Sunday, September 9, 2018

Just Do It.

Summer is still kicking it hard here in North Carolina.

The temperature is beastly.

The sun is shining beyond brightly. It's literally (fine, I know. It's figuratively, but that's so much less fun to write!) melting us at sun to skin contact.

And me?

I'm finding my way through each transition of my life. One day at a time.

This post is more of a 'let's touch base about this one particular matter' and I'll tell you things that have been on my mind, than an actual, 'here's a piece about something heavy,' kinda post.


Let me start off saying one single word.


And then I'll defer directly to Kaepernick's IG post. Because it's a must-see.

And after that? I'm going to share my favorite. Because. Well, just look.

Serena is all the things, my friends.

She is ALL. The. THINGS.

Have you seen the jackasses who are burning their 3-day-old Nikes?

I can't believe the stupidity.

Guys. Men. Gentlemen (?).


The problem with this country hasn't always been what we see right in front of us.

How can I say that? - I'm sure you're wondering.

Because, you guys. I'm white.

Yes, I'm Jewish, and to some that's not white enough.

But as a white woman the hatred that is out there?

The insanity (I am a licensed mental health professional. I believe I have the authority to use this small statement wisely.).

It's not been up front and center all the time for white people to see.

But if you're not white? You knew. You know.

And you can tell us I told you so. (I can take it. I'm not sure about some of the snowflakes in your life, but hopefully by now you've weeded them all out!)

I'm hitting submit on this now as I know soon enough it'll be outdated. But you know what? I don't care. I still wanted to write it, and so I did. And so. Here it is. Here I am. Just ... thinking out loud.

Reminding you. Reminding myself. Reminding us all.

Do it.

Do whatever it is that you're afraid of.

Do whatever it is that's holding you back.

Do whatever it is that YOU feel is right, even if you're worried that the people in your life will think it is wrong.

Do it.

Just go on, friends. I've got your back. I see you. I'm here.

Just do it.

Because no matter what - you need to stay true to yourself.

So. Do it.

Today. Tomorrow. The next day.

Do it because you can and you need to. Not because anyone made you feel as though you *should*.




current events, Colin Kaepernick, Nike, Just Do It, #justdoit, do all the things, stay true to yourself

** I have no initial source for the image I'm using above. I found this a million years ago and popped it into one of my posts. And perfectly enough, I think it's an appropriate fit right here. So. Go on. Let me see what you can do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Other Woman, Sandie Jones


This book is one of my favorite books I've read this year.

And no, I'm not in the range of having read 100 books or anything like that. I've kind of given up on the dream there. I am taking it one page-turner at a time.

But you know I share books with you that I've read and loved. And then I share ones that I haven't read but want to, and expect to love. And I usually include affiliate/referral links, so if you buy them I make a few pennies off of recommending them to you (there are some throughout this post, by the way!). And I do sometimes receive a copy of a book that I review for you [yes, I did receive this one] - but if you know me the way I think you do - you already know this does not sway my feelings about the read. It has to be a good book to keep me interested. A good enough story to grab and hold onto my attention.

And The Other Woman? Does all of that and more.

And honestly, buy it with my link - don't - it doesn't matter! Get it from the library if you want. Borrow it from a friend. Me, if you're nearby (I have a hard copy right here next to me. Call dibs and it's yours!).

Just get it. You need to read it.

review, reading, fiction, Sandie Jones, The Other Woman, goodreads, Kindle, books, Fridayreads




Just do it.

It's the perfect beach read, pool read, commuter read, travel read, or just sit and curl up on your couch read, whenever you have the time.

It's a psychological thriller of sorts. A mystery you can't figure out. And even if you think you have? You're going to either be completely and utterly wrong, or right on the money and still really intensely ticked off. So maybe you're not going to be as blindsided as I was. But that doesn't matter. You'll still enjoy the read. It's a well-crafted story of characters you want to understand, but can't.

Until you can.

This debut novel will (mark my words) put Sandie Jones on the map.

What map? - you're surely asking yourself - and maybe me!

I don't know, exactly. But that's something that people say, right?

When we meet Emily she finds herself quickly smitten with Adam. She wasn't planning on it. Finding love out there. Finding chemistry. Lust. Attraction. All of it. She didn't expect it. But once she found it she had no intention of letting it go. Letting him go.

Adam's family is, well, they're interesting.

Don't hate yourself if you find that you're strangely attracted to his brother. It's weird. And manipulative. But still. I was.

And his mom? Pammie is a piece of work. Can't you tell already? Pammie. The future mother-in-law. Don't you already feel like she's going to be a thorn in the lovebirds' sides? I know. I feel you.

Emily is lucky, though. She has amazing friends. And I love when a female character has friends who care about her and look out for her, and are there when she needs them. And these are those kinds of friends.

The Other Woman is full of twists. Jones has you thinking one thing, questioning another, and then just about sure you hate everyone, completely. Even Emily herself, once or twice.

It's a fun read, and I think you'll absolutely enjoy it.

So, go forth and get your own copy. And then let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Diversify Your Personal Library With These New Releases

YA, read, books, recommendations, goodreads, young adult, nonfiction, fiction, cultural reads, diverse books

Looking to branch out beyond your usual reads?

Want to find ways to tackle your shelves and incorporate authors you've never heard of before?

Want to diversify your personal library?

Let me recommend a few recent releases you can add to your to-read shelves.

Links throughout this post bring you directly to a place where you can purchase the eBooks and thank you for using them, I'll make a few pennies towards the next book I buy when you do!

Diversify Your Library Today

fiction, reading, YA, young adult, books, recommendations, goodreads, diverse books

Children of Blood and Bone has been on my to-read list for a bit, and maybe it's not exactly described as a new release at this point, especially since I think there is a book #2 coming out soon and well, who knows? Y'all know I don't really do any type of series reads, but I may have to make an exception and finally get a copy of this one. I was kinda sorta waiting for the paperback to come out, because I feel like I need a hard copy of this and - well - so many books - never enough money! But now that I took a look, hmmn. The hardback is barely a dollar more than the paperback will be. Maybe I have to buy this one tomorrow ...

Retta, nonfiction, reading, books, recommendations, goodreads, diverse books, memoir

Confession time. I have not watched Parks and Recreation. I have also not watched whatever the new show is that Retta is on where she is a thieving housewife or something like that. But I adore her, because I HAVE watched Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce. And she is so so very good in that show. And so, because of that? I'm reading this right now. And I'm encouraging you to do the same. She's adorable and hilarious, and real. And she has a handbag addiction. So we're practically twins. Except hers are Coach and Berkin and, well, all the kinds mine are not. But still. We could so totally be besties anyway. Plus? Look at this title, friends. So Close To Being The Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know, is there any better title out there right now? I'm thinking not.

fiction, reading, books, recommendations, goodreads, diverse books, short stories, Jamaican stories,

Although she has been writing for some time, Alexia Arthurs has published her first book in How To Love a Jamaican. Filled with page after page of short stories, Arthurs doesn't ask for commitment. You can easily read one story at a time. But I have a feeling you're not going to want to. That you're not going to be able to put it down. Just head over and click the "look inside" option. Start reading the sample story. Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands. That's enough to get you hooked. It's that good. She's that good. 

fiction, reading, books, recommendations, goodreads, diverse books, cultural awareness

I'll admit, all of the good things I've heard about There There didn't jump out at me as I made my way through the prologue. I honestly thought to myself something like - oh no, I'm not sure I'm ready for a history lesson. But I kept going. And I'm still going. I can't give you a full review just yet, but I do understand why the story of these "twelve unforgettable characters" has stuck with so many. Dive into Orange's debut novel with me, and join these powerful characters in their lives as they try to determine what it really means to be who they are. 

fiction, reading, YA, young adult, books, recommendations, goodreads, diverse books

You guys? I really loved this book. It's just so so good. I can't explain the magic of it, but I can tell you that you need to get your hands on a copy. Emily X.R. Pan is just an author I know I'll be watching from this point forward. The mystical aspects of the story captured my imagination, but at the same time the characters held so much power in how they connected, argued, even, and found their way through the days of this story, that I related to them in such interesting ways. The Astonishing Color of After, is a must read. I don't use the phrase trust me often, but for this one? I might toss it out there if you asked me if I was certain.

fiction, reading, books, recommendations, goodreads, diverse books, mystery, murder

Because I read The Astonishing Color of After, Rainbirds has shown up repeatedly in book recommendations for me on a number of sites. From Amazon to Goodreads. My eye, of course, was drawn immediately to the cover. It's stunning. Bright and beautiful. Eye-catching doesn't do enough to describe it. A story that pulls us into the mystery of a murder, the drama of a family and its relationships, and relocates us (unless, of course, you already live there!) to Japan - Goenawan's novel has received accolades across the board. This is absolutely the next book I'm going to purchase, even though I'm trying really hard to start with the books I already own. So that has to say something, right?

fiction, reading, books, recommendations, goodreads, diverse books

The cover of this book has been enough to catch my eye repeatedly. It's been on a number of lists I've seen over the last month or so, and so I keep thinking I have already purchased it, which, honestly, the book hoarder that I am? - I may have. But I'm not sure. But I know I want to. What I already love about Crystal Hana Kim's first novel, is that it is written from the perspective of more than one character. If you know me and my reading style, you'll already know I love those kinds of books. Being in the minds of more than one character is something that fascinates me - from a writing perspective - and as a reader. That alone makes If You Leave Me a books I can't wait to dive into.

So, there you have it - a few of my recommendations to help you wrap up the summer, or kick off the fall, or get you through the winter - depending on how quickly you read!

Looking for more suggestions? I have MANY.

Spring 2018: 8 Must Read New Releases

The Best Fiction Books of 2017

The Perfect Winter Reads

6 Books for Nonfiction November

And please consider joining me on Facebook in my I Like Big Books group, where I share my favorite reads, and ensure that I post any deals I find for fellow readers like me. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Is There Anybody Out There?

Hello, dear friends.

Remember me?

Oh, how quickly they forget.

I'm Andrea.

Good Girl Gone Redneck.

I'm the blogger who you hear from now and again, the one - maybe - who you wonder about. You ask yourself, I wonder what books she's reading. I wonder if she's still on Whole30? Is she officially divorced yet?

Well, the answers to your questions will come!!!

I'm writing again.

I have to.

I miss it so much.

I hate that I ever stopped.

But I think that I needed to catch my breath.

I had been writing on and off throughout my separation from my husband and struggled with the emotions writing brought forth. I found it (and still find it) important to be open and honest with my friends. The rare few who subscribe to my site.

This is me.

I've been through a number of ringers over the past year and my hope is that I can find my way back to y'all in a way that makes me someone you enjoy reading. Someone you find you can relate to. And someone you find simply gets it. Gets you. Gets all the things, or at least offers you ways to help you get them for yourself.

And so, since I started this post a few days ago, I'm just gonna hit the ole publish button and say hey, okay? And if you're so inclined? Say hey back, wouldja? I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Lace up and Join Marathon Kids This Summer!

fitness, family workout, walking, emotional support, kid-friendly, exercise

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Marathon Kids.

My daughter and I are no strangers to walking around our neighborhood. Although lately she's more inclined to hop on her scooter while I walk behind, trying to catch up. I'd like to change that, and I'm hopeful that this summer could be the time that we do.

Evenings in North Carolina are often hot and sticky. And I know, it's kind of like that everywhere right now. But, some days you find the cooler temps taking hold and that that's the best time of the day to get out and MOVE.

I'm partnering with Marathon Kids this summer to help encourage moms and dads everywhere to engage our children in participating in their FREE Summer Walk and Talk Challenge.

This free challenge is a great way to not only get your kids moving, but to get them talking. And talking to YOU!