Book Review: The Admissions

the-admissionsBetween work and shuttling the kids around to activities every single day of the week, I’m surprised I was able to whip through a book in a mere five days, but I did. And I’m sad it’s over, because I really grew attached to the characters in this page-turner.

After pouring through several nonfiction tomes, I was in desperate need for some fiction, so after some Amazon scrolling, I downloaded The Admissions: A Novel by Meg Mitchell More. The book was released in mid-August, so it’s still new and People called it a “great beach read,” so I snatched it up.

The story is centered around a family living in Northern California, and of course they appear to be living the perfect life. Isn’t that always the case? They have a beautiful home in Marin, both parents have successful careers and they are raising three beautiful, spirited daughters. The eldest child, a overachieving high school senior, has her heart and ambitions set on attending Harvard. The middle daughter is a talented dancer with a heart of gold. The youngest, a second-grader, is cute as can be, but struggling with learning to read.

Without giving away the twists and turns of this novel, I will say the book struck a chord with me. The parents, while working so hard to give their kids all of the right opportunities, feel stressed, over-scheduled and wishing and willing life to get a little simpler in just “a few more months.”

Within my own family of five, life has certainly felt crazy lately. The kids are back to school, my husband and I are always shuttling someone to after-school activities and we barely catch up on the weekends. Our Saturdays, and many Sundays, are spent lugging beach chairs from soccer field to soccer field. We jam in a grocery trip, meal-plan, speed clean the house, go to Mass, do a zillion loads of laundry and then collapse into bed late at night.

Sometimes I wonder if we’re making the right lifestyle choices. My kids love everything they are doing, and we want to expose them to so much in hopes they’ll ultimately discover a passion, but I often think we need more downtime. Actually, I know we need more downtime.

Should we take a weekend to ditch the soccer fields and the dance studio to get out-of-town? Go camping? Escape to the beaches?

Perhaps this is just how it goes when you have three active kids. Even when you only allow them one activity a season, we are still juggling three sets of practices, three sets of games and three sets of team obligations. This is the first year all three kids are playing soccer. My eldest is also in scouts, and my youngest additionally has one dance class a week. In another week, religious education classes get tossed into the mix. The middle child is wondering when we will let him begin guitar lessons.

Maybe I just need a quiet weekend to amp back up, or maybe I need to embrace the chaos. These are the best days of our lives, right?

I suppose I’ll continue to reflect on this scheduling craze many times in the years ahead – and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t daydream about simpler days. Pros and cons, pros and cons.

Regardless, I’d definitely recommend this book for an entertaining light read. Now onto Brene Brown’s latest, Rising Strong.

#MomsWhoWrite eBook Bundle Sale

Books in bundle2Can you believe it’s almost June? Where did the school year go? In just a few weeks, the kids will be out for summer, and I can say goodbye to book reports, nightly homework and reading logs.

With a few (hopefully) lazy summer months on the horizon, perhaps you’ll have time to dive into some new books. You all know Alexa and I released Lose the Cape a few weeks ago. Well, to close out the month of May, we elected to partner with some of other fellow writers, who are also moms, and offer a collection of our ebooks – not necessarily about motherhood, but all written by moms – at a ridiculously LOW PRICE!

All eight books are a special price of just $9.99! This is an incredible savings of $45!

What’s included in this awesome bundle?

Lose the Cape! Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive by Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera

The Colic Solution by Nicolette Roux

A Lady in France (Memoir) Jennie Goutet

Igniting Mommy Energy by Liz McGrory

Taking Action: 30 Specific Strategies for Overcoming Emotional Eating by Katie McLaughlin

Reclaim The Joy of Motherhood – How I Defeated Postpartum Depression by Pamela Zimmer

Declutter for Good: Share Your Stuff & Reclaim Your Life by Marianne Peters

So we are we practically giving away all of our books in one delicious little package in a VERY SHORT, 5-DAY SUPER PROMOTION.

To purchase the package, just visit the sales page. And if you’ve already purchased Lose the Cape, this deal gives you the chance to load up some new books to your Kindle. The offer expires on May 30.

Thanks for the support!

To All Who Have Shown Up, THANK YOU

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In this go-go, busy, crazy world, it’s normal to feel pulled in a zillion different directions. There’s family life, the career, the stacks of bills and the ever-present piles of laundry.

I often look at our own family calendar and hyperventilate. I whisper to myself, “Ok, if we can just get through this week, life will calm down.” And then my husband sets me straight and tells me this is our life. The craziness will continue for the next 14 years.

I love our life, but it’s full – very, very full. And I know many of my girlfriends and colleagues feel the same way about their own lives. We’re in survival mode, but also striving to find time to connect, celebrate and enjoy some laughs.

Knowing this reality, I have to say I feel so blessed to have so many of my own girlfriends, blogging buddies and family members recognize a special milestone in my life. This week, my writing friend and I released our “Lose the Cape” book, and I have delighted in seeing the congratulatory messages and support on Facebook and Twitter, as well as via text and in-person. Your acknowledgement and kind words have made me smile again and again and again.

Some have bought the book because they are excited about the motherhood message we share, and others simply because they know a purchase means the world to me.

It’s been eye-opening to see who has “shown up” to celebrate, and who has not said a word. Complete strangers turn out to be major advocates, while others who have known me forever remain quiet. I know many writers feel that pain. Thanks to everyone who has “shown up” – new friends and old – especially since you have your own very full lives to manage. I do not take your words, actions and love for granted.

This project has been a year in the making – interrupted by moments of job stress and the typical demands and joys of family life – but we did it. Alexa and I pushed the project past the finish line, and we’re happy with the final product.

Our hope is Lose the Cape will get into the hands of moms in need of a quick, fun read. And we want our message to inspire women to be more supportive of one another, rather than tearing each other down.

I recently came across a blog post on women and jealousy. Sadly, you don’t have to search hard to find women “hating” on one another. Why do we do it? I’m sure some expert has an answer, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply be supportive?

I know I’ve been lifted up by the strong and kind women who took a few minutes out of their days to support me. Thanks again for your lovely words of encouragement – it means so much because I fully recognize your life is just as full and crazy as mine.

Virtual hugs to you all, and let’s keep that “girl power” message alive.

“Lose the Cape” and Shop Compliment Partner for Special Giveaway

momandbaby

How often as a mom do you beat yourself up?

I should have …

I could have …

I didn’t …

I blew it …

Sometimes we see another mom and compare. In our mind, of course she is doing it better. She rocks, looks great doing it and makes the “juggle” appear effortless.

I know I fall victim to the “compare” game, and I certainly want to get this whole parenting gig right. As my husband says, I’m my own worst critic!

But, I’m human. I mess up. I lose it … probably more than I want to admit. But as I talk with my fellow mom friends, I realize so do they.

Part of the reason I elected to write, “Lose the Cape” is because I wanted to create something that doesn’t criticize moms and place even greater weight on their already heavy shoulders.lose the cape

Rather, I wanted to spread a message that we do the best we can and feel good about the choices we make for our families. Will you make the right choices every single time? Probably not, but who does?

So as launch day for “Lose the Cape” approaches (Yay!), and Mother’s Day is weeks away, I want to encourage you to cut yourself some slack. Stop beating yourself up for everything that doesn’t go right, and instead be kind. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your own mom. Be kind to a fellow mom friend.

Last fall, I discovered a fabulous company, Shop Compliment, and have been a fan ever since. I encourage you to read the owner’s story, and to support her growing business. Her jewelry pieces are handmade and delivered with a compliment.

You are kind.

You are super.

You are loved.

You are a friend.

shop compliment

You can customize your compliment, or select from a list of options. You can pick a piece for a friend, or treat yourself.

So as Alexa and I started putting the finishing touches on “Lose the Cape,” we could think of no better partner and company to reach out to for a little giveaway.

Details are below, and the winner will receive a $75 gift card to use at the Shop Compliment online store. Thank you Melissa!

To all who have already purchased a copy of “Lose the Cape,” thank you. The Kindle version will be delivered April 23. Print copies debut on April 28. To increase visibility for the book, I’d love your help in spreading the word, and welcome reviews on Amazon. Those will help others learn more, and it boosts our visibility on the Amazon site.

I hope you’ll participate in the giveaway. The winner is going to be one stylish, lucky girl!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Support a Writer – Maybe Me?

KerryRivera.author.picIt’s a passion, a calling, something I do almost daily.

I write.

I write in my journal. I write posts that never meet the “publish” button. I write content for other people, companies, and government agencies.

I write for money, and I write for free. I write for audiences, but more than anything I write for myself.

So to say this book project is simply a bucket list item would be a lie. Lose the Cape is filled with my voice, my tone, my sarcasm, my humor and my heart.

It shares my stories, my kids, my husband and my philosophy on motherhood. I’ve had a writing partner along the way, and I know she feels the same way.

So if you’re a friend or family member or simply a follower in the virtual world, I’d love for you to give it a read. Not because I’m looking to get rich with this book. I know too much about the Lose the Cape book coverpublishing world to make that the ultimate goal.

Instead I’d just appreciate your support. Many of my words I keep private, but I’d like to share this particular work with an audience, and I think you can help spread the word.

You say you’re a dude or a dad or not a mom?

Grab the book for your own mom or wife or sister or girlfriend. She’ll appreciate it. You may even wish to thumb through it to get a better sense of the mom psyche.

You say you don’t do books?

Come on, reading is cool. Give it a try. This isn’t War and Peace. It’s fun. It’s light. It’s life.

You say you don’t have time?

That is why we’ve written this book in chunks. Read a blurb a day, whiz through a chapter in 15 minutes. Or take your time and reference it when you’d like. There’s no deadline to finish it. No English lit pop quiz at the end.

You say you don’t have money?

Pre-order the book on Amazon for $2.99 for your Kindle or $9.99 for print. I’m certain your Starbucks tab for the week is higher.

You say you don’t want to support me?

OK, I understand. I just shed a tear, but I get it. But there are other writers to support, so find a book, find an author, find an artist you love and support him or her. Writers, musicians and artists all pour themselves into their work – the least we can do is support their craft every so often.

You say you want me to stop writing about this project?

Can’t promise you that, but I will ease up on the promotion in a few weeks. Pinky swear. In fact, maybe I’ll start the next book.

Thanks in advance for your support and encouragement!