Today’s post is this July’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script:
1. Cat to self: If I just lay here, he will move. Eventually. He has to move. Then I will lay on the charm. Operation Cat Nip commence.
2. Cat to self (20 minutes later): When is he going to move? He is being so lazy today, and I know lazy. I mean, it takes an expert understanding of lazy to sleep 20 hours a day, and I do that easy peasy. He will eventually get up. I will charm some cat nip out of him. I just hope it happens soon, before mom gets home. Sigh. Maybe I should stretch and claw him just a bit. I will figure it out, after I take another nap. *yawn* Operation Cat Nip is exhausting.
3. Cat: Silly human, you need to move. This spot is mine. I know I never sit here, and you always do, but right now, this spot is mine. Don't you see me laying here?! Mine. Move!
4. Cat, while looking over shoulder: Another cat video?! When are you going to stop watching videos of other cats, and start making videos of me?! You want to go viral?! Look at ME!! I am adorable and I can do adorable things. Let's own the internet, get your camera. We can just start just after I take a nap.
5. When I looked at this pic, my first thought was how beautiful this cat is. I love black cats. I know they get a bad rap, but I think they are awesome. Orange cats are my favorite. There is just something special about them to me, but black ones are right up there. It makes me sad to know they get such a bad rap, and are often the last to get adopted. So, the next time you are thinking about adopting a cat... Maybe just take home the adorable black cat. They are awesome! Except at night, when your apartment is pitch black, and you are making your way to the potty and half asleep, and it walks against your leg, and you are certain it is a burglar, and you pee your pants a little while screaming bloody murder. I mean, I guess that could happen. Maybe.
There you have it. Another Funny Friday is in the books. I hope I was able to make you smile. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Once again, I am lucky enough to come here, to tell y'all about two really great books. Before I get into the books, I want to make a bit of a confession... I am terrified of writing book reviews. I get so nervous. I feel like I won't say enough, or I will say too much, or I won't make sense. I worry I won't do the book justice, or that I will have loved it and you won't love it, and you won't trust my opinion again. It is really scary, but I also love it. I really love books. Reading is basically my favorite activity, second only to drinking coffee and hanging with Gigi, which are tied for ultimate favorite.
So, I am not sure if you guys like or understand my book reviews. Feel free to give me feedback... positive or negative... and I will do my best to improve. I try to write a review I would like to read, and by that I mean, I try not to give to much information. I am not a fan of reviews that are so detailed, reading the book is nearly pointless. However, if you would like more information, just ask, and I will give you a few more details.
Now, onto me telling y'all about Taking Catie and Taming Angelina, by Helen Hardt, part of her Temptation Saga Series. When I signed up to write the review, I was able to pick which two books I wanted to read. So, not knowing anything about them, I picked the books based on title alone. I was drawn to the name Catie, and Angelina was immediately following, so that was that. I picked my two books.
If these two books are any indication of the entire series, I am here to tell you, when you are ready to read them, just pick one and go. You won't be disappointed. I genuinely enjoyed both books. They both had me captivated by the second chapter. The plots are entertaining and fun. They cover the full gamut of emotions. They are realistic with a touch of fairy tale romance.
Helen Hardt has a true talent for building the characters and the plot simultaneously. You will definitely be drawn to the characters, all the while kept intrigued by the plot. She added some really good twists, and gave plenty of details without being overly verbose.
Have you read my reviews for Lyz Kelley's Elkridge Series? If you have, you know that one of my favorite things about that series, is how well she builds up the town of Elkridge, the residents, and the events in their lives. Well, Helen Hardt does the same with this series, the town of Bakersville, and its residents. I found myself not only loving the main characters, but also the other people I met along the way. Based on the titles of the remaining books, I know I will get to know several of those other people as I finish reading the series.
I feel like I could have read either of these books, and been completely satisfied. I loved that there were two, and they built on one another. So, I highly recommend reading them all, but if you really only just want one book to read, I honestly think you could just pick one, and be happy in the end. Of the two I read, I think I recommend Taking Catie the most, though that does not mean that Taming Angelina wasn't equally as good.
These two books were so great, that I have added the rest of my series to my Summer Reading list, and I am happy to say I am almost to them. I just need to finish two more books, and I will be begin Tempting Dusty. I am thoroughly excited!
In Taking Catie, we meet Catie and Chad, and follow them on their journey to happily ever after. There are several bumps on the road. You will laugh and cry and probably get a tad frustrated. Their story is one for the ages. They are one of those almost missed out on love, but got a second chance, but it wasn't totally smooth sailing, but so worth it, love stories, with plenty of passion and laughter mixed in. I think you will most definitely fall in love with them and their story.
In Taming Angelina, we follow Angelina and Rafe on their journey to their happy ending. Now, let me tell you... Their journey is unique and entertaining. Their happy ending was not always a guaranteed thing, but it was magnificent nonetheless. It is complete with a few massive plot twists, and you will definitely keep turning the pages. Now, fair warning, you may not always love Angelina, and Rafe may upset you also, but in the end, I think you will love them both and their story.
So, yes, I definitely recommend you read these books. Though I have not read the first two books in the series, I actually recommend starting from the beginning. Helen Hardt's writing is so wonderful, that I am confident we will all love the first two. Once you read them, please feel free to let me know what you thought, and discuss the books with me.
They are so easy to read, and will definitely leave you happy.
Read on the find our more about this series, the author, learn where to get copies for yourself, and enter an Amazon gift card giveaway!!!
Then dip into the Temptation Saga, a seven book series written by #1 New York Times bestseller Helen Hardt, which follows two families in the fictional town of Bakersville, Colorado.
Though each of the books can be read as a standalone, they are best enjoyed in order.
This series will tempt you, tease you, and take you away as you escape into the lives and loves of the McCray and Bay families.
Meet The Author:
#1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Helen Hardt’s passion for the written word began with the books her mother read to her at bedtime. She wrote her first story at age six and hasn’t stopped since. In addition to being an award winning author of contemporary and historical romance and erotica, she’s a mother, a black belt in Taekwondo, a grammar geek, an appreciator of fine red wine, and a lover of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. She writes from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her family. Helen loves to hear from readers.
What I need you to know... I was given a copy of Taking Catie and a copy of Taming Angelina. I was asked to write an honest review about the books. I was not paid to give a good review. The above review is my honest opinion, and had I not thoroughly enjoyed the books, I would have let y'all know!
Luckily, for us all, it is time for my latest book review in Lyz Kelley's Elkridge Series. If you have been paying attention, you would know that this is my fifth review. The entire series is six books, so that means we only have one more book left. I am so saddened by this, but I am simultaneously overjoyed. It means that we are so very close to the huge reveal, of our mysteries solution. I have been paying close attention, and I have a good idea about what happened, to cause Sheriff Sam's murder. I do not know the murderer yet, but given a few more hints, I feel I may know, before the truth is revealed.
So, just like the four previous book, Exposed was a real page turner. It was entertaining and captivated me. Admittedly, I was a bit taken back in the very beginning. As soon as I knew Ashley's friend Gwen, was actually going to end up in a relationship with her Dad (Dale), I was a bit uneasy. It wasn't because of the fourteen year age difference, it was because Dale's daughter was her best friend. Once it was clear Ashley was happy for them, I was overjoyed for them.
When we read Ashley and Chase's story, we weren't given the best view of Dale. There were moments when he seemed like a real jerk. Of course, by the end, once we knew more of the story, we realized that poor communication had led to a lot of misunderstandings. So, of course, warming up to Dale did take a little bit. Lyz did an amazing job developing his character, and just like with all the Elkridge men before him, I totally ended up being a huge fan of Dale.
Through the previous books, we had gotten to know Gwen quite a bit, and it was obvious she had a story to tell. We finally learn her story in this latest book, and it was a magnificent story. Full of sadness, happiness, mystery, and drama. You add in Dale and a bit of romance, and you have an excellent book.
So, please trust me, and go read this book. Read it now. Unless you have not read the previous books, then read them first. However, each of these books can easily be read as standalone stories. I think it is important to know, that each book has not only deepened our knowledge of Elkridge, and its residents, but have given us clues to solve the mystery around Sheriff Sam's murder. So, though you can read as many or as few as you want, and be completely entertained by each, I strongly recommend reading them all.
At this point, with only one book left, I do feel I have a decent idea of what is going on in Elkridge to lead to Sheriff Sam being murdered. I also feel that I have a good idea of a few people who are involved. One of which, I am secretly hoping I am wrong, but I really do think I am right. If you have been reading along with me, I would love to hear your thoughts! I wonder how in sync our thoughts are!? So, please reach out to me! I would love to discuss this series with you!!
Just know that Exposed will really change your opinion of Gwen. I loved her character, and after reading this book, I REALLY loved her. I also think by the end, Dale will have won you completely over, no matter how much you previously disliked him.
Exposed will shock you, make you laugh, make you cry, and probably infuriate you a bit. Lyz did an amazing job weaving a wonderful love story, with two unlikely people at its heart. This book is definitely a must read. As I have said, this entire series is a must read series, and this book did not disappoint.
So, I will see you soon, with my review of the final Elkridge book, and hopefully we can discuss our feelings on the outcome of the mystery around Sheriff Sam's murder. Until then, read these books!!
Continue on to find out about this book, Author Lyz Kelley, a giveaway, and how to get these books for yourself!!
Exposed by Lyz Kelley
(An Elkridge Series Novel)
Release Date: 18th July
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A woman in hiding. A past to resolve. A Marine to the rescue.
When a broken water pipe destroys Gwen Keebler’s thrift store, she’s convinced her day can’t get worse. But that same day, her blackmailing ex-fiancé finds her living in the small Colorado town of Elkridge. She’s ready to pack up and hit the road again when a former Marine provides options.
Former Brigadier General Dale Bryant has returned home to repair his relationship with his daughter, and his broken, widowed heart. The last thing he expects is to rescue Gwen as well. The sexy store owner caught his attention the first time they met, but he’s fourteen years older, and she’s his daughter’s friend.
Yet to truly save Gwen, the widower realizes he must let her go. Will Gwen run again, or will she face her past and fight for Dale?
EXPOSED is a sweet contemporary romance about a brave woman and a heroic man who fulfill their dreams. If you like heartfelt characters, deep topics with powerful emotional cores, and happy endings, then you’ll love this fifth book in Lyz Kelley’s tales of strength, love, and survival. A 25K words, 85+ page novella.
Award-winning, contemporary romance author Lyz Kelley lives in a small community in Colorado with her husband and several four-legged family members. Lyz writes about brave women who have faced extraordinary challenges, and the honorable men who have an enormous capacity to love, even if they may not know it.
A healing love is at the heart of her book series. Creating wounded yet amazing characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—is what gives her joy. Lyz is pleased to share that joy through her masterfully written stories.
To keep tabs on her award-winning novels, connect with Lyz by signing up for her newsletter at LyzKelley.com. Also visit LyzKelleysHeroes.com to join Kelley's Heroes, Lyz's VIP club. Members receive an exclusive copy of A Soldier’s Wife, learn about thoughtful giveaways, and get a sneak peek at upcoming releases. Members may even get the opportunity to receive advanced reader copies. Check out LyzKelley.com for more information.
Why would I want to read the Elkridge Series? Each book in the Elkridge series is a piece to a puzzle—a suspenseful mystery involving the murder of a small-town sheriff. You get six contemporary romance books to figure out the mystery and a bunch of happy ever after (HEA) endings. Two novels in this fiction series—Blinded and Orphaned—are award-winning romance books.
Where is Elkridge, Colorado?Elkridge exists only in my mind. On any given day, I can stop at River Creek Café for Jenna's fresh baked cinnamon rolls, or shop for a birthday present at Mara's Blooms, or get my nails done at Kym’s nail salon. Sitting in the park eating lunch, I can watch the kids play and hear the latest gossip from neighbors. Later, if I want, I can stop at Mad Jack’s to hear a local band play and get some dinner. Elkridge is a great small town where the sun shines 360 days a year and people do their best to make ends meet.
Would you tell us about your writing process? It takes me awhile to write each stand-alone story because I am passionate about creating the very best stories for my readers. These contemporary romance books have complex plots and sub-plots and include suspense romance threads, with deep emotional women’s fiction elements, humor and even a bit of quirkiness. I’m so excited to see the 5-star ratings because it means I’ve created the ideal mix to provide readers with a few hours of enjoyment.
Both Gwen and Dale were secondary characters in previous books. My editor, Faith Freewoman, insisted that I put the characters together. My first thought was, “no, there is too much of an age difference. What would they have in common?” However, I’d recently made the decision to put more diversity into my books—younger, older, black, white, purple…it doesn’t matter. I want to create complex, diverse characters, so I took on the challenge of creating a story for Gwen and Dale.
Why did you make Gwen’s parents wealthy?
Years ago, I saw Into the Wild, a movie about a young man rejecting his wealthy upbringing to live a simpler, more authentic life. It’s a true story, and if you haven’t read the book, or seen the movie, I would recommend it. When I started thinking how Gwen’s a part of Elkridge, I asked myself how her life is/or would be affected by Sheriff Sam’s murder, and wham, there was her story. A woman wanting a normal life, away from greed and corruption, finding happiness in Elkridge, Colorado. How cool is that?
Why are EXPOSED and SPURNED novellas? Why not write full-length books?
Three reasons. First: Writing shorter pieces is hard. Trying to write a full story in such few words is challenging, but I wanted to grow as a writer and take on that challenge. Second: I wanted to honor and meet women’s needs. There are women all over the world wanting short, fulfilling reads. I thought about working women riding the train or taking a bus to work, or those who want good lunchtime reading. I considered new moms wanting an escape while their child is breastfeeding or napping, or they want to pass the time while waiting to pick up their children from school. With these shorter books, I celebrate our differences, and allow all readers, no matter where they are, the chance to be swept away into another world.
Other Books in The Series
What I need you to know... I was given an ARC of Exposed by Lyz Kelley, and was asked to simply give an honest review. I was not paid to give a positive review. Had I disliked the book, I would have told you that. However, thankfully, I loved the book, and really enjoyed reading it!
Welcome to July's Use Your Words post! This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
I am typing this on my new Chromebook. I got it dirt cheap on Amazon Prime Day. I am not trying to brag, but I am a fast typist, and make very few typos. However, In just these last few lines, I have made about a million typos. Change may be nice, but sometimes it takes a bit to get used to. Oy. So, please bear with me. Oddly, despite not liking change and fighting it as much as possible, I am actually excited about this change. Hopefully, having such a simple system to type my blogs from, will enable me to do more. Don't hold your breath. I am definitely not holding mine. I am so not tech savvy at all. As simple as this Chromebook is, it could very well get the best of me. Update, typo count is now near a billion.
Enough about this early Christmas gift, let's get down to the task at hand... These wonderful words that Rena has gifted to me. Thank you, by the way, these words are lovely.
I had so many thoughts enter my mind, when I first read my words, and each additional time I read them, more thoughts came to mind. One thing that consistently stuck, was environment. We have one world. One Earth. One home. The environment is changing. Many of the changes are directly related to our choices and activities. I firmly believe Global Warming is not only real, but a genuine issue. One we need to face head-on. Every single country in this world, every single culture, needs to join together. We need to find common ground on all things, and we need world peace, but I am not going to hold my breath. However, we definitely need to set any differences aside and work together on this one issue. If the Earth becomes uninhabitable, we will all suffer.
It worries me that our leader has decided to stop our involvement, in working together with other nations, to help our planet survive as long as possible. This is something we need to be involved in. I want my future ancestors to enjoy this planet for many generations to come. I really pray that this destructive choice, does not foreshadow future bad decisions. I hope it really is an isolated thing, and I honestly hope there is a change of heart, and a new choice made.
The thing is, many things that are profitable, aren't good for the environment, and money rules all, or so it seems. So, of course the greedy slugs, who cannot see past their own wallets, will make choices that benefit them now, and who cares if future generations suffer. It just makes me so sad. In general, it is far too common for people to get greedy, and focus on profits more than what is best for everyone. We have turned things into profit machines, that should NOT be focused on profit. Our education and medical systems, for examples. Sadly, it seems that we have taken a turn, to where greed is more important than our planet.
I am sure that I am not sitting here, all to my lonesome, and the only one worried about this. That enables me to maintain hope, that we can get it right. We can turn things around. We can save this planet. Plus, hopefully, as our technologies advance, hopefully new techniques for saving our planet will come about.
I am sure you saw, how recently, a huge piece of Antarctica broke off. That is so scary. It means things are changing way too rapidly. We absolutely must stop it's progression. When I heard about it, I could not help but to pray that it would help change the necessary opinions, and get us back on track. Either way, whether our federal government makes the right choices, or not, we as individuals can make the right choices. We can choose to lessen our personal negative impact on the environment, and increase our positive impact. I truly hope each of you, do your best to leave the world better than it was before you were born. We can be the difference.
I have not completely written off the idea of creating my own personal survival Batcave, just in case things go very wrong in my lifetime. I just really don't want that to ever be necessary. So, I am curious... What do you think about Global Warming?! Do you do things to lessen your negative impact on the environment?! Do you not care at all?! Let me know how you feel. This is something that has really piqued my interest lately. I am currently looking into ways to easily lessen our negative impact.
I hope you all have a great Friday, and an amazing weekend. The final typo count is about twenty-five billion. Not too bad, but definitely a need for improvement.
Welcome to July's Secret Subject Swap. This week thirteen awesome bloggers picked a secret blog subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My “Secret Subject” is:
What were you obsessed with as a child (favorite toy, TV show, food, etc.) and why?
I honestly cannot think of anything from my younger days, that I was obsessed with. I mean, I did want to marry the Incredible Hulk. Once I was older, and discovered it was Lou underneath, I was not quite so into the idea. I think that is probably weird. I really wanted to marry this green hulk of a person, but was not so into the actual human underneath. It was a brief love affair. A not so brief one, was when I wanted to marry Beast, from the TV series, based on the Beauty and the Beast characters. Well, I got older, and discovered that underneath Beast was Ron Perlman, and I would honestly still marry him.
I loved sweet tea as a kid, but I would not say I was obsessed with it. There really was not much I was obsessed with. I guess you could say I was obsessed with reading, and I still am. Speaking of reading, I have a few more book reviews coming up for you guys! So, keep an eye out.
So, when I really think about myself and obsession, only two things come to mind.... Coffee and Matt Damon. Coffee is a given. I started drinking coffee when I was five. I would drink it every chance I got. I was a bit lucky. My dad constantly had a cup of coffee in his hand, and so I got many opportunities to "steal" sips.
My Matt Damon obsession began while I was sitting in the movies with my sister Luci. We went to see Good Will Hunting. I was obsessed with him nearly instantly. Anyone who knew me back then, will tell you... Obsession is the only way to explain it. Now, I am thirty-four, and I have grown out of it. Not. I am seriously still obsessed with him. Lucky for him, my obsession these days is quite different.
Back then, I read every single piece of material I could find about him. Magazine articles, books, blurbs in the newspaper. I watched all his TV appearances. I owned so many books and magazines, it was probably a tad ridiculous. These days, I just get giddy when I see him in a movie or on TV. I keep an eye out for him in the news. I am still very obsessed, it is just a healthy obsession.
I think the odd part of my obsession, is that I do not want to be his wife. That is a good thing, considering he is married and a father. I really just want to be his best friend, which is unfortunate, because that has been taken by Ben for ages. So, I don't stand a chance, but a girl can dream. Plus, people can have more than one best friend. So, there is still some hope for me, right?! Right.
I just think Matt is the most amazing human being. His parents obviously did an amazing job raising him, and he really has become one of the greatest human beings to ever live. I absolutely adore him. As Gigi's mom, I often find myself hoping that she grows up to be so much like Matt, and I often genuinely wish I would run into him, and he would instantly feel the BFF connection, so he could have an influence on Gigi. Okay. So, maybe my obsession is still a bit crazy. Sigh. Fine. So, yes, over twenty years later, and I am still OBSESSED with Matt Damon.
I think it is probably fitting that my two biggest obsessions are Matt Damon and coffee. Absolutely two of the greatest things in existence. Not that Matt is a thing, but you know what I mean, I am sure.
So, take it from me, if Matt isn't a huge blip on your radar, you need to fix that. However, don't get it twisted.... He is MINE. I have always staked claim on him, which is kinda weird, since I don't technically want him. I want his friendship. So, don't get that twisted. If he is going to get a new friend, it is going to be me.
Also, as a little side note... Of course my sister Luci had a crush on him, and so we would "fight" over him. He ended up marrying a Luci (Luciana). For a year or two, I was bummed he didn't marry a Jules. It kinda feels like him marrying a Luci, means that my sister won. So not cool. Also, the names of his children, are some of my favorite names, which only solidified my belief that he is AMAZING.
In truth, he only has one real flaw. Albeit, it is a massive flaw. He just happens to be a fan of the Patriots and Tom Brady, and that is a massive flaw for sure, but he is just so AMAZING, that the good outweighs the bad. So, I let his poor taste in football teams and players slide, and I just hope that whenever we meet, and he realizes how imperfect I am, he can just let the imperfections slide, and we can be best friends.
I am just kidding. Kind of. I mean, I am basically just joking, but I am also serious. Would I love to meet him?! Yes, please. Would I love to be his best friend?! PLEASE PLEASE please please. I just know that life does not work that way. The likelihood of me actually meeting him, is not that great. The likelihood of us meeting and it being significant enough for a friendship to blossom, is even less. The likelihood of he and I actually being compatible enough to be best friends, well, let's just say that is not very likely at all. However, I am certain, that if I were ever to meet him, it would be the second most amazing thing to every happen to me. Giving birth to Gigi is unable to be topped ever, not even by Matt.
So, if you don't know much about Matt, you should look into him. I think you will like what you find out. Also, check out water.org!! Watch his movies!! Learn about him!! Your life will be better for knowing him. :)
So, to answer the question... I was, and I am, obsessed with Matt Damon. Why?! Well, because he is the most amazing individual I have ever had the pleasure of being obsessed with. He makes the world a better place, and by learning about the person he was, when I was a teenager, I grew up to be a better person, than I would have been had I never known about him. The rest of my why can be found in the below videos. I mean... How could I not be obsessed?!
So, yes, as you can see my obsession is totally justified. I hope you all have an amazing Friday and a fabulous weekend!!
Here are links to all the other Secret Subject Swap posts for July: