Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Brace Yourself... Another Good-bye to 2013 Post

I said I wasn't going to do it. In fact, I was dead set against it. 

I was throwing an internal temper tantrum refusing to write this blog post up. Then, something happened.. I woke up this morning in a reflective mood. 

Like that petulant child who refuses to listen to her mother but knows that she should, I listened to my mood.

Thus, this good-bye to 2013 post. Grab a chair, coffee in hand (preferably spiked with your favorite booze, this may be a long post, who knows) and read until your eyes are crossed. Yes, I'm long winded. I can never make a short story short. Well, what can I say about 2013...

It all started in December of 2012, yes, a whole year ago when I turned 35 (I'm now 36). That was a turning point for me. There was something missing, something not right within my very being. I knew that I needed to do something, be someone, be more than just a mom or wife. Don't get me wrong, I know I should be proud of those things, and I am, but I know I'm more than that. I needed to find that something I was good at. That something that I can call my very own. That something I had/have control over. And guess what? I did, I found it and I'm still working on tweaking it to make it better. 

In December of 2012, I started this blog, Same DiNamics. I just wanted to share the adventures in my life. I wanted to share how I grow and learn, as a human being, as an individual. Just like I grew, so did Same DiNamics. You can read my very first blog post here. The reason for Same DiNamics was to hold myself accountable in accomplishing things I set out to accomplish. I'm still working on them. 

I also left Facebook. I won't bore you with the details of that in this post, you can read it here if you want to. At the time, I needed to let Facebook go. It was one of the best things I did for myself, at that time. Now, I'm back on Facebook but it has served another purpose for me. 

In 2013, I found myself growing, changing, accepting and overcoming obstacles that I didn't even know I had and becoming a stronger and happier person. One of the biggest realizations (obstacle, really) that I had, was that I was depressed. Not on a clinical scale, at least I don't think, but I knew I was. In fact, I am still overcoming that. I'm still growing and learning to recognize the signs and overcome that depression. I can tell when I'm going down a spiral. I think, that recognize and accepting is one the best ways you can overcome your struggles. 

Anyway, I've grown in that I have learned to accept all things as they are. Yes, you can fight for the changes you want because we need to but also accepting things for what they are. Accepting people for who they are and knowing that you can't change them, you just have to accept and love them with your whole being. Love one another. 

I've changed as well. Even with all the depression, I've become happier with myself. I've learned to accept myself for who I am, flaws and all. I'm not perfect and will never be. I'm me. The best that I can be. 

You know, I attribute all this growth and change to the fact that I found something that I feel and know I'm pretty good at: book reviews and crocheting. I love reading. Absolutely love reading. It will be my first love. When I shared my first book review (here), I knew that I found something I could share with others. Whether my reviews influence others to buy a book or not doesn't matter to me, what matters is that I shared something I enjoy and love with others. 

I also, started crocheting, though in all fairness I started in October of 2012 but 2013 was a fantastic year in crocheting for me. I crocheted some items and gave them away to friends. The gifts were well received. Then, it happened. I sold my very first crocheted hat to a Google+ friend. She's ordered more from me since and I am eternally grateful to her for being my very first order. That's when I ventured into learning and having my own crochet business, Same DiNamics Crochet. Did you see what I did there? I kept the name Same DiNamics. After all, Same DiNamics is all about evolving yet remaining true to myself. 

Though I didn't accomplish some of the other things I wanted to in 2013, I still feel it has been a great year for me. Though there was loss in this year, one that shattered my heart to its very core, it was still a great year. I have to remember, we all have to remember, to focus on all the positive and good things that have happened to us. From the little things to the big things. Each and every last little accomplishment should go down in our books and the greatest of them all. Why? Because we are wonderful and amazing human beings who can accomplish anything we set our hearts to. 

So, good-bye 2013! Thank you for being a fantastic year for me. Thank you for teaching me valuable lessons. 

Here's hoping, knowing, praying and keeping the faith that 2014 will be just as great, if not better! See you next year! 

**See, I told you this was going to be long winded. I can't make a short story short, let alone a long story. :-)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Review of Charred Heart

I received Charred Heart by Lizzy Ford in exchange for a review.

Modern day retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" 

***Recommended for ages 18+ due to multiple, creative, detailed, steamy, sexy-time adult situations.*** 

For a thousand years, Chace has searched for a way to break the curse placed on him by a jilted lover. He’s a dragon shifter, one who can’t control when the magic will force him into a different form. He’s already lost everyone he ever cared about a few times over and doesn’t know how much longer he’s meant to suffer. 

At his wit’s end, he makes a deal with a mysterious figure that offers him what he wants most – an end to his misery – in exchange for everything that’s his: His life, his power. His heart. 

The next day, he meets Skylar, a modern day dragon slayer whose mission is to cage him – or kill him. Sexy, witty and brave, she is the yin to his yang, the woman destined to break the curse, balance his magic and make his broken heart whole. 

Except it’s too late. Not only has he sealed his fate, but an innocent one-night-stand with Skylar has dragged her into the middle of a deal with the devil, one she won’t escape, if he can’t convince her that dragon shifters aren’t her enemies.

Author: Lizzy Ford
Series: The Heart of Fire
Title: Charred Heart
Buy Link: Amazon

Charred Heart is the first book in the Heart of Fire Series... and boy is it hot! I've read only one other dragon shifter book and it does not compare to Charred Heart. The way Lizzy Ford describes the main character, Chace the dragon shifter, makes your heart melt and legs quiver. 

The story is a moderate to fast paced story with little to no fluff in between. I like stories like that because it gets to the heart of the story. The chemistry between Chace and Skylar, the dragon hunter, is spot on though at times they frustrated me. They frustrated me together and even separate but it does make up for a great story. There were many a times I wanted to just jump in the book and grab Chace and shake him so he can wise up. He really kept me on my toes thinking what he was going to say or do to Skylar next in order to alienate her more. However, with all that being said and the friction between them, it sure made up with the super charged sex scenes in the book. I mean the scenes were intense and not for the faint of heart. The scenes fit well into the story. It added an element of want, need and destiny to the story. 

Charred Heart will leave you wanting to read the next book Charred Tears immediately. While the story is quick it picks up even more towards the end. 

Do I recommend Charred Heart? I do, if you like dragon shifter stories, you'll be sure to like this one. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Proof that Actions Speak Louder than Words

I have a four year old who is full of life and love. He is a very happy kid and you can see it in his demeanor everyday. He almost always has a smile on his face and loves to play. He's also very, very loving. However, he'll show it to you rather than tell you. Which to me is proof of action speaking louder than words.

Everyday I ask him "How much do you love me?" or "Do you love me a lot or a little bit?". His response would be "1" or "a little bit" in a teasing voice, then he proceeds to laugh, all the while holding on tight to me. I can't say that he's never said "I love you, Mommy." because he has but only when I've asked him to say it. He's not outright said it on his own accord. He doesn't have to, he shows me every single day in his own little ways that he loves me.

He is very much attached to me but has a healthy separation. He'll go to school in the mornings with a bright smile on his face cause, after all, he is a big boy and is going on the bus with his big brothers. He'll get off the school bus with another smile on his face that tells me he had a fantastic day but is ready for some mommy time. Not once has he cried in school for wanting to be home. He plays well with his friends and brothers. BUT he is attached to me.

I attribute his attachment to the fact that he's been home with me ever since he was a baby. My older two were daycare babies since I was working then. He's been with me for his entire life. Whenever we are home and I'm reading or crocheting or watching TV, he is on me. Not next to.. but on me. If I'm doing something, he'll run up to me and give me a quick hug. He'll hold tightly for as long as he needs to, then he goes off to do what he was doing previously. His hugs are the tightest, warmest and definitely most sincere ever. Mommy is queen in his life.

I'll ask him for kisses and he grunts but gives me his forehead. Other times, he'll just blow them to me. Rarely does he ever give kisses. That's okay, I sneak them in from time to time.

I'm not complaining at all because I know that;

One day, he'll get to big to sit on my lap so I'll cherish these lap moments even if it means I can't crochet.

One day, he'll be to busy to stop and give me hugs so I'll cherish the interruptions for the sweetest hug a four year old can give.

One day, he'll be blowing those kisses to another girl, so I'll take every forehead kiss and as many blown kisses as I can get.

One day, he'll find another queen in his life and I'll no longer hold that position. That's okay. All that means is I did something right in allowing by sweet little boy to give and show as much love as he can, even if he doesn't speak the words "I love you" to me. I know that one day he'll say them to me and, when he does, it'll accompany the best hugs a mother can get.

My little boy, my sweet, little four year old proves to me every day that actions DO speak louder than words.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review of See How She Fights

This has been long overdue. Whew, do I miss writing reviews. I'm so happy to say that this next review is from one of my favorite authors, +Michelle Graves. She writes the series of The Chronicles of Izzy: Book One, See How She Runs and Book Two, See How She Fights.

I will be reviewing an ARC that I received of See How She Fights.

She thought it was over.
She thought her life was finally her own.
She was wrong.

Izzy is thrust back into the world of Seers and Guardians. With a summons from the Council she can't ignore, Izzy heads back into the fray. Now, it is up to her to figure out why Seers are being sacrificed, carved up, and left for ruin. If she doesn't find the person orchestrating the deaths, she may well be next.

If that wasn't enough, her powers have started to expand exponentially. Kennan is keeping secrets. Moreover, a strangely familiar Symbol-smith starts wreaking havoc on her precariously balanced world. 

Will Izzy survive this latest crisis? Will she stop fighting destiny and accept her fate? Find out in See How She Fights.

See How She Fights picks up a few months after See How She Runs ends but doesn't miss a beat. In See How She Fights, we see Izzy come into her own and accept her destiny. She is heroine that I would want to have by my side.

One of my favorite things about the writing style of this book, is that Michelle Graves has a great balance between humor, action, mystery and despair. Izzy, is truly one of my favorite characters out there. I love her humor and her loyalty to friends and what is right. Izzy's humor is not one of ditziness. She's not oblivious to things around her. She's witty and sarcastic (but not snarky mean) and certainly is smart and resilient, in the physical and emotional sense. I can't say enough good things about her character!

Mrs. Graves does a fantastic job at introducing new characters to the story that are truly integral to it. They aren't fluff characters for the sake of having characters. I love that. These new characters add an element of excitement and mystery to the whole story. Some questions are answered but new ones are raised. These are the ones that leave you wanting to know more and wishing the pages of the book wouldn't end. There are also the characters from the previous book who are hilarious and have the potential of having a story of their own. Mrs. Graves developed these characters so well that you are also invested in them and want to know more. 

This book is certainly not one where you will sit and go "okay, it was good". No, you will want to scream at the book (in a good way) because you can't believe what you are reading. You can't believe that the things happening has transpired. While reading it, I was literally reading so fast because I needed to know more and quickly. I couldn't get enough. There were things that I didn't see coming at all. Things that broke my heart and had me near tears. I mean, who doesn't love a story like that! 
Of course, when a book is written so well where you are left wanting to know more and why, you can't wait for the next one to be out.

Do I recommend See How She Fights? Oh, heck yeah, you bet I do! But first you must read book one, See How She Runs to understand what's happening in book two. If you want to be fulfilled with mystery, humor and action, this is a book for you. Be warned, you will fall in love with the characters. 

Add to See How She Fights to your Goodreads list here.