52 in 52: Host a Book Giveaway

This week (week 7) I sought to match you up with your perfect book date. My Valentine’s Day Book Giveaway ran from Monday the 12th through today (Friday the 16th) and I gave away 6 books!

 

If you would like to check out the books that remain and maybe grab one for yourself, head over to my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/angryangelbooks/) and do the following:

  1. Find the Day 5 giveaway post that lists all the books remaining up for grabs.
  2. Comment which one you would like and message me with your address.
  3. (Optional) Visit my Paypal and send between $3 and $5 to help with shipping. https://www.paypal.me/AngryAngelBooks

Do that and a book is yours! I will leave this opportunity up through next Friday the 23rd, and any additional claimed books will go out next Saturday.

Up for week 8 is See a Movie (#39) and it’s gonna be Black Panther and I CAN’T WAIT.

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The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1)

The Bone Witch

I have no idea why I finished this book. Looking back at it it was pretty monotone the entire time and I didn’t really even get told anything about what’s going on history-wise, and yet here I am with it finished and I’m wondering about the second book.

The basic idea is that there are different kinds of magical people named asha. These people control all different kinds of magic: fire, water, air, wood, earth, etc. Female asha  are trained as geisha who can fight and entertain, male asha become Deathseekers who do out to find the daeva. The daeva are mystical creatures that awaken every so many years (each daeva type has a different schedule) and must be killed and sent back to the grave to start their sleep cycle over again.

There is a type of asha called a Dark asha. There are not many of them but they can raise the dead and control other minds. So Dark asha are used to summon daeva before they rise on their own, control their minds, command them to die, and then send them back to their graves without violence. This is done to the daeva whose locations and sleep cycles are known, some are not.

So our 17 year old heroine accidentally raises her dead brother from the grave and is discovered to be a Dark asha, aka BONE WITCH because people are fucking intolerant and cruel, and is taken away to be trained as a murder geisha. Things go badly, plots by a group called the Faceless come to fruition, and we discover that something has happened to our main character Tea to cause her to go into exile and plan the destruction of all the kingdoms.

I mean, I probably kept reading because shit was so complicated. I wanted to understand the world being laid out in front of me but at the same time I was invested in the characters because I love a good revenge story. This was also a story where I forgot that the majority of the characters were teenagers, and it could stand as adult fiction as well. It was YA but the writing was intricate and engaging. I feel like a foundation has been laid and something is about to happen; we are on the edge of a great awakening and a huge battle. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Don’t rush, but go get you some.

Do Something

Election Day Post

Las Vegas Shooting Post

I have written about these things before. I’ve written about our change from inward festering to outward indifference towards our national state of affairs and about how nothing will change even though people and babies are gunned down. Babies. And nothing changes.

Every shooting hits me hard. It’s scary. You can’t stop living your life but with multiple school shootings between January 1st and today (just school shootings, doesn’t include other types) it’s beginning to start to be like a roll of the dice just going in to work.

This one was in Florida. It felt closer. The death toll was higher than others. The shooter pulled the fire alarm. He used a typical school operation to serve his purposes. He was caught alive. He was a white male, but you probably already knew that when I said he was caught alive. He has been associated with white nationalists.

I went into school today and told every single child in my classes that I loved them, that I would do my best to keep them safe. There isn’t much I can do, but I promised to do my best. I explained that we can’t plan for people who want to hurt us, so all we can do is our best to stay safe and take care of each other.

I have spent almost every day since November 2016 scared, angry, or sad. Not always overwhelmingly, but those feelings are always there, brought on by something or other in the news. School shootings affect me. I could die this way. The way things are going it might become true that I will have a greater chance of being killed in a school shooting than I do of getting in a car accident.

I saw this post on Twitter today:

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This is a trap. We’re supposed to be shut up about him being a Trumper because we wouldn’t dare to call a guy an asshole when his daughter has just been murdered. The funny thing is that I can do two things at once. I can feel sympathy for this man for his loss, while knowing he is an idiot who voted people into office that are willing to allow something like this to happen and are bought and paid for by the NRA. It goes alongside the times when people that voted Republican but suddenly didn’t want their Obamacare taken away. ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES? WHAT???

Now, I’m not saying this guy lost his daughter because he voted Republican. I’m saying that the school shooting that took his daughter’s life is something that can happen because Republicans are in power and have been since 2010 and will not change things to prevent children from dying because they get so much money from the NRA. Politico has a great post that will show you just how much money your representative received. You’ll see where the influence lies.

We have to stop giving a pass to people who only learn lessons when things happen to them. We have to stop having a dialogue with people who care nothing for our society and only care about things that benefit them and “fuck everyone else”. Dialogue and “both sides get an opinion” and equal time and blah blah blah has gotten us here. The Tea Party showed up in 2008 and we invited them in and gave them a seat at the table when we should have kicked them to the curb. Not all views are equal. Some are harmful or ignorant and should not be given the time of day. We have to start making demands and shouting over those who would silence us. We have to be louder now. We have to DO something. Goodness knows no one else is going to.

Keep your thoughts and prayers. I want a little less talk and A LOT more action.

No Book Nook: Emotions

Emotions are difficult, more so in a nation built by Puritans. Keep that brave face on and don’t let ’em see you sweat!

But as I’m sitting here crying over a Grace and Frankie episode and thinking about how terrible children are and how wonderful and supportive the women in my life can be I am a flurry of emotions all at once – emotions that my American upbringing, while supplemented with therapy, is still woefully unprepared to handle. But I do my best.

A tool that my most recent therapist shared with me is the feeling wheel.

feeling wheel

The idea is that we have trouble putting feelings into words. The wheel helps us not only identify big feelings, like mad or happy, but also helps us to become more specific about our feelings than that.

Today I felt:

Mad – Hurt – Angry: This was due to a work situation that I’m not ready to talk about but that has been resolved. It will be dealt with though, believe me.

Powerful – Respected/Appreciated – Valuable/Worthwhile: Angry Angel Books gained a brand new patron today on Patreon, and I discovered this generosity almost immediately after I dealt with my work thing, so my angry and powerful feelings were mixing and it was confusing, but this made me feel loved and that eclipsed the hurt from work.

Scared – Insecure/Anxious: Since ending my pursuit of an accounting degree it was time to get my own student loans in line that have been in deferment all this time. Part of that process was applying for an Income Based Repayment program, so that my payments would be based on my income and not on the characteristics of the loans (interest rate, principal, etc). I got the letter from the loan servicer today that told me what my payment would be and it said NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH. After I resurrected myself I called and asked WTF and they said that the IBR only applied to one set of my loans, the others were still in deferment and so still had the real payment showing. Once they come out of deferment on the 22nd of February, the IBR can be applied to them as well and my payment will be the significantly lower one that I was expecting. But that was ten minutes of financial terror – insecurity and fear.

All of these situations are either resolved or preferable, so I should feel better, but they all happened so fast and overlapped each other so tightly that I feel kind of…out of it? Like I put too many ingredients in the blender and now I can’t tell what I made. My immediate plan to settle my mind is to go in to bed early with a good book, and ask my Google Home Mini to play some ocean or thunderstorm sounds while I read about magical, fighting geisha until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.

You can google “Feelings Wheel” and find the version of the wheel that works best for you. I would encourage you to practice giving your feelings more words than the basic umbrella emotion words so that you can understand where your feelings are coming from. Once you know where those feelings are coming from, you will be able to grow an understanding of how to manage them. It’s a low risk, low judgment method and sometimes it can be fun to discover other words to empower ourselves.

Read. Be Brave. Stay Angry.

 

 

Freshwater

Freshwater

African mysticism takes center stage in this novel which explores growing up, mental health, and passion. Ada is born with a multitude of gods within her head, who are not locked out by the shutting of the door. As she grows, a more specific “god” steps forward in the form of her wild, promiscuous side and controls her passion and physicality. All along the gods demand blood, and we find Ada cutting with broken glass wherever she can find it, and the appearance of the blood calms the plethora of voices in her head.

I really liked the premise here. The representation of the confusion in a mind that struggles with depression, anxiety, or personality disorders is well represented with these external forces of African origin. Ada comes from Nigeria to America and brings those influences with her. I have mixed feelings about the depth of this method, because eventually you’ll be reading and go, “okay, so now what?” There is some growth as the gods grow in power over Ada, but Ada herself does not grow or ever really gain control. She is always a servant to the forces within, and that sends a troubling message to those looking for hope, control, or some measure of peace. I suppose it could be trying to bring attention to the multitudes that are lost, but if that’s the purpose I don’t feel like the mark is hit.

Overall the book made me feel hopeless and lost, and in my current mental space that is not a place in which I necessarily wanted to be. But I suppose neither did Ada. So, point made, I guess?

It’s a good book. Don’t rush to it, but if you’re looking for something different and sad that will make you think, consider Freshwater.

52 in 52: The Kitchen Floor, Part 1

This past week my one thing to do was to mop the kitchen floor. I took both Thursday and Friday off from work to go to a bunch of doctor’s appointments (got a schnazzy new pair of glasses and I’m waiting on bloodwork results) and I had planned to get the floor washed on those days off.

But then something went crazy with the rent, and I had to go to Wal-Mart to do a fucking wire transfer because the website for paying rent locked me out on the goddamn 8th of the month even though I made an arrangement with the property manager to pay on the 9th with a late fee and I am waiting on a regional fucking manager of American Homes 4 Rent to call me so I can scream at him like some crazy white lady at an Applebees looking for a free dessert BUT ANYWAY I picked up the mopping materials AFTER I went to Wal-Mart because I was to pissed that I left right after making the payment and drove away before I remembered about the mopping stuff so I drove to the Target down the road and got lost looking for fucking mop buckets.

 

What I’m saying is that the floor didn’t get mopped BUT it did get swept in preparation for being mopped and I have all the stuff I need so that’s part 1 of the process. I know mopping a floor shouldn’t require weeks of time but apparently this is who I am now so stay tuned for part two!

This week I am hosting a book giveaway! Check out the pinned post on my Facebook page for more details! https://www.facebook.com/angryangelbooks/

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Click to enlarge.

Dreaming in Chocolate

dreaming

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes

New Release 2-6-18

One of my favorite quick bite books from last year was The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell. It involved magical pies, found families, romance, and new beginnings and it was a beautiful combo of everything I love in a short and spectacular novel.

So when I saw that she had another magical food book out, I requested the ARC right away, and it was provided by St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley in return for an honest review. And you guys know that I am always honest.

Penelope and her mom run a chocolate store in the small town of Malarkey.  Turns out that an old cabinet/desk in the store gives out magical recipes that only Penelope and her mom, Sabine, can see and execute. The town believes in the magic and comes in often for the regular chocolates and the magic chocolates alike.

Penelope’s daughter Ella has an inoperable brain tumor and we are told that they have decided to stop treatment and just let Ella enjoy life since there is nothing more the doctors can do.

At the previous year’s Festival of Fate, they all drank a hot chocolate from one of the magical recipes called “Kismet Hot Chocolate” and wished for Ella to be cured. So when P&E stopped treatment, the town thought she was better, and Penelope let them believe it so they wouldn’t lose business because people would think the recipes didn’t work.

Ella is the daughter of Penelope’s high school sweetheart Noah, who the Kismet hot chocolate told Penelope that she would be together with forever. She told Noah this, and he went running for the hills. She found out she was pregnant, had the baby, and stayed in Malarkey while Noah went elsewhere to start a business and live his life.

Only now he’s back because a relative of his broke their leg and needs help running their in-town business, and so not only is Penelope trying to help Ella live out the remainder of her life in a happy way, but she is hiding Ella’s parentage from both Ella and Noah, because she doesn’t think that involving Noah at this point would be good for Ella in their current situation.

Everybody still with me? Okay.

I was with this book for a long time. The Kindle, at the time of this blog post’s composition, is reading 61%. But I just cant anymore guys, I can’t take it. Every other sentence is how Ella doesn’t have much time left, as if we had forgotten about the cancer and don’t have the mental capacity to feel that tension build as time passes. And sandwiched in between these reminders and actual storyline are reminders that Noah is her father and how she must keep the secret that Ella is his. Ella is his. Ella is his. Ella is dying. They went to the store and saw Noah. She can’t tell Noah that Ella is his. Over, and over, and fucking over.

Crispell tries to convince us that there is some kind of physical connection between Noah and Penelope but every time they brush against each other lightly Penelope cringes or flinches – nothing heats up. The only cool things about this story are Ella’s bucket list and this magical fucking table and I haven’t heard about them in what feels like a very long time.

When books get repetitive like this I lose interest in things. There isn’t anything pressing me to finish the book at this point. I’m not invested anymore. In fact, the repetition and constant nagging actually makes me feel babied, patronized, and a little intellectually insulted. THERE IS A KID. IN THIS BOOK. THAT HAS CANCER. WHO WILL DIE. IN SIX MONTHS. and I don’t care. Not even a little. No emotions.

There is a lot to be said about subtlety. You can pull my heartstrings by inserting little reminders about her cancer in Ella’s actions and health. She’s enjoying an ice cream but loses her balance. She gets lost at school because she suddenly can’t remember the route back to her classroom. It was like Crispell figured headaches must be the symptom of a brain tumor, and bad cancers only end in death, and that was the extent of her research. There was a way to handle at least the cancer in a way that made me want to see Ella’s story through to the end, even if the reappearance of the dad wasn’t that interesting.

So while I would wholeheartedly recommend The Secret Ingredient of Wishes, Dreaming in Chocolate turned out to be a boring flop for me. I’d give it a hard pass.