books

Because you’re smart, I give you this

You want to know why books like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl are such a hit? Because they’re smart and unexpected. In the literary world, plots tend to get diluted and predictable, and it’s awesome when an author is enlightened and brave enough to break out of formulaic confines and actually surprise readers.

(cough-giveaway ahead-cough) 

Because I consider you to be the savvy sort of reader, I bring you a novel whose author did exactly what I described above. DEAR STEPHANIE by Mandi Castle. (< hit that title to go straight to Amazon and order! Released TODAY!)

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The Secret: Part Deux

The SisterWives

In Your Roots, Secrets Lie

On Monday, I introduced you to the main character of Order of Seven, Devi Bennett, in a way that I hope was both mental and visceral. If you missed it, go here.

Eighteen-year-old Devi Bennett is surrounded by mysteries: her unknown heritage, a recurring dream about an African tribal ceremony, an inexplicable attachment to a certain tree and a psychic ability she’ll never understand—unless she finds her biological parents.

“My older brother, Nodin, remembers more than me.

But I have something he doesn’t. 

I have the dream.”

Things take a shocking turn when she meets Baron, an intense and alluring energy healer.

“My mouth finds the warmth of his skin,

the salted-caramel taste of him an elixir.”

Baron receives prophetic dreams which all seem connected to her.

“Two days ago I didn’t even know this man.

Now his absence is an earthquake.”

Devi…

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Memoirs of a cover reveal

What’s a girl to do when she’s supercrazyintensely busy working on her own book?? Promote other writers, of course! My good friend, Helena, is revealing her cover. VERY EXCITING. *starts chanting: new books new books new books*

MEMOIRS OF A DILETTANTE VOLUME TWO – COVER REVEAL!

COMING SPRING 2015 — official date TBA

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Take a ride on my crazy train

THREE MOST MIND-BLOGGING THINGS ABOUT 2014:

My post about mental illness was Freshly Pressed. Me. Freshly Pressed. That’s INSANEAMAZINGCRAZYBEAUTIFUL. I’m very proud of that post, not only because it spread awareness about mental illness from a unique perspective, but I met (and hopefully helped in some way) so many incredible people who either suffer with mental illness themselves, or have a family member or friend who does. It opened a dialogue I didn’t know I needed.

The Bloggess commented on my post about G-Spot shots. That’s right. I talked vaginas…and THE MUTHERF#$@ING BLOGGESS CAME TO MAH PARTY. I should change my tagline to “Jenny Lawson Was Here” because that’s all you need to know anymore.

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NAPS, ZOMBIES, AND SUNSHINE.

 

I took a bit of a blog hiatus, two weeks to be exact. I made it about eight days before I started blog stalking everyone else, but I’ve been gone from my mine far too long. A special shout-out to Mandi, Don, Lizzi, and Mike V. for making sure I got my butt back to writing. Thanks guys, it’s nice to feel missed and loved.

FIVE MAJOR THINGS I DID DURING MY BLOGVACAY

1. Awesome activities, like naps. A lot of naps. I read a book, finally (Unteachable, by Leah Raeder. It. Was. Amazing) I finally got my own ereader and don’t have to compete with the kids for the iPad, so many more books will follow – yippee! And I spent time with my family – watching movies, throwing footballs, playing board games…all of it. Heavenly.

2. I decided to go off my migraine meds. My memory loss was actually starting to get a little scary. Ten years from now, I want to remember my kids. I’ve been on such a low dose the past few years, I decided to see if I could exist without them now. I’ve been 100% meds-free for nearly a week now. So far so good.

3. Completely change my diet and go VEGAN. I know, it sounds extreme, but for me it’s really not. I used to be vegetarian, back before the kids were born. After my second child, though, I caved under the stress of having to prepare four separate meals (hubs was never vegetarian). The crazy thing is, this was all his idea! HE wanted to go vegan! It’s been over two weeks now. Love. It. Feel. Great.

4. I played a butt-load of Plants vs. Zombies. Why? Because I could, and damn I love that game. I also accidently discovered Candy Crush. I blame Karen of Baking In A Tornado. She’s always talking about it on Facebook. I was searching for a new game for my 6yo on the iPad and came across . Poor kids hasn’t even seen it yet. But I’m kicking butt, so there’s that.

5. Dung out and organize every drawer, closet, and cabinet in the entire house.

**BONUS ROUND**

6. Construct an awards post. WHAT. That’s right. Surprise!

The tantalizingly talented Lanthie Ransom of Life Cherries was sweet enough to give me a Sunshine Award. A few weeks later, another came my way from the wise-beyond-her-years, incredible Gwen of Little Growing Pains. I adore both their blogs and am honored they thought of me for this award! Love ya, ladies! XOXO

The rules: Display the award on your blog. And that concludes the rules I’m going to follow so I’ll just stop there.

I’M GOING ROGUE. IN SEVENS.

Arbitrary Beth Facts that are getting really boring because I’ve already told you all the surprising stuff:

1. My eyes are green.

2. I  love the smell of pipe smoke.

3. I have a mule named Festus.

4. I have a weakness for Junior Mints.

5. Hockey is my favorite sport.

6. I don’t have a middle name. I have an initial – D. I used to think of names that started with D to say were actually my middle, other than my brother’s suggestion: douche. The D is in honor of my grandmother’s name, Doris. I guess I’m glad my middle name isn’t Doris. BUT STILL.

7. When I was in third grade, I got in trouble for bringing one of my dad’s Playboy magazines to school. I had told my buddies, Stan and Freddy, that I found the magazines in my parent’s closet. They didn’t believe me, so I proved it to them. The takeaway: don’t ever accuse me of lying. I will go to enormous lengths to validate myself.

My Questions:

1. If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself one thing, what would it be? Exactly 10 years ago I was pregnant with my first child. I would tell myself: The sonogram was wrong, it’s not a girl! Don’t buy all that girlie stuff!

2. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? That’s a tough one. I really love Marzipan by Ben & Jerry’s. I also love Birthday Cake flavor ice cream. Who thought of that? Geniuses, that’s who.

3. Gwen asked: If you were to take me on a date, where would we go and why? Gwen, I would take you to France in my private jet. You seem like a really smart, savvy, fun girl and I think we would have a blast going to the Louvre and then chowing down on some pasta and acting all French at a sidewalk café. Maybe the Tour de France would be going on at that time and we could cheer them on wearing funny outfits and we’d be on TV. Then we’d go shopping and I’d buy you new shoes and an amazing purse.

4. Above all else, what are you afraid of? Being a disappointment

5. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Try out for a movie role that costars Meryl Streep, who plays my mother, and Jennifer Lawrence who plays my sister. It would be a drama about a woman (me) torn between two lovers. My love interests are played by Charlie Hunnam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It would be rated R due to the explicit sex scenes.

6. What has been your favorite age to be and why? So far my forties have been amazing and far better than any other age. I just like where I am in life. I’m a very lucky girl.

7. Coffee or tea? COFFEE!

BLOG NOMINATION TIME!

This is the Sunshine Award so I’m nominating bloggers who bring sunshine into my life with their fabulous writing. If you haven’t already been to their blogs, DEFINITELY check them out! I have so many I could choose from since my blogroll is longer than any human could possibly keep up with, so I limited it to ones I haven’t given an award to before.

Nominees: do with this what you want. No obligations. If you choose to do an awards post, answer the questions I had to answer, and give 7 facts about yourself. Then nominate any amount of bloggers you choose up to eleven. (I broke that rule, but I’m doing this for two awards so screw it.)

1. Cellulitelooksbettertan

2.  Considerings

4. InionNMathair

5. UniversalMusings

6. TheMomCafe

7. donofalltrades

8. Babygatesdown

9. TheRegularGuyNYC

10. CurvyRoads

11. MyInnerChick

12. IAMTHEMILK

15. amycakeandthedude

16. Samaraspeaks (I realize you just received one, but I could NOT leave you off this list!)

17. confessionsofapartimeworkingmom

Congrats everybody! You deserve it!

blog award- sunshine photo: Erin from PhillipsFam sunshineblogaward.png

What are YOU reading?

It amazes me how I can spend half an hour pouring over book jackets, paying special attention to editorial reviews and five-star ratings….blah, blah, blah….only to finally narrow down what I think is THE book, read it, and end up disappointed. Not horribly disappointed; just not WOWED.

I WANT TO BE WOWED.

Don’t we all? I want to have what I heard my friend refer to as a book hangover when I’m done reading it. I want to miss the characters…bad. I want to be bummed as hell it’s over.

It occurred to me that almost every single book I’ve ever LOVED was a referral. I don’t think I ever just picked up a book at random that ended up being on my “I freaking love this book” list. I guess I just SUCK IT at picking out awesomeness. (friends and husbands excluded)

-SO-

What are YOU reading right now? Please comment and share with me…