I don’t even know what to believe anymore.

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I hate liars.

Being a Christian, I’m supposed to be all about the love and oozing the warm and fuzzies for all of humanity.  But when it comes to people who can’t seem to tell the truth to save their lives… pure, unadulterated, loathing  I struggle with the “love them as you love yourself” thing.

Why I decided to read Andrew Hart’s (aka A.J. Hartley) Lies that Bind Us despite hating the main character, a pathological liar named Jan, before I even began reading the book… no idea.  (Probably because it was a free book and sounded semi-interesting).

A little about the book…

Basically, Jan and some friends are on a reunion vacation to relive a trip they had taken five years ago in Greece.  The group includes her ex-boyfriend, Marcus, and their friends Simon and Melissa (a wealthy couple who organize the whole trip), and Kristin and Brad (a TV star and a real estate professional).   Jan and Marcus are the outsiders of the group.  Jan works in a retail store that sounds a lot like Walmart and Marcus is a high school history teacher.  When Jan gets to Crete, there is another woman joining them, Gretchen, and no one except Simon and Melissa know why she’s even there.

The book goes back and forth between Jan being locked up in a cell somewhere with no idea how she’s gotten there, and the play-by-play of the trip as she tries to recall what happened prior to waking up a prisoner.   She learns a lot about herself and comes to terms with some hard truths about the past (in more ways than one) as the book goes on.

A little about what I thought…

In general, I really enjoyed the story.  It was super interesting and kept me guessing the whole time (which I happen to love while reading a novel).  I felt as if I knew the characters and went through everything with them (which I also happen to love).  Generally speaking, when a book gives me those two things, I’m raving about it to everyone that’ll listen!  Unfortunately…

I was a little put off by the opening of the book, and not just because the main character lies about almost EVERYTHING.  There seemed to be too much description and not enough story over the first few chapters.  Oddly, dispersed between the over describing were places that I felt could have been flushed out a little more.  Thankfully, this wasn’t something that happened throughout the entire book and once I was past the first 3 or 4 chapters I could barely put it down!

Most surprising to me was that I actually found myself relating to Jan!  Despite being a pathological liar, she is actually quite sympathetic and you can’t help but love her.  I saw myself in her as she rode to the villa after arriving in Crete:

I was sitting with my carry-on in my lap, which felt ridiculous and uncomfortable.  The car was huge, and I could have easily tossed it into the back seat or the trunk, but now I was belted in and had been there for so long that turning around and trying to get rid of it felt stupid for reasons I couldn’t explain.  So I sat with the bag in my lap and my arms around it, like it was one of those under-seat float cushions the flight attendants had told us about…

What can I say?  I’ve got a soft spot for people who are just as awkward as me!

Lies that Bind Us is actually a little scary in that it had me thinking about 1) just how well do I really know my friends and 2) just how vulernable am I when we’re hanging out together???

So here’s my incredibly condensed review:

On a scale of 1-5, I’d give Lies that Bind Us a 3.5.  It’s a great story with compelling, likable characters, but I was pulled out of the book too often to give it a 4 and since I can’t see myself ever reading it again, it’s definitely not a 5.  I would recommend it as a “should read” with the warning that it’s one of those books you’ll need to get through the first few chapters before you find yourself enjoying it.

I’d love to hear from you!  If you’ve read Lies that Bind Us, what did you think?  If you haven’t, are you put off by the idea of a pathological liar as a main character?  

When God Made You – a review

Now that my girls are older, I rarely get the opportunity to read children’s books.

Okay, that’s a lie…

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Image found on Flickr, Linda Jordon

On occasion (aka not so occasionally), you can find me sitting in my library/sewing/writing/soon-to-be-bed room reading Dr. Seuss — out loud.  (Not sure what it says about me that there’s a room in my house with an identity crisis) (Also, in case you weren’t aware…  out loud is the ONLY acceptable way to read a Dr. Seuss book!)

Since my girls are now 17 and 12, there aren’t many children’s books that I’m even willing to read, let alone take the time to re-read over and over again.  (Other than Seuss, obviously.)

For a book to achieve such an honor in my currently WAY overloaded schedule, it has got to be phenomenal.  To be honest, I would have told you such a book did not exist.

Turns out, I was wrong (again). Continue reading

Meet and Greet: 4/29/17

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!! Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post. It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times! It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want. It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media. Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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Father Found, Identity Now Missing.

A few years ago, my mom found out that her father wasn’t her father.   She and my uncle had taken a DNA test and it turned out he was her half-brother.

The relationship between my mom and grandma was already strained, so this bomb basically destroyed what little bit of communication still existed between them.  On the few occasions they did speak, it always resulted in my mom insisting on knowing who her real father is and my grandmother insisting that either the DNA results are wrong or the hospital gave her the wrong baby.

While this revelation tore my mom up inside, it didn’t affect me at all.   (Cue the stages of grief…)

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I had never known her father… my grandmother had remarried by the time I was born and I had always thought of my mother’s stepfather as my grandfather.  Even when my grandma divorced and remarried again, I considered her new husband my new grandfather.  (I’m pretty adaptable that way I guess.)

I barely let any of it bother me and continued on with my life.  After all, what did any of this have to do with me?

Whenever I visited either of them, I listened as my mom and grandma berated each other and recounted their side of the story over and over again.  Each defended themselves as if I was the judge & jury and they were trying to avoid the electric chair.  Still, it barely registered as a slight annoyance on my “things I’m going to stress about today” meter. meter down

Then the day came when I got this text:

Call me.  I have a dad.

Continue reading

I lost that loving feeling…

I’ve loved to write since… well, I can’t remember a time I didn’t like to write.  Even during periods of time when I didn’t have the time, or was just so down on myself that I figured “why bother,” the stories would run through my head as if I was typing them at a typewriter (without all the messy corrections).

Characters and places haunted me and I found myself lost in conversations as I tried to listen to what they wanted to tell me.  As a teenager, it was typical for me to sit in class or at a party or even watching TV, but be visiting my fictional world in my mind.  (Go figure I wasn’t valedictorian.)

But one day, it just stopped.  I quit trying to remember my characters and their worlds, quit telling myself that one day I’d write out their adventures and read them when I’m old.  I’d lost my first love.  It just went away.

And I didn’t care.

I didn’t ask myself why.

I’m not even sure I noticed…

Until I took a week long road trip with my daughter.

Now I can’t get the silly little goblins in my head to be quiet! And my poor husband has had more one-sided conversations with me than he’s probably had the whole time we’ve been together.  (I’m incredibly lucky he understands and just laughs.)

I’m pretty sure it was stress and just general busyness that stole my stories away, but it doesn’t really matter.

They’re back now.  And the typewriter in my mind is steadily typing away.