a body in motion tends to stay in motion

A Body in Motion Tends to Stay in Motion: How to Itemize Your Day for Success.

We all know Newton’s first law of motion. “A body in motion or at rest tends to stay in motion or at rest until an outside force acts upon it.” For many years, I was a font of physical energy. In fact, that has never changed. But recently, I allowed myself to become so bogged … Read more…

perfect summer salad

Am I Grace or Am I Frankie?

I feel the need for renewal. I know that’s weird, as I just posted about depression a few weeks ago, but I need to lay out a plan. I feel like complete dreck. I’m having too much beer, not blogging enough, not running enough, not lifting enough weights. It makes me feel like crap. I’m … Read more…

Reformed Scrumbags.

OH HAIIIII! I’m back.

(I turned in my book. I finished edits. BOOOOOOM!)

Welcome back!

OK, moving on. FIRST. a personal update.

I have been really depressed lately. Yes, I know this is redundant as I suffer from clinical depression, (major depressive disorder if you were wondering) once again, just like this time last year, my body has decided to be a real asshole.  I’m exhausted, I’m sad, I’m overwhelmed with life, and that’s not a good place to be. I feel like I’m failing my friends and family, and barely hanging in there with my scholarship. Normally, I force myself to be so driven, so precise, that I have my days planned down to the minute.

I don’t even know where my planner is.

And I can’t be bothered to care.

When I was in a particularly bleak period, I deleted every piece of fiction I’ve written in two years.

Every.piece.

Because, depression lies. It tells you you’re crap. It tells you that everything you’ve done is crap. It’s dark and lonely, and it tricks and taunts.

I’ve gained weight, and I can’t get my mind around caring enough to stick to a plan to fix that. That’s gotta end because I’ll just get darker if I don’t.

So, to put it lightly, I’m struggling. When I lie down at night, it feels like a vortex of black is sucking me into my own mind. I’m deaf, but it’s like I can hear each and every tick of my clock that is just taunting me, telling me I’m wasting my time. How? I have no idea, but that is what it says.

Essentially, I feel like this right now:

So, if I’ve been absent, know I’ve been trying. I have a plan, I’m going to try to stick with it. Because I hate feeling lost, and that’s exactly how I feel.

So when it came to what I want to review today, I was vacillating between Penny Reid and LH Cosway, Grace Draven, and Sierra Dean.

I went with The Player and the Pixie by Penny Reid and LH Cosway, because their MC has her own issues.

They’re a far piece different from mine, but they’re still issues.

First, here’s the blurb:

THE PIXIE
Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER
Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.
His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN
Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

Give it to me straight.

As per usual, Penny Reid and LH Cosway knock this out of the park. I always go into either of their catalog expecting great things, and I’m never disappointed. Penny Reid’s books tend to be sweeter and sort of have the feeling of freckles and margarita filled evenings with friends, and LH Cosway’s tend to read a bit more sturdy tartan flannel *that has a pink silk lining* and tea with whisky. Together, they marry really well.

If we’re going to continue on Cat’s fucked up metaphor train, I’ll say that The Player and the Pixie feels like swinging with your best friend at a mist-filled playground, drinking lemonade and moonshine. In a word–ideal.

Each character is completely unique and full. The two authors spent the time to care about each action, reaction, gesture, and bit of dialogue. The narreme is so tight, that it’s as though the central issue driving the plot is a guitar, and LH Cosway and Penny Reid are Eric Claptoning the fuck out of it. I wanted desperately for the protags to get beyond their problems, because it felt like if they could–I can. I know that is so fucking trite for me to say, but literature exists for a reason, and if providing a light in a dark period isn’t one of them, I don’t know what is.

tPatP never feels like a morality play, like the authors are finger wagging at anyone’s illness. Instead, it just feels honest, it feels real, and it felt good to read.

I can’t recommend it highly enough, and, if like me, you find yourself struggling a bit, this is a very nice diversion.

The Player and the Pixie

Amazon • Nook

And now, the food.

BOOK REVIEW! The Player and the Pixie by @LHCosway and @ReidRomance and QUICK AND EASY lo mein. Click To Tweet

Recipe, Please!

I was at a loss as to what to cook for this. So I went with a theme. Quick and easy. Just like Sean.

Quick and Easy Lo Mein

quick and easy lo mein quick and easy lo mein quick and easy lo mein

 

Quick and Easy Lo Mein

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: stir-fry side entree vegetarian vegan

Ingredients (serves 4)

    the noodle and veg mix

    • 1 lb lo mein noodles (linguine is fine)
    • 2 red peppers, sliced
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 3 oz shittake mushrooms, sliced
    • 6 oz green beans, trimmed
    • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
    • 1 tbsp ginger, minced

    for the sauce

    • 3 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp tamari
    • 1 tsp sriracha
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup water

    for the toss

    • 3-4 tbsp coconut oil

    Instructions

    boil the noodles to al dente, two minutes before they’re done, add green beans. drain.

    in a wok or large skillet on medium

    heat oil

    add shitake and saute until soft

    add onion and garlic and ginger

    saute until soft

    turn off the heat

    add remaining ingredients

    sauce

    in a separate bowl, combine all sauce ingredients

    combine

    toss everything together

    eat.

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    Je Suis Prest. *for real.

    So I imagine that most of my readers are fairly chomping at the bit for the season premiere of Outlander this Saturday, right? I mean, most of us have read the series, and probably LOVED the series. And,

    OMG THE DRESSES!!

    Can you even? Blah blah blah, men in kilts. blah blah blah. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DRESSES.

    Let’s be honest, Claire is the star of the show. She’s the star of the books, really, I mean, until Voyager. But Caitriona Balfe and her amazing alabaster skin, the miles of porcelain that seems to live between her chin and the really rather deep cleavage of these dresses makes me swoon something fierce. And turn a few shades of green. I’m as pale as she, but my skin looks like a freckled Scottish beach compared to her creamy complexion.

    ALRIGHT, I’LL PUT IT ON. Will it help?

    So in anticipation of this bumroll and cage of awesome. I’m introducing you scamps to a book about the history of the time that all this shit went down.

    Ok, much to all of our chagrin, Claire Fraser isn’t really waltzing through standing stones and announcing her presence on the other side like so much diva fabulousness,

    but the battle of Culloden was quite real, I assure you, and it was just as deadly as it was described.

    The blood stained earth remains, standing guard to the memories of the tragically doomed uprising of the poor, hungry Scots determined to hang onto whatever scrapes of freedom to which they still clung.

    The book is…

     

    The blurb:

    Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, was the last of the great Scottish chiefs – and the last nobleman executed for treason. Determined to seek his fortune with the exiled Jacobite king in France, Fraser acted as a spy for both the Stuarts and the Hanoverians; claimed to be both Protestant and Roman Catholic.

    In July 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie launched his last attempt to seize back the throne, supported by Fraser and his clans. They were defeated at Culloden. Fraser was found hiding in a tree.

    This swashbuckling spy story recreates an extraordinary period of history in its retelling of Fraser’s life. He is surely one of Scotland’s most notorious and romantic figures, a cunning and ambitious soldier who died a martyr for his country and an independent Scotland.

    My thoughts:

    This book is a well told and dense text full of unexpected bits of information about a man who is nearly forgotten by history. We are always regaled with the tales of the martyrs who lead their men to victory, but hardly ever are we given insight to those who lost more than just their breath.

    This is the story of a struggling Scotland, rising up against an un-defeatable enemy, the odds overwhelmingly in favor of the Brits, fighting until the life shed from their bodies and into the eternal earth beneath them. In Fraser’s words you can almost hear the echoes of battle cries from the parched throats of the starving soldiers, screaming in Gaelic and the soul-wrenching language of the dying. You shout with their small victories and sob in their loss. It’s a tough read because the situation was that of hard places and rocks and distant hopes where never the twain shall meet.

    More than that, it’s the story of a now silent hero who deserves the years of history and praise he’s missed. For all of his intrigue and double dealings; for all of his valor and heart, and for Scotland.

    You are remembered, Simon Fraser.

    And now?

    Recipe, Please!

    Obviously, it had to be Scottish.

    Cranachan is an oat and whisky dessert tossed with cream and fruit. It’s smoky and sweet and wonderful.

    It is not, however, healthy.

    It’s toasted in butter and served with whipped double cream and whisky. It’s really a delight.

    My recipe is very almost nearly as delightful. It’s full of protein and makes not only a great dessert, but also a great breakfast.

    Healthy Cranachan and The Last Highlander Click To Tweet

    Healthy Cranachan Healthy Cranachan healthy cranachan

    Healthy Cranachan

    by Cat Bowen

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Keywords: bake vegan vegetarian dairy-free gluten-free kosher tofu

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups scottish oats
    • 1/2 block silken tofu
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1 cup chopped nuts
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp whisky
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • cooking spray

    to add in

    • chopped fruit
    • coconut milk or yogurt

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 375F

    This is simple, add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and beat it for a few minutes.

    pour into a 9″-13″ greased pan

    bake for 15 minutes

    let cool

    crumble over fruit and yogurt.

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