Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier: By Myke Cole



The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers--summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed...but not for everyone.

Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. But after he develops magical powers, he is torn from everything he knows and thrown onto the front-lines.

Drafted into the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder finds himself in command of Forward Operating Base Frontier--cut off, surrounded by monsters, and on the brink of being overrun.

Now, he must find the will to lead the people of FOB Frontier out of hell, even if the one hope of salvation lies in teaming up with the man whose own magical powers put the base in such grave danger in the first place--Oscar Britton, public enemy number one...


First off, I was truly impressed with Myke Cole’s début novel Control Point that came out last year. It combined fantasy, magical powers, and modern day soldiers all in one book.

It absolutely rocked my socks.

I’m used to reading soldiers and high level technology in science fiction novels, but never have I read about modern soldiers getting magical abilities. To put it bluntly, it’s awesome! It’s like reading a superhero book with a twist.

That said, I was a little scared that Cole was going to hit the sophomore slump with his second book, Fortress Frontier.

I should have never worried.

Fortress Frontier is fantastic. Not only does it maintain the awesome characters it established in Control Point with Oscar Britton and Harlequin, it also takes the time to establish amazing new characters such Bookbinder. Bookbinder is fantastic, not only is he an relatable character who got forced into this situation he never wanted to be in, but with Bookbinder we get to see a whole new set of magic and potential for magic. Not wanting to give anything away, I thought Bookbinder’s magic was really cool. That’s all I’ll say about the magic, but let me say that I’d recommend the book JUST for magic.

Luckily, there are many other positive elements to the book. Such as the war/battle scenes (which there are plenty), the story expands in a way that makes me shake with excitement for the next book in the series, and the characters are phenomenal. All in all I loved Fortress Frontier, and can’t wait for the next in the Shadow Ops series.


Publisher: Ace

Published: January 29, 2012

Price: $7.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Ops-Fortress-Myke-Cole/dp/0425256367/ref=pd_sim_b_1

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Red Country: By Joe Abercrombie



They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .


Joe Abercrombie’s books are not for the feint of heart. They contain some of the most violent writing and gruesome battle scenes I’ve ever read.

That said I haven’t come across one of his books I haven’t loved.

Besides being bloody, Abercrombie’s books are also filled with some of the most shocking twists I’ve ever read, ending in ways I never could have imagined. Further, his books demonstrate some of the best crafted characters seen today. Showing how difficult it is to change, and often ending with the characters getting what they wanted only to have their lives worse off for it. All in all, each of his books are amazing.

Of course, while I thoroughly endorse all his books everyone has favorites, and my favorite characters (and I don’t feel like I’m alone in this) is Logan Nine Fingers AKA the Bloody Nine. When readers last saw him, he was crashing into a violent river, readers left unsure whether he lived or died. Well, Red Country finally answers this question. Readers will rejoice with the re-emergence of everyone’s favorite mass murderer, Logan, AKA in this book as Lamb. Lamb has been living the last few decades as a quiet cowardly farmhand helping raise his stepchildren. He is quiet, kind, and unobtrusive. But when the farm is burnt and the children stolen, the façade is thrown aside as the real Bloody Nine comes out to play.

The one thing that I’ve heard grumblings about is that none of this story is told from Logan’s perspective. What I have to say is while that is missed it is still a fantastic story and is quite intriguing to see what the Bloody Nine looks like from the outside.

All in all this book was amazing. The characters were well developed, the story full of twists, turns, and battle scenes galore, and readers are finally given answers to the questions they’ve been yearning for. While it may not please everyone it certainly pleased me. In my opinion Red Country is a must read.


Publisher: Orbit 

Published: November 13, 2012

Price: $25.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Country-Joe-Abercrombie/dp/0316187216/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358891334&sr=1-3&keywords=joe+abercrombie

The Archived: Victoria Schwab



Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.


I had heard a lot of hype about The Archived. So when I read it, my expectations were pretty high.

Luckily for me, it more than met my expectations.

The first thing that struck me about The Archived is how original it was . To create an entire other world that goes along with our world, where everyone is copied so that their histories can be preserved is an awesome idea.

Further, the author, Victoria Schwab, does a fantastic job jumping back and forth between Mackenzie’s memories of her grandfather, Da, and present day. This not only helps maintain a clipping pace but it also helps expand the readers knowledge of the archive and gives important back story as to why Mackenzie acts and is the way she is.

Speaking of Mackenzie, Schwab does a great job making her into a complex character that develops throughout the book. She is kick-ass, deep, and severely broken inside. That’s what makes her connections with Owen and Wesley so believable, because after all these years and all she’s lost, between her brother Ben, Da, and the level of separation and lies she has to always keep with her parents she just wants to not have to lie to someone. But Schwab does this all without diminishing Mackenzie’s character, and while maintaining a pretty constant level of action both guys and girls will love, which to be honest is quite an impressive feat.

Of course I also just plan liked the writing as well. It’s smooth, allowing readers to fully emerge themselves in the story, fast paced, and just plain captivating. I loved reading the Archived and personally I can’t wait for the sequel. So if you’re looking for a great book to read, then look no further, The Archived is worth all the hype.


Publisher: Hyperion Book CH

Published: January 22, 2013

Price: $16.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/The-Archived-Victoria-Schwab/dp/1423157311/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358870262&sr=8-1&keywords=the+archived

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Prophecy: By Ellen Oh



The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms . . . is a girl with yellow eyes.

Kira's the only female in the king's army, and she's also the prince's bodyguard. She's a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she's their only hope. . . .

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King's prophecy, but the legendary lost ruby treasure just might be the true key to victory. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.


For readers looking for a book to compare Prophecy to, Prophecy reminded me a bit of a middle grade version of Eon, by Alison Goodman. This is probably because of the Asian culture setting, the emphasis on women becoming powerful figures in this society, and the use of dragons in the magic system seen in both books.

For those not familiar with Eon, Prophecy is the story of the female warrior, Kira, in an Asian based society. She is gifted with a tiger spirit that grants her accelerated healing, superior strength and speed, and the ability to see demon possessions, making her the perfect demon hunter and protector of her cousin, Prince Taejo. Of course, these attributes that make her special also make her reviled her people, as their superstitions bring them to fear her and her glowing yellow eyes. The story then quickly takes Kira’s protection of Prince Taejo to a new level as they and their country is backstabbed by the King’s political enemy. With Kira, her brother, and Taejo on the run, the seven countries falling to the enemy, and the rise of demon spirits it’s up to Kira and Taejo to fulfill a centuries old prophecy about the rise of a great demonic power and the One that can defeat it.

Ellen Oh, the author, does a fantastic job maintaining a constant level of action in Prophecy. Everything from magical assaults, demon possessed warriors, to human enemies, make up the action that Kira and her cousins have to face and readers will love to read about.

As for the characters, many of the characters I liked, such as Taejo, Kira, and Jaewon. But some of the characters decisions I just didn’t understand, such as Shin Bo Hyun’s admission of his uncle’s treachery yet unwilling to accept his own part in the scheme for following orders. Or his lust for Kira herself which could have been developed more, but was thrown out there and then left unfinished in its development as a storyline.

Of course, I did like how this wasn’t just another love starved powerful girl looking for a man. This was a story about finding one’s strength, overcoming gender stereotypes, and acceptance for one’s true self. All in all a fun book for readers looking for a little action and adventure, and I’m curious what Oh will do in the next installment in the series. 


Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: January 2, 2013

Price: $17.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Prophecy-Dragon-King-Chronicles-Ellen/dp/0062091093/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357514366&sr=1-1&keywords=prophecy+ellen+oh

33 Minutes: by Todd Hasak-Lowy



Sam Lewis is going to get his butt kicked in exactly thirty-three minutes. He knows this because yesterday his former best friend Morgan Sturtz told him, to his face and with three witnesses nearby, “I am totally going to kick your butt tomorrow at recess.”

All that’s standing between Sam and this unfortunate butt-kicking is the last few minutes of social studies and his lunch period. But how did Sam and Morgan end up here? How did this happen just a few months after TAMADE (The Absolutely Most Amazing Day Ever), when they became the greatest Alien Wars video game team in the history of great Alien Wars teams? And once the clock ticks down, will Morgan actually act on his threat?


Let me first say that 33 Minutes is a fantastic book.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when an author writes down to his/her audience. When I say this, I don’t mean writing for a younger audience, what I mean by this is purposeful writing a weaker plot, more anemic characters, and generally writing a lower quality book, all because it is for a younger audience.

Luckily, this is not such a book.

As the story unfolds Sam reveals more and more of the back-story through contemplation, concussions, and guilt. Through these mediums author, Todd Hasak-Lowy, does a fantastic job blurring the lines between who is actually at fault between Sam and Morgan. Making this YA book both realistic and engaging. Of course, without giving anything away, I was utterly shocked with how skillfully the final chapters were crafted. I would recommend this book on its ending alone because of this.

Luckily that’s not the only great thing about 33 Minutes though. I was also really impressed with how full and realistic Hasak-Lowy made Sam and Morgan. Everything from their feelings of guilt, resentment, and jealousy, to their actions that lead to the fight, to the fight itself and its aftermath all speak of a master craftsman in Hasak-Lowy’s writing ability.

All in all I highly recommend 33 Minutes. It’s well written, full of realistic likable characters, and moves at a good pace. Of course, don’t be dissuaded by the illustrations or the fact that this is YA, 33 Minutes is great for readers of all ages. 


Publisher: Aladdin 

Published: January 1, 2013

Price: $15.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/33-Minutes-Todd-Hasak-Lowy/dp/1442445009/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357511786&sr=1-1&keywords=33+minutes

Not Exactly a Love Story: By Audrey Couloumbis



It's 1977.

Fifteen-year old Vinnie isn't having a good year. He's recovering from the worst case of galloping acne his dermatologist's ever seen. His girl moved to California without even saying good-bye. And the ink on his parents divorce papers is barely dry, when his mom announces that they're moving from Queens to Long Island.

The silver lining in all this is that they move next door to Patsy—everyone's dream girl. Not that she'd ever notice him. But when Vinnie calls Patsy one night, it leads to a chain of anonymous midnight conversations. Under the cover of darkness, Vinnie becomes Vincenzo, Patsy's mystery caller, and the two share a side of themselves they would never reveal in daylight and develop a surprisingly real connection (despite the lies it's built on). As Vinnie gets to know Patsy in real life though, it becomes clear both identifies can't survive and he'll have to find a way to hangup the phone and step into the daylight.

It's not exactly a love story . . . but it's pretty close.


So I had mixed feelings for Not Exactly a Love Story. I felt compelled to read it to the point that I couldn’t put it down, yet at the same time I didn’t love the protagonist.

Don’t get me wrong, I commiserated with his feelings of inadequacy, his nervousness, and even his changing personalities, but I just couldn’t relate to some of the personalities he creates in the book, nor the drastic change in between each personality. For a character who doesn’t have a serious mental disability the changing personalities should not have been so dramatic. As for the personas that I didn’t like, The over confidence of the phone caller was a bit much, and the fact that Patsy would stay on the phone after Vinnie was so crude and offensive boggles the mind and made me almost want to put the book down right there. Also on top of that point why in the world would he say something like that (I do understand that there must be conflict for the story to move forward but there must also be a sense of realism in a book like this, otherwise a reader will just roll their eyes and move on).

Besides those troubling aspects of the book I find myself leaning towards recommending the book. As I mentioned before there was some aspect that compelled me to keep reading, I’m not sure exactly what it was, but compelled I was. Possibly it was the interesting side characters such as Vinnie’s father and step-father, who grow into likable and more realistic characters. Possibly it was Vinnie’s growth over the course of the book, whether it be through his athletic prowess or his emotional growth. Or possibly it was just the speed of the book, moving at a good clip that intrigues the reader while not leaving out important details.

Who knows exactly what it was that made this book compelling, but it was and so if you’re looking for a YA book to read give Not Exactly a Love Story a shot.


Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Published: December 11, 2012

Price: $16.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Exactly-Love-Story-Audrey-Couloumbis/dp/037586783X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357510928&sr=1-1&keywords=not+exactly+a+love+story

Trapped: By Kevin Hearne



After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.


So first off Trapped is amazing. Actually let me rephrase, the entire Iron Druid series is amazing, but Trapped is especially awesome.

The first thing I have to say about Trapped is how impressed I was with Kevin Hearne’s decision to jump ahead the 12 year training period for Granuaile, and instead address bits and pieces of this period in novellas that he can release at his leisure, such as he did in Two Ravens and One Crow. Not only does this jump in time move the story forward to much more exciting segments of the overall story, but it makes it much more plausible that events could take time to culminate.

Of course, like the previous books in the series Trapped is filled with some of the best characters in fantasy today. Atticus, Granuaile, The Morgan, and Oberon are complex, well written, and funny, making them a pleasure to read.

Trapped begins Atticus’s next great challenge in the series as the ramifications of his actions in Hammered finally come home to roost. Because of this Atticus is forced to become adversaries with Greek Gods, Norse Gods, and ancient vampires. This, if you couldn’t guess, leads to some truly amazing battle scenes that fans will eat up.

All in all, The Iron Druid series is one of the best urban fantasy series out there and Trapped is a fantastic example of the series’ awesomeness. Trapped and the Iron Druid series as a whole come highly recommended and readers looking for a fantastic series should go buy Kevin Hearne’s books right now.


Publisher: Del Rey

Published: November 27, 2012

Price: $7.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-Iron-Druid-Chronicles-Book/dp/034553364X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357510595&sr=1-1&keywords=trapped

Teeth: By Hannah Moskowitz



Be careful what you believe in.

Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.

Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.


Teeth really surprised me. It took turns that I really didn’t expect and brought the story into new and surprising waters.

Now, not all of the twists were wonderful, but there were enough that caught me off guard and enough that I liked to keep me interested.

That said, Teeth is not a happy-go-lucky book. It is filled with rape, mutilation, and loneliness. The happiest characters in the book are filled with desperation, anger, and frustration. And even the end is not a fairy tale ending (so don’t expect one if you’re reading this!)

Of course, the characters are complex, the back stories and plot itself surprising, and overall the writing compelling. Because of all these things while this book may not be for everyone, I enjoyed it. 


Publisher: Simon Pulse

Published: January 1, 2013

Price: $17.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Teeth-Hannah-Moskowitz/dp/1442465328/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357509749&sr=1-10&keywords=teeth

Mae Whitman/Landon Pigg Interview


Mae Whitman works as an actress on the show Parenthood as the character Amber.
Landon Pigg is a singer-songwriter for the show Parenthood.

WR: So you’re picked up for another season on Parenthood, what’s the process of waiting like?

Mae: The waiting feels really bad. We really love, love, love our show. We were prepared to get pretty crazy if we didn’t get picked up again.

WR: What’s it like working on a show where there are so many different ages?

MW: Yeah, it’s pretty crazy! I think that’s one thing that’s cool about it, is that you get not a super specific show— it’s kind of like everybody has something they can relate to on the show. I would say normally, a show about family issues I wouldn’t say would attract young women, necessarily, like us, but the fact that there is a teen girl and older people, it brings everyone together. There is at least somebody on the show that’s on the same page as you.

WR: Is there any disconnect between the ages while filming?

MW: No, because they cast us so well that we are all super close. We don’t even ever notice the age differences on the show. Miles [Heizer], is one of my best friends and is like my little brother and the same with Craig [T. Nelson], he’s one of the coolest guys in the universe. It kind of spans everything.

WR: Who do you think is the most similar to their character?

MW: I feel like we all bring things to our characters that are direct pieces of us. I think that’s what makes Parenthood so good is that they don’t force us to do something if it doesn’t feel natural. They know it’s going to be the most realistic if we are able to bring parts of ourselves to the show. Like, I wear a lot of my own clothes on the show or I can pick them out. I would say I’m similar in some ways. Although, I think everybody is fundamentally different, but certain pieces are the same.

WR: Both of you have been in the Austin area before, what are you most excited about doing now that you’re back?

Landon: Well, make a trip to the Driscol and get one of those martinis over there.

MW: I love, love, love it here. I even love just walking around. The second we got here yesterday, I immediately ran out the hotel, over to the South Congress area. I think it’s my favorite area. I love it so much, I spent the day there yesterday. Everybody is so nice and in such a good mood. Everywhere you go here, there are incredible, cool places on every corner…we don’t even have that in LA.

WR: So how is Parenthood different from other projects you have worked on?

MW: First of all, I’ve never been on a TV show that’s been on this long. I was hesitant going in thinking that I was going to get bored or tired of doing the same thing all the time, but the one thing about Parenthood keeps reinventing itself all the time. Also, everyone is so open to collaborating. Even with Landon’s music, when my character had to sing a song on the show, they were just like, “Do you have a song?” They love Landon and his music, and so we come back with a song and they always love it. It feels very familial and open and I’ve never really had that before.

LP: Yeah, Parenthood is the best. I have had a chance to write, when her character needed to play a song, she asked me if I could help her write one. Being involved on such a ground level where you’re writing for a character on a show, not for me and not for Mae, but both collaborating to write something you think Amber might sing about, that’s a new experience. It’s been great being so involved from the seed to the tree. As you [Mae] said, there are direct pieces of you [Mae] in Amber, so since I know you really well, it helps me know Amber well—I try and give a balance. I can’t make her too smart.

MW: She’s pretty smart.

LP: Yeah, but you’re smarter.

MW: Maybe. She got a really good score on her tests that I could never get. Guess it just depends on your definition of smart.

WR: If you had to pick between acting and music, which would you do?

MW: That’s such a tough question. I guess I would have to say acting because I get stressed out if I don’t do it. It’s such a deep part of me, I just want to act, I just have to or I don’t feel healthy, so I have to get that part out of me. I also feel that way with music though too. I am definitely more scared and shy. Music brings out a really special thing in me too. I would maybe just jump off a cliff instead of giving either one up…I would drive off, like in Thelma and Louise.

LP: And then have someone film that while you were singing so that you were doing music and acting at the same time.

MW: Have one final moment. That would be so sad. It would get like one news blurb, on like one news blurb.

LP: I bet you could make news headlines on her paper. Wait, I actually have an interesting fact for you. She was an answer for a question on one of her favorite shows of all time, like a year ago.

WR: Really? What was the question?

MW: It was like “Lauren Graham had a mad teenage on Gilmore Girls, now she has another one in Mae Whitman on this show” or something. I literally, embarrassingly, I started scream-crying I was so excited. It was so sad.

WR: That’s when you know you’ve made it.

MW: It was annoying because my friend Sarah [Ramos], who plays Haddie on the show, was in the New York Times crossword puzzle and that’s my other ultimate. So I have one and she has the other. I got to get in it. I’ve got to get in that crossword puzzle. I’ll text Bill Schwartz later.

WR: So if you were to place the cast as a family on the show, where would you place everyone?

MW: Me as the grandpa, Craig as my husband, the grandpa. Uh…let’s see, maybe we’re just all grandpas. We all just love each other in this weird paternal, like old way, so maybe we’re just a family of grandpas. Dax and Kristen [Bell], I call my parents, which is so weird. I call them Mom and Dad, they are the best. I love them so deeply.

LP: I refuse to be the child of them. I have my own relationship with Dax.

MW: You bro out, it’s all good, bro.

LP: Yeah, I think of Dax as my older brother.

WR: With so many people on set, there have to be pranks or great stories, what are some of your favorites?

MW: It’s hard, people always ask us this, and I can’t think of what we do.

LP: Does Dax do anything? Dax might be a joker.

MW: I can’t even express how much we’re all grandpas. We would never want to upset each other. So it’s maybe like, gentle ribbing. Dax is the wackiest. They let us improv, Dax will just throw in, especially during group scenes, he’ll throw in little, tiny things. One of my favorite things thrown in during a group scene, it was a scene with Lauren and me and Miles and in the car and she’s trying to have a really serious, emotional talk about drugs and alcohol and she’s like, “I really need to have a talk with you guys, because it’s really important that you are educated about drugs and alcohol” and in the back of the car, you can hear Miles say just so quietly, “Amber’s on both right now”. I just love it! I couldn’t believe it made it in.

LP: I don’t know, you guys always throw in T. Swift.

MW: Oh yeah, we love Taylor Swift! We try to get her in, but it’s just, I feel like it’s expensive to talk about her. We try to sing little songs, or we’ll just try to causally hum one of her tunes and our director will come in and be like, “I know what you’re doing and we can’t use it.” We just want to really reach out to her.

WR: As a musician, Landon, what has been your favorite venue to play?

LP: Let’s see, I did like the chandelier look of last night’s performance. That’s the first one that comes to mind right now. So yeah, I had strings, piano, and an extra guitar when I played coffee shop. It felt a little bit royal and a little bit like I had gone back in time when I was just listening to the melody and of course, while I was looking at the chandelier and the pretty decorations in the room. That’s my favorite, when the music and the venue kind of act as one, any place can be my favorite venue. If it’s a place that’s much uglier than this, and smells like year-old beer, in that case, if I happen to have a song that feels a little grungier, or the closest to punk that I can be as a singer-songwriter, then that really works because you feel like you’re in a different time and place again. Transforming the room—whenever that actually happens, it’s really two thumbs up.

WR: Thank you so much! I’m glad that you’re having a great time in Austin!

Make sure to tune into season 4 of Parenthood, Tuesdays at 10 pm EST on NBC.