December 31, 2013

See ya next year!

Happy New Year! Have fun & be safe!

Blitz Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway! ~ Finding Narragansett by Shane Morgan

Welcome to the Blitz Tour for Finding Narragansett by Shane Morgan hosted by IFB Tours. Click here for the full tour schedule. :D

Title: Finding Narragansett 

Author: Shane Morgan

Release date: December 30th 2013

Publisher: TSW Books

Genre: New Adult Romance, Mystery 

~ Synopsis ~

For years, Julian has kept her emotional struggle a secret from her mother. Now at twenty-one, she's still unsure whether she should once and for all learn about the family that didn't accept her, or continue living her life with the emptiness in her heart.

Jules finally makes the decision to return to Narragansett, Rhode Island after 10 years, upon hearing the new of her father's death. It's supposed to be an 'in and out' trip - make peace with her heart, then return to Manhattan immediately. Only, she has no idea just what her deceased father has in store for her. 

Several obstacles continue to prolong her stay, and over time, Jules finds herself starting to trust the family that had denied her in the past. 

But just as she starts to discover the other side that was missing, Julian gets entangled in a web of lies and unexpectedly finds romance amidst it all.

~ Purchase Link ~ 

~ About the Author: Shane Morgan ~

Shane Morgan is a writer of Young Adult and Adult fiction. She enjoys contemporary, fantasy, romance, and horror. Her belief is that imaginations can never be too wild. If you're thinking it then the story is already written inside your head. It's simply time to share it with the rest of the world.

~ Social Links ~

December 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway! ~ The World Without a Future by Nazarea Andrews

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on The World Without a Future Blog Tour hosted by InkSlinger PR. Please click here for the full tour schedule. :D  

Title: The World Without a Future
Series: World Without End #1 
Author: Nazarea Andrews
Release date: December 3rd 2013
Genre: New Adult, Dystopian
Source: Review copy 

~ Synopsis ~

She was born the day the world ended...

Nurrin has lived her entire life with zombies - trapped behind walls meant to keep them safe. She's mostly happy there. But when a zombie horde breech the walls of her Haven, she has to trust her brother, Collin, and his best friend to keep her alive.

He just wants his past to die...

Finn O'Malley has given up on voicing warnings that are ignored. No one cares that the zombies are changing. Now all that matters is keeping Collin and Nurrin safe from what's outside the walls of a Haven. But when Nurrin's best friend picks up a contact infection, he agrees to get the medicine needed to save his life. Forced together, relying on each other in a strange Haven, zombies aren't the most dangerous thing they're facing.

~ My Thoughts ~

My Rating: 4 / 5 

Forget the zombie action - I want some more action with Finn! I felt strange liking Finn so much more than Dustin, considering Dustin is her boyfriend and the one Nurrin grew up with and is closest to besides her brother. She absolutely hates Finn, and I did too at first but he grew on me over time. He's mysterious but very arrogant and has an obvious physical attraction to her. I think that's all it is - I don't think he loves her or cares about her personality at all. So then I swing back to hating him off and on. 

How weird would it be if you were born on the day of the zombie apocalypse? It would make your birthday awkward. Nurrin is a First, born on that day, and she never gets a birthday party since that's a day that is remembered in a somber way. With all of the zombie books I've read and movies I've seen, I never thought about being born on the day of the zombie apocalypse. Being a First also puts her life in danger, and she has to do her best to conceal that fact. 

The zombies in this book are incredibly fast, so any time they were chasing Nurrin and her friends, I pictured the zombies from the Dawn of the Dead remake back in 2004. Those were some fast zombies, which makes them even scarier. I can't run for very long, so I would be screwed. The zombie scenes in The World Without a Future were action packed, intense, very well done and had my pulse racing. 

There were a few sexual situations that make this a new adult novel rather than young adult. I love the way the apocalypse started - not that lives are lost but that it seemed so realistic and came about from something people tried to do to make life easier. The World Without a Future was an exciting read, and I look forward to the sequel. 

~ Purchase Links ~

~ About the Author: Nazarea Andrews ~

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

~ Social Links ~

December 29, 2013

Release Event: Giveaway & Excerpt ~ The NAturals Present Unwrapped


New Adult Multiple Genre Novella Collection
Stories by Laurelin Paige, Sierra Simone, Melanie Harlow, Tamara Mataya, Katherine McGee, Gennifer Albin

Available December 23, 2013

Six romance authors present six very different novellas in this anthology of new stories: Ménage a tango lessons. A bride DYING to say, 'I don't.' A horny college boy at a purity rally. Time-traveling graduate students meet Victorian playboys. A rugby player who's as dirty off the field as on. And kissing under the mistletoe with a Scottish exchange student. Something for everyone, the NAturals present sweet, funny, and erotic tales of new adults meant to be Unwrapped all year long and not just at Christmas.  

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Excerpt from Three to Tango

By Melanie Harlow

Secretly I'm a smut fiend, but only when it comes to books. Until last night, the only outwardly kinky thing about me was my hair on a rainy day. I'm a kindergarten teacher, for heaven's sake. I wear fuzzy slippers and granny panties. Ballet flats and sweater sets. I didn't even have sex until I was twenty-one, and then it was a lights-out, missionary-position, TV-blaring-to-cover-the-squeaky-dorm-room-bed kind of experience. (I still remember the rerun of How I Met Your Mother that was on, and let's just say that Marshall's description of the perfect burger was way more orgasmic than losing my virginity.)

Eventually I learned how to get myself off (in the total privacy of my shower, of course) and figured out what all the throbbing and moaning in my books was about, and I did manage to have two lovely little orgasms with Guy #2 last summer, but it took a lot of work. And time. So much time that I kept apologizing to the guy, and I couldn't relax. I mean, he stuck with it and all, but compared to the fast-building, toe-curling, earth-shattering, mind-blowing romps on my Kindle, my sex life was totally vanilla.

And then I took a tango lesson.    

About the Authors Laurelin Paige, Gennifer Albin, Melanie Harlow, Sierra Simone, Kayti McGee Downey, and Tamara Mataya are the six authors who blog for They each write romance and adore pushing the boundaries of the genre. Above all, they love reading smut, looking at pictures of hot men, and making up names for the band they’re always talking about forming.

Release Event organized by:
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Book Blitz: Giveaway & Book Excerpt ~ Curve by Nicola Hudson

Welcome to the Blitz for Curve hosted by Irresistible Reads Book Tours. Please click here for a list of the participating blogs. :)

Below you'll find the book info plus an excerpt. I think Curve sounds fabulous! It sounds like a thrilling read packed with tension and suspense. Read on and you'll see what I mean! 

Title: Curve
Author: Nicola Hudson
Release date: October 25th 2013
Genre: New Adult
Blitz organized by: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

~ Synopsis ~

A New Adult novel suitable for readers aged 15+, due to strong language, sensitive themes and sexual content. 

Cass is seventeen and never been kissed, let alone touched, when two boys become interested in her. Flynn is the older brother of her best friend, yet Cass has never considered him as anything other than that. Rob is the school sports star and becomes obsessed with Cass when he loses a bet because of her. As the relationship between Cass and Flynn develops, Rob's interest becomes increasingly malevolent. One night changes Cass's life and threatens to destroy her relationship with Flynn, as well as her future.

~ Purchase Links ~ 

* On sale from December 27th to January 3rd! * 

~ Excerpt ~

Things like this don't happen to me. 

As we swayed slightly awkwardly in time with the warblings of a ballad being sung by one of those manufactured boybands, I tried to enjoy the moment for what it was: me, Cass Jones, dancing with Rob Meadows at the Sixth Form Christmas party.

Rob Meadows, star of the school rugby team.

Rob Meadows, blonde god of gorgeousness. 


The evening was coming to an end and, after the rowdy jump-dancing of earlier, the DJ was playing the compulsory slow numbers that signalled the end of the party for some but just the start of the evening for others. And there I was, still dancing.

The Sixth Form Christmas party was a highlight of the school social calendar, especially as it usually provided significant fodder for the yearbook. All of Year 13 had started to think about lives beyond school, our small town, even our friends, as part of the university application process. Consequently, there was a sense of desperation to our attempts to create some happy memories to take with us. There we were, on the cusp of legal adulthood, yet not really sure of our place in the world.

Neve and I had debated whether or not to even bother going to the party. As habitual residents of the social periphery, we didn't really belong to any of the usual cliques found in most high schools. And we were OK with that, enjoying the sense of irony in watching those cliques shift and re-shape, occasionally even imploding. 

I'm not trying to suggest that the evening was some sort of Ugly Duckling transformation story. I am definitely not Cinderella.

But it was clear that others, as well as me, were surprised to see me there, doing that. I was dressed in some black lace concoction that Neve had assured me was 'a little bit sexy, but definitely not slutty,' opaque tights and a pair of ballet flats. It had been a nightmare trying to find something to wear that looked dressy enough, covered enough and didn't look like it should be worn by my mum. Neve had managed to cajole my hair into a side sweep of loose waves and hide the couple of spots that had appeared, as if on cue, that morning. I knew I didn't look like most of the other girls, especially those with their fake tans, fake hair and fake nails, but I was OK with that.

Usually I was happy with the office-wear rules that made up the dress code for Sixth Form: black trousers, a plain tee shirt and a cardigan had become my own unofficial uniform. So maybe people were surprised to see me in a dress. Or maybe it was because Rob was dancing with me. 

That was more likely the cause. 

About half an hour earlier, Rob Meadows had come over to our table, drink in hand, sat down and started chatting like we were long-time friends. He joked about some of the teachers, and recalled some of the funny moments from when we had lessons together in main school. As the conversation continued, he had moved his chair closer to mine, as though he was struggling to hear what I was saying. At one point, when he touched my arm to point out the drunken antics of one of the other rugby team players, I finally got the message. 

Rob was flirting with me.

When he asked me to dance, I looked across at Neve, who was bravely trying not to look like a fifth wheel. I knew she was as surprised as me at what was happening; this had not even been considered in the endless discussions we had had about the evening before tonight. She shrugged her shoulders and I got up to follow Rob to the area where a few couples were in varying stages of becoming physically acquainted with each other. My heart was pounding. I had never danced with anyone other than Neve, and never like this! I decided that I just had to follow his lead; clearly this wasn't going to be his first time. 

As we moved together in time with the music, I felt the tautness of Rob's waist beneath my hands. I had worried about what to do with my hands but he had gently taken them and placed them on his hips before gathering his own around my neck, pulling me close. His thumb was softly rubbing my nape, the tiny movement sending shivers up and down my spine. My breath became shallower with each tingle.

Was this what all the fuss was about? If so, I finally got it. 

One sway brought us closer together and I was sure that I could feel him pressing into my hip. I'd never been that close to a boy before, well, not in that way, and I didn't have the foggiest about what to do. I was sure that most of the girls would be able to laugh it off with some innuendo-laden joke, some might even have moved in closer. But I wasn't one of those girls and the last thing I wanted was to mess up what could be the best night of my life by handling it wrong. What if he ended up laughing at me? 

Within seconds though his one hand ran down my spine, leaving a line a line of warmth that went straight to my very core. Of course I'd been turned on before but never like this; never from the real-life touch of a real-life boy. The tingling feeling spread through me, taking my disbelief hostage along the way. Rob's hand lingered at the curve of my bum and pulled me closer to him. There was no way I could pretend not to know what it was pressed against me. 

"Can I cut in?" What? I was convinced it must be a joke; Neve's brother Flynn was trying to ruin my perfect moment? I gave him a withering look and held on tight to Rob. "Can I have this dance?" Flynn persisted, like he was a character out of a bloody Jane Austen novel. 

"Uh, sure mate. I'll go get us another drink, Cass." Rob gave me a long look, full of meaning I couldn't decipher, and walked to the end of the room where his friends were rowdily clustered around the bar. Meanwhile I was stood like a statue in the middle of the dancing couples. When Flynn tried to take hold of me, in a bizarre repeat of Rob's earlier move, I squirmed away. 

"What the hell are you doing?" I demanded, unsure whether I was angry, frustrated, or both. Flynn's shoulder shrug added to my fury. "Can't you see that the last thing I want at this precise moment is what has just happened?" Flynn smirked and put his arms on my shoulders. "I mean it, Flynn!" I didn't want to make even more of a spectacle of myself but I couldn't remember feeling that angry before.

"Just hold me and pretend that you're having the best time of your life," he whispered into my ear, so close I felt him inhale.

~ About the Author: Nicola Hudson ~

I am a new British writer. 

Obviously, I love reading and reading about reading. My taste goes from Shakespeare to John Green...and much of what lies between! Dickens, check. Austen, check. Atwood, check.

Over Christmas 2012, I discovered the joy of new adult fiction and, inspired by Colleen Hoover and Tammara Webber, I decided to try my hand at writing my own NA novel. 

I love the friendliness of the Indie writer community and have been overwhelmed by the support of followers interested in my journey. Please feel free to monitor my publishing progress via my Facebook page :-) 

~ Social Links ~
     Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter 

~ Giveaway ~
Signed paperback of Curve
New Adult author swag pack
Ebook of Curve
$5 Amazon GC
$5 Amazon GC

December 27, 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Frenched by Melanie Harlow

By Melanie Harlow

New Adult/Adult Sexy Contemporary Romance
Releasing March 4, 2014
Cover designed by Tom Barnes

Mia Devine plans over-the-top weddings for a living. So when it comes to her own nuptials, she spares no expense—hand engraved invitations, Vera Wang gown, luxury honeymoon in France. And since her fiancé is Tucker Branch, playboy heir and notorious flirt, local media is obsessed with every little detail. 

Which is why it really sucks when he jilts her a week before the wedding. 

Mortified, Mia wants nothing more than to crawl under her newly monogrammed sheets and plan a funeral for her dignity, right after blabbing to the world how fitting it is that Tucker will inherit a bolt and screw company, because that’s all he wants to do—screw, and bolt. And he doesn’t do either with much finesse. 

When her friends convince her that bitter tastes better when it’s drowned in Bordeaux, she grits her teeth and packs her bags, determined to make the best of a week in Paris alone. 

She never planned on meeting Lucas Fournier. 

The free-spirited musician’s scruffy good looks and less-than-sympathetic ear annoy her at first, but when she takes him up on his offer to show her around the city, she discovers that the romance of Paris isn’t just a myth. 

Nor is the simultaneous O. 

The last thing Mia needs is another doomed love affair, but since she only has a week, she figures she might as well enjoy La Vie en O with Lucas while she can. But each day—and night—with him is better than the last, and suddenly her heart is telling her this is more than a rebound fling. 

Is it just the seduction of Paris…or could this be the real thing?

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  About the Author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She's a 20th century fanatic and gets her kicks from historical fiction and TV series like Boardwalk Empire, Magic City, Deadwood, Mad Men, and Downtown Abbey (although she wishes it were more HBO and less PBS). Her debut novel, Speak Easy, was inspired by Detroit's fascinating Prohibition-era history. 

  Blog | Facebook | Twitter

I'm so excited to read Frenched! Look at that cover! I read Speak Easy, Melanie Harlow's debut novel, and I was blown away by her writing. I'm reading every book she writes! :D What do you think of the cover? 

~ Giveaway ~ 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours
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December 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway ~ Addicted for Now (Addicted #2) by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Addicted For Now Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Click here for the full tour schedule. :D

Title: Addicted for Now
Series: Addicted #2
Authors: Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie
Release date: November 30th 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Source: Review copy

~ Synopsis ~ 

He's addicted to booze. She's addicted to sex...staying sober is only half the battle. 

No. More. Sex.

Those are the three words Lily Calloway fears the most. But Loren Hale is determined to be with Lily without enabling her dangerous compulsions. With their new living situation - sleeping in the same bed, for real, together - Lily has new battles. Like not jumping Lo' bones every night. Not being consumed by sex and his body.

Loren plans to stay sober, to right all of his wrongs. So when someone threatens to expose Lily's secret to her family and the public, he promises that he'll do anything to protect her. But with old enemies surfacing, Lo has more at stake than his sobriety. 

They will torment Lily until Lo breaks.

And his worst fear isn't relapsing. He hears the end. He sees it. The one thing that could change everything. Just three words. 

No. More. Us.

New Adult Romance recommended for readers 18+ for mature content

~ My Thoughts ~ 

My Rating: 5 / 5

Lily and Lo are reunited after Lo has come home from rehab, and both are tentatively ready to make serious changes in their relationship to keep from enabling one another. They need each other too much to move forward without one another. With the support of Lily's therapist, they work on opening up communication and living together, not sneaking off alone to indulge in their respective addictions. 

Addicted for Now alternates POV between Lo and Lily, so for the first time ever, we get to hear Lo's voice. Lo hasn't been home for even a week when an anonymous person begins texting him, threatening to spill Lily's sex addiction to the tabloids. Lily and Lo go through Lo's enemies, trying to figure out who it is, but there are too many. I felt so much emotion for them - they're going through so much already, and now someone is threatening them on top of everything. Lily's past is coming back to haunt her in a big way, and the same can be said for Lo. 

I remember the huge moment in Addicted to You, at the end of the book, when the carefully built lies crumble all around Lily and Lo in front of Rose, Ryke, and Connor. That was such an emotional part of the book, and a huge turning point for these characters. Addicted for Now has huge emotional moments like that, and I really felt the impact of Lily and Lo fighting off their respective cravings. I've seen inside their relationship, and while they used to enable each other, now they are fighting together to become healthy and happy. I'm all for them staying together.  

There was so much tension throughout the book in trying to figure out who was the anonymous texter. So many emotions came from me while I was reading that at times, it was almost too intense for me. If you want to know the intimate details of a struggling sex addict and a recovering alcoholic, then this is it. I can't imagine a more personal account than Lily and Lo telling their story. They have this incredible love for one another but also have incredible insecurities from the voices that try to get them to give in to their addictions. Lily said it best when she said she didn't feel safe anywhere. That's how I imagine it would be like. 

I can't recommend this series enough! You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll hurt for Lily and Lo. You'll see what has led up to the actions they took to mask their pain. If you've read Addicted to You but haven't read Ricochet, you really need to read Ricochet before tackling this one. It will enhance your experience of Lily and Lo's point-of-views.       

~ Purchase Links ~
Amazon | B&N 

~ Books #1 & #1.5 ~


Title: Addicted to You
Series: Addicted #1
Release date: July 1st 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Source: Review copy

My Rating: 5 / 5 

~ Purchase Links ~ 
Amazon | B&N | Kobo 

Addicted to You on sale at Amazon for $0.99! 

Title: Ricochet 
Series: Addicted #1.5
Release date: August 1st 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance 
Source: Purchased copy

~ Synopsis ~

As a sex addict, Lily Calloway must do the impossible. Stay celibate for 90 days.

Cravings and fantasies become her new routine, but while Loren Hale recovers from his alcohol addiction, Lily wonders if he'll realize what a monster she really is. After all, her sexual compulsions begin to rule her life the longer she stays faithful to him.

Progress. That's what Lily's striving for. But by trying to become closer to her family - people who aren't aware of her addiction - she creates larger obstacles. When she spends time with her youngest sister, she learns more about her than she ever imagined and senses an unsettling connection between Daisy and Ryke Meadows.

With Lily and Lo's dysfunctional relationship teetering and unbalanced, they will need to find a way to reconnect from miles apart. But the inability to "touch" proves to be one of the hardest tests on their road to recovery. Some love brushes the surface. Some love is deeper than skin. 

Lily and Lo have three months to discover just how deep their love really goes.

~ My Thoughts ~ 

My Rating: 5 / 5 

I can't get enough of this series and these characters! The minute I saw this was released, I bought a copy! I needed more Lily and Lo and to tide me over until the second book, Addicted for Now, would be released. This companion novel to the Addicted series starts off with Lo beginning his ninety days in rehab and Lily beginning her time living with Rose and and attending outpatient therapy.  

We get to see so much more of Rose behind her facade. And I truly grew to love her. She's completely supportive and accepting of Lily, which really shocked me because I expected her to look at Lily as "dirty" once she found out about Lily's sex addiction. But I couldn't have been more wrong, and I love her for every single thing she's done to help Lily and Lo. 

There isn't as much Lo until later in the book, but it makes sense because he's not allowed to have contact with Lily or anyone for the first month in rehab. I'm not a huge Ryke fan, although if it wasn't for him, Lily and Lo probably wouldn't be where they are today. He keeps watch over Lily while Lo is away, and the reason I don't like him is because he isn't supportive of Lily and Lo's relationship. I know they've enabled each other for years, but even Lily's therapist believes they can be the most help to each other. They can turn things around and be a positive influence rather than enabling. They need each other. Ryke seems jealous of Lily sometimes. 

I loved Ricochet. I feared it would be super short, but it was more like the length of a full novel. I also appreciated that we got to see what happens during the time Lo is in rehab. Where Ricochet ends, Addicted for Now begins.   

~ Purchase Links ~    
Amazon | B&N 

~ About the Authors: Becca Ritchie & Krista Ritchie ~


Becca Ritchie is a carnivore of pop culture, television, film and of course YA and NA books. While in college, she worked at The CW television network and put her vampiric knowledge to good use, blogging about hit series and swooning over actors' abs. When she's not blogging, she writes novels and has teamed up with her twin sister for their New Adult novel ADDICTED TO YOU. Available July of 2013.

Krista Ritchie is the mind behind popular trading website YA Book Exchange and created Nawanda Files, a book blog that also features books into movies news. When not pouring over entertainment news and the newest releases, she spends her time conducting research in a genetics lab. She's happy to join forces with her sister, harnessing their twin powers to produce the first in a New Adult series.

~ Social Links ~ 

Becca's Links: Goodreads | Twitter 

Krista's Links: Goodreads | Twitter 

~ Giveaway ~ 
1 - $25 Amazon Gift Card, 
Paperback copies of Addicted to You 
and Addicted for Now 
(Open INT)   

December 20, 2013

Feature & Follow #35 ~ Try Horror!

I'm so excited to join Feature & Follow Friday!! This is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where they each feature a blogger with an interview and also have a question or activity for all bloggers to participate in answering. Please click the links above to follow the hosting bloggers and the featured bloggers and enter the link to your own post in the linky. Hop around to as many blogs as you can - find new blogs to follow and gain some new followers as well. Mingle and make some new blogger friends! :D

I would be so happy and ever so grateful if you'd follow me any way you'd like but especially by Bloglovin' or email (feedburner to the left) and Twitter. Thank you! <3

Follow on Bloglovin

 Q: Pick a book in your favorite genre that you'd recommend to a reluctant reader. 

A: I'm a huge lover of horror, and I'd recommend anything by Poppy Z. Brite (born a female, is transitioning to a male and is now known as Billy Martin). 

I've read two books by him so far: 

Drawing Blood 
by Poppy Z. Brite 

My Rating: 4 / 5 

Escaping from his North Carolina home after his father murders their family and commits suicide, Trevor McGee returns to confront the past, and finds himself haunted by the same demons that drove his father to insanity.

Wormwood: A Collection of Short Stories
by Poppy Z. Brite

My Rating: 4 / 5 

A collection of erotic horror stories follows the adventures of solace-seeking lonely hearts on a North Carolina highway, behind a dusty Georgia carny show, in a Baton Rouge mausoleum, and an alley in Calcutta.

These might not be for the faint of heart after all, lol. ;D

What's your favorite genre and suggestion? 

Happy #FF!!   

Think Out Loud #24 ~ Eep, She's 11!!

Have something you'd like to talk about that's non-bookish? Join this meme hosted by Thinks Books! Get to know your fellow bloggers outside the bookish realm! Click here for the 411. Every Thursday or whenever you can! :D

Last weekend Brady and I had our daughter's birthday party. She just turned 11 on December 12th. We had a party for family, and then afterward took a couple of her friends to Dave & Buster's, then they stayed the night. We all had a ton of fun!  


Look Ma, I got an Equestria girl! *Rainbow Dash* 

"Who says money doesn't grow on trees??" quipped Janie. 
That girl is one clever chica.  
A very cool idea for a present from her grandmas. 
She struck gold! 

My favorite part - birthday cake! Yum! XD

Brady picked out multicolored candles - cool dad, huh? :D

Jack's belated birthday present from Aunt Shelly and cousin Mila. 
He said, "I love it!!" when he unwrapped it. 
He wants to be Darth Vader SO badly, lol.


Mila wants to grab Jack's shoulder, lol.

I wish I had taken pics at Dave & Buster's, but I was lazy plus Jack and I were on a mission to win something awesome. We ended up winning a Nerf gun for him - he's super jealous of Janie's Nerf Rebelle bow and arrow. 
He says he doesn't care if it's girly, lol.

Ok, so what do I do now? I can't believe just a couple years ago I was freaking out about Janie turning 9, and here she is 11.  That was what my very first blog post was about. So many people out there think having kids is something they're entitled to, but I see it as a privilege. I didn't do anything to deserve a daughter like her, but I happen to be lucky enough to have this extraordinary young lady in my life. 

So how do I deal with the fact that she's growing up and is eventually going to keep us, her parents, at a distance while she's figuring out who she is and what she wants from life? I obviously don't want to keep her from growing as her own person because we're raising an adult, not a child. We're raising her to become independent and to navigate this world we live in with the skills she's going to need (I watch a lot of Dr. Phil, lol). But I miss those times when she used to sit with me in my chair, and we'd draw pictures together or play tic-tac-toe. 

Yesterday, I dug out my photo albums to find a photo of me from high school for my blog tour stop for the novel Class of '98 by A.L. Player. Plus, I remember Jack's first Christmas back in '09 so well. He was just a month old, and I dressed him up like Santa, an outfit from my mother-in-law (I'll post pics soon). I promised him I'd show him pictures from when he was a baby, and he oohed and aahed over them, lol. It was cute. 

But Janie wouldn't sit next to us when I asked her to. She said she'd rather sit and look at them alone. It really hurt my feelings, but I said okay. I couldn't help thinking God it's starting already. 

Yet she had a music program at the high school the night of her birthday on the 12th, and when the curtains opened, I could see her looking for us in the audience. So I think she's doing a push-and-pull kind of thing right now. 

I was horrified last year when I realized she was hanging out with different friends, and I had no idea who. I am staying plugged in to her life and what's going on, but there's only so long she'll talk. She has to do it herself on her own terms. If I ask her, she doesn't even say yes or no loud enough for me to hear, and I have to ask her again, which really annoys her. Which in turn annoys me because I feel like it's disrespectful. 

Anyone who has kids or not, who'd like to start a support group with me, just let me know. I sure could use one! O.o Am I overreacting? How do I accept she's growing up so fast?