April 18, 2015

Grief Is a Mother F@%&er

**note: just in case the title didn't clue you in... this post contains profanity and terribly woeful thoughts!

Death is an arsehole!
Yeah, yeah - the circle of life and all that jazz but when a loved one dies, that shit hurts likes a mother-fucker!  Unless of course, you're a cold-hearted bitch and then that crap just rolls off like water off a ducks back.


I'll be honest. I've been lucky enough to experience very little death related grief in my life.
Growing up in a country where you have no family and pretty much know nobody means you don't have a lot of strong bonds or relationships to people around you. It's not until you are older and put down roots and settle that those bonds form. And for me, that didn't happen until my late teens when I meet my then boyfriend (now husband of almost 20 years).

I've experience the loss of a well loved pet, which for some people can be just as strong as familial loss. And I've experienced the loss of family via my husband. Some of his losses have been bone shatteringly hard to deal with and I've felt that grief down deep. But the grief I've been dealing with these past two weeks has left me utterly... numb.

My Grandmother passed away almost two weeks ago.
She, along with the majority of my family live in the UK, I live in New Zealand.
I've been home to visit twice in the past 33 years. Not from a lack of want to go I can assure you, pure financial impossibility is what has kept me away! The last trip cost me fifteen grand and took me forever to pay back (hello bank loan hell). If I had it my way I'd make the trip back every couple of years!

But anyway, my Gran died on the morning of Easter Sunday.
Now up until I got the phone call, I hadn't really had any memories of spending Easter with my Gran. I do remember getting the odd card at Easter-time over the years, but the minute I got that call I had flashes of marzipan fruits, fruit cake, and those fuzzy little yellow chicks that all little kids like to play with! Whether I was remembering a different time or a different Grandparent I don't know but it just seemed fitting that she died on a celebration day... because she deserves to be celebrated.

So I fumbled my way through a relatively short conversation with my Uncle, passed along my condolences to him and my Aunt, and did all the things you do when you get shitty news.
And then I cried.
I cried for all the missed birthdays and Christmases, the family events, births, and weddings. And I cried for all the Sunday dinners that I missed out on. For all the marzipan fruits I never got to eat! I cried for the pain my Dad must be experiencing, and I cried for my kids.
I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning I rang my Dad, we cried together. I then had to break the news to my brother over the phone and so I cried some more!
My kids were amazing and made me breakfast in bed.
My hubby took me shopping, just so I could pull myself together and brave being in public (even with my hugely swollen and bloodshot eyes!) and I basically just tried keeping in all those damn tears!

I know there was a service for my Gran this past Wednesday, but other than that I've had no further contact from my relatives. No calls, txts, facebook messages. To be fair, I haven't contacted them either... out of preservation I've avoided calling. I just have a handle on my emotions now, I don't need to break apart again, I may not pick up all the fractured pieces this time!

I'm the strong one.
I'm a tough bitch.
I tackle shit head on and I'll be damned if I let it get to me!
I'm the problem solver, the fixer, the chick that has a solution for any problem, anytime...

What a fucking joke!
I'm a mask wearer.
You need me to be strong - here's my strong mask!
You need me to help with a problem - here's my problem solver mask!
You need someone in your corner, need me to front for you - here's my tough, take no shit mask, just for you!

I feel as brittle and as delicate as spun glass most of the time - not that anyone sees that - and I'll be buggered if I let them!
I'm my own worst enemy, a people pleaser.
But it's not like I can stop now, fuck - my whole goddamn life might just fall apart if I do!

So I keep it all in.

I've neglected my kids and husband. Ignored my facebook messages. Left emails unopened and unanswered. And I haven't blogged, reviewed or promoted anything I've signed up for... I'm numb. Lifeless. Joyless. Depressed.


Is this my cry for help - shit no!
This is just my place to vent. To have a rant. My little slice of suck-it-the-fuck-up therapy!

Then why post it publicly - fucked if I know!
I'm just getting it off my chest and saying 'fuck you death!'

Fuck you in the ass - hard!
You suck great big balls and I'm done feeling like crap about it!
I need to shake you loose and move on - face to the sky and onward bitch!

My Gran may not have agreed with the words I use, but she sure as hell would agree with the sentiment!

So farewell, dearest Gran - you're back in the arms of your loved ones - with Granddad... and forever in my heart, my thoughts, and in the smiles and laughter of my daughters. You are already so sadly missed but by Christ, you'll never be forgotten!





April 7, 2015

Temporarily Unavailable

Due to a sudden death in the family My Book Chatter & Book Chatter Promotions will be temporarily unavailable.

My appologises to any and all authors, tour organisers etc that are waiting on posts, these will be arranged and back dated once I am able to get back online and running again.

Again, I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused anyone.

Cath
(Book Chatter Cath)

April 2, 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Going Viral by Amelie Stephens

Going Viral LKB 

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Blurb:

Meet Abbie, cubicle dweller by day, blogger by night. Acting as her online diary, the blog feature a no-holds-barred, true life, gritty account of her sometimes funny, sometimes painful, often dirty love life. Oh, and she doesn't always change the names to protect the innocent. After a date with coworker, Toby, she has a new reason to hate Mondays. When the post goes viral, Toby seeks revenge and enlists the help of his buddy Parker to do it. Both guys soon realize when she isn't bad -mouthing men, she's pretty likable, maybe even lovable. All may be fair in love and war, but what happens next will rock the internet and her world. She's in love with not one, but two men. What's a girl to do?

Buy it Now!


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Excerpt 1:

The Office Eye Candy: Fun to Look at, Painful to DateAbbie Baker | On March 21, 2015 If you had asked me a year ago just what I thought about office romances, I would have told you that nobody in their right mind would ever have one. Nothing good could happen from one, right? If you had asked me that a year ago, though, I would have taken inventory of all the men I worked with and would have come up with Nathan, 47, balding and wheezy; Derek, 59, a happily married father and grandfather; and Tyler, who while the right age, is gay. When you have the male coworkers I had then, it is easy to be judgmental about workplace romances. When your elderly fellow employee retires and is replaced with a young, good-looking, single, straight guy, however, it becomes a whole lot easier to decide that nothing is just black or white. I am here to tell you, though, that your first instincts are correct: do not cross the line. Because if you do, you could end up right where I am now: loveless, mad, and with yet another reason to hate Mondays. If you have been following the dating drama that is my life, you know that tonight was my much-anticipated date with Toby, my heart-stopping, next-cubicle neighbor. We bonded over a jammed printer, shared dismay when we thought the company was being closed, and laughed together in relief when we found out that we were only changing buildings. All in all, we were clearly destined for couple greatness. In preparation for the big event, I was waxed, polished, and tweezed. I spent a week’s salary on a form-flattering outfit, and I spent an hour on my hair. But I didn’t mind. It was an investment in my future position as Mrs. Toby Lockland. Is there someone you can sue when a fool-proof investment falls flat? That’s right, ladies. Toby was an epic failure, and you guys are all going to reap the rewards of my humiliating ordeal.

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Excerpt 2:

Sometimes the gentlemen’s guide to living right sucked. Like how you always had to repay your debts. Normally, repaying a debt was something that Parker Bryant would do without flinching. He hated owing someone; he loved finally being debt-free. Not this time, though. If these were his choices, he would much rather just keep owing Toby. “I need you to meet Abbie and pretend to date her.” Toby had said this seriously, but Parker still hoped it was a joke. “What do you mean? Why?” “I need you to make her fall in love with you. I need you to become her perfect man. I need you to do this for me. And then I need you to break up with her, and break her heart.” “WHAT? NO! No way, Toby. No. I know you are upset. But I can’t do that for you. No.” “You have to. Just listen. It’s the only way. It’s the only way to get revenge. She needs awful material? She needs stories to fuel her hate-filled fans? She needs men to treat her badly in order to get attention and please her followers? Then let’s give her something real to write about.” “Listen, Toby. I get it. I get why you want payback. And I support it. I just cannot do this.” “But you don’t get it, do you? You don’t have a choice. You owe me, remember? And I am calling in the favor now.” Parker sighed because he could not deny it was true. It happened the year before when Parker’s girlfriend at the time, Becky, had cheated on him. He was not in a good place and he had done some things he was not proud of as a result of her treachery. Namely, he had stolen her most valuable possession – the ring she had gotten from her mother, who had gotten it from her mother, who had gotten it from her mother, who had received it on her 25th wedding anniversary. It was the only sure fire way he knew to emotionally ruin her like she had done for him. Becky had called him in a panic when she realized it was missing. “Please, Parker,” she had begged. “I know you hate me right now, but you have to help me! Have you seen it? I think it was stolen, but maybe I dropped it somewhere? I .. I’m not sure. Please. Would you look around your place for me?” He told her he didn’t see it and asked her not to call him anymore. A month later, the shock and initial anger having worn off, it finally hit him just what he had done. He knew he had to return the ring but certainly didn’t want her to know he had stolen it. So he asked Toby for advice. “Give me the ring, Park, and let me take care of it.” “What are you going to do?” “I’m going to return it. I’ll think of a reason for having it, I promise.” Parker handed over the ring, and Toby left. And returned a few hours later with a black eye. “What happened?” “I gave her the ring, and she asked how I had it. I told her I found it in my car and said it must have fallen off when I was giving her a ride home at some point. She didn’t believe me. Neither did the guy she was with. They knew they couldn’t prove it, though, so he gave me a little vigilante justice and roughed me up a bit before I could leave. You know. Just in case I wasn’t saying everything I knew.” By this point, Toby had taken a bag of peas out of the freezer and placed it on his eye. “I’m sorry, Toby! That should’ve been me. How could I let you take the fall, dude?” Toby looked at him as if he were crazy. “Are you kidding me? If it had been you, they would have really caused some damage. She definitely wouldn’t have believed you were innocent, and he would have loved to prove his worth by defending her from her lying, stealing ex. I’ll be alright. I’ve gotten a lot worse, you know. Relax. It’s over now, but just remember you owe me.” They had both laughed at the time because they knew that it was unlikely Toby would ever call in the favor. But neither of them was laughing now. So Parker did not want to have to pay his debt, or at least he did not want to pay it in this way, but Toby was right. He didn’t have a choice. He owed Toby, and he would do whatever it took to pay him back. “Alright,” he asked his waiting friend, “how exactly are we going to do this?”

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Amelie Stephens is a twenty-something wife and mother who loves to tell sweet and funny romantic stories, often those that have come from her own life. When she's not changing diapers or cooking meals for her family, she's writing.

~*~ FOR A LIMITED TIME GOING VIRAL WILL BE FREE!! ~*~
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 LKB Giveaway  

Cover Reveal & Giveaway ~ Wolf by Nicole James

 

Releasing on April 28, 2015


The Evil Dead Motorcycle Club gave Wolf his nickname. They said it was because women stood about as much chance with him as Little Red Riding Hood stood against The Big Bad Wolf. And maybe that was true.

For Wolf, when it comes to his club, he’s all about loyalty. He loves his brothers, he loves the freedom of the road, and he loves his independence. When it comes to women, Wolf is all about the chase. He likes the hunt, he likes the challenge, and he loves women. And for the hot-as-hell badass biker, they’ve always come too easily. But they never fully satisfy him.
That is, until he met Crystal.

 Buried under that hard-edged sexy-as-sin tomboy with the smartass mouth that can put any brother in the MC in his place, is a feminine side she only reveals when pushed. And Wolf is just the man to push. Problem is she’s the only woman to ever push back. Which only makes him more determined to have her.

Life in the Evil Dead MC isn’t easy, and neither is loving one of them. It’s a life that can leave a man scarred and bloody. And sometimes the fallout is far reaching and takes more than a man is willing to give.

It can be just as risky for any woman brave enough to love one of them.
The scars of life run deep, for both of them.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you a fairytale, sometimes you have to make your own.
And sometimes it takes a spitfire to tame a hell-raiser.

About Nicole James




Nicole James grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. As a child, she wrote her first book, Charlie the Firefly, at the age of eight. Her mother knew long before she did that she would someday become an author. Growing up, she spent many happy weekends and summers in Michigan at a cabin on a lake. Winters, she loved to ski. As an adult, Nicole has traveled all over the West and South. She has lived in Illinois, Arizona, Georgia and Alabama. She has a love of motorcycles, writing, reading and the beach. Her favorite city is New Orleans. She loves music of all kinds, but especially the blues. She has two wonderful sisters, two fabulous kids, one awesome son-in-law, and an adorable granddaughter.

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads

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April 1, 2015

Cover Reveal ~ Forbidden Waters by Melissa Pearl & Brenda Howson



Forbidden Waters by Melissa Pearl & Brenda Howson
Mica and Lexy #2
COVER REVEAL
April 1, 2015


After nearly being killed by drug dealers during an April hiking trip, Lexy and Mica are now on lock down. Their parents want them to stay safe and in town...but where's the fun in that?
Bored and frustrated by these new restrictions and the fact they can't hang out with their new boyfriends at will, the girls decide to take a sneaky boat ride across the lake, which isn't strictly against the rules considering they aren't actually leaving town.

But things don't go according to plan.

Their sneaky trip across the water is fraught with disaster when they end up with an annoying tag-along, Tracey, who fills their heads with terrifying ghost stories of the murdering hermit who lives on the other side of the lake. Easy enough to brush off, until their boat capsizes and they find themselves injured and stranded in his ghostly turf. As night sets in, the girls find themselves on the run from a series of unexplained creepies that can only mean one thing...the ghost man is alive.

Will Eli and Tom, figure out where their girlfriends are and get there in time to help them? Or will these two best friends fall into the hands of the man rumored to have murdered his family?

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TBR


~*~ABOUT MELISSA AND BRENDA~*~


Melissa Pearl and Brenda Howson have been best friends for well over a decade. Both mothers of two young children, both married to school teachers, and both lovers of writing, they have a lot in common. Having spent many vacations away together, they have become as close to sisters as two girls can get. It was on one of these holidays away that the Mica and Lexy Series was born.

Melissa is the author of multiple YA and NA books, written in a variety of genres. She is a fully trained elementary teacher, but is lucky enough to stay home and watch her kids grow. She is also spending every spare moment trying to turn writing into a full-time career … and loving the process.

Find out more about her books here: http://www.melissapearlauthor.com/news

Brenda was the one
who encouraged Melissa to start writing in the first place. Once Melissa got started, Brenda caught the bug; she has been writing for ten years, in between motherhood and working at a local high school in the computer department. She has won two short story competitions and been runner up in another. Forbidden Territory is her first published novel.

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