Monday, November 25, 2013


Ah, number 48! This novel is very hard to categorize. It could be older YA, a bit sci-fi, a bit urban fantasy, a bit steam punk and more than a bit enjoyable.

"The Bone Season" by Samantha Shannon is the first in a planned series of 7 books. If you don't have patience for authors who take their time world building, don't bother with this one. The story unravels this world, a very complicated one, rather slowly. Paige Mahoney is a special young woman, with very special powers that allow her to dreamwalk inside other people's heads. She can reach the aether. And her skills allow her to work for a criminal overlord in Scion-London. Until she gets caught and hauled off to a city that everyone thinks is dead. Instead it is a penal colony for other folks with special powers and it is run by beings who came to Earth from the aether. And of course, they have their own agenda and a "traitorous" rebel group that wants to stop them from inflicting more damage to the Earth.

This is Shannon's first novel, and as she was only 21 when it was published, I fully expect her writing voice to change a bit as the story progresses. The Bone Season isn't the best book I've read so far this year, but it is far from the worst. If you follow the link, it seems most reviewers gave it a 3 star rating, and I would say that is very fair.

I look forward to reading more of Shannon's stories and I fully expect the few rough spots I sensed in the book will be handled better the next time out.

I also read a collection of short stories from Lisa Shafer and left reviews for her on Goodreads and Amazon. I'm eager to see the world building she does in the full length novel these short stories are inspired by. And who doesn't love the title, "The Chocolate Smuggler's Notebook?"

This is my last post of the week, and yes, it is only Monday. I'm on VACATION at 3:30 today. And I very excited and very happy to enjoy a nice long holiday.

Until December....toodles.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

the girls are coming home

My girls are coming home, but so are all of their friends!! Yeah!! I would love to pack this house with all of those former soccer girls (but once a soccer girl, always a soccer girl?) and just listen to them visit and have a good time being together. Miss them and the energy they bring.

All the Mamas are posting how excited they are to have their kids back home for the holiday. And then in just a few short weeks they are home for Christmas!!

And the Ville is getting ready for the holidays. Our tree lighting happens on the 3rd. So magical and amazing. It never gets old, never.

While this time of the year can be a bit stressful and we seem to put a lot of stuff on ourselves, I'm really pumped to enjoy the holidays this year. I have a lot of time off, which is super nice. All of my kids will be home. Christmas shopping has been almost fun this year. It is all good.

So, Happy Happy and Merry Merry time is coming!!

And it is Thursday.......

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

magazine time

We are in a crunch. The December issue of the magazine was scheduled to go to the printers today. Well, that won't be happening as we just got the final files for the features.

We layout out some pages, our contract graphic designer lays out some pages, and then the company we hired to create the 'look' of the magazine layouts out some pages.

All the pieces/files are now in the office and we have to merge them. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that our designer will have merged the files for us last night. She sometimes does super nice things like that for us. Merging all those pages is a pain in the A$$. Last time my boss and I royally messed it up and she had to fix it all. So, maybe she will just do it for us on the front end.

Then it is time to proof. Argh. Make sure everything is set to style. Argh. I swear gremlins get in those files once I import the Word docs into InDesign and they mess things up. Spaces show up that weren't there before. Punctuation marks move. The list is endless.

So, that is what I have to look forward to today. And instead of taking a week to get this sucker ready to go, we have 2 days. It really needs to be out the door come Friday morning.

Let's hope we can get March ready earlier and out the door on time. I don't like being late. Not one bit.

Yep. It is Wednesday. Argh.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

the moon

When I let Duke out for the paper, the moon was shining bright and had a halo around it. The clouds were just perfect and the halo was almost orange in color. So pretty. By the time we left for our walk, the moment was gone. The clouds had moved away and the sun was up just enough to make the halo effect impossible to see.

So much in life is about the right moment.

Reminds me a bit of Ferris Bueller and his line in the movie regarding how fast life moves. "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, November 18, 2013


So....I read quite a bit this weekend! Number 47 was a YA title I downloaded from our library. "The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau is in many ways a typical dystopian teen book, but the writing was solid, the characters were interesting, and the plot had enough twists and turns to keep me engaged. It is a bit "Hunger Games-ish" as kids are selected for testing by a central government. The ones who pass go on to the university...the rest are never heard from again. The test is more than book smarts, it is also survival skills and interpersonal skills.

Bottom line, I'd read the next in this series. I really grew to like Cia Vale, our heroine, and am quite interested in how her story continues.

Monday. ugh. ugh. ugh.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Number 46 is "A Rescue for a Queen" by Fiona Buckley. This is the 11th title in the Ursula Blanchard novels. Ursula is a spy for her half sister, Elizabeth I. Love this series!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


And the 45th book of the year is "After Dead" by Charlaine Harris. As the cover says, this book explains what came next in the world of Sookie Stackhouse. I read it in less than 30 minutes and have to say that the majority of the characters Harris wrote notes about,  I don't remember!!

I was interested in Sookie, Eric, Bill and that was about it.

Onward to book number 46!

Friday, November 15, 2013


As of last night, I now have 44 books listed for 2013! Yeah, me!! Only 8 more to go to achieve my goal. Doing a very small happy dance.

A short review on the latest title, another freebie courtesy of Free Nook Book Fridays, next week.

Happy Weekend.....looking forward to mine starting at 3:30 today.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Becoming Brigid

I've not been one to post long book reviews on this blog, but if I was more awake and my brain was truly in gear, I'd be tempted to post a lengthy review of Lisa Shafer's "Becoming Brigid."

Lisa is a self published author and teacher who lives out in Utah. I'm not sure how we 'met' on the internet. I think it was through Nathan Bransford's blog. Nathan was a literary agent, once upon a time, and he posted wonderful information for aspiring authors. I found Lisa's comments on his posts to be insightful and funny. She also shares my dislike for all things that sparkle (Twilight) and an appreciation for good YA novels.

I soon began stopping by her blog and she would visit mine as well. I have followed her journey to publish not only this title, but also her Half Vampire books. But, as much as I love vampires, I have really been waiting to get my hands on Brigid. The concept of this book just struck a note with me and I was very excited when she announced that the book was ready to go.

Lisa, hats off to you on "Becoming Brigid." The characters are awesome. They are personable, so very real, and remind me of kids I know. The dialog, such an important part of building a character, is fantastic. I adore Brigid! Her personality rocks and is authentic and natural. The plot is fun and action packed. The adventures Brigid finds herself on are great. No 'saggy middle' in this book. The action is nonstop. Dougal is great and I can truly see why some of your younger readers have a crush on him. What literature loving teens wouldn't swoon over a Celtic god quoting poetry and play lines to them?

I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but the story is one of discovery and self-awareness. It has a very positive message for young women. Brigid has a backbone, a brain, and an attitude. Yippee!! Plus, not all the boys are jerks. Although there is one who is a major jerk, but what happens to him is so perfect...and you can find out more about that if you read the book!

Four stars!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

becoming brigid

I started reading Lisa Shafer's "Becoming Brigid" last night, and if I wouldn't have had laundry to do, dinner to cook, and my hubby to chat with, I probably would have kept on reading. But, I had to set it aside and shut the computer down.

After I finish the book, I will post a review here and on Amazon. Plus, Lisa has asked for a pic of me reading the book. I will try and do that too.

In other news, it is darn cold here this morning and the Duke and I are not walking. I woke up cold. It is really cold outside. I'm walking after work.

I will have to do some stretching and stuff in the living room to get the blood moving this morning as I just can't quite bring myself to go out in the dark and walk when the thermometer isn't reading at least 32.

I'm a wimp.

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Well it hit 70 yesterday and today we will see a high of 45? Yikes. I have already located my ear muffs and gloves for our morning walk. I need to find the boy a hat to wear this morning as he came down with an ear infection on Sunday and is now on antibiotics for the next 10 days.

Never a dull moment.

My eye exam yesterday went just fine. She really checked me out as I had let her know I've been seeing more 'floaters' that what I normally see. All is well. Nothing detached, out of place, out of sorts, or wrong. Eye pressure is good. Just getting older; and near sighted eyes with astigmatism have more floaters. Joy. Joy. Joy. The other good news was that I don't need new glasses. This prescription is still spot on. That is worth celebrating as it keeps about $400 in my pocketbook. Whoop!!

I had a lovely lunch with my friend at one of our favorite lunching spots. So good to visit with her and listen to her chat on about her daughter's wedding plans. We need to hang out more often and as soon as football season is over, we will do so on Saturdays.  She is the one friend who stayed with me from the Friends when I went back to work full time.

Off to work I go. Short week ahead. Then a long week. Then an extremely short week as I'm taking two days off before Thanksgiving.

Down to 10 books to go to hit my goal!! I finished that second Aris book last night and up on deck is Lisa's "Becoming Brigid" story. Excited to start it tonight!

Off into Tuesday we go....where is my parka?? At least the temperature drop didn't bring any white stuff with it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

free books

As a Nook owner, I benefit from the Free Nook Book Fridays that B&N offers. It often leads to reading some interesting titles.

A few weeks back, they offered "Aris Returns" by Devin Morgan. Now, the title interested me as the hubby has a cousin who is named Aris. Of course, she is not a 2,000 year old vampire.

The book was decent. I was entertained enough that I was glad I downloaded the sequel at the same time.

So, my book countdown is now at 11.

I also purchased and downloaded a certain YA title I have been very excited to read. "Becoming Brigid" by Lisa Shafer is up next after the Aris books. "BB" will have to read on my laptop as I don't own a Kindle.

Off into Monday we go.  Happy Veterans Day to all the service men and women and their families. Your sacrifice and dedication is much appreciated! Our family and extended family includes many veterans and we are so very proud of them.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

40 down and 12 to go

I set a goal for myself this year to read a book a week. I officially have 40 books logged at this point and need 12 more to reach my goal. Can I do it?


Thursday, November 7, 2013

fall is here

Brrr. I opened the door to a blast of chilly air. The rain seems to have moved out and fall moved in behind it. I'm ready for it to be brisk and on the cool side, but it reminds me that I never cleaned out my flowerbeds and they are in desperate need of some attention.

I won't be working on them this weekend as the boy has his fourth speech/debate competition and I told the hubby that I'd take him to this one. He's gone to the last two and it is now my turn!

I may be judging and I need to read the judging packet, just in case.

So, today is Thursday and I'm looking forward to our three day weekend as we have Monday off. I have an eye appointment and then I'm hoping to go to lunch with a friend.

Off we go....where did I put my gloves????? Walking the dog will requires some warmer apparel now.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

constructive comments

We're in a rut.

There. I've said it. I think the only way to enact change is to first admit that change is needed. We need some changes at work. Going to the national meeting only solidified that thought in my head.

Our association has been very successful over the past 50 years and has grown and filled a need in the research community. But, like every entity, if you stagnate, things start to lose traction. You fail to recognize potential competitors and then fail to develop a plan to re-position yourself in the market. You begin to think that yours is the only show in town. You become complacent in your customer service and as your front line people become entrenched in their ways, service becomes a chore, a bother, a nuisance.

I saw all of this while I was gone to the meeting. I had a long talk about it yesterday with our assistant executive director. A meeting with the exec. director may happen. They lost money last year. The hope this year is to break even.

As my boss told me before we left, "We succeed in spite of ourselves." He's right. But, how long can we sustain that?

It might be time to open the windows and air the place out. I said my piece, and framed it in the concept that we might be missing some opportunities. I think we are. But, in this case, change needs to come from the top down. If the ones in charge don't buy into the idea of trying some new things, the stagnation will continue.

There is truth to the saying that if something isn't broke, don't fix it. But, what if you don't realize that the thing is broken, cracked, or on its last leg? What then?

Is it time for a change? I think so. I do know that I have said my piece and offered ideas and suggestions. It is now time to step back. I had fresh eyes to see everything and how it all works. A new perspective was given.

Do I think the association is going to fail? No, I don't think that at all, but its relevancy and impact may begin to diminish. I've shared my thoughts with the powers that be. That's about all I can do.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

sleeping in

So, what does it say about  me when I'm excited that I managed to sleep until 5:00 a.m. this morning? Wow. Pretty lame, right?

Yesterday by body clock was off by an hour. In fact, all of us in our department hit the wall at 1:45...last week that would have been 2:45 and time to start closing up the shop. That extra hour about killed the three of us.

But, I have high hopes for today as I am more or less back on my correct schedule now.

While the oldest was home on fall break, she managed to sleep in one morning until 11:50. Yep, by the time she rolled out of her room and was ready to speak, it was almost noon. I don't think I was ever able to sleep that long. She also loves to nap. Now, that I can relate to as I too love a nice nap.

It was nice driving to work in the sunshine yesterday, but coming home at 3:30 in the afternoon and the sun is on its way towards setting was not fun.

My circadian rhythms are all messed up!

And it is Tuesday, just like that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

airplane reading

I did do quite a bit of reading while I was away. My internal clock was all messed up due to the time change and then all of those hours spent in the airport allowed some Nook time.

I read "Notorious Nineteen" by Janet Evanovich and "The Age of Miracles" by Karen Thompson Walker. Happy to say I enjoyed both novels.

Evanovich has been writing about Jersey girl, Stephanie Plum, for years now and I was happy to see that last year's entry into the series had an actual mystery to solve and plenty of tension between Stephanie and Ranger. Fun stuff. As one librarian told me years ago, this series is like crack for the brain. Or, it is like eating a whole bag of Doritos by yourself. Guilty pleasure on paper. I tried to restrain  myself from laughing out loud at some of the scenes, especially the ones with Lulu. She is still a hoot and a half.

The Walker novel was a very different book than I expected. It features a middle school protagonist, but is not a YA dystopian novel. It is most definitely geared towards the adult literary fiction market in my opinion. Now, that being said, older YA readers would enjoy it. This is beautifully and hauntingly written in parts. It gets under your skin and makes you think not only about relationships, but also how we managed them as children and how we need to manage them as adults.

I'm now reading "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic" by Emily Croy Barker. I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I have yet to 'like' any of the characters, but am loathe to put the book down and not finish it. Character like-ability is an interesting thing. A character can be thoroughly rotten and I will find myself still liking them and cheering for them because they are so interesting. But, with this book, I feel a bit detached from all of the characters. Hmm. Will have to see what the next 200 pages brings.

Off into Monday we go! It feels an hour later than it actually is, but the time change thing always messes with me for a week or so. And on the heels of a trip involving a time change, my internal clock is totally messed up.