Book Review: A. N. Senerella – Mine

I’m excited to announce my first ever ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) Book Review!  I was one of the first to read A. N. Senerella’s debut novel, Mine.  I went into this without knowing anything about the story.  All I saw beforehand was the cover.

AN Senerella Mine BookCover

Without giving away any spoilers, Mine is about how the arrival of a new student named Foster, shakes up the lives of Anika and her friends.

I read this book in one day, which I never do, but the story was that addictive.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this book extremely unpredictable.  I never knew what was coming next.  No one is exactly who they seem, and this makes the relationships very complicated.  Definitely not your typical love triangle.

Cyber-stalking is one of the main themes in this book, and can be unnerving at times (as it should be).  Just a warning: You might want to distance yourself from your phone for a bit after reading this book.  Some other serious topics covered in this book are bullying and mental illness.

Something that’s important to me is that a book have a happy ending, and after some intense conflict, Mine delivers a happy ending that leaves you satisfied.

Overall, Mine was a truly unique and interesting read.  If you like stories that keep you on your toes, and are a little bit scary, then I definitely recommend this book to you!

The release date is June 21, 2017.  When the book has been listed on Amazon, I will update this post with the link to buy.

Advertisements

The Cast of Pretty Little Liars: What’s Next?

Liars Left to right: Alison (Sasha Pieterse), Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Emily (Shay Mitchell,) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario)

First, let’s all have a moment of silence to mourn the upcoming finale of Pretty Little Liars on June 27th.  Seriously, what even is life without the liars and the hunt for A?  This show is so addicting that even my dad is hooked!

The finale will be twice the length of a normal episode.  Executive producer, I. Marlene King says, “It feels like a movie and it was written as if it was a movie.  I hope you guys are satisfied with this huge twist.”  Plus, Entertainment Weekly just gave us a sneak peek of the finale with these two photos:

The CW has released promo trailers for new Fall shows, and guess who’s the star of one?  Lucy Hale!  While this is good news, I’m also sad, because I guess this really means that this is the end of Pretty Little Liars.  I keep hoping it’s all some joke, and they’ll surprise us with news of a new season or a spin-off.  Anyways, back to Lucy Hale’s new show.


Life Sentence is about Stella (Hale) who’s had cancer for 8 years, but is now cured and must figure out what to do with the life she now has to look forward to.  Her personal and familial relationships are changing as she finds out everyone’s been keeping secrets from her and making sacrifices for her, since they thought she was dying.  So along with finding out she’s not dying anymore and figuring out her new life, she has to re-examine her friends and family for who they really are, not who they’ve been pretending to be just so her last few years would be happy ones.  The promo trailer teases at her mother being a lesbian (and her parents’ subsequent divorce), her sister’s resentment for lost opportunities that she turned down to take care of Stella, family financial troubles, and Stella’s first foray into the working world.  I’m looking forward to this show. I especially like that even though cancer plays a big role, it’s about the miracle of recovery instead of the depressing side of the disease.

Lucy Hale also has two upcoming movies, Dude and Truth or Dare.  Dude is a dramedy about a group of teenage girlfriends dealing with life after high school.  Truth or Dare stars Hale as a college student who plays a supernatural version of the game in Mexico, but the game follows her back home.  Both movies sound interesting to me.  Personally, I hope Lucy takes the time to record another album.  I loved her first album, Road Between.

Troian Bellisario already added director to her resume when she directed the most recently aired episode 15 of Pretty Little Liars seventh season, “In the Eye Abides the Heart.”  While working on PLL, Troian also managed to bring a project that’s very near and dear to her heart to life.  The film, Feed, was both written and produced by Troian, AND she stars in it!  Now 31, Troian wrote the script more than eight years ago.  She has said that Feed is inspired by her real-life battle with anorexia.  Troian is very proud of the film, which premieres in theaters on July 18.  She hopes Feed will allow audiences to empathize with anorexia sufferers.  IMDb describes Feed as being about “Olivia and Matthew Grey, 18-year-old twins born into a world of privilege and high expectations.  There are almost no boundaries between them; even their dreams are connected.”

Troian and Patrick

Troian is also starring in a movie with husband, Patrick J. Adams, called ClaraClara is about an astronomer who’s obsessed with searching the cosmos for signs of life beyond Earth, which leads to a shocking discovery.  Sounds interesting!

Shay Mitchell has her own reality web series, Shay Mitchell: Chapters on Fullscreen. Chapters follows her life after Pretty Little Liars, and you can watch it now!   She also has Cadaver, a horror movie, coming out in August.

Ashley Benson has said she’s looking forward to taking time off to rest after Pretty Little Liars.  I couldn’t find anything about future plans for Sasha Pieterse, but her Netflix original film, Coin Heist, was released in January.

Janel Parrish, who plays the love-to-hate character of Mona is starring in the upcoming movie, Heavenly Charm.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything about the nature of the film or release date.  Since Pretty Little Liars wrapped filming, Janel has also joined two musical stage adaptations of Cruel Intentions and A Walk To Remember.

So what about the guys?

Keegan Allen has joined many of his other PLL cast mates by breaking into the music world.  He released his first single, “Million Miles Away,” on February 8th of this year.  The heavenly acoustic guitar, Keegan’s soft vocals, and sweet lyrics all work together, creating a melody that is soothing and heartwarming.  Plus, I’m digging the galaxy artwork! Click the song title link to buy on iTunes.

KeeganAllenMillionMilesAway03

Ian Harding has already scored another TV series.  Thin Ice is a sitcom about a receptionist, played by Bridgit Mendler, who moves to Antarctica for a job. Ian’s role is as the manager of the station’s research team. He also has a book out. Odd Birds is a memoir that combines stories from his life with his favorite past-time of bird watching.

IanHarding twitpic

Tyler Blackburn is starring in the movie adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical, Hello Again, which follows ten New Yorkers exploring love in each decade of the 20th century.  Blackburn took to Twitter in February to tease that, “Something exciting is coming.”

TylerBlackburn Twitpic

Speaking of musicals…  It has been announced that one of the last few episodes of Pretty Little Liars will include a musical number.  At a Television Critics Association press tour, one of the executive producers, Oliver Goldstick said, “All of them have incredible hidden talents and singing happens to be one of them. And I thought it was a shame that we didn’t utilize that, and we found a way to platform it in one of the episodes in the last 10.”  How exciting!

But now I want to know what YOU think!  What are your plans for after Pretty Little Liars?  Starting it over from the beginning?  I know I will.  I’ve also started watching I. Marlene King’s newest show, Famous in Love, which also airs on Freeform.  Which Liar/actor is your favorite?  Whose career are you most likely to keep up with?  Are you planning on watching any of the shows or films starring PLL actors I’ve mentioned here?  Let me know in the comments!

It’s Christmas in May for Psych-Os!

Are you ready?

Fans of USA network’s crime dramedy, Psych, starring James Roday, will be happy to know that a Psych movie is coming this Christmas!

PsychThe series ended on March 26, 2014.  One of my favorite things about Psych is that even though it’s a crime-solving show, they don’t dwell on the depressing and gory parts.  It’s very upbeat.  Plus, Shawn (played by James Roday) is hilarious!

The Psych movie is going to be released in December on USA, and will be holiday themed.  All of the main cast will be returning for the movie.  I wonder if the interactions between Shawn (Roday) and Juliet (Maggie Lawson) will be awkward, since the actors who dated for most of Psych’s original run broke up in 2014.

PsychCast

My dad and I are currently re-watching the series.  We’re on season 4 at the moment, where Juliet and Shawn realize their feelings for each other.  They annoyingly take their sweet time doing anything about it, though!

My all-time favorite episodes are the Halloween episodes, but they have good Christmas ones, too.

ThisEpisodeSucks

Shawn as Lestat in “This Episode Sucks” from season 6?  Classic!

Another favorite of mine is “Scary Sherry (Bianca’s Toast)” from the first season where Juliet goes undercover in a sorority house to find out who killed one of the sorority girls.

Scary-Sherry-Bianca-s-Toast-psych-2307680-425-245 - Copy

Do you have a favorite Psych episode?  Are you excited for the Christmas movie?  Sound off in the comments!

Sunday in the South

It should not be 80 degrees on Easter Sunday.  Plenty of people love warm weather.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.  It’s rough living in the south when you’re a chionophile.

I think this is the first Easter that I’m not getting to spend the whole day with family.  My dad’s working, but at least we did have a nice pasta lunch together beforehand.  Of course my mom’s spending hers in Heaven, but I know she’s watching over us.

My family’s Easter meal tradition is to have a lasagna dinner and coconut cake.  My mom’s lasagna was seriously the best, and I still use her recipe when I make it now.  I wish I could have some delicious coconut cake from Ingles.  I haven’t been able to find a good substitute yet since moving to Tennessee.

Easter brings to mind memories of childhood egg hunts, goodie baskets, good food, and especially time with family.  This year I don’t have any candy aside from Cadbury caramel eggs.  Facebook reminded me of this quote from my dad a few years ago, “God gave us chocolate, because he wants us to be happy.”  What a gem!

Candy and goodies are not the reason for this holiday, though.  Easter is about Jesus’ resurrection after dying on the cross for our sins.  Something that upsets me about Easter is the people that refer to it as “Zombie Jesus Day.”  So disrespectful!

It’s actually pretty disillusioning when you realize that the commercial market came up with the Easter bunny, eggs, etc, from the Pagan festival celebrating the Spring Equinox and the fertility goddess, Eostre.  If you do your research, though, you’ll find that most holidays do have Pagan origins.

Even though my family is of the Christian faith, we’re not the churchgoing type.  We make our own church wherever we are.  I honestly think the most memorable Easter for me is from when I was 18.  We took a nature ride up to Highlands, North Carolina.  One of my favorite places, and a stop along the way, is Bridal Veil Falls.  (Photo collage below.)

Easter2008 collage

Today’s title is from a Miranda Lambert song that I love, “Another Sunday in the South.”  Feel free to click on the link and listen to the song on YouTube.

So tell me, what are your Easter traditions?  Did you do anything fun for the holiday this year?

Another fun thing going this month is Camp NaNoWriMo!  NaNoWriMo stands for the National Novel Writing Month of November, but NaNoWriMo actually hosts writing events all year long!  I’m participating, but a bout of sickness has kept from writing as much as I should.  Anyone else participating?  How is your writing project going?

Dandelion Daze

Crayola has announced that they’re retiring the beloved dandelion crayon. You might think it’s strange for me to call a crayon color beloved, but people are already losing their minds over the news. 

EBay sellers are now jumping at the opportunity to make a pretty penny off of the remaining dandelion crayons. You can buy a 24 pack with a Buy It Now price of $44.99, or a starting bid of $29.99. If you’re seriously committed to the shade, you can even purchase 500 dandelion crayons. The current bid is $122.50. Many listings for these crayons have already SOLD OUT!

See what I meant when I said people were losing their minds?

That’s not all! In May, Crayola will be announcing a new color as dandelion’s replacement. There will be a naming contest for the new shade, as well.

Personally, I love the golden dandelion shade, and am saddened by the news. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to shell out an unreasonable amount of money for a piece of crayon history, though. In my opinion,  they should’ve picked a different shade to retire. I’m looking at you, green-yellow and yellow-green!

So tell me…What are your thoughts? Which color would you have chosen to retire?

Hi Stranger: Creepy Inspiration

Kirsten Lepore’s latest animated short, “Hi Stranger,” has gone viral on Facebook and YouTube.

When I first saw “Hi Stranger” on Facebook, I clicked on it out of a guilty curiosity. I mean, come on, claymation dude’s got a nice butt and he’s aware of it. At the 14 second mark, he even says, “It’s OK. You can look at my butt.”

The video has a creepy feel, but nonetheless draws you in and relaxes you with help from Garrett Davis’ calm voice and the meditation-style background audio.
If you stuck around to see the end of the video, the claymation character actually gives good advice and it’s something I think most of us need to hear:

“I see you trying to do so many things at once. Worried about a decision you made, or worried that you said the wrong thing to someone. You’re so hard on yourself, but you’re wonderful. And worthy of being loved. You really are. You just have to let yourself believe it.”

I began to wonder if the video’s creator had the intent to inspire viewers with this character basically turning into our inner voice giving us an existential pep talk. So I went researching. Call me strange, but I love to research and learn new things!

One thing I did learn that all of you out there in InternetLand might find interesting is that the artist, Kirsten Lepore recently wrote and directed an episode of Adventure Time.

All in all, the only new thing I really learned about the “Hi Stranger” video was this, taken from an interview with Kirsten Lepore given by Ben Mitchell of Skwigly:

HiStrangerInterviewSS

So in closing, I’d like to know what you thought of “Hi Stranger.” Inspiring or just plain creepy?

My First Black Mask Trial

Good afternoon!

Have you seen that video on Facebook of the woman, Tiffany Marie, having a really bad time trying to remove that black charcoal mask that’s been advertised as a miracle for blackhead removal?  Shown below is a shortened version, but you can watch the full 15 minute one HERE.

 

Curious, I decided to try it. It only cost me $5, so why not? Especially if it could get rid of my blackheads,  then it would definitely be worth the investment!

First of all, the mask’s official name is Purifying Peel-Off Deep Cleansing Black Mask by Shills Natural Science. That sure is a mouthful, huh?

Shills black mask

Here’s a video showing how it works:

 

So how did it work out for me? Read on and find out!

The instructions said to wash your face first, so I used my trusty Best Face Forever by Perfectly Posh. I LOVE Posh! If I could afford to, I’d join and give selling it a go. Alas, I do not have $99. Anyways, back to the mask!

Putting it on is definitely messy. It didn’t smell weird, so that was a plus. I only put it on my nose since my main concern as I mentioned earlier was blackheads. Yuck! It tingled and itched on my face while I was waiting for it to set. Let me tell you, it was difficult not giving into the urge to scratch!


Finally, it had been about 25 minutes so I figured it was time to “peel my nose off.” Said partially in jest, while also hoping the process wouldn’t involve painful cries like the woman on the video.

Peeling it off was disappointing. It didn’t appear to actually remove much of anything, and the pesky blackheads were still on my nose. They must really love me, because they don’t want to leave. I guess Neil Sedaka was right when he sang, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.” In the past I’ve used Biore nose strips, also without luck.

Removal wasn’t painful for me at all. After cleaning off the bits of dried black goop that didn’t come off during peeling, I applied a mixture of Perfectly Posh’s moisturizer (Night & Day plus Moisturize 911).

I’m going to try this mask again. Perhaps even all over my face. Next time I’ll let it stay on longer, because parts of what I peeled off were still sticky. Maybe that’s why it didn’t work as advertised?

Tell me in the comments if you ever have (or ever will) use this black mask. What is your favorite face mask? And do you have any recommendations for blackhead removal? Thanks for reading!

Comeback Kid

I chose one of The Band Perry’s new songs as the title for this post, because I definitely identify with it, especially the following line: “I don’t think I deserve the hurt I get.” But then, most people don’t.

I’m going to be reworking my blog. It used to be mostly centered on my service dog, Honey. Don’t worry she’ll still be making appearances! In fact, she’s lying in my lap as I’m writing this. She truly is my best friend, but I digress…

I’m going to focus on my writing, both fiction and nonfiction. An upcoming post is about that black mask that’s gone viral. When I was younger, I was regularly featured on Lovelyish, a website covering fashion, beauty, and pop culture.

I was first officially published at 15, when I worked on my high school’s magazine. That might not sound like much, but the Foxfire Magazine is a national magazine. Produced in Rabun County, Georgia, The Foxfire Magazine is dedicated to keeping the history of Appalachia alive.

I hope to one day have some of my fiction published. If I can ever focus on one story long enough to finish it, that is!


One of my Facebook friends who’s accomplished and connected in the writing world suggested I start a blog to let my future readers get to know me and my writing style now, so that I’ll have a fan base when I am published. I’ve sent her a collection of my unfinished manuscripts, and am currently awaiting feedback.

Why writing? Writing is my passion. It has been my favorite thing to do since I was a kid. I wrote my first real story when I was 12. It was about a group of friends that literally get sucked into a video game. Looking back now, thats all I remember about that one. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of it, so I guess their fate will always be a mystery.

Writing consumes my thoughts, and a lot of my daydreaming is brainstorming plot ideas. I write varying genres, but almost all are covered under New Adult. I love everything paranormal/supernatural, but I also write “normal” stuff like chick-lit.

I should probably tell you more about myself. I’m 27 years old. I’m a music and animal lover. I’ve had a rough life, hence my PTSD service dog.

I am a chionophile, which means I love the cold, especially snow! I even call myself the “ice queen.” I currently live in Tennessee, but I dream of living in Colorado or Alaska and traveling to Nordic places like Norway and Iceland.

I think puns are greatly underrated. I love intelligent and witty TV shows. Gilmore Girls is a favorite! I also like oddball comedies like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Most everything I watch is comedy, since I don’t like shows that make you sad. I really wish someone would come up with a sitcom about a vampire. A show that makes fun of itself. Everything with vampires in it is always so dramatic. Hmm…maybe I have another writing project now!

I feel weird talking about myself so much. Plus if I tell you everything now, then you won’t need to come back to my blog to get to know me. Gotta leave a little mystery, right?

Until next time!

– Jessi

Seasons…Is It Autumn Yet?

It’s been months since I wrote on here, and I probably should’ve written sooner than now.  I’ve been going through a hard time, but thankfully things seem to be looking up at the moment.  At least I’m writing now.  That’s what matters, right?

Honesty, I’ve not been doing well health-wise. I’ve had an ER trip that turned out to be useless, because the doctor told me she didn’t know what was wrong with me and to go to a specialist.  Dad and I are pretty sure that I have fibromyalgia like my mom had.  It’s a nerve problem that makes you feel severe widespread pain.  Fibromyalgia is common with Chronic Fatigue syndrome, which I also have.  I need to get Honey’s hips/elbows checked to see if she could handle being a mobility assistance dog, as well.

But I’d rather write about happier topics.  After months of writer’s block, I’m finally writing in my stories again.  I’m proud of myself for that.

I recently made my first lip balm sale on Etsy (HealthySoulCreations)!  Also, one of my best friends, Brandi, was my first product tester!  I made a special lip balm for her that was strawberries and cream flavored/scented and darkly tinted matte like lipstick.  She’s also tried the Dark Chocolate Cherry and Luscious Cherry flavors.  I’m proud of myself for being able to make beauty products for myself and my friends that are also good for you.  Brandi also received a moisturizing paw balm. My service dog, Honey, absolutely loves the paw balm.  One of the main ingredients is coconut oil, so she tries to eat it as well. Lol.

Honey’s birthday was on June 20th, and we celebrated with cupcakes and cookies from the puppy bakery.  I’m so proud of her “leave it,” because I know those birthday treats were tempting.

Honey2ndBday.jpg

A friend is helping me out with a Jamberry fundraiser for the last $200 I owe on Honey.  I’m so touched and thankful for the love and support we’ve received.

As for the title of this entry, I’m anxiously awaiting fall.  I hate summer.  It’s too hot.  I guess that’s about all I have to say for now.  I hope everyone’s doing well, and thanks again for the love and support you’ve shown us!  We greatly appreciate it.

What Money Paid For

(If you know the band and song I got the title for this post from, then you are AWESOME!)

Now then… We postponed Honey’s vet visit until next week since dad and I have been sick.  I figured I’d go ahead and post the specifics for what I’ve used the GoFundMe donations on so far.  In total, I’ve received $144.52 (including the Needy Pet Fund grant).  I currently have $111 available to spend on her vet visit.

On February 24th, I spent $26.90 at Walgreens.  I had a Buy One, Get One Free coupon on the Dentastix treats.  The GoFundMe donations paid for all but the Minion toy, beef chew sticks, and Bear’s senior vitamins.

WalgreensPetItemsReceipt

There was $6.61 left over that I put towards our Petsmart trip on March 2nd.  The day before, dad had received his tax refund.  March 2nd was a big day full of Public Access for Honey.  She had her first time in a restaurant (Burger King) while dad and I ate.  Plus we went to some pet stores for supplies, toys, and new healthy food! Honey made friends with everyone she met. In the Tractor Supply parking lot, a man actually drove up to us to give her a Milkbone biscuit. Also at Tractor Supply, Honey picked out a squeaky toy for herself – a black bear wearing a Santa hat. When we got home she adorably insisted on carrying it in herself. At Petsense, an employee who was very sweet and helpful, also let Honey taste test some cookies.

Petsmart March2 items

We’ve switched Bear and Honey over to 4Health Grain-Free food from Tractor Supply, which is rated 4 stars on Dog Food Advisor.  Some items we bought were a Kong toy & treats, shower sprayer, shampoo, frisbee, and a slow-feeder bowl.  Plus, a few toys for Honey.

Slow-feeder bowls are important in preventing GDV/bloat.  Brandi’s service dog, Shanti, had to have emergency surgery just a few months ago, because of bloat.  It’s a serious problem and can be fatal.  Some other ways to prevent it are to feed 2 smaller meals a day rather than one large meal, and stay away from raised bowls.

Also, after seeing this video from Planet Paws on Facebook yesterday about common ingredients found in dog treats that are harmful, I felt the need to share it:

Posted by Planet Paws on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Now I regret letting her have that Milkbone biscuit… At least, I know better now.  Just so everyone knows, I checked the ingredients and the Milkbone vitamin treats are fine.  Some other products not covered in the video that also include BHA are Canine Carry Outs and Alpo T-Bonz treats.

I’m tired, because I woke up at 4:30 this morning.  I’ve taken the dogs for a walk, gave Honey a training session, and filled the Kong toys.  Then I watched Gilmore Girls and read until it was time to wake dad up for work.  Since then I’ve been working on my Kickstarter campaign and looking at new gear I’d like to get Honey for the summer, including a cooling vest and a leash-sleeve that says “Service Dog” for when she’s not fully outfitted.  I guess that’s all I have to report for now.  I hope everyone who reads this has a great day and is doing well!