Top Ten Tuesday – Beach Reads

This prompt comes from the ever resourceful “The Broke and Bookish”. Each week there is a different theme! It’s a fun way for bloggers to connect and readers to get to know us better! It helps the writing community get a little extra promotion for their work as well as give some pretty great intel to readers looking for a new read!

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The original prompt is below:

Beach Reads Week — top ten great beach reads, ten books I plan to read on the beach, ten beach reads for those who don’t like typical ~beach reads~, ten authors who are my go-to for beach reads, etc.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

My Interpretation Of A “Beach Read”

Emma Cover  The Secret Garden Cover

The Keeper and the rulership cover  Simply the wildside cover

New Cover NOVUS  Eboracum Cover

Just Married Again Cover  Because you'll never meet me book cover

sol of the coliseum cover  The Jacq od Spades Cover

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What’s on your list?

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Guest Post- Steven Scaffardi “Soundtrack For The Flood”

Steven Scaffardi is the author of the Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series. His first novel, The Drought, is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man’s quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. After the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years, Dan Hilles is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!

 The Drought and his new novel The Flood – a comedy about one man trying to juggle four women at the same time – are both available for just 99p on the Kindle at Amazon.

 Steven Scaffardi Author pic

Follow all of the fun on his blog tour by following him on Twitter @SteveScaffardi or by using the hashtag #LadLitBlogTour. More information about Steven and his books can be found on his blog.

 

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Soundtrack for The Flood

 

Yesterday the Lad Lit Blog Tour was at the Food For Bookworms blog where I explained that over the last six weeks, a few bloggers had asked me about my writing habits. I have mentioned previously that music plays a big part in coming up with ideas, and I normally try to create a soundtrack for my books.

Yesterday I revealed five of the songs that made the playlist for The Drought, and today at Allie’s Opinions I wanted to tell you about five songs that inspired me to write certain chapters and storylines in my new book, The Flood.

 This is an exclusive for Allie’s Opinion’s as I have not written or said this list out loud to anyone else before!

 

  1. The Flood by Take That

This is probably an obvious one! The title of the book is The Flood, and this Take That song has the same name too. It’s not rocket science! But there is a little bit more to it than just that. As you might remember, this was the first song Take That had done as a five piece for a long time. In The Flood, Dan and his three best friends (Rob, Jack and Ollie) have a new member, Ieuan, join their gang. In a way, that made this song a little more relevant.

  1. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins

Jack has a bit of an unhealthy obsession with quoting Phil Collins songs throughout the book, although he refers to the former Genesis man as Filth Collins. In the scene where Dan sees Grace again for the first time, Jack uses the lyrics of In The Air Tonight to encourage Dan to make his move, even playing air drums to that famous drum solo from the song. Another Collins number that plays a part in the book comes at the end, when Jack puts Sussudio on the radio.

 

  1. She’s Out Of My Life by Michael Jackson

One of the main themes throughout the book is Dan’s head and heart going back and forth over Kelly. He can’t seem to make up his mind whether she is the one or not. There is a scene where Dan is trying to explain his feelings to his friends in the pub, and like any group of male mates, instead of taking his words seriously, they decide to take the micky and break out into this Michael Jackson classic.

 

  1. It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy

At the heart of the story is a drunken bet Dan makes with his best friends that he is capable of dating multiple girls at the same time. Of course, Dan is completely out of his depth, and the fact that he ends up dating a stalker, his crazy ex-girlfriend, the office ice queen, and the one that got away, makes things all the more difficult. As Dan tries to keep the four girls from finding out from each other, this song became the perfect anthem.

 

  1. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship

One of the earliest reviews for The Flood came from author Clint Forgy who said: “Funniest bar fight scene in the history of literature. I laughed so hard I woke up my snoring girlfriend.” The scene he is referring to is a chapter where the boys end up in a bar in Nottingham and get themselves into a spot of bother. I won’t give anything away, but this song plays a big part in the bar fight scene…

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The Drought Cover

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Epitome – Stories From The South

This prompt comes from The Daily Post. Each day they post a new prompt. It really helps get the creative juices flowing. Check them out for yourself. You might find just the inspiration you’ve been looking for.

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Pretty much every job I’ve had as an adult has been in a male dominated field. I literally can’t count the number of times I’ve had to wade through miles of misogyny just to get them to realize my mouth is making actual words that they should actually listen to.

The last job that I had before I became a mother was at a Landfill. I worked on the gas wells. The only other women there was an older woman in the office running the scales and a promiscuous, voluminous mid 30’s something whose hem-length crept further and further up as the days went by.  

The manager there was an older gentleman who was the epitome of southern. From his accent to his blatant sexism, I realized from the start that this fella and I were going to exchange words and not all of them fit for polite company.

During our first safety meeting together I was responsible for giving a short speech about the dangers of fumbling around with things they don’t understand. Landfill gas is poison. There is about four different kinds of gases that by the time they hit your olfaction system, you’re already a goner. 

As I spoke, I watched the managers face get progressively redder and redder until finally he word vomited his indignation. 

“Stop trying to make yourself sound so superior by using all those big words”!

I stopped and looked at the room of men. They all looked a bit lost and it was clear they had no idea what I was talking about. As my eyes made the circuit of the room, I could see varying degrees of anger on each of their faces. Honestly, this hit me completely by surprise. I thought back on what I had said and couldn’t really see how I had gone wrong. The words I was using are the words I use in everyday conversation. 

Apparently, being an intelligent woman is disrespectful to men. 

However, I could see that I had clearly insulted these men. So, I began to apologize when I was again interrupted by the manager.

“I won’t put up with such disrespect from a woman”

 

Hold up. Now I was the one indignant and I’m sure my face went through the red scale. I slammed my hands on the desk to make all of the men stop laughing. I looked hard at each one of them and I said..

“I wasn’t trying to insult you, I was trying to talk to you. Clearly, I wrongfully assumed you were all intelligent human beings who were capable of comprehending the English language. Seeing as that’s not the case, I’ll be sure to speak to you as if you’re children in the future.”

I did the equivalent of a mic drop and tossed the table over into the floor. As I was walking out I heard the manager grumble about how I must of been “on the rag”.

I filed a complaint on him for the entire episode and of course because it was Arkansas, that went completely no where.

After that day, the manager would often throw in a decently intelligent sounding word in his e-mails to me. I’m sure he meant for them to sting but the only one stung was him. Almost every time he used the word incorrectly or misspelled it. 

That entire experience is the epitome of the south. Sexism, racism, and patriarchal hierarchies abound. 

Sexism Quote

 

 

 

Book Review “A Vagrant at the House of Love” John Horan

synopsis

‘Dying isn’t the worst thing that can happen you.’

A ghost wanders a city, watching people’s lives as the world goes on without him, sifting through his own past in an attempt to understand why he hasn’t gone to heaven or hell. He becomes obsessed with a beautiful but damaged girl, Michelle, and fearing she is destined for the same fate as him, resolves to try and save her.

A Vagrant at the House of Love is a novel about love, obsession, memory, dreams, alienation, addiction and madness, a rage against the heavens shot through with pitch black humour.

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First Lines:

Dying isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. I always thought living was hard but dying is easy. I don’t want to come over all philosophical but some part of me thought it would be a relief, if only I could survive that long. 

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This story in a lot of ways is a no holds barred account of life. Not just the protagonists life, but the lives of those he haunts as well. Nothing is candy coated here. It’s utterly beautiful in its honesty.

Even though the story is told from Racine’s perspective, I still feel like I know only parts of him. The parts he either let leak out or purposefully showed. Even his name, Racine, is not his real one. It’s a bit of reality that he manipulated to create this image of who he wanted us to see.

His character feels very shallow to me. Which when I really think on it is odd. There is a pile of introspection throughout the book that should have made me sympathetic to his cause and in some ways I am. In others though, I feel a bit hesitant to take it at face value.

This is a complicated matter for me. When I initially finished the book I was frustrated. There is no clear explanation or closure of where Racine is trapped or if he gets out. There is loads on speculation throughout the story but nothing is concrete. That annoyed me initially and if I’m honest is what really keeps this book from being great. It’s a dang good book. Just a smidgen shy of being great.

The writing here if fantastic. The story flows well and as a reader I really got the sense of Racine’s listlessness.

I enjoyed the book. It’s not a light read by any means but I have no regrets after reading it. The only real complaints I have are the lack of closure, the unexplained world and the shallowness of the main character.

I’m rating it at 4 stars.

4 star

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Title: A Vagrant at the House of Love | Series: N/A | Author: John Horan |Publisher: Amazon Digital Services | Publication Date: 1-28-2015 | Pages: 106 |ASIN: B00SX6IZYG | Genre(s): Science Fiction  | Language: English  |Date Read: 5-26-2016 | Source: Copy from author

Countless – The Daily Toy Sweep

This prompt comes from The Daily Post. Each day they post a new prompt. It really helps get the creative juices flowing. Check them out for yourself. You might find just the inspiration you’ve been looking for.

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This is an age old problem for parents of littles. We try to keep the toys organized. We buy these neat little storage shelves to help our kids find just the dinosaur figurine he was looking for.

No matter our good intentions and constant upkeep it usually looks like a tornado blew through.

Mason Toy Disaster

At least he stacked the tubs. That’s an improvement. Why do we pick up the same toys countless times?

Because someday they won’t need us too.

Someday my son will no longer love to play dinosaurs with me. All too soon the days of morning snuggles, sharing a bowl of cereal (even though his own bowl is literally a foot from mine), the chocolate milk negotiations, falling asleep in my arms as we walk from the park….all of these things are temporary and we will miss them with a vengeance when they are gone.

I will read those countless bedtime stories. I will pick up every single toy and although I’ll grumble a bit, I’m secretly glad that he’s still little and he still needs me.

The woes of motherhood.

Mason & Fianna

WWW Wednesday -May 25th 2016

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This prompt comes from Sam over at Taking On A World Of Words. Leave a comment with your list or a link to your blog! Click on the covers for more information about each book.

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What are the three W’s?

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you reading next?

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Currently Reading

The Golden Spark Cover Inside The Mirrors Cover  Out of the tower cover

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Completed 

Reaper Lands Cover

Check out the review “Reaperlands Part 1 Review”

A Vagrant at the house of love cover

Review coming soon!

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Next On The List

Into The Dark Cover  Hibiscus Fruit Cover  Pulse Cover

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What’s on your list?

Book Review “Reaperlands Part 1” Roy Burdine

synopsis

After the apocalypse, there’s a whole world to reclaim…

It’s been a decade since the Viral plague that brought the dead back to life with a hunger for living flesh. The survivors have long since fled the big cities and resettled in the countryside, mountains, and plains, building a network of fortresses and cavernous sanctuaries.

As civilization rebuilt and reshaped itself in this nightmarish new world, there arose an overwhelming demand for the supplies and riches left behind in the remains of the old one.

A system of trade and barter formed around the market of these goods, a macabre economy for a dead world. Those brave or foolish enough to seek out treasure among the wastelands became known as the Reapers.

Gus and Oscar are a two-man reaping crew, facing down the horrors of a shattered world in search of its hidden wealth. But more dangerous than the undead Virals, and their various deadly strains, are the others like themselves, cutthroat scavengers bent on plundering the riches of the Reaperlands…

Reaper Lands Cover

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First Lines: I’ve heard mankind referred to in many ways in my time. Mostly Negative. When I was young, this species, which created language, civilization, science,and the arts, decoded and overcame many, hell, most of nature’s mysteries to become the dominant species of a harsh and unforgiving planet, had come to view itself as a self-destructive blight on the very world it had risen up and conquered.

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First things first, let me go ahead and prepare you by saying that after reading Reaperlands  you’re going to want more. I want more. So, so much more! Roy Burdine’s writing is addictive.

I’ll be real with you for a moment and admit that horror / zombie is not really my main genre. The books I pick to review from this genre are few and far between. I was hesitant to read Reaperlands until a blogger friend of mine read it. She recommended it so I took a shot and don’t regret it at all. Even though I had a horrible nightmare I was actually in the Reaperlands world, I’m still regret free. The runners are terrifying though….they really are.

Honestly, if your story was so good that I’m actually having nightmares  about it….Bravo man…Bravo!

Usually improper sentence structure drives me insane but, Roy Burdine arranges his prose exactly right to overcome this pet peeve.

I can’t believe I am saying this but his shortcuts actually enhanced the tension and drama of the story. It made every event or piece of dialogue more colorful and raw. It felt really authentic. It was comparable to a Tarentino film.

The contrast between Gus and Oscar is marked however it does add a delightful amount of intrigue to the story. I want to know how they came to work together. I want to know the whole story.

This was a brilliant beginning to what I hope continues to be a captivating story.

I’ll go ahead and give a bit of a warning though. If graphic novels and comic books aren’t your thing, I don’t know that this book will be a hit for you. It’s a bit gritty and unapologetic.

I, however, LOVED it. Which is really saying something for me and zombie books.

Solid 5 stars.

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Did you know? “Reaperlands” is a Fort Bookworm double-dip. Both Lilyn from ScifiandScary and I have reviewed this book. (She loved it!) Click here to be taken to her review!)

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Title: Reaperlands | Series: Reaperlands #1 | Author: Roy Burdine  | Publisher: We Built It Publishing | Publication Date: 3-21-2016 | Pages: 35 | ASIN: B01DAO9LMA | Genre(s): Science Fiction / Horror | Language: English  | Date Read: 5-20-2016 | Source: copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Still Matter To Me & Those That Don’t

This prompt comes from the ever resourceful “The Broke and Bookish”. Each week there is a different theme! It’s a fun way for bloggers to connect and readers to get to know us better! It helps the writing community get a little extra promotion for their work as well as give some pretty great intel to readers looking for a new read!

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The original prompt is below:

Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.)

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Books That Still Matter To Me

The Heart Goes Last Cover Narnia Cover  walk in the flesh cover

A Little Princess Cover  The Secret Garden Cover  The Unknown Soldier cover  The Likeness Cover

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Books That Don’t Matter As Much As They Did

Wuthering Heights Cover  Arabian Night Cover  Fahrenheit 451 cover

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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What’s on your list?

WTF Medical Billing

Last year I had the audacity to have a baby at a *gasp* hospital.  This, I think, is where I f*cked up.

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Like a good little mommy to be I did everything the way I was supposed to do it. I saw a midwife from the very beginning of the pregnancy. I went to every single scheduled visit. I peed in a cup when they asked and drank that god awful orange crap to test for diabetes. I offered up my flesh to the blood sucking syringe without complaint.

I paid the midwife fees and my insurance deductible months before the baby was born.

This whole thing should have been smooth sailing.

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Not surprisingly, because this is America, literally everything that could go wrong went really….REALLY wrong.

 About a month after my daughter was born we started receiving these ridiculous bills. Some of the bills were for services and (WTF) surgeries that weren’t performed.

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After 5 MONTHS of sending fax after fax, calling 506,444 different offices, being told we had a credit of 1,300 dollars and then being told we owed 2,500 dollars, we finally narrowed down the problem.

This may get confusing.

The midwifes office required us to pay our entire deductible as well as their office fees upfront to their office.

We did that, as asked.

The midwife’s office and the hospital although owned by the same company are different entities of the company that don’t cross.  This means that while in the hospital you get billed for the use of equipment and supplies from one place and the actual doctors and nurses from another.

The Midwives office kept all of the money.

Instead of taking their part out and sending the rest in as our deductible ( like they should have ) they took their share and just left the money in my “account” floating in limbo as some kind of a “credit”.

Now, I’m having to convince the refund office to refund my money so I can pay the damn hospital.

You heard that right, I have to CONVINCE them to return my own money.

I still don’t have it.

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#ThankfulThursday -Private School

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Oklahoma is primarily a “Red State”. Being governed by Republicans has serious downfalls. One of those major downfalls is the continued efforts to completely destroy public education. As the mother of two children, this is a subject that enrages me. Oklahoma schools ranked 49th in the entire nation. Let that sink it. 49th.

However, this is supposed to be a post with happy thoughts and proclamations of what I am thankful for in life. So, in the spirit of silver linings, I am thankful for my sons private school.

Oklahoma is also a very religious state. In a town of 1,000 people you can bet your last cookie there will be a minimum of 5 churches. The relevance of this statement is coming, I promise.

Almost every private school option is based around one form of the christian religion or another. From Catholic to Evangelist, the list of religious private schools is endless. The problem with that is that my family does not adhere to any religious teachings. The best explanation or category of our beliefs (or lack of ) is Athiest Humanists.

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This means that in order to keep our children out of the horror of public school we have to do what is almost equal to impossible in Oklahoma and find a secular private school. I looked and looked and finally found two. Both of which adhere to the Montessori style of teaching. 

One is disgustingly expensive and the other was right at the top of our price range but doable. So, we enrolled my son.

He has flourished in just the two months he has been attending.

I am thankful this school exists. I am thankful the director worked her magic and made her school affordable for people like my family.

I am thankful my husband works his tail off to afford it but, that deserves it’s own post. 

Now, if only someone would open an affordable private middle school and high school, we would be set. *nudge nudge*

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