What Do You Do?

What do you do when you are angry?

Or this?

Maybe something like this?

What do you do when you are sad?

Or this?

Or can you hide the tears and look like this?

What does your disappointment look like?

Do you pout or just call it out?

Emotions can turn you inside out. Dump you on your head and expect you to figure out the meaning of a world in chaos. Even happy can lead to mania which can lead to all that pent up crazy! 

What do you do when you get surprised? 

And what if that surprise isn’t QUITE what you wanted? Do you hide the shock? Fake happy? Just stand there?

It never ceases to amaze me how people will shock and disappoint you at every turn. Do they do it on purpose? I don’t think so… but I could be wrong, I often am.

What do you do with your emotions? Good or bad. Are you an explosive reactor, or do you need a while to process what is happening? I am interested in knowing how it is YOU react to crazy situations.

Leave a comment and let me know!

 

Castle Of Water

This was a 5 out of 5 stars novel for me; as near a perfect emotional ride as you can take. 

How do you review something that blew you away? How do you add words to someone’s creation that has prose that should be considered illegal? So beautiful that it drips like honey- thick and sweet- teasing and tempting all at once. A beatific message that you want to rush into and away from all at once, like a whitecap on a tortuous sea. One that sends your emotions simultaneously soaring with the eagles and careening over a cliff.

This was Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge for me. Not my usual read, but one that was well worth the journey. From the opening lines until the end, this novel provides a wild mouse ride on a wooden roller coaster at 100 miles an hour for your poor strapped in emotions. The WILL dip and they WILL soar, so be ready.

The castaway theme is one that you think runs in the predictable family, and in some ways it is, but only if you enter this world with blinders on. The subtle messages about life, humanity, and love are the real buried treasures in this repository of wisdom.

“…not subtracting from the great sum of humanity but quietly adding to it? Love, hope, renewal- such things all spring eternal….”

“Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump . . .

And so on and so on goes the cardiac beat in this polka called life.”

It is the story of Barry and Sophie, both victims of the poor choices of a rum-loving pilot and a well-placed lightning strike. Washed ashore on an island that didn’t even exist on a map. A French and American forced alliance. 

“Surely an unremarkable moment for most, but for the man, it is a parting tinged with a tender sadness- he has noticed over the years that even the briefest and most incidental interactions can, with the appreciation of time, take on a far richer meaning.”

Castaways on the same island. Forgotten. Days turn into months, that turn into years. that turn into disappointments and saving graces. 

“…a place where ships did not pass in the night but actually took heed of your lonesome flares.”

Hucklebridge creates a tale so wondrous that it is truly a gift. Don’t be marooned on the island of “I let this pass me by.” Grab Castle of Water and ride the rising and ebbing tides of this heart-wrenching read. You won’t be sorry you did. 

 

  

Comicon and The Mall

So, first and foremost I would love to say Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there making it happen in their kids lives! 

I thought that I would give you guys a quick update on the Comicon adventure… (translated to the “what in the world was that?” adventure)…

So anytime you are inundated with another sub-culture you have no clue about, there is bound to be some awkward moments. Perhaps standing outside a busy street wearing this fine get up would be one of those such moments…

Bigpurple

Yes, that is a big ass purple horse suit. Who knew? One would think that once glimpsing this fine specimen of a … horsemen… there would be nothing left to top the cake. Again, this is where one would be wrong. 

Yes, that would be someone in a dinosaur suit dancing and… ??? I must give credit where credit is due… I could not have done what they did! I guess I am still scarred by my Barney days and could not wear a big purple dinosaur suit. But hey, THIS GUY… THIS GUY is all Heart and Soul! 

I guess you can’t find fault in people having a good time! I mean if this guy isn’t embarrassed, surely my child shouldn’t be embarrassed that while at the mall and the teen driver is not leaving her parking space after putting her reverse lights on (because it is WAY more important to take selfies of your clothes you just bought at the store and posting to social media while MY child’s car is about hit twice since the parking lot is horribly designed), I just happen to get out of the car and go to her window and bang on it to ask her if it is indeed her intention to leave this parking space. Once I had her attention I politely (ok so maybe I am a smart ass) asked her to remove her vehicle from said parking space and take her selfies in a different lot. Hey, my daughter finally got to park her car, without being hit, and that’s what counts! 

If you choose to put your car in reverse, then REVERSE… plain and simple. Besides, when you have been waiting for 10 minutes for said spot, it is time to just ask a simple question… 

Maybe I just don’t do good with brain dead, angsty teenagers. It seemed that they all were congregated in WHATEVER area I was in yesterday…

What I can say is that a full day of teens and Comicon, The Mall, people that left their brains at home and trying to remain on the outside of any barred views, I have learned a very important lesson…

And maybe that isn’t so bad… So all in all Saturday was a win. For some more than others, but it was smiles all around! 

Now on to the next adventure! 

Happy Father’s Day to you, and whoever you consider your father. Happy Father’s Day to my daddy in heaven. I hope you have a great day!

Now Live: Friday Follow Blog Party

Now THIS is a party!

Welcome to Scale it Simple’s Friday Follow Blog Party!

If you have been looking for the perfect way to start the weekend off right then you are in the right place!

So grab the bevy of your choice and let’s get all snuggled up and connected… shall we?


The rules are simple.

1. Follow the host’s social media accounts listed below. (Hey, that’s me!) 

2. Paste up to 3 links to your own social media accounts that you wish to be followed, or your blog into the comment section below.

3. Share this party on at least one social media platform in order to invite your blogging pals. The more the merrier!

4. Now sit back and get ready to meet some new people and discover some new blogs! Read, comment, follow and share other bloggers accounts and blogs.

Ready? Let’s party!


This event will be going on for the next 24 hours so you will have…

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The Breakdown

Cass seems to have it all—a loving husband, a great job (go ahead girl, a plus in this day and age), and good friends. One night in the middle of a rainstorm, she takes a shortcut home through the woods (I am seeing Little Red Riding Hood here) despite her husband’s warnings not to. When she’s nearly home she spots a woman sitting in a car on the side of the road.

You would think that being a woman herself she would stop and make sure everything is on the up and up, but does she? Heck no! She assumes the woman must already be waiting for help, (and well all know what the word assume says to you) and Cass decides it would be better to go straight home and call the police from there. GREAT plan… IF she remembered to follow through!

The next morning, Cass is devastated to find out that the woman she saw in the car was murdered. (She must be rationalizing that the woman HAD to be ok when she drove by, right? And maybe this was all a clever plot for the killer to kill Cass as well, so she really SHOULDN’T have stopped, right?) Cass is so distraught that she can’t even admit to her husband that she took the shortcut against his request. She becomes consumed by thoughts of a killer laying in wait for her.

Cass becomes convinced she’s being watched. She starts getting strange phone calls. She starts falling apart and forgetting things. She starts taking anxiety pills to calm her down, but they leave her in a drugged stupor, much to her husband’s dismay.

Why has she become so fixated on the murder of a woman she didn’t know? Is she doomed to be a paranoid recluse all from a path she shouldn’t have taken? Is she going to become an unreliable pill-popping woman, destined to lose her husband as well?

The Breakdown took a while to build up its tension, but when it does, hang on to your hat! The plot takes a huge twist and you can’t help but hang on for the wild mouse ride to the end.

This is the second book I have read by B.A. Paris, and I would not hesitate to pick up another novel written by him in the future! Go ahead, jump in the car and see what happens when you read The Breakdown.

This was a 4.5 out of 5 stars read for me!

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and B.A. Paris for the opportunity to read and review this thrilling novel!

Hearts Are Like Balloons

Have you ever loved someone so much that their absence leaves a gaping hole in your heart? 

Where the tears silently leak from your eyes whether you mean for them to or not?

Where the pain as your heart tears is physical…

And the despair you feel is guttural…

The pain feels like it will never end…

For May, watching her dad slowly succumb to the devastating effects of cancer is almost unbearable. He was always her coach, her mentor, her savior, her friend, and the most important person in her life. To see such a strong and forcible man reduced to a frail and helpless figure desecrates May in ways she never thought possible. To watch him die, unbearable. For her, it was unthinkable for the world to exist without her father in it. 

Candace Robinson paints a compelling portrait of what it means to be rescued, both literally and figuratively, by hope, ingenuity, and love in her beautifully written second novel Hearts Are Like Balloons.

I found myself crying, laughing, thinking, and grateful to Robinson for creating such a sublimely crafted tale. This novel spoke to my heart. The loss of my father and all the feelings I have surrounding it seemed to be written on the pages of this delightful contemporary.

May does not always get things right, (but seriously, isn’t making mistakes how we learn?) but she hangs in there despite the twisted hand of fate she is dealt. 

Robinson has created a treasure that she has graciously shared with the world. Hearts Are Like Balloons will lift spirits and break hearts. I did not want it to end!

Brilliant, clever, riveting – pick your adjective; they all apply. But do pick up Hearts Are Like Balloons. Just be careful when you pick it up because you won’t be able to put it down. 

I received an ARC from the amazing author, Candace Robinson, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you, Candace, for allowing me to experience May’s journey (and thus allowing me to relive and re-feel those powerful emotions with the loss of my dad) in Hearts Are Like Balloons.

Kids!

Have you ever just looked around you and thought… AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

I mean Duracell would make a killing if they could harness the pure, raw, power of a child on a mission.

So today, the object of the mission is “Anime Comicon.” I just want to know, WHOSE BRAIN CHILD WAS THIS?

So let me just be real here. This money racket is a $50 per person entrance fee, PER DAY, no matter if you are a “COSPLAY” or “COMICON” goer, or merely just the schmuck parent that has to tag along to this madness. The average family of four equates to $200 bucks for 3 hours of straight crazy. Go ahead, think that through…

Now, I absolutely not one to judge. I say to each his own. Comicon is NOT my own… it’s my teenagers own… why I am I made to suffer too?

So, I have had an epiphany… it is Father’s Day Weekend… So guess who is getting thrown under the bus?

I mean, hey… maybe Comicon is something that a kid can teach their parent about…

So, today I laugh. Laugh at… I mean WITH their Dad… and I reminisce about days long gone… when the children were small and I could put them where I wanted them and they stayed. When no meant no. When there were no arguments. When Comicon was a word I might have uttered when squashing a bug, not an event that squashed my wallet. Today, I honor parents everywhere. Keep laughing fellow travelers… their day is coming soon! 

To all the No’s that were ignored!

To all the little white lies…

To all those smart assed answers you heard…

To all those moments you wished your kid came with a manual…

To all those lost conversations with your spouse…

To all those moments you realize that raising kids is like trying to nail jello to a tree…

And to all those Father’s out there on this fine Father’s Day weekend…

I salute you all! Have a great Saturday!

 

~Janet

One Of Us Is Lying

The brain, the beauty, the criminal, the athlete and the outcast.

Five students walk into detention… but only four walk out.

Detention will never be the same… who in the wild world of sports had the opportunity, means, and motive to kill Simon? 

Who put those cell phones in all the backpacks?

Was that nasty social site the trigger for Simon’s death?

What secret was so bad that they killed someone to keep it hidden?

What happens when the media decides to hold court… in the news?

Reading this amazing novel was like watching a train wreck. I had to know which one of those seemingly innocent kids was a pathologic liar as well as a stone cold killer. 

Who did it? The rich kid? The smart kid? The drug dealer? Who had the biggest problem with Simon? I could tell you in a note, but…

Everyone has secrets, right? Would you kill to protect them?

And who do you believe? After all… One Of Us Is Lying!

Did this novel remind me of The Breakfast Club? Why yes, yes it did! In my head, I could see the dancing in the library scene while reading the beginning of this incredible novel.

I have to be honest and say I was blown away by this well-crafted YA novel, penned by the talented Karen McManus. This is an all in kind of novel. The suspense builds even when you think it just can’t get any more suspenseful. 

I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars for being a fun, thrilling, whodunnit novel, that kept me on my toes and kept me guessing all the way to the explosive conclusion. This was a fast read and I highly recommend you spend the day with “The Bayview Murder Club.”

The Black Painting (Coming to you in Jan 2018)

Four cousins summoned back by their grandfather…

The death of a family patriarch…

An old, mysterious house…

A painting by Goya that has a demon lurking inside it…

And a family with dark secrets…

This is what you can expect when you read The Black Painting by Neil Olson, scheduled to be released in January of 2018. 

The mystery surrounding who took the painting from the parsimonious, rapacious grandfather (after he has quite possibly obtained it from the black market) remains mysterious throughout the novel. The main character, Teresa, is charged with the unraveling of the Goya painting disappearance. 

There was a myriad of characters, and it was quite easy to get lost when reading along. Some of the characters, I felt, were very forgettable, and possibly even excessive, however, Olson spins a mystery reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel. 

Overall, I rated this novel 3 out of 5 stars for the creativity and suspense created within this gripping novel by Olson.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I would like to thank Netgalley, Hanover Square Press, and the talented author Neil Olson for the opportunity to read and review The Black Painting.

Lying To Children

From the nine months it takes to create that perfect little life until the eighteen years and beyond it takes to raise them, children are by far the greatest gift we ever receive. 

Their first smile. Their first laugh. Their first words. Their first steps. All are such monumental milestones. As parents, we smile and encourage them and are their biggest fans. 

Sacrifice. That is what parents do, and they do it with grace. Putting children first for millions of year… yup, that pretty much wraps up parenting… but what if you could REALLY say what you wanted to say to your children? What if for once you could say, “Just stop being selfish and whiny! Have YOU had to wear the same underwear for 18 years?”

What if you could write it all down, all the funny, crazy, angry, OH MY GOODNESS I WANT TO KILL YOU moments that you would NEVER admit to in real life, and hand it to your kids and walk away?

This is my side of the story. One day when you tell your future significant others, children, or therapists what horrible parents your mother and I were and how we ruined your lives, this book might help to exonerate us.

What if your kids really knew how you felt about getting that new puppy when you already had a dog, and how that puppy ruined your dog’s life, therefore, causing you interminable amounts of grief?

Every time I came home, I expected to see a message spelled out in kibble: “Couldn’t take it anymore. Had to leave. Love always, Steve. PS: I shit on her side of the bed.”

Have you ever turned to your loving spouse and said:

“Honey, I want to use my ‘Get Out of Parenting Free’ card.”

It’s ok. You can admit it. The author Alex Shahla sure let it all fly loose in his comical and heart-warming (and yes, completely identifiable) book Lying to Children. Rarely do I laugh out loud when reading a book (smile, yes…laugh, no) but Shahla managed not only to make me laugh out loud, but also laugh until I had tears as I identified with all of the “letters” he wrote to his children. 

One chapter on Christmas and Santa brought me giggles and left fantastic images in my head! I never did understand why at Christmas we don’t just tell our children that we have worked and slaved all year long to purchase them the overpriced toys that we know they will either play with five minutes or abandon in pursuit of happily playing with the boxes said toys arrived in. But hey, we all play the Santa game, right?

Hold on; give me a moment while I put on my Mr. Rogers sweater. Okay, here goes. If you ever wake up in the middle of the night and there’s a large man with a sack standing in front of your fireplace, realize that he is not there to bring you presents; he’s there to steal your presents. There is no such selfless figure. Aim for the chest and fire in rapid succession.

Shahla managed to take everyday parenting and turn all of the struggles and giggles in raising children to a poignant and entertaining read. His humor may not be for all and there are many places where the punchline is a bit repetitive, but for me, he presented a great tribute to parenthood and all of the daily struggles, joys, and fake (as well as real) smiles that come along with it. 

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars for the laughter it provided me. I think you should go now and read it too. Take a journey and think about all those times you also wanted to scream and pull your hair out when your kids “knew better than you.” Smile as the reach adulthood and congratulate them…

But seriously. Congratulations. You’ve reached the end of the Yellow Brick Road and what awaits is the joy of partying your way towards massive amounts of educational debt, followed by the misery of adulthood, where you’ll discover there are repercussions for your actions beyond being grounded.

Enjoy!

~Janet 

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