Monday, August 27, 2012

Scarry stuff...

No, I'm not writing about a book tonight - though I'm reading two at the same time right now.  I'll let y'all know my thoughts on one of them when I finish...

I did feel like writing about something in my personal life - yeah! gasp!  Me - writing about my person life?  I haven't done that in a long time.  I don't know why I don't really write about my personal stuff, but I just felt like writing about it tonight.

Almost two weeks ago I went in for a regular ole, yearly, routine, something that every woman over 40 needs to do though it's torture, mammogram.  I went went it, got tortured, then left without thinking about it anymore.  I expected the usual response that I got earlier that week for the other stuff - all hunky dori normal and I didn't have to think about it anymore until next year.

Well, I wasn't so lucky...

I was told that I had something show up on the mammogram and that I needed to go back for followup mammograms and should see a specialist just to make sure everything was okay.  I really thought everything was going to be okay because my first mammogram showed some weird stuff in it too and they just said that it wasn't anything to worry about.

I don't know why this time is so different, but I've had more appointments in the past few days than I'd ever care to have for the rest of my life!  On Friday I have one doc say that she didn't see anything and that everything is fine.  She even went on to mention that the report she got didn't match what she saw on her ultrasound... but today I had not only another painful mammogram session, and had another ultrasound - and I actually saw something on there!!!!  I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest... everything else around the tissue was just kind of grey with some white going through here and there - but that black spot stood out to where an untrained eye like mine could see it.

Now, I was told that most likely that it's a lymph node and that there's nothing to worry about, but they wanted me to come back in 6 months just to make sure.  If this whole thing is "nothing", why do I need to go back in 6 months?

Oh goodness, I don't need this kind of stress.  I just want the next 6 months to pass so they can say "Okay, it really is nothing to worry about - see you again in a year!". 

When I was first told last week that the mammogram last week was not normal, it's true that the nurse didn't explain it very well to me and I misunderstood something, but it really freaked me out.  I felt so bad for my co-workers and manager.  I am not usually such a cry baby, but I've broken down crying in front of my co-works 3 times already!  I've only been there for 6 months!  Yeah, I think I'm back to cry baby status.  All I could think about was what was going to happen to my husband and kids if something happened?  I didn't worry about myself, all of my thoughts concentrated on my family.  Oh crap, just remember that day has started the water works again...

So, in 6 months I'm expecting my own fairy tail happy ending with puppy dogs, rainbows and singing lolly pops when my doc tells me that I don't have anything to worry about.... but in the mean time, I'll continue just doing what I always do. 

Take care,


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Hidden Witch - Modern Witch Book 2

Yep, I went ahead and read the second book of the series.  I know I had my problems with the first one, but hey, what can I say?  I know what I like to read.  :-)  This bit of rambling, though, will sound much better than the first.  I still have my usual complaints about the characters, but I think some of them came out a little more in this book.

I just finished reading A Hidden Witch by Debora Geary.  I noticed that my write up on the first book got a whopping 13 views!  That's almost a record for me.  :-)  So, I guess that means that this book series is a bit more popular than I thought if I had that many views.  :-)

Okay, back to the book.

I have to admit that this writer's style is starting to grow on me.  I feel that this book was a bit more playful than the first one.  Some of the characters' personalities started to pop a bit more, but there were just as many puppets walking around as well.  For example, what's the scoop with Sophie?  I know that she's a healer and trained with Aunt Moira, but what is her story?  Why does she live by herself and doesn't feel comfortable going back to Nova Scotia?  I know it has something to do with Elorie, but she never really got into much detail other than Elorie's jealousy of Sophie being a witch and she not.  But that's no reason to give up your family, so I know that there has to be more to it.  I'm sure that she can have a pretty good story there and I hope that the writer will take the time to give us a glimpse into her world, but for now I'm sad that she is still one of those puppets I just talked about.

The focus on this book is on another character rather than Lauren.  Lauren is just a minor character in this book, but our favorite witching mom, Nell, and her little trouble maker Aervyn are still pretty major characters in this book as well. 

Some of the new characters are kinda neat in this book.  My favorite is probably the one that no one else likes - which with me it would figure - and that is old uncle Marcus.  This is the kind of character that no one really likes and makes children cry (no, really, it said in the book) so it makes me like him instantly.  And no, I'm not so evil that I like to hear when old geezers make children cry on purpose, but it always cracks me up that characters like this are always written the same - they are so incredibly uncomfortable around kids that they don't know what to do and therefore, instead of trying to get the kids to like him, he just acts his usual grumpy self and scares the kids to tears.  :-)  Ha, ha!  Love it.  But then, on the other hand, these same types of characters usually soften up during the story as well.  Sigh... and that's always a pity.

Yes, one of my hero's is Gru from Despicable Me - and uncle Marcus kind of reminds me of him - and yes, even when he gets that soft spot for the kids.  But thank goodness that our writer kept some grumpiness in him even through the end.  :-)  Yaye!  :-) 

I find is fascinating that in so many of these genre of books that there is almost always someone that is stinking rich.  And in this case, it's Nell, Jamie and their family.  They make plans to go to Nova Scotia and move up the trip at the last minute - and they can afford to do that!!!  Jamie uses his shrinking magic to make jewelry sized iphones so that they can be put inside jewerly.  It must be nice to be able to spend that kind of money in real life but I don't know... and even if I did have the money, I'm so cheap that I may not want to buy a dozen iphones for a bunch of people that I may not know that well.  :-)  :-)  I also found it interesting that Elorie and her husband, who run a local bed and breakfast, always seem to be feeding a whole bunch of people at once.  I wonder how they can afford that?  I'm wondering if they're loaded too.  :-)

What made this story a little more interesting is the new type of witch magic that is discovered in this book.  It's a technology based magic that has everyone scratching their heads at first, and it takes one of the Nell's 9 year old triplets to help figure it out.  I cracks me up how this child is supposed to be only a year older than my own son and she's a total genius and knows how to code internet games, set up networks and computers and all of that fancy technology stuff.  Sure, my son can figure out how to use my phone better than I can, but he's still trying to figure out his mutiplication tables and how to write in cursive.  This girl almost puts Doogie Howzer to shame!  :-)  :-) 

Sure, fantasy books are pretty unbelieveable, but hey, so are comic books and look at the popularity of those!  :-)  This was a fun book to read, but I'm ready for a break.  I need something with a little less playful, kids, cookies and chocolate ice cream.  Maybe another Revenloft book is in my near future?  :-)  :-)

Happy reading,


Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Modern Witch Book 1

I don't know where I had heard of this book or who recommended it, but I'm glad that I was able to find them fairly cheap on Amazon last week.  I downloaded all four of the books that were available for the Kindle and started reading.  :-)

I just finished the first book of a series called A Modern Witch by Deborah Geary.  The writing style and story type very much reminded me of Debbie Macomber with some paranormal twists, and the book was all very sweet and happy.  I read two of Debbie Macomber's series, and they all were pretty much the same - what I call the rainbow and puppy dog type of style.  It's not the usual kind of book that I like to read, but I'll read the rest of the books I downloaded for two reasons:  I paid a buck 99 for each one, plus I'm curious to see how she takes the rest of this story.  Is she going to continue with the focus on the same characters, or will she jump around like in the Macomber books?

I had a little bit of trouble really getting into this book for a few reasons.  The characters were really shallow - I hardly knew anything about them and I had a hard time wanting to read this book.  As the story went on the characters started to come alive a little bit, but it's hard to read a book that has a bunch of puppets for the first 1/3 of the story.  Okay, I'm being mean here and I know it.  But as I get older, I guess I get meaner, and in my old age, I have no problem telling it like it is - at least in my own warped mind.  :-)

There is one specific part that I found myself rolling my eyes because it lacked so much... our main character in this book, Lauren, meets her trainer who also happens to be a world known photographer - Jennie.  Jennie is showing off pictures of her three newborn grand babies and all I know about these pictures is that the babies are 'adorable'.  Okay, so what made them adorable?  What were they doing?  What did they look like?  Even a couple extra lines of description could have made this almost insignificant part of the book a little more interesting.  She certainly took the time to describe one of the photos that was on the book on the coffee table that Jennie had taken.  Why couldn't this be applied a little more to this part of the book or the rest?

I think this has become one of my issues with some of the books that I've been reading lately.  I want to know the characters and like them.  When I don't know anything about them, but the books progression has them going through a fun and cute story, it's not enough for me to really want to read more by this author.  I want to know what makes some of these characters tick.  I got to know Lauren's best friend, Nat, a little more in this manner than we did for many of the other characters.  I know that Nat grew up as an only child with parents that were a bit cold.  I also know that Nat had a secret longing to have a large and loving family - something that she didn't feel that she had with her own parents.  I find out later in the book that her parents are indeed the cold hearted jerks who had never taken the time to look at the business that their daughter built or see the life that she made for herself with much success.

I know that Lauren also grew up as an only child and her parents had moved away from Chicago to retire in Florida.  But other than being a bit lonely and having the dream of having siblings, I really don't find out much more about her.  Maybe this is one of those feel good stories that I need to give a bit of time in order to have the characters really come out.  I've read plenty of books that are like this - and i really haven't written about them much in the past because there isn't much I could have said.  Well, I know what to say now and I think I'm saying it right... if not, just blame it on my mindless rambling.  :-)  I'm not a writer, so half of the stuff I ramble on about may be total rubbish to a more educated reader than me.  But I know know what I like to read...  :-)

Okay, enough about the characters and how this part of this writer's talents needs a little more help (only in my own, uneducated, humble opinion), but story was pretty good.  This writer has an amazing skill to keep the story going nice and smooth.  I don't like jumpy stories very much, and this didn't really have any of that.  The progression was logical with nice transitions.  I liked how the ending of each chapter had that perfect "i can put the book down for the night" transition, then the beginning of the next picked up right where I needed it.  I don't know how else to word this... but it made sense to me at the time i was writing it.  :-)

I also liked how the conflict in the story was so minimal compared so some of the books that I tend to read.  I'm trying to expand my reading 'horizons' where death and destruction are not the normal course of the story, so give a girl a break if I can't embrace this type of style that easily or quickly.  :-)  One of the little things that really stood out in this story that I am looking forward to in the next books is the playful banter between the characters.  I liked now Nell lost multiple bets for who knows how much dark chocolate and ice cream on how Lauren and Net were going to make Jamie do certain things (sorry, you'll have to read the book to find out what they were).  The connection that Lauren and Aervyn was really cute and I liked how poor Jamie was the victim of their practical jokes as well.  Jamie, being the good sport that he was, took it all in stride but played his own little jokes as well.  I don't see this kind of playfulness in some of the books I usually read - well, there is playfulness, but not in this same manner.  This kind of playfulness can only be written this this genre of book.  :-)  I'm not being specific here on purpose... You'll just have to read the book to know what I mean.  :-)

Overall, I can understand why the popularity of this book series has grown and is passed along - through blogs like this one, or on social media networks like I'm about to do when I post the link on my Facebook page.  Even though I do not think Debbie Macomber is the best writer, and I'm pretty sure I'm done with that author for now, she has a huge following that keeps growing.  I have a feeling that this writer is going to have the same - if she doesn't already.  I looked up to see how many other books she has under her belt and she is a pretty established writer - and because this is not one of my usual types of books, I'm not surprised that I had never heard of her before.  Well, I've heard of her now, so the next step for me is to get started on book number two and see how well that one turns out.  :-)

Happy reading,


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What to do when you're not feeling well?

I haven't been feeling well for the past couple of days and other than watching a bit of TV (which I don't really do that much anyway) and sleeping, I've been reading.  I just finished the book Clair-obscure by Billie Hinton.  This was a really interesting book and made me think of the messed up characters from Fifty Shades of Grey without all of the sex.  There is sex implicated in the book, but not with the detail that you get from Fifty Shades.  You still have the messed up characters, starting with our main character, Clair.

This writer has a unique writing style that I've not been comfortable with in other books.  She writes in the present tense but it's kind of choppy, but in a strange way that worked for this book.  I've started The Road and one other book that I can't seem to find the title of, and I just couldn't get into them.  This book had an interesting story - at least interesting enough to make me want to keep reading despite the writing style.

So we start with Clair, a constant victim - a child neglected by her mom, who always did everything she could to get her approval and most of all, her love.  She's a victim of divorce after her father decides to leave her mom because he finally admitted that he was gay.  She was a victim of rape from a date she had in high school after the Spring Dance.  Her date was not only drunk, but he was also driving her around in his inebriated state.  So, all we know about Clair is that she is poor, little Clair that is constantly depressed and liked to write letters to dead writers - but just not any writer... Virginia Wolf who was the writer that is known for not only her work, but for killing herself.

There is a bit of hope with Clair with she meets Finn... and oh boy, Finn is one messed up person.  He's a med student that has some serious issues.  He makes Fifty Shades look normal!  Okay, Christian can never really be 'normal', but he and Finn can sure compete against each other on who's more messed up.  :-) 

So you get messed up Clair and messed up Finn and you start getting a really interesting story.  Clair ends up moving in with Finn but their relationship doesn't progress like she expected it to.  Clair has her own room.  Finn locks his bedroom door every night and every time he leaves to work at the hospital.  Finn doesn't even kiss Clair until she's been living with him for a few months.

In her desperation for acceptance and what she thinks is love, she goes out and has a one night stand with an off duty police officer that liked to have sex with his gun next to them.  Then she meets Raoul (interesting spelling) who not only saves her from her own depression, but ends up saving her from Finn.

The best part of the book is the fairy tail ending... no, it doesn't say if Clair ever moves in or gets married to Raoul, but she does finally get into therapy and moved out on her own to become her own person and learns to not have to depend on someone else for company.  She stops writing to Virginia Wolf and gets out of that depression.  Not quite fairy tail, but a good, logical ending for someone with problems like she had.

If only this book were displayed next to the Fifty Shades of Grey books in the book store with "now this is how the stories should end" over the Clair-obscure book.  I just saw that there is a second book to this series on the writer's Amazon page.  I'll have to check that one out.  I may not download it right away, but I will seriously think about it. 

Happy Reading,


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Feel good book. :-)

Yes, I've been reading more crap that good stuff lately and I think I finally found a winner in the stack.  I really enjoyed this last book because it was really cute and adorable with babies, men who didn't know what the heck they were doing, best friends that didn't know what she was doing either but didn't break down like the guys... I'm glad that the book didn't have super cheesy pegacats or eye rolling ridiculousness like that, but this book was still up there in the cute factor.

The book I just finished reading was called Drew in Blue by J.M. Kelley.  We have our main character, Drew, who finds himself thrown in instant daddy-hood by a two night stand 'girlfriend' who decided that she couldn't be a mom.  She just shows up one night and deposits a two month (or was he 4 months? either way, he was a teeny little guy) old baby on Drews lap and takes off.  Since Drew's own childhood was spent in foster care after the death of his own mother, he couldn't think of putting this baby through the same kind of thing.  So, he tried his hardest to become a father.

His best friend, Kris, is the one and only person he knows he can depend on to help him since all of his other 'friends' kind of disappeared after little Nick showed up.  Since Drew and Kris had been best friends since they were 8, it kind of made sense that they had feelings for each other - but it took something like 28 years for them to finally admit to each other that they were in love (even though they were already acting like an old married couple for the past 20 years).  :-)  :-)

The baby adventures that Drew has with his baby Nick are really adorable.  I think anyone who has had the pleasure of being around a newborn and having to be their main caretaker can see the humor in explosive diapers, constant drooling, projectile spit ups, and toothless grins.  What makes this story so sweet is they way that Drew falls in love with his son.  He didn't have the pleasure of falling in love with his son while he was still in the belly and actually walked away from his son the day he was born.  But making sure his son didn't grow up the same way he did made Drew determined to become a father - and even though it took him a while, he actually did.  Just because someone knows how to take care of a baby doesn't make them the parent (even if they are genetically a mother or father).  What makes a parent a parent is the way they fall in love with their baby.  The diaper changing is just something you do, not this awful, stinky chore (okay, sometimes it can be) that makes you want to ship your child to someone else. 

As I read this book, I felt myself falling in love with the characters.  The development of all characters, even the baby, was awesome.  Every single one of them had their little quirks that makes certain writers stand out so much more than others. It's these little quirks and imperfections that make characters so much more real.  :-)  One example was the way the writer described of the Drew's temporary girlfriends that as a teenager in high school was a little heavy.  She lost all kinds of weight and really watched what she ate in order to maintain it.  So, she had to habit of taking her time rearranging her food, picking stuff off that she couldn't or wouldn't eat and putting the stuff she would eat back to where she would eat it at even intervals.  She did this with her salad topping as well as the toppings on a pizza.  It is this endearing quality of writing that I love!  This is the kind of stuff that the last two books were missing.  I'm sure that the writers of the last two books i read could take some lessons from this writer.  :-)

I just looked up the writer on Amazon and it looks like this was her first book.  I'm glad that she did so well with it and can see why she won so many awards with this book.  It was an awesome debut book and this is the reason that I like to read some of these free offered books from Amazon.  I've gotten to the point where I hardly read established authors that much.  I love to find these hidden gems with newer authors!  I see that the writer will have a new book next year and look forward to reading that one when it comes out.  :-)  :-)

Happy reading!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paranormal? Kinda....

When I first read the description of this book, it sounded like an interesting ghost story.  I like ghost stories - especially if they spook me out.  :-)

I just read Loss: A Paranormal Thriller by Glen Krisch.  I was hoping to have more to this book than there was, but oh well... can't have it all.  I think the ending could have been explained a little better, but I'll get to that a bit later.

So, this supposed "ghost story" story start off with Angelie and her husband getting into a car accident after a family party.  Of course it's evening, and of course it's snowing - if the story would have taken place in an area that doesn't snow, I would have expected rain instead.  :-)

Angelie's husband, Paul, dies in the accident and "Ang" is left to deal with his loss on her own.  Even though Paul had three other brothers, they all had their own families and I guess since their mother didn't like her, they didn't really bother keeping an eye out for her.

Which takes me off on my first (of possibly many) tangents.  Now, I know that it's having this messed up family that makes the story work, but how sad is that.  Angie's brother in law and his girlfriend take her home from the hospital after suffering so many injuries of her own and leave her alone that night!  What the heck were they thinking!  She was in the hospital for three weeks and they think that she could just start taking care of herself that easily?  It was their brother that died, so out of respect for him I would have thought that they would have felt more responsible for making sure his widow was okay.

Instead, Ang decided to start numbing herself with vicodin and alcohol and spent months in a stupor as she tried to get over the death of her husband.  Instead of taking care of her - who wouldn't notice that she was harming herself! - they started to visit less and less often.  The only thing that kept Ang from totally killing herself was this ghost that she kept imagining... at least she thought she was imagining it - and what comforted her was that this ghostly figment of her imagination looked just like her Paul.

I don't know if it was the way it was written or something else that was going through my mind at the time, but the first third of the book kind of spooked me out!  I don't say that often!  I like watching spooky movies, not bloody hack-slash type of movies, but spooky.  Of course, the last time I got spooked by one of these movies was... oh what was it?  Blair Witch I think?  That was a while ago. 

As short as this book was, I really did enjoy it.  Yeah, it was a bit sad and I know that I mentioned before that I'm tired of sad books, but this one was different.  It wasn't about a stupid teenager that had an unhealthy obsession with her boyfriend, or a fat chick that couldn't see the beautiful person that she was... Ang had lost her husband and I'm sure that there are many windows that spend a few days/weeks/months in a depression.  Of course, not everyone would take it as far as Angie did with alcohol and drugs, but I'm sure that it passes many of their minds.  I can't and don't want to imagine myself in the same situation, but I'm sure that there are a few ladies out there that can relate.

I kind of wish that the ending would have gone on a bit more.  Ang does get to see her husband's ghost at the end, but then it jumps to a year later and she's still talking to her husband.  What???  Just as the story started becoming the ghost story that I thought it was going to be, the story ends!  The writer could have extended this part of the story just a bit more.  Not sure exactly how at this exact moment, but I'm sure I could come up with an idea or two.  :-)

I see that this writer has a few books at Amazon and I'm really curious to read more - but I'm such a penny pincher that I wouldn't want to pay $2.99 for a short story length like this book was.  I'll have to look into it because I did like his writing.  :-)

So, what's next?  Another sad story?  I have no idea.  I may pick up an actual book next, or just choose another random book from the Kindle.  With Rent playing in the back ground, a crazy dog rubbing her back all over the carpet with her paws in the air and writing about what I like doing - reading - I guess it really doesn't matter much.  Life is good and comfie.  :-)

Happy Reading,


Monday, August 6, 2012

Twenty Weeks

If the writer of this book wasn't trying to make a political statement, I'm sure that someone is going to use this book and try to shove it down someones throat to try to change their mind.  I really don't want to go into my own personal opinions about the whole abortion thing yet, but I can tell you this - this book is so unrealistic with the happily-ever-after ending that any kid who thinks that this may happen to her will be really disappointed.

I just read Twenty Weeks by Melisa M. Hamling.  I liked the writing style and how she told her story, but her story is just so fairy tail like that it just about ruined the book for me.  Okay, so I'm in a bad mood now.  Not only because this book was depressing and there was so much crying in it that I hoped that something different would happen to make up for it all.  But instead the writer went with the traditional, super predictive happy ending that I would have expected from an After School Special that used to be aired so many years ago.

The book started out pretty good.  Our main character, Maya, and her boyfriend, Alex, go to a party and 'accidentially' try some ecstasy.  Though they were trying to wait as long as possible before taking their relationship to include sexual activity (come one, they were only 16), they end up having unprotected sex that night.  The ecstasy ended up with something else in it that made them really sick and Maya almost ended up dying.  Of course, with a title like Twenty Weeks (which is a too obvious and probably really bad title for this book), Maya ends up pregnant.

Now, what I don't understand is why Maya, who seemed like she had a good relationship with her parents and sister... heck, even her relationship with her boyfriend seemed ideal - gets really stupid and starts hiding stuff from them - like the fact that she's pregnant!!!  I don't know, I didn't have that great of a relationship with my parents - heck, they were borderline jerks at one point, but I know that when my sister had an unplanned pregnancy, they would have done everything possible to help her.  Heck, even after the hell she put them through after my niece was born, they still did everything they could to help her.  My dad accepted an early retirement in order to be his first grand daughter's main caretaker while my sister went to work and school.

So, why Maya all of the sudden turned stupid, I don't know.  But then, I won't try to explain teenage behavior because we all know from experience that we all went through bouts of stupidity during those tender years.  But Maya goes to a clinic to look into getting an abortion.  She ends up having a really bad and traumatic experience right before she goes in for the procedure and she ends up keeping the baby after all.  I can understand why she would think she was not worthy of her baby because of what she almost did, but you'd think that with all of the love and support she had around her that she'd get it in her thick skull that the whole point of the matter was that she didn't!

Two books in a row with stupid characters.  What was I thinking when I downloaded these?  Oh well, books read and now I'm bitter.  I'm probably giving this book an undeserving bashing just because I'm in a bad mood now.  I was expecting just something a little more different for the ending.  But it just felt so rushed and short... and shallow.  She may as well just wrote "and the lived happily ever after" instead and it would have had the same effect.  Instead of drawing out the whole abortion thing (I know she has this whole political agenda hidden in there - yes, I'm being ornery now, so I'll shut up about this subject now), the writer should have had Maya have her baby a little earlier and concentrated on some kind of conflict after the baby was born to show how hard it is to keep a relationship alive with a baby around.  Heck, this is universal no matter how old you are.  Hubby and I didn't have our son until we were 33 years old and have had the usual fights on who got more sleep during those first few years. 

I wish the writer would have gone into the characters with a little more depth.  I feel like I kind of got to know Maya, but wanted to know stuff like what made her so smart in school?  How smart was she in school?  What did she want to be when she grew up?  How did she really feel about having a baby?  The story went into how Maya wanted to protect her boyfriend so much but didn't really get into how Maya felt about herself.  Did she want the baby or not?  She just kept going on and on about how Alex wouldn't want the baby.  If the writer did mention it, it certainly was washed out by Maya's worry over how Alex would feel, or how her parents would react.

I think the talent for writing was there, but the story was just too naive and idealistic.  Too much of a fairy tail and the subject matter was too mature to present it as a fairy tail.  I just looked up on Amazon and it looks like this is the writer's only book.  It also looks like it may be self published.  If this is true, then I actually admire what she's done with this.  Sure, the story can use a lot of help, but she still did a pretty good job for being her first book.  I hope that someone with the right connections can help with her next book and get it properly edited.  I'm sure that if she continues to stay in the controversial subject matter that she may be able to make a difference to someone out there... just not with this book.

Happy reading,


Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Lighter Side of Large

Even though this was supposed to be a funny or humorous book, I didn't really find it as such.  I don't know, may I'm just being sensitive because I'm a "large" woman but have never experienced what the main character of this book did.

I just finished reading "The Lighter Side of Large" by Becky Siame.  I don't know if New Zealand or the area of that country that our main character, Bella, is from, but oh boy - she lives around some pretty nasty people!

Now, I have to admit that I have not been heavy my entire life.  Actually, as of 9 years ago, I was quite the opposite.  I was wearing a size 3 when I became pregnant with my son.  It wasn't until after my son was born and had all of these health problems that my body changed and became swollen and heavy.  Of course, eating all of those cookies and candy certainly doesn't help.  :-)  :-)  And I like eating those cookies and candies!

So our story starts off with Bella being pretty much thrown out of her house by her husband who no longer loves her - all of this happening two weeks after the birth of their second child.  The worst part about it is that Bella's husband, Mika, abandons her for her own sister.

Okay, yes, this is sad, but Bella builds a new life for her and her kids and even though her husband makes a bunch of money having his own law firm, Bella refuses to take any kind of financial support from him.  I admire that kind of pride because it takes a lot of strength to turn down the kind of money that he was offering.

So, our dear Bella turns into a character of contradictions that really starts to get on my nerves.  She obviously has a lot of pride, but she carries around the baggage that her husband left her when he did like all of the fat on her body.  People treat her badly and make faces and rude comments because she's fat and she feel so bad about it - but doesn't really do anything to change the situation!  She has these extraordinary supportive friends that try to get her out of this funk to change her life, but it take the news that her ex husband and sister are going to get married for her to finally step up to make a changes in her life.  She sets goals - one being to lose weight and achieve that 'perfect' body.

During this quest, Bella meets a man in the grocery store that obvious finds her beautiful and very attractive.  At this point I think she's still teetering around the 300 pound mark (the book shows kilos and I'm not going to do the math right now), but she has a good looking man that likes her and sees her for herself, not all of the extra pounds.  Then, twice, Bella is convinced that he didn't like her anymore and didn't want to be with her because he didn't call or text her.  Sure, I can understand that she would feel a bit hesitant to put all of her trust in this mew boyfriend, heck, she put her trust in her husband and look at what a scum bag he turned out to be!  But the worst part is that she didn't even give her new beau, Jae, an chance.  She never asked him or talked to him about her insecurities.  How can you start off a relationship with these kind of secrets!

Well, the book goes on with Bella working out, eating right and losing lots of weight.  During this time, her relationship with Jae continues to get more serious but she is still not satisfied with her body.  She's convinced that she's not losing the weight fast enough and goes in for lap band surgery that almost kills her.  Even though Bella's friends were against it, they still supported her and were there when she almost died.  Jae was there every day while she was in the hospital and even after being in bed and sick for so many days, still called her beautiful.

Yet, this was still not enough for Bella.  She starts a blog to talk about her quest of losing weight and because of the popularity that it gains, gets offered writing related jobs and a book offer.  She talks about being treated badly when she was still really heavy and how large people get discriminated against even today.  She fights for equal treatment for over weight people that we start to see a much stronger Bella, who after all of the positive and wonderful things going on in her life, is still not satisfied with her own body!!!

Well, it takes the whole book and almost losing her friends and Jae, but Bella finally gets it in her thick skull that she could never be totally satisfied until she started to accept herself as she was.  She was no longer heavy - going from a size 22 or something like that, to a size 12 - so she as more 'socially acceptable' body, she had a wonderful boyfriend that loved her even with all of that lose skin and bit of extra weight, supportive friends and family that loved her.  She finally saw how good her life was but she couldn't enjoy because she was still so obsessed with her own looks and weight.

I'm glad that at the end Bella finally saw the truth that she had to love herself to enjoy all of the good things in her life, but the writer certainly took her time getting there.  I was getting tired of hearing Bella whine and complain about being fat and being treated badly and obsessing over a handful of bad experiences.  She reminded me too much of Louie from Interview with a Vampire - whine whine whine, blah blah blah.  Makes me want to roll my eyes.  Oh wait, I can roll my eyes, there's no Fifty Shades of Grey jerks in my life!  :-)  :-)  *rolls eyes with much enthusiasm*  :-)  :-)

So, as you can see, I kind of liked this story but then it got on my nerves at the same time.  I liked where Bella ended up but didn't care for her drawn out quest to get there.  I'm a heavy lady and have never been treated even close to what Bella experienced.  If I have, i don't really remember - but I really don't care!!!  I know I'm heavy, the fact that I don't really work out and enjoy eating keeps me fat.  But I'm healthy, not counting the countless number of drug allergies, but I'm not on any medications that are so common for heavy people - like for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or high blood sugar.

I haven't had anyone leave me because I'm fat - as a matter of fact, hubby and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last month and he still sees me as beautiful and sexy.  I know that for everyone one else on earth that I'm not, but that doesn't matter.  My husband loves the way I look and that's all that matters.  Sure, I can probably stand to lose a bit of weight and I probably should... when the weather turns a bit cooler.  :-)  Yeah, excuses excuses.  :-)  I'll get there, but I know that I'll stay happy until I do.  :-)  :-)

Happy reading,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Zen Queen

Give me a book and the world feels complete.  :-)  Can you tell that I love to read?  The only reason I don't read all day long is because I have to go to work and spend at least a little bit of time with my family.  :-)

Okay, so I just finished Zen Queen by Kristy McManus.  It's your typical romance comedy that doesn't really have all that much exciting or original stuff about it except that it takes place in Japan.  The basic story is the same, but it does have some parts that are cute.

I don't want to put the whole book down, because it was an entertaining book.  It's just the type of book that I feel like I've read a couple hundred times before.  The writing is good and the characters are funny.  The writer knows how to write comedy pretty well so that all of the disasters happening to the main character, Jessica, sound funny when they could have been amazingly depressing if written in a different tone.

So, we start off with Jessica, who finds herself on a job assignment in Japan and somehow gets fired, deserted and homeless.  Yeah, yeah... i know, it all sounds quite depressing.  But believe me when I tell you that it does come across as funny.  :-)  Jess ends up living with a Japanese family then gets a job teaching English at a school with all of these other ex-pats because she doesn't have enough money to fly herself back home.

A good part of the story is how Jess meets her new friends and I did enjoy reading her descriptions of the different places that they went and some of her shopping adventures.  I actually liked Jess - she just sounded to adorably cute, even though she was a magnet for bad luck.  But as the book goes on, Jess does end up turning things around.

Sorry that this is such a short write up, but there really isn't all that much to tell about this book.  It's not fantastic, but it was a nice quick read.  This is the type of book you take with you to the side of the pool to sit in the sun for a spell.  I'm either getting really fast at reading or this was a really short book, but if I didn't have to go to work, I'm sure I could have read this book in one day.  :-)

Happy reading,