Christmas Nightmare (Not Really, but Seriously)

OK, maybe my title is a little dramatic, but that’s how I’m feeling right about now. This is a result of hand making my Christmas gifts and getting a writing itch at the same time. That does not sit well with my home office. My house is no where big enough to have a room for crafting and a room for writing so they occupy one space. That has to be a paradox, right?

There's a desk under all of this, right?

There’s a desk under all of this, right?

That's sweet tea aka my fuel.

That’s sweet tea aka my fuel.

I mean, what the heck?!?

I mean, what the heck?!?

My desk has been taken over by crafting supplies. You want gadgets and gizmos? I’ve got plenty and then some! I think I’ve lost myself and my sanity in all of my wares. I wonder how many days it will take my husband to notice I’m missing?

 

And I wonder why I can't any hair clips when I'm getting ready...I leave them all in my office!

And I wonder why I can’t find any hair clips when I’m getting ready…I leave them all in my office!

 

So, I’m still not done with crafting. Yes, I know tomorrow is Christmas Eve, but I’m at my best under pressure, alright? Anyway, that’s why I can’t put all of this stuff away. I do have a place for it, but right now it must stay where it lies. Even if it must lie in my way. My solution was just to clear a space and plop my laptop right in the middle.

I feel you silently judging me for my Twilight books.

I feel you silently judging me for my Twilight books.

It seems to be working, but at the same time, I keep getting distracted by how messy my surroundings are. Why did you have to come at Christmas time writing muse? You must really hate me!

Oh, and this weather has gotten my lips all chappy so I’ve spent the last several minutes looking for my Chap-Stick, thinking I’ve left somewhere in this junk pile. Just so happens I put it in my purse, where it’s supposed to be and that’s the last place I look. This clutter has got me all up in…in…I don’t even have a nice word to use right here.

My lips are saved!

My lips are saved!

(Deep breath) Despite my humbug attitude, Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I enjoy the gift giving and joyous spirit. I love all the different songs and customs. Celebrating my Savior’s birth always brings a smile to my face. So, please Jesus, help me before I throw everything on my desk into the floor.

See, I really am in the Christmas spirit!

See, I really am in the Christmas spirit!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

~A

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Friday Favorites-Unleashed by Janae Mitchell

Better later than never with this Friday Favorites post! Hey, I was Christmas shopping, give me a break. 😉

So, what am I crushing on this week? That would be Unleashed by Janae Mitchell. While I do love Janae herself, I’m going to spend most of this blog post talking about her book.

Janae Mitchell

Janae Mitchell

I like spooky books, like the sort of spooky books that make you stay awake at night thinking that the shadow in the corner of your room is something far more sinister than just a curtain or a hastily discarded sweater. However, I didn’t think Unleashed was going to mess me up this bad.

I’ll start from the beginning. I actually read this book on my Kindle. My hubby was watching something on T.V. (probably sports) so I ventured off to the room so I could read a bit before bed. There I was, lights off, all alone, reading a book about demons!!!

Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I knew it had something to do with ghosts because there is the word “Ouija” on the book cover. However, I wasn’t expecting to read about a demon while I was in a dark room, all by myself! Let’s just say I stayed awake a lot longer than I had planned with the covers pulled up really close to my chin.

I got a signed copy!

I got a signed copy!

There have been a lot of books that have scared me silly, but not like this book. I think it’s because things like this really freak me out, but also because Janae is a really is an amazing writer! This book was me dipping my toe into the literary world of Janae Mitchell and now I’m ready to dive right on in.

I’ve actually been to a Convention with Janae, we’ve become Facebook pals, and I saw her at another convention a few months ago. There I able to obtain a signed copy of Unleashed. Let’s just say I’m so excited about this. Not only is she easily one of my favorite new authors, but she’s a good person too. I mean, she’s a southern like me, has amazing hair, and is obsessed with Harry Potter. You can’t get any better than that.

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You can tell by the inscription that she has a great sense of humor. Or, at least I hope that’s what that was… 😉

My Review: Don’t read this book in a room with all the lights turned off when you’re by yourself. I made that mistake and freaked myself out! I’ve read a lot of creepy books, but this one just takes creepy to another level. I think it’s because I’m a very spiritual person and I believe you shouldn’t mess with the other side if you don’t know what you’re doing. Actually, you shouldn’t mess with it at all. That’s what two friends, Jailyn and Prestley, do when they decide to play around with a ouija board. Jailyn has this off feeling about it from the beginning, but doesn’t listen to it and from that point on they welcome in a darkness that changes their lives. Besides the creep out factor of the book I really enjoyed the characters that Janae created. Jailyn, who is telling most of the story, is likable. She has sort of a dry sense of humor and I found that really relatable. Prestley reminded me of the rowdy one, but she wasn’t annoying at all and by the end of the book she had my heart. She went through some rough stuff. The girls fit perfectly together and you could see why they were best friends. The bad guy, not that I’m going to give anything away, was bad in every way possible. He was sick, twisted, disgusting and freaked the heck out of me. I know I’ve said that a million times, but it’s true! If you like freaky, creepy books then you’ll love this one.

Where to find Janae:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanaeMitchellAuthor

Blog: http://www.janaemitchell.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janaeiswriting

Amazon: Janae on Amazon

Friday Favorites-Author Ashley Chappell

Hello everyone!

Has it really been that long since I’ve been on my blog? Um, maybe. However, I’m back and that’s all that matters, right? Besides, I’m back with something I hope you all will enjoy.

I’m launching my Friday Favorites! What is Friday Favorites? Well, it will mostly consist of books and authors. It won’t always be traditionally published authors either or massively popular books. Sometimes it will, but be on the look out for books and authors from the Indie world and small press.

Also, I might even throw in some movies, food, local restaurants, etc. The point is, you’ll never know what you’ll find here!

Not only is this a way for me to train myself to work on my blog, it’s also a fun way to showcase some books, people, and places you might not know about.

Today we’re talking about Author Ashley Chappell and her book, Of War and Taters. I met Ashley a little over a year ago and now I’m blessed to call her a friend.

Ash

Ashley Chappell

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up a copy Of War and Taters. I mean, you can like a person, but not like a book, right? What can you really, I mean truly, expect from a book called Of War and Taters with a giant potato sitting inside a circus tent on the cover?

Of War & Taters

 

Having met Ashley, I was pretty sure this book was going to be a lot of fun. Guess what? I was right!

I’ll backtrack just a little bit here. With an exception to a few genres, I’ll pretty much read anything. I normally stick to the Paranormal and Fantasy type books, but if it’s a good read, I don’t care what genre it is. Still, I’m apprehensive to a fault at times. Let me say that I am glad I convinced myself to read a genre that I normally don’t read all that much.

Of War & Taters is satire with Southern flair. Oh it has flair! It has ghosts, circus performers, children lead “gangs”, murder, mystery, romance, and, you guessed it, taters. Take all that, throw in some misinterpreted statements and you have the national media swooping down on a small down, claiming there’s a problem with racism. Never mind the fact that the “gangs” are kids who get along just great.

There are honestly too many things I love about this book to say, “My favorite part was…” However, I will say this for Chappell, she created characters and a world, not too unlike our own. We get caught up in what someone says, but never stop to ask what they meant. Sometimes we say things without thinking about the other person too. We assume a lot about people based on their appearance and not their soul. And that’s how you get the media taking a situation, an innocent or perhaps, localized, situation and blow it completely out of proportion.

Of War & Taters is a fun read, it truly is, but it is much more than that. Sure, there’s a ghost that people can see and they think nothing of it. There’s a very eccentric heiress who is trying her best to kill her husband, the sheriff. Did I mention that a circus set up shop on a potato farm and the ring leader is trying to capitalize on the craziness that has settled on the town? Oh, there is a murderer on the loose too.

Like I said, there is so much more to this fun story set in a small southern town where the days are hot and slow and the most exciting thing there is usually to talk about is the weather. I feel like it could be one of those books that we want to pass down to the next generation and then the next because of it’s underlying message.  What message is that? I think you have to find out for yourself.

My review: So what happens in a small Southern town when a false claim of racism, amongst children no less, reaches the national news outlets? Chaos! Not only does Sheriff Stanley Grace have to deal with his quiet town being invaded with news vans, including the smart and attractive Dana “the I is silent” Perki, but the circus has decided to set up shop on Mad Mother Hinkle’s potato farm. On top of that, the recently deceased actor, Monty, has come back from the dead, ghost form style. As if it couldn’t get any worse, there is a someone loose in the town who is a real danger. Stanley knows it’s up to him to keep his town safe, that is if he can avoid an untimely death by his wife.

I haven’t read a book that has made me laugh, touched my heart, and creeped me out at the same time until I read Ashley Chappell’s Of War & Taters. This satire novel is full colorful characters, strong female characters, who have their own individual stories taking place, but those stories are so entertaining you don’t get lost and they tie back to the main plot. Even the dog, Cud, had his moment in the spotlight! My favorite character, though she didn’t get a lot of word count, was Mother Hinkle. She was fierce!
I can’t get over how amazing this book was. I know that Ashley will continue to write amazing novels for us to read. I am officially a fan!

Amazon link: Of War & Taters
Ashley’s website: http://www.ashleychappellbooks.com/ 
Ashley’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AshleyChappellAuthor