Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday Free Write: Welcome Home and What The Hello?

I'm home, y'all. 

New York. 

Hallelujah. Such a good feeling being home. 

Yes, North Carolina is home - certainly - but NYC will always be a part of me.

It's in my blood. It's who I am. It feels so good to be home, and I haven't even hit the "city" yet.

Right now I'm sitting in my mom's kitchen and our neighbors in the backyard are having a party. There's some old school music playing (I *may* have rocked out a bit on Snapchat!) and I'm loving this feeling that is home.

My kiddo and I are being complete goofballs.

So. Hours have gone by and it's 11:07 PM. And the neighbors are STILL playing their music. Which is lovely. And loud. And I *may* be too old for this sh*t.

Or just really really REALLY used to North Carolina, where noise ordinances are in effect and acted upon. Ehem. #justsayin

My free write has spanned over a few days and nights, which is why I'm currently in a Saturday Free Write kind of mind. And I'm also in a bit of a 'what the feck is going on in our world?' kind of mind, as well.

Because when I look at what has been happening in Charlottesville, VA? I feel so so sick.

Do you know what's happening? Have you looked at the news and read the Twitters?

You must. You must read all the things. You must inform yourself. Educate yourself. And be aware of the people out there who are not who you thought them to be.

I'm fortunate. Or - well - particular, maybe?

I haven't had to block or hide anyone. But I so wonder. What has happened to the 45-supporters that I knew of back in November? And January? And whenever else? Did they think this would happen? Did they expect this? What do they say? Do they denounce these individuals who are NOT people?

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they're in favor of this horror. I'm not. But I'm looking to hear them say the opposite. I'm looking to hear them talk AGAINST White Supremacists. The KKK. Nazi-like characters, who, you know what? They'd shun me (kill me? make me and mine obsolete?) as quickly as they would someone with different colored skin.

Gah. I didn't expect to write anything about this today. I wasn't sure I'd have the words.

I said as much on Facebook in different spaces.

This is not my America. But it has become our America.

And it is un-f*cking-acceptable.

Please raise your voice.

Use your platforms for good.

Support those who need you beside them.

Speak up.

Don't let hate win.


Talk to your children.


Let there be another Friday. And Saturday. And then some. For so so many.

Stay safe, America. I truly believe you still have some good left in you.


Prove me right.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Must Reads: Psychological Thrillers

These books will keep you on the edge of your seat and have you flipping through pages unable to go to sleep until you know what happens.

It's a seemingly new genre, one that takes over the more generic mystery read. One that gets into your brain a bit more. Maybe keeps you awake at night for long after you've finished reading.

As always there are affiliate links in this post that support Good Girl Gone Redneck's reading addiction. And yes, I did just use my blog name as if speaking about another person.

fiction, thrillers, reading, amreading, goodreads, book recommendations, psychological thrillers, crime novels, good books

These Psychological Thrillers Will Make You Miss Your Stop On The Subway!

The Good Girl - Mary Kubica

The Good Girl, Mary Kubica, fiction, thrillers, reading, amreading, goodreads, book recommendations, psychological thrillers, crime novels, good books

This book was one of my favorite reads of 2015. Mary Kubica quickly became one of my must-buy authors. As soon as her books come out they're in my home. Hard copies and everything. Which is why right now Every Last Lie is waiting for me to pick it up.

The Good Girl is intense and disturbing. It's a powerful read that you need to get through, even when you're angry enough to want to toss it across the room. Some reviews declare the ending the best part, which, as in some similar kinds of reads, isn't always true. You won't be disappointed in the way the story of Mia's kidnapping unravels and if you allow Kubica to lead you you'll follow the details until you think you've figured it out - but you haven't. Not yet.

The Breakdown, BA Paris, fiction, thrillers, reading, amreading, goodreads, book recommendations, psychological thrillers, crime novels, good books

This book was so intense I basically read it in one day. Yep. Twenty-four hours. As I mentioned in my recent What I've Been Reading post it was a page turner. Or swiper. It was just so so good. The main character of Cass is relatable and likable - or likable enough - even if you find yourself not liking her, you still want to know what is going on with her. And even if you think you know what's going on, or who is involved, you're going to want to keep reading until you find out the truth.

And with The Breakdown you'll find that your mind is twisted to the point that you're questioning your own thoughts and understanding of what's going on. It's a must read for this year. B.A. Paris has tweeted that her next book is underway, and though it's not yet available on Amazon anywhere except the UK, I'm introducing it to you anyway. Bring Me Back is the title of her next book. I'm already excited. Keep an eye out for it on her Amazon author page.

Everything You Want Me To Be, Mindy Mejia, fiction, thrillers, reading, amreading, goodreads, book recommendations, psychological thrillers, crime novels, good books

I was looking forward to picking up Mejia's Everything You Want Me To Be. I was not disappointed. It was an unexpectedly fantastic read. A well-written story that had me guessing and wondering and thinking I knew all the answers - until then maybe I didn't. I enjoyed how the story unfolded and how the unexpected crept in while I buzzed along. It's a perfect thriller to pick up when you're looking for that author you may not have heard of but want to check out because your friend (that's me!) told you to.

Into The Water - Paula Hawkins

Into The Water, Paula Hawkins, fiction, thrillers, reading, amreading, goodreads, book recommendations, psychological thrillers, crime novels, good books

I'm all about being honest with my readers, and in doing so I need to share that while I was reading Into The Water I thought that it was not necessarily my favorite of all the reads I've done in this genre. But the more I look back at the story the more I find myself sharing that it was a good read. It was twisty. It was sneaky. There were certain things I thought I knew, and then, well, nope. Hawkins left me questioning my own investigative process as a reader. So. I liked it. And I may have even surprised myself at just how much.

Kimberly Belle, The Marriage Lie, fiction, thrillers, reading, amreading, goodreads, book recommendations, psychological thrillers, crime novels, good books

I have to admit, The Marriage Lie is currently on my Kindle waiting for me. So it's a to-read, and obviously can't yet qualify as a favorite - but it's made the cut for this list. I have heard so many incredible things about this book and truly believe that it's going to be one of the standout hits of this year. What happens when you have so many incredible sounding books to read is that you shift and pick different ones and then miss the ones you've been itching to get to. But summer isn't over yet and my plan to tear through a few more titles before the leaves start to turn colors is still in place. And remember, I live in NC, so I have a lot more time than y'all do - our fall starts a little bit later - if at all!

Are You Sleeping - Kathleen Barber

Are You Sleeping, Kathleen Barber, fiction, thrillers, reading, amreading, goodreads, book recommendations, psychological thrillers, crime novels, good books

And, one more confession, I have not read this yet, either. But omg, the buzz about this book is everywhere! It's been touted one of the latest and greatest psychological thrillers. A murder. One described as a newsworthy crime. Deceit. Intense family relationships. Barber's got a real page-turner (what a strange description, I know, aren't ALL books essentially page-turners?) here for us. Are You Sleeping is my next purchase. And I think you should read it with me.

Looking for more book recommendations? Want to find a group of readers like yourself who love talking great books?

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10 Authors of Color To Add To Your Library

6 Powerful Nonfiction Books You Should Be Reading

Monday, August 7, 2017

I Woke Up Sad Today

grief, loss, loss of a pet, family, father, daddy, sadness, emotions, love,

I woke up sad today.

And it would be easy to say I didn't know why.

But I do.

I woke up sad because of many things.

I woke up sad because a short bit ago we had to say goodbye to our dog Dexter.

Our dog who we loved since he joined our family in 2003.

That's a really long time.

And then I felt heartbroken and lonely and crushed and emotional and pain. So so much pain.

And then the days went by and I still found myself missing him.

Not that I expected anything different.

I remind myself each day that he is at peace now.

I remind myself how loved he was. How loved he is. And how very much he meant to us and to those in our lives who knew and loved him.

I remind myself that he was the kindest and gentlest dog. How he walked around the house during playdates I held here - never once nudging a child the wrong way - never once snapping or growling or baring teeth.

I remind myself that I was so so lucky. To have found a pup like this one.

And it was his time. It was time to go. It was time to hold him tightly more than once and remind him of how very loved he was and will always be.

I woke up sad today.

I realize I'm sad for more than one reason. I acknowledge this. Often.

My life has taken many turns over recent months.

And these turns have reminded me more than ever how very much I miss my father.

Tomorrow would have been my dad's birthday.

He would have been 70.

He was supposed to be here.

He was supposed to turn 70.

He was supposed to laugh and smile and make silly jokes and ask my daughter to pull his finger. He was supposed to be here for me to roll my eyes at and say things like, "enough with the finger!".

He was supposed to be here to hold me during some of the toughest times of my adult life.

He was supposed to be here because he wasn't supposed to go.

And maybe it makes no sense to compare losing a father to losing a dog - and I'm not doing that - not exactly. But perhaps I'm realizing that with my dog I got to say goodbye, and with my father I did not.

Because yesterday when talking to my mom and skimming through Facebook memories I realized that August 6, 2013 was the last time I saw my dad. The last time I hugged him and held him. The last time he squeezed my daughter tightly. The last time.

Of all the last times.

And so, I join the two today. Because there's something in me that makes it better to consider the two of them together. On long walks where my dad doesn't have to clean up after Dexter, and where Dex smells cigarette smoke and recognizes exactly who it's coming from.

And I miss them both, in completely different ways, but still - I miss them.

And so.

I woke up sad today.

grief, loss, loss of a pet, family, father, daddy, sadness, emotions, love,

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Free Write: Good Eats

free write, writing, amwriting, good eats, great food, Durham, NC, southern living, southern comfort food

So. I know. It's another Friday. In case you haven't noticed, I've been working pretty hard around here. I finally got my new header live. I'm excited about this. I love it. It's got the look and feel I've wanted to have over on my site for a while. A lonnnnng while.

Unfortunately, the template/format isn't exactly the way I wanted, but I worked on it for a hot minute the other morning and pulled something together. It's not perfect, but it's going to be. Whenever I find my way back to perfection, or something.

Anyway, today's post is a free write about some good eats. Including pictures.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Free Write: What I've Been Reading

reading, writing, fiction, nonfiction, book recommendations, what to read, find yourself, writing freely

You know how last week I said that book posts were impossible to write? This one isn't horrible. It's me just telling you what I've been reading.

I've been on a reading tear, mostly because my emotions are shot to hell and because I'm looking to escape.

There. I said it. I'm being 100% honest with you.

And so. Happy Friday to y'all. Let's talk books for a minute or two.

Disclaimer: Please note, as always, any links to Amazon copies of these books are affiliate links. If you use them to purchase these (or any other) books I'll earn a few pennies towards my next reads. So thanks for supporting my addiction!

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