Give Me a *#%$ing Break

Open Book BH 2

This week on the blog hop, we’re talking about swearing!

I work in the medical field, so I rarely swear in public. Having so much contact with patients has really influenced my speech patterns, and I find myself talking quietly and calmly most of the time even in my daily life. I only swear in the privacy of my own home or in the car, and it’s usually when I’m really angry or worked up about something.

My husband and my mother-in-law, however, are quite loud and boisterous. When we go out to eat you can hear them in the next room while the server has to ask me to repeat my order more than once. In addition to being loud, my husband also has the mouth of a sailor. Have you ever seen the movie A Christmas Story? The way Ralphie describes his dad’s swearing is pretty much how I see my daughter describing my husband when she gets to be a tween.

There is some occasional swearing in the music I listen to, and since I try not to swear much it sends a little thrill through me as if I’m listening to something illicit. When I’m singing along I don’t skip over anything and I feel like I’m getting away with something. Since most of my music is pretty clean, I don’t feel strange listening to it at work when I’m away from patients and my playlists are safe for listening with kids. Some of the stuff my coworkers listen to, as I discovered on our ride to the holiday party, would sound more like R2-D2 had a verse with everything that had to be beeped out.

I feel like in books, swearing should only be done in extreme situations or if it suits the character. For example, a serial killer or train robber might curse more than a countess or sheriff, but even the sheriff might call someone a son of a bitch when he gets thrown off his guard! One of my favorite series is Harry Potter, and when Molly Weasley says her one big swear at the end of book 7 it gives it a power that it might not have had if we just heard it every few pages, both because it comes from sweet Mrs. Weasley and because we’d never heard its like in the book before.

Swearing has its place, I think, but for me personally I keep it a little more clean. I promise not to judge you if you do curse a lot, though. Mostly.

Want to share your opinion? Join the Blog Hop!

Blue HonorBefore you do, however, you should check out K. Williams’ book Blue Honor, which tracks four families who must make great sacrifices during the American Civil War. As a writer of historical fiction, this book is high on my to-read list and it should be on yours as well! Check it out here on Amazon!

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4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use ‪#‎OpenBook‬ when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Book Review: Protector (Flawed Series #3)

Protector

When Jade was kidnapped by a man with supernatural night vision, he kept referring to her as Kelsey. Worried what he might do if he found her, Jade combs the papers for any mention of where she might be, much to the displeasure of Logan, who only wants to keep her safe. But the kidnapper and his accomplice, who had been foiled in Outsider by Jade’s friends, are hot on Kelsey’s trail and it’s only a matter of time before they catch up with her and imprison her for good.

I was incredibly lucky to get an Advance Reading Copy of this book from Becca J. Campbell after reviewing her two previous books. I’ve blown through the entire series in record time because they are seriously so good.

This book focused less on the characters that had already been introduced and more on the villains and their prey, Kelsey. We don’t see the Schuyler family at all and are mostly focused on Jade and Logan, but the majority of the book deals with Kelsey’s problems at her job and the breakthroughs she makes with her art therapy students.

I felt like this book moved a little more slowly than the others, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Apart from the villains, whose segments seemed to pass quickly, there is so much focused on Kelsey that it almost seems like the book is in a different series. If it wasn’t for Ethan and Nicodemus to tie it in, it could be a different book altogether. That’s not to say it’s bad; I loved reading about Kelsey’s students and her attempts to pull off a fundraiser, but it didn’t have the same feel.

Just as in the other books, the action sped up once Ethan got his hands on Kelsey. Coincidentally, that’s also when Jade and Logan were pulled back into the story in a big way. The climax was seriously exciting and Jade’s newly discovered use of her flaw took it to a whole other level.

My only gripe, and it’s a tiny one, is that there was a subplot with Logan’s long-lost father that felt a little tacked-on. I would have loved to explore it a little more but with everything else going on I’m not sure where it would have gone. I was also a little uncertain about a bit with Violet, Logan’s ex, while he was on the way to help Jade but the epilogue picked up where it left off and promises a fourth book in the series. I am seriously excited about this!

I have one more book in my to-read pile, then I’m going to buy Pulled and Constricted, two short stories from the Flawed universe. I can’t get enough of these characters and their special flaws.

Protector goes on sale in January and I highly recommend you pick it up along with Empath and Outsider in the series.

Unfinished WIPs, Part One

I’m still hard at work on edits of Detective’s Brother, so I haven’t gotten much crocheting done lately. Hopefully I’ll have time this weekend to start my coworker’s baby gift! She said her shower would be sometime in January but she didn’t specify. Pressure!

Anyhow, here are a couple of unfinished things I have laying around in my closet.

Pastel Baby Squares

These are a bunch of pastel granny squares that I intended to turn into a blanket at one time. The problem was that once I got finished making them all I was super disinterested in finishing the blanket. This is where the yarn I’m making the second baby sweater out of came from, in case you couldn’t tell.

Handwritten Pattern

Here’s the oh-so-professional pattern I scribbled down on an old work schedule. It was supposed to be a basic checkerboard pattern with a colorful edge and I do have plans to go back and finish it…someday.

Random Blue Squares

These squares were for some project I had in mind that I can no longer remember. I think I was going to make a bunch of them and make a blanket but I’m not sure. There were a couple more but the cats got into them and, well, no one wants a blanket made of chewed-up squares that smell like cat spit. I probably won’t go back to this project but I may use the squares in a random scrapghan project.

That’s it for this week on the crochet front. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting for you next week!

Aim for the Head

Open Book BH 2This week on the Blog Hop we’re talking about zombies.

Strange topic, huh? But for a creature that was only slightly referenced for years, zombies have become a hot topic in pop culture. Zombie books, zombie movies, even a sort of serious debate on whether zombies would be fast or slow.

As much as I’d like to say that I’m above the whole zombie craze, I really love The Walking Dead. My husband is a huge fan of comics and horror movies, so he had already read a lot of the comics before the show was even announced. We both agreed that for a long comic like it, the best way to adapt it was to do a TV series. I was kind of curious to see how they handled the gore but just as in the comics, the show is really more about the people than the zombies. I haven’t seen the most recent season, though, so no spoilers please!

My husband also loves video games, and one of his favorite games is Dead Island. He also loves the zombie DLC for the Call of Duty games, even though he’s not a huge fan of first person shooter games. I think it’s a case of his liking to play with his friends more than the actual shooting, and he only ever seems to play the zombie version.

I’ve only read one zombie book that I can think of, Stephen King’s Cell. I read it when it first came out and don’t remember much about it other than the fact that people were turned into zombies (or zombie-like people) by a pulse that went through their cell phones. I can’t even really remember whether or not it was good, which probably says something about it. I have seen a lot of zombie movies, though. And as far as that debate? I can see both sides of it but I’m firmly in camp “Classic Shambling Zombie.”

Willow BranchBefore you check out the rest of the posts, check out Lela Markham’s book, The Willow Branch: Book 1 of The Daermad Cycle

A healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.

Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King.

 

What’s your opinion on zombies? Share it with everyone on the blog hop!
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Roundup!

Once more I have slacked off this week! I almost finished the scarf I was working on for the gift basket but that’s not terribly interesting. I didn’t finish the baby sweater and haven’t started on my coworker’s gift, which basically means I need to go hide in a corner until they’re both done.

The main reason I slacked off was because my editor finally sent me half the edits for Detective’s Brother and I’ve been working on those. She has some great suggestions and I’m glad to have her input. I really feel like she’s helping me polish my work into the best possible story, and I hope my readers feel the same way.

I’m also trying to work on an outline for a new Yeah Write series. I’ve got the idea, I just don’t have the time to work on it right now. Maybe after I send back these edits I’ll be able to do it, but for now it’s on the back burner.

And in the last piece of writing news, I found myself a new cover artist! She’s really great and her portfolio is amazing. We were bouncing some ideas off each other and I think she’s a great fit for the team. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

That’s pretty much it for this week. Hopefully I’ll have more to report next week, but for now it’s head down and back into the edits!

Reality TV

Open Book BH 2This week we’re talking about reality television on the Blog Hop.

In some cases I enjoy reality TV. Shows like Undercover Boss and Who Do You Think You Are? are wonderful and in a lot of cases make me cry. I was watching one episode of Undercover Boss where they were at a water park and when the owner revealed herself and started handing out college education and raises, I seriously started crying.

There are other cases, though, and it is they that give reality TV a bad name. Stuff like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Bad Girls Club is almost entirely trash. Spoiled rich people acting spoiled is not my idea of a good time, especially when there are way better shows to watch. Some shows, like 16 and Pregnant may actively promote teen pregnancy because they glorify it and gloss over important things like how teenage mothers have to drop out of school and often end up on welfare or food stamps. And shows like Toddlers and Tiaras…I just don’t have the words.

I also tend to like shows like Pawn Stars or Storage Wars where people find crazy stuff buried in junk (I used to be a huge fan of Antiques Roadshow). Not only do you get to see cool collectibles and treasures you also get to learn the history behind them in a lot of cases, which is pretty great too.

There are some shows that kind of walk the line for me. I like watching Hoarders but feel kind of guilty about it, and I love the art of Miami Ink and LA Ink but could really do without the drama. Drama makes shows like Kitchen Nightmares fun but if I have to watch one more episode of Say Yes to the Dress I will throw something.

So I guess I’m kind of in two minds about reality TV! Everyone has their own favorite show, I’m not about to judge you. Unless you watched Honey Boo Boo. Then we’re breaking up.

Want to share your opinions? Join the blog hop!
Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Blue LadyJust because Christmas is over doesn’t mean that Stephany Tullis doesn’t have anything for you to read! Blue Lady is another of her great books, and you can find it here at Amazon!

Lazy Lazy Week

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is super for you – it’s going to be exciting for me!

I have been so incredibly lazy this last week, due to my sinking myself into a side project and being completely engrossed in the Flawed series, so I don’t have a finished project to show off. Instead, I have a couple of halfway made WIPs that I am embarrassedly showing you.

Pastel Sweater

First up, half of a baby sweater. I decided I was going to make another one in pastel because I have a ton of purple and white yarn left over from the polka dot baby blanket and I thought it would be fun to make one in a smaller size. This is what I finished a couple of days ago before I threw everything aside to read Outsider.

Scarfy

Second half-finished project is a super-chunky scarf that I’m crocheting for a gift basket! It’s really bulky and warm, and I can’t wait for it to become someone’s new favorite scarf. I like crocheting with bulky yarn because it works up quickly and you can see the detail in the stitches, which makes double crochet look totally fancy.

I’m going to finish these projects over the weekend with any luck (definitely the scarf, maybe on the baby sweater) so I can move on to working on the Christmas Exchange blanket…a week after Christmas.

I never said I was punctual.

Next week my crochet posts move to Wednesday, my Open Book posts to Monday, and I’m going to really try to do a Friday writing post. Thursdays are going to be book review days. One of my 2016 goals is to read a book every week, so I’ll be on the lookout for new stuff. I don’t like to be pinned to any one genre, so there’s always the possibility that I’ll tell you all about Stephen King’s newest at some point. You’ve been warned!

The Chex Mix of Romance Fiction