June 20, 2018

Let It Breathe


The Life of a Migraineur has taught me to maximize healthy time. However, it seems I overextended myself. EEK! I am enrolled in six (6) writing classes, working on a copyediting project and submitting book reviews. That is just the literary side of things! To keep my sanity, I leisure read for 30-60 minutes before bedtime. No wonder I've read over 50 books already this year. I can't function without my fiction! Add on studying for industry CE exams (yawn😴💤) and podcasting (yay☺️🎤) and much-needed vacays (okurrr 🏖💃🏽)!

I am never not working thanks to a forever hustler mood. But I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment so something's gotta go on airplane mode. Only so many hours left in a day after adulting and napping.

So for the next several months, I will not write here regularly. My usual five (5) posts per week are on pause. Do not go #apeshit. I encourage bookhearts to continue participating in First Lines Friday and Series Sunday memes. I am still accepting book review requests and copyediting inquiries. My blogmoir will continue to keep you updated on the most pressing of current events and fuckery. I can be reached/lurked on other social media platforms and available via email. And of course, I will be present in the literary community; I'm not totally falling off these internet streets. Smooches ♠️❤️

🎵We measure success by how many people successful next to you🎵

  

June 19, 2018

2018 Memes & Reading Challenges Update

Blogmoir: A memoir in blog format of events and people in this fuckery called life.
02.20.2018 Meet the Parents
03.21.2018 Top Off
04.19.2018 She Bad


Life of a Migraineur: Share moments of my life with migraines.
04.19.2018 She Bad
06.06.2018 Wouldn't Leave
06.14.2018 Whole Lotta L


2018 Goodreads Challenge: Read 51 of 52 books in 2018 so far (98% to goal).

https://www.goodreads.com/review/stats/2924016-literarymarie#pages
2018 Page Count Challenge: Read 15,217 of 18,000+ pages in 2018 so far (85% to goal).

Keeping Up with Patterson Challenge: Read books in the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club, and Michael Bennett series by James Patterson. BOOKSHOTS are a bonus!
04.15.2018 17th Suspect 

Perpetual Kinsey Millhone Challenge: Read books in the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton.
04.22.2018 Q is for Quarry

Perpetual Jack Reacher Challenge: Read books in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.
06.03.2018 Die Trying

Lit Tidbits: Share current literary news.

US vs. UK: Compare covers of books released in US/UK.
05.28.2018 US vs. UK

View all of Literary Marie's Memes and Reading Challenges here.

June 17, 2018

Series Sunday: Sistah Speak 3rd Annual Family Reunion


#SS3for3

Join the Sistahs in Dallas for the 3rd Annual Sistah Speak Family Reunion!


Friday, July 27 Sistah Speak Game Night - cash bar and munchies, casino and board games, including the Sistah Speak Spades Tournament, Game of Thrones Monopoly, Texas Hold Em Poker, BlackJack, Cards Against Humanity, and more.

Saturday, July 28 Sistah Speak Family Reunion - complimentary cocktail hour, dinner, a commemorative reunion t-shirt, and special edition swag bag. We also will have raffle give-aways, a DJ to keep us dancing, and a photo booth with complimentary pictures to help us remember the night.

Sunday, July 29 Sistah Speak Farewell Brunch - meet at a local brunch spot to commune over food on our last day together. Cost of brunch is not included in ticket price.

Reserve your hotel room at Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park using a special Sistah Speak Family Reunion rate. Subject to availability so book now!

Our Texas-sized event will allow us plenty of time to shop, eat, and enjoy each other for the weekend. 3 days for our 3rd annual reunion! Share your excitement on social media by using hashtag #SS3for3


Don't miss any Sistah Speak scoop! Sign up for our newsletter here.



June 15, 2018

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Two beloved icons separately end their lives amid questions about depression, despair and the children and legacies they each leave behind."

Kate Spade 1962-2018
A Fashion Icon's Private Pain
"The midwestern 'Katy B' had a happy-go-lucky flair with handbags that made her a household name. But behind the colorful whimsy lurked a dark—and deadly—depression."

Anthony Bourdain 1956-2018
A Food Rebel's Final Days
"He traveled the world in search of indigenous food and untold stories but struggled with profound loneliness. Inside the adventurous, insatiable life of a culinary rock star."

~ People Magazine - June 25, 2018 Issue 

June 14, 2018

Life of a Migraineur: Whole Lotta L


Roger the Squirrel scrambles up to the roof. A neighbor opens their doorwall letting in the summer breeze. The air conditioning kicks in letting me know the temperature is warmer than 72º in here. In reality, these sounds are faint. The normal person would not be disturbed. But to a migraineur, the sounds are magnified. I reach for my pillow and throw it over my head. I adjust my therapeutic eucalyptus-scented eye patch; it's lukewarm but I have no strength to swap it out for one of the colder ones stacked in my freezer.

I am not sure how many hours passed but I roll over. A wave of nausea and dizziness hit me. With urgency, I throw the pillow and comforter off. Stumble to the bathroom and drop to my knees at the toilet bowl. Time for a good 'ole hug with my porcelain friend. The dry heaving starts and finally, the vomit comes. And comes. And comes a bit more. Surely there is nothing left on my stomach when I see bile. Spent and exhausted, I lean against the bathroom wall for who knows how long.

This is usually when I play the medication gamble game. Should I take another dose of migraine meds and risk throwing it all up? Literally dollars down the drain. This medication is too expensive to take on a whim. Any migraineur will tell you it's levels to this shit. Either take the medication at onset or preserve it for another attack and tough this one out.

I close my eyes and pray the pain goes away sooner rather than later. But God only helps those that help themselves, right? So I muster enough strength to stand, open the medicine cabinet, grab my medicine and walk to the kitchen. I reach into the back of fridge for the mason jar filled with icy water. It is prepped and ready for occasions such as this. Why? Because even the sound of pouring water will hurt. This way, I only have to hear my own swallowing of the pill.

Might as well grab a few cold compresses while I'm here at the freezer. I make my way back to the bathroom, toss the bath rugs out, kick the door closed and lay on the floor. Ah, it's so cold and hard. Quite comforting! I curl up in a fetal position using my arm as a makeshift pillow. The other arm is holding one of the cold compresses around my neck while the other is tied across my forehead. And I just lay there. In the cold. In the quiet. In the dark. Again I lose track of time but it doesn't seem long before I doze off into a heavy sleep.

When I finally wake up and leave the bathroom, I am relieved the pain is damn near gone. Then I look at the clock on my iHome. Wayment—what time is it? I peek through the blackout window curtains. Damn. The whole day is gone. Wasted. I call my Neurologist and leave a voicemail with details of my latest migraine attack. Either he or the resident will respond during normal business hours. I already know what the conversation will be. It is time to consider new treatment options, more aggressive than the current aggressive prescription cocktail. And of course it comes with side effects. Don't they all?

So I have a choice to make: whole lotta weight gain or chronic pain? I should just fake being well.

  

June 13, 2018

The President is Missing


"It's hard to be humble when they play a song for you every time you enter the room, when the world financial markets hang on your every word, and when you command the world's greatest military arsenal, but if you need to knock yourself down a few pegs, try checking your stool for blood." ~ pg. 44 

This is like a joke: What do you get when you join a bestselling mystery novelist and a POTUS? A political thriller. 🥁ba dum tss🥁

The President is Missing is the most anticipated book of 2018. Largely because I am a long-term fan of James Patterson and will read almost anything he publishes. I have high respect for his craft and dedication to the written word. But when I saw the co-author's name revealed in a newsletter, I had to rub my eyes, close the email and re-open when my reading glasses were securely on. President BILL MUTHAF'IN CLINTON?! Writing fiction with thee James Patterson? What an unlikely pair yet it just may work. You can't name two better men to join pens and write a cyberterrorism thriller. 

I immediately added The President is Missing to my TBR and faithfully checked my resources for an advance copy. I looked up tour dates but the duo was not coming to these parts of Michigan. I entered a giveaway but I never win those. There wasn't even a free preview available like so many of Patterson's other books. This project was kept tight until publication date of last Monday, June 4.

"Think about how different it would be if we reached beyond our base to represent a broader spectrum of opinions and interests. We'd learn to listen to one another more and defame one another less." ~ pg. 506

I set the DVR to record all interviews with Patterson and President Clinton. Imagine my disappointment when the media turned all but one interview into a blame game conversation about Monica Lewinsky and the "Me Too" movement. Excuse me—can we talk about the book and not something that happened two whole decades ago?!

Anyhoot—I finally got the thick hardcover in my hands. (I did not spring for the $225 signed edition.) The beginning of the book does not follow the customary short chapters that we are used to in Patterson novels. I wonder if those were written by Clinton because the difference in writing style was so obvious. The problem with highly anticipated books is the level of expectation. Readers expect a good ass story, a page-turner, a dramatic thriller. A book worthy of staying up late reading (twice) to finish 500+ pages. To add to my reading experience, I buddy read with my Chickadee and kept in touch with others on social media currently reading too. This is a book you must discuss while reading instead of a quick chat afterward.

"The Wild, Wild West, this cyberterrorism. This new, scary frontier. Anyone sitting on a couch in his underwear could undermine the security of a nation." ~ pg. 231 

So you are wondering how was the book, right? Wait no further for my review. It was everything I could expect from a great storyteller and someone with political inside scoop. Like my Chickadee always points out, Patterson drops gems under the guise of fiction. He wants us WOKE. Pure genius idea teaming up with President Clinton to reach even more readers. Cybersecurity is real and demands action—in between the pages of fiction and within the real life Administration. I won't give any details away but bookhearts can expect to read about causes of impeachment, mock hearings, water crisis, national security measures, all the moving parts/positions of White House officials and foreign policies. I do not steer my bookhearts wrong—read the thriller of the year, The President is MissingIf nothing else, read Chapters 59, 60 and 128. (🗣Preach, Patterson)

Title: The President is Missing
Authors: Bill Clinton & James Patterson
Published: June 2018
Pages: 528
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

 

June 12, 2018

The Summer List


"I saw her, and perhaps felt a small, vicarious thrill at her daring, at becoming the custodian of her secrets." ~ 55%

Laura and Casey were once inseparable. Floating in the pool, looking at the stars, and teaming up for scavenger hunts in their town. It all went wrong one summer evening when a betrayal was revealed. It sent Laura running, leaving her best friend Casey behind.

Seventeen years later and the women reunite for one last scavenger hunt. Each clue is a bittersweet reminder of their summers together. Like most women's fiction, a secret is unraveled that could tear them even further apart.

Perhaps it was the expectation that The Summer List is comparable to one of my favorite books ever, Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. Or maybe it was the nostalgia of unbreakable bonds of girl best friends. But I am in the minority of other reviewers; this book was just okay. Not mesmerizing but worth it if you want to read chick lit this summer. A story everyone can relate to!

Happy Early Pub Day, Amy Mason Doan. The Summer List will be available Tuesday, June 26.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: The Summer List
Author: Amy Mason Doan
Published: June 2018
Pages: 384
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤