Sunday, January 6, 2019

Thoughts on Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

 OMG! This book is All The Things. Except one, but I'll get to that later. Since I know I have a lot of YA readers on my blog the mom in me has to say, "Not for younger readers."
And now that we have that out of the way let's move one. Because I finished this book just before 4 am and am dying to talk about it.
It could have been about me and my husband. Straight-laced Asian boy wonder and a white bread American girl who is doesn't fit the mold. Any mold.
It's one of the things I love about this book. Books about interracial relationships are so rare that when I'm writing I usually can't find stock photos. We have to go with legs or shadows.
Both characters have a really strong voice and I admire Hazel's voice because she's so energetic that had to be hard to keep consistent for 300 pages.
And most important for any romance, JOSH IS HOT!!! REALLY HOT. And bonus points here, but it in some ways reminded me of meeting my husband in grad school all those years ago.
Like I said, all the things. Except one. Interracial, intercultural relationships are very hard and that was never shown. I get it. Not every book has to be about the challenges of intercultural relationships, but because they are so rare it would be nice to catch a glimpse of that, like girl, you're not alone. And I also thought Josh's parents weren't that consistent. In some ways, they're very traditional. "Korean kids don't disobey their parents." (Umm...I know lots of second generation Asian kids who don't believe that, like at all. Kinda wish they did actually.) **Spoiler Alert** And then when Crazy Hazie is pregnant at the end of the book Josh is thinking about how happy his parents are going to be. Just doesn't seem consistent, and it's one of the places where I felt like cultural differences should have played a role.
What are you reading?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Thoughts on A Diamond For a Duke

A Diamond for a Duke: A Regency Romance (Seductive Scoundrels Book 1) by [Cameron, Collette]"Jules, Sixth Duke of Dandridge disdains Society and all its trappings, preferring the country’s solitude and peace. Already jaded after the woman he loved died years ago, he’s become even more so since unexpectedly inheriting a dukedom’s responsibilities and finding himself the target of every husband-hunting vixen in London.
Jemmah Dament has adored Jules from afar for years—since before her family’s financial and social reversals. She dares not dream she can win a duke’s heart any more than she hopes to escape the life of servitude imposed on her by an uncaring mother. Jemmah knows full well Jules is too far above her station now. Besides, his family has already selected his perfect duchess: a poised, polished, exquisite blueblood.
A chance encounter reunites Jules and Jemmah, resulting in a passionate interlude neither can forget. Jules realizes he wants more—much more—than Jemmah’s sweet kisses or her warming his bed. He must somehow convince her to gamble on a dour duke. But can Jemmah trust a man promised to another? One who’s sworn never to love again?"

I have no idea how to rate this one, so I'm going to give two separate ratings. Here goes. I really loved Cameron's writing style and it was super cute and oh-so sugary sweet. All the things I look for in romance. This baby could be realistic historical Twilight. Yeah, that cute. So on the Jen adores scale 4/5.
Now, on the craft and story structure scale 2/5. I know what you're thinking. How can a book Jen adores be so low rated. I'm about to explain. There was no conflict. Nowhere. At all. I'm at a time in my life when I'm happy to read zero conflict and laced confectioner's sugar, but it's the cardinal sin of story structure. There was also some clumsy sentence structure here and that was a much smaller problem. And if conflict doesn't matter to you, you'll find this book amazing. However, if you're into the thriller ride this might not be the book for you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Balance and Rebuild

My theme for 2019 is balance and rebuild. Pretty much every area of my life.
My biggest problem has always been that something is being neglected which leads to a write who isn't writing, a mom whose kid is saying, "Why don't you quit working? Daddy makes enough money for us. You don't play with me anymore," a dirty house, and an unhealthy body.
So my goal for 2019 is to get balance in all aspects of my life. Then when the foundation is strong start rebuilding. Rebuild an organized home, a happy child, some kid of paying day job, and an artistic soul with time to create.

What's your focus this year?
I made a list of 100 goals for this year here. I knew I wouldn't accomplish all of them. I even wrote goals that seemed impossible, just because if you don't think it, you might miss it when it happens.
For this month, I've pulled from the list to make a January micro-list to focus on.
I also categorized them to make the goals seem less random and more doable.
What was really interesting is that some goals fell in more than one category.
I also realized some things I'd chosen were specific ways to accomplish other goals I'd written.
  1. Lose 9 lbs.
  2. develop a healthy mindset
  3. be able to cross my legs comfortably
  4. learn yoga
  5. minimize sugar
  6. NO cokes
  7. form a yoga or meditation HABIT
  1. build my community
  2. Find friends to dance with
  3. volunteer at least once
  4. find a local activist group
  1. wash my face 2x/day
  2. develop a healthy mindset (this one matters for everything)
  3. read affirmations daily
  4. quit venting
  5. use a moisturizer daily
  6. give myself a bedtime
  7. Remember to use the "suckies" list
  8. let go of worry
  9. be content with what I have
Personal Development
  1. finish Crafting a Life You Love
  2. Make a weekly goals list
  3. Reward myself for accomplishing goals
  4. Finish The Art of Extreme Self Care
  5. Read Traffic

  1. take a formatting class
  2.  check blog analytics
  3. check blog settings
  4. query woman's world shorts
  1. read a book or organization for ADD ppl
  2. organize master bath
  3. organize closet
  4. organize bedroom
  5. organize office
  6. organize kitchen
  7. organize elf's room 
  8. organize garage
  1. pay off phone 1/9/19
  2. apply to stitch fix
  3. sign up to sub 1/4/19
What are your goals this month?