General Assholery & Illusive Authors

The other night I realized that I wasn’t just a pain in the ass as a kid, I was a straight up asshole. Like I don’t wish that kid on anyone level of assholery. As I was looking at all the pictures of myself, I realized that I did everything in my power to be as difficult as possible. I mean for the first 5 years of my life, I simply refused to try new food and had some made up aversion to all green foods. Now, please don’t judge my mother for “allowing” this to happen. She did all she could to make sure I was healthy, but food was just a constant battle for her. I was big on textures, so if she forced me to eat foods that were green or textured she knew I would probably vomit. Simple as that, so she avoided it. I mean, who wants to clean up kid vomit all day, every day?

One particular day, my mother had enough of my stubbornness and took it upon herself to teach me a lesson. She knew that I had made up my mind that I wanted nothing to do with these healthy foods. So sat down in front of me with a small red bowl, and said “If you eat these, we can go get that Skipper doll you’ve been wanting.” Then she proceeded to walk away like the badass she was.

Now, if you don’t know what a Skipper doll is, then you clearly were not a 90’s baby. Skipper was Barbie’s little sister and was the only toy I had wanted all year, but I had done nothing worthy enough in my mother’s eyes to earn it. I was, however, taunted every time I turned on the TV because for months on end she was the “it” toy. I wanted her with every fiber of my being.
The small red bowl of cucumbers which sat in front of me, taunted me while I stared at it for a good few minutes. Finally, I took a deep breath, counted the pieces, and quietly chanted to myself, “You can do this!” The only thing separating me from my very own Skipper doll was 24 small cucumber pieces. I stood up and stuck as many pieces as I could into my mouth. I began to chew while holding my nose, and when I realized I couldn’t breathe properly I let go of my nose. Up until that day I had feared vegetables. I simply woke up and decided that all vegetables were gross. Try talking a 5 year old out of anything, it’s impossible and not usually pretty.

My reality changed that day after eating those 24 pieces of cucumber. After finishing the last piece, I was surprisingly shocked that I made it to the bottom of that red bowl. After a few minutes, my mother came back in and being the asshole I was, acted as though I had hated every bite. If I gave my mother any inkling that I enjoyed the cucumbers, I knew she would take advantage of the situation and force feed me vegetables for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For some time after this, my mom found non-traditional ways of introducing new vegetables into my daily meals, for example, new shoes for Skipper or a new back to school outfit for Skipper that matched my outfit. She knew Skipper was my Achilles heel and that I would do anything for more Skipper accessories.

This brings us to current day. As an avid reader, my expectations for books has changed over time. Now that I’m in a book club and have a blog, I try to avoid authors and books that have low ratings and I especially avoid books by authors I have previously read in the past and disliked. I will admit that this has, at times, made me an asshole who has passed up great books or authors due to high expectations and fear of wasting my time. So I don’t really follow hype of new authors and new books until I have done enough research to commit to an author or book.

A few months ago, I was reading a trending post in one of the Facebook groups I follow and they were talking about a new author named Max Monroe. After reading post after post about this author, I decided to take my curiosity one step further. I logged onto my Goodreads account and decided that I would figure out who this illusive Max Monore was. After about 20 minutes on Goodreads and Google, I gathered enough information and tried to decipher the information I had found. Apparently Max and Monroe are two separate people. It’s the pseudonym of two New York Times Best Selling authors. Now after reading this I thought, “Oh man, this is such a gamble.” I’ve read multiple series in which two great authors collaborate and I found it extremely difficult to finish, and most of the time, wished I had never wasted my time or money. Max Monroe didn’t pique my interest enough to add to my To Be Read (TBR) list.
The next few weeks went by and people kept talking about this duo and how no one could figure out who they were. My newsfeed was filled with people speculating about who they believed the two authors were. At one point, it was believed that one of the authors was Colleen Hoover, my all-time favorite author. She made a few jokes on her Facebook page and then admitted that she was not in fact one of the authors. Yet, the hype grew and grew as did their pre-orders for book one. I still wasn’t persuaded to pre-order let alone add this book to my TBR list.
The release day came and went, and I decided I would wait to see how it did on Amazon and Goodreads before I even considered reading or suggesting it to my book club. Exactly one month after it was released, curiosity got the best of me, and I downloaded a sample of Max Monroe’s first book Tapping the Billionaire. Don’t stop reading, it’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise. Tapping is actually a play on an app that is featured in the book. Now, that we’ve cleared that up, let me tell you about this book. It is by far the funniest thing I have ever read. This book quickly dethroned Nuts by Alice Clayton (sorry Alice), and did so in the most ridiculously awesome way.
 
The premise of this book is one that most readers are familiar with, a girl works for a big company and one day her boss decides that he is going to ask her out. And well the rest is fairly predictable, but it didn’t even matter because I found myself laughing aloud while reading. I made the mistake of reading at work where my co-workers gave me funny looks, but I didn’t care, because I was loving every minute of it. Unlike most other books with the same premise, this one had one thing that the other books didn’t, the billionaire boss was down to earth and humble which made you fall in love with him instantly. Yes, judge away, I just admitted to falling in love with a fictional character. Anyways, funny scenarios happen, and the more it does, the more you love the friendship/relationship that builds between Georgia (Georgie) and Klein.

I am not ashamed to admit that I was wrong to assume this book would suck because of all the hype. My expectations were not realistic, and just like that day years ago, my views shifted. My reality was that I assume the book would suck but it didn’t. I devoured this book. I think I read this book and its novella in a day. Safe to say that when book 2 came out, I had zero reservations about diving in head first. In book 2 (Banking the Billionaire), we are re-introduced to Thatcher (Klein’s friend) and Cassie (Georgia’s friend) who begin a relationship basically on a bet. The whole thing is yet again ridiculous, and at time over the top but I seriously could not put it down. Again I laughed, and wanted to know more. When the book ended it left the readers wanting to know what craziness was going to happen next which brings me to why I am writing my blog today. Max Monroe sent me an excerpt of their next book Banking Her due to be released September 6, 2016. So if you want to know what’s going to happen with Georgie & Klein and Thatch & Cassie, stay tuned…… if you haven’t meet these characters yet, well, get to it.

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http://www.authormaxmonroe.com/#!books/cnec
http://goo.gl/gd2aB9

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At least I had a good book….

A few weeks ago, while on the Tind, I swiped right on a good-looking guy. I actually swiped right because he reminded me of my childhood crush Dean Cain of Superman fame. Deciding I had seen enough shirtless rock climbers for a day, I logged off and went back to reading Kilti by Mariana Zapata. Within 2 minutes my phone not only pinged once, but twice indicating I had received a match and a message. I pretended to ignore it, then thought, “Eh, who am I kidding?” and logged back on.

I was completely shocked to see that Superman had written me, “Hi (insert my name here)!!! Being a girl, I got giddy, and excited that one, he had written me immediately, and two, he used not 1, but 3 exclamation points. So I said hello immediately, and our conversation began.

Over the next few days, our conversations were superficial, the what, how, and when’s of everyday life. He cracked a few jokes, I laughed and shared a few jokes of my own eliciting a few lol’s and even a few emojis. We signed off a few minutes later as it was dinner time and both had places to be.

The next morning I had a new message from him, explaining that he had eaten the best double bacon cheddar cheese burger, “EVER!” He proceeded to describe how delicious it was, and how he wished it wasn’t so unhealthy so he could eat them all the time. I figured since he was sharing so much about his love of the BCCB, I’d tell him that I had never had a BCCB in my life… Here is how our conversation went down:

Me: Brace yourself, I have a confession.
CK: ok…
Me: I’ve never had bacon.
CK: WHY??
Me: I’m kosher.
CK: Why?
Me: long story short, my dad is Jewish, my mom is protestant, they are both kosher…. Raised vegetarian, but I discovered beef when I was a teen and rebelled, told them I wasn’t a vegetarian anymore. But to not completely break their hearts, I eat kosher.
CK: ok.
45 minutes later
CK: Seems logical.

He signed off again, having a meeting to get to. I joked with my friends that Superman who had been so verbose, and talkative was now speaking monosyllabically because I didn’t eat bacon. They laughed and called me “stupid”. I laughed some more and then went back to my awesome book, at least I had my book. I thought about bacon and laughed one more time.

So, I waited a day, and I was encouraged to start up a conversation with him again. Jump back on the horse they said, it’ll be fine they said. So, I wrote him and asked him about his aforementioned travels. His replies were short, and to the point. I was like “Alrighty then” and decided to leave it up to him to write me, should he be so inclined. He wasn’t inclined. I however, was inclined to take pictures of our conversation as proof that something I had said had scared him off. I went to my conversations and it was GONE. Everything was gone, he had not only decided to stop writing me, but to un-match me, he was gone, and so was our complete conversation. It’s all fun and games, until a guy unmatches and blocks you. Jokingly I told my co-workers and best friends about my bacon theory and again they said “no way”. Only now I couldn’t show them the actual conversation.

It was in that moment that I knew the truth. Bacon did this. Bacon was a cock-block. That’s right, I was blaming it on the bacon. Facking Bacon, I hate you!

Anyways, I laughed about it, made jokes about it and went back to my awesome book. Kulti had me laughing out loud until it mentioned breakfast, which made me think of bacon. Stupid bacon.

Three days passed and I mentioned this conversation to my friends Valerie and Annalise, one was as confused as me, while the other believed it had more to do with the fact that my family was so religious something he didn’t seem to be. Although that is most likely closer to the truth, I choose to blame it on bacon. Or maybe Superman wasn’t as nice as he appeared, perhaps he was obsessed with bacon, and a non-bacon eater just wouldn’t fit into his life. Whatever the truth is, my conversation left me feeling mad, something that books rarely do to me.

So I chose to eat a cupcake and get happy again by reading my current favorite book. My friend and book club buddy found this book and told me I should read it. It has been quite some time since I’ve read a book that I loved so fully. Kulti is a book about a profession soccer player who has put her romantic life on the back burner to focus on her career. It wasn’t this that hit so close to home, but the relationships in the book truly made me fall in love with her as much as it did with the lead male character. Something that is hard to do. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but I do want to suggest that if you are looking for a great romance book, read this book, and read it now!

Oh, and to add insult to injury, my iPhone keyboard now has a bacon emoji.

Whatever You Do… Don’t Eat the Leftovers!

Years ago I went to this amazing restaurant, I found it by accident, long before Yelp made it easy to find your newest food obsession. I went in looked at the emptiness and almost walked out, I mean, that cant be a good sign, right? But then I saw the prices and thought, $4.99 lunch combo. I’m in! Sure, the idea of getting sick crossed my mind, but being a typical broke college student I took the risk of getting an awful case of the bubble guts, just to avoid eating top ramen (again).

I ordered my food, sat down and waited anxiously. When the food arrived, I prayed that my dwindling bank account, wouldn’t force me to spend the night on the porcelain throne. I took my first bite, and I swear to you, it was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted. It was as good as that moment when you get home, and take off your bra, freeing your boobs after a long day of captivity. Or as good as that moment when you get to pee, after holding it for an unhealthy period of time. I ate as if it was going out of style.

I ate. And ate. And ate until I hated myself.  I knew one more bite would make me do the unthinkable, unbuttoning my jeans in public. But it didn’t seem to faze me, so I took that last bite. And I must say, it was worth it! I looked at what was left on my plate, and sighed. I knew I couldn’t take one more bite, but it was too good. So I did something I never do. I took home leftovers. I placed it in the passengers side, and was already excited about the prospect of eating my delicious leftovers.

I got home and placed my leftovers in my refrigerator, and closed the door reverently. I walked away, and went on with my day, fantasizing about the moment when I got to eat my heavenly meal. After a few classes and an afternoon of daydreaming, I went home, opened the fridge and took out my leftovers. I set the microwave, and watched it like a child watching a clock on Christmas morning.

When I heard that much anticipated “Ding” I opened the door, and took my food to the couch. I took a bite closing my eyes, and began to moan. Only I stopped myself, because what was in my mouth was not what I had eaten this afternoon. There is no way that it was the same, this was awful. “No, the flavors must have changed in the fridge.” I said aloud. I took another bite, but it wasn’t any better, in fact, it was worse.  Third times the charm, right? WRONG! It was gross, worse than gross! “WTF?” I close the lid on my food, and threw it away angrily, wondering what had happened somewhere between this afternoon and now.

Somehow, I had built it up in my brain. That had to be it. Seriously. Nothing else makes sense. It was amazing, and then it was the scum you find in between peoples toes. Worse. It was worse.

Now, let me explain why I told you this long story (it has a point, pink swear). I read a book and I thought it was amazing the first time around. The main characters of The Edge of Never, Andrew & Camryn made me fall in love with them from page 1 (ok, ok page 15) but still it was true love, I swear. While reading I laughed, cried, and cried some more, but in the end, I was so happy with the way the book ended that I went onto my Goodreads account and gave my book a 4. Wait, don’t stop reading, I’m not a complete bitch I swear! A 4 to me is like an A, it’s not as bad as it sounds. A 5 on the other hand, well that’s like finding a unicorn, a rare and beautiful unicorn. So, like I was saying I gave the book a 4 and moved on with my life. That was until I found out that there was a book 2 coming out, at the end of the following year. Yippee!

Excitement does not begin to explain the joy I felt, I put it in my calendar, and even cleared my reading schedule a week prior to re-read book 1. Book 2 came out this week, and having preordered the book, I found myself giddy when I opened my Kindle App and saw it there, waiting for me to pick up right where I left off, in love and excited.  The book had a slow start, but I knew I would fall back in love, and would feel their joy, and their sadness, and all that mushiness. But I didn’t. I mean, I tried, really hard. But, I had to literally push myself to keep reading, page after page, chapter after chapter. But it sucked. I’m almost sorry to be so blunt, because I loved book 1.  I kept pushing myself to keep reading, to try to feel what I did the first time around, just like I did with my food. But nothing ever compared to that first bite, or that first chapter. I pushed myself, bite after bite, page after page, it didn’t get any better. It did the complete opposite, it got worse.

Truth be told, I think I did it to myself. I put book 1 on a pedestal. I put the restaurant on the same pedestal. I think I sent myself up both times, first with the food and then with this book. Only this time, I still have the leftover still starring at me every time I open my Kindle.

So moral of the story is, if something was amazing the first time, don’t ruin it by eating the leftovers. Make up your own ending, or tell yourself the place got closed down due to a low grade, or the author got arrested for not paying her taxes and doesn’t have access to a computer in prison. Tell yourself anything you need to in order to erase the hours spent reading book 2 , do whatever you need to forget about it all, but whatever you do, don’t eat the leftovers!