Inconceivable! By Tegan Wren
"I've learned in the last few months there is no Plan B. There's just life."
Inconceivable is a romance, but it is so much more. I truly loved this book and hope the author writes a sequel.
Hatty is a quirky, frank journalist who is assigned to cover the Royals in Toulene. Through her reporting, she is swept off her feet by John, the Prince. Their love story is beautiful, complicated, and what I would call a "slow burn," which kept me intrigued. Both characters are extremely likable. I was rooting for them the whole time.
The book covers their relationship from their rocky beginnings and beyond. I loved that the book never slowed down and always kept me interested. Unlike many romance stories, the book doesn't just end with a happily ever after. The book covers their relationship over a span of a few years, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked seeing the good and the bad in their relationship.
I loved Hatty's character. I liked that I could connect and relate to her. However, the book was also interesting because it dealt with a world few of us are privy to: the world of royalty. I liked seeing that side of it and watching Hatty transition into this foreign world. I also found John very likable because he changed and grew because of Hatty.
This book deals with many different topics such as identity for women, balancing love and work, and infertility. I think many women in various walks of life would benefit from reading this story.
I also liked how the chapters were very short. It made me want to keep reading. I do think some of the chapters ending abruptly, especially at the beginning of the book. Sometimes I wished there would be more detail in certain scenes. I also felt like some scenes were skipped over (I don't want to spoil it for you). I just felt like there were big gaps of time at certain points.
Overall, this book was amazing. I truly would like to read more about these characters. Tegan Wren is a gorgeous writer who connects with the plight of the modern day woman.
Check out the book on Goodreads!
At ninety-three, my grandfather has survived a lot. He lived through WWII, serving in the war. He lived through the death of my grandmother, the death of a son, bouts with skin cancer, and a heart attack.
With all of the things he’s survived have come many changes. A few years ago, he left the house he bought with my grandmother, the house my mother grew up in, to move closer to our family in Hollidaysburg. He moved into an apartment complex for the aging, and had to get used to a completely new type of life.
It hasn’t always been an easy adjustment, especially for my mother.
Although my grandfather is able to live independently, my mother truly serves as his caregiver. She is his apartment cleaner, grocery buyer, laundry washer, bill payer, finance organizer, pill refiller, question answerer, and everything else in between.
It’s not an easy job.
Caregiving: The Balancing Act
Like so many, my mom has had to make the adjustment in her life from being the child to being the caregiver. It is a tough task. Not only does my mom work full-time and keep her own life going, she has to also take on my grandfather’s household, keeping it managed and working. Add to that the role she plays in my life, and she’s a busy woman.
So many people don’t realize how difficult it can be when your parents age. With the role of caregiver, even if it is for an independent parent, comes a very tenuous balancing act. Essentially, my mom is constantly balancing three households: her own, my grandfather, and mine. It’s wearing, it’s taxing, it’s stressful, and it’s frustrating.
But she does it with patience and grace. She does it because she has to, but she also does it because she is an amazing, caring person.
I think many women in this age range find themselves in this hectic balancing act. That’s really what inspired the character of Annie in Then Comes Love.
Like so many women in their fifties, Annie is trying to care for her mother while also keeping tabs on her thirty-two-year-old daughter. Annie suffers with feeling like she never really has her own life and feeling worn out. Add to that a divorce and career issue, and you’ve got yourself the perfect storm of a mid-life crisis.
There are many humorous issues Annie has to deal with, some based on my understanding of caregiving through my mom’s eyes as well as my time visiting my grandfather’s apartment complex. Switching to a new life in a place for the elderly isn’t easy on anyone, and it is accompanied by its share of complexities.
Then Comes Love, among other things, seeks to focus on the hectic, stressful, but also humorous life that can unfold when the elderly are forced to find a new place to live.
Three generations of women,
Three second loves,
All with a dose of chaos mixed in.
Author: Lindsay Detwiler
Title: Then Comes Love
Release Date: March 18th
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Sometimes in life, changes can be good…
After losing her husband, her five cats, and her home, Charlotte Noel hates feeling dependent. As Charlotte tries to find her identity in this new stage of life, she comes to realize that drama never ends, dance aerobics can be a war zone, and love is always a possibility.
You never know when a midlife crisis is going to strike…
Charlotte’s daughter, Annie, is going through struggles of her own. Recently divorced, she is feeling frumpy and worn-out. Run ragged, Annie mourns her youth and wonders where her life is headed, all while hoping she can help her daughter Amelia get it together.
Settling down can be overrated, especially when you’re falling for a rock star look-alike…
Amelia is the wild child of the family. Working three jobs, because she just hasn’t figured out what she wants in life, she realizes happiness isn’t always settling down with a steady, dependable man; sometimes it’s about following your true passion and living on the edge.
No matter what age you are, life and love can be crazy…
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An high school English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay's the English teacher cliché; she love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.
She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry.
Lindsay's goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she's done her job.
Lindsay's hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Book Review: I Am Malala
" I don't want to be thought of as the 'girl who was shot by the Taliban' but the 'girl who fought for education.'"
Malala's story is empowering on so many levels. As a teacher and a woman, I was inspired by Malala's fight for education and equal rights. However, I think her story goes beyond just female empowerment or a value of education; with a maturity well beyond her years, Malala speaks to the fundamentals of being human. She promotes a message of peace, solidarity, loyalty, hard work, and perseverance.
This book grabbed my attention in the very first chapter. Although most of us know the story of Malala's hardships, reading the emotion behind that moment that changed her life was very impacting. After the first chapter, Malala discusses her background in the years before the shooting. I found it eye opening to learn about her culture and see how girls live in this part of the world. I found it interesting that Malala's family valued education despite the fact that many girls in her region are not encouraged to go to school.
My only criticism is that it took a long time for Malala to get talk about the shooting in the book and about her recovery. I wanted to see more about her recovery and her life after the shooting. I wish there had been a few more chapters.
Nonetheless, this book is extremely motivating. It made me realize how much I take for granted and how valuable education is. As a teacher, I can say that many of us take learning for granted. In fact, we complain about having to go to school. Malala shows us that education is a gift that should be cherished; she almost died for that right. I will never look at learning in the same away again.
Malala's story reminds us that one person can make a difference and that survival sometimes leads us to a bigger purpose in life. This book is a must read for every teacher, student, and woman.
Petit Vour February: Beauty Box
Check out the February Petit Vour box!
I love Petit Vour because it is Vegan AND (more importantly for me) Cruelty Free. All products are from companies who do not test on animals. Each box is $15 shipped and includes four products, sometimes full-sized.
Here's what I got this month:
1. JUICE Beauty Stem Cellular Booster Serum
2. HAN Skin Care Cosmetics Eyeshadow
3. CHRISTY ORGANICS "Trance" Perfume
4. GRAYDON Hair Smoothie
It's surprising, unexpected, crazy, complicated, frustrating, difficult, and a whole lot more adjectives.
We think we master it. We think we predict it, control it, shape it.
But we don't.
Sometimes love comes along when we least expect it or when we don't even want it to. It comes along when we're hurt or broken, when we're busy or unwilling.
Sometimes we give up on it, think it's over for us.
But so many times, it is only then that love comes along.
Then Comes Love releases March 25th, 2016 with Hot Tree Publishing. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads list and check out my Facebook for updates.
Enter to win a $25 Amazon card and a signed paperback of my novel Without You! Just sign up for my author newsletter. You can use the subscribe box to the right or you can go to this link: http://www.tinyletter.com/lindsaydetwiler.
I'll be choosing a winner at random on March 31st. Please share!
Chad and I are twenty-eight-year-olds who’ve been married for four years, but we’ve been together way longer. We met when we were twelve; we sat across from each other at the table in art class. We’ve been together basically ever since. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of laughs, tears, and times we wanted to give up. We’re still together though, and still happy. We’ve learned that our society’s idea that monogamy isn’t possible and marriages aren’t forever just isn’t true. Marriage is hard, it’s frustrating, but it can last. In this new segment, I’ll share some real-life tips about what we’ve learned along the way.
Every woman, on some level, craves the grand gift-giving gesture. You know, the one from the movies where the sinewy protagonist blindfolds his significant other and leads her into a room filled with billions of roses and a gorgeous, one carat diamond ring. Or there’s the lavish surprise vacation to Hawaii for two weeks filled with romance. Maybe it’s an outrageous dress to wear to a lavish, reservation only dinner. Maybe it’s a brand new Corvette. Maybe it’s that hot pink diamond ring in the Litman’s jewelers case with a $5,000 price tag (no hints here, or anything, Chad).
But let’s face it: for many of us, these lavish gifts are simply daydreams and may stay there forever.
Few of us live lives of the movies…and, if we’re being real, few of us would want to. Does the ring big enough to make your hand hurt necessarily equate to a real emotional connection? It could… but then again, a huge price tag does not necessarily symbolize a huge amount of love. It’s sparkly, it’s gorgeous, it’s envy-worthy… but it doesn’t solidify your relationship, as too many women have come to learn the hard way.
For many of us, reality can bite when it comes to gift giving. The struggles of paying the mortgage and the outrageous phone bill coupled with life’s lovely surprises (as in our water heater blowing up a month after we spent our savings on the house) can sway even the most romantic couple to a dollar-store level exchange. The corvette gets traded for a waxy piece of chocolate. The one carat ring becomes a one dollar carnation. The lavish vacation becomes a trip to McDonalds.
But you know what I’ve learned?
In all seriousness, it doesn’t matter.
Give me McDonald’s cheeseburgers over caviar and champagne any day… because true, the cheese might be a bit strange and the burger a bit questionable. But I’ll still have an awesome time. I’ll still laugh my butt off with the crazy, goofy man I’m married to.
Over the years, Chad and I have struggled with finances like any couple just starting out. We’ve been blessed, but we’ve had the years where we bought each other ten dollars in stuff from Dollar General for Valentine’s Day instead of splurging. We’ve had our years of waxy chocolates for Valentine’s Day and dinners at home. We’ve had our Christmas exchanges where things are far from equal.
Flashback to our high school days when Chad was working part-time for minimum wage, and there were plenty of Valentine’s Days and holidays on the cheap. Wildflower bouquets, dinner cooked at home, and homemade gifts became our staples.
But guess what?
I still have the wooden heart he carved for me in eighth grade (complete with a mistake on the backside of it , which just makes it more precious). I still remember the day he stopped on his way to school to pick a bunch of random “wildflowers” which were probably just weeds because he couldn’t afford roses. I still have every note he wrote me, every dollar store card.
That’s not to say we’ve never gone overboard on gift giving.
Have we splurged on gifts over the years? You bet.
There was the time in eighth grade he saved his allowance for months to buy me a locket for Christmas. There was a promise ring in tenth grade that set him back a few. There was the Playstation and DDR game he bought me one year for Easter (Don’t judge :) ). There was the Nicholas Sparks signed novel he bought me last year for Christmas.
There was the Wii and the gaming chair I bought him. There was the expensive toolbox, countless video games, and trips to Medieval Times.
We’ve both splurged. Maybe not Corvette level, Hawaii level splurges, but, in the scheme of our middle-class budget, they were splurges.
Were they special moments? Yes.
But would I trade all of those splurges for some of our free and cheap moments? You bet.
Last Valentine’s Day, we didn’t even exchange gifts. We spent the evening splitting a $10 Stromboli and a bottle of the cheapest vodka. We watched Netflix, laughed at stupid inside jokes, and just spent time together.
And it was the best Valentine’s Day we’ve had to date.
So there will be years in your marriage when you don’t have the money to buy or get gifts. There will be disappointing holidays where you feel like he’s forgotten you or doesn’t care about your relationship.
Please remember, though, that gifts are not measures of your relationship. We’re all guilty of Facebook bragging… I myself put a picture of the roses Chad got me on FB for Valentine’s Day last week. But don’t feel like you have to compete with your friends.
At the end of the day, gifts, no matter the holiday, are just nice gestures. They are not predictors of the success of a relationship. They are not requirements.
Giftless holidays sometimes allow you to understand what you have when you take all of the extra stuff away. If you have a giftless holiday but can still enjoy the company you’re with, then you’ve achieved the greatest gift of all.
Voice of Innocence, Without You, and Then Comes Love
Abs rippling, the sexy hunk sweeps the perfectly clad woman off her feet, kissing her at just the right moment. A few perfect lines, a few perfect touches, and they are off to their happily ever after.
These are the scenes modern romance is made of... or are they?
As a society, we seem to be obsessed with the idea romance is for the twentysomethings only. I am just as guilty as the next woman of wanting to see a gorgeous, sinewy hunk in my romance movie or next read. We think romance is synonymous with youth. I guess in a way it is.
But does that mean there is a cut off for love? Does that mean romance, passion, and the spark dies after your twenty-ninth birthday?
I certainly hope not.
Love's Age Limit
This morning, my faith in love later in life was restored thanks to the Today Show. There was a beautiful special about couples who have been married over fifty years. Hoda hosted a special party for forty-one couples who have been married over fifty years. They even made a music video with the couples called "Little Romance."
I found it so refreshing and emotional to see these couples interact in the segment. There weren't any six-pack abs or perfectly tight faces. There weren't passionate kisses or flirtations.
But there was certainly love.
There were looks of deep, genuine care for one another. There were laughs that certainly had their foundations in the decades. There were gentle touches, care for each other, and just joy.
Watching this special, I realized that our society puts so much emphasis on the wild, crazy love of youth that we forget what love later in life can mean.
Sure, love later in life might not be zesty and spicy. It might be lacking the swoonworthy scenes of our favorite rom coms.
Looking at those couples today, though, I realized there is a genuineness, a deepness in love that spans the decades. There is something to be said for a couple who pledge themselves to one another and make it last through the years, good and bad. There is something heartwarming about the way those couples looked at each other.
Love Later In Life
There are plenty of real life examples to go around, too. I can remember visiting my grandfather at his retirement community apartment and seeing an adorable couple sitting together on the bench. They were so happy together, holding hands and laughing in the summer sun almost every day.
I came to learn they had just met at their apartment complex. They were both in their seventies, and both had loved before. Together, though, they were just a portrait of happiness. They glowed when they were together. I heard from an acquaintance later who knew the woman that she said she never knew love until she met this man at the retirement center. She had been married before, but she hadn't loved as deeply as she did now.
I thought that was an amazing sentiment.
Sometimes, we think there's an age limit on the heart. We think that once one has lived so many years or had so many experiences, the heart dries up.
Such is not the case.
Love can come in so many forms at so many unexpected times.
Love and Literature: Capturing Real Love at Every Age
As a writer, I try to highlight the real woman's experience. I've written about teenagers. I've written about twenty-year-olds. Now, I'm also writing about an eighty-year-old for the first time.
It seems like there wouldn't be much to write about in an eighty-year-old's love life... but I've found it to be quite the opposite. Then Comes Love follows three different women of three different ages: 80, 50, and 32.
Surprisingly, though, I think it was more fun to write the eighty-year-old's story than the others I've written so far. It was fun to explore what love later in life looks like. There was so much complexity to write about and so many emotions. There were things to explore that I didn't get to explore with my other characters. There was also a depth and realness to the emotions that I hadn't experienced with younger characters.
Most of all, I feel privileged to get the chance to highlight a facet of love we often forget. Love later in life is a real thing. I hope this book sheds some light on that fact and gives some women hope. I hope it reminds women that love does not have a time limit or an age limit.
So am I swearing off writing about young love? Absolutely not.
There's something so special about the first time the heart finds love, usually at a young age.
But the thing is, I've realized that no matter what your age, love is always special when it comes along. It catches us off guard no matter where we are in our lives. It moves us, it changes us. It challenges us.
So whether you're fifteen or one hundred and fifteen, love is a common denominator in all of our lives.
And no matter what age it comes at, it's always a beautiful, magical, and complicated thing.
Without You is only 99 cents for Kindle this weekend in celebration of Valentine's Day! Find your new book boyfriend this weekend!
On the surface, Jenna Landsen has it all…
She’s smart, beautiful, confident, and married to Camden Landsen, who happens to be drop dead sexy and just as successful. But after five long years, all the success in the world hasn’t brought the romantic spark back into her marriage. Jenna fears it never will.
When life gives you lemons, open a bakery and name it Vi’s…
Violet Streiff made the exact mistake her mother warned against—she fell in love with Liam Coffman, a charming finance major. When he left her heartbroken to further his career, Violet drowned her sorrows by opening a bakery, and now relies on Bob, her eighteen-pound cat, for warmth at night instead of a sexy man.
To find love, sometimes you first have to discover yourself…
When Jenna’s job offers an extended trip to New York, she packs her bags and takes a two-month vacation from life. The chance of her marriage surviving looks grim, until the surprise of a lifetime throws a wrench in her plans to stay in the Big Apple for good.
You can bend the rules—but sooner or later they’ll break…
When Violet meets a gloomy but totally drool-worthy guy named Camden in her shop, she’s sure her luck has changed. There’s no denying the chemistry, but he’s married, and that’s a major problem. Violet isn’t a homewrecker. Still, staying away from Camden proves nearly impossible. That is, until his wife comes home.
Double the chance to find love in the most
unexpected places—or double the chance for disaster.
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