My visit to the Franklin Mountains

Hey Guys!

I tried something new recently and have discovered I absolutely loved it.  During a recent visit to my my sister’s family in El Paso, Texas, I went with my sisters and their families to the Franklin Mountains.  There were a few things that we did which included taking a tram up the mountain on one day and also hiking the mountain on a different day.  Both ways were amazing, the views from both sections were phenomenal and I would suggest them for anyone who wants to try something new.


What do you have up next on your bucket list? Comment down below.

Until Next Time!



Toad by Cambria Hebert

Hey Guys!

Cambria Hebert is set to release a second stand alone novel in the Public Enemy series.  I loved the first one and can not wait for the second.


Author:  Cambria Hebert
Series: Public Enemy
Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 29th 2018 by Cambria Hebert, LLC
Aerie Boone is a toad.
At least according to every news outlet and online hater imaginable.

Accusations of lip-syncing.
Rumors of being dropped by my label.
Reports of celebrity feuds and rivalries.
And then there’s my personal favorite…

The pending annulment of a marriage I can’t even remember agreeing to.
When you’re the sweetheart of country music, being a headline is a given.
Living the headline is more of an uninvited surprise.
I’m barely recognized for the massive success I’ve had.
Now I’m famous because people love to hate me.
I’m a public enemy, but no one knows my side of the story.
I’m beginning to think it doesn’t even matter.
I’m burned out, hurting, and everyone thinks I have warts. Ew.
Becoming a shut-in is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Too bad my label has other ideas.
They send me a solution…
In the form of a red-haired, green-eyed man who wears sarcasm like armor.
I don’t want a stranger in my house.
I don’t want Nate.
All I want is to go back to a time when I wasn’t a toad.
When I was country music’s princess.
But going back is impossible.
Moving forward will change everything.


* All teaser photos were taken from the Cambria’s Nerds Facebook page.

Until Next Time!



Semester Goals: Spring 2018

Hey Guys!

Well here we are back from winter break and coming into not only a new year but also a new semester.  This semester seems to be creeping up on me fast than usual, but that could be because as a graduate assistant I came back to campus starting January 2nd.  I’m not sure where most of ya’ll are, but for most of my break we’ve had pretty mild weather.  Even our Christmas was in the mid 60s.   However, starting New Year’s eve we had temperatures as low as 26 degrees.  and lasted almost a week.  For a south Texas girl that is way too cold, it wasn’t even comfortable enough to light a fire and sit outside and enjoy, it was a wet and icy mess.

I’ve learned the last few semesters in Graduate school that having goals was a great motivator.  When I saw this on DaniDearest‘s blog I loved the idea.  The goals gave me something solid to work towards and something else to focus on.  Last semester I accomplished 11 out of the 15 goals that I set, not too bad.

Making my goals public like this was the perfect way for me to be held accountable for them.  Before this last semester I’ve never set goals and never so publicly before.  And doing so helped me.

So with the goal of doing better than I did last semester in completing these goals here are my goals for the Spring 2017 semester:

  1. Get at least a B in my classes.
  2. Try and get my assignments done before the day they are due.
  3. Work out at least 2 times a week.
  4. Try a fitness class on campus.
  5. Spend more time with my family and friends.
  6. Actually stick to my budget. (for food, or other things)
  7. Cook more, and take my own lunches for school.
  8. Reach my activity goals on my watch each day/week.
  9. Post on each of the days I’ve assigned a post on HomeTownGirlWriter.
  10. Save at least 10% of my paychecks each week.
  11. Make my bed and pick up things in my room each morning. (In my hope for a clean room/house.)
  12. Take time for myself each week.
  13. Open my planner everyday and make sure it’s completed for the upcoming week.
  14. Have saved at least $500 in my savings account by the end of the semester.
  15. Go somewhere I’ve never been before.

Well let’s see how this turns out this semester.  Especially since I added a few more than last semester.  Question of the Day: What are some goals that you set for yourself?  Do you do them by academic year, semester, monthly or weekly?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!


Semester Goals: Fall 2017 Update

Hey Guys!

Well I’m not sure about you guys but this semester seemed to fly by in a flash for me.  Maybe it was because we had to start the semester almost two weeks later than we should have due to Hurricane Harvey.  But with winter break already here and almost gone, let’s see how this semester’s goals went.

I can’t tell you how much I am grateful for DaniDearest‘s blog that had me start writing goals down for each semester.  It helped out for my 1st semester and did so again for my 2nd and my third.  These goals helped me have a focus and something tangible to reach for.  I accomplished 11 out of 15 , not to bad if I don’t say so myself.

Making my goals public like this was the perfect way for me to be held accountable for them.  Before these last two semesters, I’ve never set goals and never so publicly before.  And doing so helped me.

Here’s my goals for this semester and how I did on them:


1. Get at least a B in my classes.

Result: ✓ Success!  Well, if you read my update from last spring then you saw that I had written that it was a wake up call for me.  I can seriously say that this semester was my most challenging to date.  This was my third semester and my second where I took only history classes.  This was a challenge due to the amount of intensive writing that was being done.  But I will say that I got a B in my Research Methods class (not too bad, but I have my work cut out for me to be able to be ready for my thesis in a year and a half.)  and an A in my Oral History course.  I didn’t think that I would enjoy this course, but I had so much fun doing it.  It wasn’t always easy and I never realized the amount of work that went into an oral history, but it was enjoyable.

2. Try and get my assignments done before the day they are due.

Result: ✓ This was a complete success, this semester I was able to complete all of my assignments if not two days before then at least the day before.  This is something that I am hoping to continue doing next semester.

3. Work out at least 2 times a week. (I’m going to make an effort, but we’ll see.)

Result: X  Yea… nope.  I did not work out once this semester.  I didn’t even step foot into the Dugan.  However, I just got a gym membership so I’m hoping since I’m paying for it I’ll actually manage to go.  So until I manage to at least go twice a week maybe more I’ll be keeping this on my list.

4. Try a fitness class on campus.

Result: X  Yea… nope… see previous number!   Woman Shrugging: Medium Skin Tone on Apple

5. Spend more time with my family and friends.

Result: ✓  Considering that I now have three jobs, I’ve been managing pretty well.  There were weeks where I got home after my family went to bed or I couldn’t see my friends, but I tried.   Hopefully with my new schedule this will even out.

6. Actually stick to my budget. (for food, or other things)

Result: X/✓  This was a semi-pass for me this semester.  I budgeted myself “free” money each week and was able to only spend that amount for the most part, but I need to work a bit more on this area.

7. Cook more, and take my own lunches for school.

Result: X/✓   I didn’t actually do to bad on this one.  But I need to try harder.  I have recently been trying a food service called HelloFresh, which come this new semester I’m hoping to start packing my lunch and only eating out once or twice a month.

8. Reach my activity goals on my watch each day/week.

Result: ✓ I would definitely say this was a lot better than last semester.  Even with me having some days where I did not even leave my house.  I also had two  major papers that I was writing so I had a total of 107 days out of 122.  Yay me!

 September   30/30  October 28/31  November  27/30 December 22/31

Total: 107/122

9. Post on each of the days I’ve assigned a post on HomeTownGirlWriter.

Result: X  … Nope, yet again this was a major failure.  Some weeks I had posts, and others not so much.  If it hadn’t been for the book posts that I was doing for reveals I wouldn’t have anything to post.  Not only do I still have the same hectic schedule, I added to it by accepting a graduate position.  But I’m trying.

10. Save at least 10% of my paychecks each week.

Result: ✓   I’ve actually been doing really well with this.  I had to dip into my savings for Christmas, but other than that I’ve been able to save something from each check.

11. Make my bed and pick up things in my room each morning. (In my hope for a clean room/house.)

Result: ✓   For the most part I did really well, but it’s around laundry time that I get lazy and not feel like putting away those piles of clothes.  But not too bad overall.

12. Take time for myself each week.

Result: ✓  Completed! I made sure that each week I had at least 30 minutes to an hour for myself.  Whether it was just to read a book that I wanted or to take a long bubble bath, it was my me time.  I especially needed this because this last semester has been a really rough one.  This is something that I’ll keep working towards as the semesters come and go.

13. Open my planner everyday and make sure it’s completed for the upcoming week.

Result: ✓  I’m not sure what I did before I started using my Happy Planner, I love my mini (although I do have a classic as well) and the fact that I can take it anywhere!

14. Have saved at least $500 by the end of the semester.

Result: Yep!!! I finally completed this.  It took a few months into the semester to get it to where even having to get into it to fix a shattered car window (So not good on a day when the temperature was 30 degrees!).  Here it is almost the start of the Spring semester and I still have that cushion!

15. Go somewhere I’ve never been before.

Result:    Yep! I actually got to go to El Paso (Okay, so it’s still in the state but considering it is more than 9 hours away it counts!) and got to hike the Franklin Mountains with my family.  I had so much fun.  This year I hope to go back and go higher!


11/15 Goals Completed

Not too shabby, I’m almost there for a full 15 out of 15.  With 10 that were fully successfull and 2 that were semi successful, I had a better semester than my last one.  and I finally got more than half way completed.  that leaves me with three that I need to work harder on and two that only needs a little more work to be completely successful.

Question of the day: How did you do on any goals that you set for your Fall 2017 semester?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!


Book Blitz: Nox by Randi Cooley Wilson

Randi Cooley Wilson
(The Royal Protector Academy #3)
Publication date: January 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Love has revived an ancient war

Jealousy has risen and torn lives apart

And one prophecy demands the ultimate sacrifice

What if rewriting your destiny means that you must sacrifice the one you love? Serena St. Michael has forsaken her future—for him. Tristan Gallagher has renounced the throne—for her. The Vergina Sun prophecy has been fulfilled, but at what cost? Their love has renewed an ancient war. With Serena gone, will Tristan save her in time? Or will the dark army of Diablo Fairies descend upon the Royal Protector Academy, destroying the London clan’s legacy and ending the existence of the gargoyle race forever?

Nox is the final novel in the Royal Protector Academy series. This dangerously exciting and darkly romantic conclusion will take your breath away. It can be read as a stand-alone trilogy or after the bestselling Revelation series. Intended for mature readers (18+) due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.

The Royal Protector Academy novels are a serial trilogy meant to be read in order:

Vernal (Book #1)

Aequus (Book #2)

Nox (Book #3)

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Author Bio:

Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and “Covetousness” a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.

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Cover Reveal: Origin by Nora Ash

Nora Ash
(Ancient Blood Prequel)
Publication date: December 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Love is a curse.

Three hundred years ago, Warin lost his humanity.

The night he met Thea was the night he lost his soul.

For more than two hundred years, Warin has roamed the wilds with only his blood brother Aleric for company, terrorizing villages and feeding on human life. Sating his dark hunger was all he ever cared for…

Until she crossed his path.

From the moment he meets his beautiful Thea, her emerald eyes and tender heart call to him like a siren’s song. But she is human, and unless Warin can uncover the truth of their connection, he’ll never be able to possess her the way he so desperately desires.

Enlisting the help of the Ancients of his kind always comes with a cost. Especially when Thea is revealed for what she really is: either a gift from the gods…

…or a curse on his bloodline.

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Author Bio:

Nora Ash writes the sort of books that have your toes curling and your blood pulsing. Her stories are often dark and always thrilling, with lots of sexy bad boys and the women who spur their desires. When not typing away at a story, Nora paints, eats chocolate or go for hikes around the English countryside with her very own bad boy.

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Book Blitz: Vigilante by Summer Lane

Summer Lane
(A Collapse Story)
Publication date: December 15th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Thriller

I swore to protect her before I even knew her.

Now, it’s the creed I live by.

Uriah True is a dangerous man. His past is cloaked in secrecy, and he writes his future in the blood of the people he kills. After the Great Global War, he leaves the militias behind to prey on the scum that remain loyal to the cruel and tyrannical regime of the defeated enemy Omega in this dangerous and new post-apocalyptic world.

Some call him The Hunter. Some call him Death.

He calls it vengeance for what the war took from him.

Hunt, kill, repeat.

When he uncovers a plot that could bring death to the only person he’s ever loved, he’ll do anything to stop it.


The only problem? He may already be too late.

A thrilling novel from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, creator of the smash-hit Collapse Series, Zero Trilogy, Bravo Saga, Unbreakable Seal, and the historical romantic thriller, Running with Wolves. Vigilante is a novel

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The moon shone brightly above my head. I glared at it.

It reminded me of fighting, of using moonlight to snipe. Shooting targets in the dark with Cassidy, popping rounds downrange and smelling the fresh scent of hot brass and cold dirt. Good practice and good times.

“Got any gum?” Cassidy asked.

“Yeah. But it’ll cost you,” I replied.

“Seriously? You can’t let go of capitalism for even one second?”

There was amusement in her voice. I held the piece of gum between my fingers for a moment. She made a move for it, and I backed away.

“Predictable,” I said.

“Then show me how to bring a man down,” she replied.

“You already know how to do that. You’ve got a rifle.”

“I want to know how to do it without a rifle. With my bare hands.”

“That’s optimistic of you.”

She was strong—agility and speed packed into a slender body, all lean, tough muscle. She would have been a good cop, I guess. Of course, they said the same thing about me, and look what happened.

“I’ll teach you,” I agreed. “But first, the price for gum.”

Gum. It was stupid. Even gum was a precious commodity now. I was down to my last pack.

“All right. Name it,” she huffed, rolling her eyes.

A kiss. That was what I wanted. To pull her to me and hold her body against mine and feel, even for a moment, that I deserved to be loved by someone like her.

I hesitated for too long. She blinked, slowly, and I knew she could read my mind.

She always could.

“You can keep it,” she said, brushing off my solemn stare. “Whatever.”

I tossed the gum to her. She caught it, neatly. No hesitation. Pure reflex.

“Thanks, partner.”

She was relieved: I could see it in her face. She had been afraid I would try to kiss her. That wasn’t allowed. She knew it and I knew it, but the desire was there, and I wasn’t the only one who felt it. Not by a longshot. That was what scared her the most…and nobody knew her better than I did.

“Got your six,” I murmured.

Memories. They’re fatal. You can’t get away from them.

Author Bio:

Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 19 hit books, including the Collapse Series and hotly anticipated Resurrection Series. She owns Writing Belle Publishing and Writing Belle Magazine. She is also an experienced journalist and creative writing instructor. Summer lives in California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona.

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Cover Reveal: Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez

Superhero High
T.H. Hernandez
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.

Add to Goodreads


Author Bio:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

You can find her online at

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Book Review: I’ve Been Looking for You by Jennifer Dean


I’ve Been Looking for You
Jennifer Dean
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Max: The new girl, the sarcastic asshole, the one who avoids getting attached to anyone.
Emily: The golden girl, the rule-abiding rebel, the one who unknowingly craves something more.
When fate brings the two girls together, life seemed to fall into place. Until their future plans are shattered the moment someone leaves drugs inside Max’s school locker.
While Max inevitably loses hope of escaping her new grim reality, Emily struggles to move on without the one she loves most. Especially when she’s the only one determined to find answers. But the closer Emily gets to discovering the truth, the harder it will be to stop her pursuit, even when it leads to dangerous consequences.

Goodreads / Amazon 


My Review

It has been a while since I’ve read any FF books, not for any particular reason but simply because none have garnered my attention.  This is the first time I’ve read anything by Jennifer Dean and it won’t be the last.  This is a coming of age tale that is a love story that happens because of circumstances.

I loved both Emily and Max and the way that their relationship develops is beautiful.  There is a flow and an amazing plot that you can see develop.  The way that it stays very true to how it is in real life is what makes Deans book so special.

I’ve Been Looking for You is a fast paced novel that you will want to get lost in until it is done, and then you’ll want to read it again.

Until Next Time!


Book Blitz: Believe in My Heart by Maria K. Alexander

Believe in My Heart
Maria K. Alexander
(Tangled Hearts #4)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: November 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Culinary arts student, Hope Mastriano, is down on her luck. Homeless on Thanksgiving Day, she’s caught trying to break into her cousin’s apartment by her sexy boss and lifelong secret crush.

Since getting dumped seven months ago, head chef Vinnie DiFrancesco has been in a frustrating holding pattern. He returns relaxed from a retreat, but his life is sent into a tailspin when he offers Hope, the event coordinator at his family’s trattoria, temporary housing.

With the trattoria’s traditional Italian Christmas Eve charity dinner slated to be featured on a local TV segment and things heating up in his apartment, the two must set aside their different visions to make the event a success. When a computer glitch threatens their plans, Hope proposes a risky solution. Vinnie must believe in Hope and his heart in order to secure the future of the restaurant and make it a Christmas to remember.

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He jogged up the stairs to the fifth floor. Turning into the main hall, Vinnie made his way toward his apartment while digging in his pocket for the key and almost collided with three suitcases and a stack of boxes blocking his path.

Someone was moving out…or in, given the person was fiddling with the lock—with a hanger. He had moved in a couple days before his trip to California and hadn’t met any neighbors, but he did recall seeing a tall blonde woman walking out of this apartment one morning as he came in from his morning jog. This one was a few inches over five feet, and although he couldn’t see much, dark hair peeked out of the white knit cap on her head.

“Hey, can I help you?” he called.

She shrieked and dropped the hanger. “I can’t find my key and locked myself out.”

He knew that voice. “If that’s the case, why don’t you call the super?”

“My phone’s dead, and I don’t have his number.”

Vinnie pulled out his phone. “Then it’s a good thing I have it. I’ll give him a buzz.”

“No!” she cried and turned to face him.

Wide brown eyes framed by long brown lashes stared up at him.


She pushed back the cap and brushed aside the bangs that fell into her eyes. “Vinnie. Funny meeting you here.”

“Same goes. You don’t live here,” Vinnie countered, surprised to be faced with one of the pantry chefs from where he worked.

Hope raised her hands. “I know how this looks, but I can explain.”

“You can explain why you’re trying to break into this apartment?”

“It’s my cousin Faith’s place. And I wasn’t breaking in.”

Vinnie raised an eyebrow and shifted his gaze to the hanger on the ground.

“Okay, so maybe it seems as though I was breaking in, but the key she gave me no longer works.” She reached in her coat pocket and withdrew a key similar to Vinnie’s.

“Did you try calling your cousin?”

“Gee, no, I didn’t think of that,” she sneered. “She’s on a cruise and then staying in Florida a few days for business. I wasn’t kidding about my phone dying and not knowing the super’s number.”

Vinnie felt a pain in his temple. Probably from not having enough to eat or drink on the red-eye from LA. “Fine, let’s get your stuff in my place. You can use my phone.”

Hope grabbed a handle of a suitcase. “Thanks, Vin. You’re nicer than people at work say.”

He paused while unlocking his door. Well, hell. Is that what they say about me? Guess he needed to do damage control with his staff. Even though his parents owned Trattoria DiFrancesco, Vinnie was the head chef and in charge of hiring of anyone who worked in the kitchen.

Including the pretty spitfire who had just swept past him, Hope Mastriano.

He hoisted the stack of boxes and followed her inside. When she headed back out, he perused the hall to see how much more stuff she had.

There were two more suitcases and a pet carrier.

“You run away or something?” Vinnie asked.

“Moved out of Steve’s place. I’m done with that deadbeat.”

“On Thanksgiving Day and with nowhere to go?”

“It’s been long overdue. Besides, I thought I could crash at Faith’s until I figured out my next step.”

“And in there?” He nodded to the carrier.

Hope raised it up a few inches. “This is Lucky, my cat.”

Vinnie was not a fan of cats, with their sharp eyes and sneaky ways. He peeked inside and into the green eyes of a white cat. He closed the front door and stepped around Hope’s stuff, including the cat, which she pulled out of the carrier. Lucky leaned forward and sniffed him before letting out a soft mew.

Between the pixie-haired cutie and the cat, the peace and relaxation he had found out west was a distant memory. By the time he got to the trattoria for Thanksgiving dinner, Vinnie was going to need a beer or glass of wine.

Possibly both.


Author Bio:

A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.

Maria is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.

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