many do you know are written based solely on trolls? Hardly any. With this book I had no idea what the hell the super natural character was going to be and Amanda once again steps outside of the box with Sirens. Not mermaids, which according to one character in the book, don't exist. But Sirens, which are apparently people eating mermaids? 

Now, if you find yourself saying, "What the hell, Sara? That sounds fucked up!" that's because it kind of is. When you really think about it- the Sirens essentially trick Gemma (a human) into "partying" with them and she wakes up on the beach with no memory and it turns out she's a Siren. Which, doesn't sound so bad because she's a great swimmer as it is and now she's a super duper fast swimmer so she's thinking this isn't so bad. But THEN- bodies are discovered totally mutilated and the Sirens aren't just mermaids, they turn into these horrid birds (this is where I was all, "What the hell, Amanda?!") and they eat people. 


It's all so weird I don't know what to tell you about it other than it was bizarre. Then you have two romance story lines kind of happening and just as it starts getting good and you get some action- book is done. It ends with a cliff hanger and her annoying sister vowing revenge and it's just so weird. 

But you know I'm obligated to buy the other books in the series because I hate cliff hangers and now I have to know what happens. Damn you, Amanda  Hocking for woo'ing me with your fancy covers. 

Confessions of a Corporate Slut

So, a little back story before I start my review. A couple of months ago I received an email from Jacqueline Gum about reviewing some book and what my policy was. Fast forward a few weeks and we've exchanged a few emails and I have the opportunity to read her book for review. I am really excited on the project she is working on because if her book is any indication of what I have to look forward to, it's going to be worth it.

Confessions of a Corporate Slut - Jacqueline Gum
confessions cvr Confessions of a Corporate Slut
In CONFESSIONS OF A CORPORATE SLUT, Roberta conquers a bare-knuckle, male-dominated industry and achieves unparalleled success as an overachieving sales pro, entrepreneur, and corporate manager. But something is missing in her life. Marriage. Family. Purpose. When Roberta finds love, she is oblivious to the astronomical losses she will sustain—including pride, self-esteem and money—the tradeoff she makes to help her CEO husband push his manufacturing company to the pinnacle of its industry. When Roberta moves out of the family home at seventeen, her only working experience is a $1.35 gig at Dairy Queen. Unqualified and underage, she cajoles her way into managing a new restaurant and bar. Eventually she realizes the sales profession offers the best way to maximize her income, so she hits the road in hose and heels and a fifty-pound sample case of glassware, stir sticks, and beverage napkins. Little did she know her success would someday propel her into the unfamiliar role of the ideal corporate wife. Roberta is the polar opposite of a victim as she faces each challenge with her trademark mixture of spunk and grace. Her wry sense of humor intertwines with conflict, weaving a tapestry rich in humor and irony. Inspired by a true story CONFESSIONS OF A CORPORATE SLUT, is a tale of ambition and failure…a tale of emotional connection and disconnection … of support and about-faces … of fear and loathing…of love and hate. And a story that is all too often being played out in today’s corporate culture.

Right off the bat I am going to tell you that I know next to nothing about business or how business is done. What I do know is that it's pretty hard to have a worthwhile career when you have a vagina versus a penis. I don't care how far we have come in the whole female empowerment movement, women are not taken as seriously as men are. It's just a fact. I will say that some of the business talk in the book was confusing to me but it's not enough to turn you away from the book- you'll get through it. 

Honestly, this is a story that I feel a lot of women could relate to one on level or another. Raise your hand if you visioned your life very differently than how it turned out to be a few years after marriage? Right- pretty much all of us. If someone had told me ten years ago that at age 30 I would not have a budding career as an executive assistant but instead I would be working part time for spending money, volunteering at my kid's school and being a little home maker- oh how I would have laughed. Because these are all of the things I never really wanted to be. The fact is that I like to work and I like to work a lot. I enjoy working on assignments and deadlines and wearing heels to the office and being the competent assistant to someone. I really enjoy that. I really miss that. But the reality is that my husband works 60+ hours a week and he needs me to hold down the house, take care of the kids, deal with their schooling, run all of the errands, and keep it all together and then be ready for him when he comes home. 

And I do it well. Which is probably the ultimate downfall. Because if I wasn't good at this, surely I could go back to work full time and all would be well, right?

So I really related to Roberta on a particular level. She gets married and slowly drifts from a career she not only excels at but she truly loves, to being the unpaid corporate wife cleaning up her husband's messes. She propels him and his company to new levels with her experience and her advice, and she believes that it'll all work out for her because it's what she was promised. And you'd think Roberta is just this lay down and take it kind of woman but she's actually the complete opposite. She isn't afraid to stand up to a man, voice an opinion, or tell it like it is - it's what has gotten her where she is in her career.

What is truly amazing to me is how a marriage can start out so strong and full of promise and just slowly deteriorate. This is basically a tale of such a marriage and what happens when you have one person who is seemingly in denial and one person who couldn't be trying any harder to run in the opposite direction of their spouse. And then the kicker is when she's in the middle of her divorce and her husband has the BALLS to basically strip her of everything. It's basically every tale of woe you've ever seen or heard of when a marriage falls apart and one person decides to be a total selfish asshole. Nobody wants to go into a marriage wondering what they'll do if it doesn't work out- but really, that should be something you consider. My mom always told me when growing up, "You don't want to grow up and be a man's doormat. Never, ever rely on a man to get you by." and I live with that in my head all of the time. I may not make a lot, but I know that if Matt and I divorced I could get a full time job, even if it was just a fast food place, and land on my feet. I wouldn't need Matt around to get me by and honestly- I think our marriage is better for it. Who wants that kind of pressure knowing that they are the sole person holding an entire family afloat? In these economic times, that's just unrealistic.

The greatest part of this book is that as you're reading it? You feel like this is a long story you're hearing from a long lost girlfriend over lunch and drinks. There are spots where you know exactly what's going to happen because you already see the components for failure clicking into place but yet you continue to be stunned that a person could be so vindictive.

I basically finished the book and proceeded to tell Matt that if we ever got divorced? Everything will be 50/50 and he won't be an asshole if he'd like to keep his balls. He clearly looked alarmed and suggested I stop reading so much because clearly I'm growing delusional. Which, maybe I am, but really. Have some respect for your wife and recognize what she brings to the table. She may not be bringing in income, but if your house is in order and your children are cared for- she deserves to have this acknowledged.

So- if you are a divorcee or have an asshole husband currently, this is probably a great book for you. Or, if you are happily married, it probably wouldn't hurt to read it so you can appreciate that your husband is not a jerk. The book is available HERE and you can visit Jacqueline's website HERE.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Santerra's Sin

I know I say it a lot, but I have a thing about romance novels where the guy is a trained killer. I don't know what that says about me as a person but somehow I can't help myself.


Santerra's Sin by Donna Kaufman
Santerra's Sin
There aren’t many places to get a cool drink in the middle of the New Mexico desert, and divorced bar owner Blue Delgado likes it that way. Little to no competition means that she gets to call the shots: her cantina, her rules. But there’s something about her new cook that sets her senses tingling—and it’s not just the way Diego fills out his jeans. When an old friend warns her that her life is in danger, Blue realizes she doesn’t know anything about her new employee—except that Diego excites her to the core. Could a man she is so attracted to be trying to kill her? All Diego Santerra has are his instincts, honed to precision as a member of an elite tactical squad. He keeps no personal ties that could compromise his missions: no family, no friends. His work is his life, and his new case is no exception. But the moment Diego lays eyes on the woman he is assigned to protect, he realizes that everything is about to change. As trained killers set their sights on Blue, Diego knows it’s going to take everything he has to keep her alive—and to make her love him.

Other than the fact I really hate the name Blue Delgado and I kept telling myself that is a really stupid name throughout the entire book, I really liked this book. I very much appreciate a book that is only 240 pages and I can finish it in about three hours. 

I knew right off the bat that I was going to like Blue and I was going to love Diego because Donna developed these characters well. Sure, they both have troublesome histories and they come with a lot of emotional baggage but for ONCE the woman isn't an idiot. When things get tough Blue doesn't get all pissy and huffy and storm off like an irrational teenager, she just becomes very logical and level headed. Which is very much how I am and I appreciate that. Not all of us women are going to freak out when we find out the man we love is a trained killer who has no emotion about it. We can look at and accept that it is a job and at least he's employed. 

I also really love how you get just enough back story to know what's going on and it's more focused on Blue/Diego rather than the bad guys, so to speak. I've read a lot of romance novels, which I did end up liking, that really spend almost more time on the crime and danger than they do the romance and the woo'ing. Which is really lame, because us wives who don't get woo'ed by their husbands like to know that if we get divorced maybe we could be woo'd. Or if our husbands fall off the house while putting Christmas decor, maybe the concussion would suddenly turn on the woo'ing side of his brain and all would be well. 

I also have to say I loved the ending. I was so happy that Blue ends up doing what she wanted to do all along instead of just falling in line with what Diego wants her to do. It's so hard to find a female character that isn't a petulant teenager in a woman's body that doesn't do whatever her guy wants her to. Truly. You'd think it'd be all female empowerment, but it's just not. 

So, I loved the book. It's a super fast read and perfect for when your husband is snoring loud enough to make the cats angry in bed and preventing you from sleeping. 

Comanche Moon

I believe.. I may have swung over to the dark side of historical romance. You remember I reviewed one from the other day and now I have this one. And I'll just tell you right now I'm downloading more because I am out of control.

Comanche Moon - Virginia Brown
Comanche Moon
The Comanches did her a favor when they killed her loutish husband on her wedding night. But now this Southern belle is the possession of a fierce, blue-eyed warrior called Hawk . . . Zach Banning, known as Hawk among the Comanches, is caught between two races, two cultures, two lives. Deborah Hamilton is a Mississippi beauty who came to the Texas territory for an arranged marriage. Little did she know, her new husband's people have earned the Comanches' hatred. They enact their vengeance on her wedding night, kidnapping Deborah along with other women and also the settlement's children. She expects the worst at the Comanches' village, but instead finds kindness alongside the challenges. But when Hawk barters her away from her owner, intending to seduce and possess her, Deborah finds herself in a battle of wills laced with deep desire. 

Loved the book. I did. I will say though that in the beginning I was not sure that I would like it and that I could get into it, but once I did... I was hooked. Matt is starting to believe I have an unhealthy obsession with  romance novels because my Nook needed to be charged and I couldn't find the cord and it was a tense 3 minute search for it and I believe Matt feared for his life. 

But let's get back to the book. 

First up, Deborah is kind of a moron who is clearly unable to read social cues. Like, when a guy stares are your boobs? There is probably a fare chance that he likes you. That isn't typically the moment to fear for you life- you should be looking for a comfortable spot to lay down in. *ahem*

What really intrigued me about this book is that clearly it's historical and you have the taboo relationship between a white woman and a Native American and back then this is clearly unheard of. And while initially Deborah is scared (obviously) after she is kidnapped by the Comanches, alongside her cousin Judith and many others, she eventually begins to care for Hawk/Zach as well as his younger sister, Sunflower. I absolutely loved how the story is about Deborah/Hawk and then when she goes back to where she came from, it becomes Deborah/Zach and all of this crazy, dangerous, drama and I loved it. I loved every single second of it. I thought the characters were great and what you'd expect if this was true to life- you can clearly picture these characters in your head, the setting, everything happening, etc without it all being too much. You know how I hate when authors go into such detail that 17 pages later, you want to kill yourself and throw the book because really? You don't care how many leaves are on the tree, you don't even care how many trees are there, just say you're in a forest- we get it. 

End rant. 

But Virginia Brown is not an annoying writer- she is to the point with enough detail that you can fill in the gaps on your own. I will say that I wanted to punch Judith myself and if I were Deborah I would have done so. And there's a part in the story that I was so angry with Judith and her stupidity that I wish Deborah would have just stopped caring all together for her because clearly it isn't reciprocated. But I can't tell you any more about that because it would ruin the last third of the book. 

Trust me. 

So I really enjoyed this book and I am already looking forward to more books by Virginia Brown. I also got this book through NetGalley so I have to thank them for being great too. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Scandalous Viscount

I'm going to say this right now and up front: I was a historical romance virgin and this book popped that cherry.

My Scandalous Viscount - Gaelen Foley

Meet the courageous men of the Inferno Club as they face their greatest challenge yet: marriage! Sebastian, Viscount Beauchamp, lives by a code of honor, and now honor dictates he must marry Miss Carissa Portland. He has no regrets over stealing a kiss from the adorable little busybody-a fitting punishment for putting her delectable nose where it didn’t belong. But now, caught in a compromising situation, he knows he must make her his bride. He’s faced danger before-but nothing like this! Carissa is not a gossip-she’s a “lady of information.” And all she was trying to do was warn the rakehell Beauchamp away from an irate husband. But even she can’t flaunt Society, and while her head tells her that Beau’s a notorious scoundrel, her heart-and her body-are captivated by his dangerous charm. But when Carissa next goes snooping, the secrets she uncovers about the Inferno Club may prove even more hazardous than falling in love with her own husband.

I now understand why historical romance is equally loved and hated. Of the people I know who are fans of romance novel most of them fall under historical romance or contemporary romance, both of which are very different. Historical romance is all very old fashioned (obviously) and the women often don't have a choice on who they marry but learn to love the man and happy every after. In contemporary romance, you have women holding out for their dream man and lordy here he comes with all of his issues and she saves the day and steals his heart and happy ever after. 

I'm more of a contemporary/slut-it-up kind of gal but you know I'll try anything once. Usually. 

Which is why I totally signed up for this tour. It was everything you think of when you think back to the romance novel book clubs our moms or grandma's were signed up for and you see these books come in the mail and it's the damsel in distress and maybe if you were lucky you'd see a bad word you shouldn't be reading. (Stop laughing because you know I'm not the only one guilty of this.) 

I wanted to hate this book. I really did. I'll be upfront with this. I went in thinking I was going to hate it and would barely be able to finish it. But then I started reading and discovered I really liked Beau and dammit... I got hooked. I finished that book in an afternoon and totally loved it. So much so that I'm ordering the other ones in the series because now I want to know what happens with the other men featured in the book. 

Carissa really is everything I hate in women. She thinks she knows it all, she has very little insight, and she's a gossip. She doesn't think about her actions or the consequences which make her a nuisance. Then you have Beau, completely embroiled in a political scandal and then he's dealing with Carissa, who he had to marry because she heard too much. 

Overall this book wasn't a quick read and at some points I was annoyed with Carissa enough to want to give up. But I stuck with it because I wanted to figure out what the scandal was all about and then see if Beau and Carissa would end up happy. And you know what else? As I was reading it, it felt very Sherlock Holmes to me. Not the books per say, but the movies. As I was reading this, I'm picturing a Sherlock Holmes cast of characters and not going to lie, that probably sealed the deal for me because it made it more fun to picture it in my head as I was reading. 

Please check out Gaelen's website HERE and her Facebook page HERE

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Ghost of a Second Chance

Man oh man, do I have a ton of book reviews I'm typing up over the next few days. Bear with me and I'll post my regular hilarity in between, mmkay?

A Ghost of a Second Chance- Kristy Tate
Cover for 'A Ghost of a Second Chance'
An eastern wind carries more than dust and ashes; it uproots secrets and everyone knows that once one secret is told, no secret is safe. Laine’s haunting secrets--the estrangement from her husband—the unknown body laying in her grandfather’s coffin—the sudden and strange appearance of a difficult ghost—take her to the tiny town of Rose Arbor, her grandfather’s hometown and the place of her grandmother’s death.

As Laine unravels the mystery of her grandparents’ marriage she is forced to face one more question of the heart—Can love live even after it has died?

This book is described as romance/suspense and it was true to its word. Honestly I found it hard to get into because Laine is... well she's difficult. I have such a problem with women who are all stubborn and turn their back on logic and love because of their own issues and insecurities which is exactly what Laine does. 

It starts off with her grandfather's funeral, the subsequent discovery that his body is missing, visitations from her grandmother ghost that only Laine sees, and the dealings with her marriage which may or may not be going to hell in a hand basket. Once I got past my initial problems with Laine, and then me starting to really like her ghost (even though she's frustrating even to me with her half answers and child like attitude), and then me rooting for her husband. Because not going to lie, I called it. I really felt bad for her husband and I was annoyed that Laine couldn't see what was really going on. But it's often the case, isn't it? Lots of couples hit rough spots and instead of really working on it together and both listening to each other, one person makes assumptions and that's really what signals the end, right? Well I can't tell you how it turns out for Laine and her husband, but I can tell you the ending of the book brought full closure. 

Except I would have loved a better showdown of wife versus secretary. I'm just sayin. 

So it's a fast read, it's not a heavy novel with lots of thought required, and overall I enjoyed it. And if you end up reading the books I review, email me and let me know what your thoughts were- I always like comparing my 98 cents to someone else's. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

TA DA! Awesomeness and a contest for YOU.

Today is probably the most fun day ever, mostly because I got to pick up my very brand new car. Like, super new. Like, I am it's first owner and it's GLORIOUS.

But can I just say that I have only one sad let down and it's all because Matt was once again wrong and doesn't know everything he thinks he does. Why? Because when he told me I'd have the fancy ambient lighting? He was wrong. I have no ambient lighting.

It was probably good that he wasn't with me when I discovered that little tidbit AFTER the paperwork and financing went through.

Anyways. Let's talk about the vehicle. It's a 2013 Ford Escape SE. It rides amazing and when you are doing 75 mph in a 25 mph zone? You don't even notice it until other drivers give you the "way to be unsafe in a residential, asshole" face.

 But it's got this snazzy "infortainment" screen and it has Sync. Which, once I got it set up it's kind of creepy. To have bluetooth without having a headset (which I would never use because those people look like assholes who want to look important), is kind of like that show Knight Rider. Remember that? Where David Hasselhoff was talking to the car named Kit? That's basically what it feels like. Except the first time it rang, I will admit to panicking and hanging up on the person because I didn't know what to do.
 I also can get Sirius radio (which, LOVE) and it tells me the song/artist. Which, most of you have in your vehicles but I have not and this is exciting so just shut up and ooh with me.
 But here's what it looks like. It's much shinier now because they washed/waxed it for me this morning. These pictures were taken on Saturday.

 Oh and I have to figure out how to work this screen. Because I don't know what it did but while driving, it started scanning the vehicle and then loudly proclaimed that nothing was wrong. So yeah. Weird.
But here's where you come in: this bitch needs a name. Clearly, it's a girl vehicle. I mean, obviously. But it needs a name so I can talk about it like it's a real person and not a vehicle. So if you want to win a box full of random crazy from me, you need to leave a comment (with your email address, obviously) with a name suggestion. Matt and I will decide which one is the best and I'll send you a box full of random, completely crazy, and pretty awesome stuff. I'll keep this open all week and next Monday we'll decide who the winner is.

But until then, I'll be driving around. Did I mention that it has a really great audio system? And like, volume on 11 is like volume on 30 in most cars? I might be deaf by the end of the week! I do have to get used to having blind spots again and having to use mirrors versus actually turning my head and that's very strange. But, it's not nearly as long as my van so I can back up and not worry about taking out 3 cars in the process. Oh AND it tells me how many miles until my gas runs out. Which isn't a big deal if you drive in town all of the time, but I do a LOT of road trips so this is kind of great.

OK. Enough bragging. Give me your name ideas.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


You know how I like to do book reviews but pull in a little of my own life experience, right? Well here's a doozy.

Virgins - Caryl Rivers

For the seniors at Immaculate Heart High, hormones jousted with the quest for the State of Grace, and the hormones usually won.  The Map of Forbidden Sexual Delights extended its boundaries nightly in the back seats of tail-finned cars. But the girls of Virgins also wanted more. Who could they grow up to be in a word where women were supposed to be seen, but not heard?  They were rebels with a cause, before their time. But growing up anytime is hard—finding, and losing first loves, discovering who you will be as a grownup. It’s a universal experience, one that readers of all ages can relate to. As the Atlanta Constitution says, it is “A novel that is fun, funny, bittersweet and always touching… because Rivers writes with such clarity of purpose and spontaneity, anyone at all can enjoy Virgins.” And they can laugh and cry as they read. Critics called it “brilliantly comic” (London Times)  “Riotously funny” (Library Journal) and showing “sharp comic form” (New York Times Book Review) As the Chicago Tribune says, the book “Rings with authenticity—and also from a great store of wit and wisdom. Few other writers are as funny as she, and none funnier. Yet she is capable of wrenching your heart and soul.” The kids of Virgins—Peg, Sean, Con, Davy—will stay with you long after you close the book on their hijinks and heartbreak. One Amazon reader says “I read this book when I was 17. I’m now 40 and this book still makes me laugh until tears are running down my face.  It’s a once in a lifetime read about coming of age that every older teen should read.” And another said, “If my life had a bibliography, this book would be on it. I love it. I read it first as a teenager, and revisit it regularly when I need a pick-me-up. It is one of the funniest, most touching, most wonderful books that I have ever discovered.” Virgins is a timeless classic tale of growing up, one that readers can discover and re-discover all over again.
OK. So let's talk about how I lost my virginity because I'd like to think most everyone's first time is kind of awkward and horrible. At least, just lie to me and say that's true. 
It was a Saturday in October, I had been dating the boy for a few months and we had been engaged for a few of them. No, I'm not joking. I was also 17 and stupidly fell for the "we're engaged so we may as well" argument. Ah... young love. 
It was his parent's house, he was a few years older than me, and we thought we were alone. Nine Inch Nails "The Great Below" was playing, a candle was lit, it was all supposed to woo me when really, I was so nervous I almost threw up. I also fell for the "he's a virgin too" line and when I look back at it now I think I must have been a true idiot at age 17. I mean, an absolute idiot. It lasted all of a solid minute because his brother started banging on the door like the house was on fire. It was painful, he wasn't exactly graceful, and basically told me to walk it off afterwards. As he's getting his brother to leave, I'm totally getting myself dressed and I really just wanted to go home and die quietly but no. We walked around his neighborhood for awhile and the entire time I wondered what the hype was about. That was totally lame and not worth it at all. Thankfully, Matt eventually came along and then I totally understood why people become whores- it's awesome. When done correctly. 
But let's talk about the book. It was just kind of meh for me. I really expected it to be hilarious and bring me back to my high school days. Unfortunately, I did not go to a Catholic high school so when I think of hilarity and hijinks, I think of people grinding dirty at school dances and having sex in parent's garages or on teacher's cars. Which none of which was featured in this book. A Catholic school girls version of scandalous is much different from mine. And not going to lie, the entire time I'm reading this book all I could picture was the movie Grease and I expected people to bust out in song and dance as they shimmy in their poodle skirts. 
I also don't remember anyone being that sex crazed in high school? I mean, I'm sure there were a few- but when I look back at what high school was like for me, most of my friends were kind of scared. None of us were trying to rush into it and then when they heard about my craptastic time, I'm sure their boyfriends were less than impressed to be shot down. 
I struggled to finish the book and when I did? I'm sitting here holding my Nook feeling like I was just really let down. I didn't laugh once during the entire story, I had a hard time relating or even liking most of the characters and I don't think girls in this generation would really get it. Now, if you were older than me, say in your 40's or 50's? It might make more sense to you but it's just very different from what a teenage girl's life is like now. Or even 15 years ago. 
Don't you dare solely rely on my review, definitely check out what others are saying HERE. I posted this review on GoodReads as well and it's a pretty mixed bag over there, but I've seen quite a few who loved the book. So maybe you'll end up loving it and you can tell me I'm a moron and totally wrong. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Laundry room update: DIY gone bad.

Honestly, if this were anyone else's house it would be funny but because it's mine it's just sad and tragic. Yes, we are STILL trying to get this mother fucking laundry room done and every step forward is really seven steps backwards. And lots of swears.

For you newbies out there, please go here to see what the laundry room started out as.

One of the biggest problem with the laundry room, aside from the ghetto sink, is the door. Our laundry room is right off of the kitchen and off of the laundry room is a really hideous, purple, uninsulated back porch. In the winter it gets so cold in there that the actual back door stops functioning. (Matt assures me he is pretty sure he fixed that but time will tell.) In order to save ourselves from hypothermia the door between the laundry room and the back porch needs to be an exterior door. Which, no big deal.

I once again sprung money on Matt during a Home Depot trip and he was again, not impressed. Especially as he's trying to fit an exterior door into my mini van on what had been so far, the coldest day of the fall and it was super windy. It also probably didn't help that both kids were crabby, I had to pee, and we're all telling him to hurry the fuck up, we're hungry.

He's a good sport. He sure is.


You can imagine that he was equally impressed when I told him that YAY, you can install that bitch today. The thing with Matt is that you have to almost be really mean and yell at him to get the project done RIGHT AWAY otherwise it'll sit in the garage and he'll likely burn it in a bonfire and then think maybe it wasn't a good idea. (You laugh, but any one of my friend can tell you about the time he randomly burned our fence. True story.)

So Matt started taking down the old door. Easy peasy. Only to realize that the door? Was never actually installed. And by that, I mean that it was screwed into short pieces of random cut wood, and the wood was just kind of there.

Which completely explains why the door never functioned properly and you sometimes thought the wall was going to come down when you opened the door. Because the wall actually COULD have come down when you opened the door.

Lots of swears started happening and then Matt made his first run of the day back to Menards to obviously get more wood. Apparently, he would have to rebuild the entire wall.

Guess what Matt really hates doing? Building and repairing walls. Only because he hates drywall and sanding and painting and building a wall leads to that.
 So this is door removed. You see above the door how there is literally no support above it so the door doesn't bow over time?
This is the door and frame gone. See? No bracing above the door, nothing to the side, nothing. Matt was not happy.

So lots of swearing, measuring, cutting and bracing the door and making sure it's level, and it's installed.
Of course, the deadbolt set we bought had an issue. We had it keyed to match our other house keys but when Matt started putting it in (at 7:30 p.m.- keep in mind this project started around 1 p.m.) he noticed the screws and the switch plate were gone. So poor Matt had to race to Home Depot before they closed and then all was right in the world.

But the best part is while Matt is bitching about how everything in our house was done so fucking half assed and horrible I came along and reminded him that HE was the one who wanted a fixer upper. HE wanted to make it ours and do all this home improvement stuff so really? He's living his dream right now.

I was almost killed with a power tool at that moment. You see, when Matt's stressed and pissed off he does not appreciate my witty humor. It just makes him more angry but makes me laugh.

So obviously, I win.

But that was like two weeks ago now and I don't think I need to even tell you that the drywall hasn't gone up yet but he assures me he has everything he needs. I also don't think I need to tell you I don't believe him.

The moral of the story folks is that if you don't know how to install a door? Don't do it yourself. Because the next homeowner will wish he had your current address so he could beat the hell out of you.