Monday, January 30, 2012


Series Book 1 in the Full Throttle series (Book 2 Getting Sideways is released)
Summary via Goodreads
Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it's landed him at his uncle's trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?

What Cody doesn't expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he's been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he's come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he's ever dared to trust.

My Review:  5/5
My first thought when I finished this book was, "Whoa!  Lisa Nowak can WRITE!"

One might think, from the the cover of this book, that it's about racing.  Although there's racing in it, it's SOOO not about that.  It's about relationships, acceptance and overcoming adversity.  It's told from the point of view of a 15 yr. old troubled kid named Cody.

This story takes place in Oregon in the 80's.  Cody is sent to live with his uncle, who goes by Race, when he gets busted for vandalizing a zoo wall.  His choice is either live with an uncle he hardly knows or go to military school.  Who would choose military school?  No one.

What's Cody's story, why is he troubled?  To say Cody's family life is messed up, would be an understatement.  His mom, Saundra, is so self absorbed that she is completely out of touch with who Cody is and what he needs from her.  She's recently walked out on him and his dad to pursue her dream of becoming a bartender.  But, realistically she checked out of the mother role years ago.   His dad is spineless and has never stood up for him.  Both parents are pretty much useless.  It's easy to see why Cody is lashing out, feeling angry, abandoned and full of resentment.  His belief that ALL adults will eventually let you down, given enough time, is challenged when Race turns out to be the person to teach Cody the true meaning of family.

This book is a good example of why I love to read, the story touched my heart.  The characters were so well written, I became easily invested in them.  I identified with Cody the most, having been an angry teen at one point myself.   I felt like he was teenage me, but with a Y chromosome.  I was touched by his journey to self-control and self worth, love being the catalyst, as in any good story.  It was satisfying to witness his transformation as he was finally accepted for who he was and encouraged to embrace his talents, surrounded by people who genuinely loved him.

But, Cody isn't the only one who is changed by circumstances.  Unconditional love, acceptance and learning that who you were isn't who you always need to be, is the shared lesson.  I enjoyed watching the relationships between Cody, Race and Kasey blossom.  It's a beautiful example of how the distinction between family and friends can often blur.

One of the surprising things to me was how the author describes things in such a way that anyone can enjoy the thrill of what's going on on the race track or learn to appreciate all the work that goes into preparing a car for such a thing.  At the end of this book you might find yourself giving NASCAR a chance next time it's on, if you haven't already.

In case you hadn't guessed, I highly recommend this book, because you don't have to know what's it's like to be an angry teenage boy or know a SINGLE THING about stock car racing to get something out of it, you just need a pulse.

You can purchase RUNNING WIDE OPEN at Smashwords (in any format you need), Amazon and Barnes and Noble for 0.99!  See links below!

Buy links:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review of BUMPED

BUMPED by Megan McCafferty
Series Book 1 in Bumped series (book 2, THUMPED due out April 24)
Summary taken from Goodreads...

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

My Review: 4/5 .
I found the premise of this book interesting.  Living in a future where adults are unable to conceive and so they turn to teenagers.  Teenagers, being, well, teenagers, then view pregnancy as a boost to their popularity status.  They even sport fake baby bumps as accessories to their fashion.  I began the book with an open mind, having read the summary and knowing it was going to be at least mildly offensive to me at some point. Still, I spent a better part of the book slack-jawed and brow furrowed.  The story follows twin sisters who have had entirely different upbringings.  One was raised in a modern society where it's cool to be 16 and pregnant.  She's landed a contract with a couple who will pay for everything, including college. But, this involves getting pregnant by someone they pick out for her, cause they want genetically-specific characteristics in their baby.  The other sister is raised by a religious group that come off as zealots.  Their practices are extreme (e.g. they make women wear veils and be completely covered in public, things like that).  They're at the other end of the spectrum. 

Though I liked this book, there were several things that prevented me from really loving it.  I would've liked  it better were it not for several offenses.  First offense was the lingo.  It was, for lack of a better word, stupid.  They said things like "bumped", "bumptastic" and "breedy bits" constantly.  I realize the author was trying to emphasize the different day and age and with pregnancy being such a popular thing the lingo was part of the setup.  But, it only managed to annoy me.  I spent too much time trying to decipher what the words meant.  Second offense was the portrayal of religious people.  It seemed, in my opinion, that people were either religious fanatics or modern-minded (thinking that teens getting pregnant for profit was an acceptable thing to do). There are 3 characters I would file under both, but that doesn't equate to normal.  I don't think I can go into further detail without spoilers, so I won't.  Third offense, how annoying the characters were.  Exception to offenses 2 and 3 is given to the character of Zen, best friend to one of the twins.  But I think it's only because he didn't fall into the genetically-desired status and was viewed as a reproductive reject.  If he had been a reproductively viable partner would he have been just like the rest of them?   Who knows?

I would've given this book a 3/5 rating, but I threw in the extra rating point because the book made me think.  It trivialized things that are very important to me and I rolled my eyes more than once, but it also gave  me another outlook to consider.  One that I never would've had without reading this book. I don't mind being exposed to a different way of thinking or viewing things, so I welcomed that.  This book was creative and controversial.  I haven't read another book quite like this one and I place value on that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why blog?

In the beginning, that was easy enough to answer.  Because I love books! They've always provided a therapeutic-type service to me in my life.  I will even go as far as likening them to a life preserver in times I felt I was drowning.  In simpler terms, they make me very happy and I wanted to share that with others who feel the same way I do.  That's why I started.  But in only a week's time, I've learned things and met people who have enlightened me and altered my perspective on the world of books.  And thus, my reason for blogging has expanded.

I want to use my blog to help support authors.  A specific type of author, known as the Independent Writer. I've had opportunities to meet some of them since starting this blog and incredible is the first word that comes to mind in trying to describe them.  They've been so friendly and welcoming to me, that I have to admit, it took me by complete surprise.  But, this isn't the reason for my support.

 I can only imagine the time and energy authors spend on their books.  From finding that first word to start their story to the first sale of their book, their work is continuous.  But, let's imagine them as they're still trying to give life to their story.  They've harnessed their creativity, dedicated countless hours writing and rewriting, drafting, polishing, revising, perfecting.  What now?  Once it's done how do they get their book into readers' hands?  Many authors decide to send it to a big publishing company, get an agent, you know,  go the traditional route.  But, going this direction doesn't guarantee that their books will ever seen the light of day, or grace the shelves of a big name bookstore, or that word will spread like wildfire and give their work a real chance at being read and maybe, just maybe, reaching that soul that cherishes it as much as the author themself.  So, what other option is there, for an author who doesn't want to take the gamble?  Self publishing.  Thankfully, we are living in a day and age where control of these things is given to us.  And by us, I mean people who love books, whether you read them or write them.  It means that if I ever decided to write a book, NO ONE can tell me NO.  That's unbelievably liberating, don't you think?  Unfortunately, a lot of people still don't know about this.  I'm trying to do my part to spread the word. 

I'm so grateful to my husband for giving me a Kindle for Mothers Day last year.  Without my Kindle, I would not have been introduced to the many books I've read since then, by Independent Writers - self publishers.  They go by several variations of the name, but they all mean the same thing; Indie authors, Indies, Indie pubs, self pubber, and so on.  These are the authors who have taken upon themselves the responsibility to publish their own books, make them available to the public and to get the word out.  Can you imagine the difficulty of this task?  I've had a teeny, tiny taste of what it's like, trying to get word out about my blog.  As one author put it, in a very nice e-mail to me, "You're sort of in the same boat as an indie author, trying to get the word out."  I couldn't agree more.  Therefore, you will see many reviews of books from Indie authors on my blog.  Of course, I'll review traditionally published ones here as well.  Please don't misunderstand this post and think I've turned my back on them.  I've got a stack of books as long as my arm waiting for me on my nightstand at this very moment.  I'm just expanding my (and hopefully your) reading list.

Bear with me, I'm almost done...

I happened upon this very illuminating and well written post by author Jody Hedlund and I just had to share it.  It's written to her fellow authors, but it's informative to all who love books, want to help spread the word and play a part in recommending the best of them. Read it here

*FYI - You can find me on Twitter under "leavemommyalone", but technical difficulties have prevented me from displaying a button. *face palm*

I ain't as good as I'm gonna get
But I'm better than I used to be
- Tim McGraw 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review of BOUND

BOUND by author C.K. Bryant 
Series  Book 1 in The Crystor series
Summary taken from Goodreads 
YA Paranormal Romance

When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive. BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love

My review:  3/5
The book follows 3 characters, Kira, Lydia and Octavion.  Though Kira is the main character, the story is told from Octavion's point of view as well.  It begins with the a modern day setup; a high school gym with Kira having to pass off on rope climbing.  She's having difficulty accomplishing this while being harassed  by the "popular" clique and being rushed by the teacher.  Thankfully her BFF, Lydia, is there as well, to help with encouragement.  The two friends are tight.  But, not as tight as Kira might think.  Lydia's got a secret.  As Kira inadvertently discovers her secret, their lives become entwined and not under good circumstances.  Due to the life threatening situations they're thrust into and their bond, they make numerous attempts to protect and keep each other safe, but fate has other plans.   

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book, were the easy, fun, very believable exchanges between the best friends.  I'd catch myself smiling while they teased and mocked each other.  I also admired their unwavering loyalty.  It was what I hoped for and expected from their relationship early on.  There wasn't any cattiness or jealousy on their parts.

You  meet Lydia's big brother, Octavion, early on in the story.  He gives new meaning to the term "over protective".  He's pushy, forceful, stubborn and abrasive.  But, you also get to see his softer side.  He can be gentle, caring and moved to tears.  As you delve further into the story you come to understand why that is.  There are good reasons for a lot of his behaviors and reactions, but oftentimes he can't get a good grasp on controlling them.  He has great chemistry with Kira.  There's a powerful attraction and intensity between them.  Their exchanges range from tender to volatile.  They have some pretty great scenes together when they're alone.

I'm not sure I ever really warmed up to Kira, even at the end.  Her behavior felt inconsistent throughout the book.  She starts off weak and helpless, but gradually finds her footing.  As she finds confidence, self-worth and her backbone, it's refreshing, entertaining and exciting.  When she begins to stand up for herself and take charge of  the direction her life will take, you root for her.  But, I felt like I got some whiplash as she flipped back and forth between being brave and being a coward, over and over again.  I don't fault her for being afraid of different characters or situations, it was the behavior she displayed that perturbed me.  One minute she's pointing a weapon at someone and the next she's cowering on the floor like a kitten and can't make eye contact with them.  I have to give her credit for her heroics and bravery, when she showed it.  I owe her that.  She's someone you'd definitely want on your side.

I was delighted with the author's descriptions.  It made BOUND a light, easy flowing read. She would set up a scene, describe a few things, then let the reader's imagination do the rest.  I make mention of this because there are times I'm reading a book and things are going wonderfully, but then the author decides to use 5 paragraphs to describe a drop of dew on a leaf.  At these times, I find that I've stopped paying attention, that I was distracted right out of the story by the sheer amount of description, that although my eyes kept up their side-to-side motion, I quit comprehending what I was reading and checked out.  That was certainly not the case with this book. 

You can find romance, magic, paranormal elements and otherworldly opposition in this book.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Swear

I'm not a big swearer, I left those days back in high school.  I'm proud to say I've expanded my vocabulary, kinda,, yeah.  That's not to say I don't still get the impulse to let one sneak out from between my lips, when the occasion calls for it.  For example, I am making spaghetti for dinner like a good little mommy.  I'm also trying to do several other things at the same time, so that my precious time isn't wasted watching noodles turn from stiff to limp.  *ahem*  I've got the laptop on the counter and I'm trying to catch up on shows that I've missed throughout the week, due to my efforts to further educate myself on blogging.  Did I mention that I started dinner really late?  Yeah, so my kids are kinda starving and I'm JUST gonna have to reconcile with the fact that I'm out of contention for that Mother-of-the-Year award.....again.  So, why was I making dinner so late, you ask?  Take a guess.  Why, YES, I was reading a book!  Oh, it's like we're old friends, you know me so well.  So, back to the other things I was trying to do while making dinner - checking e-mails, Facebook, and dusting the cobwebs off my Twitter account during the Hulu commercials.  Instead of reaching up in my cupboards for my colander (cause that just takes too much time, right?), I decided to drain the hot water out in the sink using a spatula to hold the noodles in as I tipped the pot.  SPLOOSH!  All my noodles fell into the sink and I had to start all over again.....and it's nearly bedtime.  Nice.  Though I feel the situation called for it..... I swear I did not swear.

Although this probably isn't considered "hot off the presses" news, it's still pretty fresh.   It's an exciting time for author Addison Moore and fans of her CELESTRA series.  This is an excerpt from her official release...

"I am so honored and thrilled to announce that 20th CENTURY FOX has optioned FILM RIGHTS to the Celestra Series with the intent of turning it into a TV SERIES!!!!!!

There’s more!
-->Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe award winning, Executive Producer Stephen Gaghan of SYRIANA and TRAFFIC fame is championing the project!!!<--- AMAZING, right?!!!!"
 I will definitely be tuning in for that!
Not familiar with Addison Moore's work?  Allow me to introduce you...
Add caption
ETHEREAL, Book 1 in the Celestra Series synopsis - 
Sixteen-year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her family moves to Paragon Island, to a house rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds. Logan is reluctant to answer Skyla's questions about their gift, but why? Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she?

I read ETHEREAL and I was caught up in Skyla's story.  Her family is very dysfunctional - infuriatingly so.  But, she makes friends quickly to help her through her transition to a new town.  I found her new friends, Gage and Logan, to be really fascinating, I couldn't get enough details about them.  Skyla's dynamic with each boy individually is interesting, but then so is the dynamic between the cousins themselves.  By the end, you receive some answers to the questions that plague Skla, but you're also left with even more questions as some of the mystery surrounding the factions is revealed along with the history of one of the book's haunting characters.  I must include that I've only read books 1 and 2 so far, but I'll definitely be picking up were I left off.

Book 1 is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords for 0.99, while books 2-5 are $2.99.

Check 'em out!!!!

If you're going through Hell,
Keep on going, don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there
- Rodney Atkins

Saturday, January 21, 2012

3 Things

3 Things I love...
  1. Being wrapped in blankets straight out of the dryer.
  2. Books that satisfy my cravings
  3. Mango smoothies
3 Things that make me laugh...
  1. Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (she's so stinkin cute, I almost hate her)
  2. Things my 6 yr. old says ("Daddy, say excuse me when you burp....or I'll give you a spankin'.")
  3. Big Bang Theory
3 Things that scare me...
  1. Clowns/Mascots (if they get too close)
  2. Germs
  3. That commercial with the giant dancing hamsters dressed like rappers
3 Things I hate...
  1. Racism
  2. Liver and onions
  3. Picking up dog poo
3 Male characters, from books, I wish were real...
  1. Jace from the Mortal Instruments Series
  2. Peeta from the Hunger Games Series
  3. Jackson from the Peachville High Demons Series
Speaking of can't get to know him if you don't read BEAUTIFUL DEMONS by Sarra Cannon.  And trust me, you WANT to get to know him.  He's sexy, mysterious, powerful and...oh yeah, a bad boy.  Or is he?

Peachville High Demons series BOOK 1 synopsis...

Harper Madison isn't like other girls. She has extraordinary powers, but her inability to control them has gotten her kicked from so many foster homes she's lost count. Shadowford Home is her last chance, and she hopes Peachville High will be the fresh start she needs. But when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, Harper discovers this small town has a big secret.

This is a favorite of mine.  I couldn't put my Kindle down while reading this book.  This series has everything you could want - demons, hot guy, cheerleaders from hell, hot guy, magic, hot guy, witches and strong likable characters. Harper is a teenage girl who's had enough of  (1) being shuffled from foster home to foster home, (2) not knowing who she really is and why her mother gave her up for adoption, (3) everyone in her new town acting so weird and (4) wondering why she can make bad things happen.  This first book has non-stop action, and is full of intrigue and suspense.  You'll be scrambling to get the sequel as soon as you're done.  Harper's gonna break some rules, get some answers and find out who her REAL friends are!  Book 5 was released just a few days ago, so you're in luck.  You won't have to wait, suffering in silence, like I did for books 3, 4 and 5 to be released.

You can purchase Beautiful Demons at Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes Noble for .99 cents.  If you don't own a Nook or Kindle, you can download this book in any format you need at Smashwords.

"Would you catch a couple thousand fireflies?  And put 'em in a lamp to light my world?" - The Band Perry

Friday, January 20, 2012


I had a cousin mention saladitos recently.  I've not been able to stop thinking about them ever since.  You see, they're kinda hard to get in stores where I live.  Me sad.  But, what CAN'T you buy on the internet these days, right?  Being a Hispanic mujer (woman), I grew up eating them and I love them.  Some of you may be asking, "What the heck is a saladito?"  *Pronounced as SALA-DEE-TOE*  It's a dried, salted plum that is considered, by a couple of cultures, one of them being Mexican, as candy.  You can find this treat sweetened or coated in either lime or chile.  I enjoy mine in the middle of an orange or at the bottom of a Sprite.  WARNING:  Eating saladitos may cause a bitter-beer-face-type contortion to occur.  Don't be alarmed, it passes.

I should probably also tell you that, while I LOVE them, my husband claims "They're the devil!"

Check this out...

BECOME by author Ali Cross, member of the Indelibles
Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

Not sure how long this will last, but you can buy this book on Amazon or Smashwords for .99!


"I love the gap between your teeth..." - Taylor Swift

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How about that blackout?

Wasn't that blackout something else?  What a show of power!  Naturally, millions of people were affected and couldn't help but notice it, except judging from the Facebook comments I read, many didn't know why it was happening in the first place.  In case you were one of them, I hope you take a few minutes out of your day to read why so many are against this piece of legislation.  If you think this doesn't pertain to you, think again.  Find out  how S.O.P.A./PIPPA could how affect the internet if it passes here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Happy Place

Who's a happy camper??  Me, me, me!!

I won BOUND by C.K. Bryant at yesterday's blogger chat with the Indelibles!  *Ms. America wave*  I know, I know...try to act more like an adult, and a little less like a dork.  It's just that I don't typically win things and this new development makes me giddy.  Isn't the cover pretty?

Oh, I'm not done telling you of my good fortune!  Lisa Nowak, author of RUNNING WIDE OPEN, sent me an ecopy of her book too.  Lisa, if you're reading this, I thank you again.

SHATTER ME synopsis: 
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a
poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
Okay, a couple of posts ago I mentioned that I finished SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi.  I really, really liked this book.  It was right up my alley.  I was surprised with myself though, a little taken aback, at how much of a pull I felt towards the villain, Warner.  He's sick.  A psycho so twisted and evil I couldn't see any redemption for him.  He endangers a toddler for amusement at one point and that's where I thought I was done with him.  BUT, with credit to Ms, Mafi's excellent writing, he's also fascinating, exciting, charming, unwavering in his affection and HOT (let's not forget that part).  I have to applaud Ms. Mafi on making the characters feel so real.  I swear they could've jumped off the pages, taken me in their arms or handed me a gun while telling me to run for my life.  I cried at times too, while reading Juliette's view of herself.  How she doesn't feel worthy of anyone's love or affection.  This is where the character of Adam comes in to save the day, in more ways than one.  Except, he didn't quite get my blood boiling like Warner did.  Ugh!  I've never felt so guilty about liking a villain before.   There's even a team of  readers out there calling out "Team Warner!"  They'd like to see HIM get the girl in the end?  *shiver*  The character of Kenji, on the other hand, friend to Adam, brightens my day.  He brings in the laughter and lightens the mood.  He says the things that no one, with any shred of social skills, would say.  And so, anywhere Kenji comes in, laughter follows.  Love him!  If you are a fan of books with dystopian societies mixed with romance, irresistible bad guys, mystery, fast paced chase scenes and supernatural heroines, then this book is for you.   Can't help but love a book that taps into so many emotions.  It's being made into a movie and I'll probably be there opening day.

I want to talk t.v. shows here for a moment.  Is anyone watching The Lying Game?  It's about separated 16 yr old twins who have found each other and are on a quest to find their mother and the reason for their separation.  One sister, Emma, has been raised in the foster care system and has had it really rough.  The other, Sutton, was adopted by a wealthy family who adore her.  Sutton is a completely self-centered, whereas, Emma is kind and considerate.  Since no one knows Sutton has a twin, Emma runs away from her abusive foster mother and assumes Sutton's identity while Sutton goes to California to pursue a lead on their mysterious mother.  I haven't missed a single episode since it's debut and I'm a little lost in regards to the character of Rebecca.  Who is she?  Where did she come from?  And why is she important?  Why is she getting so much airtime?  At first, I thought she was supposed to be Annie Hobbs.  I realize they're two different actresses, but they could've pulled a switcheroo.  It's happened in the past.  I'm not sure this show is going to hold my interest for much longer, if they don't start to mix things up a little more.

Mmmmm...a spoon full of peanut butter gets me to my happy place.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Operation: Chat with the Indelibles

Operation: Chat with the Indelibles authors was a success!

That was such a neat experience for me.  Being a lover of books for as long as I can remember, then actually getting a chance to ask questions ranging from how they begin each writing process to how they determine the price of their books, was fascinating to me.  There were so many authors mixed with bloggers that I could hardly keep up with the stream.  I desperately need a Tylenol now.  It really gave me insight into what I'm getting myself into here.  The relationship between author and blogger can be summed up as mutually beneficial.  And I'm even more determined and excited to give this blog life.

Quite a few of the authors said they started their books with a simple outline, jotting down where they wanted to start their stories and eventually where they would lead to.  I asked how the pricing of their books is decided and they said that they themselves determine how much they want to charge for their books.  One author stated that she priced her book at $4.99 because it took her 10 yrs to write it and 4 months to come up with the cover art.  Sarra Cannon, author of the Peachville High Demons Series, told me that she decided to charge .99 cents for her first book to entice readers and start a following.  I told her that it worked on me!  Beautiful Demons is one of the first books that I read on my Kindle, lured in because of the price.  I'm on a budget, people.  Now, I anxiously await her 5th book scheduled for release January 20 on Kindle or Nook.

The authors wanted to know what readers were looking for in a book.  A lot of the responses were, "A male point of view."  No more cookie cutter books, we want to read stories that haven't been told a million times, every which way.  A lot of chat participants, bloggers and authors alike, came in and out during the conversation, needing to feed their husbands and kids, help with homework, tackle teenagers and put little ones' to bed.  It put a very human face to world of authors.  They didn't shy away from answering ANYTHING.  And they were so grateful to have people take the time to read their books and start conversations and blog about them.  All the authors were giving away at least one ecopy of their upcoming books.  I've yet to receive an ARC or ecopy, but I know where to find them now, other than Goodreads contests (that I never win).

I learned a new acronym tonight.  There were a few flying around, but I didn't catch them all.  ARC is Advanced Release Copy (already knew that one, but in case you didn't) and BEA is Book Expo of America...voila!  I submitted my email address and blog website to win some ebooks.  If I won something, I will let ya know.

One more term I learned tonight is Kindlegraph.  Apparently, a lot of us bloggers didn't know what it was either.  It's a way for an author to electronically sign your ebook.  I'm sure it'll be the next craze.  Sounds great, till you break your Kindle (like I did 2 days after I got it)!

Blog Chat coming up

The Indelibles are hosting a bloggers chat tonight and I've requested an invitation.  I'm just gonna dive right into this puppy head first and see how well I swim with the big fishies.  Baptism by fire, right?   I'm especially excited to hear from Sarra Cannon, author of the Peachville High Demons Series, one of my faves!  I've spoken with her via Goodreads a couple of times and find her so personable, accessible and in touch with her readers.

You know what I really appreciate about an indie author?  Well, several things.  First, how they keep their fingers on the pulse of their readers.  They're not afraid to be in direct contact with them, even the fanatical ones.  Secondly, I can appreciate how Kindle-friendly (my portal of choice) they are.  You're not going to find a lot of their stuff in the libraries, ebooks are the only way to access their work.  Thirdly, I'm always grateful I can get tons of great stories while being budget-conscious.

New Releases for January

Ode to the Indie Author

Independent Authors are a fierce bunch.  I have much respect for them.  Not only do I support them, but I celebrate them too. From the blogs I've read, I've learned that self publishing is not an easy task.   I've just begun following a blog with an arsenal of 25 authors and wish them much inspiration and success.  Follow their brand new blog at

I've had the opportunity to read a handful of these indie authors since receiving my Kindle for Mother's Day in 2011.  Their books can usually be found for free or as low as .99 cents.  The sequels usually go up a dollar or two, and if it's a trilogy, add another couple of bucks.  I just recently purchased SLEEPERS on Kindle for .99 cents.  This is book #1 in The Swarm Trilogy, by author Megg Jensen, who just so happens to be a member of the Indelibles.

On an entirely different note, January is a big month for releases of highly anticipated sequels.  Among those released are, BLOODROSE by Andrea Cremer; third and final installment of the Nightshade Series, JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey; sequel to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, WINGS OF THE WICKED by Courtney Allison Moulton; the second book in her Angelfire trilogy, DREAMING AWAKE by Gwen Hayes; this is the sequel to Falling Under, TRUTH by Julie Karr; second installment to XVI, RIVAL DEMONS by indie author and member of the Indelibles, Sarra Cannon; this is the 5th and final book in the Peachville High Demons Series, HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand; sequel to Unearthly.

Being that I've kept up with all of these authors and their series, I can hardly hold still while I wait to get my hands on these sequels.  So excited!

Needless to say, this month will be big for "Leave Mommy Alone".  I'll spend many an hour trying to update and promote this new baby of mine, review books, other various types of entertainment and trying to squeeze in 'me time' to lose myself in these exciting sequels!

I've started a blog!

Hi!  I'm so excited to begin pouring my thoughts on books, t.v, movies, music and all things entertainment into this blog.  I finally have a forum to regularly discuss all the buzzing that goes on in my head on a daily basis.  My husband will be so thrilled to get a break from this.

I picked the name of my blog from what frequently itches to escape from my mouth at least 5 times a day.  From waking up early, to combing hair, brushing teeth, feeding, dressing, dropping off at school, picking up from school, feeding again, watching any number of Disney movies containing Princesses, laying kids down for naps, cleaning, scrubbing, picking up toys, washing clothes and dishes, wiping tears, kissing owies, reading to kids, helping with homework, driving to piano lessons, spending time with daddy, making dinner and possibly getting a shower, etc., you can see how it would be difficult to make time to feed one's addiction sufficiently.  I didn't even include any adult obligations I fulfill.

I use the word addiction because that's what my husband calls it.  He's very in-tune with my moods.  It's his super power.  He knows when my hands are twitching because I'm in need of a book fix.  He's oh-so-patient with me but, I do push his limits from time to time and I get my redirection pretty often as he tries to set me on the right course again.  Hey.  I'm only human.

Let's discuss my current addiction: books!  I'm currently reading Julie Kagawa's THE IRON KNIGHT.  I'm excited to read this story from Ash's point of view, instead of Meghan's.  He's so distant, cold, brave and fearless.  Yet, so fragile at the same time.  I'm always interested in a male point of view.  Plus, he and Puck make an interesting duo.  Oil and water, people.  Oil. And. Water.  I expect lots of laughs!

The last book I finished was SHATTER ME.  One of the reviews I read on Goodreads described it as a cross between X-men and Hunger Games.  Definitely X-Men, but not so much Hunger Games.  But, I understand where the reviewer was coming from.  It had that dystopian, separated from society, desperate to survive aspect that Hunger Games had.   Delicious!  And I understand that there are plans to make it into a film.  It has what it needs to be a good movie, let's just hope they put what's needed in the budget to get it there.

On New Year's Eve, my wonderful, loving and patient husband, set me loose to appease my movie appetite.  I saw the latest Sherlock Holmes installment and it didn't disappoint.  I was caught off guard a couple of times by the twists and turns, but left the theater with a smile on my face.  That may have had a lot to do with being in the company of one of my best friends, too.  I'm at a certain point where I'll sit down and watch anything Robert Downey Jr. is in.  I mean, come on!  He's fantastic, not to mention easy on the eyes.  Who would've ever thought he and Jude Law could make such a dynamic duo??  A genius, that's who.

Okay, moving on to television.  Currently head over freakin heels in love with the show Switched at Birth.  One episode a week is not enough for me!  If you haven't seen this show, you need to check it out.  It's one of those rare shows that entertains with drama and adolescent awkwardness, but also frees your mind.  The show centers around two girls who were switched in the hospital shortly after their births.  This mistake isn't discovered until just before their 16th birthday.  One of the girls lives with a condition that most of society views as a disability.  But, instead, is viewed by her and her circle of support and eventually the audience, as empowering.  Left deaf from a childhood illness and raised in a low-income neighborhood with a recovering alcoholic mother, the character of Daphne is inspiring.  She hasn't a shred of bitterness about being deaf.  She not only embraces it, but is thankful her life has led her to where she is today.

Music.  I'm completely incapable of doing housework without music playing.  Lately, not a dish has been washed without the assistance of one named...Adele.  When I buy music, I get my money's worth.  I will play a a song, CD, youtube video or whatever, over and over and over again.  She is incredible, amazing, divine, perfection and gifted with the power of healing, in my estimation.  Need I say more?

I'm open to suggestions for music, movies, books, you name it as long as the movie is not rated R, the music doesn't contain obscene language, and the books aren't porn on paper.  This may be off-putting for a lot of people, but I won't change who I am for them.  Life is too short to be subjected to things that bring you down, that go against your ideals...why would I do that to myself on purpose?  I won't ask you to change who you are, so please don't ask me to change who I am.