Well hello there my friends! Long time no see, I know. But I did warn you that with moving things would be a tad slow for me… I'm happy to say that things are back on track now and I have some updates, well, stories really, for you. And, as I keep you updated throughout the year on my life, my work, and my rambling thoughts in general, I’ll also have goodies like blog tours, interviews, reviews, and giveaways. So thanks for sticking with me and let me just say I’m so glad to be back and done with moving/unpacking!
Moving sucks. To anyone who has moved, that’s no surprise. Moving and starting a new job are, apparently, some of the most stressful times in a person’s life. I’m sure that goes up exponentially if you happen to travel with cats like I do. You can read the guest blog I wrote a while back on my first experience traveling with my fuzzy friends. I'm happy to report that they were much better this time! Aside from my boy cat wanting to walk across my face while I slept, the cats were angels. The dog not so much this time, but that wasn’t his fault.
Dobby was attacked by mosquitoes just before we left New Orleans. He was itching and chewing himself so much he had giant wounds all around his tail. Nothing we did worked and the poor pup just howled in pain if we tried to touch him (he sounds like a dinosaur when he cries). It broke my heart and my only consolation was knowing he had a vet appointment as soon as we arrived in California. The crying wouldn’t have been so bad, except me and my husband were idiots about the drive.
The place we were moving into wasn't ready for us by the time my husband had to be back in California and at his new job. In the interim, we were to stay with my parents which was fine! My dog loves it, he has lots of friends to play with at their house and my mom absolutely spoils that little dog. The problem was my parents’ dogs. They don’t like cats. At all. So the cat’s needed to be boarded at the vet. The vet could only take them on Friday because otherwise they wouldn’t have the right person there to take our kittens. Again, not a big deal because we could time our driving to be there in time for that. Except our moving company screwed us over.
The moving company showed up late on Wednesday and then had too few people to pack. They were at our house packing up until 11 pm at night! My husband was freaking out by 5 pm that day because we needed to be on the road in order to get to the vet in time for both the cats and the dog. Come 8 pm, we say “fuck it” and get a friend to sign off on the moving van so we can leave and try and make up some of that time on the road. Well, we couldn’t make up the time lost so once more we said, “Fuck it, we’ll drive straight from New Orleans to Phoenix, Arizona so that we can make it to California in time for the pets.”
Some of you are probably groaning/cringing by this point. Those of you who aren’t, let me fix that for you: New Orleans is a good 20+ hours from Phoenix. Yup, we decided to drive 20 hours straight starting at 8 pm, and that’s after getting up early (like 6 am) to be ready for the moving company who showed up late. It wasn’t a smart move on our part and resulted in stopping for 3 hours at 3 am to “sleep” at a turn off with a bunch of truckers, 2 panic attacks where my husband legitimately thought he was dying, and 3 pets who we couldn’t feed properly without risking them getting out and fleeing the hell hole that was the car. We were bad humans.
Anyway we lived, the pets are fine, and eventually we moved into our new place and our stuff arrived. Except a bunch was missing or broken, so I got to argue with an insurance claims adjuster on getting the items replaced or getting reimbursed if they couldn’t be fixed, so that was fun. All this to say I have no intention of moving again for a very, very long time (I did say that when I first moved to New Orleans, but this time I mean it).
But it wasn’t all awful. Moving back to California meant being much closer to my family. It made our father’s day weekend in Big Bear all the more satisfying to know that moments like that, making memories with my family and being involved in their lives, is something that will happen with much more frequency. So be sure to enjoy your family at every opportunity, my friends. You never know when life might take you, or them, away and you’ll miss them when they're gone. You’ll feel left out and forgotten, even though you aren’t. That little extra bit of distance changes things and I wasn’t prepared for that the first time around. I know better now, but still have no intention of getting that far away again.
Oh, Big Bear was fun by the way. We didn’t catch much on the lake and I have an epic sun burn on my thighs, but it was great because I got to spend it with my family and didn’t have to worry about catching a flight immediately after. Sun burns on flights are just the worst….
Anyway, the next few blogs will be highlights of my favorite bloggers and updates on my books, so get excited, my friends! And tell me about some of your horror stories about moving so we can all have a laugh about it together!
Greetings, booknerds! I have officially moved into my new place so I am (semi) back into the groove of things. Which means more blogging and book news and book reviews and life goodies... Now if only I had a working kitchen and life would be glorious. That aside, I wanted my first blog post back in California to feature a California native author who loves music! Plus, she's got a fun giveaway going on right now so if you want to win a copy of the book, be sure to check out my Instagram post for June 10th. But now, on to the fun stuff. Allow me to introduce you to award winning author, L.J. Evens!
Who is this talented writer? What does she do outside of writing? Well, let me tell you:
Award-winning author, LJ Evans, is known for binge reading, binge watching, and binge writing. She is routinely inspired by music and will pull over the car to write a book scene when a particular song strikes her imagination. Her my life as an album series debuted in 2017 and won The Independent Author Network’s Young Adult Book of the Year. The second in the series, my life as a pop album, released in January 2018 and the third, my life as a rock album, is available for pre-order for a June 2018 release. By day she’s a 1st grade teacher in a public school in the California Central Valley. By night, she’s a wife, mother, and pillow for the 3 terrors known as cats.
She sounds awesome, right? Well then you should check out her books! I've included the synopsis below, but I also had an opportunity to ask L.J some rapid fire book and music related questions. As you guys know, I am also a passionate lover of music, so this rapid fire interview was a lot of fun. Plus, check out the link in the below image as it includes yet ANOTHER CHANCE AT THE GIVEAWAY. These books sound perfect for summer reading, so be sure to enter. Now, on to the interview:
1. Favorite band of all time?:
IMPOSSIBLE - depends on my mood, seriously. But I obviously like the ones my books have in them and I really like Lady Antebellum a lot.
2. Best concert you ever went to?:
I know it seems too easy, but Taylor Swift. She puts on amazing shows. We just were at her Reputation Stadium Tour in Pasadena. Crazy good!
3. Least favorite song?:
Hmmm. I pretty much don't like any electronic music..... And if I get the Itsy Bitsy Spider stuck in my head I want to bury my head in a bucket of water.
4. Guilty pleasure song/band? (who you're slightly embarrassed to admit you listen/dance to):
Probably One Direction...... and any of the guys that are now solo from it.
5. Favorite playlist to read to?:
I have a "Now" playlist that is all my current favorites. But I always gravitate back to country more than anything else.
6. Favorite genre to read vs. write?:
I read a lot of YA.... A lot.
7, Favorite author?:
Again, IMPOSSIBLE! How about favorite in genre's, LOL. Classic - Georgette Heyer; YA - John Green; NA - Jessica Park; Romance - Marianna Zapata; Historical - Beatriz Williams; Fantasy - JK Rowling; Paranormal - CJ Archer; New Indie Author - Kelsey Kingsley; A little of everything - Amy Harmon (seriously she does everything - she's amazing).
Check out the "My Life As An Album Series" and be sure to add them to your TBR list. And don't forget to enter the giveaway! Good luck, friends.
My Life as a Country Album:
2017 Independent Author Network Young Adult Book of the Year
I belonged to you the moment you told my mama you were waiting for me when I was still inside her stomach.
I belonged to you as we grew up sharing a treehouse, a yard, and the lake. I even belonged to you when our three-year age difference tried to pull us apart rather than put us together.
But, I was most especially yours when you kissed me and told me you weren't letting me go.
Except you did. And now I'm wondering how to turn our lives from a country love song without a happy ending into one that does...
Because "loving you was a race I was determined to win."
Inspired by Taylor Swift country songs, this is a story of aching love and loss and learning to live through life in all its pain and glory.
4.45 on Goodreads currently!
My Life As a Pop Album:
What if you are my dream?
From Award Winning Author LJ Evans comes a novel inspired by Ed Sheeran love songs about forgiveness, love, & healing!
Good Girl Mia feels guilty for her brother's death, it was her kidney that killed him after all… and four years later she still isn’t really living life. But then soulful musician, Derek Waters, enters her world and she finds herself setting aside everything she thought she wanted for an adventure she never saw coming. For some reason, she wants this gorgeous man to know her story. The story of a girl who gave a body part to save a brother that everyone wanted to survive more than the girl herself. And how that hadn’t worked out.
Derek Waters and his band have just signed on with a major record label and are touring the country. He has his own set of baggage that he hides behind a huge smile and a famous Johnny Cash quote. He definitely isn’t looking for any kind of female distraction. But once Derek walks into Mia’s life, he finds he can’t leave unless she comes with him.
Can Derek and Mia find a path to forgiveness and healing? Or will they be left with hearts more torn apart than before?
SPOILER ALERT this book can be read as a stand alone novel but contains significant spoilers to the first novel in the series MY LIFE AS A COUNTRY ALBUM.
4.65 on Goodreads currently!
My Life as a Rock Album:
He’s an addict. He’s a rude bastard. He’s also broken-hearted.
Trash artist Seth Carmen has lost everyone he’s loved and even some he didn’t. He’s better off alone. He’s made a success of himself by focusing on the one thing he’s good at, turning trash into something stunning. But then feisty blogger PJ Hensley enters his world with her fairy like quality, and he isn't sure who will be left more broken.... him or her.
PJ Hensley is dealing with her own tormented past and a stalker she doesn’t want to admit to having, but she’s pulled herself together in order to graduate and focus on her future. The last thing she needs is a moody trash artist entering her world. But like all things Seth, he enters anyway with an intensity and focus that leaves her breathless.
Can Seth and PJ find a way to take the shattered parts of their hearts and lives and weld them into something beautiful? Can they find a way to make this love last?
Inspired by Bon Jovi songs, the third novel in the my life as an album series shows how love and acceptance can heal even the toughest scars.
Coming out June 26th!