Monday, August 20, 2012

Risking it All by Jennifer Schmidt

  • Name: Risking it All
  • Author: Jennifer Schmidt
  • ISBN: 9781612131177
  • Genre: Romance
  • Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
  • Publication/Expected Publication: September 13, 2012

Memphis and Kennedy have been best friends since college.  Memphis is the consummate ladies' man, and Kennedy has been in a relationship with Ian Brooks for the past two years.  Brooks has become less and less attentive, so Kennedy agrees to go to Alaska with Memphis - as friends - for work.  Things quickly move out of "friend" territory.

Torn because she never officially broke up with Brooks, Kennedy returns to Vancouver early.  Brooks seems penitent enough after his recent mistakes, but still Kennedy doesn't break up with him.  The remainder of the book details Kennedy's decision between Memphis and Brooks.

I generally appreciate a book that deviates from the tried-and-true romance storyline, and I enjoyed this story for the most part.  The length of time it took for Kennedy to ultimately decide between the two men put me off a bit, but overall the story was very entertaining.

**Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book via Netgalley.**

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane

  • Name: Trouble in Texas
  • Author: Katie Lane
  • ISBN: 9781455515714
  • Genre: Romance
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication/Expected Publication: December 18, 2012

This is the fourth book in the author's "Deep in the Heart of Texas" series.  I have not read the other three, but this book stands on its own.

Elizabeth Murphy is the local librarian who recently inherited the nearby house of ill repute, "Miss Hattie's Henhouse."  Although Lizzie wants to sell, the three "hens" who still live there refuse to leave.  They have their hearts set on reopening the Henhouse.

Branston (Brant) Cates comes to town to attend his brother's wedding (the circumstances of which are probably covered in one of the first three books).  He decides to stop off at the Henhouse, believing it to be abandoned.  There is a legend that his grandfather was killed there, an event which sparked the "Cates Curse."  The three old hens drug him and hold him captive so he won't report them to the police.

Thus begins a series of events almost as unbelievable as it is comical.  Will the hens be able to get Lizzie and Brant together? Will the Henhouse reopen? What really happened to Brant's grandfather?  Almost as entertaining as the story itself are the "Henhouse Rules" included as the start of each chapter.  I would recommend this book to people looking for light summer romance reading.

**Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book via Netgalley.**

Friday, August 17, 2012

More Mood Music...

[Trigger Warning on the video: Violent Imagery, dead/dying animals and humans]

"Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything.

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt.

I wear this crown of shit
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stain of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here.

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way...

Song to fit my mood lately...

"Breathe Me" by Sia

Help, I have done it again 
I have been here many times before 
Hurt myself again today
And, the worst part is there's no one else to blame 

Be my friend 
Hold me, wrap me up 
Unfold me 
I am small 
I'm needy 
Warm me up 
And breathe me 

Ouch I have lost myself again 
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found, 
Yeah I think that I might break 
I've lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Be my friend 
Hold me, wrap me up 
Unfold me 
I am small 
I'm needy 
Warm me up 
And breathe me 

Be my friend 
Hold me, wrap me up 
Unfold me 
I am small 
I'm needy 
Warm me up 
And breathe me  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

When it rains, it pours...

The last month or so has been absolutely...strange.  Let me give you a general breakdown of what happened:

  1. Unemployment claim denied.
  2. Mother-in-law diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently had a mastectomy (diagnosis and surgery within a week of each other).
  3. Sister going into labor about 3 weeks early and giving birth to tiny little daughter who is still in NICU.
  4. On the same day as #3, we were visiting MIL and had to take her to local ER due to a drainage pump issue.
  5. Health insurance cards from husband's new job came in two weeks late, meaning I had to postpone my doctor's appointment until tomorrow (originally had planned to go last week).
  6. Grad school messed up my application (and subsequently fixed it within 2-3 business days).
  7. Financial aid messed up my aid request due to #6 (and then subsequently fixed it within about 12 hours).
  8. During a freak storm, a tree fell ON OUR CAR (still drive-able, just lots of dents and scratches). The apartment complex next door (where the tree fell from) has been giving us the runaround about getting it fixed.

This is why, with the exception of a few book reviews, I have not had many substantive posts lately.  I have been trying to cope with all these events while being low on LOTS of medication (see #5).  Hopefully starting this weekend, I will have more important things to say.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sacrifice of Passion by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

  • Name: Sacrifice of Passion
  • Author: Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
  • ISBN: 9781622669400
  • Genre: Romance
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Publication/Expected Publication: June 15, 2012

[TRIGGER WARNING: Rape, Ritualistic animal cruelty]

There is a lot of drama contained in this relatively short, action-packed book.  Twelve years prior, Delaney and Vic had abruptly split after an unfortunate misunderstanding.  They had agreed to meet and elope - Delaney showed up, but Vic did not.  Believing Vic had found comfort in the arms of another woman, Delaney left and didn't return for twelve years.

Delaney's therapists had encouraged her to revisit her past in order to exorcise her demons.  Her inability to reconcile Vic's no-show along with her rape just hours before their appointed meeting had led to many sleepless nights.  What little sleep she was able to get was plagued by sleepwalking.  Upon her arrival back in her hometown, an old curandera warns her to be careful of the local chupacabra or she will end up dead.

Worried that her sleepwalking may actually mean that SHE is the chupacabra, Delaney seeks help from Vic and they begin to rebuild their relationship.  There are many obstacles along the way - not the least of which is Vic's 11-year-old son by the "other woman" - and readers are left wondering until the end who the chupacabra truly is.

This book is recommended for those readers who like mystery wrapped up in their romance.  At first glance, it may seem there are too many story lines to keep up with, but everything ties up nicely at the end.

**Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book via Netgalley.**

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Long Journey with Fibromyalgia, Part IV

Part I
Part II
Part III

It wasn't until my primary care physician (PCP) referred me to a rheumatologist in early 2011 that I officially received the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

Let me be clear...there is no medical test for Fibromyalgia.  It is largely a clinical diagnosis wherein the patient and doctor(s) have to go through a process of elimination of other possible diseases and disorders.  It is often referred to as a "trash can" diagnosis - meaning, if the symptoms don't fit anything else, doctors will just call it fibromyalgia.

I had all the tender spots commonly associated with Fibromyalgia, so the rheumatologist started me on Lyrica.  Unfortunately, Lyrica gave me severe migraines.  So it was off to Neurontin, which just flat out didn't work.  After those two attempts, the rheumatologist seemed to lose interest in treating me.  Or maybe I was just being stubborn in not wanting to subject myself to more poking and prodding.

But it was at that time that I decided I would rather live with the pain of fibromyalgia than have to deal with more doctors and tests and waiting and expenses...none of which provided answers, by the way.

This break went on for several months until I moved to go back to school.  Stay tuned for Part V.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Klonopin Lunch: A Memoir

  • Name: Klonopin Lunch: A Memoir
  • Author: Jessica Dorfman Jones
  • ISBN: 9780307886972
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication/Expected Publication: July 17, 2012

If you're living in a humdrum marriage and have ever wondered what it would be like to take a walk on the VERY WILD side, this book definitely delivers.  With a husband whose understanding/indifference defies reason most of the time, the author is able to explore the world of Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll with the help of her gritty guitar instructor.

I think I can speak for everyone who reads this book when I say that the author, Jones, could have benefited from some therapy.  Her severe mood swings throughout the book lead the reader to constantly wonder what on earth she was thinking as she began this journey.  She succeeds in alienating most of her "old" friends as well as her husband and is only brought back to her senses by the most extreme of circumstances.

Jones is not a sympathetic character by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, she regularly acknowledges her own "bitchiness" and stresses the saintliness of her long-suffering husband.  This book is captivating in that the reader wonders just how far down the rabbit hole Jones will go before finally pulling herself out.

**Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book via Netgalley.**