Kassandra Kush

Introducing Nikki from Ramblings of a Chaotic Mind

Posted on: November 30, 2013

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! I’m Nikki and I run Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind book blog. I’m a 32 yr old mother of two in small town Northeastern Ohio. I work a full time job Monday-Friday and have recently added a part time job on weekends. Yeah, I’m crazy. I know.

What inspired you/caused you to start your book blog?

My cousin came to me one day after watching Twilight for probably the millionth time. She said “If Meyers can write a book, so can I…will you help?” This lead to me doing some line editing for her and joining Twitter (follow me @NikiBrandyberry) at her insistence that all the cool people were hanging out there. Before I knew it I had signed up to blog about my life and the books I was reading, authors were asking my opinion and I was doing a bit of freelance editing before the real editing for other people.  It grew from there and now here I am, 3 years later. Oh, and my cousin? She now has several published books. 🙂

What is your favorite part of running one?

Other than getting to read lots of awesome books? I’d have to say meeting authors and other bloggers. There is nothing better than conversing with other people who know how your head works. Some of those conversations are going to my grave with me. Of course steering like minded readers towards other books they may not have heard of it great too.

What’s your favorite place and time to read? At home in bed at 2am? Out and about at a coffee shop?

I read anywhere and everywhere I can but the majority of my reading is done one of two places. In my office chair at my full time job (I love my job because it allows me to read in my downtime) OR on the couch in my reading room…also affectionately called “the library”. However I’ve been known to read in line at the bank, at the grocery store and through every gymnastics practice for my daughter. “No, mommy didn’t see you do your dismount, it was unfortunately during the climax of my book…..”

Kindle or regular book? How did you feel about the Kindle to book transition? Did you fight it at first or dive right in?

Both. I have five full bookcases and a Kindle with probably 500 books…or more. Yeah, probably more. There are times I simply crave the smell of a paperback…and yes I literally sit there and smell them. But there are so many authors nowadays that are only releasing e-books….so I’d be missing out on them if I was stuck on only physical books. I didn’t fight it at all. Reading is reading no matter what you pick up to do it with.

Favorite book of all time?

That’s like asking me which child is my favorite. Can’t be done. Next question.

Coolest author you ever got to meet/work with?

Cherry Adair…hands down. She’s the nicest, funniest, most generous person I know. I adore her writing, but more than that, I adore her as a person. Seriously, she’s awesome. I feel lucky to now call her a friend instead of simply a acquaintance. Go read her books. You’ll thank me later.

Tell us about the woman (women) behind the mask? Err blog!

Ugh. I don’t know. I hate talking about myself. I guess I’ll go with the fact that I’m quirky and slightly OCD. I’m afraid of policemen, I don’t like crowds and I’m much better online than in person until I get to know you. I often ramble about books to anyone who will listen. I’m snarky, laugh at the most inappropriate times and can pretty much turn any sentence into sexual innuendo.

Do you prefer a bunch of quick, sweet stand-alone reads or a long drawn out series of epic proportions?

I’m not big on long drawn out series because it often takes the hero and heroine FOREVER to get together. I like series that jump from couple to couple while still progressing the overall story arc.

Last book you read and how did you rate it?

Well by the time this comes out I’ll probably have read another 5-10 books, but as I’m writing this the last book I read was Autumn In The Vineyard by Marina Adair (no relation to Cherry Adair lol) and though I haven’t wrote the review yet it will be getting 4.50 stars. I really enjoyed it! I love small town romances and Marina Adair’s St Helena Vineyard series is really well done.

Aside from reading, what else do you do with your time? Or, like me, do things book-related pretty much sum up your life?

I have no time for anything else. I pretty much work, taxi cab my kids around and read. That’s it. I do enjoy going to the movies though and try to get there at least once in awhile. I also love singing at the top of my lungs in my car..much to my kids dismay. Running a blog is like having a second full time job. It takes a lot of time and effort. Heartfelt time and effort. You have to seriously love what you do.

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

Europe. Since I’ve never even been to Canada I’d say Europe is never going to happen…but if money grew on trees that’s the first place I’d head. Specifically Italy and then I’d branch out from there.

If you could meet any author, who would it be?

Maya Banks. I adore everything she writes. I had the opportunity to talk to her on the phone recently and it took everything in me to remain professional and ask her book related questions instead of things like “will you be my best friend?” I try not to embarrass myself…key word is try.

I’d also love to meet Juliana Stone. We chat constantly online and I think we’d really hit it off in person. Either that or I’d freak her out. We talk about beavers a lot. Yep. Beavers. I’d explain, but really, I think it’s better that I not. Juliana’s writing just touches me on a level I can’t explain.

If you could go on a date with any fictional male character, who would it be, from what book?

Ok, so I know that most people are going to say Christian Grey, Gideon Cross, Jericho Barrons, Kane “Tack” Allen, or Chris Merritt….but I’m always one to change it up…although, let’s be honest, I’m not turning down a date with any of those above guys. Panties would be dropping faster than they could ask me out. BUT…I’m going to go with Zadist from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series (Lover Awakened). I’m not all fangirl over those books, but Zadist, damn…he can come get me any time he wants. I will heal all his pains. YUM.

Who is a female character you could see yourself being best friends with?

I think I could be friends with pretty much anyone in the contemporary romances. They’re always such sweet, supporting women. While I love to fantasize about me dressed all in black leather kicking ass alongside the urban fantasy/paranormal romance/romantic suspense ladies…in reality I’d be the first to die. Or they’d be saving me. Either way…terribly embarrassing.

 Is there a fiction genre you just can’t seem to stand or get into? For me, heavy science fiction is just a no-go.

I can’t do historical romance. Just can’t do it. I enjoy western romances on occasion but when I say historical I mean regency romance for the most part. I find them so boring that by the end of the first chapter I’m already looking for another book to read. Luckily I recently brought on two more reviewers for the blog and both Pam and Michelle enjoy historicals. 🙂 Win-win for me.

When I say favorite book cover, what’s the first one to come to mind – since I know there probably can’t be just one?

My brain just exploded. I can’t even think to pick one.

What was the series in childhood that got you hooked on reading? For me, my mom forced me to read Little House on the Prairie for school which I ended up loving, and then I found the Redwall series and I just never stopped!

The first series I remember reading with any conviction was Babysitter’s Little Sister followed quickly by The Babysitter’s Club and later Sweet Valley High and the Fear Street Series. I used to go to the library and check out at least 15 books at a time. I have no idea where I got it from either because my mom is not a reader. I suppose at one time my grandmother was though because I distinctly remember a box of books in her hall closet that had Fabio all over the covers. 🙂

Were you The Quiet Girl Who Was Always Reading, or did you mainly just read at home in secret?

I don’t think I’ve ever been labeled “the quiet girl”. Heh. But I most definitely always had a book with me and had no problems reading in class.

Do you always read several books at once, or just stick to one at a time? The running joke in my family when I was young was asking me how many books I was reading (usually at least five) and laughing when I could recite the plot for every single one!

Usually I’m only reading one or two at a time. If I try to read more than that my slight OCD rears it’s ugly head and I start feeling like I HAVE to finish them…now. I get overwhelmed. If I’m reading two at one time they are never the same sub genre. So I can read a Cynthia Eden para-rom at the same time as a Maya Banks romantic suspense but I can’t read a Jill Shalvis and Keri Ford contemporary together. Make sense? Yeah, it doesn’t to me either….but it is what it is. Like I said…I’m “quirky”

 Favorite book to movie adaption?

Anything that has Nicholas Sparks name attached to it. That man knows how to do simple, emotional, contemporary romance. Even if he does do “fade to black” sex scenes GRRRR. Nicholas, write me some raunchy stuff! That may change once the 50 Shades movie comes out…lol…while I was just “eh” about the books, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t uber curious if they will do the tampon scene. You know the one. Don’t lie….you do.

Twitter: @NikiBrandyberry – https://twitter.com/NikiBrandyberry

Website URL: http://nikkibrandyberry.wordpress.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ramblings-From-A-Chaotic-Mind/182110908487043

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Guardian Blurb

Lyla Evans just wants to be left alone; to fly under the radar and not attract attention. After seventeen years, she knows how the game is played. Her parents are hardly ever home, and when they do show up, they’re quick to anger and even quicker with their fists. With foster care comes the threat of being separated from her two younger siblings, and Lyla would die before allowing that to happen. She’s learned to keep her head down and depend on no one but herself and God to get by.

When a strange man starts paying too much attention to her and her siblings, showing up to rescue them and then disappearing without a trace, Lyla begins to panic that everything she’s been hiding is about to come out. But as she slowly becomes friends with Rafael and even trusts him with her deepest fears, Lyla learns he has secrets far bigger than her own that will turn everything in her world upside down.

In this story of abuse and rescue, love and faith, angels and demons, an unlikely friendship grows into a fantastical love story appealing and appropriate for readers young and old alike.

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