April 22, 2015

A List of Random Questions {and Answers!}

The lovely Emma tagged me for this and I thought I'd give it a go! (Naomi started the fun, so be sure to check out both of their blogs. These ladies are fab. :)
The Rules:
  • Paste the button onto your blog post.
  • Leave a new list of questions (or just pass on the question list you answered) and tag a few people of your random choice (and say why you tagged them, if you have time!) (Be original and nonsensical in your question-creativity - make the blogging world a cheerful place :-) And be disastrously random.)
  • Write down three facts about you - one of them is WRONG. Let your commenters guess in the comments which one is wrong (and tell them in the comments after a while)
  • Answer the questions of the person who tagged you - make it all super random and interesting.
So let's see, three random facts and one of them is wrong......

1 - I love Spring.
2 - The color yellow make me happy.
3 - Running for pleasure is a favorite way to spend time.

And now for the questions!

What was the last blog you visited?

Naomi's actually. To see what her answers for this tag were.

What is one of your favorite movie soundtracks to listen to?

I could name several, but I'll go with Return to Me. I especially enjoy this particular song. But the whole soundtrack is full of all these old songs and it just makes me happy! :)

What's the absolute weirdest movie you've ever seen?

Half Baked - Maybe not so much weird as just plain dumb. What can I say? I was young and my friends wanted to see it, so we did.

What are the first flowers to bloom in the spring where you live?

I don't know if they're the very first to bloom, but they are the first ones that I noticed this year. Daffodils! Gloriously yellow daffodils.

What is the longest book you've ever read?

I just started Yankee Stranger and it's 306 pages. Also getting ready to start Dune and it's 604 pages!!!! (I had to look that up on Goodreads. As for ones that I've finished already, I have no idea.)

Are you on Goodreads?

I am indeed. Come by and be my friend, if we're not already. :)

Have you ever been in a musical production before?

Yes! I was part of the extras in the crowd scenes and musical numbers for Anything Goes in high school.

Is your mailbox on the same side of the street as your house, or do you have to cross the street to get to it?

On the same side of the street and I much prefer it that way. At my parent's house, I had to wait for traffic and they live on a very busy road. I disliked having barely enough space to stand off the road so the cars wouldn't hit me. (You try standing mere feet from cars going at least 50 miles an hour! Too close for my comfort.)

Do you subscribe to any magazines?

No. I tried a few years ago, but they piled up unread, so I gave it up. Too many good books distract me! ;)

Would you ever consider dying your hair?

Nope. I rather like my hair color just the way it is.

Is there a particular actress you think you look like?

Can't think of a single one.

Do you decorate your bedroom with pictures of period dramas?

No, I don't. I just enjoy watching them again and again and again. (And again. :)

So I think I'm going to take the easy way out and not tag anybody in particular. But if anyone wants to join in, then feel free! And just use the questions above. (I know. I'm kind of lazy that way today. Sorry.) Thank you, Emma, for the tag! It's kind of fun to write random posts now and again. :)

April 15, 2015

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

First of all, can I just say that this series has the best covers?! So pretty! And second of all, the story inside is just as enjoyable. A mix of romance, scifi, and mystery, it makes for a compelling read. It's not perfect, but you'll be having too much fun to care. :)

It's a quiet story. Tarver and Lilac spend the majority of the book all alone on an unknown planet. But what it lacks in action, it makes up for in all the mysterious happenings that keep cropping up. So many details intrigued me and even while I speculated on what the answers were, there was a twist near the end that was completely unexpected. In a good way! And the conversations or transcripts that happen before each chapter give little glimpses of the future, but only enough to make you keep turning pages. I rather enjoyed that aspect of the story!

Of course, I loved the build up of the romance. Tarver and Lilac have great chemistry together. And their journey from frustration and irritation with one another to being unable to deny their love was well done. It does move a little fast on a few occasions, but overall I could believe that their feelings were real. And I appreciated how they grew to respect one another and become friends first, before their hearts got truly involved.

The setting and atmosphere of the novel was lovely! The descriptions of the spaceship and more so the planet they crash on are vivid. Ms. Spooner and Ms. Kaufman gave just enough detail to allow me to picture it in my mind, yet didn't go overboard with it. Which is important with a story that's set somewhere that doesn't actually exist. And like Tarver and Lilac, I grew to rather like the planet, even with it's mysteries.

This was an excellent story in my opinion. It kept me unable to put it down and I read it late into the night. Always a good thing! (Except maybe when I have to get up the next morning. ;)

I've been walking ten minutes or so when I hear her. Not right behind me, where I'm expecting her to be by now. She must have stayed in the clearing, or even walked away from me, because she's something like half a klick back.
She's screaming.
I'm sprinting before I know I'm moving, grab bag banging against my back, Gleidel hauled out of my holster and fitting into my hand without any conscious decision to draw it. You develop instincts. Like my drill sergeant used to say: Learn fast, or don't.
Branches whip my face and tear at my clothes as I crash through the undergrowth, churning up mud along the edge of the creek as I choose speed over caution.
I burst into the clearing without any pretense of stealth.

April 8, 2015

9 Clues I'm a(n Obessive) Reader

As if y'all weren't aware already, right?? But as I thought about it, I realized that I do tend to be a bit obsessive about books. I mean, to the point that all my real life people have noticed. Seems I can't keep it hidden! (Not that I want to, clearly.) I just figure maybe if I make a list of my quirks, then should anyone I'm meeting for the first time wonder what's up, I can simply direct them to this post! Ingenious plan, yes? (I thought so too.)

Why only nine, you may be asking? Because I couldn't think of number ten. (I'll probably think of it after I've already posted this and be too lazy to edit it.) Plus these sorts of lists are always ten things, so why not be different?! :D

1 - I've got stories in my head! And no, not the kind I'm writing, unfortunately. All I've got of that sort is just the dream of writing, but no actual story (and that dream is currently very vague and glitter-covered). This is the sort where it seems just about everything I see reminds me of a story.
  • See the last name "Musgrove" on a paper at work and think of Jane Austen. Check.
  • Find out there exists an actual John Watson somewhere in my home state and wonder if he might be a doctor and/or blogger. Check.
  • See "DMK" on a license plate and assume that person loves Dear Mr. Knightley too! Check.
  • First thoughts upon waking to a snow-day-off from work are "Which book should I read first?". Check.
  • Pass by a sign that advertises "MacNeil Machinery" and wonder if Dr. MacNeil has changed occupations. Check.
2 - Bringing up books, authors, reading, and/or writing in every day convos. A lot. (Or I think it, even if I don't say it. Cause, you know, I don't want to be annoying about it.) (Or obvious.) (HA!)

3 - When I have plans in the evening and hope it won't go too late because I've got to have time to get home and read for an hour (or three) before I go to bed. (True story!)

4 - Midnight (or later) is now an acceptable bedtime. (See clue #3.) (Why yes. I am a night owl, why do you ask?)

5 - My bookshelves (and kindle!) are overflowing with books and I keep buying more. (On sale, of course. Because I don't want to go in debt over book-buying. That'd just be crazy.)
This is but ONE of my bookshelves.
6 - Owning FOUR copies of Persuasion. (Just recently bought #4 and it's so pretty! Totally a reasonable thing to do.)

7 - Reorganizing my bookshelves, which shouldn't take but an hour or so, turns into skimming through all my old favorites and five hours later...

8 - Borrowing a stack of books from the library and taking some back unread because I got "distracted" with other stories. (Also late fees. Because I needed "just one more day" to finish.)

9 - Deciding what to read next can be really, really hard.

Yep! I'm (only slightly) obsessive about reading. And I wouldn't have it any other way! How about you? :)

April 7, 2015

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Eleven

I am so terribly behind on getting my reviews up! So instead of bunches of separate reviews, I figured it was time for another bite-sized review post. Yay and all that jazz, right? :) I’ve been reading quite a bit in the last couple months and definitely been enjoying some great stories.

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden
The synopsis for this one convinced me to read it. The heroine, Anna, works at the Library of Congress, how awesome is that?! Getting a behind-the-scenes look at life at the Library in the late 1890s utterly fascinated me. For instance, I had no idea that map librarians even existed, or that they assisted members of congress. Add in a handsome congressman who has great chemistry with Anna and this book instantly became a keeper! I loved Anna. She's so quiet and bookish, which I could totally relate to. Also, Anna and Luke both have to grow and learn during the story and watching them banter with and frustrate each other, as well as slowly fall in love is fun. Reading this one reminded me why I enjoyed Ms. Camden’s older books, so now I’m anxious to read her other more recent stories!

One Among Men by Connie Almony
After reading a great review from a fellow blogger (thanks Amber! :), I decided to try this one and proceeded to devour it all in one sitting! It has officially become a new favorite. I particularly enjoyed how real and true to life it felt. Sam struggled with her insecurities and doubts, yet never let them overtake her completely. So many of the other characters were much the same, especially Chris. The slow peeling back of each of their layers was well done, proving that there was so much more to them than any initial impression. Ms. Almony also didn’t hesitate to cover a variety of serious subjects, but always in a careful and respectful manner. The emotions of Sam and Chris constantly flowed through their every action and watching the two of them together? Ah my heart. I loved their slow and sweet romance! I was also impressed with how Sam consistently stayed true to her beliefs and how everyone around her came to admire that. A little suspenseful, a little romantic, and a lot engrossing, this is one story well worth reading! It’s part of a series, but have no fear of dreadful cliffhangers. Just watch out for anxiousness for the next installment!


Lost and Found by Karey White
This is such a sweet romance! Lydia and Blake are adorable together and watching the two of them encourage one another, yet be willing to call the other out on inconsistencies made them feel like real people. They’re both a little lost at the beginning of the story and it takes an impulsive adventure to search out a mysterious box to help them figure out where they want their lives to go.  A fun, quick read that kept me grinning! It’s definitely one I’ll reread when I’m in need of a little delightfulness to sweep me away for an hour or two.

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd
Ms. Ladd has quickly become a favorite writer of mine! Her ability to write stories that keep me swept up in the mysteries and eagerly turning pages, while making me swoon with the romance is fabulous. I’ve always enjoyed regency stories, but she's given me a new appreciation for fine writing in that genre. Cecily and Nathaniel have so much learning to do and I appreciated that, while their slow romance was sweet, the focus of the story was mostly on them seeking answers to their individual questions and growing into who they’re meant to be. And once they reach that point, only then can they truly accept one another and love each other fully. With many secrets abounding, a few despicable villains, romantic tensions, and a fascinating time period, this is a beautiful story you should absolutely add to your to-read list!

Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade
*happy sigh* This is such a delightful story! I have no earthly idea why I waited so long to read it, but I could shake myself. Because once I started it, I very quickly was hooked in and unable to stop reading until the very last page! Celia and Ty have such awesome chemistry and watching them attempt to deny the inevitable is too cute. Seriously, I could NOT stop grinning while reading this. Those two are so entirely stubborn! Of course, it’s perfectly understandable from Celia’s point of view, broken trust is hard to rebuild. And Ty? He was a bit frustrating for a good portion of the first half of the story, but once he finally got his head on straight, oh my! I don’t know how Celia was able to resist him for so long! ;) I hadn’t read one of Ms. Wade’s books for a while and had forgotten how utterly engrossing they are. And just how good she is at writing a swoony romance! This is one book that I am very happy that I have on my shelf and I know it’ll get lots of rereading. If you haven’t read it yet, stop being a goober and go read it now! :D


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