Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Movie Review: Insurgent

Movie: Insurgent
Genre: YA Dystopian Drama
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: One thumb up

I don't know, it was a fine fun movie, but I guess it didn't blow me away or anything. As my husband says, it's a middle movie/book, so what can you expect?

This movie is mostly about Tris having to deal with surviving all five (is it five?) tests that Janine puts her through in order to get the mysterious box open. The box with a message. The message that lets everyone know what's REALLY going on! Thus, much of the movie are these simulations and sometimes you get tricked into not know what's real and what's not and thus getting a little feel for what Tris is going through.

There's lots of Four to enjoy  and lots of Caleb (aka. Ansel aka. Gus, which is really trippy after seeing TFiOS) to get frustrated with. Peter was also quite the fascinating character in this movie.
I don't know, but he kinda scares me.
With Caleb and Peter
During a simulation

I didn't remember a thing from the book, which made for a better movie experience I think. Though I still have suspicions that the movie ended very differently from the book. I don't know. Someone (aka Jenni) will have to tell me.

Anyway, I still say see it. Go and enjoy!

Here's the trailer:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Death Wish by Megan Tayte

Book: Death Wish by Megan Tayte
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 
 For: Review
From: Received for free from the author. All opinions are my own.

Short Synopsis: Scarlett has come to her empty grandparent's house in a little coastal town in England to be alone to deal with her sister's death. Also, she wants to ask around to find out exactly what happened here when her sister was alive. Maybe someone knows something. In the process, she ends up connecting to these people and finding love.

My Response: I went in to this expecting nothing, but once I started, I was hooked and ending up loving this story. I loved the setting and the descriptions. I want to go here! There was lots of surfing going on and I just finished another surfing book (Love, Lucas, review to come soon!) so I'm wondering why all these surfing books suddenly! Maybe I need to go learn. Ha. Anyway, I totally enjoyed the writing and all the British-isms and fabulous characters. There was the hint of mystery surrounding the sister's death and the strange business with a guy named Jude, all quite ominous. Scarlett was very relate-able and the romance was delightful.

Bottom Line: I really enjoyed this one! A sad and lovely story. There are so many more questions though, which is why there's another several books to come! And guess what! At the time of this writing this book is free on Kindle. Get it. Now.

Let's Talk About: I just wanted to say, don't you love it when you don't really mean to read a book right at that moment, but you start it just to see what happens, and bam, before you know it, you've read the whole thing! Yeah, I love it when that happens. This is one of those sorts of books. What sort of book have you read that's like that?

Other Reviews:

This story is extremely well written with just the right amount of mystery and intrigue. From The Reading Cafe

I didn’t read this novel; I devoured it! From Chick Lit Plus

I thoroughly enjoyed it and every fibre of my being wants to read more! From Samantha Kilford

And to be honest, I think this book is the perfect example of how the first book in a series must be. It definitely made me want to keep reading and I honestly can’t wait to read more books in this series. From Maureen's Books

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Day in the Life: Monday March 23, 2015

The other day Trish from Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity decided it would be fun to have everyone document and then post about a typical day in their life. What a fun idea! Everyone is linking up at her blog today and if you haven't already done it (documented your day), you can still go for it (and link up later.)

I decided to keep track of my day this past Monday, March 23. I knew it would be a fairly normal day which meant you could see what a "boring" day for me was like. If I would have done Wednesday of this week,  you would have seen what a wild and crazy day was like! Sheesh.

Anyway, I kept track of what I did and took a few pictures. So, without further ado, I give you, a day in my life:

Monday, March 23 2015

6:24: I hear my daughter's alarm go off. She gets up. I look at my phone. Oops. I forgot to set my own alarm! Good thing I heard hers!

6:30 to 7:00: I read things on my phone while my daughter gets ready for school. It helps get my eyes awake. I go through Facebook, and Twitter. I post a "Happy Bloggiesta" with the Bloggiesta Twitter account. I'm hoping that people are excited and ready to start this week long event!

7:00: I get up and drive my daughter to school. We have a little car pool and pick up a neighborhood boy on the way. It takes about 25 minutes round trip. It's a dreary day. There's even a few sprinkles out there and we both look at each and say, "Wait. Rain?"

I often post pictures of the mountain when it's a clear
beautiful blue day. Here's what it looks like
on a not so clear day!

Mika came out with me to take the mountain picture!

7:25: Back at home, I crawl back into bed and look at my phone again. This is the time of day where I feel guilty and wish I stayed up and did... something. I don't know what. But no, I lay in bed and read things on my phone for 45 minutes. The kitty comes to cuddle with us.

8:15: I get up for real and get ready for work; shower, breakfast, the usual. On Mondays, my college son does not have school so this morning, I don't have to drag him out of bed and he sleeps in. My husband gets up and is getting ready for work with me.

Breakfast. Golden Grahams. The bottom of the bag
which I guess only moms can eat.

8:50: I go to work. It's literally a three minute drive! My husband goes to work, it takes him about 20 minutes.
The library!

9:00: WORK at the library! When I arrive I find that my first task of the day is to print a few hundred Spanish bookmarks for a Spanish outreach open house they are doing next week. So, for two hours I do that... using the copy machine and huge paper cutter.

I spend a lot of time in this little room. 

The massive paper cutter.
I'm always sore the next day. It's quite the work out.

11:00: Now I print off a few hundred Spanish brochures so they can take those to the open house also. I might as well fold them too. It takes me another two hours until it's time to come home. It was a pretty low key day at work today. When I go outside, I can tell it's been raining.


Oh, I got these goodies in the mail too!
We plan to do a huge file organization project soon. :)

All folded! 300 copies!

The sky when I came home. Dreary!

1:00: On my way home I get a text from my married daughter. They left their USB drive at our house and they need an assignment off it. As soon as I get home, I find that, pull it up and email it to her. My college son is up and getting ready for work. We touch bases for a bit, and talk about his concerns of the day. He goes to work. I make nachos for lunch which I eat at the computer. I also have a toast from the bread my son made the day before.

Homemade whole wheat bread
made by my 20 year old son! Awesome!

I love nachos. With pepper jack cheese.

2:00: The first Bloggiesta chat of the week starts. I'm leading the discussion about connecting to people! Very fun! Before I know it, the whole hour is over and we're done!

3:00: I work on some email that needed taken care of. There's a few that needed some thought and so it takes awhile.

3:35: My daughter gets home from school. The neighborhood boy's mom brings them home. I do mornings, she does afternoon. Sweet deal for me. Anyway, we touch bases. She starts homework. I stay on the computer.

4:00: I work on some of my own Bloggiesta To Do tasks and some general Bloggiesta stuff (like the recap post for the chat we just had!) Time flies.

Hey, look. It's my blog!
I spend the whole afternoon and evening here.
Love my little home office!

5:00: I wonder if I ever peed today. I take a bathroom break.

5:30: I do my nightly worryiing about dinner. Should I make something? Will anyone eat it if I do? Oh, I remember we have tons of leftovers from Sunday dinner. Whew! That's taken care of! I get off the computer anyway and take a break by cleaning up the kitchen and doing dishes.

I deem this kitchen CLEAN! :)
6:00: Everyone else (husband and son) comes home from work. I ask my husband about buying a domain name. We look at the computer and the options for nearly an hour.

6:45: College son needs help with his French presentation on Flaubert and Zola. We work on that together. Outside, there's a thunderstorm! Wow! I love it! I open all the windows.

7:30: Son deems us done with the French homework. I decided to do some more Bloggiesta stuff.

8:30: Wow, I'm hungry! I fix myself leftovers. I putter around the house.

9:00: Back at the computer, I start writing my advice blog post. I'm not quite done when...

9:30: Married son and wife show up after their work. They hang out for awhile, we talk.

10:00: They head home and I finish and schedule my post. I'm tired. I'm sick of the computer.

10:15: I get ready for bed, lay down and READ!

11:50: My eyes won't stay open any longer. I turn off the lights.

12:30: I think I finally go to sleep.

And there you have it. A very typical and boring day, especially for Mon, Tues and Fri... the days I work. Wed and Thurs are crazy because I try to fit in too many things!

I can't wait to see what your days are all like!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E15 Try (Spoilers!)

I thought there would be much more Noah mourning in this episode, but instead, everyone just goes crazy.

** Carl goes outside the walls just to run with Enid. They kill a few walkers and then hide in a tree. Sparks are flying. But Carl is crazy for just running in the woods with the walkers!

Hiding in three.
Dang this kid has turned out cute!

** Sasha sits up in the tower night and day, shooting walkers. Well, I guess she comes out to the woods now and then and shoots there too. Just shooting and shooting and shooting. Totally crazy!

** Deanna listens to Nine Inch Nails (no I didn't know that at the time but learned it later... and no wonder I wasn't much into that music!) to remember her son. Want to hear it? Click here!

** Michonne seems unsure about the whole being a cop thing, but she seems to be the only one still thinking clearly.

** Daryl and Aaron are going crazy because they are finding evidence of something really creepy happening beyond the walls that has nothing to do with the walkers.

Daryl and Aaron
A strange pair.

** And then there's Rick. So, he's ready to kill Pete. He comes onto Jesse trying to make her admit she needs his help. She finally says yes. Then Pete himself walks in. They start fighting each other. Rick knocks him out and then has a fit about I can't even remember now what all he was screaming! But it was very much crazy Rick! And then Michonne just walked up to him and knocked him out. BAM!
If that's not Crazy Rick I don't know what is!
The only Noah thing that happened was when Glenn confronted Nicholas and told him... never never go outside the walls again. NEVER. Nicolas says, are you threatening me? And Glenn says, no, I'm saving your life. Did I say I loved Glenn? Yeah.

So, compared to last week, this was a very tame episode. But we have one more and I'm guessing it's not going to be tame at all.

What did you think?

Getting to Know You: Dessert!

We're talking about favorite desserts today over at Jenni Elyse's blog! I did another collage and figured that there's really no explanation necessary. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Book: Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Genre: NA Romance
Rating:★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
For: Fun
From: the library

Short Synopsis: Lucy and her friend have been backpacking through Europe for a few weeks. When they come to Italy and her friend moans about getting a "room with a view" they end up kicking a couple of guys out of their room. Well, Lucy hooks up with one of them. . .Jesse! And has a whirlwind Italian romance! Her very own Roman Holiday. But then she has to go back home and start college, which her dad is forcing her to do. She loses track of Jesse and just when she thinks she has got her life all together, sort of,  he shows up on her doorstep.

My Response: Ah, it was lacking so much for me! I enjoyed the fact that it is set (some of it anyway) in Florence and Rome, which is cool, but other than that, I didn't take to it. I remembered her other books were re-tellings of classics, so I thought it would be fun to see which one this was. I had no clue through the whole thing and finally had to look it up somewhere. (I gave a very obvious clue up above!) But, it was lacking emotion. Like the romance was just. . .bam. With no emotion at all. I just did not connect. Maybe it was not a good book to read right after The Winner's Crime. Yeah. That was probably it.

Bottom Line: I suggest you skip this one. Sadly

Let's Talk About: Reading not so good books after really awesome books. Life is not fair to some books, you know? Has this happened to you? And your poor books?

Other Reviews:

A fantastic book with a perfect summer romance and the choice between a safe future and following your heart. From YA Book Nerd

I did enjoy the story, but Lucy annoyed me more than once with her immaturity. From Alexia's Books and Such

Vespas, cute boys, gelato, discovering your dreams, living your dreams, it's all in Love, Lucy. From Book Sp(l)ot Reviews

It was sweet, uncomplicated and relatable, especially as Lucy struggles to choose between a new love interest and the wild Jesse. From Write Meg

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Best Blogging Advice: Have Fun and Be Yourself!

As part of Bloggiesta week this time around, we thought it would be fun to have a linky going where everyone could link up a post they've written about the best blogging advice they have to share. Either something you've been told, something you tell everyone, or something you've found works for you. We'd love for you all to join us!

Please go here to the Bloggiesta page to link up and then click around to see the advice others are sharing today and throughout the rest of this week!

As for my advice, the thing that I say over and over and over again to new bloggers:


Everyone thinks... should I do this, or that or the other? Should I write only reviews? Should I participate in memes? Should do personal posts? Should I try to be funny? What if I'm too serious? What if I don't post everyday? What if I go weeks without posting? Maybe I don't like this or that or the other. Then what should I do?

Or.. maybe I have blog that says right in the title that it's all about books. But I really like music too. And movies. And writing. And The Walking Dead. Maybe I want to talk about "A Day in My Life" and share pictures and blather on and on about , I don't know, Josh Groban or something.

You know? Maybe that!

So, does that mean I stress about it?

No, I just do what I want, when I want, how I want, and have fun with it! No stress allowed.

And if I do get down, I can talk to people about it and vent a little maybe and share and find out that everyone stresses and that it's okay.

And then just keep having fun.

So I'll add to my advice:


What's your best blogging advice? Link up over at Bloggiesta!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review Discussion: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA Fantasy- ish
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Fun
From: bought at Amazon

Short Synopsis: (Spoilers for first book The Winner's Curse!) This book starts up shortly after we left off the first book. Kestrel is stationed in the palace of the emperor and is expected to marry his son. To celebrate the engagement, everyone is invited to party. Guess who shows up? Arin, yep. And they are both hurting and Arin is not sure what's going on with Kestrel, but whatever it is, he knows something is up and he's determined to get it out of her. She is determined to never tell him the truth. Meanwhile, she starts spying for his country (by way of his assistant guy) and you know, maybe that's not such a smart idea Kestrel! Oh, and bad stuff happens with her dad. And bad stuff happens with other people too. Pretty much this book is all bad stuff.

My Response: It's a painful book, to be sure. But the writing is so beautiful that it almost makes up for all the pain it's putting you through! Arin and Kestrel only have maybe three encounters this whole book and each one just makes things worse! If only Kestrel would tell him what's up! And then when he figures it out on his own, it's one of those situations where you, as a reader, are so anxious for things to work out that you are closing the book to pause for breath. . .often! So basically, it's a great book! The characters are awesome and I'm fascinated with their whole situation. Be warned, the cliff hanger in this the second book is much worse than the one in the first book. Much worse.

Bottom Line: Read this series! Maybe wait until next year and then read all three at the same time!

Let's Talk About: Do you enjoy reading books that are painful? Like your heart is just breaking for what the characters are going through? Or is there a fine line between good heartbreaking emotion and emotion that is just too too much?

Other Reviews:

I can only describe this book in one word: AMAZING!! From Books with Bite

It’s fast-paced, intriguing, and held my interest from start to finish. From Proud Book Nerd

A ton of emotion. And a truly excruciating cliffhanger. I can't believe I have to wait a year for the final book! From YA Romantics

. . .absolutely phenomenal with twists, turns, and so many secrets! Two lovers who have to be apart and pay the ultimate price for the safety of an entire country! From Bewitched Bookworms

But the characters are everything in this series. They're well rounded and full of flaws. And their flaws cause major problems. From Read This Instead

Throughout the entire book there is so much tension and no reprieve. There was no moment to breathe or calm down.  From Kami's Library Thoughts

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge March 2015: Twitter Chat Tutorial

I feel sort of silly volunteering myself to tell you all how to Twitter chat. If you knew me in real life you would really find this hilarious! In a crowd, I'm very quiet. And what's more crowded then Twitter? And Twitter often makes me feel like I'm talking to myself (there are those days of exception were I think... wow! Twitter is the coolest place ever!) but then again there are those times, like during Bloggiesta or when I'm hosting a read along, or when I'm participating in some other event like Bout of Books or ArmchairBEA or the Dewey's Readathon where talking on Twitter is fun and easy! It becomes the hub of everything that's going on.

And then I wonder what we ever did without it!

So many times, though, when I host a chat for Bloggiesta, there are always many new-to-Twitter bloggers or new-to-chatting bloggers who are wondering what they've gotten themselves into!  And if I could peer into the computer I could see their eyes big and huge, glazing over in confusion and pretty soon their hands being thrown up in the air!

So I'd love to explain how I see this all working.

But before we talk about chatting on Twitter, let's talk about hashtags. I'm sure you've all seen this explained other places, but just in case, here's the scoop. A hashtag (or the pound or number key #) is a way for Twitter to filter the things everyone is talking about. They are used many ways. There are some very established ones (#amwriting comes to mind) where people use it to connect with other Twitter users writing/talking/thinking about the same thing. Other times, people make up silly ones, that go viral for a day and wow, you can find some pretty funny things! Let me see what's trending today.... #DitchYourDatein5Words. Hmmm... okay.

Twitter is especially fun during a big event. . . like a few weeks ago during the Oscars. If you clicked on the hashtag #Oscars2015 (or whatever it was I forgot now) then you could see everyone's reaction to what was going down on the TV in real time. It's a blast. (This only works with TV if everyone is watching at the same time. Most of the time we are all on different TV times, so then you have to beware spoilers if you do this!)

So, Twitter chatting is the very same thing, only we set a time where all meet and chat together with the purpose of having actual conversations. Remember:  You have to use the hashtag that's been agreed on (in our case it's #Bloggiesta) or else the people in the chat won't see what you're saying! This is because during the chat we filter everything else that's going on on Twitter so we only see that one hashtag. We do this using various different methods. Some of the most common ways:

  • Twitter itself! You can search for a hashtag and then click on it. Now you'll only see what people using that tag are saying. (Click here and you'll only see stuff about #Bloggiesta.
  • Tweedeck, which is an app where you can create many customized columns to see different things going on on Twitter at the same time
  • Hootsuite is very similar to Tweetdeck in that you set up all sorts of columns with the hashtags you want to follow.
  • Tweetchat.com where you can log in using your Twitter name, plug in a hashtag and then only see that conversation. 
  • Twubs.com, same sort of set up as Tweetchat but seems to have less bugs lately.
I'm sure there are many more, but these are the main ones that I'm familiar with and the ones that I see most people using. I've become a big fan of Twubs for chatting. It's easy, you don't have to set anything up, and it seems to refresh pretty fast, which you need it to do for chats!

The cool thing about these (except for using Twitter itself and now I think bout it, it actually might do this too!) is that they will plug in the hashtag for you, for the particular chat you are in at the time. Which is great because remember what I said about forgetting the hashtag? If you do, we won't see you!!! And it's a pain to type that over and over especially because the chats move so so fast, you can barely keep up with them as it is. 

Another thing most official chats are doing these days is using the Q and A format. The person hosting will ask a question using Q1 and Q2 and so on. This helps the question to stand out in all the stuff that's going on. Then everyone responds using A1 and A2 and so on. It just helps the chat be somewhat more organized. 

Other than that, there's really nothing to it! You just jump in and talk to people, respond to the questions, reply, retweet and favorite as you desire!

So my Bloggiesta challenge to you is this:
  • join Twitter! If you've been on the fence about this move, just do it. Do it now! And then come and chat with us.
  • if you've never participated in a chat, now's your chance. We have SEVEN Bloggiesta chats happening this week! SEVEN! Try it, you'll like!
  • if you have chatted before, but haven't used one of the above platforms, pick one and give it a shot. Let me know what you think!
  • if you are expert at chatting, then be sure to join us for as many chats this week as you can to help us keep the convo going. Also, you can volunteer to host one for next time!
  • comment here with your experiences with any of these challenges. If you're feeling shy on Twitter, let me know. I'll follow you and talk you through things!
Here's the Twitter chat schedule for the upcoming week. We have themed days planned, but of course, we'll pretty much talk about anything:

  • Monday March 23rd at 4:00 p.m. Eastern: PEOPLE: Giving and Getting Comments and Followers
  • Tuesday March 24th 7 p.m. Eastern: E-PRESENCE: Social Media Savvy
  • Wednesday March 25th at 12 p.m. noon Eastern:DISPLAY: Side Bars and Page Layout
  • Thursday March 26th at 9 p.m. Eastern: REVIEWS and Other Content Ideas (guest hosted by Jessica from The Bluestocking Society)
  • Friday March 27th at 9 p.m. Eastern: ORGANIZE: No Stress Allowed (guest hosted by Amanda from On a Book Bender)
  • Saturday March 28th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern: Books and Reading (guest hosted by Rachel Noel from Purple Owl Reviews)
  • Sunday March 29th at 3 p.m. Eastern: Feedback and Free for All

Also, I thought it would be fun to list past challenges on Twitter, especially if you are thinking about taking the plunge and joining it for the first time. 
And while this is not a past Bloggiesta challenge, it's another tutorial from Buffer Social about chatting on Twitter that you might find helpful (thanks to Amanda for the heads up on this one!).

Have fun and see you at the chats!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Book: Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Genre: MG
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Book Club
From: It was a Christmas present

Short Synopsis: August was born with a facial deformity. Up until fifth grade, his parents have home schooled him. Now, he's about to start normal school for the first time. This is the story how that all goes down as told from not only Auggie, but others around him like his new friends, his sister, and others.

My Response: Awesome. I really don't know what else to say! I thought it was very true to how things might be, how his parents were pained and conflicted, how his sister is loving but resentful, how the friends are wanting to do the right thing, but still scared. It was eye opening in many ways too... the thing about how we tend to forget that people who may look different are really the same and "normal" inside. How no matter how hard we try to act normal around them, they can sense all the strangeness we're feeling. How it takes courage to be the one going through it and to be the one being their friend.

Bottom Line: I loved it and think everyone, especially kids, should read it. I'm sad it took me so long to finally get to this one.

Let's Talk About: We discussed this one at book club last night and I was surprised that about half of us were just "eh it was okay" about this book. Have you read it? What did you think? Eh okay? Or it was awesome! Do you think books like this. . . books that have the desire to make us aware of something. . . are too preachy and agenda-y? Or does that even matter as long as the book is good?

Other Reviews:

I cried all different kinds of tears. Sad ones, happy ones, shocked ones, confused ones, mad ones, etc. I felt every emotion while reading this book. From Jenni Elyse

. . .just don't go in with high expectations and a tissue box. If you're anything like me you won't need it. From Alternate Readality

It is one of those rare touching books of such high impact and quality that I would recommend it to everyone – from middle school age to adults. From At Home With Books

Instead, Wonder is a realistic story, filled with the day-to-day suspense of middle school. And it's also a story full of heart that inspires readers to "Choose Kind". And that's a wonderful thing. From Jen Robinson's Book Page

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Getting to Know You: Music Composers

It's another instalment of Getting to Know You over at Jenni Elyse's! Write a post and link up. I'd love to get to know you all better!

Today we're talking about composers. Yeah. I have a lot of favorites. Again. Here's my list with just a few favorites:

Alive Composers

1. Hans Zimmer: I love every single thing he writes, but if had to pick one, I'd say Batman Begins soundtrack.

2. John Williams: Ditto for this guy. I discovered him when I was 12 and Star Wars came out!

3.  Ramin Djawadi: This guy is young and new and learned from the above mentioned guys. I discovered him when I fell in love with music from Prison Break. He's currently famous for Game of Thrones. I found this lovely video that highlights him... and it looks like he had a lot to do with helping on Batman Begins. Yeah. This guy. Keep your eyes on him!

4 . Thomas Bergersen: I wish this guy would become more well known. His stuff is epic! I've recently discovered him and cannot stop listening!

5. David Arkenstone: Another guy I've recently discovered and can't get enough of! Such soothing stuff. You need to calm down and chill? Listen to his stuff!

6. Chip Davis: I couldn't leave him off! Love love love this guy and his group Mannheim Steamroller! I can't do Christmas without him.

There's a ton more that I love, but I have to stop so I can tell you about the. . .

Dead Composers

1. Mozart: Can you think of anyone better than him? I doubt it.

2. Tchaikovsky: powerful music. I love every piece. But especially this one.

3. Dvorak: You know the Jaws theme? This guy started it! This song sounds much like Star Wars Throne Room too. Hmm, I wonder who John Williams loved? :)

4. And of course, Beethoven!  But I always want to it turn to into this song from the very first album I ever had...Saturday Night Fever. LOL!

And a bonus:

Kurt Bestor of course! He lives in my neighborhood (ish) and he's awesome!

Yeah, it's another subject I could go on and on about. I love music.

Do agree with my choices? Did you discover some new ones to love? Who would be on your list? Make post and go link up at Jenni's!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bloggiesta To Do List: March 2015

Here we go again!

Bloggiesta is coming up. You should totally join the fun! Sign up and get all the details here. We'll all be doing our blogging business together for a whole week... March 23 to March 29.

Here's what I hope to accomplish during the event:

  • clean up email
  • pin reviews
  • update archive lists
  • fix my social media icons
  • reassess what labels are shown on my side bar
  • add/create a writing page menu bar
  • buy a domain name 
  • host a bunch of Twitter chats
  • comment on lots of blogs
  • do a couple of mini challenges
  • update all pages on my menu bar
  • write some posts/reviews
That's probably about all I can handle. Here's hoping I can manage even a few of them!

What's on your list? Write a post and link up over at Bloggiesta! We need you to join us!

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E14 Spend (Spoilers!)

So this picture pretty much sums up this whole episode. The look in his eyes! Oh my word, but he nails it here!

That creepy feeling from the past two weeks stayed with us for the whole beginning of this episode. We all felt in our guts that something terrible was about to go down. And then it did, and it was awful. I would say pretty much the most awful episode to date. Worse than Hershel, worse than "look at the flowers", worse then Lori, worse than Terminus, maybe even worse than Beth. I don't know. It was bad.

It all started when the power went down and a group of our guys with two of the guys from Alexandria, plus Tara all went to find a piece of equipment that they needed to fix it. There were walkers in the warehouse and one of them had some sort of explosives on him. (Was it a security guard turned zombie? I don't know.) Anyway, when Aiden shot him, he exploded. Aiden and Tara were hurt bad. They thought Aiden was killed, but no, he was still alive! So, Glen being Glen, had to go back after him.  They left Eugene with unconscious Tara and hoped for the best. Well, they couldn't move Aiden so they had to leave him for the zombies. Ah, that was bad enough right there. They showed everything and I was freaking out.

But then... BUT THEN... our guys (Glen and Noah) and the other dude Nicolas try to escape out the front of the building through the revolving doors. Of course, all the zombies come and they are stuck. So stuck! Each one of them in a separate section of the door. Meanwhile, Eugene sucks it up and hefts Tara on his shoulder and he's made it out to the van somehow, shooting  walkers the whole way. Eugene? Wow! And when he sees the situation the others are in in, he saves the day by distracting the zombies away.  Most of them, but not all of them of course. But then, they still can't get out. I'm not exactly sure what happened, it was so confusing to follow, besides which I was screaming the whole time in massive anxiety! But basically, that Nicolas dude slipped out of his section (barely I thought he was going to lose his arm) which caused the few remaining zombies to be able to get into Noah's section.

I have no idea what happened next because I was literally covering my hands with my eyes and screaming NO NO NO NO!!!! Gah, I get weepy again just thinking about it. Yes, I know! It's just a show!!! It's not REAL! But still. It was sweet Noah! And poor Glen couldn't DO ANYTHING! He just had to sit there and watch Noah get ripped to shreds right in front of his face. I closed my eyes. I didn't watch, but my son, who was watching with me was "oh my goshing" just as loud as I was and kept saying "they are showing EVERYTHING!"

Well, so that was the end of Noah. Glen got out. I have no idea how. And then they were at the van, but Nicholas threw Eugene out and started to drive off without them. But then Glen came up  and grabbed him and threw him out and knocked him out. Yeah Glen! But then, He stood there for a minute and then said to Eugene, get him in. Yeah. Glen. I love him. But, yeah.

Meanwhile. Carol learns there's abuse going on at the house of Jessie. And now she can't be mean anymore to that boy Sam who wants cookies. She tells Rick and says, "We gotta kill him." Meaning Jessie's husband.

Oh, and then there was Abraham who risked his life to save some girl who I don't even know, from this new community, while all her people were about to abandon her!

AND THEN. Gabriel. While all this is going down, while Abraham risked his life for that girl, while Noah and Glen risked their lives for Aiden, while Nicholas sacrificed Noah, while Glen says, "Get him in" and doesn't leave Nicholas for the zombies, while Carol and Rick learn about Sam.... while ALL THAT IS HAPPENING, Gabriel is telling Deanna that this group is bad. They do bad things. They are the devil disguised in light. WHAT THE (insert swear here) !!!!

Well, so Maggie is hearing all that and I really hope that means that maybe, just maybe, she can diffuse that situation, but you know. I have a feeling that it's not going to be good.

So. I was so shaken up and worked up by that episode that it took me a good few hours to calm down and sleep! (It doesn't help that we get Walking Dead on our channel at 10 pm at night!)

Sheesh. And hopefully letting it all out here will be cathartic too! Wow. A gold star for anyone who read this whole crazy post!

Two more episodes and then we are done for the summer.

And so, what did you think of this one? Where you screaming and closing your eyes? Or did you calmly watch it all? Were you as attached to Noah as I was? Maybe you weren't and didn't care about him? Maybe you were just glad it wasn't Glen.

Oh P.S. Once upon a time when I was a kid, me and my six (at the time) younger siblings got stuck in a revolving door. We pushed and pushed and pushed until the whole thing crackled and rained down all over us! We were covered in tiny particles of glass! I don't know, but that door in that episode must have been a whole lot stronger than the door we broke!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

The Broke and the Bookish is asking us to list the top ten books on our spring TBR today! My post will be easy I want to read these new books! It's the same picture I posted the other day:

Guardians by Heather Frost
(actually I have to read Demons first. Sigh.)
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer Nielsen
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Plus, I want to read these library books! (Although a non library book snuck into this picture too.)

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
Remake by Ilima Todd
Dead Zone by Robison Wells
Love, Lucy by April Lindner

And whatdaya know! That's ten! I'm already working on it. Half way done with The Winner's Crime. It's killing me!

What's on your list?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Eight Years to Me

Eight years ago I finally acted on something I'd thought about for a long long time and I sat down and created a book blog. And what a ride it's been since! So many things have been part of my life because I hit that publish button! It's big enough that I can't really imagine what I'd be doing right now if I had decided against hitting that button. It's a weird thing to think about.

So, I wanted to highlight some of the firsts for this blog, but then I remembered that I did that already for my five year celebration. You can click here if you are interested in that list. Very fun! Not a whole ton as happened since then. Just more awesome author events, more awesome connections with bloggers, great read along experiences, the start of my own adventure in writing, and Bloggiesta still going strong three years later!

All I know, I'm happy to still be here! It's not over yet!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Random Time!


** This week I was featured on my library's blog! Awhile back they asked all the staff to list ten things they love that can be found at the library. So I thought back to some of my favorite library checkout experiences and came up with a pretty eclectic list. That list showed up on the blog this past week and I KNOW you all want to go see what I came up with!  Maybe you can even guess a few of them before you click over there.

** We seem to have acquired some new books these past two weeks. I want to read them all really bad. Imagine that.

** Kyle Chandler was featured in my Entertainment Weekly magazine today! That makes me so happy! I guess he's going to be in a new show. Cool.

** Well, so guess who's coming out with a new album in April? All Broadway show tune covers! I love it! I can't wait!

 ** I desperately need to do something with my hair. So I made an appointment finally. Then the next day my hair person texted back to say she'd broken her knuckle and could we reschedule for two weeks from now. This is the definition of going crazy!!!

** So it's official. We are going on a European vacation again this summer. SWEET! And scary. Travel is the best but it also seems to cause a lot of anxiety, you know? Anyway, my son is going to Nice France for study abroad and when he's done, we plan to meet up with him and then travel around seeing Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy. (The half we missed last time around!) So, if you've been and you have "must not miss" suggestions, I'm all ears.

My great grandpa immigrated from Wimmis Switzerland.
I can't wait to make the pilgrimage to see this village!

** I decided this week that I like Fallout Boy. Hmmm. Who knew?

Wow. That drummer.

** One night this week I didn't get to sleep until four, the next night I woke up at four and couldn't go back to sleep. Don't you love it when that happens. My brain just needs to chill out already.

** Okay, I really want to read for a bit, so. BYE!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Getting to Know You: Favorite TV Shows

Oh man. I don't know if I can narrow this one down!

But first, my thoughts on TV in general. I used to try to NOT watch TV. It was like an actual effort. Then one day I thought, why am I trying to avoid it? Is it a bad thing? Does it make me not get other things done? What's so wrong with TV anyway?

And then I thought I'd try a new thing and watch what I wanted to without having to justify it and/or my time or whatever. It was then I realized that TV is sort of like reading in that you get immersed in a story and fall in love with characters. So if I could enjoy reading, why could I not enjoy TV. Know what I mean?

So I think of both as a means to telling a story. Since reaching that conclusion, I've enjoyed TV watching with the same sort of passion as I enjoy reading. And it makes me happy. (And now that I'm writing more, I find TV shows helps a lot in learning about character development!)

Which is all a long way to say, I'm not ashamed that I like a lot of TV shows!

Current favorites:

Amazing Race (fun to travel the world with this show)
Survivor (I just keep finding the social dynamic of this show compelling)
The Walking Dead (the characters are fascinating)
Arrow (it's just pure and totally cool, this show!)
Downton Abbey (though it just ended again)
Sherlock (though it's hardly ever on!)

Lapsed Favorites (Shows I watched but have gotten way behind on!)

Once Upon a Time (I got bored, sadly.)
Sleepy Hollow (too much crime solving, I just want Ichabod and that's it)
Reign (couldn't keep up, though I loved it)
Vampire Diaries (I've pretty much lost interest in this though I'm curious enough I may just binge watch when the current season goes to Netflix)

Past Favorites (going pretty far back in time here!)

Friday Night Lights (drama filled and intense!)
Parenthood (same as above)
Moonlight (fell in love with Alex what's his name)
Pushing Daises (fell in love with Lee Pace. This show is my kind of funny.)
American Idol (I loved this one but haven't watched for the past couple of seasons)
Heroes (loved those first two season, and then...)
Star Trek: New Generation and Voyager versions (lovely memories)
Early Edition (fell in love with Kyle Chandler)

Favorites I Enjoyed Solely on Netflix (or DVD) After the Fact

Prison Break (probably my most favorite TV watching experiences ever!)
Robin Hood (awesome twist on a favorite tale)
Merlin (same as above)
Gilmore Girls (my kind of funny!)
The 100 (just watched the first season and am very intrigued)
Dr. Who (I know there's a current season, but I've only ever watched on Netflix!)
Hell on Wheels (great time period)
Firefly (best scifi show ever!)

Shows I WANT to Add to the Line Up

Supernatural (I feel like I'm missing so much not knowing this show or these guys!)
The Originals (if only to watch Daniel Gillies)

Do you see a trend? I tend to enjoy drama filled, angst ridden, fantasy/paranormal/scifi, medieval character driven shows. I'm not at all into sit coms or crime shows. Solving mysteries bores me (though Pushing Daisies was along these lines, it was so so different! and Sherlock? well, what can I say? It's Sherlock!) and laugh tracks irritate the crap out of me.

Given all this, what shows should I be watching that are NOT on my line up?

Want to share your favorites? Link up over at Jenni Elyse's blog today!


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