On the eighth day of #blogmas …

I give you a beautiful aesthetic from Hogwarts. I found this on Insta and did NOT create it myself so I cannot take the credit. Whoever I am borrowing it from, I am sorry I don’t remember who you are and can’t give you credit for piecing this together. Its so beautiful!

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Listening to: “Silent Night” by Jewel

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On the sixth day of #blogmas …DIY holiday gifts for students/classmates/etc.

Its HUMP DAY, y’all! I hope you are all having a good week! The holidays are drawing nearer and I hope things aren’t getting too stressful. I have a couple of Secret Santa packages to start wrapping. As I was starting to do so, I was trying to think of an extra treat to put in them and I realized that I have a couple extra treats that I made up from my classmates and realized that I should share that with the blogging world because they are SO CUTE, if I do say so myself. So here goes:

CANDY CANE REINDEER

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WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

– Candy Canes of any kind (these are Sweet Tarts, but you can use traditional Red/White peppermint or any other combination you like)

– Googly eyes

– Pipe Cleaners (again, any colors…if you want them to be traditional and have black or brown antlers, then get black or brown pipe cleaners. As you can see, I opted for neon colors)

– Pom pon balls (I chose red for Rudolph, but again, black or brown could be more traditional)

– Pencil

– Hot glue gun

INSTRUCTIONS:

Choose your candy cane and your pipe cleaner. Fold pipe cleaner in half and then hook it onto the bend of the candy cane. Tightly pinch and twist several times so that the ‘antlers’ are secure. We will come back to these.

Next, place a dab of hot glue on the end of the candy cane’s hook. Place a pom pon on the glue and hold briefly. Then find 2 googly eyes. Spread the hot glue about one inch above the nose and press the eyes firmly into the glue.

Lastly, take the pencil and hold it straight up against the pipe cleaner. Beginning about half an inch from the base from the head, coil the pipe cleaner around and around the pencil. Once the pipe cleaner is wrapped all the way around the pencil, slide the pencil out. You may then decide how tight or loose you with your reindeer’s antlers to be. (See above)

Happy Crafting!!

What I’m listening to: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

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On the fifth day of #blogmas …Tag Tuesday: The Christmas Song Book Tag

This tag was made by Hail Hearts NYC on YouTube. The original video can be watched here.

#1 – “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – Name a villainous creature you couldn’t help but love. The. Darkling.!!! So, I say this and I’m only in the first of the Grisha trilogy. I don’t know if he truly is a villain…as of now, I assume he is…but I love him!

#2 – “All I Want For Christmas is You” – Which book do you most hope to see under your tree this year? I have been itching to read anything by Megan Miranda all year long! Her covers just grab me and I’m always down for a good mystery.

tim-gouw-165547#3 – “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and still believes in themselves. Jordan from Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (my summary & review of the book is here). I loved this book because Jordan/Julian was a character who had a goal and did whatever it took to reach it. She stuck by that and worked so hard and truly believed that she could do something that no one had ever done before. And she did it.

#4 – “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Which character do you think is at the top of the naughty/nice list? Naughty list: Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles. I just finished reading the novella Fairest and it was so insightful into Levana’s past. I wish we had books on all villain’s pasts. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know all of the Disney villains’ backgrounds? Nice list: Iko from the Lunar Chronicles. I also recently finished reading Wires and Nerve, which is the graphic novel that follows the Lunar Chronicles and oh. my. stars. it was MAGNIFICENT!! So it was my first graphic novel but it was easy to read and I literally laughed out loud. The book gave new life and personality to the characters and it was grand! Do NOT disregard this book! Its a must-read! (But only after you’ve finished the series!)

chinda-sam-185434#5 – “Frosty the Snowman” – What book just melts your heart? My go-to book for a heart-warmer is Anne of Green Gables. First off there is the childhood nostalgia behind the book for me, and then secondly Anne herself is such a charming and warm character. Then when you mix in the secondary characters–Diana, Matthew, Marilla, Gilbert–my very soul is warmed.

#6 – “Feliz Navidad” – Pick a book that takes place in a country other than your own. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is set in London in 1818 and is a tale of mystery, spies, and dressmaking.

#7 – “Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Which Christmas book do you use to spread the joy? Either A Christmas Carol or Skipping Christmas. I didn’t realize, until a couple years ago while randomly shopping at Half Price Books, that the movie “Christmas With the Kranks” was based on this book by John Grisham, but I really recommend giving it a read! The movie is actually pretty faithful to the book and its a pretty quick, easy, cozy read so if you need some holiday cheer, give it a go!

#8 – “Sleigh Ride” – Which character would you choose to spread holiday cheer with? Me and Luna Lovegood all the way, just to see what unique, creative mischief we can come up with!

#9 – “Baby, its Cold Outside” – Which book, that you didn’t like, would you sacrifice to warm yourself up on a cold day? First We Were IV . What a pity 😦

#10 – “Do You Hear What I Hear?” – What book do you think everyone should read? Hmm… tie between The Hate U Give, The Library of Fates, and The Light We Lost. Those are my top 3 reads for 2017.

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged!! Spread the love around and feel free to let me know if you have any thoughts on any of these books!

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On the third day of #blogmas …

…we jumped in on the Book Blogger Hop! For those of you who don’t know, the Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books but is now maintained by Billie B. at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, and receive new followers. There is a new prompt each week so feel free to jump in any time!

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Q: What is your favorite Christmas-themed read?

A: I think my favorite Christmas-themed read is either A Christmas Carol or Skipping Christmas. A lot of people don’t realize it, but Skipping Christmas (written by John Grisham) is the book that the movie “Christmas with the Kranks” with Tim Allen and Diane Keaton is based off of. I thought the book was very well-written and I love the movie too!

I’m always on the lookout for more good holiday reads. I especially like reading cozy Christmas mysteries, paranormal, contemporary romance, etc. so if you’ve got any good recommendations, please leave them for me! Thanks!

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On the first day of Blogmas…

Happy December, everyone!

I absolutely can NOT believe that today is December 1st! November went by in a blip to me, I swear. Even October was short, but November was nothing!! Its just astounding!! I probably shouldn’t say that though, because I did have a good month when I think back on it. Work was productive, I read a couple good books, and Thanksgiving was spectacular. I hope that many of you can say the same or similar things.

So getting down to business, I am going to do my best to participate in a phenomenon called “Blogmas.” Now for those of you who don’t know, Blogmas is for both bloggers and vloggers alike, and the goal is for us to post at least once a day for all 25 days leading up to Christmas! We can post about anything we like, but ideally, we should be posting some holiday cheer along the way. Now, I don’t know that I will hit all 25 days, but if I hit at least the “12 Days of Christmas,” I’ll be super happy! We’ll see!

To kick off my blogging for the month, let me share my projected TBR for the month of December:tbr

Now, things are, of course, subject to change, and there are a couple books that I have on my iPad that I would add also (mainly ebooks from NetGalley). These are Kiss me in New York and The Tethered Mage. I am definitely looking forward to all of these books this month, though! I will probably read the less holiday of the books first, and then most on to the holiday ones. Can’t wait!

What are you reading this month?

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Book Blogger Hop: 11/17 – 11/23


Book Blogger Hop

This Week’s Question:

If you had an author-only Thanksgiving party, who would you invite?

So if I had an author-only Thanksgiving party, I would invite Neal Schusterman, whom I have met twice now and I know him to be super intelligent, very funny, and he has so many stories to tell. He is just an all around amazing guy. I would also invite Diana Gabaldon because I love her books and she also is very intelligent (I think I’m seeing a pattern here. Also, Suzanne Collins, Maggie Stiefvater, and Adam Silvera. I think Stephen King would freak me out too much.

 

What about you? The whole purpose of the blog hop is to gain interaction with followers (and lurkers *wink wink*) and to learn about new books or authors. Share some food for thought with me if you’d like. 🙂

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Book Blogger Hop | Oct. 28 – Nov.

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. This is my first post with this circle of awesome bloggers and I am looking forward to meeting some amazing new people and visiting a bunch of fun new blogs!


Book Blogger Hop: Halloween Edition!

 

This weeks question: Candy corn, a chocolate bar, or popcorn. Which of these are your favorite to eat while reading?

My answer: Popcorn!! I love salty, buttery popcorn! Although usually I pair it with something sweet like M&Ms or Raisinets. THAT is my perfect snack!

So follow me and leave your links and I’ll come check your pages out as well! Can’t wait!

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Tag Tuesday: Falling for Fall

Hi everyone! Today is the perfect fall day and how could I possibly do any other tag than the “Falling for Fall” tag from my fellow GREAT Blogger Jackie at The Bookworm Cafe. So here we go!

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  1. What is your favorite Fall scent? Nothing beats Mother Nature’s fresh morning dew on fallen leaves. Or the smell of an apple barn in the fall! Oh, love it! But I guess when it comes to commercial scents, Bath & Body Works’ Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin and/or Apple Pumpkin. Both are SO GOOD!! Yum!
  2. Do you prefer apple stuff or pumpkin stuff? Apples in September and Pumpkins in October. But really everything all the time, lol!
  3. What is one thing that you look forward to every single Fall? Going to apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Reading mysteries and suspense books. Decorating. Wait, the question only called for one thing didn’t it? Whoops! ;P
  4. How do you like to spend the more chilly/cloudy days in the Fall? Cuddled up with a book and a cup of tea or cider.
  5. Which do you prefer: Halloween or Thanksgiving? All of the above!
  6. What is one thing you do to embrace the Fall season? ALL THE THINGS!! lol. Decorate my house and office desk, light candles, read seasonal books. 
  7. What photos would you like to get this Fall season? I just took fall-themed engagement photos!
  8. Favorite childhood memory from this season? Carving pumpkins with my mom and brother.
  9. What is your favorite trend (fashion/makeup/etc) so far this season? Oooh, this is probably the area that I follow the least. I do know I like the slouchy sweaters/cardigans though.
  10. Describe what the Fall weather really looks like where you live. I’m in the midwest so the leaves are changing and falling and pumpkins are growing and we have apples and gourds and all the good stuff!

I hereby tag:

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Reader Problems Book Tag

Hi everyone! To make up for my missed #TagTuesday last week, my weekly tag falls on a Saturday for this week. I was tagged by Dora, more formally known in our blogging family as Dorka at Berries and Books for the tag for the week, which is Reader Problems, and if some of these don’t just rub you the wrong way, then you are broken! Here goes:

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next? I am a mood reader so it depends on what kind of mood I am in. I think that my mood depends a lot on the weather and the season, so if it is summer and it is sunny, I’ll probably choose a contemporary romance. If its fall and its dreary, I’ll probably pick suspense or horror. Winter I tend to choose more fantasy/dystopian. etc. One other thing that determines what I read next is any other ARC/galley deadlines. If I told a publisher I would read something and have a review up by a publication, then I’ll make sure that I have that done. If I’m doing a tour and I need to get a book read and do my photos and a review, then I will have to prioritize reading that book.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed? If I made it halfway, I will likely finish. Less than halfway, probably not. Unless its an 800-page book, but I don’t read long tomes very often and honestly  that is part of the reason. Another consideration is, again, if I am committed by a publisher. If I have to finish it to write a review, then I will. If not, I probably will. But usually, I try to give a book the benefit of the doubt because usually, endings are the best parts.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how? The holiday season can either be the biggest help or hurt to TBR lists. Personally, I get a small break from work around the holidays so I like to think positive and hope that I will reach my goal. If not, it really isn’t the end of the world. I will just adjust my goal for next year.

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope? I. HATE. THIS. But really, what else is there to do except wait until you can collect the copies you need. Trade away for what you want, order them online. If you really love them so much, that’s just what you have to do.

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? There has to be someone else out there who feels the same way. I know there are hundreds and thousands of people who love”Queen Maas” for example but I’m still in the dark about her books. I know I’m in the vast minority on that. I feel so lonely in this…but I have met a couple of people who either dislike (GASP!) or have not yet read her books. Again, very few…but they do exist. So while I FEEL alone, I am not alone. You just have to search and wait until you find those few and far between who are like you. The book community is shockingly huge once you really get into it.

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal? Oh, I’ll cry over a book in public. Not purposely, but if I have to, I will. I have. The pain is real.

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7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!? Yeah, this has happened to me. I’ve tried to find the synopsis on Goodreads. I’ve tried Wikipedia. I’ve tried just going on in the sequel. A good author will recap everything for you and you should be fine and things will come back to you. But a really good book will be worth the reread. However, rereads are time consuming so its rather a tossup, in my opinion.

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask? Sorry, but I just put my foot down and say no. Maybe I’ll escort them to use my B&N discount or take them to the library but no, not taking my babies…I mean, books.

9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump? Knock on wood, but I really don’t get this problem.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy? The one that I truly intend to read next. When I have a coupon. Usually. Hopefully.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them? Ohhhh, you got me. Probably a really long time. Ohhh, the pain!!! I’m so sorry bank account!! But my shelves look beautiful!!

Moving forward, I tag:

Linda @ Linda’s Little Library

Sarah @ Book Hooked Nook

Cassandra @ Cassie Winters

Stephanie @ Phannie the Ginger Worm

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*Mystery Blogger Award*

Its #SundayFunday and I hope it is treating you all well! I have a “to do” list about a mile long because I start a new job tomorrow! My world is about to be flipped upside down because I am going from basically unemployed to full-time in a snap! YIKES!!! Yes, I am terrified but at the same time I am so excited. This will be my first full-time job and I feel so blessed to have found something in my field and close to my house.

Ok, that’s enough of the personal mumbo jumbo, that’s not why you’re all here. On to the bookish! I was just nominated for the ominous-sounding but truly fun *Mystery Blogger Award* by Maggie @ The Caramel Files. Here’s the scoop:

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The Rules:

  • Put the award logo on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 people
  • Notify your nominees
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

About me:

  • Since I mentioned “my field” and what-not, I’ll elaborate a little and then get back to books. My first degree is a Bachelor’s in Music, and I have been teaching voice and piano lessons part-time for the part 6 years since I graduated. I recently went back to school and got another degree (Associate’s) in Health Information so I now can work full time in a hospital with medical records and still teach part time on the side.
  • I am a trained classical singer, meaning that I sing opera. Of course, I can also sing (or teach) pretty much any genre out there, but I do love the challenge, beauty, and complexity of opera.
  • While I love wearing beautiful gowns and putting on stage make-up to sing, I also love camping, canoeing, and being outside in general. I spent every summer growing up at a camp and then I worked there for many years and its my home away from home. My music friends in college never understood this about me.

My Favorite Post So Far: The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag …It got a great reaction from readers and it was one of the most fun tags I have done! Plus there were just so many great books I/we got to talk about in general so that’s always awesome.

Maggie’s Questions:

  1. Is there a book or story you feel parallels your life? If yes, tell us all about it! This is perfect timing for this question because I just finished the best book for this: 257521542 So you know how I mentioned earlier that I enjoy that weird mix of fancy opera and down-and-dirty outdoors? Yep, this book has it. Now I’m not saying that you have to be into both of those things to enjoy this book. Its not a book for opera-lovers. It is contemporary-YA and it is a powerful read, it also just happens to have those other two elements in it and I love it for that all the more, and that is what parallels my life. A lot of the other details in the story do not (in fact, pretty much none of the story line has anything to do with my life, lol).
  2. What title would you choose for your autobiography and why? Hmm. Life Songs – Pretty open-ended. I’m not very creative when it comes to writing, which is why I read books and not write them.
  3. What are the last three books you chose to DNF?
  4. What was your favorite book as a child and why? I don’t think I had any one favorite book as a child. My grandmother ran a “Books on Parade” branch out of her basement so I had access to kids books all the time and we were constantly reading everything that circulated. I remember reading Goldilocks, Clifford, Goodnight Moon, later as I grew up Anne of Green Gables and Harry Potter.
  5. Is there a genre you absolutely refuse to read? If yes, why? I don’t read Harlequin Romances or high fantasy. To me the romances are just too cheesy and get boring and high fantasies are just too ‘out there’ for me to wrap my head around. Too many places and names for me to remember and pronounce and wrap my head around and my brain gets overloaded.

Questions for my Nominees:

  1. How many books have you read so far this year? What is your goal for the rest of the year?
  2. If you could spend a day with any bookish character, who would it be and why?
  3. Piggybacking off of Q2, what would you want to do in your day with chosen bookish character (where would you go, what would you see…could be real or a setting in their book, etc.)?
  4. If you could do one as a full time job, which would you choose: reading books or writing books?
  5. What is your most and least favorite book you have read this year?

I nominate:

Listening to: “Golden Lion” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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