It was slightly less than a year ago that OC decided that he wanted a life unhindered by parents and rules. It is past the one year mark since I cut ties with the majority of my family. I have learned a lot in that time. About me. About my kids. About what is important.
I FINALLY have some movement on my project. Some still isn’t great and still frustrating as one of the people I’ve asked to help got back to me, but I didn’t get what I needed, had some questions and things are back to radio silence. Continue reading “Forward Progress”
Another one from a few years ago. I’d wanted to get a shot of a similar moon last night, but with the new houses behind us, I don’t have the same opening to grab the shot I wanted without also getting a huge section of roof as well. That and I’m sure the neighbors would have thought it strange, me out there with my camera on a tripod aimed in the general direction of their back window. Maybe I need to just not care and take the shots anyway.
Not my best and from several years ago, but I love the clouds.
It has been nearly a month since I asked for help on my latest creative project. The first two people I asked for help, I haven’t heard a single peep from since I asked and they agreed. Two weeks since I asked, nicely, for updates or progress from the third one that agreed to help and was told that they would be getting to it that weekend, which didn’t happen and again, silence. Continue reading “Still Nothing, Still Waiting”
Blurb: Things are slow, and October “Toby” Daye couldn’t be happier about that. The elf-shot cure has been approved, Arden Windermere is settling into her position as Queen in the Mists, and Toby doesn’t have anything demanding her attention except for wedding planning and spending time with her family.
Maybe she should have realized that it was too good to last.
When Toby’s mother, Amandine, appears on her doorstep with a demand for help, refusing her seems like the right thing to do…until Amandine starts taking hostages, and everything changes. Now Toby doesn’t have a choice about whether or not she does as her mother asks. Not with Jazz and Tybalt’s lives hanging in the balance. But who could possibly help her find a pureblood she’s never met, one who’s been missing for over a hundred years?
Enter Simon Torquill, elf-shot enemy turned awakened, uneasy ally. Together, the two of them must try to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the Mists: what happened to Amandine’s oldest daughter, August, who disappeared in 1906.
This is one missing person case Toby can’t afford to get wrong.
Just one more confirmation that Seanan McGuire is still one of my favorites. All of the things that I have loved about this series are still there. The stunning world and how it works, the incredible characters, everything.
I think the one thing that I would complain about, and really it is kind of minor in comparison to all that is good, is that we didn’t get enough of Tybalt in this or really many of Toby’s personal interactions and relationships. She was forced to stand mostly on her own for this one, even when getting help from Simon. I did like that, getting to see that she can stand on her own, but one of the things I love the most are her relationships with those closest to her and those were taken away for this story. It didn’t take anything away from the story at all, just that when you come to love the characters so much, you want to spend as much time as possible with them, but there is only so much page space.
My day started off fine and I got a lot done with a few errands, but it started to fall apart when I went to paint the trellises I’m supposed to be putting between a few of the bushes Hubby and I got planted over the weekend. Two cans of spray paint later and I have one half of one trellis painted with another half and three whole ones left. So, spray paint is out and I’m going to have to go another route.
Between that, the news, and the horrid fumes that are now permeating my entire house even though I have windows open, I just want to be somewhere else for a while. A beach would be nice, though even those aren’t looking so appealing at the moment with the weather off of Florida. For those in the area, be safe.
Instead of a beach, I’m going to go bury my head in a book for a while. Something I wasn’t able to do this weekend because we decided planting 13 trees was a good idea. It is gorgeous, but I’m so sore and tired. I’d hoped to get the trellises done, but that will have to wait for another day. Today, I’m going to find some fresh air that isn’t tainted by paint fumes.
Wow. Never thought I’d have to lay down a rant like this, but apparently it is necessary.
It is incredibly poor taste and beyond annoying to spam other people. There are so many ways to do so, such as liking every single post someone makes (you do not think every single thing posted on a site is good) or spam texting, but for this particular rant, it is about marketing. Books in particular.
Yes, I read books. Lots of books. Yes, I also write the occasional review. At this point in time, not a single review I have written has been done so at the request of anyone. The books I’ve written about are the ones I’ve chosen to pick up and read, either because it was suggested, through a truly reputable source such as Goodreads or Amazon based on other books I’ve bought or read, or because I found it by searching the genres I enjoy.
Would I be opposed if an author requested a review? Depends on the book. Something that isn’t in my genre of interest, I’d politely say “No thanks.” If it looks interesting, I’d probably read it. Something from an author I really enjoy? I’d love it and probably be doing a stupid fan girl dance around the room. But, if any of them requested I review a book, but then said, “Oh, by the way, you have to buy it to read it to be able to review it?” Uh… no. Just frickin’ no. Seriously?
I don’t mean that because I want free stuff. I’m an artist. I understand the amount of work that goes into creating something and then needing to get paid for that work, so I am more than willing to pay for the things I want. Doing so helps to ensure I keep getting those kinds of things because the artist/writer/creator can keep doing what they do because they are getting paid.
To expect someone to do something for you, though, someone you don’t even freakin’ know, someone that you have never written about before (because you are a newbie author and JUST dropped your first book), AND expect them to pay for the privilege of your greatness? Who the hell does that shit? Not only is it just plain rude, but that kind of pushy salesmanship is not going to get me to read your stuff, it is just going to piss me off and insult me. Oh, and going through my archives and liking a few posts isn’t going to encourage me to do so either.
You may get lucky and pull in a few suckers, but you are more likely to just piss people off. I’m sorry, but if you want to be a writer, an author, then you have to put in the work, just like everyone else. You market your book by talking about it, offering up ARCs or free copies to reputable review sites (don’t think I fall into that category since I have like 70 followers here, a chunk of which you have to assume fall into that other spam category of spam followers), networking and creating a solid online presence and working with others to help market in a way that isn’t spamming. No one likes spammers.
Putting out a book and getting readers is a ton of work and it will cost money or resources, but you can’t short cut that work by finding any contact form you can through bloggers that write reviews and demanding they buy and review your book.
If I were a truly nasty person, I’d go and write an incredibly negative review, because this is not a theoretical situation. I actually had someone email me, out of the blue, asking not only for me to review their book, but to purchase it to do so. What is truly funny? The idgit apparently didn’t realize that it is available through Kindle Unlimited for free.
So, no. I will not be buying your book or writing a review. Be grateful for that because there are some truly nasty people in this world. And a word of advice. Stop. Just don’t.
Author: Sinéad Moriarty
Book Name: Never Let You Go*
Genre: Literature, Family
Blurb: Still reeling from her marriage breakdown, Kate’s world falls apart when her twelve-year-old daughter Jessica is diagnosed with cancer.
As her family struggle with the devastating news, Kate’s resilience is put to the test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up and an ex-husband who won’t face up to his responsibilities. And in the middle is a beloved child who is trying to be brave but is getting sicker by the day.
Kate knows she must put her own fear and heartbreak to one side and do right by all of her children, particularly Jessica. But sometimes doing the right thing means making a decision that no mother should ever have to make.
Holy crap! This was an amazing book. Do NOT read unless you want to cry and have a full box of tissues handy. Or maybe two. Seriously.
At the very beginning, I struggled to get into this, but I’m honestly not sure if that was the book or just me as I was feeling incredibly antsy when I started this. It took a bit of getting tossed from one character’s perspective to another without warning before I was able to sink into the flow. But once I was there, I did not want to put it down, even for the needed tissue grabs.
As much as I loved this and am giving it a full rating, I can say that it was so emotional that I don’t think I could handle reading it a second time. It kind of ripped my heart out, probably because my daughter is only about a year older than Jess is in the story. It was way too easy to see my girl in that same place and that isn’t something any mother wants to imagine, so that part was hard.
This has it’s quirky moments and a little fun, but there is just an overwhelming amount of heavy that flows through the entire thing. I loved it, but it was hard to read. I cried from about a third of the way in all the way to the end, giving me the kind of headache you only get after hours of hard crying.
There were things that I liked and didn’t like about all of the characters, but those are all the things that made them so realistic and human. The things that I would like or dislike about any person I would meet in real life. Nick especially. I didn’t like him because he’s a jerk. But… he is supposed to be a jerk. It isn’t a story about perfect people in a perfect world. Far from it. So having these characters that are so imperfect makes this story so much better. They are so well crafted, it was easy to see them come to life.
That said, this is not the kind of book to pick up if you are looking for light and happy. It is heartbreaking. Beautiful, but heartbreaking.
*I read this under the title Never Let You Go, but it was apparently published previously as The Good Mother. Goodreads only has the second one listed.
MC is in science club this year. It will be his first time, but after just absolutely falling in love last year during his pre-AP biology course, he decided he would rather do that than robotics. One of the things they do is have students submit ideas for their club T-shirt. Apparently, since I was the one to do the shirts for his robotics team a few years ago when they went to worlds, he thought I should work on this as well.
Honestly, I was thrilled. MC looks up to Hubby so much. I’m still there for him and we talk, but he just has this amazing, special relationship with his dad. It isn’t often that I get to feel that with him as well. Between this shirt and other comments he made about the things they will be doing in the club this year and wishing I could be there to work on them with him, just kind of melted me.
Part of what made this so much fun is that we really worked on it together. I pulled all kinds of images and ideas from the internet, then we sat down and went through them, setting aside what we liked and discarding the rest. Once we narrowed it down, I started working on the design. When I got to a point where a choice had to be made, we talked about it, tossed around ideas and options and figured out where we wanted it to go. It was kind of awesome.
Since any of the students can submit a design, they gather submissions and then vote on them, so we won’t know if ours is going to be the one yet, but I was pleased with what we came up with.
I don’t know how long they have given everyone to get their ideas submitted or when they will make their decision. However it turns out, this was still a fun project. I am over the moon that MC wanted me to do this for him. Being 15 he is getting less and less likely to want or need his mom for things so I am going to soak up every second that he gives me.
A brief, joking conversation on FB with a long time friend sparked a random, bunny trail of thoughts that have kept circling around in my brain since they got kicked off on that track over a week ago. The more I keep going back to them, mulling them over, even after having talked it out a bit with Hubby, and have them still hanging around, makes me think that there is more that I need to be getting out of these thoughts. Since I haven’t quite gotten the point yet, I thought I’d toss them out here to see if it would quiet them down. Continue reading “Trust and Conditioning”
Blurb: A hungry, stray dog is the last thing Cara Butter needs. Stranded in Georgia with only her backpack and a few dwindling dollars, she already has too much baggage. Like her twin sister, Hana, who has broken Cara’s heart one too many times. After a lifetime of family troubles, and bouncing from one foster home to another, Cara decides to leave it all behind and strike out alone—on foot.
Cara sets off to Florida to see the home of her literary hero, Ernest Hemingway, accompanied only by Hemi, the stray dog who proves to be the perfect travel companion. But the harrowing trip takes unexpected turns as strangers become friends who make her question everything, and Cara finds that as the journey unfolds, so does her life—in ways she could never imagine.
I think I expected a lot more from this than what I got. The story was good, but almost every single important issue was resolved in a way that was pretty anticlimactic and what emotions that surrounded those issues fell apart. The ending felt rushed and a bit too neat and perfect.
I guess I was thinking this was going to be quite a bit heavier emotionally. In reality, while some of the issues brought up are heavy, the emotion that should have added weight to them just wasn’t there for me. Because I was expecting heavy and got something much softer, I was a bit disappointed and that keeps me from rating this higher.
Blurb: A story about three sisters brought together by the death of their cruel and abusive mother.
Alex, the youngest, is a bitter, unforgiving woman who refuses to face the events of her childhood. She hides in a bottle and destroys any chance of happiness that comes her way. Her life is spiralling dangerously out of control but she doesn’t have the strength to stop it.
Catherine, the eldest, has strived to achieve everything her mother said she would not. She has everything she ever wanted but appears to be more like her mother than she thought. One single act brings her carefully constructed world tumbling down around her.
Beth, the middle child, suffered the worst of them all. She has no memory of the cruelty and remained with their mother until she died. But eventually the memories must return.
When they are brought together as strangers, the sisters must embark on a painful journey to the past to discover themselves and each other.
But will all of them make it back safe?
This is NOT a Kim Stone book. And I don’t mean just that it isn’t a part of the series. It is not written the same and feels entirely different than any of those books. If you are a fan of those, then this may end up being a disappointment.
It’s hard not to compare this book to the Kim Stone series because they are written by the same author. I had expected a similar level of writing even though the genres were entirely different, but I didn’t get that.
For me, it just felt like something was missing. Something that added just the right element to create depth or allowed me to connect to the characters a bit better. Considering this should have been an incredibly emotional read with the subject and events in this story, I just didn’t ever really get strongly emotional with this. It felt… flat? Again, like it was missing something.
The characters felt emotionless even though they were expressing emotions in the story. Like that part just didn’t exist and they were going through the motions. Kind of like listening to someone else talk about yet another person and how that person felt about things, discussing those emotions, but not actually connecting with them.
So, even though I really enjoyed the premise of this story, I just didn’t get into it in the way I expected to.
Blurb: When Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn’t resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents’ crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.
This is the fifth and final book in the Cainsville series, so the description above is very vague, to avoid spoilers!
This is a hard one to write a review on without giving anything away. The story did it’s job of wrapping everything up with a solution for pretty much everything.
I’m giving this a full rating because the story is awesome. That said, I kind of felt like I already knew what was going to happen when it was all done. Yes, there were all kinds of directions this could have gone, but it ended how I expected it to, so this just kind of felt like confirming those thoughts. That was just a tiny bit of a let down because I didn’t feel all that surprised in the end.
Then again, I always feel a little let down when I get to the end of a series that I love because I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye to the characters.
Janelle Decker has happy childhood memories of her grandma’s house, and even lived there through high school. Now she’s back with her twelve-year-old son to look after her ailing Nan, and hardly anything seems to have changed, not even the Tierney boys next door.
Gabriel Tierney, local bad boy. The twins, Michael and Andrew. After everything that happened between the four of them, Janelle is shocked that Gabe still lives in St. Mary’s. And he isn’t trying very hard to convince Janelle he’s changed from the moody teenage boy she once knew. If anything, he seems bent on making sure she has no intentions of rekindling their past.
To this day, though there might’ve been a lot of speculation about her relationship with Gabe, nobody else knows she was there in the woods that day…the day a devastating accident tore the Tierney brothers apart and drove Janelle away. But there are things that even Janelle doesn’t know, and as she and Gabe revisit their interrupted romance, she begins to uncover the truth denied to her when she ran away all those years ago.
When you get to the end of a book and you are asking yourself “What exactly just happened?” then something isn’t quite right.
As always, Megan Hart does an incredible job of creating very real, flawed, human characters. They are the best part of the book. I didn’t necessarily like who they were, but not because of the way they were written. Gabe in particular was a jerk, intentionally, but still a jerk.
What I wasn’t a fan of was the fact that you have this dramatic story that should be deeply emotional, and is to an extent, but she chose to go with a level of vagueness on some of the details towards the end when the reader should be getting answers. Sure, you can make assumptions based on what you are given, but you don’t know that those assumptions are right. You do not get any specific or even vague reasons for much of what happens in the book or why the characters interact the way they do. That vagueness shifted me from emotional towards analytical, so it looses much of its impact.
There were a couple of places where events that really should have held some significance towards resolving some of those issues for the reader, points that would have given much clarity, were glossed over and reduced down to barely a mention. I’m talking maybe a sentence or two. It felt like the book had taken all of those chapters to build this drama only to completely fizzle out to almost nothing. It was odd.
I liked the story, I just don’t like how little feeling of wrapping up lose ends or explanation and clarity were given. Normally when I finish a book I have a feeling of completion and satisfaction, even books I don’t like. With this, I just felt left wanting.
Blurb: “When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, asked for a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate.”~ Adam
It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn’t want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he’d taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him?
I’ve been living a lie for 16 long years and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I’ll never be able to turn him away.
“When I was so far down I couldn’t even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me”~ Nox
I didn’t have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn’t save? Am I even worthy of his love?
For the most part, I’ve liked the other books in this series, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into this one. It has been a while so I don’t remember if the other books had editing issues, but there were quite a few throughout this whole book. They were bad enough they kept yanking me from the story. I don’t like to harp on that because no one is perfect, but some of the mistakes in here are the kind that should have easily been caught even with a rough run through kind of edit. Spelling, word tenses, incomplete thoughts, you name it, I found it.
Beyond the editing, I struggled to find these characters believable on their own. It was even harder for me to believe them together. I just didn’t really like them that much and was never able to find an emotional attachment to either of them.
Not being a fan of this one, I don’t think I’m going to be too interested in the next one in this series when it comes out.
My current creative project is sitting on hold at the moment. Not because I don’t want to work on it, but because I’m at a point where I cannot move forward without help. Help that I cannot stand to ask for, but this is something that I am unable to do on my own. Continue reading “On Hold Frustration”
Part of my recent rework here has been an effort to consolidate several of the places that I’ve been attempting to maintain across the internet. That means trying to move lots of images of my various artistic endeavors. For now, I’ve added a few galleries to my menu under Art, but I’m not certain I’m going to keep it like that. Continue reading “Consolidating”
We were on the very southern edge of totality for the eclipse today. It would have been an ideal location, but we ended up with some cloud cover and storms moving in just as we were approaching totality. We still got an incredible experience. Continue reading “Solar Eclipse 2017”
Until I was asked to work on the LOTR/Hobbit cake, I haven’t really done much creatively or artistically for quite some time. I just haven’t had the push or the drive to do so. The rare times I considered working on something, I found a way to talk myself out of it or to convince myself it wasn’t worth the time or the effort. Continue reading “Finding My Creative Groove Again”