Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cahill Witch Chronicles Giveaway!

Follow this link:

It will take you to a blog with a sneak peek at "Sisters' Fate", the last book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood.

This is one of my favorite one of my new favorite authors.

AND...while you are there...enter for a chance to win an advance copy!

(And then let me read it.  Please. :))

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Quick Reviews


The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene
"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten."
My thoughts:
I picked this book because the movie recently came out.
And lots of people I "knew" (facebook friends, blogs I read, etc) were talking about this book and the movie.

I was told to get tissues ready.

I knew the basic story line.  A dying girl meets a boy, they fall in love etc.
And I told myself I was NOT going to cry reading this book.

And then the story went someplace I wasn't expecting.  And I got a little choked up. :)

Final thoughts?  It's worth a read.
And I'll probably watch the movie when it's available.  If I can remember I want to watch it. I think I need to start a "Movies I want to watch" list to go with my "books I want to read" list.


Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

"Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world."
My thoughts: 
I had a tough time getting into this one.  It's not written in the usual "telling a story" narrative. You are reading a compilation of notes, emails and correspondence to understand the story line.

But once it got going...(and Bernadette disappeared) I really wanted to know what happened and if they would be able to find her. Then...why did she disappear?  Is she actually crazy?  Will they ever see her again?  These questions kept me reading even though I didn't really like the format.

I also found the talk about the Microsoft campus, robots and even a Tesla notation very amusing.
I'm happy I read this book, but it probably won't end up in my "I'll read it over and over again" pile.

I'm thinking about doing a giveaway for these two books.  Any interest?  Should I give them away?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July, half done!

Is it already half way through July?

Yes it is!

I'm doing well with my summer reading though I'm a bit behind on telling you about the books.  Since my list this year was all books that I wanted to read, I decided to challenge myself.  Last year I had some recommendations of books that I would normally not read.  And I think a summer reading "challenge" should well, challenge you.

I joined the summer reading program at my local library!  It was only four books and right now I'm working on the first one.  My challenges are:
1. Read any book of short stories.
2. Read any book from our "staff picks" display.
3. Read one of our "mystery date" books.
4. Read a science fiction book.

Right now I'm working on "Good in Bed" by Jennifer Weiner, which is a "staff pick".  I'm not super into it, but the writing style is good and so far it's an easy challenge.  I already picked my "mystery date" book and I'll explain more about that later.

I'm taking recommendations for science fiction and short stories.  Technically my Time After Time series by Tamara Ireland Stone would fall under Science Fiction, but I was debating adding another book so as not to cheat on my summer reading.

What else have I been up to?  Well...I made three goals for myself this summer.
1. Finish my summer reading.
2. No jeans at work.  (doing pretty good at this far I have not worn jeans to work at all this summer!)
3. Lose 10 pounds.

I'm not doing so well on that last one. I keep trying to cut back calories ....and I'll do well one day, but not the next.  I'm hoping to do some grocery shopping and meal planning this coming week.  I'm hoping that will help.  I also joined a 30-day plank challenge this month.  We are half way through and doing great. I'm glad I am in the group though, because I think I would have given up by now if it wasn't for seeing everyone else post about their planks.

Plus they post about their meals and other workouts.  All I'm doing is planking for now...
Maybe next week I can do the reduced calories.
Then after that add more exercise.

But seeing what everyone else is doing is VERY motivating.
Anyone else working on losing weight this summer?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

Hey everyone - how goes your summer reading?

Mine is moving right along!  So that means it's time for me to start talking about these great books I have been reading.  The first series was "The Selection" series by Kiera Cass.

You can find all of her books here, on the Amazon page:

Or find all sorts of information and goodies here:

She is a very funny lady, I highly recommend you watch some of her videos.
I think my favorite part of living in today's time is that you can reach your favorite authors through social media. You can follow their blogs, get the latest updates and sometimes....even get cool stuff.

Check it out:

What you see above is a key chain that I got for having the final book in this series pre-ordered.

Okay, so if you didn't pick up these books yourself, what are they about?

In my words:
The story takes place in a future United States and there is now a monarchy ruling the country.  The country has a new name and there is very little you would recognize about this country.  The prince has come of age and it's time for him to get married.  Girls from all over the country are selected to live at the palace and eventually the prince will pick one to marry.  They get eliminated one by one until the new princess is left.
This is all filmed for the country's amusement.
And oh yeah, there's a rebellion happening because some folks are not happy about the monarchy.

There are three books in this series and there are a few short stories (novellas) as well.  I recommend reading in this order:
1. The Selection
This is told from the main character's point of view.  Her name is America and she wants nothing to do with the prince or the palace.  She enters the contest at the pressure of her parents and her boyfriend. He then dumps her. So she ends up at the palace heartbroken.
1a. The Prince 
The Selection (and a little before The Selection started) but with the Prince's point of view.  I really wanted to see a lot more from Prince Maxon's point of view, but I appreciate what little we get here.
2. The Elite
America is now okay with being at the palace...and now she likes the prince a lot more than she thought she would.  But there are a few complications.  And shocking twists to the story.
2a. The Guard
Remember that boyfriend who dumped America in The Selection?  This is his point of view.
3. The One
An incredibly well done conclusion to the series. I don't want to say too much here...but let's put it this way. I have now read this series twice. :)
And....coming soon, in December 2014 will be another short story about the Queen (Prince Maxon's mother) and her own Selection.  How did she fall in love with someone that no one else seems to like?

Did I tease you enough?  Did I give away any spoilers?
If you are really copy of The One has an extra chapter told from yet another character's point of view.  (I LOVE it when authors do this!!)

At this time I do not have copies to giveaway.  But I do have copies for those who would like to borrow them from me.  Please let me know!   Did you read The Selection Series?  What did you think?

Summer of Sequels - See the full list here:

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Win free books from two of my favorite authors!

Have a Happy Independence Day everyone!

If you get the chance, visit these author's websites and enter their giveaways for some free books!
(both are on my Summer Reading List!)

Jessica Spotswood:

Gina Damico:

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Life Expectancy

Quick post today.

I found this fun test the other day. Try it:

I think at the least it would make you think twice about some of your decisions regarding your health. According to this test...I may live until 96!

I hope that I'm in very good health until that ripe old age because I've always said once I reach 80 all bets are off.  I'm finally getting that tattoo.  And I'm eating and drinking whatever I want.  I might ski off a few cliffs, skydive and whatever else I want.

I might have to get my ears triple pierced and just dye all my hair purple.