July Highlights

july

Running:

Honestly I have no idea what my goal was. So I guess it wasn’t a very good goal. I will say my running has improved and I think that is manly because of my recent change in my diet.

Total Milage for the Month: 112

WHAT!!! Wow, that is a lot of running and really neat to see 🙂

I should set a new goal for the month of August. Seeing as I am somewhat struggling with food, I think I need to make this a priority. Because I am on the Whole30, it really limits what I can and can’t have.

Books News:

Feb reading

This month I was able to read 6 books. I read two books this month that tied for my favorite: Coming Clean (Monkey Business Trio, #3) and Clean Break. Both books are fantastic reads. Coming Clean is the last book in the series and it’s the perfect ending. Clean Break is an interesting twist on Beauty and the Beast. If you missed them, click on the links to check out my reviews 🙂

Hardass really disappointed me. I had a difficult time relating to the main character, Caroline. Her mannerisms were extremely immature and most of the things she did was completely inappropriate. I felt like her character lacked a lot of class and the book just fell short.

If you missed my other reviews, here is a list of books I read this month:
The Billionaire Bachelor (4 Stars)
Once Upon a One Night Stand (3 Stars)
It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy (2 Stars)

My Throwback Thursday’s this month were:
Kate Daniels Series
Reckoning (The Breach, #1)

Discussions I had on Tuesday Talk:
Book Reviews That Let You Down
Lets Talk Music
4th of July

Fun and Interesting Posts:

I received the Liebster Award for the second time 🙂 I will say I had a lot of fun answering these questions!

Author Abby Vegas wrote a guest post discussing fairy tales and how it connects with her book Clean Break. The post is short but a fun read. If you are interested, you can find it here.

For the first time I did a cover reveal for the Jessica Lemmon’s book- The Billionaire Bachelor. You can find that here and the review for the book above.

Liebster Award

liebster Award

This is the second time I’ve been nominated for this award and honestly, I am just as excited as the first.

My fellow bloggers over at closetreaders nominated me this time around. This blog is written by two sisters. If you want to know more about them, they recently did a Introducing Us post that is fun to read.

For those I nominate, here are the rules:

  • Thank the blog that nominated you and recognise their blog
  • Nominate 5- 10 bloggers you admire by tagging them in a blog post 
  • Create a blog post answering the 10 questions you were asked by the person who nominated you
  • Put a list of the rules in your post
  • Give 10 random facts about yourself
  • Ask 10 questions for your nominees 
  • Add the Liebster Award badge to your post/blog

Kind of simple, right 🙂

So before I get started, I want to nominate some really amazing blogs I enjoy. These people might not be ‘new’ to blogging but they have amazing content and a real voice to their writing. I nominate:

TheTattooedBookGeek

rakioddbooks

deepthiunnikrishnan

ravenandbeez

ladieswholunchreviews

I am really excited to see your answers. I know this might seem silly but if you think of it, would you let me know when you post. I’m curious about what your answers are going to be 🙂


10 Random Facts:

  1. I love running so much I might actually be addicted to it. On the the days I can’t run, a part of me (mainly my body) is relieved, but a bigger part longs for the trails and running.
  2. I refuse to accept my post baby self- Although I know I will never look like I did prior to having kids, I know one day I will be able to wear a two piece swimsuit again. Heck, I’m not that old and I refuse to fall into the stereotypes of the soccer mom who has to dress a certain way. Maybe this is why I am struggling to make friends with some of the moms in my sons class.
  3. To piggy off that idea, I am really big into health- healthy living, healthy eating, and emotional health. Emotional health being the biggest became that is what drives and affects the rest of your health.
  4. This years political election scares the heck out of me!
  5. I have Celiacs Disease which can at times be frustrating but I think I am a healthier eater because of it.
  6. I am returning back to work as a Special Needs Teacher. If you ever need help or advice advocating for your child, I’m your gal.
  7. I love coffee. I think love might even be an understatement. There is need there, I need it. Even before my early morning runs, I drink at least half a cup before heading out.
  8. Chocolate is a big weakness of mine. Which usually translates into cookies, brownies.. you get were this is going.
  9. I love debating with people or talking about different topics. That’s mainly why I created Tuesday Talks- to connect with others.
  10. Fall is my favorite season. I love the change in color 🙂

Questions I was asked to answer:

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Besides clutter, I would say my biggest pet peeve is when things aren’t where they are supposed to be. Things have a spot and that is where they go. It drives me crazy when I go to get something and it isn’t there. I think this is pet peeve of mine because I feel like it wastes my time. And I hate having my time wasted.

What is the last movie you watched?

What can I say, I am a sucker for good action, Marvel, and I love the attitude!

Who did you last text?
My husband. He is has been gone for a week due to work. I sent him a picture of the boys

How many books are on your TBR list?
122 but I’m pretty sure that is all of them… Wow, that’s kind of a big number

What height are you?
I am 5’5

Who do you admire most?
My husbands cousin- Regardless of the family  dynamic, they are raising an amazing girl. She knows what she wants, she’s independent, strong, and her own person. She isn’t afraid to dress how she likes and when posing for pictures, she is full of attitude. And I’m not talking about the spoiled kind, she is already a confident strong girl. And she is only 4. She is this way because of her parents and they are amazing people.

When was your last holiday and where did you go?
4th of July, and we had family over at our place. We did a water party in the back yard, grilled, and had a nice time 🙂

Who’s post did you last like on instagram if you have an account?
I don’t have instagram but the last post I liked was: I am a Feminist

What is your biggest habit?
My biggest habit that is good is that I always lock my doors and I am aware of my surroundings.

Funny story- when I was in college, the last two years I lived in an apartment complex. I would get home really late from work, around 11. And for a couple nights in a row I would notice this guy sitting in his car with the lights off. Every night he would be in a different  parking spot but always in the same area.  If I wasn’t actively looking while walking to my apartment, I wouldn’t have noticed him. After the second or third night, I called the police. Come to find out, the guy in the car was an undercover cop looking into something. The next night he was gone.

What song did you last play?
Into the Wild by LP

Bonus: Recommended blogs?
Wow, I think I would recommend any of the blogs I nominated. I mean there is a reason I follow their blogs, right? 🙂


10 Questions for those I nominated:

  1. Describe a recent nightmare and do you think it means anything?
  2. What’s a goal you hope to achieve?
  3. Regardless of responsibilities, time, money, etc. If you could go anywhere and do anything right this moment, what/where would it be?
  4. What book would you recommend that is a must read for this summer?
  5. If you could take a pill like in the movie/tv show Limitless, without any negative side effects, what would you do or try to accomplish before the pill stopped working? Remember, you only have 24 hours before the pill wears off.
  6. What is one thing you look for in other blogs before you decide to follow them?
  7. If you could travel back in time and give your younger self advice, what time would you travel to and what advice would you give?
  8.  What is your favorite dish/food you like to make?
  9. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  10. If you could ask your pet three things, what would they be? And for those who don’t have pets, same question but if you could ask your house/rental.

 

Throwback Thursday-Kate Daniels Series

throwback

This weeks Throwback Thursday is actually a series and not just one book. Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series is made up of 8 books but 10 total are scheduled to come out so far. I’ve decided to do the entire series because in the beginning I was borderline to liked this series but I wasn’t sure if I would continue reading.  I have given the books in this series between 3 and 5 star ratings. And I will promise you, the series does get better.

Kate Daniels

Somewhat of a synopsis of the series:

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

It’s a volatile, screwed-up world. Magic feeds on technology, gnawing down on skyscrapers until most of them topple and fall, leaving only skeletal husks behind. Monsters prowl the ruined streets, werebears and werehyenas stalk their prey; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight.  But sometimes even trained killers make friends and fall in love, and when the universe tries to kick them in the face, they kick back.

What I loved about these books:

I have to say Ilona does a fantastic job on character and world building. What she describes in her books draws you in like nothing else. You are able to easily visualize as you are reading along.

In the beginning, the books are tailored more for action/fantasy. But as you get further in, a romance begins to develop. And by that point, there is no turning back because the love between Kate and (sorry, can’t say. Don’t want to give it away) is deep, powerful, and pulls you in without mercy.

I also loved how Ilona doesn’t hand everything over right away. She gives you clues throughout the different books and piecing them together is almost as fun as finding out the answers.

With a final note, what draws me to this series is Kate. She is strong, feisty, and so so stubborn. But she isn’t perfect and she doesn’t always win. Her struggles are realistic and if you allow yourself to fall into this crazy world, then her accomplishments aren’t all that far fetched. Kate has had a difficult life and doesn’t trust easily. But when she decides to trust, she will be the best person to have your back.

Quotes about the Series:

“I have read a lot of books, and there is nothing like this series. The story is set in the future, where there are “magic and tech waves”. On minute your chilling around enjoying the technology and the next a magic wave hits and gas powered cars, guns and phones don’t work. Awesome!!!” – anonymous  goodreads user

“The world and characters keeps developing and getting better and better with each new novel. Typically I find that series wane after the first book or two, but this series does the exact opposite! Love it! “- Kat

“Sparrowlicious, my only advice is to keep reading… I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but a lot of what you don’t like about the first book is taken car of in the next few books!! :-)” – anonymous goodreads user

“I wasn’t too fond of the first one, but with each book, I’m loving this series more and more. I think the world building is awesome and I just adore Kate.” – Cassandra

I’m curious to see what others think about this series. Have you read it? Did you like it?

If you haven’t picked up this series, it’s a must. Just keep in mind the first book isn’t perfect or close to a five star rating. But push through because I promise it is worth it!!

Coming Clean (Monkey Business Trio #3)

Coming CleanAuthor: C.L. Parker
Published: September 20, 2016
Pages: 368

Stars: 5 out of 5

Where to Buy:
Amazon $7.99
Barnes&Noble $7.99

 

 

 

Synopsis:
The steamy conclusion of C. L. Parker’s Monkey Business Trio

They have been rivals who fought until the bitter end and lovers who know every sensual inch of each other’s bodies. Now sports agents Cassidy Whalen and Shaw Matthews are about to become the one thing they never expected to be: parents. But this new dynamic to their relationship threatens to fizzle the sizzling desire that once held them in thrall to each other. If salvation is only a forbidden fantasy away, then Shaw and the woman he loves must embark on the adventure of their lives.

Cassidy is aching to reignite their connection. In steamy assignations in strange places, she and Shaw live out their most intimate desires—and reveal their deepest secrets. But as Shaw works overtime to sign a superstar athlete, a corporate reshuffling could be a game-changer. Can Cassidy and Shaw save their relationship and have it all—a career, family, and passion that never quits?

Coming Clean is intended for mature audiences.

Review:
I think it’s important to acknowledge the authors note to the reader at the beginning of the book. With that said, I think I author nailed it with this book. This is perfect for any stay at home mother/parent. As the reader, I could just feel Cassidy’s exhaustion seeping through the pages. The emotions were palpable and the plot was strong.

Right from the beginning the prologue was intense. If you have ever given birth or had an emergency c-section, I think you can easily relate. Within this first chapter I was laughing to almost wanting to cry. The emotions the author pulled were strong and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t think you would get such an extreme response if you haven’t had a child before but you would still get the response the author intended. The author is extremely gifted at creating emotionally charged scenes.

The characters have really developed and changed throughout this series. In the first book, Cassidy was feisty, strong headed, and was on a mission. Don’t get me wrong, she is still the feisty woman we fell in love with. But after three years of putting her family first, always making excuses for why daddy isn’t there, and dealing with the affects it has on their child, in some ways she has lost herself. I love this quote and I think many parents can relate. This quote comes after Shaw once again breaks another promise to their three year old son and she is left picking up the pieces- “After staring the motor, I took a moment to gather myself, flipping down the visor and finding the reflection of a woman I didn’t know staring back at me in the mirror.” I know there are stronger quotes I could have pulled from this book, but that one really hit home with me.

The book moves at a fast pace and had me not wanting to put the book down. I actually had to tell myself it was ok that I didn’t finish the book in one sitting. The sex was fantastic and had me blushing like a school girl. It was risky but done in a classy way. Even if you aren’t into some of the sexual acts the book describes, the author does it in a way that it doesn’t turn you away from the book or plot.

The ending was a bit predictable but still lovely, romantic, and simply over the top. It’s easy to get lost in this book, which you should if you decide to read it. Even though there are unrealistic qualities to the plot, I couldn’t help but feel connected to the story. As a mother (and one that stays home) I could easily relate to Shaw and Cassidy.

I’m sad this series is over but it ended perfectly. This is an author I will be keeping my eye on and will take a chance on any future books.

 

 

Tuesday Talk- Book Reviews that Let you down??

Tuesday Talks

On Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  

Today’s Tuesday Talk is coming from a fellow blogger- lianakeyblog. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should. It’s not only entertaining but I really enjoy what her blogs get at. She not only writes books but she is also a writer herself.

Anyway, she wrote in on the topic of Book Reviews. Now, it is true I have already written a couple posts on Book Reviews, more to the point on what we are looking for in a review. If you want to check them out, you can find them here: Tuesday Talk- Reviews and What We Want Part 1 and Tuesday Talk- Reviews and What We Want Part 2

But what Liana Key is getting at, is something different:

How about the authenticity of book reviews? I reviewed a book that mainly had 4&5 star ratings and every review said how funny it was but I never laughed once! It’s like they all copied the previous reviewer, in fact two reviews were exactly the same! Not the first time I’ve seen it either! – lianakeyblog

How many times have you looked at other reviews that talked a book up only to find the book was a horrible disappointment?

I think the question is, how much weight should we put in others reviews? If most of them lead to disappointment, then why read them at all?

This weeks question is exactly what I said above- How much weight should we put in others reviews? And Have you come across reviews where it seems like others just hit copy and past from the ones below them?

I’m really interested to see what you think about this. Most of the people following my blog are fellow book bloggers. I can’t help but wonder, are we waisting our time by writing reviews that could very possibly only end up a disappointment to others?

Running Week 13&14 (Marathon Training Week 4&5)

Life has gotten away with me and I completely missed my post for last week. Hence me doubling up 🙂 My house, including myself have been sick so unfortunately  there isn’t much to update..

RunningMonday: 5 Mile Trail Run

I underestimated the humidity and heat this morning. Luckily I brought Gatorade with me but I still ended up stopping.. a lot. I should have just ran slower than trying to stick to my running schedule. Lesson learned.

 


 

RunningTuesday: 3 Mile Social Run

I had a pretty good run. It was still hot and humid but not nearly as bad as yesterday. I ate dinner before my run which I think helped with the fuel. I think I might be one of those people who needs to eat a lot before and during a run. Oh well, I’m going to call this run a success!


 

RunningThursday: 11 Mile Trail Run

11 miles this morning and one of the best runs I have had in a while!! I finally have the fuel figured out and again I ran with two great people. Our conversation kept me motivated and the run ended up being a really nice one!!

 

 

Oh, we saw deer on the trails too!! Beautiful view this morning 🙂


 

RunningMonday: 6 Mile Trail Run

Easy 6 miles this morning. The run felt good and the weather was nice. Half way through the run I noticed my water bottles were leaking and my entire back side was wet… not cool at all. It was actually a little embarrassing but luckily there weren’t many people out. I hope this doesn’t mean I need to get a new running belt.

I love how the sunrise is reflected in the pond. Absolutely Beautiful!


RunningSaturday: 12 Mile Group Run

Wow, that was a lot harder than I would have liked. But considering it was my first run since getting sick this week, I’m just glad I was able to get the miles in.

I ended up running the last three miles by myself and honestly that was the best decision I made. I was trying to keep up with my running group and my body just wasn’t ready. On my own, I slowed my pace a great deal which helped but the last two miles I still ended up doing some walking. It was just too humid out for this run to be anything close to enjoyable. We started the run around 6:15 and it was already 83 out. Take into account the humidity and my phone said it was closer to 87.

Running

I’m really sore after the run and pushed myself too hard. Which was so stupid of me. Now I am going to need to take it easy this next week if I want to stay on track.

Overall Milage for the TWO weeks: 38

It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy

It Aint Easy Being JazzyAuthor: Quanie Miller
Published: October 15, 2013
Pages: 280

Stars: 2 out of 5

Where to buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.

The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.

But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.

Review:

I’ll be honest, it was difficult to get into this book. The writing style wasn’t easy for me to fully enjoy. I felt like there was a lot of filler information that didn’t really add anything to the main plot. A lot of it I couldn’t relate to, some of it was funny, but overall this was the main reason I struggled getting into the book.

As you dig into the book, you realize the story is packed full of family dysfunction (who can’t relate to that) and a bit of good old fashion drama. There were times I honestly thought the characters were crazy and some of the situations are over the top.

Jazzy has some spunk to her personality and is a strong character. She knows what she wants and isn’t easily swayed. I think I would have loved this book if there wasn’t so much filler information.