Saturday, August 27, 2016

Parapalooza Giveaway


Your Worst Fears

YA Horror Novel

In celebration of my ninth novel being published,
I've decided to give signed copies of ALL my paranormal books away!
This YA horror novel was simply supposed to be another novella, however, it ended up being my second longest book to date, coming in at a whopping 400 pages!
"Reality was now a nightmare I couldn't wake up from."
When a paranormal research team spends the night in the notoriously haunted Smoky Mountain Sanatorium, they imagine it will be like any other investigation. However, when the normal things that go bump in the night turn into screams, with investigators running from things they can't see, they realize it will be nothing like other investigations. Determined not to let the ghosts of the sanatorium win, they stick together and stay until morning, not leaving until the sun comes up.

 What the team fails to realize is that they might be able to leave the sanatorium, but they'll never really be able to get away. Once the ghosts of Smoky Mountain Sanatorium are awakened, so are your worst fears.

I've taken my own worst fears, as well as those readers submitted, and woven them into a story that I hope you enjoy... and that it creeps you out just a bit. YWF is spooky, yet, as usual, has romantic elements, which I can't seem to get away from, even in a horror novel, so I'm hoping readers like it.

Join the Parapalooza event HERE
so you don't miss out on any giveaways!

Make sure you enter my giveaway,
which includes:


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

After pre-ordering my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for myself on my birthday in March, I've anxiously waited five months for it to arrive at my local BAM store. Once I got my hands on it this past weekend, I was able to read it a little every day and finish it today, four days later. Sadly, I liked the anticipation of waiting for it more than actually reading it.

Don't get me wrong; this is an engaging and interesting story, especially since it's in the form of a script, which can come across a little flat. However, despite its intrigue, it in no way compares to the magic, characterization, and eloquently written first seven books. To me, regardless of what it's called, this is not an eighth book. I consider it more of a bonus story for potterheads, like myself.

The main reason I can't call this an eighth book is the fact that it's not completely written by J.K. Rowling, herself. This is a script book 'based on an original new story by' her, but it actually appears to be written mostly by Jack Thorne. This is not an eighth story, it's a play based on the series. The other seven books had to happen for the story to progress, but this one didn't. Yes, it was nice getting to revisit old characters and peek inside their relationships and how they developed over the years, but it wasn't a necessity. The series, for me, ended with the Deathly Hallows, and I'm happy with that, as much as I miss it.

With that being said, this is actually going to be a book I can't rate. On one hand, if I look at is as just a stand-alone bonus story, I'd give it four out of five stars for the interesting plot and twists that continued to arise. On the other hand, if I look at it as what it's called, the eighth book in this series, I'd only give it one star. One star! *gasp* I know! *still shaking head in disbelief* I never thought I'd give anything that had Harry Potter written on it anything less than the highest rating, and maybe that's why I can't rate it properly. It would just hurt too much.

First off, the characters irked me. Ron was more like his twin brothers were in the first books than himself. Hermione and Ginny seemed more like themselves, as did Professor McGonagall, but that was about it. Albus's frustration with being Harry Potter's son, and having to live up to his name, was to be expected. On the flip side, Scorpius seemed more like Neville Longbottom's son, light-hearted and jovial, not a Malfoy. It was weird thinking about him being Draco's son. I just told myself he was more like his mom than his dad, but it was still odd, especially how much he ended up hugging Albus, which is weird for boys to do at that age, anyway, and definitely not something you'd think a Malfoy would do.

And then we have Harry, himself. Ugh.

Harry Potter was a butthole. He was a butthole to Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, and he was a royal butthole to his own son, Albus, at one point. This story made me not like him, which is another reason I wouldn't be able to rate it high. At the end of the Deathly Hallows, I loved how he was so reassuring with Albus on his first day at Hogwarts, which was completely lost with this story. I found myself liking Draco so much more than Harry, which is just wrong... for me, anyway.

And then we have Dumbledore. I actually wish he wasn't even in this book.

When Dumbledore's name came up as speaking, I was like, "Yes! He's back." However, once he actually started talking, my excitement quickly deflated. In the other books, he's portrayed as a strong and wise wizard, but in this one, even though he's dead and in a portrait, he seemed sad and weak. Yes, he's a mere essence of his former self, but, in my mind, even that would be pretty great.

Something else that didn't jive with me are just minor things that kind of contradicted the other books. I can't say exactly what, since I don't want to give away spoilers, but it was enough for me to question the validity of what was going on and being said. At one point, I was like, "What?" because I knew that wasn't right.

Despite these things, this is Harry Potter! I enjoyed reading about this magical world once again, nonetheless. Yes, it did kind of read like fan-fiction, but who doesn't love fanfic? I've even dabbled in a Harry Potter fanfic story, myself. I am glad I read this book, and did like it, despite some of the negative things I've mentioned, but an eighth story it is not.

Would I recommend this story? Well, that depends.

Yes, if you:

  • love Harry Potter and will read anything pertaining to it, like I do
  • don't mind reading a script
  • are okay with Harry Potter coming across as a bit of a butthole
  • are okay with minor story discrepancies
  • can read this as a bonus story, not an eighth book
  • just need a Potter fix
No, if you:

  • don't like fan fiction
  • don't like reading a script
  • don't want the original story to be tainted by an 'unnecessary' eighth book
  • love to hate Draco, because he was one of my favs in this one

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I passed an idiot today.

*climbs on soapbox*

If you text and drive, or do anything else that impairs your driving or takes your eyes off the road for no good reason, you’re an idiot.

Driving down my curvy road this morning, I approached an above mentioned idiot who was driving a rather large, nice, gray car partially on my side of the road. Thinking she’d get over, like most people do when they see a car coming, I didn’t think much about it—til she didn’t. 

As she continued to come over into my lane, I knew I had one of two choices: 1. slow down and let her hit me head-on or 2. swerve and miss her, sending my truck off the hill that was beside me, probably flipping it, while she continued on her merrily way. Well, I chose option one, hoping if I blew my horn she might have time to get out of my way. Just as she got to me, my hand hovering over my horn, the idiot happened to actually look back up at the road and swerve over. 

What’s crazy is that this wasn’t some teenager or twenty-something person who hadn't been driving long enough to realize the responsibility that comes with getting behind the wheel. No, this was a curly, blonde-haired woman who looked to be my age, maybe a little older. A put-together looking woman who should’ve known better than to not be watching where she was going while in control of a couple tons of metal. She could be a wife, mom, daughter, maybe even a grandmother... who knows? I'm sure that, somewhere, somebody loves that idiot I passed today. This is proof that idiots come in all forms.

Once my heart slowed down, I was so flippin' mad! Not only at her, but all the other drivers who do stupid stuff like that while they're driving, not only putting themselves in danger, but everyone around them. I see it all the time; someone driving with their phone under their nose, glancing up and down, back and forth, like it's no big deal.

The sad part is that it's probably one of you. One of my friends. Family. You may do this.

Despite the fact that everyone knows how dangerous it is to look away from the road for just 5 seconds, people still do it... every day! Truck drivers, mini-van & sports cars drivers, bus drivers. The only person I've not seen do this (so far) has been a motorcycle driver.  

It's So Important

"I'm on my way." Really? Then let them know BEFORE you're actually on your way.

"Whatever." Oh, just one quick word won't hurt, right? Well, that one word can take at least five seconds to type and send while juggling your phone. Five seconds you're not paying attention. Five seconds that could lead to you running off the edge of the road, making you over-correct into the car of a new mother who is taking her newborn baby home from her first doctor's visit. Five seconds that could ruin another family's life FOREVER. So, explain why that one word couldn't wait til you're at least at a red-light or til you're home. I'm sure whoever is waiting for your answer won't mind, especially if they know you're driving, and if they do, then you don't need to be talking to them, anyway, because they obviously don't value your life very much.

"lol" or "ttyl"... I can't even with this one.

There is no social media notification, text, email, or phone call that is more important than a life. NONE! Yet that's exactly what you're risking when you pick up your phone. 

Just like that woman assumed she could multitask and look down while driving and still somehow stay in her lane, don't assume that you're such an amazing driver or texter that you can, too. Don't assume that no one will pass you or that you won't swerve into the other lane. Don't assume that you can still put makeup on because the road just happens to be in the same direction as the mirror. Don't assume your mad driving skills will keep you in your lane even though you're not looking. Don't assume that one text or glance at your phone won't kill you or someone else. 

I wanted to turn around and follow that woman just so I could ask her what she was doing that was so important that it could've taken me away from my two kids forever today.

I wanted to ask the guy who was driving beside me and family on the interstate, going 70 mph, looking at his phone more than the road, what was so important that he'd risk swerving into us. Into MY truck that is carrying MY kids. 

So, let me ask you... what's so important? I'd really like to know what you think is more important than my kids, who are usually with me when I'm on the road. Or more important than your kids? Or your parents, when they get a call that you've been in a bad wreck? Is it more important than the pain it can potentially cause?

The next time you think it's okay to look up a number and call somebody, send/check that one text, or look at that notification... do YOU really think it's worth it? Worth your life? A child's mother's life? A hard-working father whose family depends on him? My life? My kids' lives? IS IT??? 

All I know is that if you're an idiot and end up hitting me (especially if my kids are with me) because you were looking at your phone or drunk... and you don't get hurt... then you better run. Run fast.

If one of my kids happens to be riding with you and you wreck because your phone was more important than them, you better go into hiding, and hide well.

I'm so not joking. 

I respect you and your loved ones' lives, so please respect mine. If you're driving, then drive. Both eyes on the road, both hands on the wheel... you know, that sort of thing. 

Don't be an idiot!