Spring YA Scavenger Hunt & Extra Giveaway

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, a green team, a pink team, and a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. (Hint! It’s in blue.) Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 8th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


 Today, I am hosting Lea Nolan on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author who writes books for young adults featuring bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she picks crabs and bakes ugly birthday cakes.
Find out more information about Lea here!


My YA fantasy series, The Hoodoo Apprentice features three teens in the South Carolina Lowcountry who use Gullah hoodoo magic to battle centuries-old curses, hideous monsters that stop at nothing to consume their prey, and other assorted bad guys intent on stealing the heroine, Emma Guthrie’s, magical powers.

Hoodoo magic is an African American folk healing and magical art, not to be confused with voodoo, which is a religion. Hoodoo originated among enslaved Africans in the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry and is largely based on African traditions, but has also been influenced by Native American, European, and other magic folkways.

In CONJURE, the first installment in the series, Emma Guthrie uses many hoodoo spells to protect her twin brother Jack, and their best friend (and Emma’s crush), Cooper Beaumont. She’s also called upon to break some of the jinxes laid by her enemies. To give you an idea of the kind of hoodoo charms Emma confronts, I thought I’d share a few with you today. These come directly from one of my favorite spell books, Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes.

Candle Spell #6 for Fast Cash

Obtain a black and green double action candle and carve whatever you wish to lose (debt, poverty) on the black side. Carve what you need to manifest on the green side. In both cases, be as specific as possible. Trim the bottom of the candle exposing the wick so that both ends may be lit simultaneously. Impale the candle horizontally on a spiked candlestick and burn both ends.

Black and White Protection Powder

Grind up sea salt and black peppercorns and blend them together. Sprinkle the powder around your property for strong protection.

Graveyard Dirt Spell for Success

Collect nine handfuls of graveyard dirt and mix them with sulfur, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle a little bit on charcoal and burn it. Visualize the success you would like to achieve. Repeat whenever you need to be successful in any endeavor, the powder will last a long time.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to hoodoo magic. Though these spells seem simple, may people believe in their power and rely on them to offer protection or grant their most fervent desires. For more information about hoodoo magic and more examples of spells, I highly recommend that you check out the Lucky Mojo Curio Company’s website at www.luckymojo.com It’s owner, catherine yronwode, has painstakingly recorded the history of hoodoo, collected oral histories of spells, and is a well respected manufacturer of authentic charms.

So what do you think? If you were headed to Vegas, would you carry a Gambler’s Hand into the casino for extra luck? Or would you prefer to go it alone and hope Lady Luck joins your on her own?




Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.
But when a strange girl bent on revenge appears, demon dogs become a threat, and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before the last days of summer–and her friends–are lost forever.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indie Bound

Thanks so much for the spells, Lea!

Readers, don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Melissa Chambers, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 12. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Lori M. Lee!  lorimlee.com

But before you go…


If you aren’t already signed up for my newsletter, click here to do that now for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!(Winner will be determined and contacted on 4/9/18. If winner fails to respond within 48 hours of notification, a new winner will be chosen. Click here for a list of sweepstakes rules.)

YA Scavenger Hunt – Gift Card Winner!

The YA Scavenger Hunt has come to a close. I hope you had fun hunting! I can’t think of anything better than a hunt for YA books. 🙂

Congratulations to Shannon F. for winning the $10 Amazon Gift Card from my additional hunt giveaway!

Official Hunt winners will be announced on the YA Scavenger Hunt website on October 11th, so check there to see if you won on Wednesday!

Good luck! And thanks for hunting!


Fall into the Before Forever series!


If Jenna wants to make it to L.A. to extend her fifteen minutes of reality-show fame, she’ll need to win her high school’s talent competition. Standing in her way is Miles Cleveland, the music nerd with a stick up his butt and a bone to pick with Jenna herself. Miles has his own reasons for needing to win, but he can’t start to question his plan…no matter how deep Jenna buries into his heart.



Click here to view on Amazon, or click here to add  to your TBR list on Goodreads.





Blood Divine – Audio Review Tour Stop

I’m so excited to host a stop on the audio review tour for Greg Howard’s Blood Divine!


Click HERE to watch the book trailer!


Author: Greg Howard

Narrator: Gary Furlong

Length: 9 hours 6 minutes

Publisher: Anakim Press

Released: Aug. 1, 2017

Genre: Paranormal

Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield, the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him, and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.



Review of Book:

Blood Divine is a fantastically creepy ghost story that kept me up all night and peeking around every corner! The author takes such care to set the reader firmly in the story with lush descriptions of this old Southern town and rich characterization of these lovable and sometimes kooky characters. While I rooted for Cooper, Randy, and Betsy, I squirmed and giggled over characters like the eccentric Eunice and Eudora. I’d love to read a whole book on just them!

Howard took me on a thrill ride, creeping me out and scaring the daylights out of me while making me sigh over the love story between Cooper and Randy. The action never stopped, and the pace kept me turning the page. Can’t wait to read more from this author. Five Stars!


Review of Narration:

I read Blood Divine first, so for me, this audio version was a way to hear these characters I’d grown to love burst alive. There were a lot of unique accents in this book, and I thought the narrator took great care with them. If you’re an audiobook freak like I am, you have your cringes and ticks that set you off while listening. My biggest pet peeve is a male narrator raising his voice to sound like a female *shivers up spine*, so I’m very pleased to report that this narrator took no part in that. His narration of Betsy, a strong Anakim (a vampire-like creature), was spot on, and he took care to not overdo the Southern accents on any of these ancient characters. As a Southerner myself, this is particularly appreciated! My favorite was the accent of a character, who as written, had a mishmash of dialect. Hats off to Gary Furlong for nailing that!

Just in time for Halloween, this audiobook will creep you out in the best possible way! Five Stars!


I wish I had this fabulous Phipps Family Tree when I was reading and listening!



Greg Howard grew up near the coast of South Carolina, or as he fondly refers to it, “the armpit of the American South.” His hometown of Georgetown, South Carolina is known as the “Ghost Capital of the South,” (seriously…there’s a sign), and was always a great source of material for his overactive imagination.

Raised in a staunchly religious home, Greg escaped into the arts: singing, playing piano, acting, writing songs, and making up stories. After running away to the bright lights and big city of Nashville, Tennessee with stars in his eyes and dreams of being the Dianne Warren of Music City, he took a job peddling CDs and has been a cog in the music business machine ever since.

Now an adult with a brain, Greg finds the South Carolina coast to be a perfectly magical place where he vacations yearly. Currently, Greg resides in Nashville, TN with his husband, Steve, and their three rescued fur babies. Molly, Toby, and Riley.

Greg’s debut adult paranormal novel, BLOOD DIVINE, was released by Wilde City Press in September 2016. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers acquired Greg’s debut young adult novel, SOCIAL INTERCOURSE, which will be released in Summer 2018.

Narrator Bio

Gary Furlong grew up in Wexford, Ireland. Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee; and as a singer and actor all over Ireland. He started narrating audiobooks in late 2015 and hasn’t looked back.

Gary made his acting debut in the musical Godspell as a student. Since then he has pursued acting both on the amateur and professional circuits. Notable roles include Tom Collins in Bare Cheek’s production of Rent in 2010.

Over the course of his five years in Japan, he was an actor, director, and audio producer. It was during this time that he discovered his interest in audiobooks and voice-over.

He now works full-time as an audiobook narrator and voice actor from his home in Ireland.


Sep. 17th:

Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

Working Mommy Journal

Sep. 18th:

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Sep. 19th:

Melissa Chambers, Crushworthy Contemporary Romance

Sep. 20th:

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

The Literary Apothecary

Sep. 21st:

Turning Another Page

Sep. 22nd:

My Creatively Random Life

2 Girls & A Book

Sep. 23rd:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Open Skye Book Reviews


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Release Day Appreciation!

It’s finally here! Today, Falling for Forever is launched out into the world! *sniff sniff*

So many thank yous for so many folks!

Stacy Abrams and Heather Howland, Editors Extraordinaire! Thank you both for all your hard work on this book! You are helping me grow as a writer one book at a time!

The rest of the Entangled team, you are professional and among some of the hardest working people in the book biz! Thank you for all you do, especially the stuff I don’t even know you do!

Bloggers, you have been so kind to me! You read the books (so many books!) and you write the reviews and you get nothing in return but your love of novels! Bless you all for your work and for your beautiful sites!

Readers! You read when you could be watching television or scrolling through your social media. You get wrapped up in stories and characters and you let authors transport you to their own little worlds for a spell. You are appreciated more than you know.

Friends, you keep me sane, especially you, the Wonder Women!

Writer friends, we do this together, and I can’t imagine it any other way! Thank you for the advice you give, your willingness to share your work, and the inspiration you provide. You are all beyond precious to me.

Family, you give me time to write, and you never complain…ever. You are supportive and wonderful, and my absolute everything.

Available Now!

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Before Forever Series: Book Two (Entangled Teen)


 Some boys get under your skin in the worst way. Others…in the best way.


The sun, the kiss, the swoon. *Le sigh*

The second Jenna Quigley turns eighteen, she’s headed to L.A. to extend the timer on her fifteen minutes of fame. Too bad her dad made her promise to graduate high school first. Silver lining? Her new school has a serious talent competition with a $25,000 cash prize, which would go a long way in L.A. Jenna’s got plenty of talent—she didn’t almost win America’s Newest Sensation for nothing. But it’ll take everything she’s got to bring down the music nerd with a stick up his butt…no matter how cute he is in those glasses.

Miles Cleveland needs to win that talent contest. When some hot girl stole his audition spot on America’s Newest Sensation, his chance to study music flounced off to New York with her. Now, not only can he win enough money to pay for his education, he can get revenge on that very same girl. He can’t start to question his plan, though…no matter how deep Jenna buries into his heart.

AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER ON AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Forever-Before-Melissa-Chambers-ebook/dp/B0721KNS1F

MARK “TO READ” ON GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35289079-falling-for-forever


Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of RWA and serves as the president elect for the Music City Romance Writers. She is the author of The Summer Before Forever and Falling for Forever (Entangled Teen).


a Rafflecopter giveaway










And the winner is…

Last week I sent out my first newsletter! As a reward to my subscribers, I entered all of them into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.

I used random.com to select my winner.

And the winner is…

Sue from South Africa!

Thank you to Sue, and to everyone who is subscribed to my newsletter! If you aren’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for! Subscribe here!


The Summer Before Forever is now available!

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.



My Night as a 13-year-old Girl

Have you ever seen the movie Thirteen Going on Thirty? That’s me. I’m a thirteen-year-old girl stuck in the body of an adult (snoozefest).

But luckily, I have Shasta (this is the nickname her mother and I made for her). Shasta is the daughter of a good friend of mine, and I ADORE this child. She is my connection to the teen world, and I run LOTS of stuff by her when I’m writing YA.

So you can imagine my delight when Shasta invited me to her thirteenth birthday

Shrimp, avocado, and mango. Three of my favorites!

party! This was my chance to hang out with three thirteen-year-old girls (along with Shasta’s mom), do crafts, watch If I Stay, eat sushi, and dress up like a monkey. Yes, you heard me right.

So the night started with Shasta, who aspires to be a make-up artist, doing everyone’s makeup…except we ran out of time being silly, and she only had time to do her own. 🙂 Then we headed to a sushi bar and to T.J. Maxx afterward for a little bit of browsing.

We IMG_1696got back to Shasta’s house and got into our animal costumes. Shasta had handpicked them for us, and we all had to wear them for the rest of the night. I was a monkey. The costume was surprisingly comfy and cozy, except that my tail kept knocking into stuff all night. 🙂

Shasta’s fancy nails

Next we opened Shasta’s presents. Shasta is a sucker for a sad story, so I had to get her a few of my favorite sad YA books for her birthday. You’ll note Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda is in that pile. Not sad, but I loved it so much I had to get her a copy. *Side note: My good friend Greg Howard had lunch with the author and came back with a SIGNED COPY for Shasta, totally outshining my unsigned copy. But I couldn’t have been happier for her!

Next we put in If I Stay and hit our craft project – decorating clipboards! This was my contribution, and since Shasta, her mother, and I had been planning this night for months, I was able to save a bunch of magazines for us to cut up with our favorite quotes, pictures, and slogans and affix them to our boards using clear contact paper. All the girls’ boards looked fantastic, and we all had them to take home with us to commemorate the special night!

We finally hit the hay a little after midnight, and I slept like a baby monkey after our exciting night. I giggled nonstop and had an absolute blast during my night as a thirteen-year-old girl, and Shasta and her mom assured me we could do it again sometime soon. Yes!!!!!

The Boyfriend Bet & The Summer Before Forever Cover Reveal!

The Boyfriend Bet & The Summer Before Forever Cover Reveals

Let us know what you think of the covers for The Boyfriend Bet by Chris Cannon and The Summer Before Forever (Before Forever, #1) by Melissa Chambers!

The Boyfriend Bet (Boyfriend Chronicles, #2) and The Summer Before Forever (Before Forever, #1) both release on August 22, 2016

These cover reveals are brought to you by Entangled TEEN, YA Interrobang, and YA Books Central!

The Boyfriend Bet

About The Boyfriend Bet:

Zoe Cain knows that Grant Evertide is way out of her league. So naturally, she kisses him. Out of spite. Not only is Grant her brother’s number-one nemesis, but he has zero interest in being tied down to one girl. She’s shocked—and secretly thrilled—when they start spending more time together. Non-exclusively, of course, but that doesn’t mean Zoe can’t change his mind, one PDA and after-school detention at a time.

Zoe’s brother claims Grant is trying to make her his “Ringer,” an oh-so-charming tradition where a popular guy dates a non-popular girl until he hooks up with her, then dumps her. Zoe threatens to neuter Grant with hedge clippers if he’s lying but Grant swears he isn’t trying to trick her. Still, that doesn’t mean Grant is the commitment type—even if winning a bet is on the line.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains multiple PDAs, after school detentions, and gambling on the side. Warning: Betting on a boyfriend is bad for your health.

Want to Read More? Pre-order The Boyfriend Bet (Boyfriend Chronicles, #2) Today!


Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

About the Author:

0765 300 ChrisCannonpubphoto

Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies.

Find Chris Cannnon Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Newsletter | Goodreads’ Author Page | Entangled Author Page


About The Summer Before Forever:

Some boys break your heart. Others teach you how to heal it.

Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.

Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way.Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s…inconvenient.Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend,and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.

But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again…

Want to Read More? Pre-order The Summer Before Forever (Before Forever, #1) Today!


Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

About the Author:


Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of RWA including several local and online chapters thereof. She holds her B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee.

Find Melissa Chambers Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Goodreads’ Author Page | Entangled Author Page

Mothering to ImpeRfection

I write this post today from the second floor of Whole Foods, my pulse racing, sweat beading on my brow.

Let’s just something straight. I’m into rules. I like them. They give me a structure to work within. Less questions for me to have to ask. I like to know them, and I like to follow them.

So when I got the email last night from the Whole Foods kids’ cooking class that said I needed to have my kid at class BEFORE 10:00 this morning, I thought, “Cake.” I thought wrong.

This particular Whole Foods is about 25 minutes from my house…20 if I sail through green lights. We leave the house at 9:30 and make it to the area the store is in at 9:45. I am golden. My child will be the first to arrive. Star pupil potential.

I sit relaxed at a red light and leisurely glance at my child in the back seat who smiles casually back at me. A sweet moment between us. He loves cooking. I’ve found this cooking class for him. I just can’t wait for him to experience it – he’s been wanting to do this for ages now. And the time is finally here. I hope he likes it because this will determine whether my friend and I attend adult classes, similar to these cooking classes nyc, that she’s found in our area or not. I would love to do it but if my kid doesn’t enjoy it, then I doubt I will too because he loves the activity more than me. I can’t wait for him to try something new. He’s going to make breakfast, and in honor of Mother’s Day, a “surprise guest” *ahem* will join him to eat the breakfast he has made.

My gaze averts to his flip-flopped feet propped up on the seat back, and a flashback from last night’s email from the cooking class folks fills my brain. I gasp. “I think you were supposed to wear closed-toed shoes!”

Now, most of you out there are going, “What’s the big deal? He’ll be fine in the flip flops.” This is where I remind you of “the rules.” I follow rules. I rarely break them. And I have a fear that he will not be permitted to the class without the closed-toed shoes on.

We happen to be right in front of Macy’s. A sign! I’ll run in here and buy him a pair of shoes. I wheel us into the parking lot and find a space right by the door. Another sign! However, it’s 9:45 in the morning, so probably not that karmic.

We do that nerdy looking fast walk (because we’d be breaking a rule if we ran) up to the boys’ department. As we frantically glance around, looking for anything resembling shoes, a sales clerk kindly stops helping the customer she is with and asks if she can help us, clearly sensing our frantic situation. She informs us that Macy’s doesn’t carry boys’ shoes (??) and that the best she could do is a size 7 in men’s. They would be big, but they would work! Luckily, my nine-year-old has huge feet.

We fast walk through the store, down two escalators, a poor guy moving aside so we could rush past him, and arrive at the men’s shoe department. No sales clerk. I finally get the attention of one in another department before I realize she’s helping another customer. What are all these people doing at Macy’s before 10:00 anyway? She proceeds to ditch the other customer and look up on her computer six different shoes, looking for a size seven or anything close. Nothing. The regular shoe department sales clerk shows up about this time and informs us that he has nothing smaller than an 8.5.

I decide we are screwed. I’m pretty sure I say as much to my kid. I ring my husband, thinking he could bring some shoes, knowing this is a Hail Mary, him being a half hour away and class starting in mere seconds. And then I see the women’s shoe department. I can surely find some women’s shoes that will work, can’t I?

We rush through the department, scanning the heels and loafers, and my gaze locks on the most perfect sight I have ever seen. Converse! Those are unisex, right? (Right? Please tell me that’s right.) I snatch up a white one and hold it up just when another precious, busy Macy’s employee says, “Can I get you a size?” Shout out to all the very helpful Macy’s employees who made this day possible!

While he’s in the back, I scan for socks and come up empty, but I do see something that I think may work – those footy things. You know, the little panty hose they keep for women to try on dress shoes? Score!

So I outfit my nine-year-old boy in the panty hose and women’s converse, and for the first time in my life, take a pair of shoes to the register not having a clue what they cost. I scan my card, and we are off.

I could keep going here with more about how the door was locked on cooking class, and we interrupted a very serious “classroom style” situation with way more people than I expected, and how mortified I was by that, being the rule follower I am. But I’m running long, so I’ll just sum up here.

As I realized we were going to be a good ten minutes late (good time considering what all we went through to get there), I thought and said out loud, “It’s not the end of the world if you are a few minutes late to cooking class.” And it wasn’t. He’s in there now, cracking eggs, stirring batter and learning how to cook a full breakfast. (Did I mention candied bacon is involved?) That’s what he’ll remember about today, not my panicked quest for closed-toed shoes.

So all you moms out there, give yourself a break. You have screwed up and you will keep screwing up. And thank God for it, because there is nothing worse in this world than a perfect mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!




Along with tens of thousands of other couples across the U.S., I spent Valentine’s eve watching Fifty Shades of Grey. Don’t worry, there are no spoiler alerts in this post, nor will I give any opinions of the movie.

What I will say is that I don’t know what I was thinking. I knew there would be racy scenes in this movie…I mean, it was the main point of the flick, right? But what I grossly miscalculated was the awkwardness that would wash over the entire theatre at the significant moments.

This particular sold-out showing was in the BigD theatre with a 78 foot wide screen and 7.1 surround sound. This is a fantastic theatre for, say, the latest Hunger Games or Thor movie. But there are certain things that don’t translate as smoothly to this particular movie experience.

Adding to the awkwardness was the guy to my left who was MISERABLE to be there. He huffed and he puffed, sitting up with his elbows on his knees, scrubbing his hands across his face and through his hair, checking his watch every two minutes. Then there was the senior citizen to my husband’s right who was so befuddled by the film that his way of dealing was to include my husband in his movie going experience, constantly making jokes and trying to get hubby to meet his eyes in a, “Can you believe that just happened?” kind of gesture.

Laughter broke out A LOT in this movie, mostly in parts that weren’t intended to be laughed at. Occasionally, Anastasia would make a funny, but you’d think we were watching the latest Anchorman movie. People clearly wanted to make this movie into something more comfortable for them in this public situation. But there was no escaping the utter and complete pin dropping silence that washed over the crowed of middle-aged couples during the significant parts. This was particularly awkward for the family that sat in front of us — a middle aged couple who were there with what appeared to be their parents/in-laws. Um hm.

So I left there with my lesson learned. There are certain movies that you must see on the big screen — the next installment in the Divergent series, next summer’s highly anticipated Batman/Superman thing. But others work best safely streamed to the privacy of your living room television.