Books

Colleen Hoover’s Verity

Howdy Friends.

The other day my favorite bookstagramer simoneandherbooks recommended Colleen Hoover’s Verity. I immediately added it to my TBR and tried to read a sample of it in the apple bookstore. But it was no where to be found. I then tried to reserve it at the library only to find that Colleen Hoover published the novel with on her own as an ebook!

I’ll get to the book in a minute, but I’m really curious to know what such a popular author would branch out from her publisher to put something out on their own? Is it because the book is a near total departure from her usual romantic fare and her publisher didn’t support it? If so they made a bonkers mistake.

Verity is a gut wrenching thriller that deserves to on the same shelves as all the other bad ass female authored thrillers! Its wildly disturbing to read as a new mom and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is still in the throws wild postpartum hormones because you will be sobbing during your 3 am breast feeding session because “How could anyone be so awful to a beautiful baby.” And then you husband wakes up and thinks you’ve lost it completely because a) he didn’t just have a baby and is experiencing ALL THE HORMONES and b) he is not a book person and doesn’t get it.

Sorry, where was I? I couldn’t stop reading it. I really hope Colleen Hoover has more thrillers up her sleeve. I love her unique approach to romance, and this is just another awesome facet of her talent.

So this book is only available on Kindle and you can get a free trial subscription for Kindle Unlimited which makes the book FREE… but I’d totally throw down money for this novel!

Here is a Link to Simone’s blog… she is WAY more professional about her book reviews than I am and her instagram make you spend more money than you afford on books.

https://simoneandherbooks.com/

 

 

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Books

Reading Reese’s

 

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Not ET’s favorite candy….

I have been obsessed with Reese Witherspoon since I was 8 years old and found out that we had the same birthday. I have seen every movie she has ever been in and now I find myself obsessively adding my favorite southern belle’s book picks to my TBR.

I had yet to read many of her book club picks because I am cheap as hell, and they are in high demand from my local library. But the other day I was wondering around my local Costco, carting my newborn in his stroller, when I saw a copy of This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel on the big ol’ book pile.

Boy oh boy. Did this book wreck me. It was so beautiful, so quirky and so warm. I wanted to be a part of the Walsh-Adams family. Or more accurately I hope to parent like them.  I found my self just wishing that more parents approached their kids differences with this kind of  open mindedness. For such a controversial story to be so earnestly told was refreshing.

I loved this book so much that I followed it up with the Hello Sunshine December pick One Day in December by Josie Silver. It was the perfect tonic to family drama… Holiday Romance. The blurbs were right when they compared it to Love Actually and Bridget Jones… which the author winks at more than once. It felt like a female Nick Hornby! I demolished it in 2 of Magnus’s cluster feeding sessions.

I’m now anxiously awaiting Resse’s other picks to come through my request line at the Library.  Clearly she knows whats good.

 

*** Upon reviewing, I realized I’ve actually read a lot more of her book picks than I thought! Rules Of Magic, Little Fires Everywhere and The Lying Game were all on her list in 2017. ***

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About Me

My Birth Story

Lets dive on in.

I found out I was pregnant on Valentines day, which is also my husbands birthday. My best friend will share that even though that is when I officially found out I *knew* I was pregnant the minute I was late.

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I had an amazingly easy pregnancy. I had no barfing, no stretch marks and to be honest I  only looked pregnant in profile. The one tough thing was the exhaustion. I ended up on medical leave a full month before my due date because with such a physical job I was totally unable to keep up any more and my midwife recommended slowing down and resting up for the birth.

So now we find ourselves 2 weeks away from our due date and I start feeling different. I was having a lot of uterine irritation, like Braxton Hicks but worse and It wouldn’t go away with a change of activity or intake of fluids. I called the midwife and they said not to fuss until they fell into a pattern, got longer, stronger, closer together etc.

I kept walking the hills of my neighbourhood with my pups, drank the red raspberry leaf tea, ate 6 dates a day and spent the rest of my time nesting and bouncing on my exercise ball. Cut to a week from out due date… I was having regular contractions. I had been having them all day long and they were 10 minutes apart.  And then they stopped.

And it happened the next day. Contractions that built over the course of the day and then stalled out completely. They would stop for anywhere from an hour to 5 hours. And never got close enough to be “real labor”.  Prodromal labor is what they call it. Real contractions that don’t turn into actual labor.

Our due date came and went. And we made a plan for induction for the 10th day after my due date. I know you can go up to 42 weeks but after 3 weeks of teaser contractions I was physically and emotionally DONE and just wanted to meet my baby.

     Trying to encourage labor on my birth ball                                        The Non Stress Test

My mom arrived a week past my due date and as she was flying in I got the mandatory post date Non Stress Test (they hook a fetal monitor and contraction monitor to you stomach for 20 minutes) and an ultrasound to check the babies position and fluid levels. both cam back normal. I had measurable contractions on the NST and the nurse hinted that she would probably see us later that day. Nope. We saw the midwife the following day. They did a check and found I was progressing 1cm and very soft. They also hinted they might see me later. Nope. I couldn’t focus on my book or on the tv. I made dinner for my family cause by this time both my mom and grandpa were here.

The next morning was Halloween, and we had an induction appointment! I had had contractions all night and was so damn tired. But we were finally going to get the ball rolling…. just very slowly. They did another bout of monitoring  before calling in an OB which is policy for inductions even if you’re using a midwife. The OB had offered to administer cervical gel as my midwife was birthing a baby and she didn’t want me to have to wait for her. The OB warned that the cervical gel can sometimes take a few tries to work which was super disheartening to hear. I had really hoped I’d be far enough along that they could have just started pitocin… so the waiting continued. As did my contractions,  but they didn’t get stronger, longer, closer together.

At 4 in the morning on November 1st I had been having strong contractions 3 minutes long, 3 minutes apart for about an hour. It was go time. Or so I thought. We called the midwife. when to the hospital and got sent home. I was only 2 cm. We had an appointment later that morning  and were hopeful that we would be able to stay.

We arrived back at 8:30. By the time I got checked in, peed in a a cup, changed into a gown and got on the monitor it was 9ish. We spent about 20 minutes on the fetal monitor before the midwife arrived. She removed the cervical gel, and checked me…. I was still only 2 cms but they could stretch to 3. Not far enough for pitocin, but my contractions were strong enough that they didn’t want to gel me again. The plan was to send me home with morphine and gravol so I could get some sleep. I just about lost it. I told them I wasn’t tired even though I hadn’t slept properly for a few days. And I just couldn’t see my self going home and getting any sleep. The midwife was very sweet and talked me down a bit. My husband and I were both upset that the morphine/gravol nap option wasn’t offered when we went in the first time that morning.

We were tired, upset and frustrated but understood that resting up would be what was best for all of us… or so we thought. While we had been talking I was still hooked up to the monitor and the nurse had started to notice larger than normal decelerations in the baby’s heart rate. And so began an hour of back and forth about what to do with us. We saw every nurse on the floor and they all called it “a head scratcher.” Our midwife still wanted to send us home but wanted to get a second opinion before doing so.

The OB blew into the room and very quickly analyzed the situation. He and the midwife decided it would be best to admit me and get pitocin started, but they said something about how if things picked up quickly they would turn the pitocin off.  We moved to the delivery suite. They hooked us back up to the monitor, put in an IV and started running fluids. I was STARVING so they let me eat a quick snack before starting the pitocin. We were also making phone calls to both our families and letting them know how things were progressing.

They added the pitocin to my iv and then stopped it about 10 minutes later, before the drug could even make its way into my system. The theory was that his cord was compressed somewhere and that the decelerations were because of the contractions making the compression worse.

Things started happening very fast at this point. I was in a lot of pain and the laughing gas was barely taking the edge off so I asked for an epidural. My midwife conferred quietly with nurse about what kind of epidural they should order… I guess they could do the walking epidural or the full tits down immobilization. It would all depend on if they thought I would need a C Section or not.  The OB came back in just then and broke my water in an effort to speed up my labor, but I just wasn’t progressing at all. I was stalled at 2.5 cms. He sat on the bed, put a hand on my knee and said “You’re going to need a caesarean.” We asked how long until we’d go into surgery, they said it would half an hour.

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Magnus’s first few seconds

We hadn’t been sure when we arrived that morning if they would keep us or send us back home so Max had only paid for a few hours of parking. He had to run down and “feed the meter”. He barely made it to the parking kiosk before I was calling him to hurry back. They were able to fit us in for surgery RIGHT THEN. When he got back up I was on the gurney with my laughing gas tank, and he got into his scrubs. We went down to the OR. If you have the opportunity to get your epidural put in while you’re sucking down laughing gas DO IT. It really helped me get over my fear of needles in my back.

Magnus all cleaned up            

Finally at 1 pm, Magnus was born. He cried so quietly that I said “He sounds like Scully (one of our dogs) when she wants out in the morning.” They put him on my chest and his eyes were wide open and he was so alert. We got a solid 15 minutes in our little bubble while they worked on me and then Magnus and Max were taken to recovery while the surgeon finished up. When I was wheeled out, Max and Magnus were skin to skin waiting for me. It was hands down the cutest thing I had ever seen in my life.

 

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Uncategorized

The Night Stars Here

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It’s been so long since I’ve seen one of “my bands”. By which I mean a band whose music feels as though it was written in my own hearts blood, I know all the word, every album is lived in a well loved.

The first time I saw Stars it was a NXNE. I was 19 and I was the only one out of my friends who didn’t want to brave the crowd to be front and center. So I found myself in the beer garden adjacent to the stage. I had a few drinks and then spotted a burger truck  with no line in the distance. I grab myself a burger and turn around to realize I am basically in the wings of the stage watching a band I had loved since I was 13. It is still my favorite concert experience.

Last Tuesday night I dragged my very patient husband to see them for the second time and I was just as in love with and enraptured by their performance. There is something so great about a band that truly loves playing together. They were all smiling like goons and Torqil was channeling his best David Byrne self.  It made me remember all the things I love (and some I hate) about seeing live music. It’s really something I need to make more of an effort to do. And hey! …. Someone had a baby on the balcony and not in a Michael Jackson way.

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Books

Witching Savannah Trilogy by JD Horn

Happy Pride Month!

That means I’m going to try to read as many books on my shelf as I can that have LGBT writers, themes, characters etc. In fact I have quite a few on my *hashtag* unread shelf tbr that fit the bill. But I started with a re-read by a gay author, with a gay secondary character.

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The covers of these books kill me every time. Such simple but awe-striking illustrations.

Mercy Taylor hails from a long family line of Savannah Witches but, she herself is completely powerless. Her twin sister Maisie, however is bubbling over with the stuff and is the family’s favorite to take over for the matriarch in her role of “maintaining the line” (hey! thats the title of the book). In the mythology of the series the 12 families of witches created the line to keep demons out of our world and then one member of each family is chosen by drawing lots to be the one to keep the line in check. They are typically the one with the most power and skill, who shows the most promise and aptitude.  But when this lot drawing comes around for Taylor’s again, its Mercy and not Maisie who is chosen.  All kinds of chaos and a lot of twisty turns that I don’t want to spoil.

But the whole series is just really dang readable. It checks so many of my boxes for a summer read. A little Southern Gothic, a little romance, a lot supernatural, easy to read in a lawn chair.

 

 

 

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Books

Packing for a trip.

“Welcome back” I say to myself. It’s been a crazy year since I last took blogging, and writing seriously.  But now that I’m looking at a year off in a few months it feels like time.

So why was the year so crazy? Well…

I got married.

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I made a huge career change from Animal Rescue to Early Childhood Education – which meant school, job hunting, settling in to a new career.

And then I got knocked up.

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Hence the year off.

So here I sit. Plotting out my packing strategy for an upcoming trip to see my friends and family in 3 different provinces. There are so many factors to consider. First: I am cheap as hell – read as carry on only plus stopovers. I am pregnant, so alas I have to keep the weight down to a minimum.

Second: I am traveling to Ontario. Forecast says to expect temperatures of at least 25. But I am also going to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where they still have frost on the ground in the morning.

Third: I am going for my own baby shower, and my lovely aunt’s wedding. So that is 2 cute outfits, makeup and probably some sensible but cute heels.

Aside from all that the biggest worry I have is how many books to pack. Since becoming pregnant, I find reading on my ipad for more than a few minutes to be migraine inducing. I have a fight from BC to Ontario with a 1 hour stop in the middle, then a flight from Ontario to Halifax with an hour in Montreal before I am reunited with my stored book collection at my parents place.  So how many books to bring….

I’ve settled on 3. Sadly, one is hard cover.

I’ve been meaning to read Maude for ages. It is a fictionalization of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s life and its the perfect book for a trip to the maritimes, since that is where it’s set.

I’m also carting along Love and Other Words. It comes highly recommended and I love a good simple love story for a long journey.

Lastly, the new Ruth Ware. I can get a bit antsy on a long trip (especially now with having to pee literally every 45 minutes) so a thriller that will completely absorb my attention is a must!

What is your book game plan when you hit the road?

 

 

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Music

Something about music

Not to be a complete asshole but…. My playlists are kind of legendary. Over the past 10 years I’ve had some friends tell me that they have kept mix cds I made them. It is something that is missing from our world today. We no longer exchange songs through mixes or even shared earbuds. I guess you could say that we’ve moved on to shared links. But can you really argue that it has the same effect as a perfectly curated set of 18 tracks with hand made album art?

Thats right you sure can’t.

I have a handful of beautiful mix cds a friend made me after I got my heart trampled. I’ve carried them with me over the years like a security blanket. I miss the physicality of music. I have a big stack of records but there is no utility in that. They exist for my comfortable consumption.  I wish we could travel back to the in between, were music was shared as a portable but physical object.

 

 

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