Pardon my absence…

I’ve always said that I don’t really believe in apologizing for absences from social media, and I really don’t. So this isn’t an apology as much as it is a reason, as well as an excuse to share with you my BABIES!! Okay, not really babies but even better….PUPPIES

Today I am straying away from the bookish to share with you what has been a big part of my life since the holidays: my family’s puppy endeavor! The last three dogs we have had, my parents have talked about trying to have a litter of puppies. A golden retriever, a miniature schnauzer, and now with the second golden retriever, we’ve finally stepped up and taken the jump. Our baby has had babies!

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Of course she isn’t a baby any more, but your dog will always be your baby. Ellie has been such a champ going through this whole process. We did a lot of research going into this event and from what we read, some mamas can be very territorial of their pups, not letting their humans near in the beginning and not wanting to leave the area much. Ellie, however, is a perfect mix of taking care of the littles when she needs to and letting them get their rest and having her own (and her owner’s) self-care. She needs her own space and cool off period (the room where the puppies are has to be a consistent 82-degrees F! It gets pretty warm!).

Right now, the puppies are 3 weeks old. There are 6 adorable, purebred golden retriever pups–5 boys and 1 little girl.

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This little guy we’ve been calling ‘Rizzo’ after our favorite Chicago Cub

At 3 weeks, they are just starting to open their eyes and their hearing is just developing. They are also just starting to walk, which is honestly the funniest thing. I never really thought about dogs figuring out how to walk, but some of them use their two front legs and drag their back legs–kind of salamander-ish. A couple of them can get up on all fours for about 5 or 6 steps and then just flop down in a little puppy pile. Mostly they just sort of climb all over each other to get from point A to point B and its just adorable. And of course, I can’t forget to mention (as you can see from this picture) that right now, their tiny nails and tiny teeth are incredibly sharp!

image4Obviously, I am loving these little cherubs grow and change, and as my dad keeps saying “Its amazing, the instincts that Mother Nature has instilled in them.” And he’s not just talking about the babies, but mama pup too. She had her litter and pretty much knew what to do! Life is so messy (and smelly and gross) but so sweet and so beautiful. I hope you can all take some time to enjoy it today.

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Tag Tuesday: The Television Tag

What day is it? TAG TUESDAY!!! So this week I’m taking a break from the bookish and substituting for the tube for a week! I don’t always watch very much but I was tagged by Fictionally Sam so I have to answer the call!

tumblr_n04dqqnz261tp2pppo1_5001. Favorite show – Off the top of my head, gut reaction, first thing that comes to mind when you ask me this question, I would say that my favorite show of all time is House M.D.

2. Favorite genre – I like medical dramas, crime thrillers, comedy, historical stuffs, DIY….a pretty good variety just so long as I deem it good entertainment.

3. Least favorite show – The Curse of Oak Island (my husband watches this religiously). Also South Park and Archer.

4. Most re-watched show/favorite show to binge – House, Grey’s Anatomy, Family Guy, Friends, Criminal Minds, Mind Hunter.

f58bb36bf30f7b0dad030400d7dae36c5. Do you prefer to watch things week-to-week or binge watch? Binge, duh! I don’t mind comedy sitcoms on a week-to-week basis but dramas and thrillers are pretty much meant to be binged, amiright?

6. Favorite television characters? House, Jon Snow, Dennarys, Derek Morgan, Derek Shepard (the name Derek…I think I’m seeing a trend, eh?), Sherlock, Dr. Brennan/Bones

7. Favorite TV ships? Derek + Garcia (Criminal Minds), McDreamy + Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy), Killian + Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time), Elaina + Damon (The Vampire Diaries)

09eee546e6ce8128fbf829e6933dcc428. Shows you could never get into – CSI, The Office, Firefly, True Blood

9. Shows you fell out of love with – Once Upon a Time, Supernatural (I still love Sam and Dean SO MUCH but the show/storyline just is not what it used to be)

10. Cancelled too soon – Galavant, Smash, Forever

11. Guilty pleasure show – The Vampire Diaries. Riverdale? Maybe Pawn Stars or American Pickers. Ghost Hunters? More of the reality dramas.

12. What are you currently watching? Playing catchup on Outlander, Supernatural and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

13. (I’m adding this Q in because I can’t believe it isn’t here!) Other shows you love or have swooned, laughed, or cried over in the past? The Haunting of Hill House, Hemlock Grove, Gilmore Girls, Are You Afraid of the Dark?,  Boy Meets World, Bones, The X-Files, Game of Thrones, Supernatural

And that’s it my friends. These are my faves and my least faves….at least as they come to me off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m missing some, but its the best I can do. If you’re interested, give it a go yourself. Be sure to tag me so I can see your answers too!

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Blogmas 30: Best Reads of 2018

As I mentioned in my last post, my yearly Goodreads wrap-up reports to me that my average rating of books that I read this year is 3.8 stars. I feel that that’s a relatively good rating. I generally do enjoy most of the books that I read. Looking at my list, though, I gave 18 books 5 stars. 18!!! (compared to 1 book with 1 star). But which do I feel were the “best” for this year? I have to narrow this down. Let’s reflect back….

27833670Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – This is my first pick for a favorite of the year because it is a book that I feel I could read again and still not get every detail out of. Yes, I already know the outcome, but there are so many subtleties to this book. Its like one of those trippy movies that you can watch over and over and still ask yourself “What the hell did I just watch??” Think Inception or a really good episode of Stranger Things. I did have a worry that things in this book might get over technical or too scientific, as the MC is a scientist and professor, but this never happened. Everything is really at just the right amount of science and maybe just crazy enough to work.

36082326-1Every Note Played by Lisa Genova – On a completely different level, there is this book here. I had never heard of this one but I picked it up once the Goodreads nominations for books of the year for 2018 came out and this was in the Best Fiction category. Me and my musical self gravitated to this simply because of the title and the characters being musicians, but at the same time, I’m always skeptical about books with music at the center as well. Its tough not to be a critic, ya know? But the author did an amazing job with the musical aspects and just the human aspects in general. I was blown away just by the fact that Lisa Genova is a brain scientist. Uhhh, seriously? Yeah. And she conducted a lot of interviews with ALS patients and caregivers and just really put heart and soul into this book. I thought it was beautiful.

And that’s it, folks. My top two books for 2018! How about you – what were your top books? Tell me here, or drop me your links to posts that share yours! I’d love your recommendations as always! Any genres! Until next time!

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Blogmas 18: Tag Tuesday – The Christmas Carol Book Tag

Its the last Tuesday before Christmas!!! Well, not including Christmas itself, of course. Time is flying (which, I feel like I say in every single post…but its so true!!). I am looking forward to working through this tag, and I hope you will too!

YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH
Name a villainous character you can’t help but love to hate.

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The Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. He is vile and ruthless, but he is so in love with Alina and would do anything for her. How can you not love that?

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU
What book do you most want to find under your Christmas tree this year?

Colleen Hoover’s latest (which I only learned about recently): Verity. Unlike all of CoHo’s other books, this one is a thriller/suspense novel and everyone who I have seen read it have come away saying something along the lines of “WTF?!” So basically, I MUST READ THIS!

rudolphRUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
Name a favourite character that had to overcome a major obstacle.

Katniss Everdeen is forever one of my favorite characters and I think, by now, pretty much everyone knows her story. The obstacles that girl had to face and the pressure on her shoulders was just enormous. From being sent into the games not once but TWICE, to everything that happened to Peeta, to losing her sister, to then being manipulated into being the Mockingjay and leading an assault into the Capital…yeah, she’s pretty much my hero.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
Which characters do you think are at the top of Santa’s “Naughty” and “Nice” list?

At the top of Santa’s “Naughty” list is the Ministor/Pastor in Christina Dalcher’s Vox. This dude was awful. He truly believed what he preached about women’s true place being at the head of the household, and that they should be seen and not heard. Vox is a dystopian sci-fi book but honestly, I would almost categorize it as horror because the concepts and just how realistically it was written is just terrifying. On a lighter note, at the top of Santa’s “Nice” list is Jamie Fraser. This man is a saint. I mean, he gives all of himself not just for his wife but for his entire family, for his country, and for the bum on the street, no matter his or her nationality. Definitely at the top of the “Nice” list. We all need to be more like Jamie.

frostyFROSTY THE SNOWMAN
What book just melts your heart?

I’m going to say A Christmas Carol for this one. I think the book is absolutely great. Not only that, but it is tied in my head to the movie versions which are so sentimental and hold such good memories.

FELIZ NAVIDAD
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our favourite book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Uhh, Harry Potter….duh!! 😛

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
What book do you read to get in the Christmas spirit?

I read different books every year, and I sort of have a rotation going. So other than A Christmas Carol, which I already mentioned, I also have Skipping Christmas in my rotation which I really enjoy. That’s the John Grisham book that the movie “Christmas with the Cranks” is based off of. Its really good, if you haven’t read it before!

SLEIGH RIDE
What character would you most want to spend the holidays with?

Christian Gray, baby! *wink*wink*

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BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
What book do you hate so much you would sacrifice it to the fire to stay warm?

Twilight. When I first read the series several years ago, I didn’t think they were too bad. Of course, I was several years younger and I read them post-surgery. Both of those factors must have had much to do with my thinking because when I *tried* to re-read them last year….yeah, I’m ready to throw them into the fire.

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
What book would you recommend to everyone?

The Light We Lost. This book warmed my heart and then broke my heart. So good.

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If you’re in the mood for a Christmas tag, I hereby tag you to do ^this^ one! Its not too long, not too short! Just right! And now I have these stuck in my head. 😉

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October 2018 Wrap-up

Hello, and happy November! Only two months left in 2018! Two months left to hit those reading goals. I didn’t think I was setting mine particularly high, but when I chose mine, I forgot that I was getting married, finishing up school, searching for a new job, and starting a small business! So I’m behind and I only may or may not hit my goal for the year so….we’ll see! But this month was pretty good for me. Six books read total! Here are the specs:

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab  ★★★★★ “Embrace your strange. Where’s the fun in being normal?”

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo ★★ ““What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not?”

Southern Magic by Amy Boyles ★★★★ “Heck, at this point I didn’t know my butthole from my navel. On top of all the craziness in the past day, I was now accused of murder.”

Dracula by Bram Stoker ★★★★ “There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” (SO many good quotes in this book)

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White ★★★ “I used smiles like currency. They were the only currency I ever had.”

Southern Spells by Amy Boyles ★★★★ “My heart plummeted to the ground, going past my feet and falling until it hit the center of the earth’s core, where it burst into flames.”

And that’s that, my friends. How many books did you read in October? Do you have any recommendations to share? Any books we should stay away from? Open up and share!

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October (Re)Reads: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

Just a warning: this review is likely an unpopular opinion regarding the first book in this (so far) trilogy. I have been seeing so much hype and merch around about Audrey and Thomas lately that I decided to take a trip back to the beginning. Maybe I’ll like it more this time around. Maybe my opinions will have changed. Hm. Nope!

img_0607I really like the premise behind the books! I like the victorian London setting, I love a female MC studying anatomy and post-death this and that. However, I just have such dislike for Audrey! I understand her motives and her thoughts and of course I want girls/women to be treated fairly as well! I want you to be able to think freely and study what you want and to be respected also! But don’t be such a prat about it! I can’t handle it!! The plot is constantly held up with her stubbornness and her own blindness to her surroundings because she is whining about being a female and being treated as such. Maybe Thomas (or your father or brother or Thomas…whomever) is just treating you like a human, not specifically like a “girl” or “lady” or “woman”!! Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Looking back, the last time I read the book, I mentioned disliking Thomas. Nah, I’ve warmed up to him. He has a flirty arrogance that I am rather digging. And god bless him for having patience with Audrey.

So now that Audrey is getting her way and is going away to “forensic school,” I am eager to see if she maybe (hopefully) calms down a little bit on her feminine whining. I’m sure school will still be tough for her but she at least has a good start since she’s already there and she will have Thomas. Of the books in similar time settings that I have read, women’s rights is always a theme but never quite this strong so once we get over this hurdle, things will clear out nicely.

Book soundtrack: Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Lorde

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Read-a-Thon Wrap-up!

readathonLast week was a big…no…HUGE week for read-a-thons. I threw my name in for participation for two RAT’s and they were both so awesome and did a lot for me in terms of helping me reach some reading goals that I had for myself! The first RAT, I blogged about…it was a weeklong read-a-thon called the Spookathon. All week long, I made progress on my audiobook (Dracula), my hard copy book (The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein), and my ebook (Southern Magic). I finished my ebook during the week so by the weekend, I was ready for business.

uihxu47i_400x400The weekend was the main event: Dewey’s 24-hour Read a Thon. Dewey’s RAT is 24 hours of non-stop up all night reading. Yeah baby!! This event happens twice each year and this was my fourth time participating in three years. I love this event and I always mark my calendar and look forward to this one.My goal was to finish everything I had started and see how far (if at all) I could get into something new. Well, I did it. Bully for me! Dracula? Check. Elizabeth Frankenstein? Check. I started the second book to the Southern Magic book, as well as another book: Haunting the Deep. So overall, I consider my weekend pretty successful!

On the down side, I am still a bit behind on my progress for the year so I still have catching up to do in order to hit my goal for the year….BUT this is a good time of the year to read. SO. I have to stay optimistic! Back to the books!

How are you doing on your reading goals? Do you set your goals high to try to stay on target? Or set low and surprise yourself?

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Amazingly fun October Read-a-thon: SPOOKATHON! 👻

denise-johnson-439378-unsplashHey hey! So, I feel that I would be robbing you all of an awesome opportunity if I didn’t tell you about one of my favorite readathons: the SPOOKATHON! This is my second year in a row participating in this weeklong RAT hosted by Kayla and her gang all around social media. I first discovered the party on Twitter where they have their own page with sprints, challenges, updates, and buddy read chats (and more). I love the spoopy memes that get thrown around there, so to hop on, just search up @thespookathon on Twitter and you’re there!

So next up, I’ve got some challenges to work toward for this RAT. They are as follows:
1. read a thriller … The Haunting of Hill House
2. read a book with purple on the cover … Hocus Pocus
3. read a book not set in the current time period … Dracula
4. read a book with a spooky word in the title … The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
5. read a book with pictures … The Halloween Tree
So the books that I bolded are books that I am reading currently, while the others are books that I am wanting to read this October/in the near future.

freestocks-org-425057-unsplashIf you would like to participate, the challenge goes  through the 21st of October. There is no minimum amount of books to read, no required entry or sign-up, its just all for fun and at your own pace. Check it out on Twitter like I said above, or Instagram, or Youtube. Happy spooky reading! Let me know if you decide to jump in…or if you’re reading spooky somethings for October!

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Game on! I’m back!

Hello! Not that anyone probably missed me but just in case you did….I’m back!! Its been almost a month and I took the time away to do this little thing with my best friend…

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It was, of course, an exciting time and a beautiful day. Everything came together so wonderfully, we really couldn’t have asked for anything more. We (I) did choose to do a lot of things “DIY” so there did end up being quite a bit of work, as well as set-up involved, but again, we were so blessed to have so many people willing to help with tear down so that my husband (I still squeak a bit saying that word) and I could enjoy our night.

So now things are winding down and we’re doing the last bits of getting our lives back on track (I requested a day off work in a couple weeks to get my name changed and do all of that running around). A lot of my reading was put on hold and slowed way down for a month so according to my Goodreads tracker, I am “9 books behind” and that has my blood pressure way up! HOWEVER, Dewey’s 24-hour readathon is coming AND October is usually a big reading month for me so I am optimistic!

That being said, if you are still following me, thanks for hanging in there. I have a couple of reviews to catch up on, and I have already finished one amazing October read so I am excited to get that review up. Until next time…ciao!

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Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener

357958931Hello, book lovers! Happy hump day! This post was supposed to be up this morning but apparently I don’t know the difference between AM and PM when posting blogs anymore–my bad!! Anywho, without further ado, I have an amazing review to share with you today….Between Frost and Fury begins right where Amid Stars and Darkness left off (kind of like this review, right? heh heh!). Ruckus is on the phone with Delaney when her tone of voice changes ever so slightly and he’s trying not to panic–what can possibly be wrong? There’s no way anyone suspects….unless they do. And then this whirlwind of a book picks up.

There are so many things that I absolutely love about book number two of this trilogy! First off, we actually get a little bit of Trystan’s perspective in this book. It isn’t completely from his perspective because the book isn’t first person, but it does follow him as a character in a few chapters! I don’t recall ever doing that with Ruckus in book one. So that’s pretty cool. Secondly, the writing is far better in this book! I griped a bit about it being slightly juvenile in book 1. Well, Chani must have found a new editor or something because the difference is night and day! I loved it! And third, the thickening of the plot is so intense that I am so incredibly invested now, I am recommending this book to everyone now!!!

So hopefully, you as a follower of my blog are interested by now as well. If so, you can win a copy of the book sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours! This is a US/CAN giveaway and is open until July 26th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are independent and you don’t need no giveaways and just want to check the book out for yourself, you can do so on any of these fine platforms:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Goodreads

Also check out the author while you’re at it. Chani is a really neat lady who has also written some other books and likes to do other cool things like go to aquariums, binge TV shows (me too!!), and draw.

All right my friends, that’s all I have for today. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week and get lots of reading done!

Book soundtrack: The Pretender by Foo Fighters

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