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Showing posts from 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Activities

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  FREEBIE...but I liked what the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish did, so Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren't Reading it is.  Now, it's no secret that reading is my favorite activity year round, but there are few things that are great when the weather is nice.  Here are some of my faves:

A Perfect Pitcher of Sun Tea I am kind of a sun tea snob.  I like my tea super strong (thanks, Dad) and unsweetened (sacrilege).  Recipe for success:  take your standard glass (or plastic...if you're an amateur) pitcher, fill with hot water, place between 9-11 Lipton tea bags into the pitcher, put the lid on, and place that sucker outside in the sun until you remember to bring it inside, pull the tea bags out and SQUEEZE all the liquid ou…

Teaser Tuesdays

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Teaser Tuesday:  Mozart's Last Aria
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"I gathered myself and approached her.  'Madame Hofdemel?' I said.  'I am--' 'I know who you are.  It's obvious, to look at you.  When he cut my face, my husband didn't take my eyes.'  Her voice was curt and bitter." --page 57Mozart's Last Aria by Matt Rees 
I'm a little obsessed with Mozart and Vienna in general, so this book seemed right up my ally.  Not too shabby so far :)

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

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Teaser Tuesday:  Library of Souls
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"I stopped to gape at them, stunned to realize they weren't lampposts at all but desiccated heads impaled on long spikes.  They were horrible, skin drawn and gray, tongues lolling--and yet, despite not being attached to throats, three of the heads had spoken to us." --page 137Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

It was a little slow going getting into this final installation of the Miss Peregrine series, but it has definitely picked up.

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated 2016 Releases

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2016.  Man, oh man.  There are a TON of good books coming out between now and the end of the year.  It's so difficult to narrow it down to just ten, but here I go (in no particular order)...

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling (July 31)
United as Oneby Pittacus Lore (June 28) Island of Glass by Nora Roberts (December 6) Turbo Twenty-Threeby Janet Evanovich (November 15)
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (July 26)
The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz (June 28)
The Last Woman Standingby Thelma Adams (July 1)
From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon (October 25)
Broken Princeby Erin Watt (July 25)
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer (September 6)
What 2016 releases are you looking forward to?

Also, l…

Teaser Tuesdays

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Teaser Tuesday:  The Gift
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"Ready now, he raises his arms above his head, pulls back, and with all his strength pushes forward and releases the object in his hands.  Then he stands back to watch with bitter joy as a fifteen-pound frozen turkey smashes through the window of the living room of number twenty-four." --pages 3-4The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

I am a big fan of Ahern's writing and am working my way back through some of her novels I've missed.  This is one of them and I'm quite enjoying a crisp holiday read during the heat wave we've been having.

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

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Teaser Tuesday:  The Lake of Dead Languages
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"I remember the conversation I had with Athena before her last exam, when she saw me looking at the scar.  She told me that her aunt had sent her here to dry out from boys.  I had laughed and turned away from her." --page 62The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

I've heard good things about this book and, while it's interesting, I am finding it a little difficult to really get in to.  Fingers crossed is really sucks me in soon.

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

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Teaser Tuesday:  Heart-Shaped Box Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"He turned and looked.  She was naturally pale to begin with, but now her face was bloodless, like polished bone, so she resembled a vampire even more than usual.  He wondered if it was a trick of makeup before he saw that her cheeks were damp, the fine black hairs at her temples pasted down with sweat.  She stood in pajamas, clutching herself and shivering in the cold." --page 70Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

This book has been on my bookshelf for a long time...figured I'd finally get around to reading it.

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

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Teaser Tuesday:  Flawed Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"I've learned that to be courageous is to feel fear within, every step of the way.  Courage does not take over, it fights and struggles through every word you say and every step you take.  It's a battle or a dance as to whether to let it pervade.  It takes courage to overcome, but it takes extreme fear to be courageous." --page 107Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

I'm a big fan of Cecelia Ahern's books and this is her first foray into the YA genre.  It's pretty good so are!

Happy reading!


B.O.B 16 Wrap Up

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Bout of Books 16 Wrap-Up Sadly, this round of Bout of Books has come to an end.  Though I didn't get nearly as much reading in as I would have liked, I still had a great time! 

Here are my overall stats:
Number of Books Read From  3 Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Yours Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist and Flawed Finished Books 2 Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist Total Number of Pages Read 605 Challenges Completed Four Fun Had INFINITE! I'm very excited for the next round of Bout of Books (August 22nd-28th!).  Hope to see you all there! Happy reading!

B.O.B 16 Progress: Day 5, 6, 7 (Final Update)

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Bout of Books 16
To keep track of my progress for the challenge, I will be updating this post listing what I'm reading, what I've finished (if anything), pages read, challenges completed, and thoughts on how the event is going for the week.  Here we go!

Day 7 Progress
Current Read:Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
Pages Read: 176
Total Pages Read:  605
Books Finished:Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  None..whomp whomp
Thoughts:  I took it super easy on the last day of the challenge and didn't really check in on any social media.  Instead, I stayed in my pajamas and read to my heart's content, watched TV, and drank coffee.  I finally finished my second book of the challenge and dove into my third. 

Day 6 Progress
Current Read:Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist by Sunil Yapa
Pages Read:  88
Total Pages Read:  429
Books Finished:Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  Not a single one...
Thoughts:  I had to work on Sat…

Beyond the Books: Tattoos

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This week's topic is:  Tattoos.  Do you have them?  Why or why not?  Talk about one.

I actually got my first tattoo this year...and immediately followed it up with another!  It's true what they say: tattoos are addictive.  It took me a long time to finally get a tattoo because I was indecisive.  I had ideas of what I wanted, but was never totally certain on placement/exact image/etc.  I was also worried that it would be more painful than I wanted it to be.  It took my fiancĂ© making me schedule an appointment to force my decision.  And I'm glad he did because it wasn't painful (really) and now I am on the path to possibly doing a full sleeve!  YIKES! 

My first tattoo is totally FOR ME.  I specifically turned it upside down to face me (not the correct placement for tattoos) because I wanted to look at it.  It's not for anyone else's pleasure but my own.  It speaks to my nerdy-ness and my love for Harry Potter and the German language.  
My second tattoo is, …

Writer's Workshop: 10 Reasons I Love Spring

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Spring has officially begun here in the PNW...we have the allergies to prove it!  Despite the scratchy eyes, runny noses, and overall itchy feeling Spring often gives us, there is still a lot of room for love during the season.  Here are 10 reason why I love Spring!

Colorful Flowers
The abundance of flowers and colors in Oregon is astounding.  This is the best time of year to really experience a fragrant, beautiful array of eye-candy (the other kind) and freshen up any room.  My favorite is the peony :)

Warm Days (that don't get too hot)
I am NOT a fan of warm weather.  Spring (and Fall) offer the type of weather that I am most comfortable in: 60-80ish.  Though we've had a much warmer Spring so far, it hasn't been completely unbearable yet.  I'm very worried about Summer temps though...yikes!

BBQ's Galore
You really can't beat the smell or taste of BBQ.  And the fact that BBQ's are often comprised of getting together with a group of friends...that's the be…

B.O.B 5 Favorites

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Today's mini challenge for Bout of Books 16 is 5 Favorites!

A simple challenge where you select any categorizing topic you'd like (genre, heroines, trope, cover, anything) and highlight your five favorite books that fall into that category.  Super easy to do, but very difficult to narrow down.

My chosen topic is...My Five Favorite Books from Elementary/Middle School

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi This is probably one of my favorite books of all time and one I've re-read multiple times since I first discovered it in elementary school.  That's saying a lot since I rarely re-read books.  I loved Charlotte and her relationship with Zachariah and I wanted to go on adventures with them.  Her initiation into the crew left me completely on the edge of my seat and wanting to know what would happen next.  So good! 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cryby Mildred D Taylor I read this in middle school during a phase I went through where I was obsessed with anything to do wit…

Teaser Tuesdays

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Teaser Tuesday:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"Something was happening in the street.  She saw a woman standing next to Park's horse.  Saw her touching the horse.  Saw Park's baton begin to rise." --page 54Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

I have been eagerly waiting for this book to become available at the library and finally have it in my hands!  Super excited to read it :)

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Bookish Websites

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Top Ten Websites I Love That Aren't About Books.  Let's see what I come up with here!

The Bloggess
If you've never checked out Jenny Lawson's AWESOME blog, please do so now.  You will laugh.  You will cry.  You might find someone you can relate to.  Her entries can be serious or completely insane...and that's what makes it so beautiful.  Jenny is a hilarious, inspiring individual.Buzzfeed
A great time-waster and loads of fun...though sometimes completely ridiculous.Sporcle
If you want to waste time, but tease your wrinkly dome, then this is the website for you!  There are brainteasers, quizzes, and fun games galore.  I promise that you will find something to completely wile away your hours.The Huffington Post
Because you have to stay …

B.O.B 16

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Bout of Books 16 I'm very late to the game this year, April and the beginning of May have not been the kindest to me, but I'm totally going to do this round of Bout of Books.  I need this round...badly!  Consider this my sign up post :)

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Book is low-pressure.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team What I hope to accomplish for the challenge: Finish The Walking Dead, Compendium 3 by Robert Kirkman.  I'm about 100 pages in as of now (5/4)...there are nearly 1100 pages.  It is a graphic novel, so there is always the chance that I will totally have this done…

Admitting Defeat

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Okay...I have to admit defeat for this year's A-Z Blogging Challenge.  Who knew that working loads of overtime (and being incredibly exhausted because of it), planning a wedding, participating in the challenge, and attempting to have a semblance of a life would be this difficult to juggle?!  I feel like an absolute failure but I know that I won't be able to catch up.  And I know that any attempts will be half-assed. 

I probably should have done an easier topic...like Wedding Planning From A-Z!  Or Hiring a University Tour Guide Team From A-Z!  Haha. 

Perhaps I'll retry this theme next year as I was/am really excited about it.  Sigh...

Sorry, dear readers...

Back to my regularly (sporadic) scheduled posts...

A Little Behind

Hey All!  I promise that B, C, and D will be up later today!  This weekend was crazy and I am so behind...

A is for

Andy scuffed his foot over the hard packed, dusty dirt road, staring at the cracks in the surface, and hitched his pack into a more comfortable position.  His shoulders had been rubbed raw long ago and thick callouses had formed where the straps of his pack had chafed for the past three months.  He'd started out walking for no other reason than to walk, but his pilgrimage seemed to morph into something more.  Something deeper. 

He felt grimy.  Dust was etched into the creases and folds of his clothing.  He hadn't seen a proper shower in weeks; instead, rivers, lakes, and streams had become Andy's bathing vessels.  Never able to fully cleanse himself, Andy had taken to side roads and copses to avoid the looks often caste his way when he encountered anyone.  These detours often left him without human interaction for long stretches of time. 

The road leading to the small, faded church stretched out in front of him, appearing longer with each step he took.  Surrounded by gol…

2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal

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Oooo...the day is getting closer; creeping stealthily, it will smack you in the face in no time!

While we impatiently await the start of the challenge, it's time to reveal our themes.  Yay!  I'm going for something drastically different this year.  Something much more challenging than I've ever done in my previous four years participating in this particular challenge.  Normally my posts are pretty straight-forward, contained, not overly ambitious.  This year is going to be another beast all together.

My mission, should I choose to accept it, will be to write one continuous story for the entire challenge.  I know my characters, setting, and where I want it to go...kind of.  All I need to figure out is how to get from point A to point Z.  The first word of each post will start with the letter for the day; some of these will definitely be more difficult than others, but I'm determined.

I look forward to writing this, receiving feedback, and having a rip-roaring good time…

The 2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge

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YES!  It's nearly that time of year when the BEST blogging event hits the internets...

The A-Z Blogging Challenge!
This will be my fifth year participating and I'm so incredibly excited.  My first year was a bunch of random posts about things I liked or whatever popped into my head that was associated with the letter of the day.  Year two brought about all things Oregon.  Three was dedicated to authors who inspire me.  And last year was all about music that moves me. 

Needless to say, I never stick to one genre year to year.  And I've already decided what this year will consist of...and it is daunting!  I'm terrified to attempt it, but I'm really excited about it. 

If you're interested in participating, please sign up!  Check out the co-hosts and past entries for inspiration.  I promise you can do this...even if you think you can't!  I never thought I could.

Look for my theme reveal post in March :)

Writer's Workshop: Happy National Wine Day

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February 18th...National Drink Wine Day...yum!
How do I take my wine?  Great question!

To be honest, it took me quite a while to enjoy wine.  I started off, as most do, with the whites...a Reisling...a Pinot Gris...a Gewuertztraminer.  All were pretty tasty, though I did prefer the slightly sweet, not too-dry options.  Sweet wines have never been my thing. 

Between 2006 and 2007 I was living in Vienna, Austria teaching English at a high school just outside of the city, in Klosterneuburg.  The region is HUGE in the wine business and the school I worked at was actually a boarding school for students whose families were in the fruit growing or wine industry.  These students would eventually be taking over the family business or starting wineries of their own.  Needless to say, I learned a LOT about wine that year.  I also learned that you don't have to drink every single taster that is put in front of your face.  Ugh...that was a bad drive on the autobahn.

After that disastrous tasti…

End of Year Book Survey: 2015 Edition

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The End of the Year Book Survey This is my second time participating in Jamie's End of the Year Book Survey and I'm so excited to wrap a great year of reading up!  If you're interesting in participating, simply pop over to Jamie's site, The Perpetual Page Turner, and check out the categories.

2015 Reading Stats Number of Books Read:  84
Number of Re-Reads:  2...I am not a big fan of re-reading books
Genre Read the Most:  Literary Fiction

Best in Books Best Book You Read
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell...because it made my heart so warm and fuzzy :)
Book You Were Most Excited About, Thought You'd Love, But Didn't
Carry Onby Rainbow Rowell.  I had such high hopes and I was very disappointed...
Most Surprising Read
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan.  I love this book so much!
Book You "Pushed" People To Read
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson.  Really, I push people to read either of Lawson's books...and her blog.


Best Series Started?  Best Se…