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    Girls Against Girls


         Bullying is a growing problem in our society today.  It isn’t new, but with the rise of social media bullying seems to be getting worse.  Being connected to the entire world via the internet has given bullies a new way in which to inflict emotional harm on others.  No one is worse about bullying each other as females are to other females.  Girls Against Girls by Bonnie Burton is the best resource I have ever seen in the fight against bullying.

         Bonnie starts off explaining why we, as females, tend to hurt each other.  She goes over how biology and hormones, the way we are raised, the legacy we pass down to our children, and the naturally competitive nature of women all play into why we tend to bully each other.  Seeing such an in depth look at the why is such a great step into helping it to stop.  Sometimes all we, as humans, need to better ourselves is to understand why we do some of the bad things that we do.

         From the why she continues to the how bullying occurs.  Bonnie goes over various ways we hurt each other including the silent treatment to gossiping, to cyberbullying, and to other methods.  She explains what each method is, why it happens, why it hurts, and how to deal with it.  Meru, my 11 year old daughter, after reading the section on verbal abuse came up to me in tears and said, “Mamma, I’ve never thought about why [name of girl in her class] says such mean things to me, but now I know it’s because she’s hurting.  Now I feel bad for her.”  Meru hasn’t come home upset after school since.

         Girls Against Girls then continues to teach readers how to deal with the stress of feeling overwhelmed by bullying.  Sometimes when we are bullied we can feel as if we are completely alone.  Bonnie goes beyond the traditional “just ignore them and they’ll go away” advice and gives some real ways in which to deal with bullying.  She gives some examples such as writing in a journal, exercise, and even starting a club at school.  She also gives advice on how to get help if the problem gets to be too big to deal with on your own.  A list of different agencies, websites, and hotlines is included for anyone who may need the extra help.

         The last two chapters are all about stopping the bullying cycle and how to team together as females to help empower instead of tearing down.  Bonnie helps us to find constructive ways to vent our frustrations instead of taking them out on each other.  There is also a list of websites and organizations to help women form strong relationships with other women to help gain empowerment.

         Girls Against Girls is a must read for everyone.  Anyone who has felt bullied or has perhaps bullied someone else can learn something.  Especially any mothers of young daughters should pick this up.  It is one of the greatest weapons out there in the war against bullying.

         Recently I was fortunate enough to ask Bonnie a few questions:

    Carrie: What first inspired you to write this book?

    Bonnie: I was bullied when I was a kid, and the only books that I could find about the subject were completely unrealistic or written for parents. It’s hard to deal with bullying in junior high and high school when all the advice is outdated. So I wrote this book to help girls get good advice on what to do and not to do, as well as how to avoid turning into a mean girl by battling bullies. Fighting fire with fire only leads to a lot more drama.

    Carrie: What is something that you personally learned through writing Girls Against Girls?

    Bonnie: I learned that mean girls grow up to be mean women. Sadly, women learned bad behavior as kids and never really grow out of it. So you have to use the same defenses from junior high, but in the workplace or PTA meetings or even dinner parties.

    Carrie:  It definitely seems as if bullying has been getting a fair share of media attention lately.  Do you think that the rise of social media has made bullying worse? Or do you think it has just helped bring bullying more to light?

    Bonnie: Anything that gets people talking more about bullying and why it’s wrong, is always a good thing. The worst that could happen is that people think “it’s just a natural thing all kids have to go through.” There’s nothing okay with mistreating those around you because they’re different or quiet or not exactly like you. Parents, teachers and other students ALL have a responsibility to take a stand against bullying and offer support to those kids who need someone to talk to. Bullies will never go away, but that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate them!

    Carrie: What inspired you during a time when you felt you were being bullied?

    Bonnie: When I was being bullied all throughout school I turned to writing and art to keep my spirits up and not be discouraged about what was happening to me. When you’re a kid, life can seem unbearable when you think it will never get better. But it DOES get better. Once you know how to deal with bullies, surround yourself with real friends, and be comfortable doing your own thing, life doesn’t have to be so miserable.

    Carrie: Who is your biggest female role model?

    Bonnie: That’s a hard question to answer! I have a wide array of female role models! I love funny ladies like Tina Fey and Laraine Newman who paved the way for female comedians and improv actresses. I love the writing of everyone from Anne Rice to Jenny Lawson. Bettie Page and Dita von Teese are big fashion icons for me. Siouxsie Sioux, Jane Wiedlin, Kim Gordon, Kim Shattuck, and Patti Smith influenced me to learn how to play guitar. My friend Felicia Day inspires me to follow my dreams and never give up on goals no matter how impossible they might seem at the time.

    Carrie: Girls Against Girls is such a great book, have you ever thought about writing more books along this line?

    Bonnie: As a matter of fact, yes! I’m hoping to write a series of anti-bullying books like this but for elementary school aged girls. Sadly, bullying happens to younger girls as soon as preschool, so the sooner we can teach them kindness, the better.

    Carrie: If you could only give one piece of advice to a young girl being bullied, what would it be?

    Bonnie: Be your own best friend. It can be hard to trust others and not feel betrayed when friends turn into frenemies. But if you can be happy just entertaining yourself through reading, writing, painting, crafting, running, playing guitar, playing with pets, etc., then you won’t feel as alone. Friends are great, but depending on them 100% for your happiness is a recipe for disaster.

    Fun Questions:

    Carrie: What is your favorite video game or video game series?

    Bonnie: I don’t really play video games because I’m paranoid that I’ll end up getting so caught up in the game that I’ll never get my book projects done! But I do love old school video games like “Hamburger Time” and “Frogger.” “Ms. PacMan” will also be dear to my heart.

    Carrie: Cupcakes or brownies and why?

    Bonnie: Cupcakes! Brownies! Ooooh I can’t decide. How about both together as the ultimate dessert?

    Carrie: Finish this sentence… “If I ruled the world every home would have at least one____________.”

    Bonnie: …taxidermied squirrel playing the violin!

    Bonnie Burton is a San Francisco-based author, journalist, comedian, actress and show host. From 2003 to 2012, she worked as a Senior Editor for Star and staff writer for Star Wars Insider magazine, and was the Senior Editor of the Official Star Wars Blog. Burton's books include The Star Wars Craft Book (Random House), You Can Draw Star Wars (DK Publishing), Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Klutz Books), Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change (Zest Publishing), Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Planets in Peril (DK Readers) and Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers (Apress).

    Bonnie Burton is a San Francisco-based author, journalist, comedian, actress and show host. From 2003 to 2012, she worked as a Senior Editor for Star and staff writer for Star Wars Insider magazine, and was the Senior Editor of the Official Star Wars Blog. Burton’s books include The Star Wars Craft Book (Random House), You Can Draw Star Wars (DK Publishing), Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Klutz Books), Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change (Zest Publishing), Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Planets in Peril (DK Readers) and Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers (Apress).

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    Two Geeks on a Mission

    missiongeekI don’t think that anyone these days is unfamiliar with Kickstarter and most people have probably even backed a project or two. Every once in a while a project comes along that is so awesome sounding I feel like I have to help the creators promote it as much as I can. Mission: G.E.E.K. is a prime example. The creators, Jessica Mills and Alan Kistler are going to document their journey as they explore various geeky destinations across the country.

    I cannot think of two better or more entertaining people to see road trip together. Neither are new to geek culture. Jessica is the creator and star of the webseries Awkward Embraces and Alan has been recognized by DC Entertainment and various news media outlets as a comic historian. Reading their twitter timelines at @geekyjessica and @sizzlerkistler will give anyone an insight as to how fun they are. A road trip ebook made by them will be nothing short of pure entertainment.
    Recently I was able to get a hold of them and asked them a few questions:

    1) Where/when did you guys get the idea to make this travel book?

    JESSICA: I have a ton of friends all over the US. I love long drives and travelling. I was thinking “How cool would it be to drive all over the US visiting my friends and having them show me all their most favorite parts of their home cities.” and then I thought “What if I filmed it? or wrote a book?” I rolled that idea around in my head for about a year before I asked Alan what he thought of the idea and he said he’d always wanted to do a geeky road trip show and that was that!

    ALAN: I had plans long ago to do video tape a road trip across America with pals and it fell through. Then last year I was chatting with a couple of dear friends about how fun such a project could be as a real web-series, but our schedules ensured it wouldn’t happen any time soon. So it was just this “wouldn’t it be fun” idea in my head until Jessica asked me what I thought about her idea and I said “YES! Let’s do it together!”

    2) With so many geeky destinations in the US, how did you decide on the ones you picked?

    JESSICA: Originally we had 21 cities on our list. But the budget was SUPER high. So we cut down the list to include only places where we had a guaranteed place to crash (with a couple of exceptions). That saved us hotel fees on all the cities, and I think makes the whole thing more fun.

    ALAN: We were also interested in places of which the general public may not be aware. As geeky as New York’s Natural History Museum is, it’s a landmark and on a good day you can find Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the Planetarium. But a lot of people have never been to the Superman Museum in Metropolis, Illinois. So there’s a joy in showing that place.

    3) What are your overall hopes for the outcome of the book?

    JESSICA: I want it to be an everyman’s travel guide. When I was growing up, we always went on vacation to visit family, or friends, and only to places we could drive to. We just didn’t have the money to go to Disney or anywhere that required a plane ticket and expensive hotel.

    I think a lot of people, especially families, are in that boat. I want to show them the magic of these smaller cities. Maybe things are tight, but within driving distance is a place maybe they never thought of visiting, like Madison or Cleveland, where they could have an awesome time.

    ALAN: Agreed. And honestly, look at TV. So many travel shows are about “OH MY GOD, there are so many good looking single people here and the drinks are expensive and the music loud and-” Which is fine but even though I like a good and energetic bar, that’s not the only flavor I’m interested in. So Jess and I are looking forward to showing what this country has to offer for the geeky minded. And I don’t think you need to be a Star Trek fan, robot builder or comic book reader to find many of these places neat.

    4) Why Kickstarter?

    JESSICA: Road trips are expensive! Ha. It’s one of those things that can’t really be done halfway. With Indiegogo, you get whatever you raise. I’ve used that in the past, for Awkward Embraces, when I thought ‘Whatever I can get, I’ll shoot what I can” But this project really depends on multiple cities and travel. If we only raised $3,000 or $5,000, there’s no way we could get enough to write a full book. With Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing, so here we are!

    ALAN: If I thought we could scrounge together enough money from our savings and maybe a bake sale, I would be down with that. But just renting a car for a few days can cost a few hundred bucks and when you’re taking it from one city to another, plus gas, plus tolls, it all adds up SO quickly (Hell, bridges and tunnels in NY cost $5-15). And there’s the fact that to do this means Jessica and I will not be working for several weeks. I’m not going to be able to meet writing deadlines, work on my books or act or anything during the time for this roadtrip. So we won’t be having other funds coming in, this needs to have its own funding and account.

    5) If this is successful will you consider a second book?

    JESSICA: YES! Most definitely!

    ALAN: Of course!

    6) If so what types of places might you go next?

    JESSICA: Well, we don’t have any Southern states. I’m from Texas, and I’d love to go through finding geeky stuff all over the South. We just don’t know anyone there, so it would have been more expensive to pay for places to stay. But if we get to do another, I’d love to do the South. Or Canada! I’d love to do Canada, too.

    ALAN: I still haven’t been to Canada ever and it annoys me. Besides which, there are many places we wanted to visit but decided wouldn’t be feasible during this trip, so it would be great to make a second journey into mystery.

    7) What about an international edition?

    JESSICA: Are you kidding? I would LOVE to do a European Geek Tour with Alan. Do the backpacking thing, riding trains, finding the geekiest places all over Europe. How fun that would be!

    ALAN: I’ve always had great times in Europe and would love to go there again for such a geek-themed trip. I have several friends scattered around the countries and a few pals in London have been demanding I return so they can show me some geek stuff. The Doctor Who Experience alone would be fun to check out.

    8) What inspires you as a geek?

    JESSICA: Exploring possibility. All the what ifs of life. There are no limits and anything is possible. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Some of the wildest scenarios show us how great humanity can be.

    ALAN: We used to have myth and folk lore. We knew a lot of it wasn’t real or exactly real, but we considered it important and learned lessons from it. Now we have science fiction, fantasy and various sub-genres and they’re equally as important. Some are fun, many are really trying to get across messages of where we think we are, what we’re afraid of, and where we should go from here. Superhero battles are often metaphors about life made literal. That’s a wonderful thing and I’m constantly excited by the human capacity for new ideas and imagination.

    Random question for fun:

    9) Favorite video game series and why?

    JESSICA: Dude, Mario. My first love. It’s super lame, but I don’t care!

    ALAN: I’ve become obsessed with Mass Effect on a large scale. Definitely a fan of other series such as BioShock. But I think Mario and Mega Man are my longest loves in that field. It kills me there isn’t a good movie based on either one. If you embrace the video game atmosphere, you’ve got fantastic stuff right there. Possibly Jessica and I will just have to make it ourselves.

    Their Kickstarter can be found Mission: G.E.E.K.. Check it out and help support two awesome people make their dream come true!

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    Young Illustrator Makes a Splash with Friends with Fins



    At only 13-years-old, Christian Hahn is already building his resume. First bullet point on his career history section?  Illustrating a published children’s book.

    ChristianHahn990x743Friends with Fins: The Talent Show, is a story about the adventures of a group of elementary school fish. The book, geared towards kids  ages 3 to 12, includes lots of fun facts about marine life. Hahn was asked to illustrate the book by his family member, Jaclyn Friedlander, who was visiting from California.

    Friedlander, who in addition to being an actor and a published author, also has roots in the gaming community. Friedlander attends E3 every year with her husband Timothy Riese, and they have done some mo-cap shooting and voice over work.

    This story caught my eye, not only because Hahn lives just up the road from me, but also because I have a daughter his age. She also loves to draw, and I think that it’s good for kids to see their peers making their dreams happen.

    Friedlander is doing a Kickstarter to get the second book in the series published. This book will once again be illustrated by Hahn. With only four days left, they are a long way from making their goal of $2,500. If you’d like to help them reach their goal, here is the link to their Kickstarter page:✓&term=Friends+with+fins.


    We have one copy of this book to give away to you, our readers! Leave us a comment below about what you wanted to be as a child. Did you want to be an artist, a musician, a gaming celebrity? We will select our winner randomly from the comments section next Tuesday, September 3rd.

    For more information on Friends with Fins, or to purchase the book on paperback, iPad or Kindle, please visit

    You can check out the full story on Christian Hahn at 

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    Elegantly Wasted by C. Elizabeth Vescio

    Books-Elegantly-Wasted-by-C-Elizabeth-Vescio “Elegantly Wasted” by C. Elizabeth Vescio, is an incredibly interesting book that took me completely by surprise. The title threw me off initially and I was afraid it was going to be some run-of-the-mill romance. However, it was the exact opposite and had me hooked within the first few paragraphs.

    For the most part, “Elegantly Wasted” is about a girl who is struggling to fit in with her family and find her place in the world. We follow Frankie as she goes from teenage outcast to assassin. Along the way she learns more about her family and learns that she’s not as out of place as she thought.

    One of the little quirks that I really enjoyed about this novel, is that there’s a quote at the beginning of each chapter. The quotes come from everywhere, sometimes from pop culture but also from places like the video games, there was a Portal quote in there that made me giggle. It shaded the story with personality and it gave you a nice hint of what the chapter was going to be about.

    What really drew me into this book was that even though Frankie constantly denied her humanity and ability to empathize, she still cared about her family deeply and worked to keep them safe and out of the dark side of her life. I spent a good deal of time hovering between really enjoying the book and wondering about the ultimate outcome.

    There wasn’t a whole lot of romance in this book, which actually made it more enjoyable for me. Many authors seem to think that a book with a female protagonist has to have romance. While there were some potential elements that could lead to romance in this book, it was never a focus. It really allowed me, as a reader, to enjoy Frankie’s struggles without having to decide if she was making smart romantic choices. Romance in a book can often distract from the characters and dilute the plot. It was, for me, one of the things that made this such a good read.

    I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend reading it. My only hope is that the author doesn’t try to push romance in this series and truly sticks to developing the relationships between the characters.

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    Telltale Opens the Book on The Wolf Among Us


    Hot on the heels of other licensed games like Back to the Future and the award-winning The Walking Dead, Telltale Games is diving into the storybook world of DC Entertainment’s popular Vertigo comic series, Fables, with the upcoming release of The Wolf Among Us.


    A consistent New York Times bestseller, Bill Willingham’s modern take on the storybook characters we all grew up on has been one of DC’s longest-running Vertigo series since its debut in 2002.  With over a dozen Eisner Awards, including Best Writer, Best New Series, and numerous wins for Best Serialized Story, Fables has become one of the richest mythologies in the world of comics, imagining that characters like Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf and Pinocchio from the world’s most beloved storybooks are real and living among us, with all of their powers intact.


    A prequel set before the first issue of the Fables comic book series, The Wolf Among Us puts players in the role of Bigby Wolf, a man once more infamously known as The Big Bad Wolf.  Now the sheriff of a hidden community in New York City, home of those exiled from the land of fairy tales, Bigby is tasked by the bureaucrat Snow White to keep order within a society of mythical creatures and characters trying to remain undetected in the world of the mundane.  From a chain-smoking member of ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ to a car-stealing Mr. Toad itching for his next wild ride, The Wolf Among Us examines the lives of beings straight from the pages of myth and lore, now trying to survive on the meanest and most run-down streets of New York City.


    Currently, The Wolf Among Us is set to premiere later this summer on Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network, and on PC and Mac from the Telltale Online Store, Steam, and other digital distribution outlets. For more information, visit the official website.

    Books, Games, Video Games
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    Free Comic Book Day 2013


    If you’re up early today like I am, sipping coffee and glaring at your kids for waking you up before noon on a Saturday, I raise my coffee cup in salute to you.  However, they may have done you a favor in waking you up early.  This means you still have time to hunt down the locations of your local comic book stores today and grab some FREE comic books!

    Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May, and this is the second year it has also fallen on an equally geeky “holiday”, May the Fourth.  If you’ve never been out for a free comic book day, you are absolutely missing out.  I took the kids out last year just because I was curious about the whole thing.  I am not comic book person, and neither were my children really.  The first shop we stopped at had an outside comic book yard sale set up, with five cent comics, a bouncy house and free smoothies!

    Excited by all of the fun, we decided to hit a second comic book store.  The line was insanely long, but between the Star Wars cos-players, random cos-players waiting in line, and a lovely man with a guitar who serenaded my then two year-old daughter, the time passed by quickly and we were rewarded with a big stack of FREE comic books.  I was surprised to see that comic books aren’t all the traditional super hero stories I assumed they would be.  They had something for every age range from the very young to…well…old people like myself.  If you’re a parent you know it can be hard to get your children into reading.  Walking out of the store with all three of my kids smiling and riding home with them all silent and enjoying their new books made my day.

    05NkB3kL8LVcmvt_hjVp9UDb7wnyzDkblXakAWjYE-g                          My kids and I enjoying our first Free Comic Book Day, May 2012

    I can’t wait to get out there and do it all again today!  It’s not too late to find a comic book store and go check out the festivities in your area.  I plan to stop by Black Hive Comics here in Jacksonville, Florida.  In addition to the free comics they will be having an awesome raffle, bbq and lovely geeky burlesque performers.  For more info on Free Comic Book Day, check out their website.  To locate a store nearest you use this handy dandy little tool.

    And if you need further convincing to go out today, here’s Hugh Jackman:

    If you and your family go out today, please take a picture and share it and your adventures today with us on our facebook page!




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    Free Comic Book Day: Pikeville, KY


    Free Comic Book day is this Saturday, May 4th and our local game and comic book store, Page-3’s GameZone, is celebrating with a day full of fun events. Jeremy Ambler, an actor in The Walking Dead television series, will be there along with Mike Holman from Jackass, as well as a myriad of local artists and authors.

    My wife and I will be taking our son to his second annual free comic book day. Last year he came home with Batman and Scooby Doo comics. I can’t tell you how many times we read them, but nothing  pleases me more than seeing his face light up as we read each panel together. It really is a great way to have fun with your child.

    For more information on Free Comic Book day, go to  To find a participating store near you, click here.

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    The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman


    Sometimes here at The Mommy Gamers, we read books. You know, if we can squeeze them in between crying babies, whiny husbands (wait… isn’t that the same thing?), cooking, cleaning, working, and gaming. In episode 22: The Deep Dark Hole, I mentioned reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

    [quote type=”center”]We constantly bickered and instead of finding ways to spend time together, we were making excuses to spend time apart.[/quote] 
    If you listened you’ll know how enthusiastic I was about this book, and I’ll tell you why. There’s something sad that seems to happen when you’ve been in a relationship a really long time. You stop listening and you start taking each other for granted. You’re together without really being together. Slowly, all the things you loved about each other start to become the things you hate about each other. The passion is gone and you’re convinced it’s never coming back. In marriages this is often referred to as the 7 year itch. In shorter relationships this is usually where you break up, or cheat on each other before parting ways. It happens all the time and it’s sad because it doesn’t have to.

    My husband and I recently fell victim to a lot of what I mentioned above. Thankfully neither of us cheated, but we were starting to wonder if our relationship had out lived our love. We stopped cuddling, we stopped holding hands, we stopped talking to each other, but probably worst of all was the fact that we both stopped listening. We constantly bickered and instead of finding ways to spend time together, we were making excuses to spend time apart.

    After hearing mention of the 5 Love Languages from two different therapists as well as my best friend Crystal, I decided to read it. I AM SO GLAD I DID. I honestly feel like it helped turn my relationship around. It feels like we started dating again and instead of being annoyed by our differences, we once again appreciate them. We no longer feel unheard. Now that we understand what love language to speak, we know exactly what to do to make sure we each feel appreciated.

    [quote type=”center”]Now that we understand what love language to speak, we know exactly what to do to make sure we each feel appreciated.[/quote] 
    According to Author Gary Chapman, everyone has a primary love language although some people may be fluent in more than one. For example, my primary love language is Acts of Service. However, for me, Quality Time comes in close second.

    The 5 Love Languages are as follows:

    1. Words of Affirmation: Saying “I Love You”, “Thank You”, “You’re amazing”, using words are the best way to make this person feel appreciated.
    2. Physical Touch: A back rub, a kiss on the forehead, holding hands. For this person being appropriately touched (it varies from person to person) means the world to them.
    3. Acts of Service: Actions speak louder than words for these people. Watching the kids, cleaning up after dinner, changing the oil in the car, what you do for them shows them how much they are loved.
    4. Gifts: Being surprised with flowers, jewelry, chocolate. For these people receiving gifts makes them feel most loved.
    5. Quality Time: Deep conversations, shared hobbies and activities speak volumes. Knowing you enjoy spending time with them is what these people truly desire.

    The theory is people tend to speak to their partners in their own love language. Unfortunately, more often than not, partners are not fluent in the same language. For example, like I mentioned before, my primary language is ‘Acts of Service’. However, my husband’s is ‘Words of Affirmation’, so although he told me he loved me everyday, I didn’t feel loved because he wasn’t showing me in a way I understood. The same applies the other way around. I stopped saying I love you because I was confident my actions spoke so much louder than words. To my husband however, not hearing those words meant I no longer cared.

    Can you easily identify your love language from the descriptions above? If you’re still not sure what your primary love language is just answer a few questions on the book’s website and it will tell you.

    5LoveLanguagesCoverAlthough I’ve outlined the 5 love languages in this post, I strongly encourage you read the book. My husband was reluctant to read it at first. He didn’t feel it was necessary because he understood the general concept. However, after reading it, he agrees with me. There’s something about reading all the case studies that really helps bring the message home. I learned so much more about myself and my relationship than I could have from just knowing what the 5 love languages were.

    If you’re newly married, in a dying relationship or on the brink of divorce, I highly recommend this book. I think even happy couples could greatly benefit from the information. Truthfully, if I could buy a copy for everyone I know, I would. ’nuff said.

    You can purchase The 5 Love Languages in Paperback or for the Kindle from

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