Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers: Infinity Wars - Movie Review

I just want start off by saying, WOW, Holy Shit, WTH!!! I mean, WOW.

I am going to do my very best to give nothing away but I know there are a few things I was expecting going into this movie so I am going to mention them. If you were not expecting them then, I’m sorry.

Hell I don’t even know where to begin because dang it had so much in it. This movie seems to pick up where Thor ended with Asgard being destroyed and his people fleeing. It was such a powerful opening scene I didn’t think that the entire film would carry that strength through each minute of it.

I honestly don’t think there were any points where I was bored or thinking it needed to move faster. There were a lot of great one-liner moments. I will forever be a Loki girl, I just love him. But I am a sucker for a good bad guy.

One of the great parts about this movie is it really does tie in all of the movies into one solid story line. There wasn’t any parts of the movie that felt like certain characters weren’t getting enough screen time. It was pretty well divided up.

I went into the movie expecting either Iron Man or Captain America to die. I even joked with my husband ‘do you want to bet’ on which one it is. The reality of the actual loss in the movie was so painful. My kids, 16 and 13, were with us and my son, god love him, was in hysterical crying and my daughter had tears streaming down her face. Had I not been comforting my son and reassuring him that it was just a movie and fake I would have been crying too. It had such an emotional pull at every heart string.

My husband reassured me that in the comics there are ways for things to be reversed and that brought comfort knowing that maybe, just maybe, the ones we have come to love over YEARS of our lives of devotion won’t be gone for good. Sometimes I love that he knows the comics and knows what’s coming up next, or that it is truly playing out the way it is supposed to.

Man, it has been about 12 hours since my family walked out of the theater and I still feel it reeling inside of me.

Marvel does such a fantastic job with their movies. I don’t know why they can do such amazing theatrical films and others cant but I am so glad to have it to turn to some days to remove the boredom of daily life.

Obviously I am giving this a 5 Star Review. This is probably easily the best movie of the year. I wasn’t a fan really of Black Panther, it just, didn’t do it for me. But after seeing how Wakanda participated in this chapter of the story I can now appreciate what Black Panther’s movie was doing much better.

Fantastic job Marvel, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt and the entire cast. You all just amazed me.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Trumped Up Survey ...

In college at Sam Houston State I minored in Political Science. That was back when I was naive enough to think I could help change the world and wanted to become an activist or lobbyist, then one day president. Pipe dreams, what can I say? I was young, I had hope...

Flash forward 13 years since graduating from SHSU and deep down I still hope that one day I can help change the world I however now just regret never following that dream, or hell any of my dreams. But I still have passion and still wish I could be involved.

This morning when I went to the mailbox and saw that ‘President Trump’ had sent me a survey through the RNC to obtain MY ‘grassroot’ opinion I was kinda excited to fill out the survey. Because I have a lot of opinions about what is going on in this world of ours and yes I want someone to hear my thoughts.

Of course it came in all official looking paper with a document code and a registration number. My first middle and last name were on it and it even included a letter from the president! Ohh, getting more exciting right?

Now I know that I am in a vast minority of my friends and probably my followers of my blog/author stuff in being a Republican and having voted for President Trump. I’m not ashamed, I just, have my reasons. I couldn’t vote for Hillary. So we will end the subject there. And no, that does not mean that everything the president has done I support because I would take his twitter app off his phone if I had the power to for sure. That being said … I was hopeful that with this letter included in the survey would help lead to an independent opinion of the matters facing the country.

First, the letter he (or probably a staff writer) wrote was just as boisterous as his speeches. To the point that words were bolded, capitalized and even underlined for emphasis on the RNC’s agenda. I didn’t need a very small list of summaries on the items the gov’t accomplished in 2017. The fact the letter had to be spaced the way it did is kinda sad. Yes I agree the main stream media is being pretty awful and manipulative and the democrats are road blocking a lot of progress, but pointing that out in a letter to the members of the Republican Party is going to further divide the country, not bring unity.

This is the crap I can’t get on board with, RNC. I don’t know if this was from President Trump or if they just used his branding but it was a major turn off for me and I hadn’t even looked at the survey yet. After I read the three pages of jargon that was right leaning and not close to bi-partisan (kinda hypocritical if you ask me) I rolled my eyes at the end when it asked for a contribution. After placing the letter aside I began to evaluate the survey.

It was basic, and right leaning. For me, someone who is about 60% republican 40% democrat this survey was a letdown. I know how they want me to answer it because the questions again felt leading.

Anyone who has studied surveys can tell you that you can manipulate and manufacture results anyway you want to. It is in how you word the sentences for the question or the answer choice.

I liked question 11, where it asked what my opinion was on what should be the top priority of the President. I answered balancing the federal budget. Because honestly, if we can’t even get our money right none of it matters because we will end up broke and out of our place as the top country.

So my excitement for this survey had dwindled down some but I was still going to send it off. Until question 12 hit … I am going to type it word for word.

12. Will you make a commitment to work with President Trump and the Republican Party to promote his agenda and elect candidates in 2018 that are dedicated to Making America Great Again?
-YES! President Trump, you can count on me. I am pledging my support with a contribution to the Republican National Committee of:
$25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or other
-No, I cannot make a commitment today, but I support our President and his agenda. I am returning my survey document with a contribution of $15 to cover processing.
-No, I do not support President Trump and Republicans in Congress

Signature ______________________________ Date___________
                     (Legal Name Pre-Typed Here)

So, President Trump and the RNC, are you saying you want my opinion, ONLY if I give you money? Let me also add the return envelope requires a stamp, they couldn’t even spring to cover postage. Yeah this offends me.

What a bias survey. This means that ONLY the people with A) an extra stamp laying around and B) extra money that they WANT to donate to a cause they may or may not find useful will respond. More often than not only the diehard republicans (which I am not) will send back this survey. And of course, if you are a diehard republican you are going to answer yes to all of the right leaning questions. Which means the answers are skewed … this is not a true sample of any part of the country then. It’s a sample of the republicans who can afford a stamp and a donation.

I’m not saying I can’t afford a stamp and a donation, I am saying, I’m not giving it. You want my opinion for a survey then you take my opinion, you don’t make me PAY YOU to give it. That is beyond insulting. As I said the inner political scientist in me is offended and the college student who wanted to become a lobbyist is in an uproar.

So here is my opinion RNC and President Trump …

Everyone in Washington is dragging their feet and playing the blame game. Shit isn’t getting done because no one wants to compromise. Yes the media is really screwing around with things and yes I believe the President has a bad shake from the news. But honestly … he does it to himself. If he would just stay the F off twitter then like 80% of it would probably go away. No I don’t want to get into a nuclear war over in Asia, no I don’t want the focus to be the border wall, yes I want to stop illegal immigration but more importantly I want someone to fix our health care system without taking away benefits to the elderly, youth and disabled.

There, for what it’s worth, that’s Ashley’s 2 cents.

Super disappointed with the political parties we have to choose from today. Both of them are bad and need to be done away with. I truly had hoped he would ‘drain the swamp’ but it hasn’t happened really. So RNC, maybe you shouldn’t send me a mailer asking me to help with your grassroots effort. Because I have never once voted straight ticket and I never plan on it.

I included the images just to share so you all could see for yourself and make your own opinion.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Finding the time to write…

As a writer I had become accustom to writers block. This seemed a normal par for the course when it comes to building worlds and creating characters. What I truly didn’t understand was the challenge of fitting time in to write while you are parenting.

It’s been two and a half years since we got our kiddos and I still haven’t mastered any resemblance of schedule on how to include writing into even a weekly activity. At this current rate I will put out only a single novel a year and truly I would love to do at least two or three. Last year it took me a year to produce HoneySuckle Love. While I think it is a quality story I do wish that I would have been more diligent on my pursuit.

Right now I am working on a YA Dystopian, The Ones Who Lived, and I think I have about a third of it written so far. But wouldn’t it be nice if I could kick it into gear and have it out by ComicPalooza time? Hell Yeah it would!

I sometimes wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” but then I remember, ‘Oh yeah … the mom thing…’ There has to be a balance somewhere. Somehow, I am open to suggestions!

How do you other parents make time for YOU and the things that YOU like doing? I work the 40 hours a week, 7-4 job, come home and put on the mom hat and then once that is done toss it aside to be a wife. Where is there time to be an individual?

The truly sad part is I have to plan out just a couple hours a week for me to relax. It’s insane how busy we are lately. I have stuff planned into 2019 even! I would prob go crazy if I ever lost my planner so let’s pray to God that it never disappears. I have a co-worker that threatens to hide it from me. Oh she better not!

Take for example one of my good friends, D. He and his family have been talking about coming over for months now. MONTHS! It literally takes MONTHS in advanced for me to find the time that the hubby and I are free, on a weekend, for 6 hours, in order to do something as simple as breaking bread with a close friend.

My therapist has told me that the hubby and I need to put ourselves first and we keep saying we are going to. And as I write out this crazy random blog the insanity of my kids ruling my life is slapping me in the face. When did I lose my power and authority? How did this happen?

Is it my priorities or is it my levels of urgency?

Ashley … YOU HAVE TO MAKE TIME FOR YOU!!! I keep telling myself this yet I never do.
Okay, tomorrow … I am making time for me. There I said it, I put it in writing and it’s on the internet, it has to be now done now.

But in all reality … I am truly curious, how do you all make time for yourselves?

Here is a snap shot of my planner ... do you see my Saturday?? #CRAZINESS

Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: The Witch Is Back by Stacy A, Moran

Title: The Witch is Back
Author: Stacy A. Moran
Source: Given for free in exchange for an honest review
Amazon Link: Purchase


Tabitha Ashworth is a lot of things, a daughter, a writer, and a reluctant witch. She was also a runner, not a grab your tennis shoes, let's take on a marathon kind of runner.

No, she has been running from her past and her heritage her entire life. She's avoided her hometown for nearly a decade but after a cryptic call from her mother, she is summoned back home.

From the moment she arrived back in Graveton County she was flooded with her past and realization her running days are over.

Welcome to Graveton County where the haunted town is make believe but the witches are real.


What a cozy mystery! Def a different take on small town life. This crew of bubbly, delightful and crazy women make you laugh as they take you through their small town’s journey into a murder. The twist and turns of the plot are heightened by the friendly personality that the ‘witches’ play with one another. GiGi’s hit list, Tabby’s quick wit personality, the sherrif’s patience in dealing with these witches as they continue to botch up his investigation.

It makes you smile as you read.

I have read a lot of cozy mysteries and this one is right up there with an easy going, care free, kick back and relax read. I love how all the female character names came from television witches and that adds all the more fun to the mix.

It almost makes you wonder if that is what real life in small town West Virginia is really like ,...

Grab a copy today and see for yourself, you won’t regret it.

Solid 4.5 Stars!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: Beautiful Master Peace by Gabriela Lizette

Title: Beautiful Master Peace
Author: Gabriela Lizette
Source: Recieved from the author in exchange for an Honest Review
Amazon Purchase This is also available under Kindle Unlimited


Being a stylist for the rich and famous is a dream come true for Victoria Robles. A lively gal from Texas, she finds herself touring across the States with the best names in Country music. But after a shameful truth sends Vicki into hiding, she lands in Peace, Montana, the quaint little town she remembers from one of her touring trips through the state. A lot has changed since her last visit, but she hopes the people are still friendly enough to welcome her among them.

That is until she collides with Calbert Miller and he immediately assumes she's nothing but trouble. At every corner, Cal and Vicki exchange heated, unpleasant words. To make matters worse, he discovers the truth she has been fleeing.

What will Vicki have to do to overcome the humiliation? Will she be able to convince the man who looks at her with complete disgust one minute—and fierce desire the next—that she’s not a trollop? Will she find her peace in Peace, Montana?


This is my first review of 2018 and I struggled a bit coming up with how I wanted to word this. Overall I enjoyed this story and I am going to give it a 4 Star review. But I wanted to look at things differently this year when posting reviews on my blog. I wanted to make sure that I gave a full picture of what I was actually reviewing and not lump everything into just a star numbering system.

This book is a novella which was easy to read, easy to enjoy the MC and easy to follow. The story seemed to have the full ARC and a HEA. With these types of romance there is some predictability and cookie cutter that go into all of them, which is what us as readers like. Usually I take off for that but as I wrote my own romance it occurred to me, I shouldn’t deduct for that when it is what most readers want. Thus what I am saying, I am looking at books differently this year.

The MC was very likeable and while her situation was very different from the normal boy meets girl romances it was still believable in the world that was created.

The love interest I wasn’t too fond of, not because of the writing or story line, he just, rubbed me the wrong way. And While the MC forgave him for his assish behavior I still didn’t, lol. But it is feelings like that which make me want to give a higher star ranking because it made me feel which is the purpose of any good novel. To feel the emotions.

This is the first novel that I have read from this author and I can see picking up more of her stories in the future. It wasn’t one that made you feel rough and raw after reading, which is nice. I started it Friday night and read 85% of it in one sitting before I was just too tired to continue. Picked it right back up Sunday afternoon and enjoyed the ending. Def a nice weekend read for sure.

If you like novella’s and you like love stories I think this one would fit the bill. The characters like I said are easy to follow and the writing seemed well thought out and flowed.

Overall a 4 Star story!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Wrap Up! Best of Books, Movies and More...

It’s that time of year again. The time we sit back and reflect on what we experienced and determine our top five’s. This year is a bit hard because time flew by in a BLUR! Thank goodness for Goodreads book tracking and IMBD for movie tracking. Otherwise I would be taking a stab in the dark at what came out when. This year I am also adding a top 5 moments in my year. Just for something fun.

Let’s start with Books, since you know, that is my favorite subject.

Picking a top five is super hard because there were just SO many! So here it goes .... Like always, no particular order.

Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh have a couple series of books that all intertwine to form an awesome story in Oregon. There are 10 books in this cluster so I am going to group them all as one. It’s all about one family who has many sub plots. All of the men in the family are apart of law enforcement except, one brother, who is the town’s mayor. The women are all good strong women but not in the sense of in your face strong. More like women who have struggles but push through for their family. They represent real women and real issues. This mix of series really does so much to keep you captivated. I hope there are more stories next year for me to read.

Jeff Wheeler wrote a series that is phenomenal. The King Fountain Series. It is set in a different land full of magic, adventure and love. There is heart breaking situations that will make you shed a tear or two. Then story lines that will make you yell at the main characters for their decisions. It starts with one man and his journey. Follows through his coming of age story and then transitions to he and his best friends children. There is, I believe, another book coming out in 2018, I HOPE, because the story isn’t finished!! I started the year off with book #1 of this series and man, I wish I was ending this year with the next installment. If you love magic, love and adventure this series is def up your alley. 

Richelle Mead’s Glittering Court series. I am not usually a fan of young adult stories because it is hard for me to attach to the main characters, however, Richelle Mead really makes it work. I read the story because she was coming to Houston for a book signing and I wanted to know about the book she was going to talk about. So I had no choice but give it a whirl. I am really glad I did. There is the usual coming of age story for the main character but it is so much more than that. You’re looking at girls lives when they have no choice and their lives are planned out for them. Girls who have no family, are trained to be high class society and sold off to the highest bidder. It pulls at your heart strings but man it is a great series. I need to read the 3rd book, maybe I can squeeze that in at the start of 2018. Def good series!

Jeff Wheeler has another series, Muirwood. Just as good as King Fountain! There were 3 books I read in this series and it also has that fantasy/science fiction feel as King Fountain. Once again magic is at the center of how these characters make action happen and it is just enthralling. I highly recommend Jeff Wheeler’s stories to anyone who wants something different yet relatable.

Robert Dugoni’s series “Tracy Crosswhite” was another winner in my book. I believe I read all five so far in this series this year. Tracy is a bad ass detective who has crimes to solve and bad guys to lock up. The series was full of action and kept you turning pages until you found the ending that you knew would make you happy. Robert Dugoni’s writing style is very easy to get sucked into the story. If you are a mystery action pack reader then this series will make your inner bookworm squirm for more.

Time for Movies! Top 5 Movies for 2017, in no particular order.

Bright staring Will Smith was a movie put together by Netflix. I know that I have seen a lot of people giving this movie bad marks because of one reason or another. But I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of action which kept me watching. Plus the acting was great. As you know I am a major Will Smith fan and when I think of the last movie of his I saw (Suicide Squad) which left me disappointed (Not because of Smith) this was a breath of fresh air. I hope there will be more movies in this fantasy world. Ork’s, Fairies and Humans ... OH MY! Lots of love and hate relationships going on, which as you are well aware, make for great drama.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - I just love this movie series, Marvel is doing phenomenal! I cannot wait for more, and as always, Groot stole the show. This film has everything in it. Great acting, great writing, great cinematography. Truly of all the action comic world movies this series is in my top two. (My #1 being Christian Bale’s Batman series). Hopefully Guardian’s 3 will be just as awesome and keep this world moving forward. The music once again made me smile at the sound track and here is hoping that the awesome tunes keep up in the future.

Logan - This movie made me cry real tears of sadness. I am a major Hugh Jackman fan and just, this movie killed me. I am so beyond words sad that this world of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is done. I wish there would be move movies and I know there can’t be. But it breaks my heart. Seriously this movie shows you just how amazing Wolverine is and the depths of Hugh Jackman’s acting is great. And let’s not even touch on Professor X. I can’t write this short paragraph with out tearing up. Amazing movie, just fantastic.

LEGO Batman - this is hands down the BEST Batman movie created. My kids and I laughed our butt’s off through the entire film. “IronMan Sucks” Is their favorite line from the film! It just makes you feel good. The way it was all laid out and the plot make you smile through the whole thing. The Joker and Batman’s love/hate relationship is just spot on. Fantastic job doesn’t describe properly how this movie was put together. It is beyond one of the best super hero movies ever.

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle - This was a fantastic sequel to the ever so popular one with Robin Williams from the 90’s. The Rock, Kevin Heart and Jack Black were just killer hilarious. Jack Black stole the show. A man, playing a woman, trapped in a man’s body. HILARIOUS so funny. Absolutely perfect. This film did it’s predecessor justice. I encourage anyone who needs a good laugh to check it out. A sure fire hit. 

Top Five Moments ... Maybe this time in order ...

My daughter making honorable mention in her Science Fair competition with her solar oven & ending the semester with honor roll. By far, awesome. She did so much work to conquer this feat that I have bragged and bragged as much as I can.

And in a tie, my son coming home with First Place in his science fair for presentation of his bottle rocket he made from scratch at home. The smile he had when he showed us the medal will warm my heart forever.

Holding my newest little nephew hours after he was born. There is just something about new babies that make every one smile, isn’t there. But the newest little member of the family is sure brining lots of joy.

The Pasadena Library (Texas not California) housing all of my printed books sending more readers my way. Nothing makes you feel like a success as much as a library displaying your books and encouraging others to read them. 

12-30 - My husband and I celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. So many people our age give up on love or marry and don’t try. It is quite a personal accomplishment knowing that Tony and I have gone through the ups and downs together and have come out on top. Together not apart. I love him more than anything else in the world and knowing I can always wake up to him gives me comfort beyond words. 

Top five let down’s ....

Here’s a no brainer - Justice League. Man DC just ugh ... their movies are no good as a whole for the big screen. I WISH they would just give it up. Aqua Man was hot ... which leads me to # 2 disappointment

Sexiest Man Of The Year ... Really?? No offense but ... really????

The Chief’s losses - Every year I hope they are SuperBowl bound but man ... we went like 5-0 and Bam just start losing. Thankfully we are still in the playoffs but we should have been in the #1 or 2 spot ...  I just hope we win a game this year in the playoff’s. Saying prayers ... 

The Walking Dead - killing off Carl was just ... man, what a let down. I love Negan but not at the cost of Carl. UGH. Damn you writers. 

Apple Updates - these last round of updates really set my phone back. First their was the typo issue with the letter “i” then the charging issue. Now my iPhone won’t charge with half my cords because they are after market. UGH, ANNOYING! Come on Apple, get your shit together.

There we have it .... 2017 in the bag. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. 2018 ... I’m ready for you!  May all of your New Year’s Eve parties be safe and full of laughs.

Friday, December 15, 2017

That time of year ... Reflection On Grandparents

One thing that the ending of a year is good for is looking back at the past 365 days and reflecting on your life. In one way or another I think we all do this. Some people more in depth than others, but it is something we’re trained to do. Or else we wouldn’t have a New Years resolution.

This year as I think back there is a lot to sift through but I think what my takeaway will be for 2017 is quality family time. I don’t really think I got enough of that for my extended family. I don’t mean my husband or kids but I mean my siblings/parents/grandparents.

Saturday I spent most of the day with my grandpa. We were cleaning out one of his bedrooms, eating lunch and talking. It was really nice just being alone with him. I remember some of my favorite times growing up were when my parents would ship us off to our grandparents for a week at a time. The one on one attention was fantastic and now as an adult I realize, I still crave that.

My mom’s mother passed away during Hurricane Harvey this year, but before that, she had started to slowly stop understanding who I was. It had been a while since I had a ‘real’ conversation with her. My dad’s mom has a form of Parkenson’s and doesn’t really speak much. It’s breaking my heart. As a teenager I would call my grandmothers almost every day or every other day. My grandparents were/are some of my best friends. Then I think about my grandpa’s, one is still alive and the other died in 2012. I truly miss them. Well half are alive but I miss the quality of time I used to get with them.

Having kids now my life is in a constant state of business. There is no ‘me’ time to stop and just be with my grandpa anymore. So this Saturday’s lunch just me and him was a real treat. We had Lebanese food, our obvious favorite, and just talked. It really made me think about the time. The time I didn’t force myself to have with Grandma Marietta this year before she passed away. The time that I need to spend with Grandpa Joe and Grandma Elaine while I still have them here.

I know I already am stretched too thin as it is. Between real life work, Girl Scouts, writing, mom duty, etc. but my goal for next year is to carve out more quality family time.

I think something we forget about as adults is that we need to take care of ourselves too. Not just in the health sense but emotional sense too. Spouses and kids are great but there is just something about a grandparent. They were there from the start. They weren’t the ones scolding you all your life, they were the ones spoiling. It was during this lunch that it just really sank home, I need more grandparent time. I am so lucky to be 34 and still have half of mine alive.

So not exactly sure the purpose of this blog post other than to just get my thoughts and feelings out about what my first goal will be for 2018. You know, Ashley Randomness is just that, random.

Until the next time a random thought pops into my head ... I’ll talk to you all later.