Friday, July 29, 2022

The Muse - Writing Rambles

My partner and I --- well, my partner came up with this great idea and wrote the story. I ended up editing and changing a few minor things and decided to share this short story here. It's dark. Which is what we like to write. So this is your trigger warning. The only bad thing that happens is off page so we just see the man thinking about it. Nothing is actually described because that's not something I could handle right now. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Beauty and the Baller - Review

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancĂ©e in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

Book Breakdown

Ronan had the world in his hands. Then a car accident happened and took everything away. He got his body back in shape but he can’t play football again and worst of all; he lost the love of his life. This has left him scared to open up to anyone, not wanting to lose them. But after some time, he tries to get his act together and takes a football coaching position in a small town.

Nova lost her childhood sweetheart when he chested on her. It threw her whole life off track - why? Because she was so young that she made him her life. But after years of being away from her ex, she slowly finds herself. But she vowed to never come back home. Then her mother passes away, and she had to move there to help her younger sister. 

These two run into each other that first night and butt heads. Ronan doesn’t remember that he’s actually met Nova before... during a one-night stand. A one-night stand that left a very sour taste in Nova’s mouth. Which is why she dislikes him. 

But they end up spending more time together when they decide to fake date. Ronan’s fighting women off with sticks and Nova just wants to make it easier to face her ex. But soon the fake dating feels like more... 

I read this entire book in one sitting! I just couldn’t stop reading. The banter was great! They had such great chemistry, and it had moments that had me laughing my butt off! There were also sweet emotional moments that I really connected with.  

There’s lots of death in this book, so if that is something that can trigger you, I wouldn’t read this. As someone who just lost someone, I could really feel where the characters were coming from and their motivations. 

I really enjoyed the southern setting and small town. Made me feel like I was back home in TN. Even though this book is set in Texas. 

Nova’s character is an absolute joy. She was selfless and cared for her sister deeply. Giving up her life to come back and take care of her. Her sister is also pretty freaking cool. She’s autistic and very smart. It’s not often I read about autistic characters because I don’t always think it’s done very well. (I live with two Autistic people) so while I’m no expert, I know a thing or two about the subject. But here I don’t mind it. 

All in all, I really loved this novel and recommend it to everyone!

Have you read this one? If not, let me know what you're currently reading down below! As always, stay safe and happy reading! 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup - Review

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.

For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at The Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company's value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors. Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold-rush frenzy of Silicon Valley.

Book Breakdown

I confess until around April of this year I had no idea what any of this was about. Then, when I was flipping through Hulu, I saw this new show that Amanda Seyfried was in. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I watched every episode and then had to wait another week for the last one to come out. But during that time I watched YouTube videos, the documentary on HBO and discovered this book.

The very basic story is Holmes started a company after ‘creating’ a device that would do all kinds of blood tests with only a drop of blood from a finger. Only, it was all a colossal fraud. None of it ever worked, yet she raised hundreds of millions of dollars, got her device put in Walgreens and Safeway. She had a huge board of extremely powerful men (George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch and Larry Ellison), and still none of it worked. Everything was a lie. 

The story of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes just sucked me in. How was she able to scam all these people for so long? Was it because she was a pretty girl and old white men love pretty girls? Was she just that convincing? Or did people just hope her invention was real and willing to forgo everything for that? 

This is such a wonderfully written book. So easy to read and get sucked in that the pages just kept turning themselves. I couldn’t believe all the details as I kept reading, how the lies just piled higher and higher and still she didn’t stop and would even double down. 

Even at the very end, she never once acted remorseful for the people she hurt. The public used this blood testing device in Arizona and many people got inaccurate results that could’ve cost them their lives. One woman got a result that told her she was having a miscarriage when she wasn’t. Another test told someone they had HIV when they didn’t.

It’s crazy. Honestly. That stuff like this that can still happen in today’s age. Guess some things will never change, scammers will scam. 

When Holmes was younger, she said she wanted to be a billionaire and before her company dissolved; she got her wish. She was worth around 4.5 billion dollars at the peak. But even though she’s responsible for all this terrible mess, she’s still doing pretty well for herself. Her partner is worth 20 million and they live in an enormous estate. 

She is going to be sentenced on 26 September of this year. Hopefully, she will finally pay for her crimes. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Update + Music Monday + Melon Pomona Recipe + Currently Reading

This meme is hosted over at Always Me

Hello there! It’s been a full week since I posted and let me tell you, it’d been an insane week. I had to go to the ER on Wednesday and the phlebotomist there stuck me seven times, just trying to get an IV started. I’ve never seen such an incompetent person in my entire life. My left hand is still a giant bruise! The nurse and doctor were both great, at least. The nurse, especially, was so kind to me. He’s the one that finally took over for the phlebotomist and stuck me once and was done. 

My reaction to the one medicine I took is slowly going away. I still have a few minor issues from it, but I’m doing so much better on that front! 

But now, it turns out I have right maxillary sinusitis. I can’t catch a break right now. But I am at least feeling a little more human. Still super tired and my mental health isn’t the best right now, but I am at least in a better place today than I was last week. That’s what I’m trying to focus on.

School starts back for me in less than a month! Like where has the time gone?! I had so many plans and now time is ticking! I hope that once I recover I can get some good stuff done! 

It also doesn’t help that it’s been over 100 every single day here for like two weeks and there is no relief in sight! I’m the opposite of most people. I get seasonal depression in summer because it’s so hot and I’m trapped in the house. Winter is where I can be free and live! Which is why I really can’t wait to move more north and be able to have a more mild summer. 

That’s my dream! 

But enough of that! Let’s get to the music! I’m sharing two actual songs and one really nice and relaxing background reading music. 

Wait! That's not all! I also found this really cool summer drink recipe that I am in love with and wanted to share! I found this out of this world and easy to make recipe in The Magick of Food. I've not really mentioned a 'witchy' book recently so I thought I would spotlight this one I've been reading. 

The recipe is really easy!

Serves a bunch. Prep Time is 30 minutes or less.

2 medium melons (watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe 

3 tablespoons of lemon or line juice

4 tablespoons of sugar (or whatever sweetener you like) 

3 cups of tonic water (or Sprite works. But then don't add sugar.) 

Cut whichever melon you chose into cubes. Make sure you don't get any rind. Once that's done, you send them through the blender for about 30 seconds. I have a small blender, so I do this step a few times till I get all the cubes of melon. 

Now, I don't like pulp, even in my orange juice. So I strain the liquid through a cheesecloth and toss the pulp. If you want to keep it, that's alright. 

After that, you add the juice to the Sprite (or tonic water and sugar) and the lemon/lime juice into a punch bowl or large pitcher that's filled with ice and serve or enjoy right then and there by yourself! 

It's so refreshing and really screams summer to me. I have to make smaller batches so I don't end up drinking the whole thing in one day. 

This is a super long post! I don't know if I've ever added so many things to one post before haha! I hope you are doing well! Tell me if you try the drink, I want to know if you like it. Also, please don't forget to tell me which song you liked below! 

Lastly, I really want to know what you're reading. I've been stuck on the same book because of all the health issues and that sucks because I've got so many great library books I want to read! 

What I'm Reading

That's it for this post! I don't know if I'll have any new posts the rest of the week. It will depend on how I feel. I will be stopping by your blog when I get the chance this week. I swear! I miss seeing your great posts. Please just bear with me. 

Until next time, happy reading and stay safe and cool in this heat! 

Monday, July 11, 2022

Music Monday - Adrian von Ziegler

This meme is hosted over at Always Me

Sorry, I'm still pretty MIA. I'm still very slowly getting over the reaction to the medicine I quit and the family stuff... well that's not going the best but sometimes life is hard. 

Today though, we're here to talk about some really nice music! I hope you enjoy! 

Well, let me know which one you liked more in the comments below! I really hope you have a great week and a wonderful day! Stay safe and happy reading! 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

My Opinion on Popular Romance Tropes + Recommendations

I was looking up books that had a certain trope when this idea hit me. I found 12 popular tropes and I'm going to tell you if I like them or not and why. Here we go! 

1) Amnesia/mistaken identity

I don't like this trope. I never seek it out and, honestly, I've been turned off some books for having this trope. 

2) Fake Relationship

I love this trope! If our MCs have to fake date for any reason at all. I'm on board! Here are some recommendations for this trope! 


3) Second Chance
Honestly, this trope is one that I don't usually read. Only one author does second chance romances they way I like. 

4) Secret identity/billionaire/royal
I'm very indifferent when it comes to this trope. I don't hate it but I don't love it. It's just 'meh' most of the time. I would love some recs for this trope if you have any good ones. 

5) Enemies to Lovers
This is probably my favorite romance trope. I just love the angst and banter that happens with this one. SO much fun! 
6) Forbidden Love
I love when our couple has to hide their love and sneak around or when they have to hide it from everyone to keep peace in the realm. Or even class difference romances. 

That's it for this post! I might do a part 2 with more tropes if you want it. Let me know below! Lastly, what is your favorite romance trope? I'm dying to know! Until next time, have a great day and stay safe! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Short Update + The Stand-In Book Review

I've been lurking around your blogs for a few hours today and trying to catch up but I doubt I will. I've just missed so much! Sorry! 

Today, I'm feeling a little bit better so I thought I would update you guys, since I've not blogged any in two weeks. The posts you've seen since then are just ones that I had scheduled for a while. I'm on the hunt for an anxiety medicine and had a really bad reaction to one my doctor put me on. I'm currently on steroids for a week to help that reaction. 

Also, my grandma passed away recently and I've been trying to deal with that and help my family. They are really having it rough right now and it's been killing me trying to help them. 

Then there's stuff with my kiddo.

So yeah, I've been gone for a bit and dealing with things. I'm really hoping to get straightened out and get back to normal because this has been a sucky time. 

Onto something bookish! I did manage to finish a book before everything kinda exploded. Let's talk about it!

Gracie Reed is doing just fine. Sure, she was fired by her overly "friendly" boss, and yes she still hasn't gotten her mother into the nursing home of their dreams, but she's healthy, she's (somewhat) happy, and she's (mostly) holding it all together.

But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema's golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie's world is turned on its head. The famous actress has a proposition: due to their uncanny resemblance, Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam, the most attractive—and infuriating—man Gracie's ever met.

If it means getting the money she needs for her mother, Gracie's in. Soon Gracie moves into a world of luxury she never knew existed. But resisting Sam, and playing the role of an elegant movie star, proves more difficult than she ever imagined—especially when she learns the real reason Fangli so desperately needs her help. In the end all the lists in the world won't be able to help Gracie keep up this elaborate ruse without losing herself...and her heart.

My Thoughts 

I thought this was a romance book, but it’s not. It’s more women’s fiction as the romance takes a backseat and to top it all off... it’s not spicy at all! A fade to black scene is all we get. 

So what is this book about? It’s about a girl who won’t stand up for herself getting abused by her boss, a girl that keeps hoping to get more money to move her mother into a better home that will help with her dementia. It’s about a girl gaining confidence and working to stand on her own two feet. It’s about a girl that grows into a stronger and more capable person. Who then gets a boyfriend on the side? A hot super famous actor boyfriend. 

The plot twist was easy to spot from a mile away, but it was sweet none the less. It’s very well written and made me cry a lot because my grandma suffered from dementia before she passed away a few weeks ago. So honestly, this novel is heavy and while it wasn’t for me. It’s not a bad novel. If you like harder hitting novels, then you’ll love this, but if you’re like me and are too sensitive, I’d pass. 

That's pretty much it for this post. I will try to be around more this week but no promises as I'm still getting better and coming to terms with the passing of my grandma. I hope you have a great week! 

Monday, July 4, 2022

Music Monday - Hauntingly Beautiful Ambiance

This meme is hosted by Always Me

Happy 4th of July to any American that celebrates. I spend this day dreading the sound of fireworks because it triggers my PTSD. Which is so strange because before the armed robbery I experienced, I used to adore 4th of July. The BBQ, the fireworks, my family all together, swimming in the pool as a kiddo. Needless to say, my mental health is very confused on this day.

Moving on!

I recently found this new ambiance channel and I've fallen in love! Even my partner thinks it's okay and that is rare! He hates any kind of music/ambiance that I like so to find something we can kinda agree on is just... *chief's kiss*! 

I really hope you enjoy these! 

Which did you like the most? Please do let me know below! Have a great week, stay safe, and happy reading!