Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!





Merry Christmas!! I apologize sincerely for being absent for so long…life really happened! November and December always get away from me easily.


But, on this wonderful holiday I wanted to share something with you all that one of my friends posted on Facebook recently. I read this and it brought tears to my eyes and I knew that I needed to post this here for all of you.





T’WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE,

IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE


I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,

AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.


I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,

NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.


NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,

ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.


WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,

A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND.


FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,

I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.


THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE,

CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.


THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,

NOT HOW I PICTURED A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.


WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?

CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?


I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,

OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.


SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,

AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.


THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,

BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.


I COULDN'T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE,

ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.


THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,

I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY.


THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,

"SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;


I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,

MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY! COUNTRY, MY CORPS."


THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,

I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.


I WEPT FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL

AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.


I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,

THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR SO WILLING TO FIGHT.


THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,

WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA, IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."


ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND! AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."



--WRITTEN BY A MARINE


So this holiday as you sit down with your family and those people in your life who are important to you, remember those who have and are serving our country and that they may not be as lucky as we are.








I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Missing Holiday

I was at the grocery store the day after Halloween and it was already CHRISTMAS!!

REALLY??

Now, I love Christmas as much as the next person, but is it just me or did we skip a holiday in there somewhere? Last time I checked my calendar, we still had Thanksgiving?




Now, I am not a fan of turkey, but I love sitting around a table with my family at Thanksgiving and just being part of all of the love and thanks that we can give for so many blessings we have in our lives. I love for my kids to get time with their aunt and uncles. I love watching my husband getting to eat his favorite meal (I am a horrible cook and would NEVER attempt to cook a full turkey dinner). When did all of those things get pushed aside for shopping and Santa Claus?

So, instead of plotting the shopping route for Black Friday that maybe we slow down a little and enjoy the holiday for what it was meant to be...a day to give thanks.

Okay, I'll come of my soap box now and get on with the blog hop. Before I do that, I want to tell you that in honor of Veteran's Day, the ebook of Indivisible is on sale right now for 99 cents! So if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, now is the time to do it!!

Let's BOUNCE!!




Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adventures in Sacramento

Happy Thursday!! I know that I missed last week’s blog post but I have a great excuse…I was on vacation again.

I’ve mentioned before that my kids have a strange school schedule because they are on year round school. They are currently out of school and I thought that it would be fun to jump in the car and drive over 600 miles to visit my sister in-law in Sacramento.

Now, I grew up in Southern California and my kids have been to visit family in that part of the state many times. In fact, they thought that California was all about Los Angeles. But, I also went to college in northern California and wanted them to see the other half of the state.

So, we hopped in the minivan and headed west!

Twelve hours later we arrived at my sister in-law’s cute little cottage in Sacramento (yes, I said twelve hours in a car with two kids!). It was already late evening and after getting lost on the crazy freeways of the city, I was ready for bed. Unfortunately, the kids weren’t! They were excited to see their aunt and uncles (my brother in-law also lives there so it was a “two birds” kind of thing) and so I later fell onto the Aero bed exhausted!

The first day of our vacation, I was lucky enough to meet with a friend for lunch while my sister in-law took the kids to the zoo. I do love a good zoo, and my kids have been to several different ones throughout the country, and they were pretty impressed with Sacramento’s zoo. The one thing I heard the most about? The Giant Anteater! Who knew that it would be so fascinating…to hear them talk about it, I’m disappointed that I missed it.


Our northern adventure took us to my alma mater, Chico State University the next day. I wanted my kids to see what a beautiful campus it was and to have a sense of where their parents went to school. After spending over $100 at the student union on alumni gear, and grabbing lunch at Madison Bear Garden (one of the best burgers around!), all my kids wanted to know was when they could go to Target. I guess my past wasn’t all that interesting to a 7 and 8 year old.

One of the best days we had was on the third day when we went to explore Old Sacramento. We headed down in the morning with my sister in-law and the kids immediately loved the old west feel of the area. It’s set up like a town you would see in a Clint Eastwood movie with the wooden planked walkways and hitching posts. There are a variety of stores to explore with everything from kites to toys to Christmas decorations. We, of course, spent a good amount of time in one of the candy stores and walked out with a bag full of delicious salt water taffy in flavors like red licorice and raspberry lemonade – YUM!

Along with the fun of shopping, there is the Delta King riverboat to explore, as well as five different museums ranging from military museum to a railroad museum. We ran out of time to visit the California State Railroad Museum, unfortunately, because I was later informed by a friend that it is the best railroad museum in the country, and considering that I have one of those sons that knew the name of every engine from Thomas the Train, I think he would have enjoyed it immensely. We were able to get a few pictures on the train cars on display in the old depot. All in all…a really great day for the kids and myself (and I may have been inspired to write a period story set in the old west…)!

Oh, and later that day we went to one of the city parks in Sacramento that was FABULOUS!! There were two different play sets; one for little ones and one for the bigger kids. The bigger kids’ one was interactive and had some great kinetic aspects to it. The park was clean and well kept and we stayed until it got dark and I had to drag them away.

Our final day in Sacramento was spent with my sister in-law and her boyfriend at a local pumpkin patch and corn maze. With my history of getting lost in the myriad of freeways in Sacramento I let the kids lead the way in the corn maze and they did a great job. And what trip to the pumpkin patch would be complete without bringing home yet another pumpkin so we hauled two more pumpkins back across the country with us!

After another full day in the car, we finally made it home and like the best part of a good vacation…crawled into my own bed.

So that’s my excuse as to why I didn’t post last week…

Now on to the BOUNCE!!



Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exciting Events!



Thursday mean Blog Bounce!!

I have a few amazing things that I want to tell you all before I get to the Bounce!

On Friday I found that I got an AMAZING review for Indivisible on Sizzling Hot Book Reviews! There I was, minding my own business with my girlfriends and kids at the local bounce place (You know where they have all the blow up things that kids jump on and try to climb in their socks but slide and get some weird rug burn thing on their cheek – not that that’s ever happened…), when I got a notice on my phone that I had an email. I opened the email and it was a Google alert that Indivisible had been reviewed by Sizzling Hot Book Reviews.

Now, I get all butterflyee (just made that word up – feel free to use it in everyday conversation!) when I see that I have reviews. So, I wasn’t completely sure I wanted to click on that link and check out the review…but I just couldn’t NOT so I did. I’m so glad that I did! They gave me “Three Hearts” and said some wonderful things about the book that I want to print and paste on my office walls as inspiration! My favorite part was this:

Jessica McQuinn skillfully pulls readers into the conflicting emotions of an entire family-the traumatized wife, the far-away husband, the inadequate younger brother, the over-nurturing mother. McQuinn lets readers see their strengths and their vulnerabilities-everything that makes them human. And all the while, she deftly weaves in entertaining interactions so readers get to know and adore the characters' lighter sides, even as the story ventures into dark territory. Indivisible is an unforgettable story of the power of love and the importance of trust.

There were more wonderful things about Indivisible too so you need to go and read the review!

The other really good thing that happened to me this last week was that I had my first signing and reading! We have an independent bookstore here that does a “Local Author Showcase” every quarter, and I was lucky enough to be part of the most recent one.

I have to say that it was a very surreal feeling to be sitting up at the table with three other authors in front of a room full of strangers. However, nerve-racking would be the word for when the time came for me to actually read from Indivisible! I am not an “in front of people” kind of person, so my voice cracked and I made some silly jokes (I’m a bit sarcastic and I don’t know how that went over with the audience?), but I love the excerpt I read and I think that it was a perfect representation of Indivisible. I read the part where Gideon and Charlie are driving to take Gideon to the base before he leaves…so sad and funny and loving…have I mentioned how much I LOVE Gideon??

So if you want to check out a bit of information about the event, you can find it at The King’s English Blog. It was great fun and I met several awesome people and other authors! (And then my girlfriends all went out and had dessert afterwards so that was awesome as well!)

Still working on my reviews of the books I’ve read recently, but life is still happening!


Now onto the bounce!



Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Life Actually Happened!

Okay, I know that I have been slacking...and I have felt horrible about it. But really and truly life just happened all around me and I couldn't catch up! (And now it seems that I am catching a yucky cold which has made me less than excited and just wanting to curl up under the covers today!)

It seems that since the kids started back to school, my life has just been chocka block full! I think it's quite unfair! I mean when the kids go back to school, that's supposed to be my time to write and have a quiet house. BUT - then I work in the kids' classes and work at the bookfair. Plus throw in my contracting work that I do, my regular upkeep of my house, homework, and all the sports and other activities I run my kids to, and book club...and I am ready for a vacation!

I promise to catch up and do my reviews of my Book Club books in the next week (done with Tina Fey's Bossy Pants and reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay so I will have two in the next week!). I had planned on giving you my review of the VERY FUNNY Bossy Pants today, but this cold has me ready for bed...

I did want to remind you all that I will be having a signing and reading as part of the Local Authors Event at King's English in Salt Lake City on Monday October 10 at 7pm! I'm so excited! I hope that anyone in the SLC area will be able to stop by and say hi!

On to the Blog Bounce!



Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blog Bouncing!

Welcome to Thursday!!

I know that I'm a little late today, but life has been happening! It's been one of those weeks when I look around and realize that I'm drowning!!

I've been writing!! So YAY!! Working on my SWAT boys (if you haven't read my story in Omnific's Summer Lovin' Anthology - Heat Wave, there's still time to get it. And all profits go to Save the Tatas!). I think that Gideon might have some competition with Brody. He's quite yummy. I'll have to look for what I see in my head when I write him...hmmmmmm...oh sorry! Drifted off there!

Kiki at Madame D's Boudoir has a new interview up that she did with me! She's doing a giveaway of an ebook, so head over and check it out!! There are some great questions that made me really think.



And just because I love to look at him






Time to BOUNCE!



Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A MUST See!

Happy Thursday!!

I know that I’m supposed to talk to you all about writing, and books. And other than the rare peek into my crazy life, I think that I do a pretty good job staying on task with that?? BUT today I NEEEEEDD to talk about TV.

That’s right, I’m heading into that medium that only serves to distract us from our reading!

I will admit that I am a TV lover. I always have a TV on, using it for the background noise that most people use music for. In reality, however, there are only a few shows that I actually watch religiously. One of those shows started its fourth season on Tuesday night and I’ve watched it three times already.

If you haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy, you need to! It is an amazing piece of television.


The show is about a motorcycle club (read gang) in a small town in northern California called Charming and how they live, work and play. The best part of the show is that it is so hard NOT to like these people even with all the evil that they do.

The main character is Jax Teller, son of one of the founders of the club (bonus here – he’s played by the super yummy Charlie Hunnam) who wants to do good and make what they do legitimate, but doesn’t know how. The one person who can help him or hurt him the most is his high school girlfriend who he’s always loved, Tara. Tara left after high school, knowing the only way to get out of the lifestyle of the club was to get out of Charming. But when she comes back as a doctor, she and Jax pick up where they left off as teenagers.

.Jax’s life is further complicated by his overbearing, bad ass mother, Gemma (played by the amazing Katey Sagal) who has never known another life. She’s married to the club president, Clay who was Jax’s dad’s best friend before he died in a car accident. Between the two of them, they want to save the club, and keep Jax buried deep in the politics of the club.


Add to all of this, guns, gangs, White Supremists, a dirty ATF agent, the IRA..man I can't even describe all of the sub plots!

I could NEVER do justice to the writing and plotting of this show. It is the one show that I have to see every week when it is on. I am crying, laughing, holding my breath, sighing (over naked Jax tush!) all in one episode. Be warned that it is a VERY grown up show, and they pull no punches on language, violence, sex and nudity, but I think that’s what makes it so good.

Seasons One through Three are available on Netflix, and season Four just started, so you have time to catch up if you haven’t seen them. Check FX’s listing for when it is on (I’m on Mountain Time, so I never know when ANYTHING is on!!).

And now onto the Author! Author! Blog Bounce!




Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Help - Adaptation Love?

The book for my book club this past month was The Help by Kathryn Stockett and I was so excited to read it. Not only had I heard great things about the book, but the movie was coming out and I love when I can see a book come to life on the big screen.

First, I absolutely loved the book! I thought that Stockett did a beautiful job of bringing all of the characters to life. I laughed at Minnie, and cried for Aibileen. I wanted to scream and yell at Hilly, and to shake Elizabeth.

I was a little wary at first that Stockett changed the point of view from Aibileen to Minnie, to Skeeter, but once I got into the book, I found that it didn’t bother me. In fact, I think that the book worked well that way, and I loved being able to be in all the character’s heads.

So, going into the movie, I was very excited. The last adaptation that I had seen was Water for Elephants, and I absolutely loved it (see previous post!) and thought that they did such a great job keeping the movie in line with the book. I had heard good things about this one too.

It was on that girls’ weekend (with a few of my book club girls) that we decided to go see The Help. We got our snacks, made bathroom stops (because we definitely didn’t want to miss a minute), and staked out our seats at the top of the theater. The one thing I forgot was tissue!

I will say that I loved the movie. But not because it did such a great job adapting the book. I loved the movie just as a movie itself. If I hadn’t read the book, I would have come out of the movie still feeling the same way. The acting was spectacular, the story was still compelling and I cried and cried.

Some of the differences that bothered me a little were mainly with a minor character in the book but one that was so much more important in the movie. Elizabeth Leefolt. In the movie Aibileen makes a comment about her having “the depression” after Mae Mobley was born – I didn’t remember that being the case in the book? Now I can appreciate Post-partum depression, but I think this change, for me, made Elizabeth a different character. I think the screenwriters were trying to maybe make her more likable? I don’t know, but for some reason that little detail bothered me.


I honestly didn’t think that I cold dislike someone in the movie more than I disliked Hilly in the book, but I disliked Elizabeth more than Hilly. Hilly made no qualms about what she thought of the colored people in her life. She thought that they were second class citizens and she was willing to take out an “ad” about it in the Junior League Newsletter. But Elizabeth was just weak. She never thought for herself. It made me angry through the whole movie!


I did love Minnie in the movie and she was exactly what I pictured. I loved the interaction and the friendship between her and Aibileen.

I think that it’s a rare occasion that an adaptation is a good movie, but different enough from what I loved from a book, yet I still love them both.

So if you haven’t already. Read The Help, and go see the movie. OH! And don’t forget the tissues, you’ll need them!

One last thing…Omnific is having a sale! Two of our “school” titles are on sale and you can get the ebooks for just 99₵ each! Go pick up Nicki Elson’s Three Daves AND (they’re only 99₵!!) Jess Bowen’s Breaking Point and start the school year right!

AND...guess what!! There's a new blog hop in town!! And I'm all over it!!




What's the Author! Author! Blog Bounce?? Well, it's a fun way for readers to find new authors and for authors to connect with their readers!

Authors, all you have to do is grab the icon, grab the link, make a blog post (don't forget to include the link!), and enter your blog on our list. Easy peasy!

Readers...you have the easy job. Just follow the bounce and visit the authors. Leave a comment and let them know that you were there.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Life Happened and You Get a Giveaway!

Okay so I know that I have been quiet for a few weeks...I apologize for that! But in my defense, life happened in a big way and I've been just trying to play catch up.

SO, first, I went to RomCon in Denver and had a great time talking to readers, bloggers and authors. I also got to meet Kasi Alexander, fellow Omnific author, and author of one of my favorite books, Becoming sage. Kasi and her family were so great and she gave me a beautifully signed copy of her book along with some awesome jewelry that they made. Thanks, Kasi!

Then I had a girls' weekend with some of my closest girlfriends. We spent the weekend laughing and talking and lying in the sun. We also saw The Help (which was our last book club book - and I will be posting the review of both the book and movie soon!).


The day after I got back from my little getaway my kids started back to school! This is the one that gets me the most bogged down because I can't believe that my kids are as big as they are, and I'm not happy about it! My daughter is in third grade now (and you can probably tell by the shoes, thinks that she's 16!) and my baby is in second grade...where did the time go?

And speaking of my baby...he started playing football - like real tackle football - this year and had his first game this past weekend. He made an amazing tackle, and I may have jumped up and yelled, "That's my baby!" I have since been told that I was not supposed to do that, but there is no stopping a proud mom!

I almost forgot the girls and I were lucky enough to get a Meet & Greet with the 100 Monkeys before their concert last week. It was so fun hanging out with all my favorite ladies for a night, but I've quickly discovered, after getting home at 1AM, that I'm too old for that kind of thing!

To top things off, in between all of this crazy somewhere, I got an email from a local bookstore that they wanted me to do their "Local Author Showcase" on October 11! I will definitely be posting more information about this as it gets closer, but if you live in the Salt Lake area, come and see me at The King's English.

This would be where the giveaway mentioned would come in! I will have to read an excerpt from Indivisible at the Showcase. I want your suggestions for what I should read. It is a 5 minute reading (that's a loooong time!)and I live in Utah - so it can't be one of the more racy passages?? I will take suggestions until September 15th and then I will randomly draw a name from all the suggestions and you will receive copies of both Summer Lovin' Anthologies (my story is in the Heat Wave - which I will sign). So leave your suggestions in the comments (just describe the scene for me - you don't have to have word for word or anything...) and I will be so very grateful!!

Promise next post will be my review of The Help (both book and movie!).

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Heart Hurts...


I am sure that everyone has heard about the helicopter that was shot down in Afghanistan over the weekend, and that it was carrying members of SEAL Team 6. This made me so so very sad.

There is nothing that I could write about this that would be more touching than the people that knew these brave men who served and fought for our country and ultimately gave their lives for it.

My heart aches for the families of these men, and I just wanted to let you all read some of the articles that I found where their families talk about them. I will be forever thankful for all that these families have sacrificed...


Family of SEAL Aaron Vaughn : ‘Only in his death can we celebrate who he was in life’
By Sarah Anne Hughes

The family of Aaron Vaughn, a Navy SEAL killed in a deadly helicopter crash Saturday, remembered their son and husband as man who loved country, family and God.

“We’re really sad that our son is gone. But we know that he would have done it all again,” Karen Vaughn, Aaron’s mother, said on NBC’s “Today” show Monday. “He loved every minute of his life.”

Vaughn was one of 30 U.S. service members, including 22 members of SEAL Team 6, and eight Afghans who were killed Saturday when insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan.

“Aaron was an amazing father and I’m proud that I will get to carry on his legacy through his children,” his widow, Kimberly Vaughn, said. The couple welcomed a daughter just two months ago.

His father Billy Vaughn said that his son wanted to become a SEAL from the time he was a child but especially after 9/11. His mother said she “was most proud of Aaron’s humility and his nobility,” as well as his faith.

“Everything he did was secret, and it just feels really strange right now that only in his death can we celebrate who he was in his life,” Karen Vaughn said. “It’s a very difficult concept to understand.”

Information and interviews about the other fallen service members have been collected by the Washington Post’s Checkpoint Washington.

When asked what Vaughn’s children, 2-year-old Reagan and baby Chamberlyn, will remember about their father, Kimberly Vaughn replied, “They will take away his love for Christ. They will take away is strength and his love for this country.”

And in a heartbreaking moment of realization, an emotional Kimberly Vaughn concluded, “And they will know what an amazing man he is — was.”
--Washington Post



Troops killed in helicopter crash praised by grieving loved ones

Some had young children, wives and girlfriends. Others were just starting to make their way in the world.

But the brothers, fathers, sons and uncles who died when a U.S. military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan all had something in common: a love of family and country, according to friends and family members. Here are some of their stories:

'He wanted to go'

Patrick Hamburger planned to propose to his girlfriend, but had a job to do first: a mission in Afghanistan.

The 30-year-old sergeant from Grand Island, Neb., joined the Nebraska National Guard when he was a high school senior, but had never been deployed, his brother Chris Hamburger told the Associated Press on Sunday.

"He wanted to go because his group was getting deployed. He wanted to be there for them," Hamburger said.

Patrick Hamburger was the kind of guy who helped his girlfriend raise her 13-year-old daughter as well as the couple's 2-year-old daughter and planned to propose when he got home, his brother said.

'Loved making people laugh'

If someone was sad, Michael Strange tried to make them smile.
"He loved his friends, his family, his country; he loved making people laugh. He was one of a kind," Strange's brother, Charles Strange III, 22, said Sunday outside the family's Philadelphia home.

Strange, 25, decided to join the military when he was still in high school and had been in the Navy for about six years. He became a SEAL about two years ago, said his mother, Elizabeth Strange.

"He wasn't supposed to die this young. He was supposed to be safe," Strange said.

'The ideal model of a soldier'

If Elizabeth Newlun wanted to have a serious conversation with her son, John Brown, she had to shoot baskets with him.

"I realized that you have to get into other people's comfort zone to get information," said Newlun of Rogers, Ark.

She said her son, an Air Force technical sergeant, decided to join the military after seeing a video of a special tactical unit, she said.

The airman was a paramedic, ready to attend to anyone rescued, his mother said.

"When you think of what the ideal model of a soldier would be, he would be it," said Arkansas state Rep. Jon Woods, who went to high school with Brown.

'Tough warrior, gentle man'

Aaron Carson Vaughn was a man of deep faith, insisting to his family that he didn't fear his job as a Navy SEAL "because he knew where he was going" when he died.

"Aaron was a Christian, and he's with Jesus today," Geneva Vaughn of Union City, Tenn., told the Associated Press.

"He was a tough warrior, but he was a gentle man," she added.

Vaughn said her grandson, 30, a husband and father of two, joined the SEALs straight from boot camp and was a decorated fighter when he was asked to return stateside to be an instructor. But he applied to SEAL Team 6 after two years, earning a spot in 2010.

'Childhood friends'

Robert Reeves and Jonas Kelsall had been childhood friends in Shreveport, La., Kelsall's father, John, told the Times of Shreveport and KLSA-TV.

Both joined the military after graduation, father Jim Reeves told the newspaper.
Reeves, 32, became a SEAL in 1999 and served on SEAL Team 6, and Kelsall, 33, was one of the first members of SEAL Team 7, the fathers said.

Many neighbors in the area decorated their homes in red, white and blue in support of the families.
--Detroit Free Press

Those are just some of the stories, but there were 30 people killed that day. Here is a partial list that I found at iCasualties.org - which if you have't been there to see the list of fatalities and casualites, you really should, the impact is heartwrenching.
Vaughn, Aaron Carson
Strange, Michael
Brown, John
Mills, Matt
Houston, Kevin
Ratzlaff, Tommy
Reeves, Robert James
Kelsall, Jonas
Vickers, Kraig
Hamburger, Patrick
Duncan, Spencer
There are still almost 20 people who have not been identified or their names released, but I plan to keep checking and update when they are. They all deserve our gratitude as do their families. Thank you…

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thank you Al Gore!



I love the internet!! There are so many things in my life that have been made easier because of it. I can work from home and still be here for my kids every day. I was able to help my daughter with a school project because I have a friend in Australia because of the internet. I can figure out when Sons of Anarchy starts up again because of the internet. AND I have made friends that I know I will have forever on the internet.

I was on a sort of vacation…again (the benefit of working from home is that “home” is wherever my laptop is!) for the past few weeks. Every year during the summer I load up my kids and make a trek to my in-laws for a couple of days, and then head to my mom’s to stay with her for about a week. I love this trip because; a) my mom does all the back to school shopping for my kids and b) since my mom still lives where I grew up, I can usually get together with some old friends.

This year, however, I was lucky enough to get together with some great new friends that I’ve made because of the internet. In fact, while I do have some really good “real life” friends (heading out on a girls’ weekend trip with them in a few weeks and I can’t wait!!), I have several women (and a few men) that I’ve met on-line who have become very important to me.

Earlier this year, I was invited to a Facebook group by a friend from high school. There were about twenty or so people in this group, some of whom I knew from school, and others that knew my friend from other parts of his life. The funny thing is that even though I only actually knew about 3 or 4 people, there were several that I found I had a connection with. It was kind of a “Six Degrees of Separation” thing. One woman was married to my best friend from high school’s cousin (who also went to school with us) and another actually hung out with my brother in-law in high school.

The three of us have become really good friends on line over the past seven months. We PM almost daily and share a lot of things among the three of us about things going on in our lives. I’ve come to consider both women as close friends, and was so happy to spend several hours talking and laughing with them while I was “home”.

This was the second time that I’ve been lucky enough to meet up with my new friends, and it’s just one of those situations that felt like we’ve been friends for years.

There’s always that moment right before you meet new people, especially people that you consider friends in a virtual world, that you have a moment of panic right before actually coming face to face with them that maybe they won’t like you in person, or that maybe they aren’t who they portrayed in person. And when you are a writer…the different scenarios that flash through your mind are frightening!

So, when I knocked on the door of another friend that I had met in the Facebook group and had been come pretty good friends with, I was nervous! But, everything was great! We took our kids to a local miniature golf course where they played and we talked. We talked and laughed all morning until of course the whole “ticket spending” thing when our kids started fighting…oh well, just another thing we have in common!

So, I want to thank Al Gore for inventing the internet and allowing me to be a writer and to make some great friends!

I’ll be announcing the winner from Lisa Sanchez’s Author Extravaganza giveaway later this week, and next week I’ll be talking about Rom Con, which I will be attending next weekend! And don’t forget that the Summer Lovin’ Anthologies benefitting Save the Tatas Foundation is still available from Omnific Publishing. There are some REALLY great stories , including my SWAT boys and all the profit goes to such a great cause! If you want to get in on a chance to win signed copies of both anthologies, go follow Omnific's new Blog. Today is a new feature called "Ask an Editor" where you can ask all the questions you've had about the process.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Finally…I’m getting to my review of my latest book club book – Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. And a warning that there will be spoilers (though you know most of what happens from the beginning of the book), so if you don’t want to know maybe just read the book first and then come back and tell me what you thought of it. Because I would definitely recommend it!

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . .
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
(Goodreads)

I enjoyed Lisel’s story - though I will admit that I had difficulties with the subject matter of Hitler run Germany. In fact, the thing that we talked about in relation to this book with my book club girls was the inconceivability that something so horrible could have taken place right in front of people’s eyes. It’s not that I put blame on the German people, I truly believe that most didn’t know what was really happening. The one thing that they knew, which is conveyed so well in Lisel’s story is that if you wanted to live, you towed the party line. For Lisel and her foster family, that meant hanging the flag when they were supposed to, going to the right meetings, and saying all the right things…in public.

Zusak does a brilliant job of building the characters around Lisel that we learn to love them and all of their different ways just as she does. When the Hubermanns take Lisel in, I was truly a little scared for her. Rosa was not what I would call warm and Lisel learned some great new swear words quickly from her new foster mother. Watching Hans and Lisel’s relationship grow into one of a true father and daughter was so touching. In the end, you could feel all of the love that they had for one another with everything that they endured together, even if it wasn’t expressed the way most of us would.

One interesting thing was that Zusak created a bit of a love triangle that was beautiful and impossible and somewhat unknown to all the participants involved until it was too late. The question we all had at the end was…”Did she marry Max?” I think she did. I think that in her own way while she was helping care for him in the basement, she grew to love him and he was very much in love with her even though he knew that it would never be possible for them to be together.

Now, don’t panic just yet…I don’t think that she loved him the way she loved Rudy, but she knew that she would never love anyone like she had loved Rudy. So when Max came back into her life, she had feelings for him and his loving her was enough. (Now, this is all my own supposition as we don’t know really who she married…that’s just how it played out in my own silly writer’s mind!)

One thing that I have to admit; This was a hard book for me to get into. I don’t know if it was because I read it on my Kindle and the formatting at the beginning had me scratching my head or if it was the fact that the first thing you’re confronted with is Death talking about taking souls and the colors he experiences at those moments?

Having Death as a narrator was hard to process at first, but in the end, that was my favorite thing about the book. The idea is that Death is actually reading Lisel’s story that she wrote herself. And as I’ve said, I enjoyed Lisel’s story, but my favorite parts were when Death was telling his own little side views and opinions on things that were happening in Lisel’s story.

Here are two of my favorite parts. These are the two small passages that stuck with me long after I finished the last line of the story.

“***A SMALL BUT NOTE WORTHY NOTE***
I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men.
They are not.
They’re running at me."


Death is talking about war and how the soldiers doing their jobs run out to the enemy, but it’s death that is waiting for them. I think this is so beautifully written and touches me because I do write about men in uniform who sacrifice of themselves.

“As is often the case with humans, when I read about them in the book thief’s words, I pitied them, though not as much as I felt for the ones I scooped up from various camps in that time. The Germans in basements were pitiable, surely, but at least they had a chance. That basement was not a washroom. They were not sent there for a shower. For those people, life was still achievable.”

What an amazing picture Zusak paints with this paragraph! Just from reading it, you can see the German families huddled in the basement as they wait for the signal that they can go back to their homes, thinking how they might die…but for the Jews in the concentration camp down the road it is more of a certainty.

Again, I would recommend this book for the characterization and because the subject itself makes you stop and think how lucky you are to be able to read what you want and that you don’t have to save books from a burning pile to read…

I’m off on yet another vacation for the next couple of weeks, and won’t have internet access so I won’t be updating next week. BUT I am doing a guest blog post on Lisa Sanchez’s Sizzling Summer Author Extravaganza on Wednesday the 20th. I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Indivisible and a little bit of swag including a very pretty notebook and pen! So head over there and help me with my inspiration problem and get in on the chance to win!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Winners and Info and Fun! Oh My!

Okay, so I know that I said I was going to post a review today...but then I realized that I need to do some house cleaning today (and no toilets to clean when I do it here!)

First, I want to congratulate mariexd for winning the Indivisible E-pack from Skyrockets in Flight Blog Hop that ended yesterday! Thank you everyone who followed my blog and who commented. And I hope you like Gideon and Charlie!!

Second, I want to announce another giveaway. Not here, but over at Omnific Publishing's new blog! They are running a contest until August 15th and if you follow them, you will be entered to win ONE OF A KIND singed copies of the Summer Anthologies. Yeah, that's right ALL 13 authors are going to sign the books and that will be the only copy that has all of the author's signatures (unless someone is REALLY industrious and contacts all of them and gets them to sign them?? But trust me, it would take a HUGE effort!) So when you're done here, go follow the Omnific blog and get in on that chance!

Finally, I got some AMAZING news last week about Passion Fish! Book Chick City gave us a 7 out of 10 stars and a "definitely recommend"!! I am sooo excited! One of my favorite parts of the review was this:

And if you're a lover of sizzle in your romance, then Skylar gives you plenty of that!

I LOVED Sky and Gage and the fact that she liked the contrast and thought they sizzled puts a BIG smile on my face. I hope you check out that review.

I PROMISE...The Book Thief review next week. Also, I'm taking part in Lisa Sanchez's Sizzling Author Extravaganza and will be doing a guest post and Indivisible package giveaway over there next week! I'm going to be talking about inspiration in my post for Lisa, but here's some that should inspire most women in soooo many ways! Enjoy!



And now on to the Blog Hop!




Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hundred Follower winner!

YAY!! I made it to 100!! So excited!

I did a random drawing through randomizer.org and the winner was follower #93 Madame D!! Congrats!

She won a signed copy of Indivisible, an Indivisible notebook and pen, keychain and bookmark!

Thank you all for supporting me - I really appreciate all of you!

If you want a chance to win another GREAT prize, head over to Omnific Publishing's new blog and follow them. They are giving away signed copies of their summer anthologies (Summer Breeze and Heat Wave). These are going to be signed by all thirteen authors!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Big Guns on the Fourth!


Happy 4th of July!!!

And guess what...I'm participating in the Skyrocket in Flight Blog Hop, which means - GIVEAWAY!! I'm giving away an ebook copy of Indivisible randomly drawn from anyone who comments on this post. AND as a bonus I have a prize package that I'm giving away (US/Canada only) which includes a beautiful Indivisible notebook and pen along with bookmark, key chain and a signed copy of Indivisible randomly picked from my followers once I reach 100 followers!

Independence Day is kind of the epitome of summer for Americans – beach, ball games, BBQs, and of course, FIREWORKS!! Now, you can add one more thing to that list…Omnific’s Summer Anthologies which are available tomorrow.

Last week I told you all about the two anthologies (sweet and romantic Summer Breeze or hot and steamy Summer Heat) and that all profits are being donated to Save the Tatas Foundation to help fund breast cancer research. I also talked about how breast cancer has directly impacted my own life (Thank you all for the nice words about my grandma!). What I didn’t talk about last week was my own contribution to the books…


We all know how I feel about a man in uniform – nothing sexier for me – and obviously, that is where I’ve found my inspiration, so as you would expect, my story is about men in uniform; a SWAT team. Yeah, hot men who risk their lives everyday keeping us safe…YUM! And you may have also guessed that my story is in the hot and steamy version. Because really if you’ve got sexy protector men, they need to be having some sexy times!

In Big Guns, after a hot day of training, one of LAPD’s SWAT squads tries to cool off at their favorite Santa Monica club. When young, cocky sniper, AJ Moreno, tries to prove his superiority over his team members by snaking in on element leader, Dylan Clark’s girl…he discovers he picked the wrong SWAT team. Leader Brody Flynn finds a renewed zest for life after a year of tragedy when as he and his best friend, Clark, plot to show the young hot shot that experience will trump cockiness every time.

Here’s a little taste -

One man broke from the group. AJ Moreno headed to the bar without argument, his swagger working overtime as he sliced through the pulsing crowd. On his way, he took stock of the female population, trying to decide which of the scantily clad women writhing on the dance floor would be the lucky recipient of his time and efforts tonight. On a normal night, AJ’s dark Latino features and cocky attitude were more than enough for him to have his pick of any woman he wanted, but today he was on a high after his first day as a member of the SWAT Team, and it showed in his even more exaggerated strut.

The whole squad sat down and Sergeant Brody Flynn, the leader of the squad, tipped his chair back as he watched the newbie work the bar. A smile played on Brody’s lips. He remembered his first day on the team almost eight years ago, that feeling of indestructibility. A day training with high powered weapons tended to get the blood pumping – everywhere. Flynn, himself, had met his wife after a long day of training. He shook his head to rid his mind of thoughts of Delaney. This wasn’t the place for those thoughts. Later, when he was home, he would allow those memories in.

“Damn, Flynn,” AJ said, placing an ice cold beer in front of his new boss. “You look like someone pissed in your Metamucil this morning. We’re at a bar with a bevy of beauties. Stop acting like the old man that you are. Tell you what, big guy, you can have one of my cast offs. That should put a smile on your face.”

“Fuck you, Newbie. You might not want to go popping off when your life is in my hands on a daily basis.” A slow smile slid across Flynn’s lips and AJ wasn’t sure if he was joking or not, but he didn’t concern himself too much with it. He knew Flynn was probably on his way out, considering the guy had to be close to thirty-five already, if not past it.


This little story is a peek into my new book that I’m working on right now about Brody Flynn and his SWAT squad. I’m working on Brody and Delaney’s story right now where we find out what Brody doesn’t want to think about…dun, dun, dun.

AND next week I’ll be doing my review of our latest book club read, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Now go check out all of these GREAT blogs!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

How Are Your Tatas?


How are your tatas??

Yeah, you read that right. Today I’m talking about the tatas!

We all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, right? So what if you could spend the summer reading some great short stories from really wonderful authors AND you could help fund breast cancer research come October?

Well, here’s your chance. I am so proud to be a part of a great fund raising effort by Omnfic Publishing this summer that will benefit Save the Tatas Foundation. Omnific has put together two separate anthologies that will be released on July 5th and for sale through the summer. The best part is that ALL the proceeds from the sales of these two books will be donated to Save the Tatas Foundation in October.


Breast cancer is one of those things that when you hear about it, very few people can’t tell you about someone they know or knew that has dealt with it in some way. I thought that I would share a few stories about how my life has been touched by this disease and how important it is for us to find a way to fight it.

I first became aware of breast cancer as a little girl when my grandmother, who I adored and we had lived with for several years when my parents divorced, was hospitalized. Apparently she had found a lump in her breast and within weeks they discovered that the cancer was so advanced, had metastasized and was ravaging her body. I was six years old, and only knew that my mom was crying all the time and going to the hospital to visit my grandma every night. My grandma passed away not long after being hospitalized. Even though I was young, I was very attached to her, and missed her terribly, but didn’t understand really what breast cancer was.

As I grew up, I started to understand more about breast cancer, and the importance of checking for lumps. When you have a history of the disease in your family, all the precautions are in the forefront of your mind. Every year when I would go for that dreaded exam, I would hold my breath during the breast exam…waiting for the doctor to tell me that he found something that I missed. Then it happened last October (of all months, right?). I had been putting off getting my first mammogram (I was 41 with a history in my family so I should have had at least one already). Bad move on my part. My heart nearly sank when I was told that they found something on my mammogram and I would have to have another one for clarification. Panic flooded me. What would I do if I had breast cancer? What about my kids? Of course the next appointment that I could get was almost a week later.

I spent a week silently worrying about my future, my kids’ future, how my husband would be able to manage (I do a lot around here!). I only told one of my friends about it, and tried not to let my husband know really how scared I was, but I was TERRIFIED!

The week finally passed and I went back for my follow up mammogram. Fortunately, what they had seen on the first mammogram was only a cyst and I was given a clean bill of health. But, as I was walking out of the building, I saw a woman who had been in the waiting room with me; her husband had her wrapped in his arms and she was crying…getting good news had never seemed so empty. No matter how lucky I was, there would always be someone else who was going to have to fight this horrible disease.

Finally, I want to tell you about a good friend of mine who I think is one of the bravest women I know. Her name is Stephanie Swartz, and she is smart, and funny, and a FABULOUS photographer (check out her work here) and graphic artist.

I’ve talked about how I love Facebook, and this is just one of the reasons that I do. Recently I was lucky enough to become part of a group on Facebook that put me in touch with several people that I went to high school with. My friend Stephanie was one of those people. What’s really funny is that Stephanie and I knew each other in high school, but didn’t know we knew each other, but have become great friends now. Well, not only did I discover that Stephanie used to run around with my brother in-law in high school, but that she was a breast cancer survivor.

Stephanie had no history of breast cancer in her family so, when she was diagnosed at 36 she was more than surprised. Five years and two mastectomies later, Stephanie is open about her experience, and wants to make sure that women are aware of how this disease can attack anyone. It doesn’t matter that you don’t fall into the “high risk” group – all women are at risk and need to be aware of their bodies.

Oh, and I mentioned that Stephanie was a graphic artist, but I forgot to mention that she designed both of the covers for Omnific’s Summer Lovin’ Anthologies. For Stephanie, as for everyone at Omnific from the authors to the editors to the production team to the marketing team it was so rewarding and important to donate their time and talent for this wonderful cause.

So if your life has been touched by this disease, here is a great way to make a difference while getting to enjoy some wonderful summer romance. You can take your pick from sweet to sultry - or buy both and double the donation and get ALL of the wonderful stories!)

If sweet and romantic love is what you crave this summer, then Summer Breeze is the book for you!

What’s better than lying on the beach with a great story to read? How about lying on the beach with seven great stories to read? Whether you're going to the beach or you just wish you were, Omnific Publishing's Summer Lovin' Anthology is a compilation of romantic short stories that will whisk you away on a sweet escape.
Sweeten up your summer reading and contribute to a great cause at the same time. Omnific Publishing has partnered with the Save the Ta Tas Foundation and all proceeds will be donated to the charitable organization. Read the romance and do your part to Save the Ta Tas!
This collection of sweet summer romances brings together seven of Omnific Publishing’s authors for some “breezy” romantic reading. In just one book, you can find Carol Oates’ Irish mythical storytelling, Jennifer Lane’s sassy swimmer, and Hannah Downing’s second chance at first love. While Nicki Elson spins a beautiful tale of remembered love, Killian McRae employs a modern twist with her technology-based romance, and Sarah Glover tells the story of best friends’ summer discovery. Rounded out with Susan Kaye Quinn’s glimpse into the next chapter of her Life, Liberty and Pursuit gang, this anthology offers something for everyone to get lost in this summer.



If hot and steamy is what you’re looking for to keep things heated up this summer, then Heat Wave is the one for you.

Heat up your summer reading and contribute to a great cause at the same time. Omnific Publishing has partnered with the Save the Ta Tas Foundation and all proceeds will be donated to the charitable organization. Read the romance and do your part to Save the Ta Tas!
In this anthology, you'll find six steamy romance stories by some of your favorite authors for some “heated” reading. Fans of paranormal romance will enjoy Robin DeJarnett’s vampire lovers and Lisa Sanchez’s unexpectedly compatible lovers. While Debra Anastasia transports you to a long ago time for some steamy romance, Jessica McQuinn brings you back to the hot protectors of modern day. BJ Thornton and Kasi Alexander dip into the exotic with their touch of super sexy. There’s something in this collection to get every reader’s temperature rising!



So remember on July 5th to head to Omnific Publishing and purchase your copies of Summer Lovin’ Anthologies. They are only available through September so make sure you get them before they’re gone!

And don’t forget to make your appointment for a mammogram this year!

Next week it's the Fourth of July! And what better time to give you a quick peek at my contribution...it's men in uniform (SWAT) of course!


And now on to the Blog Hop! Make sure to check out everyone's today to see their posts on the Summer Lovin' Anthologies!




Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Monday, June 20, 2011

GIVEAWAY!



YAY! It’s GIVEAWAY time again!!

I noticed last week that I have almost 100 followers and was pretty excited! So I thought that maybe if I do a giveaway of a signed copy of Indivisible and some fun swag maybe I could reach that magic number.

Here’s how it will work – once I hit 100 followers for this blog, I will announce that we have made our goal and within 24 hours of that announcement I will randomly draw three followers. The first name will win the signed copy of Indivisible along with a bookmark, key chain, and notebook. The other two winners will receive ebooks of Indivisible.

Good luck!

Next week is a very special post where I’ll be talking about the summer anthology that I wrote a short story for and why it was so important and special to me to do it.

It's Monday, which means it's time for the Meet an Author Blog Hop!



YAY!! It's time for the wonderful blog hop started by author Lisa Sanchez


Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Who's RIght for Sookie?

As promised, today I will be talking about Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris.




As with all the series I read, I found this one through a friend and read the first four in record time (that’s all my friend sent me) and then ran out and bought the next four immediately. And, as with several of the series that I read, I’m ready for Sookie to find “the one” and things to wrap up.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Dead Reckoning, but I didn’t LOVE it. I had to work a little harder to get through this one than I did the last, and I had to work a little harder to get through that one than I did the one before that. I see a pattern forming here. My best friend read it before me, and the only question that I asked was, “Did Sookie get some?”. Because I wasn’t going to even start it if we went the whole book without her getting some good loving!

The one thing that I really do still love about these books is Sookie herself. I love her voice and herself talk. In this latest book, I loved how she justified her grandmother’s indiscretion with the faery and forgave her for simply because she couldn’t judge her considering her own life. Sookie is really the reason that I keep reading.

It seems that the big question in this series is…who is Sookie going to end up with, and I think that in this book Harris gave us a HUGE glimpse into the answer to that question. Dead Reckoning was FILLED with Sookie thinking just a little too much about Sam and who he was with. Let me just say that I called this two years ago after reading Definitely Dead where she was with Quinn. Here’s the explanation that I have been giving anyone who will listen for the past two years (you can even ask my book girls that I’ve had this theory since waaaaayyy before Dead Reckoning came out and it became so obvious that Sam was going to be Sookie’s “the one”.).

I’ll start at the beginning with Bill. I liked Bill a lot, and kind of feel sorry for him still being in love with Sookie and having to watch her with Eric now. I think Bill was gentle and caring with Sookie and because he had been in a loving marriage before he became a vamp, he had the ability to truly love Sookie. BUT…being a vampire, he will always be at the mercy of those above him, and even though Lorena’s dead…Sookie will NEVER be first for him.

Then there was Alcide. I will admit that I LOVED Alcide…AT FIRST. When he turned out to be such a douche bag, I was really upset. With Alcide I thought he would be good for her; able to protect her from all the supernatural beings she seems to attract AND be able to make her the most important thing in his life. I was wrong! Once again, something else had to come first (in this case the pack when he became pack leader).

Next came my absolute favorite of Sookie’s lovers, Quinn. A tall muscled up bald man who can turn into a tiger?? Holy crap, hold me back!! I hoped beyond hope that this would be Sookie’s perfect match. And once again I was duped! Unlike Alcide, however, I have to actually like him more for the reason that things will never work for him and Sookie – he has to take care of his mother and his sister. So Sookie, as usual has to take a back seat to someone. I was very upset that Quinn didn’t work out.

Now, unlike most of my friends, I’m not an Eric fan. I know, I know…I’m sure that there will be tons of you who moan at that. I mean yes, he is a hot Viking vamp, but he’s also arrogant and uncaring about others – and I dated enough of those in my past that I have absolutely NO attraction to him. And because he is a vampire once again, he will never be able to put Sookie first. His area and his rulers will always come before her.

On a side note, one thing that absolutely drove me crazy in Dead Reckoning is why Sookie didn’t use the cluviel dor to wish that Eric didn’t have to marry the Queen of Oklahoma? It had to be used with love behind it, and since she loves Eric, then keeping him from having to marry someone else should have qualified for that use? I kept waiting for her to figure that out and use it for that reason. My only guess is that it will come into play in the next book?

Okay back to my predictions of who is going to be “the one” for Sookie…

All of these men aren’t ever going to be able to put Sookie at the top of their priority list, and that is what Sookie needs in her life. She has never been the most important to anyone in her life. As a child, her mother was too caught up in the faeness of her father and didn’t really pay much attention to the children. Then even with her grandmother, Sookie was second to Jason. There is a scene in the first book when Sookie and her grandmother are talking and eating lunch when Jason walks in and all attention is on Jason, the conversation that Sookie was having totally forgotten (now maybe it was more that Jason commanded attention, but either way Jason took the priority for their grandmother). Sookie NEEDS to be #1 in someone’s life. AND that’s why I have been saying for several books that she will end up with Sam.


While Sam had to deal with his mother being shot after she exposed herself, she doesn’t consume his entire world and he is free to put Sookie where she needs to be. Sookie would fit into his life and already works in the bar (and in Dead Reckoning even stepped in to do some of that paperwork that Sam hates so much…exactly what a spouse would do??). Sam usually changes into a dog, but he is a true shifter and has the ability to change into anything that he wants so he could protect Sookie. He is perfect for her! And in Dead Reckoning, I believe that Harris is setting us up for that ending. Mark my words…

So, I’ll keep reading because I do love Sookie and am so invested in her that I HAVE to know what happens to her (and of course see if I’m right).



And, on another note, Indivisible just got another 5 star review from The Fictional Bookshelf! Go check it out and if you follow the blog and make a comment you’ll be entered to win an ebook pack of Indivisible!

It's Monday, which means it's time for the Meet an Author Blog Hop!



YAY!! It's time for the wonderful blog hop started by author Lisa Sanchez


Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.