Book Review: Rock Stars aren’t for Country Girls

The lovely Kelly D. Smith contacted me about a review for her third book, Rock Stars aren’t for Country Girls. It’s the continuing stories of the band  Hooch in Hades in their romances. This installation brings in a country twist, adding a new element to the books. It follows the story of Anna and Adam and their musical journey together. I love doing indie book reviews and was greatly pleased with this installment.

Book Review: Rock Stars aren’t for Country Girl

Anna is an aspiring country artist who runs into bassist Adam by chance. He saves the day by filling in for her sick bassist. It’s a good beginning to show how nice he is and dispels Anna’s beliefs about rock stars. As for Anna, I admired her drive to achieve her music dreams. She doesn’t let anything take away her hope and ambition. Her and Adam have good chemistry. I like how he was legitimately being the nice guy towards Anna. The romance kicks up a notch when she decides to take it to next level. A woman led romance is always refreshing to read about. There was also a lack of immaturity in their relationshop that I enjoyed.

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The pace of the book seemed faster than the previous installments. However, the progression seemed natural even with the speed. For those interested in the music industry, you get a better view into its workings in this book. There was also more cheerful moments in this book. I thought the scene where Anna meets her music idol was great. I mean, we are all fans of someone. She handles it a bit more calmly than most, but it was still funny. I felt like this couple laughed more than the other two. There was just so many new dynamics to this book that made it a great.

Overall, this is a good read for romance fans. It doesn’t take long to get through and you will laugh a bit throughout. I think most good romances should have laughter. Make sure you add this book to your romance or Valentine’s Day reading list.

Light the candle

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.– Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve been saying this quote to myself each day for a long time. It’s more of a personal goal than anything. Needless to say, 2016 was a rough year for the world. Each of us has had our personal trials as well. Speaking from experience, it really is easier to give up. I nearly gave up entirely last year. With the love of friends and family, meds, and what I call my therapy dog, I pulled through. Some days are still a struggle and worry about the state of the world. However, if I can’t shine like a star, I will try to be a candle.

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Image from Morguefile.

I know the last two posts were personal, but sometimes you just have something important to say. There are many great books coming out, and I’ve fielded some review requests, so don’t worry. I just feel like sending a message of hope that those that need it. Don’t ever doubt the positive influence you have on someone. Even the smallest gesture can make the smallest difference. Just responding to a message can help make a person’ day.

I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions. It’s more of an overall goal to be a candle in the darkness. It’s to appreciate people and things more. It’s to let myself be guided and not force myself to feel things liked  I used to and to be kinder. Most of all, I need to try to be kinder to myself. Loving yourself is the first step to giving that love to other people. I think another overall goal is to give more myself to passions. Art and writing are important to me and I need to follow my creativity.

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I’ve been given many gifts this year along with many challenges and choices. I had to go through the experience of letting go and inviting new things in. I acted and managed to travel to a place I’ve never been before. It was a tad overwhelming, but I enjoyed my trip. New people have entered my life and I’m happy about this fact. I’ve witnessed many good things happen to my friends and how they made it through changes. I think that has kept me inspired as well. Remember, you can never underestimate the gifts you have to give to the world.

Thoughts on Christmas

It’s hard to believe that Chrismas is only a few short days away. Where did the time go? I know I’m in a completely different place emotionally. Last year, I was mired in depression and had no interest in Christmas. It was a dark time, is all I will say. This year I got a tree and decorated it nicely. I guess I needed a symbol of light. I feel calm and happy seeing the lights glow. Although right now I’m feeling overwhelmed, the tree shines on.

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I get nostalgic around Christmas time. Nothing beats the joy of waking up to see what Santa brought as a kid. My memories of childhood Christmases are busy ones. I had three places to be each year. That increased as I became an adult. I remember the sound of shotgun pellets raining on the roof. I guess it’s a country tradition. I will also love the huge Christmas tree my Granny had up each year. To me, it was a wonderland. I’m trying to hold onto these good feelings.

I had a fun trip to Colorado. I loved the natural beauty of mountains.It was great seeing Rachel and Andrew. The trip was enlightening on a personal level. I realized some things about myself that needed healing and other wounds that had healed. A new environment gives a fresh perspective. The Colorado country reminded me of Christmas and the power of nature. I had a Skyrim moment looking at these mountains.

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I’m trying to let go of this week’s stress and look forward to Christmas. I’ve felt challenged on many levels this week. Christmas is not about buying the most gifts. It is about making memories. It’s about cherishing your loved ones and spending the time with them. For me, most of all, it’s being glad that there in some light in the darkness. I have a great family and friends. I have a wonderful dog trio to love on this Christmas. It doesn’t take much to be glad about Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

 

Five Books I can’t wait for

2017 has a slew of new books coming out by my favorite authors. I really can’t wait to read them, but I have to. Each book on this list is tickling my fancy in some way. I’m going to need a bigger bookshelf. My old one collapsed a few months back. I’ve been using two small ones to take up the slack. My fingers are itching to open these new books, and my patience is being tested. Take a look at the books that are ready to hit my shelf in 2017.

Five Books I can’t wait for

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey: My favorite author and my number on Shakespeare play combined for an entertaining retelling? Sign me up! Although a part of me wishes she would return to Terre D’Ange, I’m eager to read her newest endeavor. Madame Carey has not disappointed me once.

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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: Gaiman is a brilliant storyteller. There is only one book of his I didn’t enjoy. Now that is he writing about one my favorite topics in the world; I’m beyond excited. I can’t wait to read his take on Loki, Thor, Baldur, and all the Norse myths I love.

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Blade Bound by Chloe Neill: This installment is tinged with sadness because I hear it is the last book in the series. I’ve loved reading about Merit and the gang. But, it’s better than dragging out the series. I look forward to seeing what happens to Ethan and Merit.

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Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs: My levels of excitement for this book are high. Mrs. Briggs, who I got to see at DragonCon, talked about this book extensively. Mercy’s adventures are always full of action and Mercy saving the day. It will be interesting to see Mercy on by herself without the supporting cast.

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Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead: The first book in this series exceeded my expectations. I’m ready to read what happens to the next group of court girls. The women in the story are strong and use their wits to find happiness. Mira’s story looks like it will be interesting.

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These books are only the ones coming out early next year. What books are you looking forward to next year?

Heroine at 31

Yesterday, I turned 31 years old. Admittedly, I was having a small depressive episode over the past few days. However, I was reminded how loved I was this weekend. It’s hard to have a large gathering of friends with everyone having busy lives. That’s why it was so great eating with my friends Saturday night. They are all great people. I enjoyed hearing about what they were doing and cooing over cute babies. I even enjoyed getting picked on. I think only Bessie has some photos. I wasn’t too interested in taking pics but savoring the moments.

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My oldest friend on record sent me a gift from Etsy. It was of literary themed stationary set. It was mostly Anne of Green Gables, a shared loved, but the bookmark struck a cord. I’ve never liked feeling like victim. But I don’t think I’ve lived up to being a heroine either. It reminded me that my friends think this about me, even if I don’t think it myself. This patchwork heroine has a great support team. I got many birthday messages, good meals, and large dose of thankfulness.

I think one of the best gifts this year, other than amazing friends, is Missy. The universe knew I needed her. Dogs really are a great form of therapy. A heroine needs a sidekick, right? Mine has four legs and acts like a big baby. She pulls through when I need her. Of course, any animal that makes you happy is great therapy. Heck, my hermit crabs Carlos and Simon are entertaining.

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Heroines are not perfect. They have issues like everyone else. Some days it’s a struggle, but the important thing is you made it through the day. The smallest kindness is a true heroic act. Remember, you are the hero or heroine of  your story.

(Note: We are back up and expect a book post this week!)

Recommended Reading: Cruel Beauty

If you haven’t picked up Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, I suggest you run to your library or bookstore asap. This book is fantastic in so many ways. It’s an eclectic retelling of Beauty and the Beast with some serious homage to Howl’s Moving Castle. There is beautiful imagery, and the love story is imperfect. True love, at least my opinion, is accepting the darkness with the light. It’s a huge theme in this book. There is also the whimsy of the castle that constantly changes its appearance. There is magic and more fantasy elements to satisfy readers. Here is the official synopsis from Amazon.com:

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom’s mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can’t resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who’s gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

However, the official synopsis doesn’t do it justice.

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Cruel Beauty

This isn’t a review, so I’m not going to go over each point in the book. The main plot of the book is Nyx finding a way to kill Ignifex to save the world of Arcadia. However, this is just the action that drives the novel. Yes, it’s also about demons and magic and all that jazz. The heart of the story is two imperfect people saving each other. Nyx is not a pure-hearted heroine and Ignifex is a snarky demon. It’s about seeing what is inside someone and accepting it. Ignifex performs his demon deals because he is bound and also he knows that people are full of greed. They are willing to make deals to get what they want, no matter who it hurts. Nyx’s own father made a deal with Ignifex. She begins to understand what made Ignifex the way he is.

Beauty and the Beast is about revealing the prince under the beastly exterior. Belle falls in love with the Beast, which reveals his true self. However, the Beast and Prince are in the same form in this story. Nyx has a beast in her heart as well. This one line in the book stuck in my heart:

“I wanted to hit him again. I wanted to cry. Most of all, I wanted to forget my mission and lose myself in the embrace of the one person who had ever seen my heart and claimed to love me after.”-Nyx

I think this is what everyone wants. Whether it’s romantic love or friendship, we want acceptance for all that we are. Even if you aren’t a romantic, this love story in this novel is amazing. As previously stated, the castle is another draw for this book. It continually reshapes itself and adds rooms. Nyx is always discovering a new place inside the castle. I felt like I was adventuring with her throughout the castle. I like books that draw you into the scenery.

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Morguefile.com

The book does have a few areas I wished could have been fleshed out more. I wanted to see Nyx use her magic more. She trained her, and I felt that some of that went to waste. I really wanted to see how her Father reacted at the end of the book as well. However, this book is still in my head even after finishing it weeks ago. I highly recommend it if you like fantasy, strong heroines, and some romance. Cruel Beauty will hopefully transform you just a little bit.