Thursday, February 20, 2014

Daven Says (Does?)

Those that spend any amount of time with Daven know that he's basically obsessed with Star Wars. He can take even the biggest adult fan to school on the details concerning the movies. So it shouldn't surprise me that it creeps up out of nowhere in the middle of school. 

During the music portion of their day (in which I play the piano, and Bub refuses to leave my side) they have started working on the beginning letter of everyone's name. They have a banner on a closet door of the alphabet and ask each child up, one at a time to point to "their" letter and say it with the wooden pointer. I'm sitting on the floor with Daven, watching Mrs. Jessica's class take their turn. The kids are generally being very supportive of one another. 

Next up, it's Daven's class. One of the little girls is such a cheerleader, telling each of her peers "good job" as they identify and say their letter. Out of nowhere, Daven starts to slow clap and say, "Good, good. " in his attempt at a deep voice. It took me a moment to realize that he was mimicking Emperor Palpatine when he's egging on Luke to use his anger. 

That's my son - our little Star Wars nerd prodigy. 

Book Review: The Crimson Key

Blurb from Goodreads:

"The truth can be deadly.

Brylee Branson’s best friend and boyfriend have fallen victim to a horrible curse that haunts her home. With the witches who cast it dead she has no choice but to rely on the ghosts inside the Brown house to help her find a cure. But time is not on her side, because Lynley's illness is spreading rapidly.

Confused and scared, seventeen-year-old Brylee must confront a new ghost in the house she has never spoken to before. This spirit is not a Brown relative and makes no promises to help them … unless she can re-unite her with a loved one.

The fate of those she loves now rests on her. Can Brylee put the pieces of this puzzle together in time to save them? Or will the Brown house claim another victim?

The Visitor’s Series continues to scare and entice its readers with this gripping second book."

With the way that book one ended, I absolutely couldn't wait to start reading book 2.  Brylee's world is practically falling apart, and she has to find a way to make it all right.  There's ghosts, and witches, and a nasty curse.  Her best friend and boyfriend are in serious trouble - "it's" going to hit the fan!

How much do I love Christy Sloat's books?  This much!  ::holds out arms wide::  She is a wonderful storyteller, making the paranormal vivid and tension-building.  I was lucky enough to be given an advanced reader copy of the third book, which I am currently devouring. I can't get enough!

If you love YA, and if you dabble in the paranormal, this series is a must-read for you!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Daven Says

Daven has this game that he likes to play where he takes every pillow and stuffed animal that he can find in the room and he covers you with them. He claims it's jail. After you get tired of being covered and surrounded, he will decide that it's his turn in jail. 

This afternoon, he requested that daddy put him in jail. After being surrounded by fluff, Daven begins to shout at Adam, "Hey, let me out of here, you evil wash rag!" 

What?  Did he just say that?  

"Daven, what did you call daddy?"

"I called him an evil wash rag. "

Interesting. Definitely better than potty words. Although I wonder where he came up with such a concept. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Daven Says

"We have to go to a wedding so me and you can dance. "

Heart melting. Sure thing, bubby. It's a date. <3

Friday, February 7, 2014

Blog Tour: An Interview with Stacey Rourke

I was so happy that I was able to interview Stacey.  Or, as I like to call it, "The Rourke Files". 

For those of you who have not started the series but would like to, The Conduit is currently free on Amazon.  Go get it!  I'll wait for you, so go grab it and then come back!

If you read my blog ever, at all, you know my love for this fine lady.  When I saw that she had a tour coming up, I was pumped.  But I have already reviewed the books, so I was hoping to still be able to help out.  Lucky for me, I got the best thing ever - asking Stacey all kinds of crap (I mean well thought out questions that will touch the soul) and she answered!  Here it is, ya'll!
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
Writing has been a part of who I am since elementary school. But it wasn’t until completing my first manuscript that I realized it was a career I wanted to pursue and not just a passion I wanted to keep for myself.

Where did the inspiration for The Gryphon Series first come from?
As the mom of two young girls I wanted to create a female lead that all girls could relate to, one that would show them that a hero lies in each and every one of them. That they all can be the hero of their own story if, in those dire moments, they dig deep and refuse to give up.

Did you know when you were writing The Conduit that the story was going to end up spanning across so many books?
Since book one I’ve had a pretty good idea of the entire story arc, so yes.

Which character do you most identify with in The Gryphon Series?
Probably Rowan, we share a mutual love of rum and sandy beaches.

Any chances that we will see Gram get involved in a love interest in the upcoming novel?
In the novella I’m working on now, different characters from the series take center stage. So, it may be a while until Gram’s can find herself a new hottie. Don’t tell her that though, she’ll be cranky.

Team Caleb or Team Rowan?
I have the right to remain silent—cough, Rowan, cough—I’m sorry what was I saying?

Will the next book in the series be the last?
The next Gryphon Series novella will actually spin us right into a new series, but we can rest assured that Gryphon Series characters may make cameos and for now they’ll be in a good place.

If you had to describe the story arc in one twitter update, limited to 140 characters, what would it be?
A teen girl must find the hero within her—and become the savior mankind needs. (Wow, deep, huh?)

Give an example of a typical day in the life of a writing mom of two.
Drag kids from bed.
Beg children to eat breakfast.
Rush to get them dressed and off to school.
Come home to handle marketing and the less fun business aspects of my job.
If I’m lucky get a workout in.
Get children from school.
Homework time and then dinner.
Pack lunches, clean children, let them chill in front of a movie until bed.
Write and edit until I can’t keep my eyes open.

Did you have any favorite books as a child/adolescent growing up?
Anything and everything written by Christopher Pike!

What made you chose to write in the genre of young adult literature?
The story pretty much demanded that, but I won’t limit myself to that genre. I will go where the stories take me.

What are three of your current favorite authors?
They change all the time! The most recent authors whose books I will completely lost myself in were by Suzanne Collins, Issac Morion, and Veronica Roth.

Do you have a go-to beverage of choice when you are writing?
When it’s warm out, sweet tea. Chilly weather I warm myself with a Chai Latte.

What can you tell us about your new work in progress?
The characters in it are a bit older, more the New Adult age classification. The fantasy elements will still be there, and the humor. In it readers will find recognizable characters portrayed in a whole new light! I’m super excited about it!

If you could be any character on How I Met Your Mother, who would it be and why?
That’s a hard one! I don’t know I’d most like to be, but I do know who I’m most like—Ted. Just like him I occasionally slip into delusions that I’m kind of cool. Then I have a huge dufus moment that reveals the truth.

An online quiz recently said that you were most like Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  Is she your favorite Disney princess, or do you love another?
I agree with the quiz that I’m the most like Belle. But Rapunzel is my favorite princess. I mean, did you see her tower?! I would LOVE to live there! Disney should build one and rent it out for weekends. Just sayin’.

Favorite movie in the Star Wars saga:
Revenge of the Sith

Most craved food:

All-time favorite mommy drink (adult beverage):
Rum, or a pink punk fusion from TGIFridays. They put cotton candy right in it! That’s brilliant!

Favorite children’s story to read to your girls:
Anything that engages them. I love to change it up.

And that's it!  I could have played 100 questions with her, but as you read, this lady has got other stuff to do!  Thank you, Stacey, for answering my questions and indulging a fan a in squee-worthy, fan-girl moment.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the novella, as well as the new book.  Like, I would seriously work out if that meant I would get them faster!  (And momma has a rough time with trying to get in shape.)

Find Stacey's books on:

Barnes and Noble


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Review: The Brown House

I wasn't kidding when I said that The Visitor's series was next on my list. And after participating in the cover reveal for the third book, I was excited to get started. 

Brylee is a California teen who has to move across the country after her father loses his job. They end up in New Jersey, where the creepy house on the book cover becomes their new home. Everyone in town is frightened of the brown house, with talk of people dying in there, and of ghosts. Little did she know, Brylee has the ability to unlock the house's secrets. 

This book had me hooked pretty fast. While the idea of an old, haunted house may seem very first season, American Horror Story, The Brown House is it's own story. But just to warn you: you'll want the second book ready to read because the end of this one is going to have you shaking your fist and cursing. (Or maybe that's just my thing. ) 

After last year, when I discovered both Stacey Rourke and J.B. Lynn, I was wondering if I would find an author this year that I loved as much. Christy Sloat, you're it, lady!  But be warned: I've been known to live fb message authors while reading their books!

Stay tuned for the next review. Grab this book up and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snow and Sled Races

Yesterday afternoon, Bubby got to play put in the snow with his cousins and a few of our neighbors. I'll admit, I hate being out in the winter weather. But it made me smile that everyone was having such a good time. Thankfully we had enough sleds to go around, though the green, round ones were the favorite. I definitely need to grab a few of those before the season ends. 

I just recently finished crocheting this cowl. 

Momo, going down the hill on her back. 

Karlyn, Morgan, Daven, Skyler and Jessie

The girls crashed. More than once. Intentional or accident?

I love the look on Morgan's face here. 

And the look on Daven's face here. 

Getting some help from Deedee. 

After nearly an hour playing outside, you would think that Daven would be freezing. But he insisted on being buried in the snow, like we bury our feet in the sand box.  Just watching Morgan cover him up with snow made me cold!

I love these kids, but I am ready for summer to come back!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fender Bender Blues Blog Tour

Presented by:
clip_image002[4]Book Info-
Title: Fender Bender Blues
Author: Niecey Roy
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedy
Audience: Adult
Formats: eBook / print
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover By: Debbie Taylor
Editor: DJ Hendrickson
Pages: 358
ISBN Print: 978-1-61217-741-0
ISBN Digital: 978-1-61217-742-7
Date Published: January 24, 2013 Amazon
Her life took a wrong turn. He's driven by success. They didn't count on crashing into love...
Rachel Bennett loved her job until the day she finds herself doubting her choices.  Now she's hunting for a new career, but starting over isn't easy.  Her plan is simple—no distractions until she finds her dream job.  She didn't plan on fate throwing her a curveball in the form of a fender bender with a sexy guy in an expensive suit.
Craig Larsen is a wealthy, successful business owner with a plan of his own: survive his current PR nightmare and stay away from his overly determined ex-girlfriend.  His need for control and personal success is turned upside down when he meets Rach, a sassy redhead who can't drive.
Soon they find themselves battling with Rach's grumpy old neighbor, toilet-papering the trees of a high school nemesis, and fighting over the last slice of pizza.  Can two very different people plus one fender bender equal a chance at forever?
Just one little nudge, she thought and leaned closer to go in for the kill. He deserved it. She almost giggled at the thought of dumping him on the floor. She sucked in her cheeks to keep from smiling and edged closer...

 My Review:

What a fun book!  We can all relate to waking up to a bad day - one of those mornings where you haven't hardly started the day and it feels like you should just go back to bed. When Rachel wrecks her car into another, it looks like one of those days. This accident gets fate rolling into action. But of you read the blurb above, you already know that. 
I loved this book, and am a bit sad that I'm finished with it!  I especially enjoyed Rachel's feud with her neighbor. No spoilers, but garden gnomes are involved!  And while this book is intended for mature audiences, it's not so dirty that you need to take a shower afterward!  Fender Bender Blues is good 'ole chick lit (excuse me, Woman's Literature) and is a great way to spend a cold day snowed in. 

Book Links-
"Classic cars, garden gnomes, and steamy romance? My kind of book!"
~Bestselling Author Kate Perry
“Reading Niecey Roy’s Fender Bender Blues is like eating Lays Potato chips. Once you start, you can’t stop! It’s just that good! For a new (non-fattening) addiction, read Niecey Roy!!! ~Robyn Peterman author of HOW HARD CAN IT BE?
"Fender Bender Blues is a rip-roarin' good time from start to finish. Filled with handsome men, crazy friends, and love scenes to rev up your engines, you don't want to miss this one!" ~Amie Louellen, author of Brodie's Bride and Love Potion Me, Baby
“Now what?”
“Nothing.” Rach sniffed.
Craig shifted to eye her warily. “Since when do you answer me with single words?”
“Since I decided I’m not talking to you,” she answered with a shrug, crumpling up the white paper wrapper from her sub.  
Craig leaned his face in close to her neck and enjoyed the startled jerk of her shoulders. Her eyes opened wide in surprise. His breath shifted a few strands of hair at the nape of her neck as he whispered, “Why, because you want me?”
“You’re incorrigible,” she said, breathless, her cheeks flushed.
She’s enjoying this. The thought pleased him. Rach was on her back beside him now, her eyes closed. He glanced around the park to see if anyone was watching. No one was. He could swoop in for a kiss and no one would catch him. No one would care, he told himself. She won’t mind…
“I can feel you staring.”
Craig smiled down at her. “So what.”
She peeked at him with one green eye. “So stop it.”
“And if I don’t?” Maybe she’d tackle him, push him down on the blanket and…
She didn’t. She promptly closed her eye and went back to pretending indifference. “I’ll hit you, that’s what.”
“Not if I do this, you won’t.”
He’d only meant it to be a short kiss, but the pleasure of touching his lips to hers kept him there longer. Her tongue was velvet soft and warm against his and the slow mating of their mouths quickened his heartbeat even as he told himself, It’s no big deal, just a kiss.
She nipped his bottom lip and sent heat sliding through his body. The woman could kiss.
She whispered soft against his lips, “Now why don’t you admit that it’s you who wants me.”
Giveaway -
clip_image015[4]About the Author –
Niecey Roy knew she wanted to be a writer from a very young age, but her moment of enlightenment came after watching the movie You’ve Got Mail. It was then she realized her place in life, and happily parked her butt on writing romance. Her dream was to create sexy vixens, hunky, half-naked heroes, and above all, romance; lots and lots of butterflies in the belly, breathless first kisses and happily-ever-afters.
When she’s not at her day job where she works as a legal assistant, she can be found at home at a cluttered desk, pounding her tired little fingers away on a keyboard with nothing but black pepper flavored sunflower seeds and Visine as her weapons for mass-romance-novel-creation. When her fingers need a break, you’ll find her at a table with friends, drinking a few martinis and showing off a new pair of (sometimes ridiculous) high heels. She’s usually the loudest at the table and most often the one snorting with laughter.  
Niecey is the author of Fender Bender Blues, a contemporary romantic comedy published by The Wild Rose Press. Her new novel to be released November 2013, Another Shot At Love, is the first novel in the What’s Love??? series.
Media Links –

A Little Wine and Some Girl Time

I'm so glad that I was invited to birthday wine tasting with Mandy and her friends. We visited two wineries in Kentucky: Wright Meyer and Brooks Hill. Both are small, quaint and beautiful. Both also cost only $5 to taste, and you get to take a wine glass home. At Wright Meyer, we also got to sample a couple of Kentucky Proud cheeses.  I warned the girls at the beginning that I would be shamelessly taking pictures of each wine. 

Wright Meyer Vineyards and Winery 

We were greeted by one of the owners of the winery and family dog, Henry. He was a large, black, low-key pup who didn't mind me squatting down to his level and scratching behind his ears. The rest of the time we were there, he lounged behind the counter, close to his momma. I wanted to take him home with me. 

Me and the birthday girl :)

Pine Creek Red - a semi dry red wine with tones of rich dark cherries. The taste of cherry helped to disguise the dry-ness. (Can you tell which part came from the wine list and which one came from me?)

Pine Creek Summer - a semi sweet white wine that tastes of fresh tropical fruit and a citrus smooth finish. While I didn't dislike any of the wine, this one was my least favorite. 

Diamond - Sweet wine; a light, crisp and fruity wine. One of the vineyard's signatures and most popular. Similar to a moscato. 

Cherry Cordial - this sweet wine was real treat because this wine hasn't been bottles for sale yet. They are officially debuting this wine next Saturday, right in time for Valentine's Day.  All of us LOVED this one!

Sassy B (Sassy Blush) - this Rosé is the other vineyard favorite and is a light Riesling and raspberry blend. It smelled like strawberry jam. I actually got a bottle of this one. 

Holiday Red Spice - a seasonal sweet red concord with mulling spices, great cold or warm. 

Sweet Blackberry - a dessert wine made with Marion blackberries. Yum. 

I don't have a picture of it, but Mandy let me take a sip of her premium wine sample. It was a Barrel Age Blackberry, which is aged for three and a half years. Oh. My. Word. Delicious. A 47%, Port wine, I'd love to snag one of these $40 bottles. 

Brooks Hill Winery

Brooks Hill Winery is where my cousin, Bobby had his wedding reception, so I knew that I liked the wine here already. 

Bailey's Blush - a semi dry wine. I didn't have any strong feelings for this one.

Lili's Red - a sweet wine named after the winery's dog. 

Kentucky Tradition - a bourbon barrel sweet wine. This one was my favorite from Brooks Hill. I REALLY wanted to get a bottle. 

Black and Blue - a sweet wine combo of blackberry and blueberry. 

Winter White - a dessert white wine. While it was good, the black and blue was sweeter. 

After tasting the two wineries with a stop at Cracker Barrel in between, the birthday girl proclaimed that she wasn't ready to go home yet and wanted dessert. After sitting in traffic for too long, we arrived at The Comfy Cow. I had never been there before. But now I want to go again. Think tastiness of The Pie Kitchen with cute and quirky mixed in. 

I got a slice of ice cream pie - chocolate crust, coffee ice cream, caramel drizzle, and espresso beans. I was completely oblivious to any conversation while eating this. It was like I was in another world. Mmm. 

Thanks for the great afternoon, ladies!