What Christmas Means to Me

christmas_fireplace red and white socks hot chocolate_rockinrandommom

Christmas is a wonderful time of year! Next to Halloween, it’s my favorite holiday but it isn’t just the holiday. It’s every thing the holiday represents. Good Cheer, Christmas decorations, hot chocolate, snowmen, and being with family. We celebrate several different holidays this time of year as well. We have Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, among many others.

However, for the past – oh I don’t know – five or six years, I haven’t been in the mood to celebrate. I’ve gone through the motions but I haven’t felt much in the way of the Christmas Spirit for quite some time. I even wrote a post about not being in the spirit a couple years back HERE

In the past I have suffered from depression this time of year and it played a major role in my lack of Christmas cheer. Last year was probably the worst year due to the unhealthy relationship I was in at the time. You can read more about that HERE and HERE However, I think in hindsight it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

I know what you’re thinking. How can an unhealthy relationship be the best thing? Remember when I said I was just going through the motions with every holiday? Last year I couldn’t even think straight. Last year was just different. After the break up, the blinders came off and not just with the relationship but with my life. I went down the rabbit hole of deep sadness then when it was over, I came out so much happier.

It set me up for a better year, a better Christmas!

For the first time since I was a teenager I was in the Christmas spirit in November! Thanksgiving came and I was so excited to watch the parade with my oldest and ready to watch Christmas movies right after. I couldn’t wait to decorate my home or get the tree. I don’t actually have my tree yet but I’m so excited to get it this week and play Christmas music while decorating it with my kids!

quote christmas isn't a season its a feeling_rockinrandommom

It’s like the magic came back for me. It is flowing through me and the spirit of this wonderful season is working its magic in my soul! I have been baking cookies every week since Thanksgiving and not begrudgingly. I am enjoying the baking again!

I do have to give credit to my new gamer friends!

I struggled for a while after my break up to find other gamers that I really enjoy playing with and talking to. I joined a Destiny clan and met some really great women with whom I share a lot in common. Four of us are parents and the others are just a pure joy to talk to and play with. I can enjoy gaming again but more than that, I have finally found some like minded people who have lifted me up and helped me through a tough time.

I also have to give credit to my new advocacy position at Safe Passage!

I have written about this recently. HERE is the post if you want to read it. I have met some really great people through this organization. Safe Passage is a non-profit that advocates for those who have suffered from Domestic Violence. We provide resources, shelter and legal advocacy as well as a crisis hotline and education in the community. I love working  here because of the people I work with.

They are such a supportive and compassionate group of people. I look forward to my work every day because of the supportive environment they provide. Through this work I have gotten my confidence back. My last work experience was pretty bad and I lost my confidence in my skills but now its back. I feel better than ever!

So what does this have to do with the Christmas Spirit?

Everything! When you have good, positive people in your life, it’s contagious. Next thing you know, you’re positive and you’re happy. When you have a great group of supportive people who are willing to listen to you and offer you positive feedback, that affects your outlook on life.

I have great people in my life and I have gotten rid of the negativity that has surrounded me for the past few years. Because of this I am now feeling the same way I used to feel as a kid. Christmas was always my favorite time of year. I lost that for awhile. I’m so fortunate to have found my way back to it again!

So Merry Christmas to all of you! I wish you much happiness with whatever holiday you celebrate this season and best wishes for all of your holiday dreams!

I am leaving you with one of my favorite Christmas songs by one of my Favorite all time actresses: The late great Judy Garland!

 

christmas_editor's note_rockinrandommom

 

Thanks so much for reading!

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I am linking with:

 

My Random Musings

 

Monday Stumble Linky

 

Burnished Chaos

Mother of Teenagers

Reflectionsfromme

 

 

My Son Found His Inner Artist

child drawing with red pencil_artist_rockinrandommom

My son is an artist! This past week, Conner has made some serious strides in his drawings. I’m not sure what drove him to seek out more learning in the world of art but that’s what he did. He watched a YouTube video on how to draw Goku, his favorite Dragon Ball Z character.

Finding His Specialness

Conner has felt on and off over the years that he wasn’t special. He sometimes compares himself to his big brother, who has been writing comedy skits and scripts, and he has felt less than special. Of course his dad and I have always encouraged him to be himself. That isn’t always enough for the younger children when they see their older sibling as larger than life.

Art has always been a part of Conner though. I still have the crayon on my walls to prove it, hahaha! Even back then, I saw the budding artist he was becoming and I tried to encourage it as much as possible. He has loved drawing since he could pick up a crayon. I have a two totes full of his creations from way back when.

paint and crayon buckets on a shelf_everychildisanartist_pablopicasso_rockinrandommom

But it wasn’t until recently that Conner really started to feel that he would never be as special as his brother. Some of that has to do with Adam’s Autism but most of it has to do with how smart and creative Adam is.

I have told Conner that while Adam is great in the field of performing arts, he too, has his own set of gifts. Conner is super smart when it comes to Science and Math. He teaches me new stuff every day.

Conner also has a great empathy and compassion for animals. He loves animals. Spiders and bugs not so much but the rest of the animal kingdom he adores.

However, it’s art that has helped my baby bear find his spark.

The Budding Artist Within

As I said, Conner has been drawing since he could hold a crayon. I have watched his drawings improve every year. With each new drawing, I witnessed the artist emerge and I did my best to encourage him to keep at it, even when he believed he wasn’t good enough.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. We celebrated his big brother’s sixteenth birthday and we had our first Thanksgiving in his Nana’s new apartment. Which was great for me because I didn’t have to do much cooking. There has been a big change in routine with me now interning and fifth grade has been up and down for Conner.

He made some really great friends this year but also lost a few, which really hurt him. Art has become his outlet for dealing with the stress. This has been a year of a lot of change for my son but his creativity has not wavered. In fact, it has only gotten better.

The Evolution of the Young Artist

This past week alone, Conner has drastically improved his drawings. He said he wanted to add more detail to his characters but didn’t know how to go about it. So, he did what he always does: Looks it up on YouTube! Sure enough, he found what he was looking for and as he worked on his first detailed drawing of Goku, he sent me the pictures.

my son drew each step of goku from Dragon Ball Z_mysontheartist_rockinrandommom

Each step was better than the last. And he did this with just a pen and a pencil. He didn’t have his colored pencils or crayons at his dad’s place but with just two tools, he made an amazing drawing! He said it took him two hours to complete it but that’s a wonderful thing because:

Art Helps Him Focus

Having ADHD isn’t easy for any child. Conner is lucky in the fact that his isn’t as severe as some but it still keeps him from focusing. It also doesn’t help him sleep as he has a really hard time calming his brain down. Sleeping and Focusing is tough for him. Sometimes though, when he is really interested in something, he can be super focused and Art does that for him.

Conner was able to sit at his dad’s desk for two whole hours because he was concentrating on getting every detail right. Many, many creatives out there have ADHD and it is known that the arts plays a major role in helping the ADHD brain focus.

He was so focused and so determined that by the next day, he drew another Goku.

another drawing of goku_mysontheartist_rockinrandommom

Keep Encouraging Your Child

Conner’s dad and I have already discussed getting him some real art supplies for Christmas. We both have artist friends who have made some recommendations that we will follow because we believe in encouraging our young artist in every way that we can.

Every child deserves to be encouraged in whatever their passions and talents are. As parents, we want the best for them and we want them to be happy. That means doing what they love. Whatever their hopes and dreams are, its up to us to help them achieve their goals and see their dreams come true. How do you help your child?

Let me know in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading!

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I am linking with:

 

My Random Musings

 

Monday Stumble Linky

 

Burnished Chaos

 

Reflectionsfromme

 

After The Playground

My First Born Has Reached the Big 16!

16 year old boy in polaroid frame with autumn leaves background_my son_rockinrandommom

It’s official…. My first born, Adam, has turned 16 years old! Two days before Thanksgiving, my wonderful son has reached another major milestone in his life. We celebrated with cake and gaming at an 80’s style arcade/bar/restaurant called Quarters. For real, the games actually cost a quarter just like they did when I was a kid playing at the local arcade with my siblings.

Adam loves the “retro gaming” as he calls it. Super Mario Brothers was the first game he got into and has been into it ever since. Since then he has added Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Tetris to his list of favorites. Of course he plays modern games like the Lego series (Batman is his favorite) and Skylanders but it’s old games that sparked this birthday party theme.

Starting 10th Grade, trials and triumphs:

Adam’s second year in high school hasn’t been met with rainbows and kittens. As we all know, high school is tough. It can be tougher on those who don’t exactly fit in. We are talking about kids who may be dealing with more then they need to at home or kids who have a learning or neurological disadvantage within the school system. Most kids feel abnormal in their teens. Their bodies and brains are changing and add hormones on top of everything else – yeah, high school is tough.

my son eating_first born 16_rockinrandommom

The first semester has been tough but Adam is doing a great job of staying on task, getting good grades, and following the rules. Adam, himself, has even come up with a game plan to help him navigate better when to take a breather and how to deal with difficult situations at school.

Make Way for the Gamer!

Because Adam really wanted the old Nintendo controller to be the center of his theme for his party, I had to come up with a design that was unique to him. First, I searched Etsy for retro gaming designs. Most of them were Xbox related but I did finally find the NES controller. So, the candy bar became the goodie bag.

Next, was to design Adam’s party invitation. Again, I went to Etsy but I found nothing that suited Adam. So I did what I usually do when I can’t find something unique – I made it myself, with Adam’s input. I used PicMonkey to help me design the perfect invitation for my boy.

Finally, there was the cake. I only found one cake design on Etsy and it was again, related to Xbox. While Adam likes the Xbox, he’s more of a Wii U and Switch kinda guy. So PicMonkey came to the rescue once again!

firstborn16_invitation cake design candybar wrappers_nintendo_rockinrandommom

When Only One Kid Shows Up:

So after all the planning and every kid responds with a yes, it’s finally party time. One problem though – only one kid shows up. This is a tough blow but it was tougher on me and Adam’s dad than it was on Adam. The kid that showed up was Adam’s closest friend. Therefore, Adam was totally okay with the other kids not coming.

Of course he had his brother and two of his cousins there. All Adam really cared about was getting to play all the games with his friend, eat great food, and finish it off with cake and gifts.

At the end of the afternoon, Adam was really happy and it didn’t matter how many kids showed up. He got to have his fun and celebrate with the ones he cares about. Later that night I did get a call from a mom of two of the kids. The one teen had a soccer game and she got distracted by that. Totally understandable.

By Monday, four other kids were distraught that they forgot and was really sorry to have missed it. Since Tuesday was Adam’s actual 16th birthday, I figured I’d bring in what was left of the cake and surprise him and his classmates with an impromptu party.

collage of birthday party pictures_firstborn16_rockinrandommom

Reflecting on Parenting this Amazing Kid:

Every year my first born gets older, I reflect back to his baby days. Now, as he has turned 16, I reflect on every year that has passed. I am reminded of what an amazing gift he has been to me. My first born didn’t talk until he was 3 1/2 years old. He could read by age 3 but conversations were limited to echolalia. Since then, I have watched this amazing kid go from barely talking to making us all laugh with his comedy skits.

I have watched this astounding human being go from only socializing with adults to making a few really good friends with his peers. I have seen him go from many meltdowns, to communicating his needs daily.

He has developed into a compassionate and intelligent young man who is full of life – and full of love. He walks into a room and it immediately lights up. Everyone who knows him, loves him. As a mother, I couldn’t ask for more than that. He amazes me every day!

So here is a little semi-poem I have written for my first born on his 16th birthday…

a poem for my first born_16_rockinrandommom

Happy Birthday, Honey Bear!

Thanks so much for reading!

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I am linking with:

 

My Random Musings

 

Reflectionsfromme

 

Monday Stumble Linky

 

Burnished Chaos

 

After The Playground

 

Cuddle Fairy

 

 

100 Truths Blogger Tag

100truths_rockinrandommom

I have been tagged in this great get-to-know-you post called 100 truths. My friend Debbie over at My Random Musings wants to know 100 truths about me so here I am, about to bare my deeply guarded secrets for all the world to see.

So here we go. My 100 truths:

Just words the basics_100 truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

What’s Your Name?

Michelle

2 Any nicknames or aliases?

My closest family and childhood friends call me Shelley.

3 Your gender?

Female

4 Your star sign?

I am a Cancer baby! (on the cusp of Leo)

5 How old are you?

 40

6 Your relationship status?

Happily Single

7 Any children?

2 Boys 

8 Any pets?

2 Cats

9 Any tattoos or piercings?

I have 4 tattoos (and counting). My ears are pierced and in my twenties I used to have a belly ring

10 What do you like about yourself?

My inner strength.

11 What do you dislike about yourself?

When I lose my temper. It happens very rarely but when it does, I tend to get a bit scary and that I definitely don’t like

12 Righty or lefty?

I am actually ambidextrous. I started out life as a lefty but got called the devil’s child a lot by my first teacher and some family members so I learned how to write with my right. Now I can use both.

 

word lasts 100 truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

These answers are as of Sunday, November 19th

13 The last thing you drank:

Coffee

14 The last thing you ate:

Popcorn

15 Your last phone call:

My brother

16 Your last text message:

My ex-husband

17 Your last email:

From work

18 The last song you listened to:

The Look by Roxette

19 The last book you read:

Lacey Patrick and the Wizard of Darkness 

20 The last time you cried:

 The Walking Dead. Sheva, the Tiger died. Yes, I cried over a fake tiger. 

21 The last blog you read:

Heather’s blog, Shank You Very Much

22 The last person you spoke to:

My son and my nephew before falling asleep last night

23 The last place you visited:

Baltimore, MD 5 years ago

24 Your last holiday abroad:

I haven’t had the pleasure yet. Someday though.

words_haveyouever_100truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

25 Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

Yes 

26 Have you ever been cheated on?

Yup

27 Have you ever cheated on someone?

Nope

28 Have you ever lost someone special to you?

Yes, several

29 Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

Only twice

30 Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

Yes. 

31 Have you ever met someone who changed you?

Yes. That’s what relationships do though. They either change you for the better or for the worse but we always change. It’s part of our life experience. Without change, we don’t grow. Without growth, we don’t evolve and without evolution, we don’t become who we are meant to be.

32 Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

Definitely

33 Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

Yep

34 Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

Yes

35 Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

Yes

36 Have you ever kissed a stranger?

Yes

37 Have you ever had your own heart broken?

Yes

38 Have you ever had sex on the first date?

Yes. I was young and dumb. I’m older and wiser now.

39 Have you ever been arrested?

No

40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

No. Unless it’s Eliza Dushku, (Faith in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer). Now she’s one I’d consider 😉

41 Have you ever done something you regret?

Yes but again, in hindsight, I needed to learn the lesson

42 Have you ever had a threesome?

No. Not my thing.

43 Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

Yes.

44 Have you ever misjudged someone?

Yes, definitely

words_beliefsandopinions_100truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

45 Do you believe in God?

Yes but my beliefs are complicated

46 Do you believe in yourself?

Most of the time

47 Do you believe in Santa Claus?

I believe in what he represents, so yeah

48 Do you believe in ghosts?

Absolutely!

49 Do you believe in aliens?

I do. Our universe is just way too big for there not to be other lifeforms somewhere out there. 

50 Do you believe in miracles?

Definitely! 

51 Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

I do! 

52 Do you believe in love at first sight?

No. Love takes time

53 Can money make you happy?

No but enough money to make me live comfortably wouldn’t hurt.

54 Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

I consider myself a humanist if I am going to label myself anything.

55 Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

Pro-choice

56 Do you have strong political beliefs?

Depends on the issue 

57 Do you have strong religious beliefs?

No. I am very spiritual but religion itself is too rigid for an open-minded person such as myself.

58 What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

Love and compassion

words_rightnow_100truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

 

Again, as of Sunday, November 19th

59 Are you eating anything right now?

No

60 Are you drinking anything right now?

Coffee

61 What are you listening to right now?

The wind blowing the leaves around outside.

62 What are you thinking about right now?

Getting ready for my teenager’s 16th birthday party

63 What are you waiting for right now?

I hope everyone we invited shows up to his party

64 What are you most excited about right now?

My son’s party. And playing Destiny 2 with my gamer clan later tonight

65 What’s your pet hate right now?

Liars and manipulators. I’ve always had a strong disliking to them but recent experience with my ex-boyfriend really brought that to the forefront. I also hate when people mistake my kindness for weakness, stupidity, and/or naivete. Anyone who really knows me knows I am none of those.

66 What’s your favorite thing right now?

Meditating to my calm app. It has really helped with my anxiety and stress level

67 If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

Cleaning my living room, haha!

words_firsts_100truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

 

68 Your first best friend:

Her name was Sherry. We were 5. I still think about her from time to time.

69 Your first kiss:

Kenny. I was 16, he was 15 and had braces but great kisser.

70 Your first celebrity crush:

Tom Selleck. I was about 5 or 6 and he was Magnum P.I. That smile! Those dimples! That mustache!

71 Your first holiday:

My first vacation was camping at 8 years old. 

72 Your first pet:

His name was King. He was part Rottweiler (I think) and part German Shepard

73 Your first regret:

Taking my friend’s boots in fifth grade without permission

74 Your first job:

Wendy’s and I hated it!

75 Your first childhood memory:

Running around the house buck naked and my mom chasing me. Don’t know much else that was going on or how old I was. 

words_whichwouldyouchoose_100truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

76 Love or money?

Love

77 Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook

78 Hook up or relationship?

Relationship

79 Dogs or cats?

 Cat. They’re more independent

80 Coffee or tea?

Coffee

81 Beer or wine?

Wine

82 Sweet or savory?

Savory

83 Introvert or extrovert?

I’m a bit of both depending on my mood but I guess I’ll pick Introvert

84 Vampires or werewolves?

Vampires!!! (Though I do love werewolves too)

85 Seaside or countryside?

Seaside

86 Summer or winter?

Summer

87 Books or movies

I love books but I’ve always been a big movie fan

88 Horror or comedy

Horror

words_a few random questions to finish on_100truths_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

 

89 Do you wish you could change your past?

I used to but now I don’t wish it at all. My past made me who I am today and  I love who I have become

90 What’s your dream job?

Successful Author and public speaker/motivator/mentor to trauma survivors

91 What’s your guilty pleasure?

I have no idea really. Maybe sometimes I rock out to Taylor Swift on my phone? I don’t really consider anything I do a guilty pleasure.

92 What are you afraid of?

Losing my kids

93 What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

A teacher and a rock-star simultaneously 

94 If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I’d be invincible

95 If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

I would have changed my major and double majored in Psychology and English Literature

96 Would you want immortality?

Yes

97 If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

Queen Elizabeth I.

98 Would you say you are happy?

Yes

99 What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

Don’t take everything people say too seriously. People will always underestimate you. Let them. You don’t owe them anything.

100 Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

I want to have at least my first novel published, living comfortably and helping trauma survivors through my books, public speaking and mentoring. I would also like to have traveled to the UK.

100truths_howto joing_rockinrandommom

I’m Tagging

I’m tagging the following fab blogs to take part – don’t forget to let me know when your posts are live so I can check them out.

Heather from Shank You Very Much

Tracey from Hooks and Dragons

Alana from Burnished Chaos

Louise from WeeOhana

Ana from Faded Spring

Catie from Diary of an Imperfect Mum

Mackenzie from Reflections of Me

And I’m supposed to tag 10 but this is all I have. If you want to join, then tag, you’re it! And to add a little music to this Manic Monday:

Grab the questions below if you would like to take part:

The Basics

1 What’s your name?

2 Any nicknames or aliases?

3 Your gender?

4 Your star sign?

5 How old are you?

6 Your relationship status?

7 Any children?

8 Any pets?

9 Any tattoos or piercings?

10 What do you like about yourself?

11 What do you dislike about yourself?

12 Righty or lefty?

 

Lasts

13 The last thing you drank:

14 The last thing you ate:

15 Your last phone call:

16 Your last text message:

17 Your last email:

18 The last song you listened to:

19 The last book you read:

20 The last time you cried:

21 The last blog you read:

22 The last person you spoke to:

23 The last place you visited:

24 Your last holiday abroad:

 

Have you ever?

25 Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

26 Have you ever been cheated on?

27 Have you ever cheated on someone?

28 Have you ever lost someone special to you?

29 Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

30 Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

31 Have you ever met someone who changed you?

32 Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

33 Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

34 Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

35 Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

36 Have you ever kissed a stranger?

37 Have you ever had your own heart broken?

38 Have you ever had sex on the first date?

39 Have you ever been arrested?

40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

41 Have you ever done something you regret?

42 Have you ever had a threesome?

43 Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

44 Have you ever misjudged someone?

 

Your Beliefs and Opinions

45 Do you believe in God?

46 Do you believe in yourself?

47 Do you believe in Santa Claus?

48 Do you believe in ghosts?

49 Do you believe in aliens?

50 Do you believe in miracles?

51 Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

52 Do you believe in love at first sight?

53 Can money make you happy?

54 Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

55 Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

56 Do you have strong political beliefs?

57 Do you have strong religious beliefs?

58 What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

 

Right Now

59 Are you eating anything right now?

60 Are you drinking anything right now?

61 What are you listening to right now?

62 What are you thinking about right now?

63 What are you waiting for right now?

64 What are you most excited about right now?

65 What’s your pet hate right now?

66 What’s your favourite thing right now?

67 If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

 

Firsts

68 Your first best friend:

69 Your first kiss:

70 Your first celebrity crush:

71 Your first holiday:

72 Your first pet:

73 Your first regret:

74 Your first job:

75: Your first childhood memory:

 

Which would you choose?

76 Love or money?

77 Twitter or Facebook?

78 Hook up or relationship?

79 Dogs or cats?

80 Coffee or tea?

81 Beer or wine?

82 Sweet or savoury?

83 Introvert or extrovert?

84 Vampires or werewolves?

85 Seaside or countryside?

86 Summer or winter?

87 Books or movies

88 Horror or comedy

 

A few random questions to finish on

89 Do you wish you could change your past?

90 What’s your dream job?

91 What’s your guilty pleasure?

92 What are you afraid of?

93 What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

94 If you could have any super power, what would it be?

95 If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

96 Would you want immortality?

97 If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

98 Would you say you are happy?

99 What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

100 Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Thanks so much for reading!

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I am linking with:

 

My Random Musings

 

Monday Stumble Linky

 

Burnished Chaos

 

Reflectionsfromme

 

Shank You Very Much

 

My Random Musings

Book Review #4: Lacey Patrick and the Wizard of Darkness

bookreview_laceypatrick_rockinrandommom

For my fourth book review, I am writing about a slightly different kind of book. My friend Deborah over at My Random Musings is on fire with her novels! She continues to surprise me with her writing as she tries new genres and pushes the boundaries of her own style. This time she has delved into the fantasy genre with her latest book, Lacey Patrick and the Wizard of Darkness.

When Lacey Patrick dreams of a hot stranger, her whole world turns upside down.

What she learns fill her with dread – not only must she process her whole new identity, but she must also find a way to save herself and her loved ones from a dark force that is stronger than anyone has seen before.

Who can she trust? How can she stop someone so powerful?

Time is running out and Lacey has to find the answers to those questions, and quickly – before it’s too late.

That’s the blurb from Deborah Stansil’s latest book. Sounds pretty interesting right? I thought so which is why I volunteered to read it for this review. She didn’t let me down either. First, I loved the change in the genre. It is refreshing to read a fantasy book for a change.

What Lacey Patrick and the Wizard of Darkness is about:

Different from the usual horror and psychological thrillers I’ve gotten used to reading by my friend Deborah Stansil, this book goes in a different direction, aiming at the young adult fantasy genre. Even though it’s YA, I think adults will also thoroughly enjoy this book.

Ms. Stansil takes us on a journey of a young witch, who doesn’t know she’s a witch until that hot stranger arrives in her life. From there, Lacey will have to navigate finding a dark wizard among her classmates while navigating high school, new love, and finding out who her true friends are.

What I think of the book:

I loved this fresh take on a high school fantasy and I loved this unique look at witches and wizards. Lacey isn’t part of an “in” crowd so to speak but she isn’t entirely an outsider either. I don’t read many books with the middle guy/girl as the main character.

There are several different characters that I, personally, liked very much while others were a bit stand offish. For me, Lacey’s best friend, Kiera wasn’t my favorite character and Lacey’s feelings towards her friend in the end I completely identified with.

There is some predictability with a few of the characters but the end was a bit unpredictable in the way of Deborah’s writing. You’ll have to read it to know what I mean. I like the predictability though because I didn’t have to think too much. While I do love a good book to challenge me, I also love books that I can just sit back and relax with. This book did that for me.bookreview_laceypatrick_rockinrandommom

This book is great for reading while taking a hot bath or for reading at the beach. Now that it’s Autumn, though I can also see myself reading this during a quiet evening to myself with a glass of wine while sitting under some stringed lights and scented candles nearby.

In my line of work where self-care is essential after counseling those with trauma histories, reading a light-hearted fantasy book like this is perfect. It gets me out of my head and transports me to another world entirely. This is a great self-care activity that I enjoy and this book is going to be on my book shelf for a long time.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy but also to anyone looking for a new book to read. Are you ready to try something new? Try this book! Deborah’s book was just released this past Friday on November 11, 2017. So hop on over to Amazon and purchase her Kindle book today!

Thank you for reading my book review. I hope you enjoyed it!

I have two links below. One for America and the other for UK/Europe:

Amazon: U.S

Amazon: UK

Thanks so much for reading!

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