It's time for Ashley's Best of 2014 Post.
So as we begin this journey keep in mind, this year has been crazy wild and loads of things have happened. So keeping it simple might be a bit hard. But I'm up for the challenge, are you?
Remember ... everything posted on this bog I experienced in 2014, which means it may not have originated in 2014. Just making sure we are all on the same page. And remember they are in no particular order
Ready ... Set .... GO!
BEST BOOKS OF 2014
The Immortal Crown
Richelle Mead is just wow ... this book is the second in the Age of X series and it had me hooked from page one. This book pulls you in and takes your mind completely out of reality. I really can't say enough wonderful things about Richelle Mead and this series. If you love a great adventure full of twists and turns, then pick up this book! Richelle Mead has been on my list of favorite authors for a long time and she keeps holding strong the more and more she writes with this series!
After The Execution
James Raven - wow. He is just, wow. I am not sure where to begin when I think about all of the crazy things that happened in this book. And I don't mean crazy as in plot I mean crazy as in, terrible things happening to the characters. The way he brings them out on the page is a true talent. I live near where his plots take place, I went to school in Huntsville, where executions happen. I still can't believe he lives in the United Kingdom. The way he captures Texas perfect is amazing. Love his novels and seriously say you need to go pick up his books.
Murder In Paradise
This is really a series spot. Deborah Brown writes fun, exciting, and murderous mysteries. She makes you turn the pages so fast you don't even realize you are 200 pages into the book until you look up and see two hours have passed by. I read three of her books in two and a half days. Three full length novels. I couldn't put them down! I first found Ms. Brown when she was a guest on my blog because someone asked me to review her book. Now I am a die hard fan and LOVE her stuff. If you love happy, fun and light mysteries ... GO READ THIS SERIES!!!!
As I am sure you all know by now, Steven Dos Santos is one of my best finds of 2013 author wise. He is so brilliant. I am nipping my nails by the bits waiting on book three of the Torch Keeper Series. He really needs to write faster! I hound him every few months asking if he is done yet. WHY CAN'T HE WRITE FASTER! Anyway .. this book is like the first one and takes place in a end of the world type setting. It's like the Hunger Games, but better!
Son Of No One
Now Sherrilyn Kenyon has been on my list of top authors ever since 2009 when I read her for the first time. This book did something that the others haven't in quit a long time. Not only was it just amazingly easy and fun to read, it made me LOVE the Dark Hunter world again. While Styxx was an amazing book last year it left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a lot of emotional confusion regarding the world. Son Of No One fixed that for me because it felt like SK went back to her roots. My Author Goddess SK is back! In this novel. It is over 400 pages, took me about 4 hours to read, and it left me wanting more. Doesn't get much better than that does it?
BEST MOVIES OF 2014
X-Men, Days of Future Past
First off of COURSE I love an movie with Hugh Jackman. But even if he wasn't in this movie it would be on this list. It was truly well written and the cast was great. I cried at the end. When Wolverine woke up, I knew what was about to happen. The tears started before the screen moved to the next scene. That's the sign of a fantastic movie. And, well, Hugh's muscles weren't to shabby to look at either!
I was a HUGE VM fan when the TV series was out. Such a huge fan that I am sure you know I stood in line for HOURS to meet one of the cast member's at Comic Palooza in 2010. So maybe that helped me love this movie more that I had met 3 of the cast members that were in this movie and it made me smile thinking back on how nice everyone was when I got their autographs. But the plot was solid. The scrip well written. Robb Thomas should be pleased with his KickStarter movie doing so well. I could continue to watch this movie again and again. But hopefully they will make a sequel!
Captain America the Winter Soldier
So when I see fight scenes in movies I always judge them hard because of my martial arts training. I hate seeing the fakeness. Well this movie takes the cake for the BEST fight scene ever in a movie. In this movie Evans is fighting Georges St. Pierre and that scene will blow your mind away. I mean seriously. It was such a beautiful dance of rhythm and moves that it made me jump inside with joy seeing true talent.
"Everything is Awesome" is constantly stuck playing over and over inside my head. This movie is just so fantastic and leaves you feeling well, awesome. This is my favorite Will Ferrel movie, and I never thought I would include any movie with him cast as a lead as a 'favorite.' But this one stole a slot. This isn't just a kids movie. It is a child of ALL ages type movie. Because deep down we are all children at heart. Or at least the ones of us worth anything fun are. Go out and see it, but be ready to smile because that's all that you will be doing in the end.
Guardians of the Galaxy
I have seen this movie about a dozen times since it has come out in 2014. The music is phenomenal, the cast is to die for, and the script is killer. Seriously the only thing this movie is missing is well, Hugh Jackman lol. I loved Chris Pratt, not only is he a great dancer but he holds the screen and lead of this movie to top notches. I have watched so many movies with more seasoned actors and they can't hold a candle to Pratt's performance. Seriously is amazing. I wish that all movies were this good. I cried at the beginning and then at the end, but only because it was over. I love this movie. I love the soundtrack, and I think everyone should go see it!
BIGGEST LET DOWN OF THE YEAR
Missing out on interviewing Jason Muse at Comic Palooza. My husband stepped up and he did a freaking amazing job at the interview for me but I was so heartbroken I wasn't able to conduct it myself. But I was totally stoked that he even agreed to let me interview him at all!
BEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Interviewing Tami Hoag. She has been my all time favorite author since like 1999 and when she responded to my Facebook inbox and then answered all the questions I emailed her. That was truly a wonderful day for not only me, but Memories in a Box blog!
WHAT I LOOKED FORWARD TO THE MOST
This is a hard one! I think what I looked forward to the most was NaNoWriMo. Even though I didn't 'win' it this year a lot was accomplished. Something you just have to accept when you're writing is real life does get in the way and sometimes takes up most of your time. Your writing has to be able to work around those real life irritations. That's what I am learning about this year.
WHAT CHANGED ME THE MOST
Finding out that I just shouldn't get pregnant ever again and my father in law passing away. Such grief and anger piled into both events. But what came from that wreckage hopefully will be something beautiful that those emotions brought to life.
MOST UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Holding my baby nephew for the first time. When my brother called to tell me that the newest baby Nemer had been born tears instantly soaked my eyes. I rushed over to the hospital to meet the little man. And what I saw was the most amazing and special gift God could give to our family. Hearing his little lungs crying out, seeing his eyes open, feeling him in my arms. Seeing my brother and his wife holding their son. Nothing will ever take that moment away from my mind. It is an image that I will cherish.
So that is the 2014 wrap up. Hopefully next year I will have a few new authors to introduce you too. I see some repeats from last year on this list. Hey you can't help what you love!
Have a safe and happy New Years Eve and always remember to Live, Laugh and Love, like today is your last!