Random Stuff

Here in Oklahoma, snow isn’t a guaranteed part of winter – especially in November. Today we woke up to huge, beautiful snow flakes falling from the sky. The kids were sure this meant that there would be no school, but their hopes were dashed. The ground is too warm for the snow to stick and there wasn’t even talk about the weather’s effect on the roads. I usually only drive my middle school kids to school in the morning, but today the high school kid wanted a ride too.

I’ll be spending the rest of the day working on a steamy romance and staying warm.

Does it snow where you live? Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?


November 1st.

National Novel Writing Month.

Every year I start a new project on November 1st and this year is no different. I’ve spent the last week getting everything ready. Plotting, character sketches, and chapter breakdowns have been completed. My mini-fridge is full of Coke and Cranberry Ginger Ale. My snack drawer is full of little boxes of heaven from Sugarfina – their chocolate pearls are my favorite.

I’m very excited about what I’m working on and really think that it can be more than just one book. There is so much to this story that I think it can be a three book series.

Throughout the month, I’ll update with word counts and how it’s going. Hopefully at the end of the month I will have a finished first draft.


My Favorites

I have to keep up with so many different things everyday. My husband’s schedule and the kid’s activities change weekly, but I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have something scheduled at least three nights of the week.

To keep track of everything I use a paper planner and my phone calendar. In the past, I’ve used an Erin Condren life planner. It was perfect when I didn’t work and the kids activities were pretty consistent. This year I switched to the Erin Condren teacher planner. I modify each week to fit my needs with categories like – Home, Kids, Chores/Extra, Book, and Blog. It is an 8×11 planner and the perfect size for life with three busy teenagers, a busy husband and working from home.

In addition to my planner, I use several other tools to keep myself on track. I use post-it notes (I should seriously own stock in 3M), colored pens, and stickers. The stickers are mainly used to keep my planner pretty, but some are functional. My other life-saving organizational tool is my desk calendar. It’s also from Erin Condren. I keep a running list on the side of things that are happening the next month and make sure to write in all appointments and already scheduled stuff at the beginning of every month.

If you are curious about Erin Condren and any of their organizational products, here is a link that can save you $10 when you sign up for an account:



My Favorites

I spend a lot of time in the car and in my office. I used to make playlists for whatever I was working on or whatever music matches my mood for that day. Lately none of the music I have has held my interest. So, since school started in August all I listen to are podcasts. There are several that I like, but my absolute favorite is My Favorite Murder. Georgia and Karen (the hosts) are hilarious, irreverent, and twisted. I love learning about murder cases that I haven’t heard of and more information about the ones I have at least a  little knowledge of. I have even been able to get my husband to listen to My Favorite Murder while we were on a road-trip.

Favorite episodes:

  1. #55 – Let’s Hear Your Podcast – Christine and Lea Papin
  2. #45 – Funky Diva – Lord Lucan/Summerhill Road Murders
  3. #105 – Proclensity – Typhoid Mary

Do you have a favorite podcast?

5/5, Contemporary Romance, review copy

About the book:

A Montana man always protects the woman he loves

He discovered her during a Montana blizzard, freezing cold, impossibly vulnerable, a little boy by her side. Undercover DEA Agent Beck “Trigger” Cooke is astonished to recognize Ashley Swan—award-winning actress, famous beauty—and missing for over a year. To keep her and the child hidden from a sadistic madman, he secrets the pair away to his isolated home.

No longer a prisoner, and protected at Hope Ranch, Ashley recovers and learns the tall, tempting federal agent may have a dark past, but it hasn’t destroyed his sense of honor.

As they shed past roles and find common ground, Ashley and Trigger can’t help but fall slowly, carefully, in love. But danger still lurks outside the boundaries of Hope Ranch, for until her crazed captor is brought to justice, and Trigger’s undercover past is laid to rest, none of them will ever be truly safe…

My thoughts:

If you’ve read the blog for a while, you know of my love of Jennifer Ryan books. I adored the first book in this series (Montana Heat: Protected by Love) and I wasn’t disappointed in this new book at all.

Trigger is disillusioned, hurt and trying to find his way back toward normal. He has hidden away in a cabin in Montana with no close neighbors. Ashley has run away, with a young child, from a psychopath that has kept her hostage for a year. Beck doesn’t know what to do when he finds the woman and child on his property, but his instinct is to protect them at all costs.

Beck and Ashley need each other. They have both been hurt and beaten down by life. Ashley has more to recover from, but Beck is maybe more emotionally damaged in the beginning. He doesn’t know who he is anymore. It is through helping Ashley regain herself, that Beck does the same.

I loved how the couple relied on each other to heal, while making sure that they weren’t being dependent upon each other to a point it was unhealthy. Ashley is a very strong character. She isn’t going to be a victim again and sets about to make sure that she and the child she escaped with are safe. Beck has things from his past that aren’t settled and he works to make sure the threat against him can’t harm Ashley.

Montana Heat: Escape to You is another Jennifer Ryan book that I couldn’t put down. I can’t wait for the next two books in the series.


I give Montana Heat: Escape to You a 5/5

To find the book:


Barnes & Noble



Contemporary Romance, ebook, review copy

About the book:

Expecting her boss’s baby! 

Pilot Miranda Marlowe is too sick to fly her plane, and she must face the truth: she’s pregnant! She knows well enough that her boss, Cleve Finch, is still grieving for his late wife, so to think, she heads to her sister’s new inheritance, Villa Rosa.

Despite the spiders and dust, the Mediterranean palazzo is as gorgeous as ever. Until Cleve turns up with a dramatic offer: a convenient marriage as soon as it can be arranged! It may be the sensible answer…but is it enough for Miranda?

My thoughts:

I liked this book and didn’t like this book. I feel conflicted. I’m not a huge fan of the hero having a dead wife and acting like he is grieving to the outside world when in fact he wasn’t happy in the marriage and not destroyed by her death. I did like Miranda – she’s tough, knows what she wants and isn’t going to settle for second place. I probably would have liked the story better if Cleve had told Miranda the truth about his relationship with his late wife and about his feelings earlier in the book.

My rating: 

the book girl gives HER PREGNANCY BOMBSHELL a 3/5

To find the book:


Barnes & Noble

4/5, Historical Romance, review copy

About the book:

A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…

None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.

The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…

But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.

My Thoughts:

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS is a funny, sweet and romantic story. I loved the characters. Amelia is walking the line between being a good daughter/sister and going after what she really wants. Nicholas knows exactly what he wants, but he has to get a backbone and go after her. The secondary characters really made the book fantastic. Amelia’s sister, Julia, and Jasper, best friend to Nicholas add so much to the book and without them I don’t believe that the book would have been as great of a read. I hope that the next book from Kimberly Bell features Julia. I really want her to get a happily ever after.


the book girl gives THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS a 4/5

To find the book:


Barnes & Noble


Holiday, Random Thoughts

View from our hotel in Puerto Rico

I just got home from our family vacation. This year we took the kids on a cruise and spent a little extra time in Puerto Rico. It was the perfect end to our summer. (School starts this week!)

When I go on vacation I always have amazing plans for all the books I’m going to read. I stock my kindle with new titles and a few old favorites. I’m never able to read all of what I bring, but I want to be prepared.

This year I read one new book (Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn) and then did a massive reread of the Brown Sibling and Delicious series by Lauren Dane.

I took a break from the news, twitter, Facebook  (sort-of) and indulged in the familiar world of the Brown siblings in all their yummy goodness. LAID BARE is one of my favorite books ever. I’ve read it at least four times and cry every time (both happy and sad tears). In total I read six Lauren Dane books on this vacation!

My husband and I celebrated our sixteenth anniversary while on vacation. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend and to still have so much fun together every day no matter what we are doing.


Also while we were on vacation, this sweet little man turned eleven! I can’t believe that my baby is going to be a sixth grader (and my oldest is starting high school)!




Does your family take a summer vacation? Where do you like to go? (I’m already trying to convince my husband that we should go to Europe next year.)