End of the Year & Moving

Hello, ladies and gentlemen of blogland! Wow, it’s been awhile. Moving is not fun. Sure, being in a new house is fun, even looking at houses is fun, but the actual moving? Not so much. My family and I went through a pretty rough time for a few months trying to deal with realtors that were never on time, often tried to swindle us, or simply never showed up. It was frustrating. A few times we found houses we really liked, but the realtors bogged down the process of paperwork and we ended up missing out because they lost paperwork or simply hadn’t filed it yet. It got to a point where I told my husband I was going to go look up houses to rent myself (since buying one wasn’t going well)… and one of the first houses I found was one of the largest and nicest homes we’d seen – and had sat completely empty for the past 10 months. We were finally able to get a look at the house, and it was everything we wanted, and 10x nicer than the other houses we’d put bids in on. Paperwork took an evening, and by the next day, we’d been contacted to sign a lease. Two weeks later, we were moving in.

We spent eleven years in a 900 sq. ft. home with 1.25 baths, and 3 bedrooms. Windows didn’t close. Doors didn’t close (including the bathroom door). Grass was growing through the carpet. Two of the bedrooms had two exits – and doors into each other. The laundry hookups were in a shed in the backyard instead of in the house. It was infested with roaches, the wiring was shot, and the appliances, heaters, and air conditioners were so old, that they’re not allowed to legally install them in houses anymore. It was a hellhole. We’re now in a 2334 sq. ft. home, with a double car garage, two stories, 4 bedrooms, a large loft, formal dining, breakfast area, fireplace, and 2.5 bathrooms. It’s five years old, clean, newly painted and newly carpeted, and we couldn’t be more grateful to be here. I’ve finally got my own office to work in that I’m not sharing with my 14-year-old. I cannot express how thrilled I am not only to be here but to be done with the whole process. We’re still unpacking, but we’re fully moved.

Obviously, I’m behind on my work here at the blog. Free Fiction Fridays and Reviews have been on hold for quite a while now because of the chaos that was going on in our household. I have hundreds of review requests sitting in my e-mail that I’m going to have to sort through in the near future. I’ve got a few books read and waiting to be reviewed and posted—and we’ll get to those soon. For now, I’m glad to say that I’m back. Things may still be a little spotty around here for a few weeks as we continue to unpack and get used to our new place, but with any luck, posts will be back to their normal schedule very shortly!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season—I am so looking forward to the upcoming new year!


Book Review: Jubilee Year

review-cover-jubilee yearTitle: Jubilee Year [Erelong 1]

Author: Gerard O’Neill

Genre: Science Fiction, Apocalyptic

Rating: 1 Star



Eighteen-year-old Storm lives in a small New South Wales country town beside one of the most famous telescopes in the world. When he falls for Penny, the daughter of the chief scientist and director on Mount Woorat, he is sucked into the center of a global conspiracy.

He must keep himself and those around him alive using his wits, tenacity, and a special ability he tries to hide. He cannot do it alone, and yet others are not always who they seem. Of even more consequence, neither is the reality of a world he once thought he knew.

Set in Australia, Jubilee Year is Book One of the Erelong Trilogy, a dystopian science fiction thriller series. Book Two will be released early in 2016.


I had such a hard time qualifying this book when it was time to sit down and give it a review. I guess I should start off by saying that I didn’t finish the book. Going in, the premise sounded interesting and right up my alley as far as genres go. I was excited to delve into it—but at the same time, my end of the TBR list has been looming and with only half of December left to finish a 10-book list, I was looking forward to reading through this book quickly and getting it out of my way along with a handful of others.

Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened.

Technically speaking, the book was fairly well written. There were only a few typos that I ran across—and I was reading a copy that hadn’t yet been fully edited—so that was understandable. The errors weren’t distracting, and overall, it felt like the narrative was well put together. The characters and the settings were interesting, and I had no trouble following the story… but by the time I hit the 5th chapter, I was ready to set the book aside.

The pacing was slow in the first five chapters, and scenes that felt as if they should have been engaging and filled with active tension didn’t quite hit the mark. Characters described items and actions that weren’t important in the current moment and drama, and by the time each scene had played out, I found myself skimming. Honestly, I was bored. It wasn’t any one thing that I can point out and say “this is bad” because the narrative was well written… it just didn’t capture my interest as quickly as I wanted it to.

If I didn’t have a book deadline looming, I’d probably have set this aside, given it a week or two to rest, and then picked it back up to try again… but at the same time, I have a belief that books should capture your interest from the first page and not let up until the end.. and however well written this book was, it just didn’t do that for me. Overall, Jubilee Year just wasn’t my cup of tea—but if you’re a sci-fi apocalyptic story fan, I’d recommend that you pick this up and give it a try. I have no doubt that there are going to be a lot of people out there that enjoy the book much more than I.. I just don’t have the time to dally with it right now if it isn’t going to hold my interest, and it didn’t.




Dear 2013…

You were an interesting year. You brought about some decent art, a lot of illnesses, and very little writing. You did, however, begin my blogging and reviewing career, so thank you for that. I wish you’d been more productive, but I can admit my own fault in the lack-of-anything getting done. I managed to read more than 100 books this past year (though I was too lazy to update my goodreads challenge, so I still look like a failure.) Despite my laziness and annoying penchant for getting dramatically ill on a regular basis, it was a good year. I finally got some much needed allergy testing done (and discovered I was allergic to –everything-) – the weekly doctor visits aren’t as bad as anticipated. I also had an interesting experience going deaf for a few weeks when I ruptured my eardrums. That wasn’t as much fun. I’m currently suffering from the third week of a flu-that-never-went-away (at this point I’m leaning towards pneumonia), but despite all that, I still had fun, and I learned a lot.

Dear 2014…

I’m looking forward to you. Despite being ill, I have hope that this year is going to be less germ-inducing, and more productive. Last year my resolution was to get some writing done.. which I didn’t. I’d like to put forward a similar resolution this year. This year I vow to put more effort into the things I love. I’d like to make up some sort of schedule where I post regularly on my blog, review books, and work on my writing that I so neglected last year. I know it’s going to be hard, and tiring (I’m always super busy, and lately, constantly sick). I know it’s going to be a challenge, but I won’t let it beat me. It’s time to get up off my ass and get some things done this year – no matter what kind of obstacles life wants to throw at me and my immune system. So enjoy the Holiday, self, because it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Dear Everyone-Who-Isn’t-Me…

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and I wish you all the very best for this upcoming year. I hope that whatever your resolutions are, you stick with them this year, and I will personally try harder to help encourage you all to stay on track. I hope everyone this year strives to do what they can to help and encourage those around them. This has always been one of the most friendly and inspiring communities I’ve been involved with, and here’s to another year of fantastic friends and creative inspirations. I wish you all the very best in your endeavors and happiness for 2014.