Book Review: Forget Me Not

cover-review-forget me notTitle: Forget Me Not [Loveless and Dunn 3]

Author: Erika Marks

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 (4.5) Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

When aspiring-writer Mallory Reynolds packed up for New York City, she ditched more than her quiet hometown of Magnolia Bay—she left her high-school sweetheart, Josh Loveless, behind. But when the big city didn’t deliver big contracts on her novels, she turned to writing erotica under the pen name Farrah Ivory to spare her family any embarrassment. Soon, her scandalously-sexy series, The Lost Diaries of Scarlet, is a break-out hit. Just as Mallory begins to enjoy her sweet success, her publisher leaks her true identity and a media firestorm ensues. Exposed, she decides there’s nowhere to hide—except for home.

For Josh Loveless, getting over Mallory Reynolds hasn’t been easy, but he’s done his best to move on. For starters, he’s turned his love of the outdoors and rock-climbing into his own business. And just as things are starting to settle for him, he learns Mallory’s coming home to ride out her scandal, and suddenly his world is turned upside down again…

Can Mallory convince her friends and family that she’s still the same good-hearted girl they knew? And more importantly, can Josh trust the woman she’s become, and give her a second chance to rewrite their love story with a happy ending?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I sincerely enjoyed Forget Me Not by Erika Marks—in fact, I’m somewhat disappointed that I couldn’t give it a full five stars. I very nearly did, right up until the very end of the book… but we’ll get into that in a moment.

Technically speaking, the writing was exceedingly well done. There weren’t any typos, awkward sentences, or narrative blunders. The story moved along at a pleasant pace, and the characters felt well fleshed out—even the one-off characters that only appeared for a scene or two.

Both Josh and Mallory seemed like solid, grounded characters. They didn’t make rash decisions or throw melodramatic hissy fits. Their relationship felt real though it could be rather awkward at times. I’m usually not a huge fan of romances where the characters begin their relationship off-screen; I like to watch the characters develop their relationships and battle their physical attraction, but I didn’t mind it this time. Despite starting the story late in their relationship, their love for each other felt natural; it was obvious and convincing in a way that I sometimes feel a lot of romances lack.

As a reader and sometimes writer of the erotic/romance genres myself, I found it fascinating that in the book, Mallory was an erotic fiction writer. It was interesting to see how she handled the fame and subsequent embarrassment that comes along with making a living writing sex and romance. She faced some very serious issues and had to figure out how to handle life back in her hometown once everyone was made aware of her somewhat unusual claim to fame…and she probably handled it much better than I would have!

The only real negative that stuck out to me with Forget Me Not, and the main reason I marked it down to 4 stars rather than 5, was the ending. It felt… rushed, I guess is the word I’m looking for. The story had a nice, slow lead up as the characters began to try and untangle the mess of their relationship and figure out where they stood with one another, and then in what seemed like a split second, everything was resolved. I think I would have still given it five stars, except at that point, the book felt finished… but instead of ending, the story continued on for a few more minutes past that point. It’s hard to explain, and though I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that the romance didn’t end with your typical marriage, engagement, or pregnancy announcement, it felt… wrong for the story to end mid-start into another scene. It felt as if the story should have ended just a bit earlier.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. Had it not been for the odd structure of the ending, I wouldn’t have anything to complain about. If you’re looking for a nice, clean, and endearing contemporary romance, this is going to be perfect for you. If you’re looking for something a little more steamy… you may want to keep looking. Mallory’s fictional erotica novel contained more naughtiness than Forget Me Not—but it was still a good, solid read.

Book Review: Bride By Mistake

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00003]Title: Bride By Mistake

Author: Nicole Helm

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…

And Kaitlin Shuller’s groom of her dreams is marrying someone else… her sister.

Worst day ever. Her heart is broken, and all her carefully laid plans destroyed. Enter Beckett Larson, her older brother’s best friend and a very good bad decision.

Beckett has spent his life trying to outrun his bad reputation, but everyone already thinks the worst of him, so when Kaitlin offers herself to him — virginity and all— he just can’t say no.

But one night together has permanent consequences, and this time Beckett knows he can’t outrun his bad boy reputation. He’s determined to make Kaitlin his bride…even if he has to seduce her down the aisle.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Bride By Mistake, written by Nicole Helm, was a pleasant surprise. I’ll admit, I’ve never picked up a book by this author before—but I am so glad that I did. Bride By Mistake was a sweet contemporary romance about the complicated relationship between Kaitlin, a no nonsense must-plan-out-everything type of girl—and Beckett, the motorcycle-riding bad boy who is best friends with Kaitlin’s older brother.

Technically speaking, the writing was very well done. There was one line in particular I had to re-read because for some reason it amounted to Greek as far as I was concerned, but otherwise, the narrative flowed smoothly, and was paced well. I did spot a handful of typos, but to be fair, this was an ARC—and I can’t hold a few typos against the author when it wasn’t a published copy.

As far as the characters go… I adored them. Kaitlin had a nasty habit of over-thinking everything, and it lead to quite a few chuckles as she proclaimed her hatred of all things Beckett in some pretty colorful tirades inside her head. Likewise, Beckett didn’t pull punches when he narrated his opinions of the other characters in the book. Between the two of them, the heady bits that otherwise could have been boring, made for an engaging read.

As far as the other characters go… eh—this kind of plays into the fact that I only gave this book 4 stars. Other than Kaitlin and Beckett, I didn’t feel like I got to know any of the other characters very well. The closest to the main couple was probably Kaitlin’s older brother, and he maybe had an hour of screen time if you counted all the time he waited in the hall outside of Beckett’s hotel room. Despite the impact Kaitlin’s sister and her beau had on Kaitlin’s life, they weren’t present after the first chapter. The story stayed almost exclusively with the main couple. Don’t get me wrong—in some ways, that’s good. It was their story… and I’m glad I got to spend a lot of time with them… but I think a lot more drama and conflict could have been introduced through the other characters, and I would have liked to have experienced it.

The main reason this book got 4 stars instead of 5 though, was the romance. It was sweet, funny, and a bit  frustrating at times. The first and only sex scene was both steamy and awkward—but not in a way that made me cringe. It was exceptionally well-written. The problem is, 90% of the story revolved around Beckett and Kaitlin arguing. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry between the couple in the narrative (despite assurances from the characters that there was), and other than a few moments here and there when Beckett was basically acting like a devoted house-wife to Kaitlin….well, I didn’t see the romance behind it all. I still loved the characters and the story, but I was expecting more chemistry for a Romance novel, and I didn’t find it.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It made me laugh, it made me grin, and I loved the characters to bits. It wasn’t as steamy or squee-worthy as I’d hoped, but it was still a very solid read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like conflict-laced romances with witty characters, you’re probably going to enjoy this book, and I’d certainly recommend it.

Weekend Wrap-Up #5

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to yet another Weekend Wrap-Up! Let’s get started!

What I Read

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I read! I read! I feel like I should shout that this week. The last few weeks have been a bit slow, but I finally got some reading done, and I’m pretty happy about it—even if it was a bit overwhelming.

Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm & Forget Me Not by Erika Marks were both sent to me by Tule Publishing via NetGalley this past week, and both are Contemporary Romances by authors I’ve never had the pleasure of reading before. Thankfully, they were both excellent books!

Ignited by Desni Dantone was a book I picked up on a whim for .99 on Amazon with my Mother’s Day gift card (Thank you to my family for that one!)—and boy am I glad I did! For a random-whim, it was a fantastic YA Paranormal Romance.

I’ve also started (but haven’t finished) War Kids by H.J. Lawson which was sent to me by the author herself as part of a special readers program she started this past week.

You can look forward to reviews being posted for all of these books in the very near future:

  • May 18 – Bride By Mistake
  • May 20 – Forget Me Not
  • May 27 – War Kids
  • June 3 – Ignited

What Was Posted

What I Did

This week has been a little hectic to be honest. Mother’s Day hit last weekend (obviously) and I bought a ton of books (Woot! YAY for Amazon Gift Cards!) which kind of made my week because I am the worst of all book hoarders. I also managed to read quite a few books this week, cleaned my house, and watched way too much Naruto. Yes, I realize I’m 31 and too old to watch cartoons. I have an 11 year old, and I shall use her as my excuse to watch cartoons until she’s an adult… and then I’ll use my grandkids!

One of my top tasks this week was adding my entire e-book library to my GoodReads book lists. That may not sound like such a huge task—until you realize my e-book library is very close to containing about 25k books. I’m not kidding. It took me 2 days to add them all. Talk about a pain in the neck! I may have the largest TBR list known to man.

Last, but not least, I spent a good amount of time this week re-organizing my blog schedule. I can hardly put into words how stressful that was. At the beginning of the week, I’d already scheduled reviews all the way into June—I was ahead of schedule, and I thought that I was fine as far as scheduling go. That didn’t last long.

In very short succession I was then sent two NetGalley books from Tule Publishing (because I’m auto approved by that publisher and they e-mail me new books every week), both of which needed to be read and reviewed by this upcoming week (which had already been scheduled with other posts at that point). The next day I was sent two more books by H.J. Lawson as part of her new readers program (where again, I am automatically e-mailed all the new books she publishes). Those too had an expected review date that meant they both needed to be read within the next 1-2 weeks. I was also notified that I’d be sent the third book in the series in another week or so (which also has an expected review date of 1-2 weeks).

I suddenly found myself with four new books that needed to be read/reviewed in a very short period of time, along with my other previously scheduled reviews—one of which needed to be posted this month (let’s not forget this month is half over already!). Period. I looked at my schedule and realized that I had a review scheduled for every single day for the next two weeks—and that seemed like madness. So, I moved things around. It took me an hour to figure out all the logistics, and I had to fudge two reviews and make them purposefully a day or two late…but I think I have everything under control again. My new schedule looks something like this:

  • May 18 – Bride By Mistake (Release Date & Review)
  • May 19 – Forget Me Not (Release Date)
  • May 20 – Forget Me Not (Review)
  • May 22 – Free Fiction Friday #47
  • May 24 – Weekend Wrap-Up #6
  • May 25 – Art of Cunning (Review)
  • May 27 – War Kids (Review)
  • May 29 – Free Fiction Friday #48
  • May 31 – Weekend Wrap-Up #7
  • June 1 – Survive The Day (Review)
  • June 3 – Ignited (Review)
  • June 5 – Free Fiction Friday #49
  • June 7 – Weekend Wrap-Up #8
  • June 8 – I Dreamt of Trees (Review)

Craziness I tell you. I can only pray that I won’t have to move anything else around before the month is over!

Next Week

Meet Isabella. She says hi.I don’t even know. Right now thinking about next week makes my head hurt. You can check out the schedule above to see what’s coming up. I should have reviews up for Bride By Mistake and Forget Me Not – both of which were 4 star books, and I’d recommend them if you like Contemporary Romance.

To be honest, I’m still trying to take it a little easy. I’ve still got Tonsillitis (oh joy of joys), which is sort of kicking my butt. I do plan to do some baking (cupcakes!) done at some point, but mostly, I think next week is going to be all about reading. I need to finish up reading War Kids and Survive the Day by H.J. Lawson so that I can get those reviews ready for their pre-scheduled releases (and so my TBR is a little shorter when I get the third book in the series)—and then I need to look into what I’m going to read/schedule for the three remaining review days not filled on my calendar. I’m sort of way far ahead (ah, it’s such a nice feeling after being so far behind a month ago!), so I’m not really in a hurry. I’m sure that in another week I’ll probably have a whole new set of books with release dates looming that need to be worked into the schedule. I can’t imagine it’ll be more tangled than this past week was though.

Free Fiction Friday #46

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #46! For those of you who are new to this blog or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays, every Friday (okay, almost every Friday—I try), I post an article containing 0 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre and on sale for less than $5. I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars with over 40+ reviews and 100 pages minimum if I can (it isn’t always possible)—so that you can get a list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things than post, like laundry.) I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is: Fairy Tales! Enjoy!

THE FREE

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THE BARGAINS

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Book Review: A Highland Knight’s Desire

cover-review-a highland knight's desireTitle: A Highland Knight’s Desire [Highland Dynast 2]

Author: Amy Jarecki

Genre: Historical->15th Century, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

In 15th century Scotland, Sir Duncan finds himself rescuing Lady Meg from the clutches of the Earl of Northumberland, and he is knocked off guard by the sassy, redheaded lass. And aye, the tall, dark, and rugged Highlander challenges Meg’s piety with his every stare.

Sir Duncan focuses on returning Lady Meg to her family and collecting his bounty before the lass can further sink her wiles into his heart. Lady Meg’s kidnapper, Northumberland, is plotting his revenge and is out to ruin them both. If Northumberland’s ruse is not exposed, Meg may end up becoming a nun, and Duncan a pawn in a deadly game. Join us on this passionate adventure as Lady Meg discovers herself – and her desires.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I was so happy to pick up a copy of A Highland Knight’s Desire by Amy Jarecki. I am a tried and true romance reader at heart, and historical romances, in particular, are one of my guilty pleasures. There’s something to be said for a good, solid formulaic romance at the end of the day. Though a lot of readers disdain this type of book—the kind with swooning lasses, arrogant men, and an epilogue entirely devoted to either a marriage, children or both, I’m not one to turn up my nose at a sure-read. It’s a bit like coming home to a nice warm cup of hot cocoa and a chick flick.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. The world building was well-researched and painted with bits and pieces of culture and language from the time period. The narrative was easy-to-follow and flowed well. I didn’t spot any noticeable typos or grammatical errors—overall, really well done.

The characters were vibrant and well fleshed out, and I enjoyed the steamy romance between Duncan and Meg. Though Meg was sometimes a little too forward at times, their romance was believable and endearing.

Some aspects of the plot, as I said earlier, were formulaic. Read any number of historical romances and you’re going to run into a very similar set of attributes throughout the genre—the fiery young girl intent on putting her mark on any situation despite her gender, station, or propriety… the tough sword fighter with gleaming muscles who’s fallen head over heels for a girl he shouldn’t be near… it’s all very familiar. For some readers this will be a problem—it’s predictable—but personally I don’t mind. I enjoy the story despite the familiar circumstance and tone. Is it going to break the genre? No… but it’s still a good read.

There were a couple of reasons this book got 4 stars instead of 5 for me: 1) Because it was formulaic and predictable. I wasn’t gushing over new content as much as I loved the story. and 2) There was a very questionable moment partway into the book. Spoilers will ensue below because I think it needs to be discussed—this is your fair warning:

Here’s the thing: had the genders of Meg and Duncan been reversed, women everywhere would have cried foul at the first sex scene in the book. Meg basically crawls into bed with Duncan while he’s terribly ill and feverish and mostly unconscious and begins to kiss and fondle and prompt him into sex. Did he enjoy it? Sure… though he was convinced it was all a dream until the next morning… but switch their genders and have Duncan crawling into bed with the unwitting Meg while she’s half-unconscious and ill… and people would throw a fit. So here I am, throwing one for the men out there. It wasn’t okay.

That being said, in the time period the book was written, we kind of have to accept that rape, and coerced sex were a thing that was not only prevalent but often expected—and because it’s historically accurate in that sense, I can’t cry foul to loudly. Do I think this is how the scene needed to be written? No, and I wish it hadn’t, but I’m willing to accept that as much as I dislike it, in the context of the world building, it was to be expected. I just couldn’t in good conscience let the scene pass by without pointing out the double standard.

Overall, and it’s few issues aside, I enjoyed the book immensely. I got sucked into the story and it’s ancient landscapes from the very first page, and I continued to remain engaged right up until the epilogue. (I’ll admit it, epilogues filled with children and marriages are frustratingly cliché and I prefer to skip them). If you like formulaic historical romance as I do, you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you’re looking for something a little more genre-breaking, you might want to pass, but I encourage you to give it a try.

Book Review: His Blushing Bride

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00003]Title: His Blushing Bride [Montana Born Brides 2]

Author: Dani Collins

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.

Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.

They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I picked up His Blushing Bride by Dani Collins at NetGalley on a whim. I’m a huge fan of formulaic romance in all it’s sub genre’s, but to be frank, I’d never picked up a book by this particular author before, and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.

I’ll admit, my first impression wasn’t positive. Whether it was my recent burn out on contemporary romance, my lack of coffee, or the inconvenient way the first page left me in the narrative with the impression that Piper was possibly a student rather than a teacher, I had a hard time getting into the story. For the first chapter or two I skimmed, and then re-skimmed… and then Bastian showed up on Piper’s doorstep.

The chemistry between Bastian and Piper was sizzling, and the author didn’t shy away from steamy scenes in general (thank you! all I’ve read recently was clean romance, and I missed it!) It was hard not to fall in love with Bastian as a male lead. He was charming, sexy and had a personality that made you want to snuggle with him—the best kind IMHO. Piper was his polar opposite. Sure, she was sexy, but it wasn’t intentional. Piper’s priorities were on her job, not on her sex life. It was nice to see a female lead so down to earth… even if sometimes her anxiousness made me want to shake her. Both of the main characters were flawed; Piper’s flaws were literally front and center for the world to see, but Bastian’s flaws were a little better hidden… and a whole lot more serious.

As far as the technical aspects of the story, the writing was excellent. The story got off to a bit of a slow start—I wasn’t engaged right away—but the pace picked up in later chapters. My copy was an ARC, and as such, it had numerous typos (mostly, words ran together and the formatting was wonky) but let’s be clear… it was an ARC, and ARCs often have formatting and typo errors that are weeded out in publication, so I don’t take them very seriously. None of the errors I ran across were glaringly obvious or obtrusive.

My only real nitpick was the ending, which moved a little too quickly for my tastes. The couple went from a benefits-only relationship with a very clear expiration date to rings and white dresses in an exceptionally short period of time. I have nothing against formulaic romance, in fact, it’s one of my favorite kinds of romance… but it was disappointing to see yet another book that wrapped up in what seemed like a heartbeat, complete with epilog of marriage and pregnancy announcements. It’s a romance genre trope that’s been done to death.

Overall, I liked the book. It wasn’t genre-breaking by any means, but it was a quick, pleasant afternoon read with just the right amount of sizzle and spark. If you enjoy contemporary romance and you’re looking for something to fill a few hours of your weekend, this is a great book to pick up.

Weekend Wrap-Up #4–Mothers Day Edition!

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to yet another Weekend Wrap-Up! Let’s get started!

What I Read

Okay, I’ll admit it. I failed as a reader. I read one thing. One. This entire week.

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I finally managed to get through Art of Cunning by Steffanie Holmes. There will be an upcoming review May 20, so I won’t go into great detail, but I can tell you that I gave it 3 stars—which was a bit of a disappointment. The book started out really strong, and it was definitely an entertaining (if short) read, but there were a lot of contradictions and plot holes that dragged the rating down. Le sigh, I had such high hopes.

The reason I didn’t get any reading done this week is because about an hour after I posted the last Weekend Wrap-Up my throat mysteriously started hurting out of nowhere. Not a big deal right? By night it was irritating the crap out of me and so I dragged out a flashlight and checked out my tonsils. Ever seen white, infected tonsils before? Gross. To make a long story short, I got tonsillitis out of nowhere and basically slept through the first half of the week. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open. Luckily, I never did develop a fever, and I felt much better mid-week. I still have spotty tonsils as I type this, but I definitely think it’s on the mend.

As you can imagine, I took it pretty easy this week., and so I shall blame my lack of reading on naps. Yup, naps.

What Was Posted

What I Did

yummybreadObviously, I didn’t get a lot done this week. Being sick, even my chores fell behind. I think the only thing I accomplished at all was related to cooking. It used to be that my family ate 90% of our meals out of pre-packaged containers. I could think up a million excuses: lack of time to cook, the price of raw foods… laziness.

Last summer however, for whatever reason, I made it my mission to try and cook more for my family. For an entire summer we hardly bought any pre-packaged foods. I tried out a lot of new recipes—failed at some of them—but eventually found some my family loved. Before I knew it, cooking and baking everything from scratch became something we did on a regular basis. I’ve continued that tradition for a year now.

Baking and cooking is something I enjoy, and try to do often now, so it’s not too much of a surprise to admit that the only thing I really did this week was cook. I made homemade Italian spicy spaghetti (which takes 2 1/2 hours to make by the way), ham steak, mashed potatoes, baked teriyaki chicken.. and of course, my major accomplishment this week: sweet Amish white bread. I’ve never baked bread before—and to be honest, I was expecting to fail. (side note: kneading bread by hand because you don’t own a bread machine is quite the work out!) My recipe said to bake it for 30 minutes, but I pulled it out at 18 minutes as you see in the picture above. Amazingly, the bread came out perfect… not only that—but it was delicious! My daughter and I basically ate it like it was cake. I probably only have 2 slices left in my kitchen. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know. It’s soooooo good.

Other than that… I watched a lot of anime and messed around on Virtual Piano learning to play via computer keyboard because that’s a skill I decided I needed. That last comment was slightly tongue-in-cheek. I was a horrible reader this week. Gomen.

Next Week

I need to read. Period. I’ve got Reviews lined up till the 20th, but after that it’s all open schedule. Luckily, I got some new books today *thumbs up*. Thank god for Mothers Day and Amazon Gift cards.

Let’s talk about Mother’s Day…

Mothers Day is a bittersweet holiday for me. I never really know if I should be excited and thankful for the momentary appreciation of all that it is I do for my family, or if I just want to sleep through the whole event. My mother passed away from Breast Cancer when I was just barely into high school. My mother was an awesome woman and a great parent… but I missed out on having her during the majority of my teen years. She worked all through out my childhood, and to be honest, I don’t have a lot of memories of her outside of her passion for romance novels (which I inherited), and her distaste for swimming (which I also inherited). I remember that her favorite cartoon was The Smurfs, that she loved to bake, and I remember that she loved horror movies… but that is about it. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my mother growing up because she was always busy. Mothers Day reminds me how much I miss her each year. She didn’t get to see me graduate highs school, get married, or have a daughter of my own… and there are days that I really wish I could just call her up and ask her things—anything.

That isn’t the only reason Mother’s day bothers me though. I was very young, 18 the first time I became a parent—though it was only for a little while. Just a few short weeks into my first, unplanned pregnancy, I miscarried. It was devastating, and most of my family still don’t know that it ever happened. It felt like I’d just gotten used to the idea that my world was about to change when it changed again.

A year later, I was pregnant again—with my daughter. Yup. I was a very young parent. I was 19 with my second pregnancy, and 20 when she was born. As long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a mom. I was the kid in the neighborhood that begged to babysit people’s children. In school when we had to carry around those annoying electronic babies for a week to teach us about parenthood, I was the girl who babysat everyone else’s kids and got perfect scores across the board. I swear, I had an electronic baby on my hip six weeks in a row. I love kids, and I always wanted to have a bunch of them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. To be honest, it’s a miracle my daughter was ever born.

I almost died during my daughter’s birth, and remained very ill afterwards. Finally, after 2 years of constant pain, nausea and bleeding (how was I to know this wasn’t normal? I was 20!) I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cysts. During the surgery to remove them, I was also diagnosed with 4th stage Endometriosis. For those of you who don’t know what Endo is: it’s when the lining of the Uterus makes it way outside into the abdominal cavity. It continues to grow and spread like scar tissue as it binds your organs together… and because it doesn’t know that it’s not where it’s supposed to be, every month it sloughs off and rots in between your internal organs. It’s a life-long, painful disease. My doctor told me I had the worst case he’d ever seen. Most women don’t get Endo until they’re over 30. Mine had been growing since I was a teen. A few days later, I had a complete hysterectomy. It didn’t cure the disease—it can flare up at any time if even a single cell remains… it will continue to regrow. They can keep cutting it out, but there’s no real cure for Endometriosis. I will have it forever. Unfortunately, this means that at 22, I lost the ability to have any more children.

DSCN0334croppedI’m grateful everyday for my daughter. She’s beautiful, kind, smart, and creative. I’m exceedingly lucky to have had her at all…but it doesn’t stop me from feeling sad that I never had the opportunity to have more. For someone who wanted so badly to be a mom, it’s still hard after all these years. So, I just try to be the best mom that I can—and I must be doing something right, because my daughter is amazing.

Anyways, for those of you out there who are mothers, Happy Mothers Day. I know each and everyone of you knows how amazing you are and how hard it is to do what you do. We don’t get nearly as much appreciation as we probably deserve… but for today, enjoy being in the spotlight. You deserve it.