Blog

Book Review: The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife

If you spend your day changing diapers, eating chocolate every chance you get, or doing your best to squeeze into those pink exercise shorts that rise way above your belly button only minutes before a string of crimes ravage your neighborhood, you might be Lotty Brooks, the main character in The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife.

Book Review: The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife

Crissy Sharp, author of The Enemy Nextdoor and Other Misunderstandings and Love and Fat-free Cheese, has written another humor-filled mystery. The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife had me laughing from page one and my husband questioning my hysterical giggles through to the end. Somehow, Sharp managed to add a mystery in the middle of it all, making this book one you can’t put down.

My Thoughts on The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife:

We’ve been there, all of us. We spend our days wondering if we’ll get the chance to shower. And forget the cute clothes—comfy yoga pants and t-shirts are all we need for a life with toddlers anyway. The effort’s still worth it, but exhaustion took over our lives a long time ago, and of course, across the street, lives the perfect woman, thin, stylish, and a mother. We hate her. Add to that a failing marriage, and that is Lotty Brooks. To us, she’s awesome, unlike her neighbor (and ours). Scene after scene, Lotty tells it like it is. All of our hurts and failures, all of our wants and desires, outed by one fictional character so flawlessly written, we know she should be our best friend.

I haven’t had children in diapers or hanging on my leg as I walked down the street in years, but I love Lotty. Her husband, Jason, is a pretty cool guy too, which makes it hard to understand what happened to their marriage all those months ago.

As the title suggests, this book is lighthearted and fun with a mystery you can solve right along side of the characters. I enjoyed solving it while giggling at the predicaments Lotty finds herself in. There are a couple of tense places, but Sharp balances tension and humor beautifully. This read will keep you smiling. Grab the chocolate and a blanket and cozy-up, then thank me later.

The Official Blurb:

Lotty Brooks’ days consist of avoiding thoughts of her failing marriage, changing diapers, and trying not to eat chocolate brioche for breakfast and lunch. However, everything changes when her perfect, lakeside Montana neighborhood begins bustling with crime and she seems to be the target.

Jason Brooks wants to know what happened to the woman he married. Lotty’s a mere shell of her former self. When she becomes the focal point of neighborhood threats, and the town seems to question her innocence, he must decide how well he knows his wife.

As Jason and Lotty try to get to the bottom of the threats and find those responsible, they’ll need to remember what they once loved about each other. Otherwise, they may lose everything and everyone they care about.

More Info:

While both The Enemy Nextdoor and Other Misunderstandings and The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife are both Strawberry Lake Estate Mysteries, the books stand completely on their own.

Purchase your copy of The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife on Amazon
Follow Crissy Sharp:  On her website     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads

Read more reviews, flash fiction, and more fun at KameoMonson.com

I received a free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

Flash Fiction: Nightmare Newlyweds

Flash Fiction: Newlywed Nightmare

“Wake up!” Karen rocked back and forth as she tried to wake up her new husband.

A cool breeze blew through the drafty cabin they’d rented for their honeymoon, and she screamed as the celebratory note from the owner fluttered to the floor.

“Karen?” Daniel reached out and rubbed her back.

She flung her body against his, tears spreading across his shoulder and toward his neck. “Nightmare.”

“You’re crying over a nightmare?”

She nodded. “I don’t know why I can’t get over it.” The tears had started several minutes before she amassed enough courage to wake him. The first night with Dan—he’d think she was crazy. “Can you check the cabin?”

Daniel sat up slowly. “Isn’t that how people die?”

He caught her hand as she swatted at him and tugged her against his chest. The fleeting comfort disappeared as quickly as it had come. “It was just a nightmare, but I need to see nothing’s there.”

“Now you want to come with me? You do have a death wish.”

“Sure make fun of me.”

He stood from the bed and helped her up, ensconcing her from behind. “I’d never make fun of you.”

“Yeah, never,” she scoffed.

“Come on, let’s get this over with. It’s a bit chilly.”

The bedroom door squeaked open with his grasp, and Karen’s shallow breathing rattled in her lungs. Most brides dreamed of their new husbands, didn’t they? Not her, she dreamed of a man with an ax circling their cabin. No surreal feeling accompanied the scenes in her mind. Was that why she couldn’t forget, why she’d woken Dan in the middle of the night, soaked his shoulder in tears, and made him traipse around the cold two-room cabin?

Daniel stared through the windows, examining the front and back yards before turning the lights on one by one. “Kar, I don’t see anyone. Can we go back to bed?”

Nodding, she climbed between the sheets and cuddled against his shoulder. Draping his arm around her, he combed his fingers through her long, blonde hair. “You okay?”

She shrugged as a raspy breath caught in her throat. “Just hold me.”

Though Daniel fell asleep quickly, Karen lay awake, staring at the moon until clouds covered the sky. Her body wrapped around his, pushing closer with each muffled crack and scratching sound she heard. Maybe she should have suggested Hawaii instead of a cabin in the mountains. But a glimpse of fall promised to awaken her senses after a hot summer in the desert—in theory.

A prickling sensation poked at Karen’s bladder. Sleep eluded her, what did discomfort matter? The prickling intensified. Maybe discomfort mattered. She glanced at her husband, waking Derek meant admitting she was human. Besides, peeing with the door open wasn’t a honeymoon experience she wanted to remember.

Slipping from under the covers, she lunged for the door and waddled toward the bathroom. The light flickered once and then refused to shine. Bound and determined to stay out of the loony-bin, she charged the toilet. As relief flooded through her, she glanced at the mirror hanging above the sink. Two yellow orbs glinted in its reflection. But…she glanced the opposite direction and screamed.

Karen dashed from the bathroom and jumped on the bed, shaking Daniel. “Wake up, wake up! Something’s out there, Dan.”

Daniel groaned and pulled Karen toward him. “No. We checked.”

“I saw its eyes, yellow ones, in the bathroom.” Warmth spread from her neck into her cheeks. Now he knew she was human.

Daniel gathered Karen in his arms again. “Stay here. I’ll check things out.”

Footsteps echoed through the cabin, and Karen stepped to the bedroom doorway, watching as Derek crept outside. A crackle of fallen leaves rustled, startling Karen, but then she recognized Daniel’s footfalls.

The door opened, and Karen ran into Daniel’s arms. “What was it?”

“Probably a cat.” He traced the side of her face, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear. “Have you slept at all?”

“How can I? I dream of ax-murderers and see glowing eyes when I…” She didn’t want to admit her human characteristics, even if Daniel knew about them.

“I promise, nothing’s there. Even if there was, I’d take care of you.” He hugged her and led her back to bed. “Try to sleep, okay?”

She nodded and curled her body next to his again.

The sun shined into the room and Karen startled awake, a light knock struck the cabin’s door. She followed a second or two behind Daniel, wondering at the disturbance. A police officer stood on the porch.

“Is everything okay here?” The officer asked.

They both nodded.

“Do either of you recognize this?” The officer jutted his chin toward the wall of the house.

Together, Daniel and Karen poked their heads through the doorway. An ax leaned against the wall of the cabin. Shallow breaths racked Karen’s body as tears formed in her eyes, and she fell back into the cabin, shaking her head.

“No,” Daniel said, his voice soft.

“Anything odd happen last night?”

“My wife had a nightmare.” Daniel shrugged.

The officer leaned inside the house. “Did you see or hear anything other than your nightmare, ma’am?”

“I s-saw yellow eyes in the b-bathroom window. Daniel checked outside.”

“There was nothing there, sir.” Daniel swallowed deeply. “I wondered if it was a cat.”

The officer removed his hat. “I don’t know how you avoided him, but you’re one lucky couple.”
Karen stared at the man. “What?”

“The previous owner of this cabin stopped renting to newlyweds. You are newlyweds, right?”

“Yes,” they both answered.

“She stopped renting to newlyweds during the month of October after someone murdered three different couples. One a year,” he glanced at the weapon outside, “with an ax. Once she stopped, the killings did, too. Her son took ownership a couple of months ago. Apparently, he didn’t know about the murders. I knocked when I saw the ax…gave me the shivers. You sure you don‘t know anything?”

Daniel stared at the ax, his brow raised in thought. “Not at all, but I think we’ll leave early.”

“Best if you do.”

Karen rushed to Daniel as the door closed.

He gathered her in his arms. “Let’s go pack.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” The softness of his shirt muffled the question.

“He scared you enough.”

“Who?”

“The owner, but he won’t come back.”

She glanced up and rubbed her finger across his lips.

“Careful, I bite.” A gleam raced across his eyes as he smiled, pulling her closer.

“I remember,” she said, pressing her lips against his.

Book Review: One Among Them by M.K. Dymock

Keenley grew up in the Rocky Mountains. Unpredictable and dangerous as they were, they only brought her comfort…until they didn’t.

Book Review: One Among Them M.K. Dymock

An outdoor enthusiast herself, M.K. Dymock hits this writing trail and rides it to the end. Lucky for us, we can follow along in her fictional mystery One Among Them. This novel keeps readers on their toes as they wonder if Keenley’s family will find her before her attacker or the elements of nature take her life.

My Thoughts on One Among Them:

The blurb and subject of One Among Them called to me, and I picked this book up for myself. With just enough knowledge of the Rockies to think I had a clue, I jumped into chapter one. Then I spend several days trying to figure out where in the Rockies the story took place. My small knowledge of the 3,000-mile mountain range confused me. For the record, my limited understanding comes from a very small section of the Wasatch Front, which is located in Utah. Though I understood from the start that most people think of Colorado when considering the Rockies, my mind immediately went to Utah when the author described the western slopes. I also didn’t realize there was a desert in northwestern Colorado, or that the Wasatch Front didn’t butt directly up to the mountains in the neighboring state. So much for those geography lessons! Once I humbled myself and asked people to help me locate the area I was reading about, a whole new world (enter Disney music here) opened up to me.

One Among Them starts with action and keeps it going while allowing the reader to connect with the characters. I loved the way the author helped me to connect, not only to Keenley but also to her parents and others involved in the search. Throughout the story, I wondered who on earth the attacker was. As I got closer to the end and things were wrapping up, I thought I had it all figured out—nope. The swing and a miss didn’t hurt too much, but it did smart a little. When I finished, I  thought about immediately turning to page one and starting over. Alas, too many other books await reviews. Still, this isn’t a one-time read, not by a long-shot.

Official Blurb:

Everyone in town wants to find Keenley, but someone doesn’t intend for her to come home.

The town of Lost Gorge, hidden and protected from the world by the Rockies, hides some secrets of its own. When Keenley Dawson never returns home from mountain biking, the town unites to find her. Most everyone assumes she’s lost on the rugged trails or hurt.

She is lost and hurt, but it was no accident.

After being attacked and abducted, Keenley escapes into the wilderness. She knows how to survive the wilds, but what she doesn’t know is how to live when she’s being hunted.

More Info:

Purchase your copy of One Among Them on Amazon

Follow M.K. Dymock on Goodreads

Read book reviews, flash fiction, and more at KameoMonson.com

Book Review: Eubeltic Descent by Nadine C Keels

Abigaia lives a poverty-ridden life, and dreams of visiting the Eubeltic Realm fill her mind with a passionate yearning she cannot explain. No one would believe she descended from royalty, especially if they knew who gave her the information.

Nadine C. Keels has authored several books across more than one genre. Perhaps that’s what makes Eubeltic Descent so unique. Written in a fictional world with fictional tales, the story contains no other fantasy elements. Instead, it reads more like a historical fiction, so much so, I struggle to put it with my fantasy recommended reads, feeling it fits better under the general fiction category.

My Thoughts on the Eubeltic Descent:

The world of literature starts when you realize everyone and thing in the has a voice. Voices ring truth, whether leaves rustle in the wind or laughter floats on a breeze. All of those words, those unheard feelings, eventually find their resting spot between literature’s pages. Such is true in Eubeltic Descent.

Another culture lives within the various cultures of our world, yet few of us live it. The world of the hearing and speech impaired. So what happens when a young woman, with great intellect, lives with no voice? What happens when, as hard as she tries to be heard, the one closest to her calls her unexplained hand movements crazy? In those moments, do you imagine she might wish for more?

Eubeltic Descent follows the story of a young woman who cannot speak.  Written in third-person, the fairytale-style writing of Keels will pull you into the story even as you wonder how she’s done it. The descriptions of Abigaia’s silent laughter tickled my imagination. Read the following excerpt to see why.

She could have run faster without her basket, but it didn’t matter. Her head went back as she released a delighted sound, but it wasn’t tinkly, cackly, melodic, or anything else that would require some audible note or tone. It was simply a bubbling of wind that took flight out of her mouth: spirited, airy, and tuneless.

So often we live through the dialogue, but Eubeltic Descent, which does have dialogue, invites us to live between it. The story is well-written, unique, and a wonderful start to what I know will be a phenomenal series.

Official Blurb:

Your soul will remember…
As a woman who wasn’t born to wealth or privilege, Abigaia has mastered the art of thievery. And she’s come to hate it. Not only is she plagued by guilt, but her shadowed upbringing and silent ways cause most of her town to question her sanity.

Yet, Abigaia’s eccentric father always taught her to be proud of her heritage. Her ancestry lies across the sea, in a prominent realm she’s read about but has never seen.

The man who desires Abigaia’s hand in marriage doesn’t share her hope of seeing the Eubeltic Realm. But disaster erupts in their path, and Abigaia’s dream may have a greater purpose—if that famed domain of her ancestors is now in crucial need of her.

More Info:

Purchase the Eubeltic Descent (Eubeltic Realm Book 1) on Amazon

Follow Nadine C. Keels:   Facebook      Twitter      Goodreads
Nadine C. Keels website: Prismatic Prospects

Read more book reviews, flash fiction, and more at KameoMonson.com

I received a  free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

Flash Fiction: Broken Daisies

Flash Fiction: Broken Daisies
Photo by Albert Bridge

The worn welt curved around the edges of my suitcase, threatening to pop from the seams as the zipper stretched to accommodate the overflowing clothing. Muttered vengeful words never reached my ears, but I understood them. My lips spit them out. No matter what I tried, nothing changed. Old houses only got older, cars broke down, jobs disappeared, and bank accounts stayed empty. Just once I wanted to run my dishwasher without washing the dishes first or order a pizza because it sounded good. Instead, I mopped up kids’ barf and scrubbed bathrooms only to return home and do the same for my family. Rob slept through the night and most mornings. The rest of the time he slumped at the computer looking for work.

I stopped in the bathroom and gathered other necessities. Toothbrush, makeup, deodorant. Beard trimmings speckled the sink. How hard was it to get rid of beard trimmings? I reached over and turned on the leaky faucet, splashing water over the top of the stiff hairs. The drain gurgled as it worked to keep up with the flow. Questioning what I was doing, I shut the water off—as best as I could, anyway—and left my suitcase by the front door.

My sneakers lifted from a sticky spot on the floor and squelched the rest of the way into the kitchen. I’d dropped the kids off at Mom’s earlier. Vacation. That’s what they called it. I hadn’t told them my plans yet. I hadn’t told Rob, but I was about to. The quiet of the house sent eerie tingles down my spine, reminding me how much I hated it.

As I walked past the corner of the counter, a crashing sound caught my attention. A broken glass covered in painted white daisies met my gaze. My elbow had knocked it off. Slowly squatting near the fragmented mess, the first tear traced the side of my cheek. The last glass—the others had broken years before. Somehow it seemed fitting that it would break today. Still, I cried.
I’d placed the glassware on our wedding registry ten years ago, hoping some kind soul would take pity on me and give something other than the standard clear Walmart specials sold for $8.99. Opening that wrapped package brought me almost as much joy as marrying Rob.

Picking up the largest shard, I gently rubbed my forefinger over the daisy design. I never thought daisies were pretty. Their basic petals and yellow centers dotted children’s drawings and their leaves reminded me of overgrown cilantro. So many times I’d dreamed of beautiful flowers with unique petals and vivid colors. Orchids, lilies, hibiscus, they all bloomed in so many varieties, but daisies invaded lawns. Then Rob gave me daisies when he proposed. Daisies—not roses—simple daisies. Suddenly my whole outlook had changed.

I clutched the shard to my chest and wept as I remembered his knit brows and how his lips had trembled. Down on one knee, his eyes glistened and his voice cracked when he eased the words will you marry me from his tongue. It was months later when he told me about the rock piercing his kneecap. All that time I thought he’d been trying not to cry.

A corner of my mouth threatened to turn up at the memory, but as I looked at the painted remnant in my hand, the tears returned, and I sank further to the floor. That day daisies had become my favorite flower. It wasn’t a distaste in cheap wares that caused me to register for the glasses. Not really.

Two kids and five years into our marriage, I screamed at Rob for his laziness. Why couldn’t he keep a job? Struggling as newlyweds was one thing, but we had two children. In my anger, I’d picked up the closest thing and threw it at the wall, intentionally missing him. The first glass. He held me in his arms as I realized what I’d thrown. Hair tickled my cheek as he brushed it away from my face, comforting me by pulling me closer. Promises of better jobs and a house with new carpeting filled my ears. My anger died when I saw what I’d thrown, but he didn’t need to know that.

A few years later, I told Rob why daisies were my favorite flower, including how I’d never liked them previously. Less than a week afterward, Rob purchased a bouquet of beautiful pink lollipop daisies and enlisted our daughter Emma’s help. The flowered glass slipped from her hands as she filled it with water. After cleaning up the mess, Rob filled the next one. I’d never seen such a beautiful sight as my smiling daughter standing next to her father as they presented me with the gift.

Though I tried to drop the shard to the floor and stand to tell Rob of my plans, my body refused. Tears spotted my blouse, and a small puddle formed on the floor, but only stains lined my cheeks now.

Warm hands rubbed at my shoulders, and I reached up, clutching one. “I broke the last one.”

“Are you sure about that?” His soft voice comforted me. But I had a plan…

“Yeah. I remember two others breaking, and the third disappeared years ago.”

“Disappeared where?”

I shrugged. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t remember. “I should have put this one up.”

“Wait here.”

Rob disappeared, and emptiness surrounded me as I stared at the glass, heaviness returning to my body. Shuffling noise echoed from the hallway, but nothing seemed important anymore.

“Christy?”

My eyes lifted as they fell on the item Rob held before me. “Where?”

He pulled me to my feet and held me in his arms. “I put one away for safekeeping.”

“You…?” My words faded.

“I know you love them.” He loosened his hold on me and glanced toward the door. “Are you going somewhere?”

“What? No. I-I thought I might, but I’ve changed my mind.”

Receive your free download of my favorite flash fiction piece, Sometimes a Bird Has to Fly, today!

Book Review: Diving for Love by Jenny Rabe

What do you do when you realize you’ve fallen in love with your best friend and he’s dating the girl that’s tormented you all year? Mariana set out to fulfill a new goal: forget about it. See how it all works out in Diving for Love by Jenny Rabe.

Book Review: Diving for Love

Jenny Rabe, a wonderful YA author and one of my favorite online personas, went on more than 150 dates before settling down with her husband and having soon-to-be four children. Certainly, this plays a part in her romance-writing abilities, which she demonstrates clearly in Diving for Love. This story may be for young adult readers, but ladies, you are bound to enjoy it, too.

My Thoughts:

Who of us hasn’t enjoyed the tingle of young love? I’m all for the rich and fulfilling love twenty-three years of marriage has provided me, but remembering the feelings of teenage love still puts a smile on my face. And though Disney stories are fun, my favorite young love stories include characters who don’t experience love at first sight.

Diving for Love starts with the classic story of a girl who falls in love with her best friend. When events turn against Mariana, due to the thick blinders Dennis wears when it comes to his mean girlfriend, she sets goals to forget the whole crush idea, focus on earning money for college, and to take care of Abuela. Having the new employee, Sam, diving with her at the snuba shop seems to help, especially when he shows interest in her.

The situations Mariana finds herself in float readers through a fictional reality that I quite enjoyed. Her love for Abuela and confusion over Dennis and Sam don’t come across as contrived, but as the emotions everyone feels at one point or another. I found myself laughing with and talking to the characters as if they could hear me, as well as worrying about what might happen next. The author’s casted ripples of mystery that appear throughout the story riveted me. Well-written, filled with plenty of punny humor, and completely clean, every romantic is sure enjoy Diving for Love.

Official Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Mariana Rodriguez is devastated when her best friend and long-time crush, Dennis, chooses to date her tormentor over her. She plunges into work at her uncle’s dive shop, determined to sink her feelings for Dennis. When the new employee, Sam, shows interest in her, Mariana feels like she’s found the perfect springboard to moving on.

After both the shop and her abuela’s house are vandalized, Mariana can’t help but suspect that the two events are connected. She reluctantly calls on the one person who can help her, but allowing Dennis back into her life only makes her feelings for Sam murky. To protect her family from financial ruin, Mariana must decide who to trust. And with any luck, she’ll get her chance at true love along the way.

More Info:

Purchase your e-book or print copy of Diving for Love on Amazon.

Follow Jenny Rabe on Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads
Visit Jenny’s website and her newsletter.

Receive your free download of Sometimes A Bird Has to Fly, my favorite flash fiction piece by visiting KameoMonson.com, where you can also find more book reviews, recommended reads, flash fiction, and stories about me.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Unforgivables by Tabi Slick

Circuses attract unusual performers, but the Beaumont Bros. Circus may attract the most unusual bunch of misfits the world has ever known, in the novella Unforgivables by Tabi Slick.

Tabi Slick

Tabi Slick, the author of the Tomkin’s School Trilogy, brings us the e-book novella Unforgivables, winner of an Indies Helping Indies Book Review Project Recommended Read award. In this award-winning story, people with unknown powers, like Emma, are hunted by people without. This time though, London’s most revered detective jumps on the case and puts Emma and her new friends’ abilities to disappear to the test.

My thoughts:

I read several kinds of genres and have always been a fan of the stories that include paranormal elements. Something about unexplained powers and phenomena tingles my imagination. The same is true of Tabi Slick’s newest novella.

Unforgivables takes place in London during the 1800s. I noticed immediately that the author built the setting from that time period well, which was shown not only in her descriptions but also in her word choice and sentence structure. She keeps this tone through the entire story and does a great job of creating a circus-feel. I never realized such a thing was possible until reading Unforgivables with imagined carnival music running through my head the entire time. The action starts on page one and moves right along all the way to the last word, so pages are not bombarded by slow passages that cause readers to lose interest. In these ways, Unforgivables is extraordinary.

However, I did find myself struggling through much of the novella. Upon reflection, I believe most of my struggle comes from a lack of connection to the characters. I often felt the writing told me how to feel by sharing exactly how the characters felt, instead of letting me make inferences. By the time I felt ready to start connecting with someone, the story ended.

Unforgivables also switches between third-person point of view (various characters) and first-person point of view (Emma). The first time the point of view switched, it jolted me and I stumbled, trying to figure out what had happened. After that first occurrence, I expected the change and rather enjoyed the setup.

All in all, I think there are plenty of people who would enjoy this book. I, personally, need a connection to the characters and just couldn’t get pulled in that direction. If you like fast-paced, paranormal novellas that keep you on your toes, Unforgivables is a good choice.

Official Blurb:

Emma seemed an ordinary girl, but she had secrets. Not only did she have the ability to transform into a winged monster, she was also wanted for murder. After a series of unlikely events, she finds herself on the run from London’s most revered detective with only a circus filled with paranormal misfits to keep her company. Emma must find her way to freedom, but will she be able to do what is necessary to leave her past behind once and for all?

More info:

Read Unforgivables by Tabi Slick on Kindle Unlimited or purchase your e-copy on Amazon.

Unforgivables is the prequel to Tompkin’s School Trilogy, but can easily be read as a stand-alone novella.

Follow Tabi Slick:  TabiSlick.com  Goodreads  Facebook  Twitter

Read more reviews and writing fun from me at kameomonson.com, where you can download your free copy of Sometimes A Bird Has to Fly.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

Book Review: The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers

The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers by Kimberly King takes Nikki Baker’s desire for her first magical kiss to a whole new level, especially now that sparkles, potions, and magical twists are involved.

Kimberly King

Behind every book stands a creative author, and Kimberly King definitely has the creativity down. The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers introduces you to Nikki Baker, a teenage girl nearing the end of her freshman year. And like so many others, Nikki wants nothing more than to experience her very first kiss. Unlike other teenage girls, she discovers she has a fairy godmother, one who doesn’t believe in turning mice into footmen and definitely doesn’t like the idea of turning pumpkins into coaches. In this debut novel, readers laugh through confused spells and wacky high school experiences as they easily relate to those embarrassing teenage moments.

My thoughts:

High school filled my life with plenty of fun, choir, sitting with the band during football games, dances, and the occasional date or three. And though I don’t often admit it, my teenage mind was wired like most other teenage girls. I wanted that magical experience where a boy’s lips suddenly careened into mine for the very first time.

Kimberly King takes those dreams and adds embarrassing moments and humiliation, giving our daughters (and us too) a great deal to laugh at. Though Nikki’s fairy godmother doesn’t appear in every chapter, we know she’s busy behind the scenes, working to get Nikki that very special kiss. Kimberly brings life to her characters, when they smile, I smiled—when humiliation knocks on their doors, I remember it knocking on mine.

I can’t wait to share The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers with my daughters, who are the perfect ages to enjoy every minute reading it. Recommending this clean read comes naturally to me as I find it a great book for all middle and high school aged girls.

The Official Blurb:

All Nikki Baker wants is her first kiss. All her fairy godmother wants is to get the job done as quickly as possible. Hilarious adventures follow when Nikki discovers her fairy godmother’s magic isn’t quite up to par…along with her taste in boys. Nobody is safe as spells bounce around from the school’s biggest nerd to the biggest jerk in ninth grade and everyone else in between.

As love triangles grow ridiculously complicated, Nikki soon discovers that being a boy magnet has its downside. One best friend starts hating her, and another stops at nothing to prevent Nikki from getting her happily ever after. Is love really worth the cost of friendship? Nikki must decide for herself, but that means betraying either her best friends…or her impatient fairy godmother.

More info:

Purchase The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers for Kindle or in Print on Amazon, or read it on Kindle Unlimited.

Follow Kimberly King on Facebook

Visit KameoMonson.com for more reviews and other writing fun, and receive your free download of my flash fiction piece Sometimes A Bird Has to Fly.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Flash Fiction: A Normal Day For Joy

 

Sometimes listening is better than reading. If you think so, enjoy this audio version.

 

Joy balanced Nate on her left hip, his legs resting at odd angles around her swollen belly as she rushed to her phone, answering it. The dial tone sounded in her ear. She placed Nate, sopping wet on the couch, his tears mixing with the water seeping into the stained cushion, then redialed her husband Connor.

“Hello.”

“Sorry, Nate plugged the tub and turned it on without me knowing. I was mopping up the hall.”

“The carpet?”

“Yeah, I’m gonna grab the fan out of the closet in a minute. What’s up?”

A tapping sound echoed over the phone line, and Joy waited for her husband to answer.

“How’s your day been?”

“Pretty normal. Nate knocked his cereal onto the floor again, ripped up a book I planned on reading, and flooded the house.”

“Yeah.” Joy listened as Connor drew air through his teeth. “Martin invited me to go to the game tonight.”

“Oh! And?”

“I’d like to go. I’ll make it up to you.”

“You will, huh? How?”

“What would you like?”

“A clean house and a flat belly,” she said as she walked down the hall to the linen closet.

“How about a foot rub? The belly thing will sort itself out soon. One more month.”

“A month. Don’t remind me.”

Silence.

“So, what do you think?”

“I think you should decide.”

“Well, I’d really like to go.”

“I got that.” She wrapped the towel she’d gotten from the closet around Nate, whose whimpers increased. “When will you be home?”

“Probably by nine. I love you.”

“Love you, too. Have fun.”

Slumping next to Nate, Joy pulled him onto her disappearing lap. “If Daddy’s going to a football game, we can ignore cooking a real dinner. How about macaroni and cheese?”

Wisps of dried blond hair glided into the air and gently fell back to Nate’s head as he turned around and smiled at her. “Cheese,” he said with a smile.

“Yup, cheese.”

Sliding out from under her son, Joy waddled back to the flooded hall. She laid another towel on the wet carpet and knelt down, applying pressure to it as hard as she could. The idea of stepping on the towels seemed great until her sciatic nerve acted up. Kneeling was better. As the towel absorbed the last bit of puddling from the floor, Joy prepared to stand up. One foot worked its way underneath her, and she used it along with the wall to try and stand.

Sudden tremors took over her body as piercing pain tangled the muscles from her back to her feet. Rolling to her side and then to her back, Joy lay on the damp floor, until the pain subsided. How on earth would she get up now? She scooted her body to the bathroom threshold as the nerve screamed at her again. A twist to the left, and Joy no longer wondered how whales beached themselves. Seconds later, knees bent underneath her supporting her belly as she rested, before placing her hands on the molding of the doorway.

With both hands in place, she lifted herself from the floor, but before she recovered, a startling sound from the kitchen knocked her back down to her knees. Her time now limited by the unknown actions of her misera…terribl…active toddler, she pushed herself through the jolting pain. Each foot moved an inch at a time as she leaned against the wall, shuffling toward the kitchen. The pain slowly receded.

A deep breath led Joy around the corner, her eyes settled on the open fridge and her son’s wet backside. “Nathan, what are you doing?” He turned and stared at her, a wide smile across his face. A glob of deep yellow and clear goop landing on the floor. “No, no, no, no, no, no, not the eggs. Nate, not the eggs!”

Her beach ball-sized belly beat the rest of her to the latest destruction. Egg splattered the shelf, oozed into the drawer, and down to the floor, a dozen cracked eggshells floating lazily down a yellow-splotched river. “Oh, Nate.”

Knowing she should take a picture to laugh at later, she stood frozen, then decided a mental picture was enough. She brushed the hair off her forehead and forgot to smile as Nate reached his arms up to greet her. “This is not good, little man.” He protested as she strapped him into the high chair and washed the egg off him with wipes. The prospect of going near the bathtub…shivers ran down her spine.

“Football game, he had to go to the football game,” she muttered the words under her breath as she studied the mess, determining the best way to deal with it. “Ugh. Nate, buddy, next time go for the bread, or a banana, okay?”

Her thoughts returned to her latest dilemma. If she removed the shelf, she could reach everything else a little easier. Condiments found their way to other shelves, and she mopped up most of the egg from the shelf before removing it and placing it in the sink. Next, the drawer and the floor received a new shine as Joy scrubbed at the egg. Pushing the hair off her forehead again, she carefully gripped the fridge, ready to stand. It moved. Of course, it moved. Why wouldn’t it move? She shuffled her body over to the counter and heaved herself up from the floor, then waited for the rise and fall of her breathing to slow before stepping to the sink to clean the shelf.

Moments later, the shelf sparkled. Joy carried it, sliding one foot an inch across the tile, then the other. Her body jolted into the shelf, which crashed to the floor. Pebbled safety glass covered the kitchen. Groaning, she turned to the broom closet only to hear a loud explosion. Soda, from an unretrieved can, glued the glass to the floor and the food in the freezer to the shelves.

Her phone beeped. A text message.

I forgot my soda in the freezer this morning.

The broom fell to the floor. She pulled Nate out of the high chair. “Let’s go get dinner and play on the toys at McDonald’s.” Smiling at her son, she contemplated the situation out loud. “I think nine-thirty will be an excellent bedtime tonight.”

Before leaving, she texted Connor: You like explosions, right?

Download your FREE copy of Sometimes A Bird Has to Fly: my favorite flash fiction piece.

Book Review: Spinning Silk by T. Cook

T. Cook weaves Japanese mythology and women’s fiction together, creating one exquisite piece of literature in her debut novel Spinning Silk.

T Cook

Spinning Silk, written by T. Cook, transports readers back to a time of the Samurai when only nobles wore silk and peasants became slaves. Then, in a flash of fantasy so well-formed through mythology and the written word, reader’s find themselves believing the unreal to be true. Filled with the emotional gamut found in T. Cook’s novel, I found myself enamored and unable to put Spinning Silk down.

About Spinning Silk:

Furi lives anything but an easy life. Perhaps the most adept and creative silk weaver in all of Japan, she finds herself treated as a slave by her adoptive mother and then sold as a slave to a cruel woman who exploits her weaving talents to the brim. Though the beatings make life miserable, the pull of the loom keeps Furi creating for herself as much as for anyone else. Seven years she spends sprawled for punishment befitting the very masters who wield the whip, until Shin, a humble yet strange slave, comes as a gardener. Soon, illnesses and death surround Furi as much as Shin’s mysterious healing. When Furi finds herself alone, Madame Sato teaches her to live the life of nobility only to suddenly introduce Furi as her dead daughter. Searching for the truth of her existence, and hoping for love, Furi travels through the best and worst of emotions, creating and growing along the way.

My Thoughts:

T. Cook pulled me into her creation immediately with incredible prose and perfectly-written imagery. As a fan of fantasy, I know I can be pulled into other worlds but was uncertain about being pulled into Feudal Japan, and I hoped my limited knowledge of Japanese history wouldn’t distract from the story. My fears were unwarranted, as Cook painted an amazing picture. To help those who want more, she included explanations of the terms (found in italics) at the back of the book.

Not everyone loves fantasy, but I emphatically recommend Spinning Silk to readers of women’s fiction and romance novels, including those who don’t usually read fantasy. The fantasy is not overt, and life shines through more than mythical creatures, magic, or the like. Sorry, fantasy lovers, you won’t find a mage, and the dwarves stayed home with Snow White, but I promise you’ll love this incredible book anyway.

Spinning Silk does have some typos, and they are typos, not problems with word choice or lack of writing skills. They do not detract from the story at all. The novel is a clean read without the need for a disclaimer. It has immediately won a home in my library as a definite read-again-and-again. I can’t wait for the release of the second book, Shin.

More Info:

Purchase your copy of Spinning Silk on Amazon.
Follow T. Cook on Facebook and Twitter
Visit her website: www.tcookbooks.com

Learn more about me and download your free copy of Sometimes a Bird Has to Fly by visiting my website: kameomonson.com

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.