Friday, October 5, 2012

More Morgan Hill Pictures

So for all of June basically we just hung around town and played outside a lot.  Here are a few random pictures of our time there.

She loved taking her ball outside and running around.

Some much needed sunscreen for the California summer.

One night before we went to dinner with a bunch of Brady's old friends.

I posted this on Facebook but it's too cute not to post again.

Lily LOVES popcorn - but only if she can hold the whole bowl.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss

Here's a little blurb from Goodreads:

A teenage time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.

Boy watching with her best friend would be enough excitement for fifteen year old Casey Donovan. She doesn't even mind life at the bottom of the Cambridge High social ladder, if only she didn’t have this other much bigger problem. Unscheduled trips to the nineteenth century!

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I was pleasantly surprised! I've never read a time travelling novel quite like this one. The way Casey has to have actual skills to survive in the 1860s was a realistic aspect to the story that many lack. She uses her instincts and creates ways for her to be better prepared when she goes back in time. She is smart, not just bookish but street smart in her own way. While she has that boy obsession that every heroine in YA novels has, it's very real. Being married now for years, at first I was thinking "Man, Casey, what is so great about this one guy?" But then I started to think back to how I was in high school and the boys I crushed on. I was the exact same way!

**Slight spoiler** When Casey goes to the 1960s, I wasn't really sure why that was necessary - but Strauss had a good reason for that. I also found it kind of coincidental that Nate goes on so many "trips" with her. But I can see why it was needed to forge a good bond between Casey and Nate and make their relationship be based on something other than "love at first sight." Everything wraps up very neat and tidy, maybe a little too tidy, but who doesn't love surprise coincidences and connections between seemingly random parts of a story? This was a relatively quick read and I'd recommend it!

4/5 Stars

Books I've Won Recently!

I've recently become [slightly] obsessed with entering blog giveaways.  I'd say in the past two weeks I've entered about 300 blog giveaways contests.  All my hard work has paid off because I've won several contests. I'd like to thank those authors/bloggers who have given me some awesome books to read, one of which I've already finished!  Here they are:

From YA Between the Lines I won the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy in e-book format!

From Lena Coakley, I won her book Witchlanders - which should be winging its way towards me in hard copy format:

I won two e-books from Elle Strauss - Clockwise and It's a Little Haywire.


G.P. Ching gave me my choice of e-book, and after much debate I chose Open Minds:

Just for entering some of the giveaways, the bloggers/authors gave everyone who entered a free e-book (or two).  Here those are from Angela Carlie and Sarra Cannon:


And I feel like I should mention that I won two signed books in a before Christmas giveaway - both hard copies one from Marley Gibson:

and the other from Debbie Viguie:

Thank you all so much!  It is still so crazy to me that I can be so in touch with so many awesome authors and other book lovers.  I'll [hopefully] post reviews for all of these books as soon as I read them all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Amazing Rafflecopter Giveaway!!

Use the Rafflecopter below and be entered to win a 16 GB Apple iPad 2 and several kindle fires!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review: Envy by Gregg Olsen

Envy (Empty Coffin, #1)

As if the cover of this book isn't creepy enough to get readers to buy it, the story Olsen writes is relevant and captivating. While the book is fiction, the events depicted are based on true stories Olsen read about in the news (there is a note about this at the end of the book). A little background info on the book from

Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits.

Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined.

Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.

Hayley and Taylor are girls that readers can relate to, for the most part. Perhaps not in the telepathic way but Olsen portrays them as having very realistic personalities and characteristics of girls their age. Envy gets readers to think about real world problems while being immersed in a fiction world at the same time. At times, I wished I had been able to know Katelyn better and I definitely wished that the twins would have said some of their thoughts out loud to Starla. But these people exist in real life, if going by other names. This book will get you thinking.

Busy Busy Busy Like a Really Tall Bee?

I meant for this blog to be a place for me to post my reviews/thoughts of all the books I read - and I read A LOT.  But from starting my first semester of my graduate degree (Library and Info Science) and having a 15 month old running around, I have been severely lax in my efforts.  But, alas, that is [hopefully] about to change. I'm not sure I actually like New Year's Resolutions - I've made them in the past only to have them peter out a week or two into January.  But perhaps this is one I can keep because I am always reading and always have opinions.  And it shouldn't be too much extra work to just write those thoughts down, ya?  Well, we'll see.  Here's to hoping!

(Major bonus points if you know where the title of this post comes from.  Without google-ing!  A hint: It's from possibly my favorite tv show of all time).