Virtual Coffee Date

virtual coffee date

Grab a cuppa, I’m running late but I’m here!

If we were having coffee I’d admit to having nothing even remotely entertaining to share – as in the biggest writers block I’ve had in a very long time. I’ve been staring at this blank page for longer than I care to admit. But, I’m not a quitter so I’m going to do my best to share because that’s what I do! Perhaps yesterday’s events sucked my good spirit mojo. Ever have one of those days? One of those, no good lousy days? Yeah, I had that yesterday and I ended up just shutting my shit down, trying to avoid my emails and texts, and I attempted to get lost in a good book. Sadly the book was boring so it just added to my no good lousy day – or maybe the book was boring because of my no good lousy day. Which ever the case, reading was not my salvation, it was yet another unsatisfying chore.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you how it all went down. For the past several weeks, I’ve noticed an exhaust/burning smell in my car. Oddly enough it kicks in just as I get to the carpool line to drop BabyScandal off and oddly enough it goes away if I shut the air/heat off. I’ve mentioned it to Big Poppa, he has even experienced it himself but he has insisted I’m being a worrywart and nothing is wrong with the car. (side note: I’d like to point out that this is not the first time my assumptions that something is broken – i.e.: fridge, last car, dishwasher, have all been poo-pooed only to be proven true. For once in my life I don’t like being right) My old car, the one prior to the current one was the same make and model as this one, just and older version. When I pointed out trouble with that car it was poo-pooed and we later discovered there was in fact a known issue with the car that could’ve resulted in it literally catching on fire while not in use. Fucking fancy electrical units in foreign cars that are smarter than they need to be. Anyway…back to yesterday. As we pull into the carpool line, the smell of smoke is so strong it’s literally pouring from the vents…smoke is coming from the vents of my car. I immediately shut the heat off and notice smoke coming from the hood of my car, up near the windshield. We roll down the windows and proceed through the carpool line. I’m a mom, I’ve got shit to do, kids to deliver, groceries to buy, articles to write…ain’t nobody got time for a smokey car. Plus, I don’t want to freak the kids out any more than they already are…and did I mention Big Poppa was out of town? Of course he was. I quickly drop Scandalito off, dash into the grocery store and get home. The smell of smoke never leaves the car, in fact, it only gets worse. Now I’m all alone and freaking out. We are in a new city, I don’t have a mechanic, I don’t know where the rental car dealership is, Big Poppa is on a plane and I have a handful of hours to get my shit sorted because carpool duty starts at 3PM.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that of course my first stop in figuring this out was to hit my Nerds up on Viber. It warms my heart to know Nikki texted her dad who knows a thing or two about cars – he told me not to drive it and he’d come look at it, sadly, we live several hours and states away – but the offer was nice. All I could think was how the old car could’ve caught on fire sitting in my garage. To say I was freaking out would be an understatement. And Lola offered to help me find a rental dealership – she’s in Canada people! My Nerds are my best girls – they rallied behind me and gave the the virtual hug I needed to get my shit sorted. I ended up calling my realtor, and old friend from college days. He saved the day. He came over, realized it was a major oil leak, called his mechanic, we took in the car and he dropped me off at the rental place…all before Big Poppa could land and return my copious texts about how much I hate this fancy ass ultimate driving machine car that is a bigger pain in the ass than it’s worth. Needless to say, my day was shot – it was after lunch before I got home with my rental – I hadn’t eaten or showered and the stress was physically exhausting. The big red warning light clicked on just as I pulled into the mechanic’s shop. He explained that it should be an easy fix (but since it’s a foreign car, easy does not mean cheap) but given the state of the leak, I was moments away from being stranded on the side of the road. I don’t know about you guys but that is a huge fear of mine…huge. I realize it sounds silly but I’m just being honest. I’m a big fat control freak, I readily admit that, and when I don’t have control of a situation, I freak out. Normally I keep my freak out to myself, but since I have my Nerds now, I let my crazy out on them. They are the best therapy in the world. Love me or leave me baby, that’s how I roll. No closure on the car yet but Big Poppa will be home at lunchtime and he can handle that shit – he’s the car guy. I will say, loud words were spoken last night about how much I hate this car and how expensive it is to maintain and how unnecessarily big and fast it is and how I’d be much happier with something smaller and easier to parallel park…so a trade in could be acoming. Fingers crossed on that one.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about the two cool shows I started recapping for Romance@Random. First off is a show on FX called The Americans – it stars Felicity and the gay brother from Brothers & Sisters. It’s set in the 80s and has outstanding time specific product placements. The Americans tells the story of two KGB agents, planted in America to spy for Russia. It is down and dirty, full of sex and intrigue. Don’t get too close to one character because pretty much no one is safe. It’s recieved tons of accolades and honestly, it deserves all of them. It’s a well written show that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Here’s my first recap: The Americans. Next up, I’ve started recapping Scandal. Scandal on Scandal baby! I just sent last night’s episode over to my editor to post. Do you watch Scandal? Holy fucking cow, last night – what the fuck happened?!!? I’ll try to come back later today and attach the link to my recap. Oh, and watching Scandal while following the Twitter feed discussion about it is a little slice of snarky heaven. How on Earth did we ever watch tv without Twitter?

If we were having coffee I’d ask what you have on tap for the weekend. Reading anything good? Going to the movies? Having kinky sex? We have the podcast tonight and we are doing an author interview with Nina G. Jones. I’m so excited – she’s funny on Facebook, I can’t wait to talk to her in real time.Whatever you do, I hope you have some belly laughs and I hope your car doesn’t catch on fire or cause you any sort of unnecessary grief. Chat with you later!

Scandal signature

Review: Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire ContrerasKaleidoscope Hearts

Author: Claire Contreras

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary

Rating: 5 Stars

Source: Self-purchase

Purchase on Amazon

Liner Notes

He was my older brother’s best friend. 
He was never supposed to be mine. 
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on. 

One of us did. 
One of us left. 

Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me. 
He broke my heart last time. 
This time he’ll obliterate it.

Tania's Review

I loved this book! Loved it! It is exactly what a feel-good romance should be; main characters you can find little fault with, perfectly integrated supporting characters, friendship, family, childhood history, emotional without the ugly cry, and the sexual chemistry between these two ramps up every time they’re in the same room. Kaleidoscope Hearts is happiness that warms the soul. It’s a standalone but Claire, if you’re listening, Jenson and Mia, you should definitely make THAT happen.

Who wants to play doctor?

Oliver Hart is a charming, flirtatious, serial dater, with a panty-dropping smile he exploits to his full advantage. If his good looks and easygoing nature don’t lure you in, nothing will save you from Dr. McDreamy’s dedication and compassion for pediatrics. Oliver has been a presence in Elle’s life since she was a little girl. Best friend to her older brother Victor, the Reuben household has always been his home away from home. Chapters told from Oliver’s POV of past events are relevant to understanding his feelings and reasoning for the decisions he’s made. Even though his disappearing acts have not been some of his finer moments, Oliver has a heart of gold even if his head is a little late to catch up.

5 words or less: ambitious, hard-working, missed opportunities, persistent

All Beautiful Things are a Little Broken

Estelle Reuben knows a thing or two about heartbreak. Her heart has seen its fair share of cracks and serves as the artistic inspiration for the Kaleidoscope Hearts she pieces together from shattered glass. Elle is the type of character that stirs your protective nature and every time Oliver was flirty or suggestive my expectations that he better work his ass off to deserve her, intensified.

5 words or less: resilient, selfless, generous, conflicted emotionally

All the Work but No Glory

The support characters are so well written and likeable, I’m sad this is a standalone and won’t get to see more of them. There was a full cast of friends and family but the two that stood out for me were Mia and Victor.

Mia and Elle have been best friends their whole lives. Mia is not afraid to speak her mind and is more than willing to ask the hard questions when Elle needs a gentle push. She’s incredibly supportive and protective. Add that to her wicked sense of humour and you better sleep with one eye open,

“All jokes aside, if you hurt her again, I will fucking murder you, and I’m not talking about a nice quiet murder, I’m talking dick cut off, internal organs everywhere kind of murder. So please, be mindful of that.”

What I liked best about their friendship was that it was equal give and take, always there to lend a helping hand or just an understanding friend in a vulnerable time. This is what friendship looks like when we hold each other up.

Elle’s incredibly overprotective older brother, Victor, believes that no one will ever be good enough for his baby sister. Whether he’s offering up a place to live, painting and decorating the bedroom so it’s perfect for her, or driving out of his way to break up a date he deems unworthy, there is never any doubt as to the lengths he will go to, to take care of her. When it comes to his sister and his promiscuous best friends, his rule is clear… hands off!

How it All Went Down

Elle is finally moving forward with her life after an expected tragedy. With the encouragement of her friends and family, she is slowly cutting the ties that bind her to a love lost. What she wasn’t expecting was to find herself back in the crosshairs of the one person who shattered her heart. Oliver’s flashbacks throughout the story provide insight to the decisions he’s made. His sole focus on his future and his unwillingness to deviate from his plan cost him the one thing he assumed would eventually be his. With Elle back in his life, he’s finally willing to take a chance even if it costs him his best friend, all he has to do is convince the girl he’s worth it.

Was it Good for You

Oliver’s charming and flirtatious nature is dangerous to Elle’s state of wellbeing and as much as she tries to deny it, their attraction is palpable. This author can ramp the sexual tension up to overload using only eye contact and whispered words so that by the time he’s on top of her and they are tangled in the sheets, you are already breathing hard.

The Big But

There is no BUT. I loved this book, everything about it. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it, except maybe turned it into a series because the big elephant in the room that is Mia and Jenson, that is clearly unfinished business.

I’ll Leave You with This

“They’re not shattering hearts, they’re kaleidoscope hearts,” I correct him.

“What’s the difference? You make them with broken pieces.”

“The difference is that it’s already broken, but I use the pieces to rebuild it. The difference is that the heart has a second chance, and maybe it’ll get broken again, but it’s already shattered, so maybe the fall won’t be as bad.”

5 stars

Connect with Claire

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 Kisses, Tania


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