• Em Shotwell

January (new year. new format.)

January Reading List: Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill

This book was delicious. The stories were varied and often strange (in the best way possible) and all of them made me think. The worlds were lush and the characters interesting and somehow Ms. Barnhill managed all this within the limited real estate of short stories. I highly recommend this one. Five stars.

Sadie by: Courtney Summers

I am currently reading this book for my bookclub and am already pulled in. I am not even half way finished but I am betting this book will be one that I recommend. Check back here (or goodreads) for my review.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

I was a fan of the television show so you can imagine how happy I was to discover that the show is based on a series of books! I cannot wait to dig into this one. Review to come. In the meantime check out goodreads to see if this one is for you.

Hi lovelies!

I hope 2019 finds you well. I have big goals for this year and cannot wait to tackle them head on. One of my goals is to pay more attention to this sorely neglected blog of mine, and the way I am going to do that is to change the format. Cool, huh? No? Well, it is cool to me. Of course I will try and keep it updated with big news as it is available, but if you want to stay in the know, then I suggest joining my facebook group, and/or my newsletter. The links for both are on the home page.

Keep an eye on the blog for monthly book recs, project updates, and exciting news! Or maybe I will just post a story about my puppy, Gryffindor. Okay- I will definitely give book recs. And most likely puppy stories. Or at least pics.

What have I been up to?

Oh man have I been busy! We finally sold our home and moved (mostly) into our new one. I say mostly because we are still living out of boxes at the moment (in fact, the carpet installers are here right now, working on the kids' rooms floors). We closed on the new house a few days after Christmas, and readers, listen to me when I tell you that is the soonest I have ever taken down my Christmas tree. My husband tried to convince me before hand that it would be too stressful to even put up a tree, but me being who I am, I wasn't having it. I love Christmas. It is magical and the whole season is my favorite time of the year...besides, my kids are growing at a rapid, ungodly rate and I don't want to sacrifice even one holiday with them. I did however, decide to simply do one tree instead of the usual three. My mistake was putting three trees worth of ornaments on the single tree. There were so many ornaments you could barely see the branches. The movers showed up and I was still taking off ornaments, and for a brief moment I was cussing myself, my hard head, and my sentimentality.

We took a quick trip to see family in Chicago and I got to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. It was as amazing as I knew it would be. I spent the majority of my time in the Impressionism gallery. I wish I could tell you my favorite work, but I think that changes depending on my mood. I do love the self portraits. I love seeing how artists paint themselves, and especially loved Van Gogh's.

I recently listened to a podcast about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, which lead to reading books about the artist, and then more podcasts. His was a tragic existence marred by his struggle with mental illness which included debilitating depression in a time when little was understood about mental illness and treatment was scarce (and usually ineffective at best, and sometimes barbaric). His talent was never recognized during his lifetime, and seeing his portrait broke my heart.

It really made me think of how we still stigmatize mental illness even today, and because of that, so many people--in a time where we have treatment that can greatly improve quality of life-- instead suffer in silence. I have a history of depression, generalized anxiety, night terrors, and PTSD. There is no shame involved. This post took a turn onto serious territory. One day I will post in more detail. Or maybe I won't. :-)

Upcoming Projects

Have you heard the news? If not then you need to follow me on Facebook. My trio of novellas about a family of witches is being released in its own book! I am so excited to bring you THESE HOLLOW HEARTS: TALES of the MURPHEY SISTERS. These women are pissed off and out for revenge. Toss in some romance and just the right amount of camp, and it is the recipe for the perfect read. I hope you enjoy these characters' exploits and adventures. The Murphey sisters are way different from the Caibre sisters. I think Tully and Delia are sweet and see the best in people--maybe even when they shouldn't. Cheyanne, Marchland, and Bradley, however, wear their hearts, and attitudes, on their sleeves. The book releases soon. I will post the cover and links as soon as I get the okay from my publisher! Check back soon!

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