Hi and Welcome!

For the last three years I have been a Stay at Home Mother. And during this time, I found I was many things: Household CEO, Toddler Tantrum and Meltdown Negotiator, Executive Chef on a tight budget, Head Cheerleader, Housekeeper, Teacher, Child Advocate, Event Planner, Guru in special education, and so on. But somewhere along the line I had lost myself within a world of diapers, baby talk, and tears. Although I am highly educated, I found myself being defined by my children and the role of being a mother.

Don’t get me wrong; I love spending time with my children. But I am so much more than a Mother. I am a runner, a lover and critique of books, and maybe one day an author. I started this blog at the beginning of 2016 in hopes to redefine and connect with who I once was and discover who I’m going to become. And I feel like I have done just that. I have embraced the rewards and challenges of running. This year I will not only complete my first half marathon, but I will also be completing my first full marathon. I have read amazing books that allowed me to get lost form one imaginary world to the next. And I have been able to meet some amazing people.

Looking forward, I have decided it is time to return to work. Although this probably means I wont be able to read as many books as I am used to, I plan to continue to read, write, and post as often as I can. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Feel free to post comments or send me a message at boundtobeme3@gmail.com.

 

🙂

First Half Marathon- Woman Rock MN

I woke up this morning not sure if I would actually be able to run. My knee was already a little sore and I couldn’t stop myself from questioning if this was a mistake. But I pushed those thoughts to the back of my head and pushed on.

HalfM7

The weather was perfect despite the threat of rain. The temperature was low to mid sixties and there wasn’t much wind. The race didn’t start off like I would have hoped. They had a silent start and when we headed to the start line, we discovered the race had started a minute early. I don’t know about you but this kind of threw things off for me. I tried not to play catch up but being at the back of the race wasn’t encouraging.

For the first six miles, I was able to find my rhythm and somewhat enjoy my run.

HalfM2

And then the knee started going, then came the rain, and hills. That’s when I split off from my running friend and switched between walking and running. I think at this point in the race, my goal was to finish without blowing my knee.

HalfM

I’m not really excited about my time but I am calling this a win. I finished the race, without killing my knee, and I wasn’t the last one running.

As I am typing this out, my knee still kind of hurts but it isn’t sharp or anything. I am worried I won’t be able to run my full marathon in early October or be able to run my 20 mile capital run in September.

HalfM1

What did I learn:

  1. I need to bring more fuel. I realized very quickly that what I brought was not enough. Luckily the race was handing out gels and I was able to take advantage. But the sugar in those things killed my stomach.
  2. Come rain or shine, the race is on. I didn’t bring anything to throw on right after the race because honestly I didn’t even think about it. Which was mistake number two because I not only cooled down surprisingly quickly, but I was wet from the rain. Not a good combination.
  3. It’s okay to walk. Seriously, it is okay! It’s not the end of the world if you have to walk.
  4. Get to the start line early! We were waiting for our other friend to join us who often runs late. Mainly this cost me mentally but it also put me behind in regards to my time.

Overall, I am glad I ran the race. The experience I am walking away with will help prepare me for my other races.

Have you ran a half marathon? I would love to hear how it went or your thoughts on mine!!

Throwback Thursday- The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

throwback

This week I would like to talk about a series, The Selection. This series is in the Young Adult category and although I don’t always enjoy these books, I did enjoy this series.

The-Selection

Somewhat of a synopsis:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for the main character, America, this is not her dream. As she struggles to discover herself, she is tossed into a world full of manipulation, lies, cruelty, violence, and of course love. But not just the simple kind of love. You see America doesn’t willingly or want to fall for Prince Maxon. Not when Aspen is a constant reminder. Before you know it, a love triangle forms and the reader is left in a constant ping-pong arena: Prince Maxon or Aspen..

This series is about injustice, overcoming great obstacles, finding and allowing yourself to love, and the idea of dreaming of something more.

By the end of the series, the author adds unexpected twists but a somewhat predictable ending. And although I felt the ending was an easy way out with questions still unanswered, if  you allow yourself to get swept away in the fairy tale then you will enjoy this series.

Quotes:

“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.” – The Selection

“You get confused by crying women, I get confused by walks with princes.”- The Selection

“He stood and went to read my pin as I approached. “America, is it?” he said, a smile playing on his lips.
“Yes, it is. And I know I’ve heard your name before, but could you remind me?” – The Selection

“Your Majesty- Tugging my ear. Whenever.”- The Selection

“I sighed. “Actually, Mom, we argue pretty regularly.”
“What?” She gaped at me. “Well, stop it!”
“Oh, and I kneed him in the groin once.” – the Elite

“America Singer, you get back here.” He ran in front of me, wrapping an arm around my waist as we stood, chest to chest. “Tell me,” he whispered. I pinched my lips together. “Fine, then I shall have to rely on other means of communication.” Without any warning, he kissed me.”- The Elite

“I want everything with you, America. I want the holidays and the birthdays, the busy season and lazy weekends. I want peanut butter fingertips on my desk. I want inside jokes and fights and everything. I want a life with you.” – The One

“Maxon: “To be clear, no one agrees with you.”
America: “To be clear, I don’t care.” – The One


 

Ok, I want to hear from you. Have you read this series? What did you think?

Blog Tour and Excerpt: Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens

Furious Rush

Furious Rush1

Author: S.C. Stephens
Published: August 23, 2016
Pages: 384

Add to Goodreads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Google Play
iBooks
IndieBound
Kobo

 

 

The first in an emotion-fueled, New Adult series from the #1 bestselling author of the Thoughtless novels!

Too fast, too furious—and way too hot to handle…

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she’s racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense—and strictly forbidden—attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind…

Furious Rush

Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads

Furious Rush

Excerpt:

“Do you have any idea who this guy is, and why the hell he’s on our track?”

Myles tilted his head as he thought. “Don’t know, but if he’s on the track before noon, your dad must have hired him. The Bennetis know not to break that rule. Not after what happened last time.”

The last time a Benneti stepped foot on our track before they were allowed to, that Benneti had found himself duct-taped to the flagpole in the middle of the track. Naked. Of course, the Benneti team had gotten us back by breaking all the windows in the garage doors. They were still boarded over, since we couldn’t afford to fix them yet. For the sake of our bank account, Dad had ordered every Cox racer not to continue the paybacks, no matter how warranted they were.

Ignoring Myles’s chuckle, I renewed my inspection of the racer. The new rider was fast, and ridiculously good—his setup on the corners was perfectly timed, and he kept his body low, hanging off the bike so that nothing was over the center line but his outside arm and leg; his “triangle of daylight”—the space between his inside knee and the bike—was so beautiful that Dad would probably photograph it and hang it on his office wall. Considering the furious competition at the professional level—races were won or lost by mere seconds—and considering how much time, energy, and resources were spent on training new riders, I wasn’t too surprised this guy was top-notch. With the upcoming racing season so close, any person Dad brought onto our team would be impressive. Dad wouldn’t settle for anything less than amazing; he couldn’t afford to. Yet another reason I was feeling a profound pressure to perform. There was no free ride for Jordan Cox’s daughter; I had to earn my place, same as everyone else.

When number 43 finally finished his set and slowed to exit the track, Myles let out a low whistle. “Not bad. He reminds me of you.” Frowning, I peeked up at him. His dark eyes sparkled with amusement. “No guts, no glory, balls-to-the-wall racing, like you have something to prove every time you go out there.” He raised a dark eyebrow at me, but I remained silent. Having to prove myself was a daily occurrence, and Myles knew that.

The rider exited the track at the same place where we were standing with our bikes. He slowed to a stop directly in front of us, shut off his motorcycle, and removed his helmet. My jaw dropped to my chest, and my eyes bugged out of my skull. No. It was not possible. But the long-dulled desires starting to tingle back to life at just the sight of him told me it was possible. The man who was proudly wearing the number 43 was the same drop-dead-gorgeous man who’d won the street race early this morning. What the hell was he doing here—on my turf—looking for all the world like he belonged?

In the bright sunshine, I could see that his eyes were actually a light shade of green. There was a devious glint in them that silently promised that every day with him would be even more intriguing than the last. Add that to his dirty-blond hair, rugged jawline, perfect bone structure, athletic build, and perfectly full lips that hinted at a treasure trove of untold pleasures, and you got a man who attracted a lot of attention everywhere he went—as I’d witnessed last night by the swarm of groupies surrounding him while he’d been illegally racing.

No way. There was no way Dad had hired this guy!

Hopping off his bike, the stranger ran a hand through his sweat-soaked hair. The shaggy strands were sticking up every which way now, and the chaotic hairstyle was too damn appealing. A small groan slipped from me in my shock. Get it together, Kenzie.

His emerald eyes swung my way, taking me in, and I held my breath and stood a little straighter. Did he recognize me like I recognized him? Did I want him to? Damn it . . . what was his name again? And why the hell did he have to have such incredible eyes? Green with flecks of gold, penetrating and intense, like when he was looking at you—truly looking at you—nothing else around him mattered. I could easily picture him studying the track with that unrelenting gaze. I could also picture him studying my curves with that superheated stare. Goddammit, no. This couldn’t seriously be happening.

 

One With You (Crossfire, #5)

One with You

Author: Sylvia Day
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 464

Stars: 3 out of 5

 

Links to buy:
$9.99 Amazon
$9.99 Barnes&Noble

 

 

Synopsis:
Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

Review:

This book was better than I thought. Since the release, I have read reviews that put the book near the middle of the road. And for the most part, I would have to agree. For me, the repetition of what Gideon and Eva say was slightly annoying and I felt like it was something the author did to fill the space. The same goes for the plot. I felt the plot was similar to a conversation that crept along at a leisurely pace. My thoughts on reasons behind doing this range from the plot not having enough substance to stand on its own to the author wanting to incorporate an overview of the series. What I mean by this is the author would highlight scenes from previous books in this series as something the characters looked back on or commented on how they grew.

The author did a wonderful job of staying true to her characters. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the characters grew on an individual level but they did develop as far as their relationship is concerned. I wouldn’t say the developments in Eva and Gideon’s relationship was jaw dropping insightful or suspenseful. It was in ways predictable and  slightly uneventful.

Overall, I am glad I read this book. The author does a nice job wrapping everything up and tying loose ends. If you have been keeping up with this series, you will enjoy reading this book. It’s provides the perfect closure for these loved characters.

Half Marathon Training week 18 (Marathon Training week 9) & Whole30

Monday: 3 Miles Hill Sprints
I was supposed to do 6 miles but I ran 13 yesterday and my legs are simply tired. I did somewhat half ass hill sprints like I was supposed to but I’m done. Good news, my knee is better and is just sore right now instead of screaming pain.

Running


Tuesday: Hot Yoga
What a mess! This class was horrible. The instructor didn’t show us how to do any of the moves. Instead, she just walked around the room calling out positions. I felt like I was in a class that spoke a foreign language. I’m not sure how much of a workout I actually got but I did leave frustrated.


Wednesday: 6 Mile Zero Runner
My knee was hurting today so I decided to stick with the zero runner. I also started work this morning so running outside wasn’t really an option. Unless I wanted to run in the dark, which didn’t sound appealing.

Running

We have had some crazy storms come through lately. Absolutely beautiful!!

Rainbow


ThursdayFriday: Rest
I was running late Thursday and couldn’t work in a run and by Friday, my plate was full. I’m really going to have to make sure next week I work my runs in. I will say my knee has been hurting a lot lately. I went to the chiropractor on Friday and he set up a plan. Hopefully, it works and this knee pain will be something of the past.


Saturday: 12.5 Mile Run
Running in the rain was a different experience. My schedule had me down for 15 miles but my knee just wouldn’t allow it


. The last mile was more of a walk, shuffle, am I actually moving kind of run. But eventually I admitted defeat and walked the rest. Hopefully my knee calms and I can continue with my training. My pace is about 30 to 45 seconds slower than I normally run during my slow runs but I think that’s why I was able to run as far as I did. I guess I’ll see what the weeks bring.

Running

Total Milage: 21

Wow, that wasn’t very much..


Whole30-
This is the last week of eating on the Whole30 diet and I am feeling great!! I still miss things but I love how I look/feel.

Me

This picture was taken on Saturday after my run. When I met up with my friend to start running the first thing she said was how amazing I looked and how small I was. Gosh, I love great friends!!

How was your week?

Throwback Thursday- To Kill a Warlock (Dulcie O’Neil #1) by H.P. Mallory

throwback

Today’s Throwback Thursday is the first book in the Dulcie O’Neil series- To Kill a Warlock.  The book is a quick read (210 pages) and was published on January 1, 2010

To Kill a Warlock

Synopsis:

The murder of a dark arts warlock. A shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose. A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate. Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.

Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world. When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim.

Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie. Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full. As the body count increases, Dulcie finds herself battling dark magic, reconnoitering in S&M clubs and suffering the greatest of all betrayals.

My thoughts:

This book was entertaining and I found myself smiling throughout the book. At the end of the book I was a little undecided about the main character Dulce. Three men in the book are swooning over her but her attitude is anything but desirable. She is often rude, pushes others away, and can be a bit brass. But I can say as the series progresses, I did enjoy her Dulce more.

I also loved the twist in the story! I wish I could say more but I don’t want to give anything away. I can say I never saw it coming. Overall, this book is well written, has entertaining characters, and has the love/hate drama which we all know I love.

Quotes:

“I glared daggers at him, but they just bounced off him like water on a freshly waxed car.”

“Okay, okay. Sheesh, I guess getting changed into a gigantic booger put you into a crappy mood.” “Gee, you think?” My legs ached”

Dirty (Dive Bar, #1)

Dirty

Author: Kyle Scott
Published: April 19, 2016
Pages: 288

Stars: 1 out of 5

 

Where to Buy:
$4.99 Kindle
$4.99 Barnes&Noble

 

 

 

Synopsis:
The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?

Review:

Lydia has really low self esteem and comments on her weight far too much. Within the first chapter, the author makes fun of Lydia’s plus size weight close to three times. This really bugged me because I don’t find it humorous or even entertaining. I wouldn’t classify Lydia as the most stable of characters but her weaknesses overshadow her other qualities. She is a bit all over the place and her low self esteem drags everything down. I think I would have liked this book better if Lydia’s character was stronger. Lydia mentally rambles far too much, especially when she should be focused on other things like being kissed.

Vaughan, my first impression was he’s a tad crude and a bit vulgar. One of the things he does early on that seems a bit undesirable is how he openly ogles Lydia’s breasts. It’s not so much that he does it but more the way he does it. It’s not done in a flattering, sexy way. It leaves the reader with this cheap feeling. That paired with Lydia’s unbelievably low self esteem and the whole scene just doesn’t sit well with me. But he offered his friendship to Lydia, so I really tried to like him…But I just couldn’t like him. His tough guy mentality wasn’t doing it for me. And it drove me crazy when he would grunt instead of giving a response.

I didn’t like the authors writings style. It was choppy and didn’t flow well. The way she wrote, it was closer to stating facts than showing the reader each characters personality or what emotions they were going through.

And honestly, I know this is a small thing but it really drove me crazy. The cover doesn’t match the description of Vaughan. Supposedly he has reddish blond hair with blue eyes, which I have never seen before but whatever. So not only was it difficult to picture what he looked like, I honestly couldn’t imagine blue eyes going with light hair. Dark, yes. Which brings me to the cover. The guy on the over has very dark facial hair, not the red/blond the book described. Did I miss something here?

This book is a contemporary romance with humor mixed throughout and one of those love at first sight books. Or in the authors terms, crazy at first sight. Which I would have to agree with the crazy part. According to Goodreads, my review is not the norm. Most people in fact loved the book.

Overall, I felt the plot was too fluffy and shallow. I guess what everyone else considered humorous and enduring/cute, was too awkward for me and I just didn’t understand the humor. The book wasn’t able to engage my heart or mind and I found myself skimming the book. But I think if you have read books from this author in the past, then you will really like this book.