Book Blogger Hop ~ 3.30.18

book-blogger-hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


How many book clubs do you belong to? If you do belong to an in-person book club, do you have meetings in the day or evening? Do you meet at someone’s house or meet at a local restaurant or coffee house?  (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

 

I don’t belong to any book clubs. I honestly don’t have the spare time to purchase, read before the meeting, and show up to discuss a book. I would never finish the books on time.

Top Ten Tuesday: Set In Another Country

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


Books That Take Place In Another Country

18715353Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon

Setting: British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is defined by its Pacific coastline and mountain ranges. Nature areas like Glacier National Park offer hiking and biking trails, as well as campgrounds.

Hollie Porter cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Setting: 1945 Britain (WWII) & Scotland 1743 (Jacobite Rising), the Jacobites were a group of mostly Scottish people who believed Catholic James VII of Scotland (James II of England) and his Stuart descendants should be restored to the throne of Scotland and England. If you want to simplify things, you could think of it as Catholics versus Protestants, or the Scots versus the English. George II’s son, the Duke of Cumberland, destroyed the Jacobite army at the Battle of Culloden in 1745.

Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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The 7th Day by Nika Lubitsch

Setting: Berlin, Germany

Sybille and Michael are a happy couple, finally expecting their first baby. But then Michael disappears without a trace. Sybille finds herself in the middle of a living nightmare. When her husband is found, stabbed to death, there is one suspect only: his wife who is charged with murder. While listening to the witnesses´ testimonies in court, Sybille in her mind revisits her life with Michael. On day seven of the trial, suddenly the truth dawns on her. Now, she only has to find a way to prove it.

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Heat It Up by Stina Lindenblatt

Setting: Finland

A summer work-exchange program in Finland is the perfect escape. But instead of gaining experience as an athletic trainer, she’s cleaning toilets. Awesome. The trip is a disaster, and even better, she meets Kyle Bennett. In the sauna. Naked.

When Sofia’s grandmother decides to set her up with a nice Finnish man, Sofia recruits Kyle as her make-believe boyfriend. Neither expects their first kiss to sizzle. And neither expects, while stranded on an island during a storm, to have a scorching night of passion.

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Striking Out by Scarlet Bennett

Setting: Australia

Forced out of her home in regional Australia with her singing career in ruins, Sharon Jackson hits the city in search of stardom. But the macho world of rock-n’-roll is hard to crack, and Shazza finds herself in trouble. Her career is going nowhere, her past won’t stay buried, and everything she’s worked for is on the line. 

With a sleazy agent who wants more than his fair share , how is she ever going to make it to the top?

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Without Borders by Amanda Heger

Setting: Nicaragua

For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. 

Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for.

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The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corassanti

Setting: Palestine

Gifted with a brilliant mind that has made a deep impression on the elders of his Palestinian village, Ahmed Hamid is nevertheless tormented by his inability to save his friends and family. Living under occupation, the inhabitants of the village harbour a constant fear of losing their homes, jobs, belongings – and each other. 

On Ahmed’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes a reality. 

With his father now imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmed embarks on a journey to liberate his loved ones from their hardship, using his prodigious intellect.

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Yefon: The Red Necklace by Sahndra Fon Dufe

Setting: Camaroon, on the Gulf of Guinea, is a Central African country of varied terrain and wildlife. Its inland capital, Yaoundé, and its biggest city, the seaport Douala, are transit points to ecotourism sites.

Young tribal girl, Yefon Labam, knows she’s different. During the 1950’s, in her Central African village, women are uneducated and are expected to either work on a farm or be one of many wives, but Yefon dares for more—she wants to learn how to read, even if looking at a book could mean her death. Although everyone thinks she’s an abomination, including her mother and sisters, her father knows she’s destined for greater things. When he is murdered, Yefon clings to the gift he gave her for inspiration—a red necklace. She soon comes to realize that the necklace is no ordinary ornament, but a talisman crafted by the spirits. 
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Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews

Setting: Mount Seir (modern day Syria), the mountainous region stretching between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, demarcating the southeastern border of Edom with Judah.

What was Job’s life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family? Through painstaking research and a writer’s creative mind, Mesu Andrews weaves an emotional and stirring account of this well-known story told through the eyes of the women who loved him. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau’s tribe and Jacob’s daughter Dinah.

 

Where are some of your books set?

Sunday Post ~ Reinventing Life

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a weekly news post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase the books and other goodies you’ve received, and share news about upcoming events on your blog. Be creative and personalize it! To get in on the Sunday fun day, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.


This week was good, besides my bad hair days! I’ve been working full steam ahead on finishing the yearbook. Our deadline was last Monday, but they also give a week grace. On Tuesday night Baby kept bugging me in the middle of the night to go out. It wasn’t all that pretty, but I just figured it was her anxiety coming back. I decided to ditch the faculty meeting Wednesday after school and when I got home she had bust into Photography Dad’s office (redesigned as a room for his two little boys) and had pooped all over. Wednesday night we were literally going out every 30-40 minutes. I took Thursday off and we were at the vet’s office first thing. As soon as I set my purse on the counter, Baby had explosive diarrhea all over the waiting room floor. They kicked us out of the building until they had a room for us. No parasites, no pancreas problems, just a bad overgrowth of bacteria. They kept asking me if she’d got into anything – specifically dead animals. How? She is with me all the time. She doesn’t go outside without me. I know what she does and doesn’t get into, so I’m not sure how she got this overgrowth happening. We had a fight getting her to take her meds, so I don’t know how this is going to go for the next 10 days.

Friday brought dozens of spreads still incomplete. I spent all day Saturday working on pages, fixing things, adding content, tagging kids. I finally had to stop at 10:00. I still have two unfinished spreads. 😦

Saturday afternoon my new Temperpedic adjustable bed was delivered. I had to rearrange my furniture to fit with the new bed. I went from a full to a queen, which doesn’t seem like such a big difference except everything is already tight. I don’t like how I had to redo the furniture layout. My old chair is now just sitting in the middle in front of my closet sticking out and taking up all this space. My mom and brother also came over to help me move my dresser and the bed just a tad. I also had my closet doors taken off (I hate the sliding doors, and it’s so dark!), installed a new detachable shower head, and got my dresser top organized so I can pull my jewelry out of storage this week. I also started hanging things on the walls since this is no longer temporary. I felt so at home with my organized space and at peace with how I’ve turned my room into my little home.

Yes, I slept wonderfully last night! So did Baby. We slept like babies!

I started the first few pages of Unmasking Juliet and I seriously hope to make some big progress with it today and tomorrow, now that I don’t have production meetings on Monday nights and I can plan more after school with my partner, I hope I’m able to get home and read and work on things when I get home. I didn’t touch my bullet journal this week, so I’ll be catching it up this week.

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Set in Another Country
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ TBD
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite ~ TBD
  • Thursday
    • Beyond the Books ~ TBD
  • Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 3.30.18

Check back soon!

@sissybearla

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Book Blogger Hop ~ 3.23.18

book-blogger-hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


When meeting with friends, do your discussions usually turn to books? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

 

I don’t get to meet many of my non-school coworker friends all that much. We hardly ever get to talking about books when we have that precious time face to face. We talk about life. We do keep up via text and Facebook, and every so often I’ll share a book with them. Usually at school we get around to talking about books, especially nearing library days. 🙂

My Favorite…Hobby Next to Reading

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme, we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it…The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.


Hobby Next to Reading

Last year I finally bit the bullet and started a bullet journal. I have learned a lot about how to set one up and what works for me (and doesn’t). I was flying by the seat of my pants last year and during the summer I tried spending more time in preparing my pages and pretty-fying them. This year I’ve done really well with that, too. I still don’t have all of my spreads in the front completed yet because some of those spreads take me a few hours to do from start to finish. It really bugs me having to stop in the middle of a project.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


Books On My Spring TBR

I am proud of myself that I am mixing up some of my genres! See, I don’t just read historical fiction.

 

 

What Valentine’s Day theme did you focus on today?

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: A Devil in Scotland

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Synopsis ~ A Devil in Scotland

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

 

Prologue

1806, Inverness, Scotland

Becca would me in the morning room, most likely, because she didn’t like fights. Callum MacCreath slammed the drawing room door in his brother’s face and stomped down the straight-angled stairs to go find the one sane guest – and the one female – in MacCreath House tonight. Let the quartet of devils upstairs make their bargains and plan how to spend their riches. He wanted no part of it. None. Not when it involved choosing blunt over damned common sense.

Chapter 1

Kentucky, 1816

The bushes on the far side of the ravine rustled again. Sinking lower into his crouch, Callum MacCreath slowly unslung the rifle from his shoulder. A light breeze touched his ace, moving his scent behind him, away from the steep, crumbling bank. Readying the rifle, he put his fingers to his mouth and gave a low, two-toned whistle.


Teasers

That was nothing new. Aside from his heard-earned reputation for directness, he supposed it was, like most male MacCreaths he boasted a green left eye and a blue right eye. Ian had the same oddity, as had their father. Not so long ago several of his ancestors had been burned as both witches and demons because of precisely that peculiarity. These days, though, lasses seemed to find his two-colored eyes attractive, thank Lucifer.  [Loc 247]

 

“May I wear a kilt?”

On his other side Rebecca burst out laughing. “No, you may not wear a kilt, Lady Mags. Kilts are for Highlands men. And ladies do not show their knees or their ankles.”

The six-year-old sighed. “Is Grandmama spinning in her grave again?”

 


Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros was created by Bibliophile By The Sea and is now hosted by Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.

Review: Wallflower Most Wanted

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Wallflower Most Wanted
Author: Manda Collins
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: January 2018
Length: 307 pages
Series?: Studies in Scandal #3
Genre: Historical, Romance

A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overhead conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…

Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts 

Sophia Hastings is one of four bluestocking women who inherit Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s home. She leaves behind a letter and clues for each woman in the vein of their strengths. For Sophia, it is artwork. Sophia is a talented painter, as was Lady Celeste. Unfortunately, Sophia’s letter is delayed in reaching her until well into the story.

One unusually early morning Sophia is on the cliffside painting. She gets so engrossed in her work, she tumbles off the cliff to the beach below. Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle, the local vicar, is walking on the beach when he sees Miss Hastings plummet. The two overhear an indiscreet conversation about killing off an artist in some nefarious undertakings. Determined to collectively get to the bottom of the matter, the two spend more time together to puzzle things out.

Being the second son of a duke, Ben knew he was destined for the army or the church. Having no penchant for war, and visiting the properties with his mother as a child, Ben enjoys helping others, so the church was the best choice. While he leads his flock and offers comfort, he takes no interest in the politics of the church. While I don’t typically think of men of the cloth as men to be desired, I suppose a good-looking man can be.

When newcomer Peter Morgan, an industrialist, begins making big waves in Little Seaford, quickly followed by personal and professional attacks against Sophia Hastings. Her artwork is reputed to be obscene and unfit for sensible ladies, even those not of the nobility, too look upon…much less Sophia paint. She is a woman who cares about the social issues that run rampant in society, and she depicts such contrasts in social class in her art.

The sexism is very much alive in this installment in the series, and Peter Morgan calls in everyone up the line he can think of. When Ben will not aid him in his cause to have Sophia’s work removed from the upcoming art exhibit, he then pulls political strings and has the Bishop of Chichester to threaten Ben’s future.

One of Ben’s brothers pays a visit to Little Seaford and enlists Ben to assist the Home Office in investigating a forgery ring that’s operating in the are. With Sophia’s lifework revolving around art, and her contact with the local artist colony, she becomes an integral part of the investigation. As the investigation wears on, Ben and Sophia grow increasingly close and uncover a few key clues.

The mystery and suspense of the forgery and all involved kept me turning pages. I thought I had the forger pegged and I was adamant that I was right (just like Sophia). Then the possibility of two forgers surfaced and my theories all went downhill from there. The pacing of the book was just right and the cast of characters were interesting and gave some more insight into both Sophia and Ben’s relationships with their families.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Manda Collins spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. An affinity for books led to a graduate degree in English, followed by another in Librarianship. By day, she works as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college, where she teaches college students how to navigate the tangled world of academic research. A native of coastal Alabama, Manda lives in the house her mother grew up in with two cats, sometimes a dog, sometimes her sister, and always lots of books.

Find the author: Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday Post ~ Onward!

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a weekly news post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase the books and other goodies you’ve received, and share news about upcoming events on your blog. Be creative and personalize it! To get in on the Sunday fun day, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.


Monday I went back to get my things after the shit show that was last weekend. If my science peep from school hadn’t shown up with her SUV, we would have been screwed. It was dicey as it was, fitting my entire life in my Jeep and a truck. And then I got this lovely. If it’s just about you selling your house, why so fucking nasty? Why be a complete ass the day I did come to get my things the first time?

No, it’s not about your dad or our compatibility or your house. It’s about something else motivating you…like your little Facebook bunny that’s been popping up for weeks.

We got all of my stuff moved and put in my new storage unit across from my school. I’m sad to part with my bookcase, and all of my jewelry is also packed up in there. I am looking for a little desk to put all of my supplies and bills and whatnot on to store so I can pull my jewelry out and put on my dresser.

I have such an amazing tribe of people who have come out and offered comfort, cuss words, and love. A friend from high school has sent continuous streams of music, a girl that lived on my floor freshman year of college sent me money to get a pedicure, and it’s just been phenomenal.

To all of you who left such kind comments of comfort last week, thank you!! I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life, near and far.

anxiety attack – spent 15 minutes like this

Baby has been an emotional mess all week, throwing up and soft pooping everywhere. Her anxiety ratcheted because of his decision. He never considered the impact it would have on our dogs. She has finally started calming down a bit. I do enjoy going back to how we used to be. She comes and crawls in bed and cuddles with me and will sleep through the night. She LOVES the new roommate. I found them curled up on the couch asleep one day when I came home.

Tuesday I went out searching for a new bed. I had just planned on buying a new mattress, but then I saw the awesomeness that we have in bed technology today. SO I SPLURGED SEVEN GRAND and bought myself a GOOD bed. I’m not spending $600 on the road anymore. I needed this but have been putting it off because my little bedroom was only supposed to be temporary until May…but now that’s not happening, SO. I did one BIG thing towards my 2018 word: ME. I bought an adjustable massaging Temperpedic with cooling technology. I can’t wait for it to be delivered and installed!

I’ve been saying for a few weeks that I wanted to get extensions, so on Wednesday I went to FOUR salons to get options and opinions. The first was horrible. I walked out after my stylist left for lunch during my appointment and I waited for 20+ minutes for another one to come in and see me. I was so hopeful I’d walk out with beautiful hair. Only to learn at the shortest 7-8 weeks and possibly 5 months for my hair to grow out in order to do it. Of course, the most expensive salon was the one that gave me the most hope and the stylist was SO super sweet and even shaped up my hair. She was the only one who offered to help with my hair crisis. I think I will definitely be going back to see her mid-May. Even though I’m sad my hair is even shorter (and is an old lady cut), I’m glad something constructive was done with it. My hair looked like the one on  top (left), except way shorter. I just want it to grow out!

On Wednesday I also splurged even more on myself. I was in the area, so I stopped in at my bra place. I’ve been going to this place for almost 17 years because they are the only store in the area that actually does bras right and carries my size. A lot of people think the bigger the band size, the bigger the cup. NO. That’s not how it works. This store imports from the UK, which does clothing right. With the bra club, you buy six and get the seventh at a significant discount. I had already bought some in August, so I was close to hitting my sixth. I only paid $3 for my seventh bra!

Thursday and Friday I helped a family friend clear out and organize her stamp room. She is so awesome. She can literally do anything. She sews and quilts, she scrapbooks, she runs the family farm business, she does vinyl and shirts and stuff, she makes homemade cutesy cards and invitations. We emptied about 20 or so tubs and crates and got her room organized in a way that she can start going through things still has space. I’m not going to lie, it was hard work!

Saturday morning I went to the memorial for my friend who died the day after my birthday – the one I was going to see the next day. It was such a beautiful service. The final photo they showed in the slideshow was from her wedding day where she was getting into the car and waving at the camera. The music was wonderful and it was the perfect memorial service for her.

Saturday night was my brother’s birthday/deployment party. My middle brother, who used to be stationed in Hawaii and is now stationed in Kentucky, came in to surprise us at the party. It was a good time spent with my family.

I didn’t do any reading whatsoever this week. I hate that, but I also needed to not read. This is still my next book and I am excited to read this story of the competing chocolate families. I also didn’t blog or do anything in my bullet journal, either.

I don’t know if I’ll meet my Reading Assignment goal for this month….but that’s OK. Today I plan to get caught up with the blog and do some April planning in my bullet journal. 

  • Monday
    • Review ~ Wallflower Most Wanted
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books on My Spring TBR
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ A Devil in Scotland
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite ~ Hobby Next to Reading
  • Thursday
    • Beyond the Books ~ TBD
  • Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 3.23.18

Check back soon!

@sissybearla

BUT TRUE.

My Favorite…Music at the Moment

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme, we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it…The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.


Music at the Moment

I am primarily a country music listener. I do really enjoy 80s music and some alternative too.

I haven’t been very interested in a lot of new songs rolling out, and I’ve noticed a lot of female artists don’t have a lot of singles out right now. Carrie Underwood has “Champion” (which I don’t like), and that’s all I can think of from female artists. Most of the music that has caught my attention lately has been some of the newer artists. Sound is what first catches my attention. If musically it speaks my ears’ language, I listen to as much as I can without ruining the song. This is why I love a lot of Kenney Chesney’s early 2000s work, like “Old Blue Chair,” “On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful,” “Dreams” and “I Can’t Go There.”

After the sound, I tune in to the lyrics. What is the song saying? If I’ve fallen in love with the sound, it is almost garunteed I am going to love the sentiment of the song, as I did with all four of those Chesney songs. One of his newer ones I love is “Hemingway’s Whiskey.”

I love the sound and the lyrics of these songs, and they have really caught my attention lately. I am NOT a Jason Aldean fan. His voice and his music reminds me too much of an ex (who was a quintessential player using his PTSD and depression to manipulate – plus the narcissism) who was full-on Aldean. I only like 3 or 4 of his songs, and his latest single is one I add to that list.

And “In Lonesome Dove” always makes me crank it up and belt it out. I only recently discovered this in the last year or so and I just love it.