{ “Dancing in a Parking Lot” }

Poetry, parking lot dancing, and pretty words.


That tortured soul, that rebel without a cause–he was a recipe for cliches and disaster that my nineteen year old self was too naive to see coming together.

We danced in big, empty parking lots to my favorite song, “El Tango de Roxanne” and he read me his poems about birds as we watched them swoop and dive from a corner of the lake.

And, like it was written in a script hidden only from me, he left without saying goodbye. And I was sitting on my bedroom floor left to pick up the shards of our short-lived romance that cut into my hands every time I tried to gather them up. The blood from those tiny gashes swirled with the saltwater that escaped, gasping, from my eyes and they clung to each other in some sort of melancholy waltz that stained the memories of us together.

Sound a little dramatic? Yeah, I agree. But (to risk a real cliche), the heart wants what the heart wants. *sigh* And the door to mine was swung wide open. So instead of bowing to the sweet allure of pain, I thought up some advice:

1) Please double check whether he’s gay or not. If rumors swirl about him struggling with homosexuality and you’re a girl, don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Chances are that he probably has eyes for a guy too. Trust me: the dramatics above are a case-in-point.

2) Just because he’s a gentleman in actions doesn’t mean he’s a gentleman in characterSure, he pumped my gas, got my doors, paid for stuff, and embodied the word “romantic,” but he still moved away without saying goodbye and–oh yeah–lied about essentially everything. Even a robot knows how to do the things it’s been programmed to do.

3) You know the first part of Proverbs 31:30 that goes “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting...”? It’s true. I wish I wouldn’t have lived through it to finally come to that realization. Think Mr. Darcy versus Mr. Wickham. Charm is a glittering facade that hides a plethora of dark interiors. Not everyone sets out into relationships to hurt people, but baggage and selfishness make it easier for them to justify or ignore the fact that they are indeed hurting people. Charm isn’t inherently bad, but it’s usually dishonest.

4) Don’t “talk” to a guy. That’s just emotional investment without commitment. For either party. It’s just two people who care a lot about each other both pretending they don’t care. It becomes a game to see who can care less. It’s late night texts and infatuation and feelings that are “no big deal” and it makes it easier to do the same thing with multiple people. But it’s not cheating, right? Even if you don’t know they’re saying the same things to another girl (or, in my case, guy)? I mean, there’s no title on it. So it doesn’t matter. (That was all sarcasm. Of course it matters.  If he’s telling you the kind of stuff that is reserved for telling only one person, don’t ever let him off the hook)

5) Pace yourself. In all aspects. Physically, emotionally, mentally. If he hasn’t proved himself to be trustworthy or reliable, does he really deserve your lips, your time, your effort, or your secrets? There are things in all of our lives that carry heavy emotional weight. And not everyone deserves to see those parts of you. Because they’re pieces of you and a man will either (cheese alert) treasure and guard those pieces or discard them as he turns his attentions to someone else. If you feel like he’s not spending a lot of time thinking about you, you’re probably right. Why on earth does he deserve the time you spend thinking about him? I know. You’re thinking it’s easier said than done. And that’s true. But fighting for yourself is a worthier cause.

6) Make him prove himself. No, I’m not talking about making him live up to standards of perfection. What I mean is that he should be able to show you–and the world–that he’s ready for something. There needs to be space between him and his problems and signs that he’s actually healing from past mistakes or heartbreaks. Otherwise, you’ll let his charm to convince you to believe that he’s recovered. And the secrets pile up until the levees break and suddenly you’re the one drowning in them while he evacuates and starts fresh.

Let’s take some advice from John Green. This is, after all, technically a book blog!

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

Do you?


Check out “Every Ugly Word” by Aimee L. Salter!

Every Ugly Word follows 17 year old Ashley who is relentlessly bullied at her high school and by her own mother, and his helplessly in love with her best friend, Matt, who is bullied by his father.


She seeks help by looking to her future self, “Older Me” who supports her through it all and teaches her to love herself. But is she really seeking “Older Me” or is she looking within herself for the answers?


When Ashley looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been her support system through her relentless tormentor’s bullying, her unstable mother at home, and her forlorn love for her longtime best friend. But when Ashley discovers “Older Me’s” betrayal, she is targeted in the worst way and impends her last chance with Matt. She’s done with hearing every ugly word.

Remember a while back when I took a chance and reviewed a book for Aimee? (See interview here)

Let me say that I am glad I did. She is now being published by Alloy Entertainment. The same Alloy Entertainment that has had over 75 of their


Let me also explain why this is a big deal. Ever heard of Chuck and Blair’s tumultuous and swoon worthy romance? How about the infamous Elena-Stefan-Elena-Damon-Katherine-Elena-etc-etc-etc relationships in the Vampire Diaries (not to mention every fan’s tears at the end of every episode). Let’s not forget the unending frustrating question of WHO THE HECK “A” IS on PLL!

What do these things all have in common? Alloy Entertainment. (Insert “hallelujah” here)

Now Alloy Entertainment has decided to adopt Aimee. And I trust their judgment. I haven’t read this latest work of Aimee’s, but you guys can all be assured that Every Ugly Word is coming up very shortly on my list.


Writing on Wednesdays: Thunderstorm

I know, I haven’t posted in forever. Full time school and part time work make for a hectic schedule. I did, however, want to share this spontaneous free verse poem I wrote the other day as I sat in Starbucks watching a storm roll in. It was beautiful and I don’t think my words do it justice, but here’s my attempt. I also threw in a picture of a cool storm. So there’s that.


Gray clouds, about to burst–

Unleashing the sky’s gentle fury.

The winds warn, electrifying the air

Through which they pass.


The world comes alive,

Its greens undulating with each gentle gust,

Its blues fading to a gauzy gray.

Spring’s storm has arrived.


Review: Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson

Seconds Before Sunrise (The Timely Death Trilogy, #2)

Publisher:  AEC Stellar

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series: Timely Death Trilogy, Book 2

Pages: 277 (Paperback)

Release Date: March 27, 2014

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.


coffee to goCoffee To Go: Let’s put it this way–I had an early class the next morning and I still couldn’t put it down. Thompson packs some crazy intense moments into the plot along with some really adorable ones. Minus some plot confusion, SBS was a genuinely enjoyable read.


Jessica: If you know anything about Jessica in the last book, she’s completely different in this one. I feel like Jessica’s memory loss really adds depth to her character. It also makes her relationship with Eric stronger, in my opinion. To fall in love twice seems to me a very deep love. An improvement from Minutes Before Sunset is plot reliability where Jessica is concerned. There are a few scenes that had me on my toes in the most perfect way possible–Thompson uses a great mixture of foreshadowing and surprise to bring a lot of Jessica’s thoughts and scenes together.

Eric: He sounds so much more like a teenage boy in this book! In Minutes Before Sunset, I thought he sounded a little feminine, but I think we learn more about who Eric really is in SBS. Probably one of my favorite aspects of this entire novel is seeing Eric’s growth. I don’t want to spoil it for you guys, but it’ll really bring a smile to your face. On top of that, his gallantry will make you swoon. Ugh. Yes. Gents take notes, please.

Robb & Zac: I think that the words “mysterious” and “ominous” apply to both of these guys. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to be unsure of at least one of these guys’ character until the very end. Although these two aren’t always in the spotlight, their supporting roles are vital to the story. Thompson was brilliant with these two.

Crystal: She’s a great best friend. She probably wouldn’t be my best friend, but I really appreciate how steady of a character she is. Every novel needs a character that’s transparent and reliable in the midst of the story’s conflict, and she’s it.

Camille/Teresa: I felt that Camille (let’s stick with that name) was a pretty static character in Minutes Before Sunset, but Thompson reveals a lot about her in this book and I grew to really respect her. The reader will definitely get a glimpse into her complexities.

The World—

Thompson spends SBS focusing on setting the stage for the Timely Death finale as well as building each of her characters, both in depth and in intrigue. As far as “second books” go, she does a great job. SBS definitely does not fall into the dreaded “second book slump.” The reversed images/ideas of Light and Dark still play a large and interesting role in this book. For more info on the world in which SBS is set, check out my review of Minutes Before Sunset here.

The Themes—

I didn’t really nail down any specific themes, but I did see an emphasis on maturity and obedience to elders. Fate also stays very prevalent in this second novel.

Final Thoughts—

I liked it. I didn’t love it, but it was an enjoyable read. Firstly, I admire how accurate the titles are to each book. You’ll see why once you read it, but she does a great job choosing them. Thompson makes you care for her characters. That is pivotal on whether one will enjoy a story, and she’s successful here. My only real complaint is the plot fogginess towards the end. I felt like I knew what was happening, but it wasn’t actually happening. It was almost like I was in a dream-state during the structural climax. I’m hoping that the battle scenes and all that jazz with the prophecy become sharper in the finale book. Although honestly, I’m most excited to see more of Eric and Jessica!! They are climbing their way up on my list of fave book couples! 🙂

Memorable Quotes—

“I was in love with her, and she was in love with me, but our relationship–our identities–would kill us both if the Light figured out whom she was and used her against me.”

“The fantasized kiss was stolen time from the dreams…”

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

****I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. So I can honestly tell you that it’ll be worth it to go check out Minutes Before Sunset and Seconds Before Sunrise.

Author Interview with Aimee L. Salter

Okay guys, about a month ago, I posted a review for Aimee Salter’s Breakable and I found her writing style and story so intriguing that I asked her if I could interview her right here on CoffeeShopReader! She graciously agreed, and I was so excited to see that Aimee has a huge personality! If you haven’t had a chance to check out her book, you can read my review here.

Hey Aimee, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of my questions!

Oh, no problem at all. I’m happy to!

Okay, so I’m going to start with the most dreaded question: what is your favorite book?

My favorite book is THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay. I think her writing is incredible and even a year after reading it, I’m still desperately in love with Josh Bennett. *Drifts off into romantic reverie…*

What are you the biggest nerd for?

Um…if I’m completely honest, my closet geek has recently been unleashed by the fantasy card game called MAGIC: THE GATHERING. I’m nuts for strategy games, and that one’s the ultimate. If I let myself I think I could get completely obsessed with it. But if you’re looking for something bookish, well, all my favorite authors. Whenever they talk to me on social media or we email, I’m working hard the whole time to try and sound normal because inside I’m like a giddy twelve year old.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always loved books and stories. I set a goal for myself at a very young age that I was going to get published before I was twenty-one. That didn’t happen and I lost sight of writing for a long time. But I kind of fell back into it in my thirties after falling in love with Harry Potter and the Twilight books. I just kept getting ideas and they wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote them down!

You cover some pretty relevant, tough issues in Breakable. Is there anything in particular that has given you a passion for writing a story like this?

For whatever reason, I’m wired that way. I’ve always written stories that touch on the hard side of life – when I was in high school I got a short story published in the year-end magazine that was about a girl whose father abused her, so she murdered him and committed suicide (I was a bit of a morbid teenager). Nowadays I don’t like to write stories that are pure escape. I like to write stories people feel they could actually inhabit (with a little bit of escape mixed in).

In terms of BREAKABLE itself, I was bullied in high school and the experience of the bullying, and the process of overcoming how it molded me was a natural theme to explore. I wanted to write about it in a way that wasn’t a “moral of the story” approach, but instead, if it was picked up by a girl going through that, that she’d be able to tell that I knew how she felt. That she’d know I hadn’t forgotten what it was like. And maybe it might give her a little hope that she could move past it too.

Were the bullying sequences in Breakable based on real stories or events or are they more of ‘realistic scenarios’?

It’s a little of both. I haven’t depicted “actual events” from my life or others, but I definitely drew on my own experiences, and a little from my nieces (who’ve attended high school in the technology age). I’ve always kept up with the issue because it felt personal for me, so I had an understanding of how bullying had changed in twenty years, and how it hadn’t. So I took flavors of what I experienced and the things I’d learned, and mixed them together to suit the story.

There are moments when the teenage me comes through, though. When Stacy cuts loose on Mark and finally tells him what she goes through on a daily basis, she describes some of my personal story.

Now, I don’t want to give anything away, but I must say I am impressed with your ability to keep the reader guessing, unsure whether Stacy is crazy or not. Who is Stacy to you?

Stacy is a combination of who I was when I was about 16 (the good, and the bad), and just a bunch of character stuff that the story needed. As a writer I start a story with a character in my head, but as the plot progresses and issues have to be ironed out, the character becomes defined by the story they need to tell. So, the first draft of Stacy was almost purely 16 year old me. The Stacy that’s in the book is very different, but still has some of me at her core.

Okay, now for some completely random, fun stuff to get to know you as an author!

Yay! I love this stuff!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Either taking a canal cruise down the Seine in France, or taking a donkey-walking tour of B&B’s in the Burran region of Ireland. And yes, I did say Donkey-walking. You pack your stuff onto a donkey every morning and wander to the next place. Wander. Tug. Whatever.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure? (type of sweets, TV show, movie, books, etc)

Food. Especially homemade popcorn, fried chicken, creamy mushroom and chicken pasta, and Pavlova topped with blueberries (the best dessert ever to come out of New Zealand).

That said, I embrace food, so it doesn’t really feel “guilty” to me. My guilty pleasure(s) are regency romance books by Julie Anne Long and Tessa Dare. They’re actually very good, well written books. But the covers make them look like something Fabio would pose for, so I always live in fear of someone picking up my kindle and flipping through the icons…

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Oooooooo, fun question. I would have mind reading. I think so many times people aren’t honest out of fear. I’d love to know when I could reassure someone so they could be themselves. And I’d also love to know exactly when to kick the bad guy in the baubles to make the most impact.

Thanks so much for having me, Angie. This has been fun!

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