First Review

So, with action still being the name of the game, comes the first of the book reviews that is part of my “challenge” this year.  I’m participating (I can’t remember if I mentioned this before) in a reading challenge from a fellow author named, Roni Loren (www.roniloren.com), where she suggested that you challenge yourself by pushing your reading boundaries.

First of all, I started reading many moons ago, when my father would take my sister and I to the bookstore once a week to get a book.  We could get any book that we wanted, but for that first time, I believe I chose a version of Betty and Veronica.  I never realized that I was delving into the realm of graphic comics or what it would do for me and my life, but I can say that it changed everything.  

It wasn’t too long after that when I picked up my first novel, Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey, that I discovered my love for romance.  (I would like to add at this point that many of the books that I was reading for school at the time like, Anne of Green Gables, grew on my as I got older.)  But, I picked up this first novel on at a bookstore at the airport and thought it would keep me occupied for the long flight overseas and thus began my love of books.

I was a pretty stick romance fan for a few years and slowly but surly have begun to push my boundaries. *smirk*  I read all of the Harry Potter books when they came out and at the encouragement of friends, tried The Hunger Games and loved it.  I took the Percy Jackson series on a whim and have realized that maybe there’s more out there than I originally thought.  

So, when Roni Loren suggested this 2014 Reading Challenge, I eagerly, (if digitally) raised my hand and the rest is history.  (or so I’ve heard)

I put together a list of genres that are in my wheel house, pushing my boundaries, and just flat outside my comfort zone; and will slowly be working my way through this list as the year progresses.  Eventually, I’m going to have to work my way to Stephen King and I’m really not looking forward to that.  (NOT because he’s not an amazing writer – because he is, but because I’m the worst wimp when it comes to horror.  Just wanted to clarify.)

Okay….so the first book that I chose was YA and that is defiantly in my wheel house, but I always get a little nervous reading YA because I’m never exactly sure what to expect.  

 

The first book I chose the book, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I am so happy to say that it was amazing.  It’s funny, because my husband and I saw the trailer for this movie due to come out this year, and we decided that we wanted to read the books first before it came out but I wasn’t sure what to expect from it.  

So, we downloaded the book to my husband’s iPhone and listened to it as we drove for almost twelve hours to visit my family over Christmas.  The book is great.  I was curious to see how it would be because I was expecting some similarities to The Hunger Games, but it was very different and written very well.  My husband and I, who have never downloaded an audio book before, hung on every word that the narrator was saying and that was the shortest twelve hour trip that I’ve ever taken.  If you haven’t had the chance to read this book yet, please do, because it is just awesome.  I’m never quite sure how to explain because I don’t want to give it away (for those that haven’t read it yet), but I will say that the story hooked me from the start and I really cared about the characters and what was happening to them.  We immediately downloaded Allegiant, and since we are home now, are slowly working our way through that.

So, I started in my wheel house.  The next book is going to be a little bit more outside my comfort zone. *smiles*

How about you?  What are you reading right now?  What genres are your favorite and which are ones you would never read?

 

Sick Days

This was my first day back to work in over two weeks.  It was great to get away from work for a little while and spend some time with the family for the holidays.  I also got to spend my birthday with my parents and sister, which hasn’t happened in over maybe twelve years?  My husband and I have spent a lot of time living overseas with the Air Force, so when we got the opportunity to be able to spend Christmas and New Year’s with my folks and sister, I jumped at it!

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Photo courtesy of Pencildancer on WANA Commons on Flickr

So we packed up the family and headed to the “Gateway to the West” for a little over two weeks.  It was great.  I was hoping, since we are from northern Texas, that we would have a snowy Christmas, but alas, the snow held out for New Year’s.  And as a matter of fact, we just missed “snowmeggedon” that hit the night after we left and I’ve heard that they had over a foot of snow there – crazy.

Monday after we get home dawns horribly early (at 5 a.m. actually) since right after my alarm went off, I thought someone broke into our house and tried to steal our dog from our room. (Our German Shepherd Dog, Leah, sleeps in our room at night and at 5 a.m., someone opened the door to our room and let her out.)  So I’m shaking the husband awake and yelling at him that someone broke in and he’s jumping out of the bed and running into the hall only to discover that it was our daughter, who had snuck out of bed.

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Image courtesy of Lynn Kelley Author from WANA Commons on Flickr

Now, logic dictates that this of course couldn’t be a burglar for two very good reasons; one, we have an alarm system, and two, our dog would have likely at least barked if someone tried to get in, but none of this enters your head when someone sneakily opens your door at this hour of the morning. (Yes, I’m laughing now, wasn’t at the time though.)

After the premature heart attack and rushing to get ready, I get all the way to the daycare to drop off my daughter and realize that I forgot her blanky.  What kind of mother does this???  *ugh*  The kind of mother who is having the day like I was having this morning.  I drop my daughter off, promising that I will figure out how to get home and back again with her blanky before nap time.  (Luckily my husband had to run home this morning, so it worked out.)

Next, I come out to my car to discover that someone had hit my car.  Well, not like a hit-and-run kind of hit, but the kind that dents your door frame really good and makes you want to scream.

ImageIt doesn’t look like much here, but flip that picture around and that is my car door frame.  I know the person who did it, but since I didn’t “witness” the bump, I can’t really demand that they pay for it.  I can’t even think about this without getting spun up.

During all of this I’m battling what I suspect might be a really nasty sinus infection/head cold (yes, I need a tissue 🙂 ) and even a minor migraine.

Okay, here’s where the story gets good – after getting done with the police report for the accident, I get to work and everyone there sings “Happy Birthday” to me and I get a piece of cake. *smiles*  It was really great cake.  Also, it was nice to get to see everyone again, even if work was crazy busy.

So…how was your Monday?  Did you get a chance to be with family this holiday season?

 

Year in Review

Having a birthday on New Year’s can certainly put your life in perspective, especially when you miscalculate how old you are going to be and discover you are going to be older than you thought. (yes, that did happen this year)

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Image Curtesy of http://starwars.com.

 

Not mentioning any numbers, but what I found really stressful is that I thought that I had at least one more year to enact my “plan.”  You know, when you think that you are going to have A, B, and C done by the time that you turn….*fill in the blank.*  Well, now that I am at least a year behind in that schedule, I gave myself a stern lecture about time management and have made some new promises for myself with the dawn of 2014.

It got me thinking, where in the world did time go this year???  Why does it go quicker as you get older?  Mystical questions seem to be in high demand when you are pondering your life’s direction. *smiles*  I can say that last year was a little rough at the beginning and our family definitely had some challenges, but in the end we had quite a handful of great things going on as well.  We got to go on a few trips and spend some great time with family.  My husband got promoted *woot-woot* and I won some awards at work. 

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Also….I finished my FIRST book. (I put “first” in caps because there will be more! <insert evil laugh>)  So…before the craziness of 2014 fully commences, (with the upcoming force shaping in the Air Force, things might get more….stressful), I just wanted to take a quiet moment and be thankful for all that had going on.

…..Quiet moment……thoughts…..hmmm, I’m hungry……snack…….coffee…..Uh oh, baby girl is awake….<End Quiet moment>

 

So, everyone talks about resolutions now.  I was watching Good Morning America yesterday (abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books) and I swear I’ve searched high and low for the who the author was on that show but couldn’t find his name (I’m sorry I forgot), but he was talking about his new book and basically he was saying how everyone always has these impressive resolutions and instead of having a long, wordy resolution, to choose one word to live by for the rest of the year.  Examples that were given were “Faith” and “Patience,” and he had a three step process to finding that word (and I swear I’m going to try to keep looking for this because I thought it was really good advice).  After a few moments of thinking I decided that my word for this year is going to be….ACTION.  Yes, action, because if you know me at all, you know that I am very good at making plans, but as far as resolutions am horrible about keeping them.  So, my thought for the year is to ensure that I DO something about my resolutions and not just talking about them. 

With that thought in mind, I wanted to share that I will be involved in a writing and reading challenge this year.  I’m going to “Push my Boundaries” (roniloren.com) by reading outside my comfort zone this year, so will be deferring to my knowledgeable friends about different books to try later.  (I’ll post the spreadsheet tomorrow.)  

I refuse to have a resolution about fitness because I never stick to it *must eat chocolate,* but I’m going to try to adopt a slightly healthier lifestyle.

*WHEW*

Sorry, this was so long! 🙂  But it was a lot to cover for the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.  What about you?  What are your resolutions this year?  Did you have a good 2013?