Another Epic Fail from The Life and Lies

We all got sick. I had a 100.4 fever, Hannah had a stomach thing on the metro, Carly started coughing, Ethan has a scratchy throat, and dad's got some thing in his throat that is sore. So we packed up and came home. I didn't go into DC once…

such is the life and lies of an inanimate flying object.

good to be home. :)

Family Vacation to Washington DC Day 2

Just now got connected to the internet. Posted last night's diary entry a few minutes ago.

I couldn't move when I got up. Stayed in bed all day. cold sweat. no fever.

Still sucks to be me right now

If I don't get better by tomorrow, I miss the Library of Congress tour. (which is the whole reason I didn't let mom and dad cancel/postpone/leave me at home. I must see those books.)

get well get well get well…

yeah. so that was about it for today.

Family vacation is turning into "mathiots-except-haley-vacation."



Family Vacation to Washington DC Day 1

Ok. Under normal circumstances I don't mind traveling. I don't mind my knee killing me because it's squashed up next to piles of books and knitting and mp3 players. I don't mind my family on car trips, even though constant questions about irrelevant things from the back (Ethan) and utter confusion mixed with complete understanding of where on earth are we (mom and dad) and sisters that –for some reason—always try to give you a hug… get annoying. (not that I have a problem with hugs. Just all the time is like "dude gimme some space plz.")

except that I'm sick.

and I minded this morning. and to be true to my vampire t-shirt, it sucked.

However we are now at our guest home. We are staying with some wonderful people, the parents of two very dear friends of ours whom we met in church and who have a BEAUTIFUL little baby girl whom I haven't gotten a chance to hold yet. Must get better so when they come home I can hold her.

Yeah, the cold… Not sure what it is, not sure how bad it is. extremely sore body plus the worst week possible for traveling (if ya know what I mean) added into that just didn't make my day.

Tomorrow we (me included, unless I can't get up) are going to one of the churches out in DC. I don't remember what it's called, but the pastor started "9 marks of a healthy church." it's an organization that… I don't remember what it does but it has something to do with like minded churches.

I did get to read a little in the car, though. I read some Anna Karenina, Magickeepers, and hannah stole (temporarily) We Hear The Dead (which I've started and it's REALLY COOL!!). I also got a chance to work on a certain pair of mittens that I just haven't had time to work on…

The room I'm staying in is all patriotic. There's pictures of a soldier (I know him and his wife. They're so cute together!) all over the place. It's kinda crazy staying in someone else's room. She doesn't live here anymore, but I can see bits of her mind all over in the decorations and pictures.

I love and respect our military. But I could never marry a military man… he'd be gone all the time… sigh.

Anyway. That's what's going on in my head right now. My knee hurttssssssss. ouch. I'm going to have knee replacement by the time I'm 40! gah.

No soldiers. Better marry a doctor or a physical therapist…



Homeschool Graduation!

The graduation… what every high school student dreams about… except the homeschoolers. Because, honestly, after 18 years of our parents teaching us, we're pretty darn ready to be done. We don't want a diploma. We don't want a ceremony. We just want to GO TO COLLEGE!

But we put up with it anyway. Because homeschool graduation is really all about the parents. My mom kept saying "I'm so happy I didn't screw you up too badly!" and "We made it! We did it!" which of course translates to "Thank God it's over!"

So we showed up in our gowns and hats and sat in the stinky hot youth room until it was time to walk in—very slowly—to whatever the title of that traditional graduation walking ceremony song it is. And I mean slow, slow. They made us go in, one ever eight count.

Hey, there were only fourteen of us. We had to make it last longer than fifteen seconds.

So two students did a flute-piano duet, two more did an electric guitar duet, two more did a guitar/singing duet. (My dance wouldn't fit on the stage, so we moved it until the reception.)

Then each student was called up, one at a time, with their parents.

See, for homeschoolers, ever student goes to a different "School" because each family is their own school, so the parents would give the diplomas. I had forgotten to tell my dad that he could say "a few words of sentimental value" to me onstage… and of course remembered as soon as I sat down.  He made something up off the top of his head, managed not to make a complete fool of me, and I kept my eyes reasonably dry. (I can't say the same for mom. But then she started tearing up when I handed her the fake rose). He said something about it being a long eighteen years, and thank you for letting us experiment on you… Well, they got it on video tape, so I'll have to watch it again.

At the reception, I did my dance. It was pretty good… for only having practiced for about eight or nine days, for half an hour a day. (Remember I quit in December of 2008 and haven't danced since).

So if you want to see pictures (and the video of the dance, the special music singer, and mom forgetting to take the camera off of Video setting) click here.


Review and Tour: Imortalis Carpe Noctem

Imortalis Carpe Noctem by Katie Salidas
Genre: Vampire, Romance
ISBN: 9780984419609
Rating: 4

Alyssa never asked to become a vampire, but when handsome Lysander changes her in order to save her from two brutal rapists and murderers, she is forced to live with his decision. She soon learns the history of her new kind, her new abilities, and starts falling head over heels for her handsome savior. But just when things look like they can't be all that bad, the strongest known coven--whose leader has been holding a grudge against Lysander--and the most dangerous group of vampire hunters on earth show up. Now Alyssa has to use her newly found skills to save herself--and the man she loves.

I really enjoyed Imortalis Carpe Noctem. I tore through it in a few hours, and regretted having to put it down. It was very addicting and fast paced, especially the action scenes at the end, quite entertaining, and not to over-dramatic.

Imortalis was, in some ways, a typical vampire novel: having to escape would-be-vamp-rulers, running from vampire hunters, falling in love with a handsome vampire. The thing that made it worth reading was the characters and their emotions. They had so much character to them, and Alyssa's feelings were so real and—pardon me, human—that they were incredibly relatable. I felt like I was Alyssa, I could feel her pain and her joy, her love and her loss.

The writing was pretty good, except there was some careless editing and misuse of comas. They were everywhere they shouldn't be for some reason, as if the computer put them in willy-nilly. It wasn't so much of a distraction that I couldn't enjoy the book, however.

I am anxiously awaiting the sequel Imortalis: Hunter & Prey as well as Salidas' other upcoming novels.

Content: little language, some sex.

Recommendation: Ages 18+

Imortalis Carpe Noctem is on tour with Pump Up Your Book! Check out the other tour stops here.



ooooh I'm so proud of myself

Ok so I set up my new website so that you can connect with facebook. How awesome is that?


Ch-ch-check it out.


Review: Donner the Western Dragon

Donner the Western Dragon: A Hero's Tale by Suzanne Davis Marion, Illustrated by Marj Hales 
Genre: Children's
ISBN: 9781439252048
Rating: 5

Donner isn't like the other dragons. The other dragons play and use their fiery breath all day long. Donner prefers to play with his friend, Una the Unicorn. He doesn't use up his fire every day. All the other dragons make fun of him. His brother is embarrassed and his father is ashamed. But Donner doesn't cave to their taunts. Then one day all the unicorns and dragons except Donner go into a cave and play. But the ice breaks and traps them inside. All the dragons have used their fiery breath in their games, and they can't get out. Donner is the only one who can save them, and because he saved his fire for the right time and the right place, he becomes their savior and their hero.

Donner the Western Dragon is a great story focused on not caving to peer pressure, and not being afraid of doing what is right. The illustrations are beautiful colorful watercolors. Donner will enchant kids ages 4+



It's coming…

Switching all my content over. Wow. I didn't realize I had over 100 reviews... doing one month at a time.


I think this will work...

The blog does have an RSS feed, and I'll post updates there, but not the reviews themselves:

just copy and paste it into your reader.



In the middle of a major decision

Bloggers often try to decide if they should move their blog to another hosting site… I am doing the same. One of the reasons is that depressing "Followers" widget. You can't just uninstall it. Mine says over 300 followers. I do not have 300 readers.

So over the next few months I'm going to be making the move to I've used webs since 2004, it's reliable, and free, and easy to use. This website will stay intact, but eventually it'll have a redirect script to get you to the new one. All reviews/interviews/posts will be transferred to the new site. I won't be posting anything but reviews, interviews, and bookish stuff on the new site. This blog will be personal things only… and I may even delete it.

The reason for this is to separate my being a teenage college student away from professionalism in book blogging and writing… and, because Blogger is always giving me nothing but problems.

The switch will happen some time in September, when I go to college. I'll also have a new review policy and FTC disclaimer.

The reviews will be set up in a forum, so you'll still be able to comment, and I'll still (hopefully) have some discussion topics. But it will be easier to organize and navigate.

Just letting you know. Also, since it won't be an rss feed, you won't really be able to "subscribe" or "follow." you will, if you want to, be able to "sign up," since it is a forum hosting designed to be a social networking site, and you can always check the home page and look at the updates, but I need it to be more professional, mostly for my own benefit.

I hope you understand my reason for doing this. Again, it won't happen until September (I'm aiming for 9/1) but just letting you know ahead of time.

If you want to, you can sign up right now. If you sign up, the only thing that will happen is once a month, you'll get an e-mail notification of the reviews/interviews that I've posted for that whole month. I won't spam you, I won't notify you for every review. the site is

Thanks for understanding.


Interview: Helen Ellis

I'm pleased to welcome Helen Ellis, author of The Turning to The Life and Lies today! The Turning was published May 1st through Sourcebooks.

1. Why and when did you begin writing?

I seriously began writing in the 11th grade. My teacher came up with an exercise called “Elbow Garbage”, which is when you write with a pen on a piece of paper without stopping, no matter what you write, until your elbow hurts. You reread and always find something worth salvaging.

2. What inspired you to write The Turning: What Curiosity Kills?

I had a dream that I looked in my medicine cabinet mirror and saw that my face was not my own. It was inhuman. And very, very furry.

3. How did you come up with the title?

The series title, “The Turning,” is the name of the condition that affects my character and others for five years from the age of sixteen to twenty-one. Needless to say, Mary turns into something.

4. What books or people influenced your writing? Was it positive influence, or negative?

I once had a beau break up with me because he thought something I wrote was disturbing. I can’t remember what it was that got him so upset. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the beau’s name! Read The Turning and you’ll see that his rejection did not censor my creativity.

5. How do you go about researching for your books?

No research whatsoever. If I don’t know it, I make it up!

6. Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Yes. I based the parents of Mary and Octavia on myself and my husband, Lex.

7. What’s the most exciting part about being a published author? What is the hardest part?

Nowadays, the most exciting and hardest part of being a writer is navigating cyber space. Believe it or not, I do not, nor will I ever, own a cell phone. I’m a bit of a Luddite. Check out my website and watch my video blog, “Diary of a Luddite.” You can learn how to use a rotary phone, a typewriter, an agenda book…the list goes on and on!

8. Do you have any other books planned in the future?

Yes, Book 2 of The Turning: Swing the Dead.

9. Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

YOON! I love Yoon, the bad boy who lives life “on the fence.”

10. What advice can you give to young writers who want to publish their books?

Do not ever give up. Between my first published novel, Eating the Cheshire Cat, and The Turning, I spent ten years writing three novels, which were all rejected by publishers. It’s hard, but the only one who can keep writing despite failures is you.

Just for fun:

1. What are your ten most favorite things?

Lex, Shoney, and Big Boy. Poker, jigsaw puzzles, and crossword puzzles. Reading, reading, reading and Dancing with the Stars!

2. What do you do when you’re not writing.

See above favorite things

3. Do you have any pets?

Two tuxedo cats, Shoney and Big Boy, who you can see in the banner of my website, Tune in April 21 to see the video “Diary of a Luddite: How to teach your cat to answer the phone.”

4. What are your favorite (and least favorite) foods?

Favorite: Keftethakia (Greek meatballs)

Least favorite: organs

5. Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

At my green fold-out secretarial desk.

6. Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

Grande iced latte in a venti cup with extra, extra ice.

7. If you could go anywhere in the whole world, either for a vacation or to live there, where would you go?

Vacation: New Orleans (where in the 1700’s my first relative, an orphaned Irish girl, came to live in St. Ursuline’s, a convent)

To live: New York City (where I live now)

8. What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?

Favorite: Creative Writing

Least Favorite: Chemistry

9. What book are you reading right now?

Roses by Leila Meacham – big Southern romantic saga!

You can see the cover on my website, “Diary of a Luddite: How to enjoy a library book.”

10. Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I have a glass jar of tiny plastic babies and cotton balls in my medicine cabinet.

Thank you Helen! Check out my review of The Turning and the tour schedule for Helen's stops here.



Review: The Turning

The Turning: What Curiosity Kills by Helen Ellis
Genre: YA, paranormal, romance

Rating: 4

Mary Richards always knew she didn't fit in exactly with everyone else, but she always attributed that to the fact that she and her sister were adopted. But when her long time crush suddenly starts showing interest in her, she randomly starts sleeping and purring in class, and she starts to turn into a cat, she knows things are never going to be the same.

I was instantly pulled into The Turning. The story starts and progresses quickly, and I read the whole thing in one day, almost fully in one sitting. It's the kind of book that you don't realize you've gotten to the next page, or the next chapter, and before you know it, you're done… but the adventure was so engaging, you forgot who you were for a while, because you were living solely in the character's shoes.

The writing was casual, but good. I rarely felt out of place or confused by what had just occurred. One of the only things that really bothered me about this book was the fact that Nick and Mary's relationship was very fast, and seemingly out of nowhere but lust. The ending, also, didn't quite have enough closure on the relationship aspect, nor on the actual story. It directly after the final exciting scene, with no smooth curve down. My heart was still racing when I got to the last page, and I felt like it should have lasted a little longer. Lastly, I wasn't sure if this book was for pre-teens, ages 12-14, or older. It would probably appeal to both age groups.

My favorite part was watching the characters show themselves for who they were. Yoon being more than what meets the eye, Octavia confessing her secrets and being willing, for love, to face her fears, and all the others, too. They were all very unique. I loved the characters and their interaction and dialogue.

Overall, I enjoyed The Turning, and look forward to the rest of the series.

Content: Some language, no sex

Recommendation: Ages 14-18, or if offended by language 16+

The Turning is on tour with Sourcebooks! Check out the other tour stops for more reviews:

My 5 Monkeys

Tempting Persephone

Grasping for the Wind

Write for a Reader

Books and Literature For Teens

Anna’s Book Blog

Guest Post


My Over Stuffed Bookshelf

My Friends and my Blog

The Book Scout


Mundie Moms


Book Revues

Never Ending Shelf

Book Lover Carol


Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology


KCBooks From Mom to Author & Everything in Between


Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks

The Ultimate Edward Cullen Fansite


Beth Fish Reads


So Many Books So Little Time




Review and Tour: My Heart and Soul

My Heart and Soul by Marilyn Randall
Genre: Inspirational, Poetry

Rating: 4

Randall has done something scary and risky: She has taken her interior monologue, her thoughts, her hopes and dreams, insecurities, fears, loves and hates, and written them out into long picturesque poems for the world to see. Many people could never expose themselves the way she has… But it is appreciated.

It was encouraging to read her works, to get inside her head. It was uplifting to see the trust and the security she has in God, and encouraging to know that there are people out there who feel like you do. She wrote about painful subjects like cancer, doubt, death, but also had some more touchy subjects like fear of never being loved again, racism, and sex—though she did it all in a way that doesn't feel uncomfortable. She also wrote about joy and peace and love, and hope in Christ.

I greatly enjoyed these poems, and have found myself flipping through the pages on several occasions, just re-experiencing the things she has to say and the experiences she has to share. My Heart and Soul is well worth the buy.

Content/Recommendation: There are "adult" topics in My Heart and Soul, as I mentioned above. Ages 16+

Marilyn Randall is on tour with Pump Up Your Book. Click here to see an interview, and an excerpt and tour schedule here.



Review: The Brothers of Gwynedd

The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter

Genre: Historical Fiction


I really hate writing negative reviews. However… I cannot lie, and I cannot force myself through another page of this book. I will be honest.

This book was very hard to read. I understand it was written in 1970, (It's being re-released) and was written to match the time period… it is very eloquent and old writing. However, the majority of the three-inch long paragraphs were made of two or three run-on sentences, and at the end there were fragments pushed in.

It's not intimidating—though it is long, I love long books… they last longer!—it was just tiring. I couldn't get past page 12 (and in size 9 font with 1/4 inch margins… that's more like 20 or 30 pages in mass market paperback). The writing was hard to read, hard to comprehend, and exhausting. A book should not be exhausting.

The Brothers of Gwynedd book 1 is on tour with Sourcebooks this week. It got majority of 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon (different edition, same story) and Goodreads. Please check out the rest of the tour stops or other reviews and see what they have to say.

May 17 Reviews

The Burton Review

The Bibliophilic Book Blog


A Reader's Respite

History Undressed

Linda Banche Blog

A Hoyden's Look at Literature

Royal Reviews

May 18 Reviews

Between the Pages

The Broken Teepee

Books and Coffee

Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Tanzanite's Shelf and Stuff

Passages to the Past

The Book Faery

A Girl Walks Into a Book store

Martha's Book shelf

May 19 Reviews

Beth Fish

Deb's Book Bag

Book Tumbling

A Work in Progress

Stiletto Storytime

Queen of Happy Endings

May 20 Reviews

The Literate Housewife

Reading Adventures

Books Like Breathing

Kailana's Written World

Confessions of a Muse in the Fog

Wendy's Minding Spot

Mrs. Q Book Addict

The Life and Lies of a Flying Inanimate Object

Starting Fresh

May 21 Reviews

Loving Heart Mommy

Peeking Between the Pages

Celtic Lady's Ramblings


One Literature Nut

The Book Tree

My Reading Room

May 23 Reviews

Carla Nayland's Blog



I thought I missed the rapture!

You know how when you first start learning about the end times, you always say "I hope Jesus comes back in my time, because then if I'm not really a Christian I'll know for sure, and have time to change before I die?"

(at least that's what I thought when I was six.)

Well… let's just say today was pretty darn scary for me.

It started off like this: I went to work and dad came over to me and said "go home, mom needs the car, she'll drop you off here and go run her errands."

So I went home. Nobody was there. The lights were out, all four of them (mom and the three kids) were gone. Yogi (dog) was hyper and running all over the place. Bagherah (cat) was sitting on the back step freaking out over something.

I was thinking "Oh…. My…. God. I missed the rapture."

Now I was thinking in the back of my head "no……..I'm sure I'm saved." I looked around for the house phone (it was gone) and Hannah's phone (it was gone) and mom's phone (it was gone.)

I realized "either they got a ride from the neighbors… or they… took their phones to heaven? wut??"

So I got back in the car and drove back to work. Now normally I'd have been ok, but there was hardly a car in the street. I looked across the street where there was a Christian school directly across from us. I didn't see anyone out there save one or two people. I kept looking for lots of people. There weren't many.

I got back to work, parked, and practically ran in to the store. As soon as I heard my dad's voice I started breathing again. I know for sure, if anyone on earth is a Christian, my dad is him.

Dad was laughing at me as I ran up. "They're not there, are they?"

"No, I walked in and nobody was there… Dad, I thought I missed it."

"The rapture?"


"Don't worry. I'm still here."  I gave him a hug.  "They called and said they walked to Almond Tree Cafe."  he said after I let go of him and dried my eyes. I was laughing so hard I was crying a little bit.

I rolled my eyes and left to go get them. When I arrived and walked in, there they were, sitting in the corner. I must have had a smug look of some kind on my face, because mom burst out laughing. "I called you when we decided to come over here, but you don't have your own phone, so I called the house phone."

"The house phone isn't at the house."

"Yes… it started ringing… Carly had it!" I looked at Carly, who winced under my sarcastic glare. "Carly said 'sorry…' and we started talking about how you'd get home and everyone will be gone. Then Carly said 'she'll think she missed the rapture!' "

Well… I guess it was a good laugh.

But then it's also a scary reality. Many people claim Christianity, and few have it. Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." The fact that we've been studying apostasy in the church for the past few weeks didn't help either. It drove something home for me: Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Because unlike the last days, there will be no "mark" on us Christians in this time.

Moral of the story… Always have a phone with you.

No, it's not. Work out your salvation.

(but it doesn't hurt to have a phone on you).


Call me a nerd, or call me chicken salad.

You know what that's from, right? (the last part, anyway…)

I'm trying to decide if I should write my next essay about Solar Eclipses, or Comets. They're both pretty, and they're both cool… but until I decide I won't write anything.

 solar2520eclipse halley's comet

mass vote! tell me which you want to learn about… or at least which is prettier. Then I can start working again.

Yes it's summer break and yes I don't have to write an essay but I want to… I like writing essays.

and I like space.

so yeah.

(can you tell the coffee hasn't kicked in yet this morning? I'm back to my rambling-self.)


Review: In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight: Seeing God's Signature Throughout Creation by Charles R. Gordon, M.D.

Genre: Devotional, inspirational

Rating: 4.5

As an artist, a writer, and a creator, God has left His fingerprints in His work. Look at an eyeball… now look at gold particles. Look at a cabbage leaf… now look at blood vessels. One of my favorite comparisons: The birth of a cell, a nebula in space. A cell is so small… a nebula is so big. Both are small or big to the point that we really can't wrap our minds around how small and big they are… and yet the similarities are striking.

Gordon has created a beautiful book with 40 days of photographs and daily devotions, scripture verses, and some thought provoking questions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through his thoughts and devotional guides. This book really opened my eyes to what was meant when God said that He had clearly exposed himself in creation, so that man had no excuse.

In Plain Sight was a joy to explore, and left me with a whole new way of looking at God's creation.

Recommendation: This book would be great for a family devotion, a small group, a Bible study, or an individual of any age. I would recommend keeping a notebook to answer the questions, and instead of reading the one verse in the text, read the paragraph or chapter that it came from, for the sake of keeping the verses in context.



Library Lounge Lizard blogoversary

LLL is having it's first birthday! I adore this blog and blogger. She's giving away ARC's (unless otherwise mentioned) of:

Love and Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Hardcover)

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen

A Whole Nother Story by Cuthbert Soup

Almost Perfect by Brian Catcher

Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters

Beautiful by Amy Reed

Wicked: Resurrection by Nancy Holder

Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri, Dina Nayeri

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

The Summer I got a Life by Mark Fink

Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga

Num8ers by Rachel Ward

Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana (Hardcover)

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

How to Ruin Your Boyfriends Reputation by Simone Elkeles (paperback)

My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

Duplikate by Cherry Cheva

Espressologist by Kristina Springer (Hardcover)

Evil? by Timothy Carter (paperback)

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz

Wicked 2:Legacy and Spellbound by Nancy Holder (Paperback)

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Exit Strategy by Ryan Potter (Signed Paperback)

Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Gift card will be in the amount of $20 to the bookseller of your choice!


and swag. and other stuff.

Contest ends May 31. Go enter!!!


Review: No Hope for Gomez

No Hope for Gomez by  Graham Parke
Genre: Fiction, Humor

Rating: 4

From Goodreads: It's the age-old tale:
Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly. When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog.

What Gomez isn't ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, his neighbor boiling salamanders on his balcony at midnight, the super sexy lab assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science. But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced illusions, he decides it's time to go underground and work out a devious plan.

I love a book that makes me laugh. I love a book with funny quirky characters. I loved No Hope for Gomez. I don't think I can fully express how funny this book was.

Gomez was hilarious: his interior monologue was just as entertaining as his dialogue, his plans and his processes of carrying them out were funny to watch unfold, even his hopeless situations were funny, though in a slightly pathetic way. I kept thinking "This poor guy! hahaha…" He's so romantically awkward and totally inexperienced. I am pretty sure he was on the autism spectrum, which, in case you don't know, always makes a book more interesting. I was a little sorry for the poor doctor whom he was convinced he was in love with…

As far as the plot, it was intriguing. I couldn't stop reading it: one, because it was so peculiar, and two, because it was interesting. Near the end it became extremely exciting. The writing fit the character: quirky and full of personality. Because it was so perfect for the character, I can't really say it was good or bad, just right.

Content: some language, mention of sex but no scenes.

Recommendation: Ages 13+

Graham Parke is touring with No Hope for Gomez with Pump Up Your Book. Check out the rest of the tour for an interview with Parke, an excerpt, and the rest of the tour stops.



I got mad today

Today when I walked into my library I saw an amazing sight: There were TWO (not one, but two) copies of a brand new book.

Now, most of the time that would not be that exciting. But see our library doesn't have a lot of new stuff. Lately we've been getting stuff in, which makes me happy. They had a budget freeze for a while. Of course, I'd rather them get new books in than be able to hire another employee… (mutters to herself)

That book that I saw, was FANG by James Patterson.

I debated if I should check it out, because I am scared to read Fang. I read the inside cover and almost cried. I put it back. There are still two copies of that book on the shelf.

I am thinking I will have to leave the Maximum Ride series because I am furious at Patterson. I don't want to read the book because of what he's doing. Quite a few people have told me that I should read it but I don't think I could handle it. Hey, this is me, I couldn't get past chapter eight of Wuthering Heights. I am a sucker for happy endings. FANG and Wuthering Heights both are not happy sounding.

Anyway, I'm mad.

I did, however, get two new audiobooks. I'm also listening to Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter right now, and on the search for a good Dracula.

so that's enough ranting for now, Haley……

Quick note

My sister Hannah has pneumonia. Please say a quick prayer for her.

I know I missed a tour date today, I am very sorry. What with Hannah being sick and dad needing me at work today instead of her, I didn't get a chance to post much of anything.

Again, pray for her. Thanks.


Random pictures that I have forgotten to post lately.

So yeah, this one is for all my friends and family who keep up with my blog, and maybe my internet stalker—you know who you are—hopefully these will satisfy you for a while.

Except the stalker. Hopefully these will freak you out and you'll leave me alone.

I love curls. I wish my hair was curly. Long, thick, deep red, and curly. Sadly I have  medium length, thin, tattered and torn brown hair that can't decide if it's straight or curly, because it all depends on the humidity that day, so it's really more like frizzy.

But I have used curlers before and they usually work. Plus they only take a half hour, where an iron takes 2 full hours.


Went to sleep. Woke up.


And this is what happened… not exactly what I had in mind. I ended up pulling it all into a ponytail in the back and it looked great. Hannah said I looked like a sheep. Ben said I made him laugh. Ok, well as long as I make a few people happy in the process of making myself out as a fool, I'm ok with that… :)


This is my beautiful mommy, wearing the hat I made her for Christmas… that I finished in March…


Pictures from Prom #2:

DSCN0440 I sewed sheer ribbon straps on my dress because the last prom was… in all honesty, a nightmare.


This is Hannah's Marilyn Monroe look


Hannah and me.


We ran out of gas and I had to pump in the dress… I was really scared I'd drip on it! I was a little annoyed because the machine wouldn't work DSCN0466

Hannah and her nymph-like self

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and me


Mothers day!!!

My beautiful mommy <3

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Ethan has a tradition of getting mom a card that has something to do with monkeys… this one was perfect.

We also have had this tradition of saying, on every single mothers day, "we got you a puppy!" when she asks what we got her. So this year… we got a stuffed golden retriever that looks like our dog Yogi. She loved it.

Keep in mind we've been saying this since we were old enough to talk, and this was the first year she actually got one.

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I gave her an epic card. It said:

"mom, I thought about you today while I was playing with my food, after spoiling my appetite with cookies, then leaving my clothes on the floor, before blindly following whatever it was my friends were doing...  God I love being a grown-up!"

I DSCN0504 DSCN0505  DSCN0507 

Dad also found a monkey card. I can see the beginning of a new tradition…

That's all for now, folks.


Book Battle Round 1 Bracket 8

I partnered with Margaret from For the Love of Books (who, btw, has a REALLY cool blog.)  to judge two books from The Shady Glade book battle. We judged

The Agency: A Spy in the House    and   Hex Hall.
  the agency






The winner is… HEX HALL.


There are a few reasons I liked Hex Hall better than The Agency. They were both fantastic books and I loved them, but sometimes the smallest things matter most in choosing the better of two things.

When I started reading The Agency, it felt slightly melodramatic what with the whole "welcome to the secret secluded agency" thing. It felt like they were trying to be over-serious. Hex Hall felt realistic and more relaxed, even if in reality it was more serious.

The main reason was the characters. Even halfway through The Agency I wasn't particularly sure if I liked Mary. You know how sometimes you are several chapters in and you can't quite remember the main character's name? That was the case with Mary. I didn't remember her name until maybe a quarter of the way through the book.

Sophie, on the other hand, was real and in my head seconds after opening the book. I liked her right away, and I liked the way she thought. I'll admit I have a soft spot in my reader's heart for sarcasm, and Sophie found it.

I loved both of these stories, but if I had to pick one that I would buy or re-read, it would be Hex Hall.

Check out The Shady Glade for the rest of the competition!




Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.