Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others. I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s reader: Starjustin a.k.a. Mom

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: One of my fondest memories from my childhood is when my Mom decided to have bookshelves built into the north wall in our living room.  She filled the bookshelf with books and we also had a new World Book set of Encyclopedias we used through our school years.  I loved my ‘Tall Book of Nursery Rhymes’ most of all and remember reading from larger poetry books as I got older.   My Father was quite the reader also, still going for his Masters when we were very young and then on to becoming a teacher and eventually a grade school principal.  So, yes, books were a crucial part of my childhood. 

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year?

A: I am a ‘slow reader’ and have just gotten back into the reading world within the last year or two.  I truly like to take my time reading a book.  I would have to say that ‘The Life We Bury’ by Allen Eskins,  ‘On the Other Hand’ by Renée Paul,  which was actually life-changing for me,  The ‘Walk Series’  by Richard Paul Evens,  and even though ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts is not my typical genre,  I am very happy to have taken the time to read the book.  

Q:What are your favorite book genres?

A: Dystopian novels,  Self-Help, Memoirs,  Self Awareness,  Children’s,  Short Stories,  and Spirituality.  

Q:What are some of your favorite authors today?

A: Bobby Underwood, Renée Paul,  Richard Paul Evans,  George Orwell,  Liane Moriarty,  Allen Eskins.  There are just too many to list. 

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?

A: 414 last time I looked. 😊

Q:What’s an emotional book you’ve read this year or last?  

A: Two books come to mind. #1.  ‘A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat’ by Bernard Jan( I was teary from beginning to end with this one)

Click the covers to add…

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 #2.  ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts (an extremely emotional read for me several times during the reading.)

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Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: No.  It may take me some time to read certain books however,  there are no books that I’ve read that I’ve not enjoyed in one way or another.

Q: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: Seeing a book cover for the first time is ‘Love at First Sight’ for me when it’s one that catches my eye immediately,  even though I know nothing about the contents of the book. However, It doesn’t determine whether of not I’ll read a book.f_lovem_2ec3144.jpg

Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

A: Easy answer here.  No, I don’t have a blog of my own however, I do enjoy others and find interest in reading blogs.   No, I would never start a blog, only because I’m retired now and enjoy my free time to spend as I wish.  I feel the time I spend reading blogs is enough to keep me very content.  

Q: Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

A: No, other than essays in my school years and of course college papers, etc.   No, I don’t think I would enjoy writing a book due to the hours needed, and the stress involved with printing and publishing.  It would just be too much for me at this point in my life.  

Q: Which do you enjoy more, ebooks or physical books? How about audio books?  

A: 51QEbDDolEL._SX425_.jpgI love my ‘Kindle’ and it’s much easier for me to read e-books than physical books. Don’t get me wrong, I have a bit of collector in my genes, and I love having signed copies from the authors. I love purchasing books so that I own them and can read them over again if I wish. 

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: The majority of my books and readings, since I own the Kindle, come from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.  So easy to obtain and purchase and many are free.   I have recently moved to stay with my family and I am learning to use the library system again.  I just picked up ‘Garvey’s Choice‘ by Nikki Grimes from the library r/t a GR recommendation from my granddaughter. ( She even went with me! ❤)

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin”

Chris Cornell’s Daughter Toni Sings “Hallelujah” with One Republic in Tribute to her Dad Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington

Many of you have already seen this, but I thought it was so beautiful and hope more will watch it.

Continue reading “Chris Cornell’s Daughter Toni Sings “Hallelujah” with One Republic in Tribute to her Dad Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington”

Meet The Reader Series with Renée Paule

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others. I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. Every week or so, I’ll introduce a new reader.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s reader: Renée Paule

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: No! I hardly ever read a book and no one read them to me. I started reading when I was around seventeen and only rarely. I got more into books in the early 90s and, more passionately so just after the new millenium when I decided to study English Literature at a London University.

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year?

A: They would have to be ‘The Double’ by Dostoyevsky and ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers. ‘The Circle’ because it’s so cleverly true to life and ‘The Double’ because it’s philosophically ingenius.

Click covers to add on Goodreads

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Q: What are your favorite book genres?

A: Mainly books with a philosophical thread running strongly through them – as opposed to a thin thread. In other words, books that look at what it means to be a human being and human behaviour, particularly on a cerebral level.

Q: What are some of your favorite authors today?

A: I tend to prefer authors like George Orwell, G.K. Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, Borges and some of the other greats. More modern authors include Kazuo Ishiguro, Kurt Vonnegut and Philip Pullman.

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?.books-300x300.jpg

A: I’ve been reducing my TBR shelf recently by reading a lot and also by removing books that I probably won’t ever get around to reading – I’ve been very strict with this. Today there are 40 books on it and I intend to reduce that further.

Q: What’s an emotional book you’ve read this year or last?

A: I haven’t read any emotional books for many many years – I can’t remember the last one.

Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: No. I’m pretty fussy when it comes to what I read so I know I’ll enjoy the books I choose.

Q: What book are you reading now?

A: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Q: The saying is to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: It isn’t. However, when buying a book online and there are more than one version of it, I tend to choose the cover I prefer.

Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

A: Yes I do; it’s on my author profile on Goodreads. Click HERE for Renée’ s blog.

Q: Have you written anything? 

A: Yes, I’ve five self-published books out at the moment, a sixth sent to a variety of publishers hoping they will take it on, and a seventh in the pipeline.

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Publishing in Progress

Q: Which do you enjoy more: ebooks, physical books, or audio books?

A: Physical is without a doubt my preference; I don’t like ebooks much. I like the idea of audio books because they can be listened to when driving. However, I have tried a few and find it hard to concentrate on them so get a bit lost and have to keep rewinding.

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: I tend to buy my books online or borrow them from friends.

 

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Renée Paule”

TAG: The TBR Tag

I’ve been seeing this tag a lot lately, but recently read about it at Nel’s wonderful blog@ ReactionaryTales.com. Please visit Nel’s blog if you haven’t already. She’s a great friend to have with a blog full of interesting content!

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Questions:

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I don’t. I consistently add to my TBR and don’t worry about it.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

It’s mixed, but mostly print. I don’t really pay attention to editions and formats. If I see a book I want to read, I just click it.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I don’t. I have so many books lined up that I rarely visit my TBR. I just read what I know is next in line with some occasional change ups.

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A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

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I believe it’s Jamie McGuire’s Red Hill #1. I joined GR in 2008, but didn’t add books to my TBR until roughly 2013.


A book that you recently added to your TBR.

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The Collector by John Fowles. It sounds pretty dark and it’s been awhile since I’ve read something like this.


A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

The entire Splintered Series by A.G. Howard.

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I do plan to read them. 🙂


A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading.

Brand VS Wild by Johnathan Lewis

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I’m not a business woman or involved in business in general. I’m not sure why I added this one, but it’s not one that I would rush to read and probably won’t read at all. No offense to the author! I’m sure it’s a great book.


An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

Ugly Beautiful Girl by Tracy Krimmer

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I just found this at Donna’s blog @ Bookdragongirl.com! Excited. 🙂


A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you.

The Hobbit, but I’m reading it with my 9-year-old right now. Does that count? 😉

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Continue reading “TAG: The TBR Tag”

Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books – Birdsong – The Adventures of Polo – Sidewalk Circus

I picked up three new wordless picture books to share with you this week. We enjoyed all three. I hope that you find a few of these interesting!

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Birdsong by James Sturm

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Blurb: Bring the thrilling story of one red bird to life. When an innocent bird meets two cruel kids, their world is forever changed. But exactly how that change unfolds is up to you, in the tradition of Kamishibai—Japanese paper theater. The wordless story by master cartoonist James Sturm is like a haiku—the elegant images leave space for children to inhabit this timeless tale—and make it their own, leading them to learn an ultimate lesson they’ll never forget.

James Sturm is the author of several books for kids including the Adventures in Cartooning series (with Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost) and the forthcoming Ape and Armadillo. James also helped start a college for cartoonists, The Center for Cartoon Studies, in the small railroad village of White River Junction, Vermont.

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Series: Toon Books
  • Hardcover: 60 pages
  • Publisher: TOON Books (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935179942
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935179948

My Review:

When we first started reading this book we were shocked. It begins with two children abusing some wildlife and it’s uncertain where the story is going to go. As they chase a bird far away, they are met by an angry man who wants to teach them a lesson they will never forget. The message is powerful and children will understand that there are consequences to their actions. This is a wordless picture book that can have many endings and children will have to think about what the actual conclusion means.

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What I loved most about the book was the history in the back. Readers learn about e-toki which means “picture-explaining” and kamishibai which means “paper theater.” Children learn about the importance of these picture stories from Japan and why they were started in the first place. This is a powerful picture book with detailed, yet simple illustrations that kids will certainly enjoy.

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Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman & Kevin Hawkes

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Blurb: “This delightful book will fascinate children and help them to see their world with new eyes.” — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Step right up and witness an astounding assemblage of tightrope walkers, strong men, sword swallowers, and clowns. The Garibaldi Circus is coming soon, but for those with clear eyes, the performers may already be in the ring. So get ready to sharpen your vision and look very closely — a show like you’ve never seen is about to begin! The creators of WESLANDIA are back in the spotlight with a spectacular, wordless picture book that shows the transformative power of imagination.

  • Age Range: 5 – 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076362795X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763627959

My Review

This picture story begins in the city streets with regular everyday people going about their day while observing others around them. The Garibaldi Circus will soon be coming to the city, but what’s really happening in the shadows might be more interesting than you think. Children will notice that our ordinary lives are more interesting than we think and all we need to do is pay attention to what’s happening around us.

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We enjoyed the book and ended up starting it over twice. You really have to pay attention to the shadows to see what’s going on. It’s a really unique book and we loved the illustrations.

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books – Birdsong – The Adventures of Polo – Sidewalk Circus”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Orange Sweet Potato Smoothie – The Girl in the Tower (The Bear and the Nightingale #2)

I have to apologize for posting so late this morning, but I had my entire post typed up and ready to go, posted it, and there was nothing on the post. I’ve never had that happen before, but let’s try again!

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I’m super excited to share a new smoothie recipe and a new book this week! I had a bunch of Japanese sweet potatoes and garnet yams that needed to be used and decided to go with an orange sweet potato smoothie for breakfast. This recipe is great anytime of year, but reminds me of fall which is approaching at an alarming rate. No complaints here!

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Why sweet potatoes? 

  • They’re super cheap
  • High in vitamins A, B6, and C
  • They contain potassium and magnesium
  • They boost your immune system
  • Great for the skin
  • They taste great!

Here’s what I did below…

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond milk

1 Japanese Sweet Potato (super sweet and white inside!)

2 Garnet Yams

1 banana (optional, but you can barely taste it)

1 Orange

1/4+ tsp of cinnamon

1/4+ tsp of ground ginger

1 TB of Honey or syrup of your choice

1 cup of ice – If you’re using frozen ingredients, omit the ice

Directions:

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Put the sweet potatoes in a pan with some water. The water doesn’t need to cover the potatoes. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes.

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When they’re done, take them out and peel them. The peeling comes right off.

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I like to cut them up into chunks and cool them. In the winter, I’ll put them in hot. There’s nothing better than a warm smoothie like this in the winter…If you’d like to freeze a bunch of these, just lay them out on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 4-5 hours. Take them out and store them in a freezer bag for later use. This is super convenient!

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Prepare your orange – Leave on as much pith as you can as it’s FULL of vitamin C and adds more fiber. This works best with a sharp knife and mine is a tad dull.

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After the sweet potatoes have cooled, put everything in the blender in the order listed. It’s important to load it in the order listed by starting with liquid, adding the foods, and then topping off with ice. It makes the blending go very smooth without the use of a tamper stick.

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Blend starting on low, and increasing to high. Here’s a video of me making this smoothie this morning. I love my Vitamix because it tears through anything and makes the smoothest smoothies ever.

It’s worth every penny! It’s so easy to stay healthy when you have the right tools…

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Add in your chia seeds and enjoy!

 

Continue reading for this week’s books!

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Orange Sweet Potato Smoothie – The Girl in the Tower (The Bear and the Nightingale #2)”

What’s a Spoiler??

Spoiler is typically defined as a person or thing that spoils something, but it’s not that easy is it? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spoilers when it comes to book reviews. On Goodreads, there are people that will straight up lash out on others for including spoilers in their reviews, but just what exactly is considered a spoiler?

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I recently reviewed a book and compared my review to somebody else’s review on the same book and they had many labels for spoilers that I really didn’t consider spoilers at all. It made me reflect on my review writing and I’m questioning if I’m giving out too much information about the content.

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Continue reading “What’s a Spoiler??”

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review – Movie Trailer

I’m really late to the party on this one guys! I finally picked this up at Barnes a few weeks ago and couldn’t wait to read it. You can see my book review below and also the movie trailer! It’s scheduled for 2018

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Blurb: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Add it on Goodreads


My Review

This was my first buddy read with the one and only *Craig* and what a pleasure this was. I’d like to thank Craig for reading this one with me. Craig always makes me smile and this was fun!

I’m not even sure where to start with my review.  I was highly anticipating this book for some time after seeing so many 5 star reviews and awesome comments, but the book was just a “like” and I wasn’t overly impressed like I thought I’d be.

The story takes place in 2044 and the world is in a Grimm state. A man by the name of James Halliday has created a virtual video game world known as the OASIS which becomes an escape for people. He’s hidden something in the labyrinth that everybody wants to find, and a teen by the name of Wade wants to be the one to find it first. The person who finds the prize is promised riches and as more people come in to play, it becomes a fight to the end as the gunters hunt for the prize while making their way through game after game.

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The story fell a tad short despite some action and fast paced reading. I felt like there was a lot going on, maybe too much detail even, but the best parts in the book that really held my interest were all the ’80s pop culture references. Some of my favorite movies, music, and games from the ’80s were referenced and I found myself looking up old music videos like “The Safety Dance,” a fave. Oh, the memories. ♡

The music references really took me back and as a child of the ’80s I can still remember sitting on my mom’s harvest green carpet in front of the Zenith watching them on MTV, which is nothing like what it used to be. And the games! It took me back to the days of my Atari and my Amiga Commodore: jousting for hours, and Burgertime!  There were literally hundreds of references, even old Tv shows, and I almost want to rate it highly for that one reason. Sure, there were interesting parts in the book with Wade’s adventures in the OASIS and with all the competition, I continued to think it might pick up for me, but the book just kept me hanging on until the end with all the nostalgia.  I was yearning for a pick me up.

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I did think the story was unique and enjoyed the characters. I also thought it was very descriptive and I was extremely pleased with the ending. For me, I simply felt like the story maybe had too much added information which made me a little uncomfortable.

I’m still glad I read it and can’t wait to see the movie because the trailer looks awesome and I ♡ Tye Sheridan! 3.5***

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  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 32089th edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307887448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307887443

Ready Player One Trailer

 

Continue reading for author info!

Continue reading “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review – Movie Trailer”

Q&A with Lu Picard – Co-Founder of ECAD – Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities – Luis Carlos Montalván & Tuesday

 

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In May I discovered a children’s book titled Tuesday Tucks Me In by Luis Carlos Montalván. After learning about service dogs and the relationship that Luis and Tuesdayluis-carlos-montalvo-600x400.jpg developed, I wanted to learn more. I went on to read every book I could find regarding Luis and Tuesday and learned all about how important service dogs are to our wounded veterans, veterans living with PTSD, people with physical disabilities, and even children with autism. If you’d like to see my original posts regarding these books which include videos and many pictures of Luis and Tuesday, you can find them by clicking the links below.

Luis Carlos Montalván – A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

Tuesday’s Promise and Tuesday Takes Me There by Luis Carlos Montalván

An Interview with Bret Witter – Co-Author of Until Tuesday, Tuesday Takes me There, and Tuesday Tucks Me In.

 

In the book Until Tuesday, Luis discusses where Tuesday came from and explains a little bit about Lu Picard, the co-founder of ECAD, where Tuesday was trained. Lu Picard was kind enough to answer some of my questions regarding ECAD, and a few regarding Luis and Tuesday. I’ve included some information about ECAD below as well as my Q&A with Lu Picard and hope that everyone will enjoy reading and learning more about it.

What is ECAD? 

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ECAD stands for Educated Canines Assisting Disabilities and is a non-profit organization founded by Lu and Dale Picard. ECAD provides highly skilled Service Dogs to assist people living with disabilities.

How did ECAD get started?

After Lu Picard’s father suffered from a stroke, she discovered how she could train their family dog to help her father become independent again and more like himself. She decided that this was what she wanted to do: train service dogs for those that needed them. She started ECAD in 1995 and a year later her husband became involved full-time as well. They now have training facilities in Connecticut and New York.

Making a Difference

Here are two amazing videos from Marlo Thomas on her “The Hero Next Door” series which highlights Lu Picard’s story and gives viewers an idea of some of the training that goes on at ECAD and also how Lu Picard has helped children with disabilities get involved with training dogs.

 Continue Reading for the Q&A!

Continue reading “Q&A with Lu Picard – Co-Founder of ECAD – Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities – Luis Carlos Montalván & Tuesday”

Award: Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated by the ever so wonderful Nel@Reactionarytales.com for the Blogger Recognition Award. This is the first time I’ve received this award and I’d like to thank Nel for kindly mentioning me on her blog. If you haven’t checked out Nel’s blog, please do. She has book reviews, stories, tags and awards, endangered animal information and more. Nel is a fellow blogger that I truly appreciate and feel lucky to be connected with.

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The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

My Story

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I originally started ReadRantRock&Roll earlier this year to review books, do author Q&A’s, discuss health issues, and talk about the music that I love. I really wasn’t sure where it would go and I’ve sort of experimented with different posts since. What I really envisioned was sharing other people’s stories from the books that I’ve read and also talking about things that I feel passionate about. I also wanted to find people out in the world who are making a difference and share their story. I’ve done a few posts on films as well and eventually would like to add in some of my poetry and art. I have loads of ideas and hope that I can creatively express them all while maintaining an interesting blog.

So, here I am and I feel like everything is going fairly well. I’ve met an amazing group of people and feel super lucky to be here.

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My Advice

1. This is hard because I’m a new blog myself, but I’ll share two things that I think are important, and the first is to always respond to comments. I find it rude to not acknowledge someone who has taken the time to read and comment on your post. It’s an easy way to lose readers and I think this applies to any site that we use including Goodreads and other forms of social media. This is just my opinion of course.

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2. Another piece of advice is to take some time to check out some other blogs! There are so many amazing blogs out there and you can learn so much while meeting great people! I know its hard to find time with everything that we have going on in our lives, but it’s worth it.

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Continue reading “Award: Blogger Recognition Award”

Award: Real Neat Blog Award 1 & 2

Recently I was nominated by two bloggers, Jo-Ann@inspirationpie.com and petrel41@dearkitty1.wordpress.com, for the Real Neat Blog award. I’d like to thank these two wonderful people for nominating me. I hope you’ll check out both blogs if you haven’t already. They are amazing and I feel very lucky to know them both!

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Here are the rules:

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

 

Petrel41’s Questions:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

I think it depends on the post. The majority overall probably come from WordPress bloggers, but certain posts bring in a lot from external sites like Facebook. My recent post with Carol Buckley was viewed mainly by her followers being redirected from her sites.

2. What is your favourite sport?

To play-basketball and frisbee. To watch-football. Go Patriots!

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3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2017?

Since I brought up the Patriots, I’ll say Superbowl 2017. I was falling asleep to avoid the anguish. Then, the unbelievable epic comeback when I thought all was lost. Amazing!

4. What is your favourite quote?

Two that I love and came across recently…

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.” 
― Lady Gaga

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5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

Art and music/band. I ❤ band.

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6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

To appreciate others, live life to the fullest, eat healthy no matter what,  not worry about what others think, accept myself for who I am no matter what someone else says because it’s the way God made me and I’m unique.  We are all unique!

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7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

I play a handful of instruments including piano, guitar, sax, and more, but I could never play a brass instrument or the flute. I tried flute and cornet, but it just didn’t work out.


Jo-Ann’s Questions:

1. What is your favourite genre?

Hands down, non-fiction memoir/biography.

2. What is the last book you read that you gave 5 Stars and what did you love about it?35655943

It Starts With L by Cassandra Fear. I loved it because it’s a good story that reminded me of something I would’ve loved reading in high school. I enjoyed it so much. It was almost nostalgic.

3. Who is your favourite author?

I can’t go with just one, so how about Jodi Picoult, Anne Rice, Jamie McGuire, Gary Paulsen, Winston Graham, Luis Carlos Montalván, Tolkien, Jack London, Roald Dahl, Diana Gabaldon, Stephenie Meyer, etc.

4. What keeps you from attaining your goals?

Family responsibilities and my health occasionally.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m really not positive on that, but I do hope to have some writing done by then! 😉

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6. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Interacting with all of you, learning, author interaction, etc.

7. How do you start off your morning?

I start my mornings with coffee or tea either outside with the birds and fresh air, or inside catching up with updates before the sun comes up.

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Continue reading “Award: Real Neat Blog Award 1 & 2”

Q&A with Lew Watts – Author of Marcel Malone – Book Review – SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY

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I’ve had Marcel Malone on my TBR list since the beginning of the year and finally read it this past week. In addition to reviewing below, you can read my Q&A with author Lew Watts and learn a little more about him.

Marcel Malone by Lew Watts

31298354Blurb: Dr Vera Lewis has a difficult but intriguing patient, Marcel, whose symptoms result from multiple levels of rejection—from family, colleagues, relationships, and those journals that receive his poetry submissions. Desperate to achieve a breakthrough, Vera prescribes a very unusual treatment that begins to desensitize Marcel to rejection, albeit with unexpected side-effects. It is only when Vera brings poetry into their therapy sessions that Marcel begins to reveal his deeper problems, and is able to confront the demons of his past. As for Vera, she has her own problems…
Set mostly in Washington, DC, Marcel Malone is a story of how the love of poetry can lead to personal transformation.

 

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Red Mountain Press (October 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0997310227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997310221

 

You can find this book on:

Goodreads | Amazon

 

My review

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book. Marcel Malone is a first novel for Lew Watts and one that is definitely unique.

Vera and Raymond are a married couple living in DC. Vera is a psychiatrist who lacks attention from her husband as he places more importance on his job as a lobbyist. Raymond worries about his reputation more than anything and lacks the ability to pick up on Vera’s needs.

The focus in the story is mainly Vera and her life with her patients. A particular patient that she becomes almost dependent on is Marcel. Marcel enjoys reading and writing poetry which is something he and Vera have in common. They share their thoughts with each other and Vera looks forward to these conversations. The result of this relationship and Vera’s own curiosity results in a story with interlaced poetry which I thought was unique, and the poetry just might be what they both need to unleash the past.

“Near this rose, in this grove of sun-parched, wind-warped madronas,
Among the half-dead trees, I came upon the true ease of myself,
As if another man appeared out of the depths of my being,
And I stood outside myself,” lines from The Rose by Theodore Roethke

As Vera learns more about Marcel, she learns that he’s had a hard time with rejection in the past and Vera prescribes a new experiment of paradoxical intervention and journal writing to see if it might help him as a sort of “rejection therapy.” This becomes comical at times, but the outcome she receives from this is unexpected and Vera finds that her own demons and life choices need to be addressed.

The story kept me interested enough to finish it and the ending was quite emotional for me. There were a few times where I became bored with the story as there wasn’t a lot of excitement, but then something would happen or a mystery would be introduced which would yank me right back in again. I’ve always enjoyed poetry, especially Haiku, and I think that anyone who has an appreciation for it will enjoy this book. Even those that don’t particularly care for poetry will more than likely enjoy it. I have a goodly amount of authors and books to add to my list now after reading it and I’d like to thank the author for sharing a complimentary copy of this book with me.

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Continue reading “Q&A with Lew Watts – Author of Marcel Malone – Book Review – SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Egg Muffin Cups – Ready Player One – The Pull and Kick Murder

 

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Good morning everyone! I’m excited to share a new breakfast recipe and two new books that I’m reading this week. Last week my health took a little turn on me and I’m sort of catching up this week with posts, tags, and awards. I hope you’ll be pleased with this week’s post!

I decided to make something fairly easy this morning. I ended up with a ton of eggs and thought this recipe would help use them up. Let’s get started!

Egg Muffin Cups

Ingredients to make 24 muffin cups – Easy to cut the recipe down to half if this is too many. 

1 Pound of bulk sausage of your choice (I like farmland sausage because it’s MSG free)

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24 Eggs

Roughly 2 1/2 cups of finely chopped onion and bell pepper (I used green & red)

1/2 tsp of salt – less if your sausage is heavily salted

3/4 tsp pepper

1 heaping cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I used convection because I’m cooking two trays and want them to be evenly cooked. Grease your pans or add liners.

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Cook your sausage in a skillet. Break up the sausage into small little chunks. While the sausage is cooking you can chop up your onion and pepper and prepare the cheese and spices. Drain the sausage.

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Beat all the eggs in a bowl and then add everything else in.

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Measure out into the muffin cups. I used a ladle and left about a half inch space from the top of the pan.

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Bake for 22-25 minutes in the oven, or until solid and can be removed whole.

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Take them out and let them cool just for a few minutes. Remove and serve.

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I would recommend using liners with a square pan as a few of mine were difficult to remove, even after spraying.

What I love about these is that you can add what you want to. I was thinking next time I might add in some tomato. You can omit the sausage and add something else. Experiment with the ingredients you like.

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Garnish if preferred. I used some chopped green onion and fresh cracked pepper.

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Super simple and yummy!

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Egg Muffin Cups – Ready Player One – The Pull and Kick Murder”

Award: The Unique Blogger Award

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I was nominated by Claire@Brizzlelassbooks.com for this Unique Blogger Award! I was super excited as I haven’t received this award yet. I’d like to thank Claire for nominating me. If you haven’t checked out Claire’s blog yet, please do. She has many book reviews, tours and giveaways to explore. I feel very lucky to have met Claire and we have some things in common which I think is awesome!

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The Rules

  • Share the link to the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

 

Claire’s Questions

1. If you could have any animal or mythical creature from a book as a pet what would you pick?

I admire horses so I’m going to go with unicorns. I truly lOVE unicorns and I’ve always been fascinated by them. I loved “Uni” from Dungeons and Dragons and also the movie “Legend” with Tom Cruise which had Unicorns in it. How awesome would that be to have a unicorn?

2. Which is one of your least favourite characters of all time?

Denethor from Lord of the Rings. I didn’t like the way he treated Pippin and I despised him for trying to kill his own son, Faramir. Ugh!

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3. Is there a supporting character who you liked far more than the main one?

Many of the characters in LOTR. Mainly Samwise Gamgee. I also loved Boromir, Gandalf, Aragorn, and others.

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Continue reading “Award: The Unique Blogger Award”

Q&A With Bernard Jan – Author of A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat

 

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A few weeks ago I came across a book on Goodreads titled A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat and knew right away I needed to read it. It’s a memoir written by Bernard Jan pertaining to the loss of his beloved cat Marcel. Bernard was very kind to offer some of his time to discuss his writing and some other questions I had about the book. You can see my Q&A with Bernard Jan below.

If you’d like to see my previous post including my review for the book, you can click HERE. 

Click the cover to add on Goodreads, or pick it up on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Kindle Unlimited members can read this for free!

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Continue reading “Q&A With Bernard Jan – Author of A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat”

Award: The Sunshine Blogger Award #3

I was nominated last week by Yesha@BooksTeacupandReviews for The Sunshine Blogger Award. If you haven’t been to this blog yet, please check it out. There are many book reviews, awards and tags, author interviews, and more. I’d like to thank Yesha for this nomination! Thank you! ❤

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Rules:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
2.) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Questions from Yesha:

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1. A quote or any saying that you love and follow.

Two important quotes…

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. –Margaret Mead

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. –Dr. Seuss

2. What life lesson took you the most to learn?

It took me forever to stop worrying about what other people think. I used to place SO MUCH importance on it and it makes me cringe when I hear younger people in the same situation. I wish I could shout out to them to not waste a moment of their life trying to please others and to live their lives for themselves and never let somebody tell you that you can’t do something or need to change. *Be yourself.*

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3. What do you love most about YOU?

As I mentioned in a previous award, I’ve been told I’m creative and I love that. I also love that I’m a mom & wife- hopefully the best one I can be.

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4. What personality trait are you currently trying to change or improve?

I’m currently working on keeping my mind at peace.

5. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I didn’t know. I don’t think I really started thinking about it until high school, honestly. I’ve always liked working with animals and creating things. At one point, I thought about opening a used bookstore. I can’t say there’s ever been one single career that stood out to me. I’m kind of like a “jack of all trades, master of none” type.

6. What courses were your worst and best in school?

I wasn’t good at math because I flat-out disliked it. I just couldn’t put my mind to it, until I went to college, then I straightened out. I was always best at art, music, and reading. The school library and art/music room were my favorite places to be.

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7. If you had to stick with one book genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Non-fiction. I love learning new things every minute of the day.

8. What is your superpower?

Fixing things and getting the job done. It’s something I feel I’ve always been pretty good at. I remember when I was a kid my grandfather brought home this tool set for me. I guess he saw something there. I’ve always been a tinker.

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9. What are you currently watching on tv (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc (that you would recommend?)

I’m currently watching the 5th season of The Americans, originally on FX. It’s a show about two Soviet intelligence agents who are a married couple with children that spy on the American government. It’s pretty good!

10. What’s the weirdest or most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

I guess I’m going to say dandelion and other weeds only because many people are surprised when I say that I put them in my juice. Foraging is fun!

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11. TWO PIECES OF ADVICE.

1. *This is my opinion and I hope it doesn’t offend anyone.* Don’t take your health for granted! When you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Once it’s too late, you may not be able to fix it and it’s possible you can lose your life. This is my experience and so I take it very seriously. I know that some people just want to live and not think about it, and that’s fine if that’s what you want. Everyone’s different. This is something I wish I would’ve taken more seriously as a teen and into my 20’s.

2. As I stated in my previous post Lessons From Grandpa #3, we need to appreciate what we have in life, especially our relationships. We can’t just recognize what we have, we need to show it now and every day.

Continue for the Nominees and Questions!

Continue reading “Award: The Sunshine Blogger Award #3”

Award: The Sunshine Blogger Award #2

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I was nominated by Noriko@DiaryofaBookFiend for the lovely Sunshine Blogger Award last month. This is now my second for this award. I’d like to thank her for nominating me. Also, please check out Noriko’s blog. She has tons of book reviews, wrap-ups, Goodreads Monday and scads of awards and tags. I personally have enjoyed reading her “#tidbits on Japan” posts which have highlighted a few different recipes from Japan where she lives. I’m looking forward to learning more about her culture and I’m happy to have her as a friend.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How Does It Work:

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog

Noriko’s Questions:

What is your ideal vacation?

I love just chillaxing wherever I am. I love being at home, hanging out at the beach, and being out in nature. Ideal is doing what I like and being where I want to be.

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What do you love about yourself?

I’m told that I’m creative and I love that. When I make something and someone says, “Wow, you made that?”, It makes me feel awesome.

What do wish you could change about yourself?

There are actually a few things, but I would choose becoming more self-confident as my first choice.

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What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Marcel Malone by Lew Watts and Beauty and the Beast by Vivienne Savage (audible).

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What keeps you blogging?

What keeps me blogging? That’s a hard one. I’m going to say interacting with people. I love learning about others. I’m going to mention a few specific people here that inspire me to continue blogging and that’s my mom (Starjustin), James, Nel, Stephanie, Vanessa, Claire, Noriko, Mohamad, Kim, Lana, Dani, Jo-Ann, Robin, Jennifer C, Dave, Donna, Misty, Kim, Christina, Anthony, MoJo and the list goes on. I also appreciate the authors that take the time out of their busy schedules to do Q&A’s with me,  I love that. I’ve learned so much and met some awesome people. That’s why I keep blogging.

You are having a relaxing evening.  What are you doing?

Either hanging with my family, having some tea while wrapped up in a good book, or simply listening to some great music.

Do you have pets?  

Yes, I have two border collies and a ton of outdoor cats. I love animals, and I wish I could give every single animal in the world a good life. Here are a few pics…

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Winston and Cynder

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Rambo The Wise

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We had 13 kittens in April.  I’ll do a post on them soon…

 

Favourite pizza toppings?

I try not to eat meat or pizza in general, but I’ll say Sausage, Pepperoni, Onion, and Banana Pepper.

Coffee, tea or wine or other?

Organic decaf coffee and I love tea as well. Pukka and Yogi are my favorite tea brands.

What is your favourite season? 

Definitely fall and winter. I don’t deal well with the summer heat and look forward to harvest time and Christmas.

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What is your favourite book genre?

I absolutely love memoirs and non-fiction in general. I love learning about people and their pasts, and what they’re doing with their lives.

 

Continue for the nominees!

Continue reading “Award: The Sunshine Blogger Award #2”

Above The Flames – It Starts With L Book Reviews + Author Q&A with Cassandra Fear & Giveaway!

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A little over a week ago, I started reading Above the Flames by Cassandra Fear. I really enjoyed the writing, so after finishing it, I dove right in to It Starts With L which was just released.

Cassandra was willing to share some of her time with me to discuss her books and writing. In addition to the Q&A below, you can read my book reviews for Above the Flames and her new book It Starts with L. Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway toward the bottom of the page to win eBook copies of both books!

Above The Flames

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Blurb: Jasmine’s sixteenth birthday was the worst ever…

All in one day, her dad died, she met a demon, and her mother rejected her existence forever. After all, the demon who killed her dad was there to take her, and all because of her stupid powers—the ability to conjure blue flames.

Two years later, she’s happy. But happy never lasts…

After moving to Idaho to live with her grandparents, Jasmine has a new life. Almost nobody knows about her powers, and she’s just a normal teenager with normal problems. Then comes her eighteenth birthday—and the earthquake that changes her world forever.

An army of demons rise from Hell. And Jasmine is right in the middle of the battle…

When demons claw their way to Earth, Jasmine is surrounded by hundreds of fire-eyed beasts. Worse, she is captured by a big-shot demon named Bael. He’s a tricky foe with a chip on his shoulder—and the desire to make Jasmine use her powers for evil.

Amon is a fallen angel with an attitude—and everything to lose.

Successfully escaping the underworld undetected, Amon is on a quest to regain God’s grace when he rescues Jasmine from the clutches of a particularly nasty demon he knows all too well. The attraction between him and the not-entirely-human captive is instantaneous. Heavenly sparks fly, but ideas of romance will have to wait. First they have to stop the demon race from wiping out the mortal realm. Humanity’s fate rests in their hands.

Can two troubled angels rise above the flames to ensure a future for mankind? Or will Jasmine and Amon’s souls be bound together—in hell?

  • Series: The Flames Trilogy
  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC (April 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1680585851
  • ISBN-13: 978-1680585858

 

My review

I wasn’t sure what to expect because I haven’t read many paranormal books and certainly haven’t read a story including angels and demons with this plot, so it was a fun read and different from what I’m used to.

I was pulled into the story right away. Jasmine is a 16-year-old teenager dealing with a mother who simply doesn’t care about her. An unforeseen wicked event causes an accident with her father and because her mother doesn’t want her, she’s relocated with her grandparents. Ma and Pa love her so much and all seems to be going well with Jasmine as she lives a fairly normal life with her boyfriend Beau, until demons appear and hunt her down. They’ve been released and plan to take over all mankind. Jasmine doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to have to figure out how to control her powers while she trains to defend against the evil demons.

I really liked the characters in the book. Jasmine, Beau, and Amon were my favorites. Jasmine is very strong and confident and the majority if the time she wasn’t afraid despite all the evil events unfolding around her. At times I didn’t like the way Jasmine treated Beau as their relationship started to change due to Amon’s introduction, but everything came together eventually. It wasn’t a predictable read! It was difficult to tell what decisions the characters would make and there were times I couldn’t differentiate between friends and foes as more characters are introduced. I don’t want to include a bunch of spoilers, so for the most part, I enjoyed the book. I felt like there were some slow parts with mainly the beginning and the ending remaining my favorites. The ending was a complete total shocker.

I love the way Cassandra Fear Writes. I found it very easy to read from cover to cover. I would’ve liked a tad more romance and maybe faster pacing, but understand this is YA. I’m looking forward to the next book!

4****

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It Starts With L

 

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Blurb: High school is tough, and Arielle knows this all too well.

She’s slightly chubbier than most of the other girls and gets reminded of this every day. And the fact that she’s never had a boyfriend makes her prime meat for the bullying crowd.

But then in walks Blake, the cute new boy who sweeps her off her feet and stands up to her bullies. Instant swoon.

Now with a guy at her side, and the promise of a blooming love, Arielle realizes it’s easy to lose sight of what is important. Her best friend, Jess, is on a downward spiral toward disaster, and Arielle needs to find a way to help her.

Unfortunately, Arielle discovers not everything in life is simple. Sometimes things happen, tragedy strikes, and it leaves you with wounds that might never heal.

  • Series: The Letters of Love Series
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC (July 12, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 164034151X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1640341517

My review

 

Arielle is a teenager dealing with typical high school drama and bullying, but won’t let it change her. She’s a simple girl from a good family, but deals with a few insecurities about her weight and appearance, until she meets Blake.

Blake stands up for her and makes her feel more confident. As their relationship blooms, everything seems to be perfect, until Blake starts thinking about the future and becomes unsure of their relationship. She’s not prepared to deal with the uncertainty, but doesn’t want to give up. On top of all her relationship problems, her best friend is making poor decisions and her home life takes a turn for the worse. Arielle is on a slippery slope, but will she be able to regain happiness again?

*Mild Spoilers* I liked all of the main characters in the book, but I wasn’t pleased with Blake. He’s one of those characters that at times you sort of “grrr” over, but you still admire him at the same time. Arielle was confident enough to stay true to herself and I loved that. I didn’t feel like the story was too predictable and really looked forward to finding out how these characters would end up. It was a pleasant surprise and not like the one I expected.*

I’m giving this book 5 stars because I was never bored and I really enjoy this author’s writing as it’s smooth and easy to read. This book reminds me of something I would’ve enjoyed reading in high school and I think this is a perfect book for teens. There really isn’t anything inappropriate and overall it’s a great YA book. I can’t wait to read the next one!

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Continue for the Q&A and Giveaway!!

Continue reading “Above The Flames – It Starts With L Book Reviews + Author Q&A with Cassandra Fear & Giveaway!”

R.I.P. Chester Bennington – 1976-2017

I was very sad to just learn that Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, died after committing suicide today. The rock world has lost another amazing singer. I’m at a loss for words with this coming just after Chris Cornell’s death a few months ago.

Hunger Strike with Chris and Chester singing together

Chester Bennington was close friends with Chris and I do believe he was also a Godfather to one of his children. They had what I believe was a special friendship.

I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since the very beginning and I just can’t believe that Chester’s gone. Here are a few of my favorites below…

Numb

 

Somewhere I belong:

 

One Step Closer

 

What I’ve Done

 


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Chester singing “Hallelujah” at Chris Cornell’s Funeral

I don’t know what Chester was going through, but I pray that both he and Chris rest in peace.

Continue reading “R.I.P. Chester Bennington – 1976-2017”

Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books – David Wiesner – Leo Timmers – Matthew Cordell

 

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I have three new wordless picture books to share this week! I hope that everyone who has children in their lives will get to read a few wordless picture books with them this year. It’s such a joyous experience! You might find a few of these interesting.


Tuesday by David Wiesner

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Blurb: A Caldecott classic celebrating twenty years in print.

David Wiesner received the 1991 Caldecott Medal for Tuesday. In the years that followed, he went on to receive two more Caldecotts, and Tuesday went on to sell half a million copies in the United States and to be published in a dozen foreign countries. Now, with remarkable advances in the technology of color reproduction, the original artwork for Tuesday is being reproduced anew, for an edition even more faithful to the palette and texture of David Wiesner’s watercolor paintings. The whimsical account of a Tuesday when frogs were airborne on their lily pads will continue to enchant readers of all ages.

My review

David Wiesner is a favorite as you know from some of my previous reviews. He never ceases to amaze me and this book is such a beautiful and magical addition to our collection.

The story begins in the early evening on a Tuesday and all is quiet at the pond. All of a sudden, the frogs begin to levitate on their lily pads and travel into a nearby town. They visit a woman watching TV, a man having a snack, and a dog running through a yard.

The only text in the book is the indication that it’s Tuesday with the time. Children love the watercolor illustrations and their imaginations can run wild with this story because it’s surreal.

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The idea of frogs traveling on lily pads is so magical and mysterious. How did they do it, and will they be back again next Tuesday?

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Wordless Picture Books – David Wiesner – Leo Timmers – Matthew Cordell”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Strawberry Banana Smoothie – Lew Watts & Cassandra Fear

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I can’t believe it’s Wednesday again! The week is flying by. I have two new books to share today and one of my favorite smoothies of all time. This smoothie is what I call the “converter.” If you’re looking to get someone into drinking smoothies, maybe even yourself, this is the go to recipe- as long as you like strawberries!

Before we get to the smoothie recipe, I want to let you guys know how easy it is to freeze your fresh organic bananas and strawberries for smoothies. It really makes the BEST smoothie to freeze these two fruits ahead of time. Here’s what you can do…

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Get a cookie sheet out and layer it with a piece of parchment paper.

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Peel the bananas and lay them out so they aren’t touching each other.

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Put them in the freezer quickly and freeze for 4-6 hours or more. I like to do this overnight.

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Take them out and you’ll notice they’re completely frozen and won’t stick to each other.

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Pile them in a freezer bag and freeze immediately. As you can see, they are already starting to thaw out a tad. Do everything quickly and it will result in no browning or sticking, just perfect frozen bananas ready for use. Just take them out as needed!

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You can do strawberries the same way. Hull them and rinse. Pat dry and lay them out on the sheet, not touching. Freeze for 4-6 hours or more and take them out. Pile them into a freezer and your good to go! Frozen for whenever you need them. They won’t stick together. Here’s a picture of some strawberries that came out of my garden and went straight into the freezer.

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Continue for the recipe and books for this week! 

 

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Strawberry Banana Smoothie – Lew Watts & Cassandra Fear”

Award: The Versatile Blogger Award

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I was very excited to be nominated a few days ago @ caterpillars2butterfliesblog for the Versatile Blogger Award. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do. There are so many feel-good, inspirational posts here and I look forward to reading them daily! Great advice. Thank you for nominating me!

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RULES OF THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD:

1.) Thank the bloggers who nominated you and share their links.
2.) Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.
3.) Also inform them about their nomination.
4.) Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.


-7 Things About Me-

1. I can play a handful of instruments including: Guitar, Piano, Clarinet, Saxophone, Violin, Lap harp and a few others.

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2. I’m very interested in people who have experienced NDE’s or Near Death Experiences. I used to spend quite a bit of time reading and studying them.

3.  We just had 13 kittens in April. Most have gone to homes. We have 5 left. Out of these 3 you see here, we have Ash left. Can you guess which one he is? Back left. His attitude fits his look. Every one of these kittens has a different personality.  I’ll post more about them later.

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4. Despite striving for a healthy lifestyle, I’ve actually struggled with food addiction since I was about 15 and continue to battle with it. I ❤ food, especially homemade baked goods like these cupcakes I made recently, or this organic Amish bread I make often. It literally melts in your mouth. Recipes to come soon.

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5. I have two border collies, Cynder & Winston. You may have read about them here on my blog. I love them very much.

 

 

6. I have an extreme joy for gardening and love growing pumpkins, including giant pumpkins for the Halloween season. Halloween is my favorite time of year. I’m super excited that fall is on the way.

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7. I can’t wait for the next season of Poldark in October! I’ve read the whole saga and loved the books. More Aiden Turner please. 🙂


Continue for the nominees!

Continue reading “Award: The Versatile Blogger Award”

Q&A With Author Carol Buckley – Founder of The Elephant Sanctuary & Elephant Aid International

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Earlier this year I read a few books about an elephant named Tarra. The first one I read was titled Tarra & Bella written by Carol Buckley. It’s a book about an elephant (Tarra) and the unlikely relationship she had with a dog named Bella at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. After reading it and learning about Tarra, Carol Buckley, and The Elephant Sanctuary, I had to learn more. I picked up Travels with Tarra, a book about Carol Buckley and Tarra before her life at the sanctuary, and Just For Elephants, another book about an elephant named Shirley who is retiring from a zoo and being moved to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. If you’d like to see my original reviews/posts on these, you can click on the titles below.

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Tarra, an Asian elephant, was brought to America in 1974. Tarra was purchased to live at a tire store and the owner specifically purchased her in hope of increased sales. Not long after, Carol Buckley met Tarra for the first time. She instantly had an interest in Tarra and became a permanent fixture in Tarra’s cage.

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Carol began studying her and wanted to know everything about her. As time moved on, Carol began training Tarra and believe it or not, Tarra became a performer in the circus. At one point, she learned how to roller skate! Because of her talent, she made multiple appearances in movies like Annie and even popular TV shows. If you’d like to see a video of Carol and Tarra from 1984, Click HERE.

In 1995, Tarra was moved to The Elephant Sanctuary, founded by Carol Buckley. It’s an Elephant retirement sanctuary where elephants can live as they are meant to, with other elephants, and in the wild. In the beginning it started as 200 acres and progressed to over 2,700 acres of land where elephants can roam and be free. Since then, other elephants have been moved there.

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From Left: Bella, Carol, and Tarra.

Carol has been working with elephants for over 40 years and has developed new standards of care for elephants in captivity. She is no longer with The Elephant Sanctuary and founded Elephant Aid International in 2010. She remains a protector of elephants in captivity and works to ensure that they are being treated humanly.  Currently she is working in Asia with Mahouts (elephant handlers) and is helping them train elephants properly while keeping them out of chains. Carol has created multiple projects including:

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  • Elephant Foot Care – A program that helps owners and handlers understand elephant feet and the care they need to remain disease free.

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  • Programs to support and train Mahouts (Elephant Handlers) – Programs that help support Mahouts and their elephants by giving them tools, equipment, supplies and education for the care of their elephants. The training program uses Positive Reinforcement Target Training (PFTT) and teaches compassionate elephant training.

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“Lack of space is the reason for most of the ailments that captive elephants are suffering from.” – Carol Buckley

 

Continue for my Q&A with Carol Buckley…

Continue reading “Q&A With Author Carol Buckley – Founder of The Elephant Sanctuary & Elephant Aid International”

Award: Black Cat Blue Sea Award

 

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I was shocked yesterday to receive another amazing blog award. To me, this is such a special award. This nomination came from James@this-is-my-truth-now. James and I seem to have a lot in common and he’s become a BBB (best blogging buddy) who’s been there since I first got started blogging. I’ve learned about so many new blogs because of him as well. Please head over to visit this-is-my-truth-now to read countless book reviews, read his daily 365-day challenge and find out what’s happening with his new novel! There’s so much more. Loads of excitement! Thanks, James!

So, what is the Black Cat Blue Sea Award?

This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.


Rules

  • anybody nominated can nominate up to eight other bloggers
  • the nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator
  • the questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions
  • if any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award

Questions from James with my answers:

 

What would you like bloggers to do more of that they aren’t doing right now?

Umm, is come check out my blog a good answer? Totally joking!

I think bloggers are doing a wonderful job with their blogs and I enjoy seeing everyone’s different styles and ideas. I love that as of right now, I’m yet to find two blogs that are totally alike. The creative expression I’ve seen is inspiring and I enjoy being part of it. With that said, I just want to see everyone enjoy themselves and I’m happy to be here. So, please keep blogging!

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Tell us 4 things about yourself, one of which is not true… and see if we can guess.

  • I love animals – I’d be happy to spend the rest of my life around them.
  • I love housekeeping – Having everything in pristine order is a must.
  • Introvert alert! I don’t like parties, large crowds, or sitting in a packed movie theatre. I’m perfectly happy at home with my books, music, and nature.
  • I don’t really enjoy writing. I’ve never felt good at it and struggle just writing a book review. If I were to write a book, I’d have NO IDEA where to start.

Which one do you think is not true?

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Describe a perfect day that balances all the things you love.

This is difficult because it changes with seasons and I enjoy a wide range of activities, but since it’s summer for us, I’ll go with that. A perfect summer day for me would be waking up before dawn to enjoy a steaming cup of coffee with some fresh baked banana bread while catching up with updates on Goodreads & WordPress. Then, I’d spend some time outside listening to the birds as the sun begins to rise while enjoying a good book. Mid-day I’d throw together one of my favorite soups and have a few hours of reading time with my kids. Maybe we’d take a trip to the library in the afternoon and come back for a jump in the pool. I’d have dinner planned ahead and ready by 6pm, then on to Netflix for a bit before settling down with some good music in preparation for a good night’s sleep. In between all of that, I’d spend some time playing frisbee with my pups. Any day without stress is a good one!

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Continue reading “Award: Black Cat Blue Sea Award”