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Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

NaNoWriMo
Hi friends! I am trying (again) to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. 

For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo is a movement to get people to write more. The goal is to write 50,000 words on a novel in the month of November. For more info click the pic link.

I should tell you that I love to write fiction. I don't really do anything with it and I highly doubt that I would ever get a novel published. All that to say that, I am going to be writing on that more. I don't know if that will definitely mean that I won't post as much her, but it may. 

I will try to pop in each week to let you know how it is going. 

I think I am going to work on something I already have going, so I already have 12,334 words. If I write another 50,000, I'll be pretty impressed with myself.

Are any of you participating?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hit by Lorie Ann Grover

My most recent BookLookBlooger book is Hit by Lorie Ann Grover.

Eighteen year-old Sarah is a senior in high school when graduate student, Mr. Haddings, becomes poet in residence at her high school. While sitting in his poetry class Sarah falls in love with him. Despite his efforts to rebuff Sarah and squash whatever feelings they may have for each other, Sarah is determined to express herself to him. She sets off to school one rainy day with her poetry in her back pocket. Sarah accidentally drops the poem while crossing the street and goes back to retrieve it.

Mr. Haddings looks away from the road for a moment and doesn’t see the girl in the crosswalk. He hears the thud and its too late. What has he done?

Hit by Lorie Ann Grover tells Sarah and Mr. Haddings stories. Their lives are forever entertwined in that fateful moment in the rain. Will Sarah live and have the same kind of life she was headed towards? Will Mr. Haddings own what he has done or run away in fear? Will anyone be able to forgive?

Grover alludes to the fact that Hit is based a true story in the preface of her book, which made it even more interesting as a read. The story is fast-paced and filled with emotion. The narrator’s perspective switches between the two main characters, but I never found it confusing. Each section is fairly short, making it a great book to read in spurts.

I appreciated the way that Grover allowed her characters to have real emotions and feelings about the situation. Nothing felt sugar coated or glossed over. True anger was just that. There were several areas that never concluded. The story takes place over only a few days and is truly a snapshot of those days. The things that had happened in the family before these moments and the things that will happen after are left, relatively, untouched. While appreciated this aspect, it frustrated me some. I wanted to know what had led the tension in some of the relationships and if it would be resolved.

I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it. It is short enough that it could be read in one sitting, but could easily be chopped up and read in spurts. I hope you enjoy it too!

A copy of this book was provided to my by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really did like this book.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Remember when I reviewed Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger earlier this month? Well, when Netgalley gave me the opportunity to review the second book in the series, Curtsies and Conspiracies, and couldn't pass it up.

These books are some of the most fun reads I have had all year. They are beautiful, steampunk, young adult fiction that will keep you guessing how they are going to end. I love that these books are such a dramatic departure from my typical reading. They are filled with new words, some real, some not (I used my dictionary feature more with these books that most I read).

Curtsies and Conspiracies picks up the story of Sophronia Temminick after she has returned to Madame Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Girls of Quality. Her debut class undergoes their first big testing and the results are interesting. Sophronia soon has to figure out who her friends really are and who will be on her side when things take a turn for the different. 

Another interesting part of the book was the interest shown to Sophronia from a young man who has joined the school (along with his professor and several other students). Can Sophronia figure out his intentions? Does he really have any or is he just practicing his skills in flirtation?

Of course, Sophronia also gets herself into a heap of trouble along the way because of her insatiable curiosity, her unlikely friendships and her inability to stay out of other people's business.

This was a great book. I can't wait for book three to come out on November 5!

A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hay! Stop Being so Corny!

Over the weekend Pop Rocks and I enjoyed some family fun at a local corn maze. We went with our niece and several other adults. While we had fun, we did not have enough fun to justify the cost of admission. 

It was a bit of a racket. It cost us well over $20 to get in and while there were lots of activities included in that price, the only three that were not purely kid themed were the petting zoo, Corn Maze and the Hey! Hey! Hayride. I think the price should be considerably higher for kids than for adults.

This particular corn maze had their own currency which could be purchased when you paid for admission. We opted not to get any as we couldn't see that we would want it. Here was the kicker - there were pony rides, which was super exciting to the kids - but they looked like they were free. There was no sign saying they cost anything extra. So the guy doing the pony rides would wait until it was just about time to get on - while kids have been standing excitedly in line - and then start lining them up and letting parents know that is an additional $5. Oh and he only takes cash, not the special currency that you already purchased. WHAT????

I was glad that I wasn't having to cough up the extra money, but seriously! That is ridiculous.

This was my first experience with a corn maze/pumpkin patch. Is that what they are all like? I was really excited about the whole thing, but was severely disappointed with the experience. Maybe I will try a different one, but I for sure won't be going back to that place.

(And please, don't get me started on the cost of the pumpkins!)  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Min Pin Monday - 10.13.14

Its been awhile since we've had a Min Pin Monday post! I finally have a camera that I can actually get some pictures of the pups with, again. 

Don't let this picture fool you...


That my friends is the picture of entitlement. Back in the spring we started a evening routine of a teeth cleaning treat after dinner we decided to see if a teeth cleaning treat every day would help keep some chompers shiny. It worked for one of the little guys, but mama can't give one a treat without giving both a treat. 

The results are somewhere between ridiculous and adorable. See, Mary always moped around for the two hours leading up to dinner, if we're home. Now, she eats her dinner and then stands in that corner staring at the treat bag until she gets one. I didn't immediately realize what she was doing but, it became apparent the night I forgot to get her a treat. She stood, in the dark, staring for about two hours. I thought she was in the other room on the couch. 

Also, it should be noted that there was no treat in my hand when I was taking this picture. I was just trying to get a picture of Mary and Will assumed it was treat time and sat down (their trick for their treat). 

See ridiculously adorable!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Readers first meet 14 year old Sophronia when she is in her family's dumbwaiter trying to ease drop on one of her mother's visitors. This does not go as planned and Sophronia soon finds herself whisked away to finishing school.




This is a fun novel. It is important to note that it is a steampunk novel set in the victorian era. This adds to its charm, but took a bit to understand.

Unknowingly Sophronia has stumbled into a life very different than what she and her mother thought she would be getting at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. 

I really liked Gail Carriger's Etiquette and Espionage. The plot was fun and engaging. There was no sappy plot line that led to Sophronia in the middle of a love triangle. It was just the adventures of a spunky young girl trying to grow up and not lose herself. 

The plot was interesting and kept me guessing. There were several loose ends that I would guess will be tied up in the series later books. The main plot points, however, were finished and made this a stand alone book. I will probably be looking into the rest of the series (book three comes out November 5!) and the one that came before it, but is set later.

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Late Night Questions

"Are you heading to bed soon? If so, are you going to go to bed in a clean and organized bedroom, with happy kids in your home? Are you going to lie down feeling totally content and satisfied with your day? Happy with the direction your life is headed?
"If not, Erin, then please don't waste another day like this. You were meant for more!!"

I got this email the other weekend. I thought I would share my (somewhat annoyed and a bit sarcastic) answers here:

Are you heading to bed soon? Yes - I am. For the record, I happened to check my email right before bed the day I received this. I don't normally do that, nor do I normally open the emails from this company. But, I needed to take Mary out (in the rain) and was trying to give Will a chance to relax and not scream about not getting to go outside. 

If so, are you going to bed in a clean and organized bedroom? No - I am not. I have enjoyed my day of total rest (the first in twelve days) and did not bother to clean and organize my bedroom today. 

With happy kids in your home? No - I do not have kids. But, hey thanks for thinking that I am less of a woman because of that one fact. I do have two dogs, a husband who works really hard, a full-time job outside of the home, and a rich family life on both sides. My life and plate are completely full.

Are you going to lie down feeling totally content and satisfied with your day? Yes - I am! I have enjoyed a day of doing nothing in fact... I read one whole book and parts of two other books. I snuggled with my min-pins. I worked outside. I spent time with my husband's family celebrating our September birthdays (there are five of them and an anniversary!). And for the first time in a while I feel de-stressed and relaxed. 

Happy with the direction your life is headed? Actually, yes! You see, you may think my life is a disaster (I think you think this because of your follow-up statement, "please don't waste another day like this. You were meant for more!!"), but I happen to like it. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world and we have so much love for each other, it might make some people sick. We have two amazing dogs that fill our home with happiness, excitement and joy. We don't have our future figured out, but that's because we don't know what it holds. We trust that Someone Else has a plan for our future and will work it out for us.

So no, I won't be buying your product, but I will be going to bed in a room that is messy and chaotic, but filled with love. In a bed that doesn't ever get made so that Mary and Will can find a place to chill when they need it. I will enjoy not having kids, because once it happens, I won't ever be able to do it again. I will lay down with a content sigh and a prayer of thanksgiving for all that I have had the privilege to do today. And I will rejoice that I don't have to have all of life's answers.