It's Inauguration Day 2017...

It's Inauguration Day and I'm feeling a bit emotional about seeing the Obama family leave. #thanksobama for manifesting my ancestors' wildest dreams. #inaugurationday


[Review]: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

Hardcover336 pages
Published January 13th 2015 
by Riverhead Books

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

[Review]: The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

The Guest RoomThe Guest Room
by Chris Bohjalian
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 5th 2016
by Doubleday

See Synopsis on Goodreads!

This is another one I started reading in hardback but had to finish with the audiobook.

This was my bookclub's BOM for July.

So basically you got a 40ish older brother (Mr. No backbone) who throws a bachelor party for his immature womanizing 30ish baby brother at his home (*cough* damn fool *cough*), of which he shares with his devoted wife and 9-year-old daughter. Said baby brother and even more hound dog groomsmen decides to hire strippers of which they pay extra to have sex (I.e. tag team) and guest what, oh the strippers were sex slaves who took that very opportunity to kill their bodyguards/ captures right there in the house. So now the strippers on the run (literally 10blocks down the street... They so smart :/), the house is a crime scene, the older brother's marriage and family is falling apart, and there is a whole lot of media coverage & legal heat on all the groomsmen (ya damn skippy). I couldn't get jiggy with this because the characters were utterly stupid and it was like as the story went on the author kelp dumbing everyone down for cheap thrills and sad attempts at creating suspense. Uh no! This gets a 3 of I'm being nice and a 2.5 if I'm keeping it real. Read at your own risk, but don't say I didn't warn you.

[Review]: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Birds in the SkyAll the Birds in the Sky 
by Charlie Jane Anders
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published January 26th 2016
by Tor Books

See Goodreads for the synopsis!

"There's a strange beauty in the quirkiness of an insane mind. That intro though...*smh*Wow!" -my thoughts
This was my book club, Bookclub Babes (Silicon Valley, CA), book of the month for June.

Please pardon my delay in a review.  The plot of this novel revolves around a witch and a scientist.  IT start with their childhood where she spoke to animals and he created Science Digest experiments.  They were both social outcasts.  He was bullied for being the geek and she was feared for being goth.  Some psychopath enters their life with a premonition and mission that makes their teenage years far more dramatic and traumatizing  than it otherwise would have been. They are separated then fast forward to their adult years reconnect.  The things transpire that would imply that maybe that psychopath wasn't so crazy after all.

My issues with this one were primarily in the layout of the events.  It goes from children, tweens, teens, adults, then backtracks to the missing years.  The transition to adults made the characters unbearably boring.  I found myself zooming through half the book in a day only to doze off right when the story jumped.   I seriously could not go on at that point and had to invest in the audiobook to muster through.  Then things got interesting when the missing years were revealed but then tapered off again before the climatic ending.  I know fluff when I read it.  Heck, I understand fluff.  It's necessary for fluff to be in stories, but the repetition of fluff and hints before things were finally revealed was excessive.  Also while I can do without sex in an adult novel; if you're going to be there dammit be sexy.  It was so not sexy. At book club, we reread that scene and all agreed none were even a little turned on.  In the end, I admit that I actually liked the novel.  I enjoyed the dynamics between two such diverse characters.  I liked the crafting of the underground worlds that overlap and co-exist with ours.  I found this novel uniquely original, and I would recommend it to science fiction and paranormal lovers alike.

Fearless: Conquering Fear!

"All my life I've had this fear.  A fear that I cannot name.  You see I know that I'm not perfect and my flaws are tease worthy, but the taught of being exposed freezes me to inaction.  And it spreads like a bee to fertilize and multiply other fears.  I fear new people because I'm scared of walking into a room and being judged.  But I'm new to a new city and I know no one.  And how will I meet anyone if the thought of meeting someone can crash and burn of unacceptance?  And so I label myself as shy.  I cannot speak in public.  I write my notes and read from a pad in front of an audience because my pad is my shield.  You see I love to talk and I love to share.  And I could do so much more if I wasn't scared.  I stand here today as mere baby steps to change, to growth.  But I long for the day when I can be completely FEARLESS!" -Kat Pierce (me)

If someone would have told me that a mitzvah would feel this awesome I would have never believed them, but it's true. Doing selfless acts is the best feeling in the whole entire world. 

Today I taught a Higher Learning workshop on being Fearless and conquering fears.

What would you do if you were not afraid? This well-known question has probably come across your mind a few times, right? This workshop was aimed at helping you identify the core of what is driving your fears and the tools to work through them.

All donations for this workshop went toward benefiting the Grateful Garment Project - a local San Jose organization that "restore dignity to victims of sexual assault by providing new clothing and other items to victims of sexual assault".

My workshop was such a success. I set out to inspire, educate, and encourage and I believe I was able to do just that. Plus I raised money for charity! I kept nothing for myself and gave my absolute all in this. I too conquered fears today! 

My heart is filled with such joy right now. I'm on cloud nine! 

Please help support victims of sexual assault, whom had the courage of coming forward.
Donate to support The Greatful Garment Project!
This non-profit aims to restore their dignity!

[Recap]: YA: Boldly Bookish Tour: Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Tiffany Schmidt,& Tara Altebrando

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting three great authors and being introduced to three fantastic new books. Summer is starting to look a lot better.

The Leaving

The Leaving

Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.
Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.
Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story. 

The Long Game (The Fixer, #2)
The Long Game (The Fixer #2)
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
368 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Tess Kendrick, teen fixer extraordinaire, returns in a pulse-pounding thriller about a deadly conspiracy at the heart of Washington.
For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate's campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.
Meanwhile, Tess's guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can--and cannot--be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover first-hand that power always comes with a price.
Perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Ally Carter, the second book in this thrilling series will leave readers breathless.

Break Me Like a Promise (Once Upon a Crime Family, #2)

Break Me Like a Promise (Once Upon a Crime Family #2)

Hardcover416 pages Published June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
No one is unbreakable.
All Magnolia Vickers has ever wanted was to follow father’s path as head of the Family Business. But new legislation is poised to destroy the Family’s operations in the black-market organ trade and Maggie’s recent behavior has wrecked the business-savvy reputation she’s worked her whole life to build.
She’s given an ultimatum: shape up or step aside.
Then Maggie messes up: she downloads a virus onto her father’s computer, and must sneak it off-estate for repair. When Alex, a tech whiz, uncovers the type of information on the machine, he offers Maggie a choice: her Family can give him a kidney, or he’ll irreparably scramble the data. Maggie agrees, but has no intention of keeping her promise or ever seeing him again. That night Alex shows up at her Family estate with copies of confidential Family files and a shocking revelation—the kidney is for him.
The Vickers aren’t willing to let Alex out of their sight, so he moves onto their estate and Maggie is assigned to be his keeper. A task she resents and he enjoys making as challenging as possible. But procuring black market organs is becoming increasingly difficult, and as Alex’s health declines, she’s surprised to find herself falling for him.
Like it or not, Maggie must accept that if she wants to save Alex’s life and carve out a place in the new legalized organ business, she’s going to have to fight for both.

I thought s was so awesome!
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