Sunday, September 27, 2015

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To

Okay, not crying at all.

Today is another birthday and one year and one month since I moved to Hawaii. It was a hell of a hard adjustment but now we're settled and mostly awesome.

My job is excellent and that took a lot of the grief out. Especially since it's close by so I'm not spending as much in gas, it's challenging so I enjoy it and it pays well. They also pay me under the table to be their cleaner so I can put in 4 - 5 extra hours weekly and get some much needed money.

I'm writing again after a year of not writing. Not a romance, and possibly not even going to be a very successful book. But it's making me happy and closer to who I am than anything I've written before.

A year ago (the day after my birthday) I woke up and saw an email from AztecLady that congratulated me on my good review from Dear Author. One of the best days of my life. A year later and  DA isn't on my blog list anymore and my admiration of Jane Litte slipped. Sad, that.

My SIL's hair is falling out. I was wearing black pants yesterday and she shook her head over my leg and I had to change my pants cause I was covered in short, white hair. Thank goodness she has a pretty shaped head. (She's going to get it buzz cut today and Mollie is going to get a new short cut too. Big changes in hair-do's.)

It's been a hard year but a good one. Lots of family changes but I think mostly healthy now. Cutting the negativity out in many ways. Feeling positive and thanks to my BFF (I love you Carolyn!) and my brother, my room is going to undergo some changes to it's ultimate haven-dom.

Hard year. Not always a good year. I'm thankful for the people here and those who remain. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Living With Chemo

God, when I think of how easy I thought my SIL's cancer/chemo was going to be, I'd like to slap myself. I've discovered hell and it's chemo.

Myrna started chemo only a week ago. The first couple of days after, she was fine. A little achey but doing okay. And then the shit got into her system. Really in. Nasty, all the way, in.

My vibrant SIL aged 15 years overnight. She grew paler, frailer. Her mouth is sore and bleeding, her bowels are either stopped up or exploding. She's clammy and cold but running a fever.

She can barely walk from one room to the next, it takes effort just to talk.

I believe in her strength, I believe that if anyone can come out on the other side, it's Myrna. At least, that's what I believed a week ago. Today I feel like we've already lost a huge piece of her. I know she'll come back: it's 12 weeks and then treatment is over.

But it's like living with the shadow of someone you love.

Chemo is hell on earth. Just is.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

#IsWring #IsNotReading

Carolyn and I had a brief chat today and I told her that I haven't been reading at all. I have a Kindle full of books but no interest in starting a single one.

But when I have the time, I'm writing.

I'm working 6 days a week now and time is limited. I have Sundays off all day but with SIL in chemo hell, that means laundry and housecleaning for a family of 5. Not a lot of down time.

I wish there was a book that could sweep me away but nothing is very engrossing right now.

What's the next Harry Potter?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Making the Hardest of Choices

Tonight I'm telling my daughter that I don't want her hanging out with the girls she's been friends with for the last year. I've made that decision because they're bad friends. And I can't abide seeing the hurt on Mollie's face again when she finds out she was left out of another activity because those 14 year old bitches chose not to include her.


I don't expect Mollie to really understand why I'm putting my foot down as I am. But my hope is that in later years she'll remember this and understand. And I hope she'll make the choice for herself that I'm making for her tonight.

Friends are people who make you feel good. If the people you hang with make you feel less then they aren't friends. And you deserve better. She deserves better. I deserve better.

When Mollie is included in things with friends she's lighter in being. She belongs. She's accepted. And when she hears they went shopping and fast-fooding without her and there's no excuse or reason that she was left out... well, let's just say that I'm crying very angry tears right now.

I get where she's at. The text brigade with my SIL and sister and other SIL and brother is still going strong and I'm still on the outside. And it hurts but I've come to terms with it. My sister is Oregon and her partner are not my family any longer. We might be related but we're not family. Because family should be the people who make you feel like you've come home. They aren't the people who leave you standing out in the cold.

Friends matter. They're the people who keep your heart from being broken in this world. They shore you up and act as buttresses against storms. They're there when the sun is out and when the storm is lashing.

I need Mollie to learn that we can't take whatever dregs someone decides to give us. We deserve so much better. And if the people we're connected to don't think we deserve it, then they don't deserve us.

I fucking hate this right now. And I hope to hell I'm making the right choice.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Only A Kiss by Mary Balogh

Have a blurb (from the author's website):

This is Book 6 of the Survivors' Club series—after The Proposal (Hugo's story), The Arrangement (Vincent's), The Escape (Ben's), Only Enchanting (Flavian's), and Only a Promise (Ralph's). This is Imogen Hayes, Lady Barclay's story—and Percy Hayes, Earl of Hardford's. And I must say here that this book is one of my personal favorites, and Percy is definitely one of my best heroes!
Percy unexpectedly inherited his title and fortune from a distant relative two years before the start of the book, but he has never been to his estate in Cornwall, which he assumes is a heap of a semi-ruin in the wilds of the West Country. Now, however, in the dreary depths of February, he is turning thirty, is colossally bored with his life, and decides on a whim while inebriated at his birthday celebrations with friends that he will take a run down there and look about him until the spring Season swings into action in London. He does not know until he gets there that there is indeed a house, that it is in good repair, and that it is occupied by the elderly sister of his predecessor; her equally elderly companion; Lady Barclay, the young widow of the man who would have inherited the title had he not died in captivity in Portugal during the Napoleonic Wars; and a whole houseful of unappealing strays, of both the human and the animal variety.

Imogen, who was in Portugal with her husband and present when he died, has indelible memories of that time. She spent three years after her return to England at Penderris Hall, which the Duke of Stanbrook had opened as a hospital for seriously wounded officers. Now she lives a secluded life in the dower house on one corner of the estate, but at present she had been forced to move to the main house while the roof of her own is being replaced. She is less than impressed when the new earl turns up behaving like God's gift to womanhood, too handsome for his own good, oozing charm when it suits him to do so, but ill-mannered and irritable and downright rude when it does not. Percy for his part is irritated by his beautiful distant cousin-in-law, who seems to him to be made entirely of marble.

Soon Imogen's quiet life of self-imposed mourning is turned upside down by the constant interference of that man in her life and by the inexplicable and quite unwelcome attraction she feels toward him. And soon Percy, who has spent thirty years deliberately avoiding all that is troublesome and dark and potentially upsetting, is drawn quite against his will into wanting to understand what troubles Lady Barclay, though he suspects that he really does not want to know. He also finds himself wondering if someone is trying to drive him from his bedchamber at the front of the house, overlooking the sea, and even perhaps right out of his home and Cornwall. His curiosity begins to lead him to uncovering dark secrets involving the past and the present, secrets that may or may not involve smuggling and violence and even murder.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all six books of The Survivor's Club. There is no one, absolutely no one, who can write emotions like Mary Balogh. I love character driven stories and she delivers every single time.

The books in this series tell stories of healing. All these men, and the single woman, have been horribly maimed, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. And Imogen Hayes is a broken woman, more or less taped back together by her time at Penderris Hall, but still not ready, after three years, to live a whole and reasonably content life. The reader is with her as she agonizes over her past, her present and her future. I admit I had tears in my eyes, something I rarely do.

I loved Percy. His character growth was very satisfying to watch and, as I do with most of "my" heroes, I fell a little in love with him. At times he reminded me a bit of Freddy Standen, in Georgette Heyer's Cotillion.

This is just an all round good book, with a mature, slow burn romance, and some mystery and murder which ties into the loss of Imogen's husband. I am not usually heroine-centric, but this heroine tugged at my heart strings; I felt sorry for her and I admired her courage. Her turn around at the end of the book was perhaps a little quick, but it's difficult to say how long these things should take and it had been four years since her husband's death. It was just time, I think.

I do recommend this book and all of the Survivor books. The first one, The Arrangement, belongs to Vincent, who is blind and in danger of being smothered by his womenfolk. Oh, and there's to be a seventh and final book about George, Duke of Stanbrook, who lost his son to the war and his wife to suicide. I wsa hoping he'd get a book, so I'm very happy!

Only a Kiss at Amazon

Saturday, September 5, 2015

LOLing While I Read

Oh Carolyn, why do you do this to me?

So Kristen Ashley's latest/newest book is out Hold On and it's the last in her Burg series (also the last in the series) and so I have nothing to say about it cause I'm barely into it but the thing is, I just realized...

the people in the Berg don't speak English. None of them do. They have their own language called Tough Tongue.

Tough Tongue (copyright pending) is what white people whose greatest tragedy is breaking a nail would sound like if they were trying to sound super tough but not ghetto.

An example of speaking in tough tongue (copyright pending):

So I was at the mall at that hopped up new store Shizzle and eyeing a leopard print throw but thought I was done with that shit, I mean I got shot of the tiger skin and I'm face-timing with another cat. I know the kind of woman I am, I got my shell and my cage and my hard hearted but angel kissed self on display because who I am is what I am and I know it, deep inside where these things matter and I'll never be shot of the past but I got a clean and shining future for some other bitch, not me, even though he fed me his cock fifteen times last night but that doesn't change my super complicated life. Yeah. I got the leopard throw and it's fucking awesome.

So I'm not far at all in the book but I had to stop reading Because I was laughing too much.

Kristen Ashley sucks at dialogue.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lea's 5 Books

I have been asked for my own Top 5 and quite frankly, would have preferred top 100 lol. Seriously though, I’ve always been a reader and although thanks to other pastimes it’s dropped a smidge and I don’t read as much, I’ve still always got a book on the go. With nowt on tele but crap, I’m craving the need to read more. Funnily enough I have bookcases full and can never find anything...

I won’t do Outlander as that is my current read and Carolyn’s already done it (great taste lady!). I also won’t do To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye as they are usually a given with most people. Game of Thrones is out because although I am loving it, I haven’t finished them yet and well, it’s too obvious lol. I had to think long and hard about my choices but here they are. Like Carolyn, they might change tomorrow or next week but these are at least the books I’m happy to read again and again. In no particular order...

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

I absolutely loved the DaVinci Code but this book surpassed that in so many ways. In essence I felt it could have (should have/maybe did?) been released first as it didn’t feel like a sequel where as DaVinci did. Anyway, as a person not religious or all up in the Catholic Dogma, I was fully sucked into the theories and conspiracies behind the new electing of a Pope, the Illuminati and their vendetta against the church and of course the linking of famous historical figures to what was essentially the Freemasons. Finding hidden meanings in even the most innocent of looking items is a big appeal. Loved it!!

Roots by Alex Haley

It’s been forever since I read this and I can’t remember a lot (it’s been more than 20 years y├íll lol) but it still sits with me. At one point I literally started to cry on a bus full of people because the part I was reading upset me that much. The anger it makes me feel about how one person can treat another, based purely on the color of their skin is still palpable and sadly some 150+ years later nothing has changed. If anything I would like to think that it at least taught me to be more tolerant and to take people for who they are, and not what they look like on the outside.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

I loved this and not just because I’m the perfect height to be a Hobbit lol. I read this long before Peter Jackson got a hold of it and Lord of the Rings and was instantly wrapped up in the adventure. The mixing of different races, all fighting for a common goal and half the time fighting each other had some truly fun moments. Knowing that even the smallest of us can still triumph was another big part of it. There’s hope for us all, if you can dream big and then go for that dream.

 **As a side note I would have added LOTR too but I only got about a third of the way through and didn’t actually finish. I will though so technically it can be my 3.a in the top 5 :D

Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews

Yes, I know... But back when I was in high school these were the ant’s pants. You literally had to put your name on the list to get them because they were always booked out. Of course when a friend bought one you just shared that instead. Aside from the sleeping with your sibling thing, I liked that the kids eventually got out (most of them) and managed to live a life, as twisted as it all became. Even as fiction seeing that money doesn’t always give you happiness is a good message to take from it. Oh, and powdered donuts really are bad for you...
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Another book I started after seeing the first episode of the mini-series. I truly did love this and its sequel World without End, even more than the shows. The books delved so much deeper into why certain characters were the way they were or what motivated them to do certain things and gave me a better understanding; even to go as far as sometimes feeling sympathy for the bad guys, although it was short lived because they acted like dicks anew. Again it was religious based but that didn’t take anything away for me. I was more interested in the weaving of characters and their stories, cheering for my favourites and hissing and hating at the others. Any story that can do that for a reader surely has to be a must go to, right?