Thursday, February 13, 2020

To Choose or Not to Choose: 
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You Review

It’s that time of year. Where love is in the air and hordes of heart-shaped chocolate line the shelves of every grocery store. But what better way to honor this love filled holiday than with a movie about love.

I had the pleasure of watching To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You, which aired on Netflix February 12th. To say I was excited is an understatement. I've been a huge fan of this series since the first movie, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, released. So I was full on fangirl screaming in my head that the sequel was finally upon us.

To give a brief backstory, To All the Boys I've Loved Before tells the story of high schooler and half Korean Lara Jean Covey and her whirlwind situation when her private love letters to the boys she's loved in her life end up being mailed to them. To make matters worse, she's desperate to cover up the truth from her sister's ex-boyfriend, aka one of the love letter recipients and still current crush, Josh Sanderson. The best way Lara Jean feels can solve this problem is to pretend to be in a serious relationship with Peter Kavinsky, one of the other love letter recipients, who agrees to help her out in order to make his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve, jealous. But what starts out as a lie quickly becomes so much more as the two slowly fall in love.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You takes place not long after the first movie ends. Lara Jean is now officially a couple with Peter and everything is going well. Or so Lara Jean wishes. But in truth, she begins to have some doubts when it comes to her relationship with Peter and those issues only seemed to grow when she receives a responding letter from John Ambrose McClaren regarding one of her love letters. Now she must deal with two different guys and the way she feels about them.

What I liked about the movie was the bits of Korean that were showcased. I loved seeing Lara Jean and her sister Kitty get dressed up in hanboks to celebrate the Korean New Year at their mother's family's house. But I wished there was more emphasis placed on Lara Jean's Korean background. 

I also like that the movie presented normal teenage problems. Lara Jean was scared of getting her heart broken by Peter and being unable to get her happily ever after. She worried about issues like being a good girlfriend and if she was ready to have sex with Peter or abstain even though that sparked up feelings of not being enough because she was a virgin and didn't have that experience like Peter had. I liked how normal and real she was.

What I didn't like about the story was the fact that there just didn't seem to be any driving force that made me want to sit there and stay engrossed in the whole movie. I only felt that cutesy connection between Lara Jean and Peter at the beginning but the rest of the movie even when Spoiler- she chose Peter and they reunite, I wasn't able to be really happy about it. Maybe it's because they didn't really go through any problems. It was more like, and again spoilers, Lara Jean feels insecure and then they break up. She kisses John Ambrose and realizes she's meant to be with Peter all along. The end. There wasn't enough emotional journey and soul searching for me.

Now normally, I'm team Kavinsky all the way but in this movie, I had some moments were I thought maybe she'd be better with John Ambrose. Don't get me wrong I love sweet Peter but together, they seemed out of orbit. Maybe it's because they spent most of the movie apart then actually together for like five seconds. Meanwhile there was John Ambrose, who was also sweet and charming and although I liked his cutesy moments with Lara Jean, I couldn't bring myself to be satisfied with him either. For one, he seemed stuck in the past. It was one love letter from sixth grade. And yeah, maybe he had a crush on her then but did those feelings really keep for that long even though he hadn't seen her since he moved, by the way.  I mean not to bash on Lara Jean's writing skills. It sounded like a good letter. It just seemed a little unrealistic if you asked me.

So while this movie was still okay to watch, it doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor and it's highly unlikely that it'll be in my rewatch queue. However, I did like the message I picked up from this movie. Love is complicated. It's messy and it's about taking risks and being willing to let your heart be broken. I felt like this movie was asking what kind of love are you looking for? One that is safe? Or one to be fought for with bruises to the heart, body, and soul as badges of honor? What kind of love are you willing to choose?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

His Strength Is Perfect


So in honor of my almost three year hibernation from blogging, I thought I'd focus on one of my favorite things, besides writing:

Music has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember, which funny thing, is not that much. I have a memory of a goldfish so most of my childhood is a blur when I try to recall events, lol. The one thing I do remember is always listening to music in our house. Even now, half of the time (okay, all of the time) I can't seem to focus without it. In fact, I was just having a conversation with a friend earlier today about feeling like I'm floating all over the place and how I'm trying to work on being more grounded. I thought music did that for me. It was like it connected me back to myself, which was why I was usually listening to something whenever I needed to focus, like with writing. I would get the most words when that happened and I was at my calmest when I heard music or even sang it.

So today after work, I got home and started singing off key like on any typical day, lol. But today was one of those days that I also inadvertently started humming a random song that wasn't on my usual playlist. I know the song now, but when it first made its appearance a few months ago, I didn't recognize the wordless tune. It was pretty and felt familiar but it didn't click instantly. Maybe because I was too exhausted at the time, both mentally, physically and emotionally, from work. But thankfully, I was saved from that annoying feeling I get when I can't remember something and the words to the chorus I'd been humming poured out of me:


And with those words came a memory from my childhood where I was about six or seven. I remembered my mother next to the stereo listening to this song by CeCe Winans. I remembered her hands gripping the stereo stand that it was on as she leaned toward it. It was almost like she was trying to absorb the words inside of her by getting as close as she could to the stereo. She needed that song. I didn't understand why but I do now since I guess I subconsciously did the same thing. I had brought out that song from my scattered memories because I needed it. 

When times got tough, my mother turned to God and music to save her. After she'd listen to a few songs and she'd sing to God, she was better. He took whatever worries or burdens she had and gave her peace. The music didn't just ground her, God being her audience did. Because of that memory, I started to remember others; memories where we would have our jam sessions to God. It brought me back to a time where things were hard but we still managed to sing through them.

I didn't realize how badly I needed to remember that song. I didn't realize how badly I needed to connect with those words. I didn't realize how much I needed something to hold on to until I broke down crying at the memories. And now? Now whenever I start humming one of my random blast from the past songs, I smile and if I remember the words, I sing. And I keep singing, even when I feel like no one else will want to listen to my horrible singing. I sing because I know that I will always have my audience of one.

I just wanted to take a moment to say that. When it feels like your journey has been long and hard, or when you feel like life is against you and you're at your end, I hope you can remember to stop and sing to God. Let your troubles float up to him in song, and allow him to ground you again. ♥♥♥

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Newest WIP- Her Psychotic Break

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been crazy busy. So busy that I've been mostly going to sleep early at nights which for me that means...

Anyways, I thought I'd stop by and mention a little bit about the newest story I'm working on. It's called Her Psychotic Break and it's a romantic suspense about the adventures and romance between a woman trapped in a mental institution and her psychiatrist. I'm really loving this story and the characters so far. I've never been so motivated to write their stories. They feel so real to me now.

Hopefully by this weekend, I will be halfway through the story and I hope to complete it before the end of the year. Fingers crossed that I don't catch the procrastination bug again.

Well I should probably get back to work. Oh and I almost forgot...

Monday, November 9, 2015

POSSESS Anthology Live!!

It's Live!!!

FINALLY!! After being tortured non-stop by one of the authors whose story is in this anthology, I have been salivating for its arrival. And it's finally here! TADAH!!

Looks steamy, right?  That's because it is. That for a little bit of info:


Possess - An Alpha Anthology!

*8 BRAND NEW romance novellas from your favorite authors!*


JOANNA BLAKE - Bound To Me - A hardened cowboy, a spoiled Italian Countess and one night of passion that neither can forget.

CORA BRENT - Hicky - After seven years apart, one couple finds that lust conquers all.

LANA GRAYSON - Saint - No biker is ever given a second chance—he has to take it, especially when it’s his life, his baby, and his club at risk

JORDAN MARIE - Craved - Bad boy biker Sabre knows that sweet and curvy librarian Annie is his the moment they first meet, but can good girl Annie handle all of Sabre's demands?

CLEO PEITSCHE - Tormented By a Dangerous Man - A desperate bounty hunter finds herself tricked by a dominant, bad boy billionaire.

WINTER RENSHAW - Bitter Rivals - Two rival Manhattan real estate brokers spend a weekend to remember in the Hamptons.

DG WHISKEY - Capturing Liberty - An aspiring model meets an enigmatic billionaire and falls into a whirlwind romance.

REBECCA YARROS - Point of Origin - After six years, Sebastian Vargas is home, fighting to restart the elite team of firefighters known as the Legacy Hotshot Crew, but it’s the girl he left behind that could leave him burned.

Eight super-hot, super alpha, super fun never-before-published novellas!

I don't know about you but having the option of reading about eight (count them) EIGHT alpha males is just like...Christmas. So go forth and order now!! And if you're still not convinced? Well, the teasers below should help.


Point Of Origin by Rebecca Yarros

Bitter Rivals by Winter Renshaw

Craved by Jordan Marie

Follow the authors

Sunday, November 1, 2015

National Novel Writing Month: Day 1

Happy November 1st, everyone!

I just love this month. Don't you? There's just so many good things wrapped up in it, such as...


My birthday

The first day of Fall Back (which I almost forgot to do until I realized I wasn't crazy)...

But also this month celebrates National Novel Writing Month or Nano. Or Nanowrimo (depending who you're talking to). Yay! Now what is it you might ask?

According to my knowledge (some of which was just learned from Facebook and Wikipedia, lol), Nano is an annual writing project that occurs during the month of November that was started in July 1999 with 21 participants. By 2010, over 200,000 people participated and wrote over 2.8 billion words. Today, over 300,000 people are taking part and at the end of the month, I'll try to find out how many words have been written. Amazing, right? I don't know about you but this is just so wonderful and it's thrilling to be a part of something this big. 

The rules of Nano are that participants must produce a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days. That's it. Sounds like alot of work doesn't it? Well trust me, it is. However, the special authors who do manage to finish come out with something amazing on the other end; a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and the workings or finished draft of a new book. Some of these novels even eventually become best-selling novels, including Sara Gruen's "Water for Elephants." 

So if you can and have some spare time, try to take part. I've tried to enter and finish Nano last year (and couldn't do it) and in the Camp Nanowrimo version, which occurs in April and July (and couldn't do it). Life just kept getting in the way. But this year, I'm ready. I got my novel, Her Psychotic Break, plotted out (mostly) and today I've already reached 2,322 words, a new personal record. Not too shabby for my first day and certainly better than my previous years. Hopefully I'll be able to keep this momentum up as I hope to have finished my new romantic suspense by the end of the month. 

Wish me luck and if you're participating too, then good luck to you, stay strong and don't you dare touch that delete button!

Now I'm off to add some more words. I'm feeling so on fire that if anyone tries to stop me...

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Later and happy writing!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beyond the Wail: 12 Grave Stories of Love and Loss Release Day!! (Somebody pinch me)

Today I welcome another wonderful book into the world; this one a little closer to my heart. Why, you ask? Well, this particular book not only contains twelve brilliant Halloween-suited grave stories featuring characters who have conquered their darkness and won but also because I'm in it!! I'm feeling so cool right now.

My very first short story, Dead Man Hocking, has made its debut into the world today and while I'm on the verge of biting my nails, pulling hair and drowning my anxiety of having people read my work, it's a good kind of sickness. I'm still amazed that my story was even chosen for this anthology. I remember when I first submitted it to Xchyler Publishing and wondering if I was making a huge mistake. That I had just probably hurt the readers' eyes with this god-awful story. And though I over-reacted (big time), I'm glad I took that gigantic leap and put myself out there. I'd never done anything so brave and it seemed like my little act of courage was rewarded. Now, I know how other authors feel when their babies are born. To undergo that process from its beginning stages to nurturing it and watching it grow until it reaches a stage where you're no longer needed. It kind of saddens me that I have reached that stage for DMH but I also couldn't be happier. I feel like I've made it the best it could be and I hope that anyone who reads it will be pleased as much as I am.

Okay, enough of the emotional babble. Without further ado, I give you...

Our 12 Grave Stories and the authors who wrote them:

Look, look!! I am right there ^. Yayayayay!!

OF MICE AND MONSTERS by Tirzah Duncan: Troubled by ghosts within and without, Benjamin struggles to become the man his girlfriend needs instead of the monster he is. 

GO GENTLE by Julie Barnson: After the death of her boyfriend, a young musician uses her talents and a fabled violin to stop the fatal accidents at a dead man’s curve. 

DEAD WATER by Amanda Banker: A stalled truck, an abandoned graveyard, and a town not found on any map take two brothers on a detour they’ll never forget. 

COLD SPOT by Jay Barnson: When a laptop is stolen from their computer security company, two high school buddies go to extremes to investigate. But, will they manage to return? 

WEEPING LADY by A. F. Stewart: Eva Douglas must face her mother issues, past and present, when the disappearance of her sister forces a confrontation with a terrifying ghost. 

THE POLTERGEIST AND AUNT BETTY by Ginger C. Mann: Aunt Betty is eccentric, but how much is ghost, how much is medication, and how much is just plain crazy? 

THE ‘GRIM’ REAPER by L. K. McIntosh: When a soul reaper loses the source of their power, 
they must either find the witch who stole it or a new purpose for living. 

SHRINE OF MIRRORS by F. M. Longo: A spy on a mission becomes a believer in the supernatural when the theft of three ancient relics.threaten to bring down the empire. 

DEAD MAN HOCKING by T.N. Payne: A world-weary zombie learns to beware what you wish for, and not all sure bets are worth the gamble. 

ST. PETER’S FISH by Alex McGilvery: Sam is a walking disaster of biblical proportions, but how much is he willing to sacrifice to escape, and will the Powers That Be allow it? 

THE DIORAMA by Sebastian Bendix: A play set turns life around for Martin Taper, but things take a turn for the worse when he neglects it and the lonely child obsessed with it. 

DATE DUE by Danielle E. Shipley: A magic library’s guardian determines to protect her treasured books, whether their authors elect to do things the easy way . . . or the fatal one.

Seriously, I never thought this day would happen. It's just another dream that's recently coming true. It feels like I've reached a turning point in my life -one I hope only to get better from here. I'll keep doing my best in any case. Now I'm off to my writing cave. The voices in my head are getting fussy again. They want their stories told now. *sigh* A writer's work is never done. For I am merely the instrument used to tell stories no one else hears and enter the hearts of the ones who needs them. 

Don't forget to order you copy of Beyond the Wail today. Also, keep an eye on the Blog Tour that started today. Each day, one of the authors will be featured. (Psst. I'm on Monday)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beyond What Is Given RELEASE DAY!!!!!


It's Live!!

The day has finally come for Rebecca Yarros' Beyond What Is Given to finally be released. I've been looking forward to announcing this book for like forever.

So before I start fan-girling myself into a state of embarrassment (that's a post for another day *cough October 16th cough*), I'll let the synopsis do the talking.


Lt. Grayson Masters is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course, and the last thing he needs is his gorgeous new roommate Samantha Fitzgerald distracting him. While her smart mouth and free spirit are irresistibly irritating, he can’t deny their off-the-charts chemistry, no matter how hard he tries. Having just been expelled from college, Sam has no business digging for Grayson’s secrets while she’s hiding her own, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tear down his walls. Each barrier she busts through drops one of her own, though, and she’s not prepared for the truth: another woman laid claim to Grayson’s heart long ago. Falling in love is something neither Grayson nor Sam can afford, and when that line is crossed and secrets are exposed, they’ll learn that sometimes it’s the answered prayers that will put you through hell.  

I think so! I hope everyone else is intrigued as well. It's packed with so many beautifully written lines...


12037751_1644978065781458_1441040306_o's sure to keep you wanting more. I've already read the entire thing and I won't go into too much detail since I won't be able to shut up afterwards or have anything to post when I review it later but I will tell you this, I know this will be one of those books that I'll pick up and re-read for years to come.

Okay, I'll stop gushing now.

...when it comes to this book. So don't wait around. Go buy your copy right this instant and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. If I still haven't convinced you, rather than hunting you down and shoving a copy in your face, here's an excerpt to change your mind.  


“Samantha?” His eyes softened, revealing the give in him, and it cracked my own defenses. “Have you ever made a mistake, Grayson? And I don’t mean the kind that costs you an apology. I mean one that destroys you? Where you lie awake at night, unable to sleep, because you’re terrified of what’s going to happen the next day, and the one after that? Where you’d give anything, and I do mean anything to go back and make a different a choice? Where you’re sick all the time at the thought of what you’ve done? Because I have. I’ve crumbled my entire future, shredded any hope of finishing college, and killed off who I used to be. And I don’t…I don’t know how to come back from something like that.” “You don’t.” I jerked back, but he held me immobile against him. “Stop, and listen to me. I’m not going to belittle you by saying nothing is that bad, because some things are. Things happen that change who we are, and what we’re capable of. So you’re not going to ‘come back’ from that any more than you’re going to erase whatever you did. You have to decide if you’re going to try to keep patching yourself up or if you’re going to tear down and rebuild.” “I don’t know how to do that.” “You wade through the pain, and the guilt, and the excuses you make to yourself. Stop drowning in alcohol to numb the fear, and suck up the bitter taste of accountability. You move on with who you are now. It’s not easy. If you think you screwed up that badly, then maybe you did, but you also have to leave room for the chance that you didn’t. Have you talked about it?” I shook my head. There were two of us who knew the whole truth, and that circle was big enough. “I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of everyone’s vision of who I am. It’s so much prettier than the truth.” “Not even Ember?” “Definitely not think-through-everything-twice Ember. She wouldn’t understand, and I’m not sure I could handle her reaction.” He swallowed and broke our stare like it had become too much because we both knew the truth—it had. “That’s the hardest part, letting someone see who you really are—scars and all. I’m…” He cleared his throat. “You need to trust someone enough to tell them the truth. Make peace with it before it eats you alive. I listen really well if you don’t have anyone else.” I scrambled to throw up a wall between us. It was safer when he was hurling snotty comments at me. That, I knew how to handle. But this Grayson? The one holding me carefully, keeping me warm while the storm raged outside, offering to help carry the crippling weight destroying me? I didn’t know what the hell to do with that one. “Why would you even offer? Everything you know about me is a mess. I drink too much, wear too-little clothes, dance on bars, and impose on everyone around me because I can’t get my shit together.” “You can get your shit together, you’ve just chosen not to up until now. You took that first step with Maggie. I’m offering because I’ve made that kind of mistake, Sam, the one you don’t come back from. I look at you, and I see what I went through. It’s too late for me.” He took a deep breath. “But you? You’re going to spring back, so yeah, I’m offering.” “As friends?” I held my breath, needing to hear it. The push and pull, the attraction, it was all there on my side, but I wasn’t sure about his, and I wasn’t about to make an ass out of myself. We were roommates, and this could get complicated really quickly. Our eyes locked, and heat skimmed down my limbs, leaving chills in its wake. “We’re both adults—” “Well, trying to be,” I joked. His lips quirked up at the corners. Almost a smile. “Right. I’m not going to say that I’m not insanely attracted to you. I don’t lie. Ever. Plus, I’d have to be dead not to realize the way you affect me. But I’m also not in any position to act on it, and let’s be honest—you’re not, either. But I think we can stop picking each other apart and be friends.” “Friends that are insanely attracted to each other?” He inhaled sharply, like my attraction to him had been some secret. Yeah right. I’m pretty sure my body threw out “screw me now” signals the minute he walked into a room, even when I was angry with him. Hell, perversely, especially when I was angry with him. The siren wailed again, and I jumped, despite the exhaustion pummeling me. “An hour to go,” I muttered, looking at my iPad. “Relax and try to get some sleep.” “Like there’s a chance of that.” But he tucked the comforter up to my chin and drew me closer, so my head rested on his chest. “Just try. Some of us have to get up for work in the morning.” His tone was light and teasing, so I didn’t jump his case about giving me shit. I yawned, feeling my body betray me and start to shut down like he’d flipped some magic Sam-sleep button. “I’m glad we can be friends.” Sleep slurred my words. “Me, too.”   

AMAZING, RIGHT!!! If that didn't change your mind, well then you must not have a heart.

Links for ordering are posted below and don't forget to enter the giveaway to enter a Kindle Fire HD7. Happy Reading!!

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Rebecca Yarros Bio

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She's a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores. When she's not writing, she's tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they're currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.  

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