Sunday Post ~ #winning

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.


The new puppy, Cera, went to the vet last week. She was a hit with everyone there. She’d go up and sit in front of them with her he has very narrow nasal passages and has a reverse sneeze. They also think she is a Beagle. She is still having accidents in the house, and we think it is just to mark her territory and piss Baby off. She keeps pooping in Baby’s room and even on Baby’s huge bean bag. Ugh. She has started using the synthetic grass patch to pee on, so here’s to hoping!

Y’all! I about keeled over when I heard the news, even though after the second day back to work in August I called it. Last week our principal held a last-minute, unscheduled faculty meeting. I was at duty, which we never get relieved from (and always get the stink eye and nowhere to sit when we come in late to faculty meetings). By the time I was relieved, it was over. She announced she is retiring at the end of this school year in June. I have always had catty remarks in my observations from her, so I am hoping this year she will pass on this since she is not returning in the fall.

Our UIL were this week, so all the stress is now over! Tuesday we took our speaking students to their event, and the writing was graded. Saturday everyone else went for their competitions. There were some issues with scoring and following the UIL rules. The host school was not putting out all of the judging sheets for verification, and they also would put something out and not announce it until the window was closed so that when coordinators and coaches would go to verify, they were taking the judging sheets and tests away. Right before the awards, they called all the coordinators from the different schools in and basically had a “don’t blame us for the fuck-ups even though we had a UIL “guru” pulling the strings and really running the show” meeting. That was displeasing, but our kids took home at total of 39 awards! The 7th grade took home 3rd overall. Our kids were so well-behaved and mannered and I am so proud of all of them.

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  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ January Buzz Books
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ TBD
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #21
  •  Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday ~ Movie Adaptions I’m Excited For
    • Book Blogger Hop #5

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I finally started two new books!

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I started this feature as part of my Sunday Posts in the fall. After being asked by a coworker – in all seriousness – if I had a life, I decided to join disc jockey Bobby Bones of Kase 101 in doing one human thing each week.

How does it work?

In order to not lose what little sanity I have left and in order to not become enslaved to the Texas Education Agency via my school district, I will…

  • leave school within an hour of dismissal once a week
  • go do one human thing with another human
  • talk about my human thing on the blog each week

While I didn’t really have my human connection this week, I did spend all Tuesday afternoon and evening with my UIL speaking students and coaches. I left school on Wednesday and Thursday at 5:00 and I left on Friday at 4:30, so in all I still consider it a successful week.

This week the man sent me photos every once in a while of Baby and Cera. He has the best captions for each photo he sent me. These are a few of the better quality photos.

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Book Blogger Hop #4

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The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


What was the one time you thought the movie was better than the book? (submitted by Tomi @ A Bookworm’s Guide To Life)

I don’t think I’ll ever answer this question as it is posed, but I do believe there are some films that are comparable to their bookish beginnings. No, there will never be consensus, and people will argue, favoring one over the other, but I do think these two movies were done well and stayed as true to their book origins and showcased the importance in these stories.

I enjoyed reading The Watsons so much with my students my first of teaching that I have tried to find a way to read it again every year, even if it is not with my entire language arts class. Last year I was lucky enough to teach a creative writing course, and we read the book in that class and did a variety of writing pieces from it. I do own the film version because I enjoy it thoroughly.

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Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.

But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military’s purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine’s abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.

 

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Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There’s Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron, who’s thirteen and an “official juvenile delinquent.” When Momma and Dad decide it’s time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra-Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. They’re heading South to Birmingham, Alabama, toward one of the darkest moments in America’s history.

Feature Follow Friday ~ January 20, 2017

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Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

The First Book That Scared Me

I don’t rightly know what the first book was that scared me. I read a lot of Goosebumps books – all the ones that my elementary library had. I was trying to think of the first book that engrossed me in the plot. I do remember feeling the same way Janie did after she made some discoveries, and I thought she wasn’t safe where she was.

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The face on the milk carton looks like an ordinary little girl: hair in tight pigtails, a dress with a narrow white collar, a three-year-old who was kidnapped more than twelve years ago from a shopping mall in New Jersey.

As fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson stares at the milk carton, she feels overcome with shock. She knows that little girl is she. But how could it be true?

Janie can’t believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, until she begins to piece together clues that don’t make sense. Why are there no pictures of Janie before she was four? Her parents have always said they didn’t have a camera. Now that explanation sounds feeble. Something is terribly wrong, and Janie is afraid to find out what happened more than twelve years ago.

In this gripping page-turner, the reader will unravel — as Janie does — the twisted events that changed the lives of two families forever.

 

What was your first scary read? 

WWW Wednesdays (January 17th)

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This is a weekly meme hosted hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.


What are you currently reading? 

29917857I was very nervous about this book – I still am – because it is a tour book. My review is within the next two weeks and I was asking and asking for the book because my district’s UIL event is the weekend prior, and my yearbook deadline is *the* day my review is slated. I am hoping I find some super magical time to read this one and get my review written and not have everything else fall off my plate into oblivion. That’s kind of where I’m operating these days to maintain some semblance of sanity.

Staying for Good is the second book in the Most Likely To series. I read and reviewed the first book – Doing It Over – last May, and I was excited to be invited to review the second book in the series. I admit that is one thing I am jealous about from those who keep up well with new releases current and recurring authors. I am self-admittedly terrible about it all,, and it just seems that I’m either asked to review the first book and never again for any following books, or books in the middle of a series (which drives me crazy – I need to start from the beginning – the “oh, it can be read as a standalone” is not always true). I really enjoyed the characters and the setting of the first book, and I am very interested in this book’s MC.

Zoe Brown may have been voted Most Likely to Never Leave River Bend, but the paper-thin walls and suffocating air of her family’s double-wide trailer were not what she wanted for her life. Other than BFFs Melanie and Jo, the only thing that kept Zoe sane during high school was her boyfriend, Luke.

She didn’t just leave, she escaped—turning her back on the shame of her black-sheep siblings and imprisoned dad. Now a celebrity chef in Dallas, she can afford all the things she never could have growing up. But when she returns to rustic, ruggedly beautiful River Bend, Zoe has to face all that she abandoned—including Luke.

While Luke was a refuge for Zoe in the past, he knows they inhabit totally different worlds now. Anchored by his parents and his job as a mechanic in his father’s shop, Luke never felt the urge to leave River Bend—until Zoe’s return.

But when the two rekindle their old flame, Zoe is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: remain in River Bend and confront her past before it destroys her, or say good-bye to everyone she’s ever loved…again, this time for good.


 What did you just finish reading?

15839984I finished both of my books Monday night! I have been listening to Cruel Beauty on audio (thank you, SYNC!) …. SINCE OCTOBER! This is *the* longest I have taken to finish listening to an audiobook. I only listen when I am working on my blog and I consciously think about “Oh, I could be listening to my audiobook right now.” I can’t listen while driving because I need to listen to music in order to stay focused on the road. When I blog, I usually put on Netflix for background noise. Although lately I have been watching some of the newer things and have become too distracted from even working on my blog. So now that I have finished my first audiobook of the year, it is time to start another. I am hoping to get through at least six this year. I have a good list running of all the ones still on my Kindle and those I have downloaded to my computer. I need to clean out my Kindle audios first, so I really need to choose which will be next. My goal for this week is to listen to my next audio pick on Friday evening.

 

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I also finished Somebody Like You, which I review in early February. I adored the ending. Absolutely adored. This is truly a sweet romance. It’s very feel-good and has a fantastic cast of characters. There is more substance to this book than simply the romance. There is a vandal on the loose in small town Darling, Laurel is figuring out life post-divorce and starting her own business, the Chamber of Commerce is trying to get Laurel and Aiden to recreate a photo they took when they were five for the city’s new marketing campaign, the small town ignores the homeless man in their midst, a well-known kid is caught doing some horrible things, and of course everyone is nicely up in each other’s business. 🙂

I really liked the reflective commentary about the homeless man, George, who is extremely private with his personal life – and even his last name. The things that Laurel thinks about in his regard are very telling about the town and prejudices towards homeless people today. The other interesting point Laurel made was about the well-known kid. Their parents can be on the school board, on state agency boards, you name it, and their kids could be some of the worst behaved on the planet despite that high visibility to the public. Laurel makes a comment along the lines of “You never know what goes on behind closed doors in someone else’s home” in reference to this kid and the way his parents actually parent him. This is also a high topic of discussion for teachers across the nation not receiving the support and reinforcement that is needed from parents to help prepare students to become productive, well-rounded, respectable, problem-solving citizens with a toolbox of resources and skills.


What do you think you’ll read next?

First I am going to catch up on the last few books in the Power of the Matchmaker series from late 2016. After I read The Piper’s Price, it is all NetGalley picks from there.


 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: Staying for Good

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This is the book I am starting today. I am a review on the tour stop at the end of the month. This is the second book in the series and I really enjoyed the first book, so I’m glad I was invited for the second book.

29917857Synopsis ~ Staying for Good by Catherine Bybee

Zoe Brown may have been voted Most Likely to Never Leave River Bend, but the paper-thin walls and suffocating air of her family’s double-wide trailer were not what she wanted for her life. Other than BFFs Melanie and Jo, the only thing that kept Zoe sane during high school was her boyfriend, Luke.

She didn’t just leave, she escaped—turning her back on the shame of her black-sheep siblings and imprisoned dad. Now a celebrity chef in Dallas, she can afford all the things she never could have growing up. But when she returns to rustic, ruggedly beautiful River Bend, Zoe has to face all that she abandoned—including Luke.

While Luke was a refuge for Zoe in the past, he knows they inhabit totally different worlds now. Anchored by his parents and his job as a mechanic in his father’s shop, Luke never felt the urge to leave River Bend—until Zoe’s return.

But when the two rekindle their old flame, Zoe is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: remain in River Bend and confront her past before it destroys her, or say good-bye to everyone she’s ever loved…again, this time for good.

 

Prelude

The walls of a double-wide were the dividing factor of a separation  between a trailer and a house. Technically, it was her home, her house…but everyone in River Bend who wanted to dig at Zoe’s status made sure they referred to it as a trailer. Her BFFs, Mel and Jo, never said trailer. Even on nights like this…when the calendar said it was early summer but the evenings in River Bend, Oregon, didn’t get the memo. Those paper-thin walls that lacked insutlation and girth didn’t do a good job of keeping away the cold.

Chapter 1

Eleven Years Later

“Cut!”

“It’s a soufflé, Felix. You can’t say cut.” Zoe felt the heat of the open oven flow up her face as the lights from the studio shone down. She held herself in suspended animation while the camera crew scrambled with enough noise for her to know they weren’t filming.

 


Teaser

And why?

Because they somehow believed Ziggy had changed. Or maybe they just wanted an excuse to get away from her. She’d worked for years to distance herself from them, perhaps this was the price she had to pay.

Would you keep reading? 

 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.

 

Sunday Post ~ Operation Sister

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.


I was out two days this week (on school business), and it was nice to be away. I was also surprised that someone defended my partner and I to an important individual on our campus who said some rather demeaning things about us doing our jobs. Surprised that someone would stand up to this person, and also surprised in who that person was. I am thankful for that because as teachers we are always made to feel like we are failures, that we are not doing enough. I am literally killing myself trying to be good at my job, and that’s still not good enough. And I am a good teacher.

Last weekend we went to the local shelter at the man’s. We looked at one dog in particular, and she was insane when they took her out. She looked like a flying fish, jumping up and spinning at the same time, hitting me in the hips. In her file it was noted she had been adopted and was aggressive, so we rested on that. They got a slew of new dogs, so we went and looked again. The man had picked out one he sent me on Friday morning, and by the time we got there Saturday afternoon she was already gone. There were two other little dogs we like a lot. We didn’t want a puppy, but they were both six months. One already had an application in, so we asked to see the other. This shelter requires meeting all people and all pets in meet and greets before adopting out animals. We live only five minutes away, so we went home and came back with Baby. Things went well and we went home with a sister! Operation Sister was a success.

Baby’s new sister’s name is Cera. It was the name she came with, and after digging into her folder, the man has decided to keep the weird spelling. 🙂 We are thinking she is a Rottweiler – Dachshund mix, but aren’t positive. We did DNA tests for both of them and sent them off Saturday.

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Friends ForNever |  The Billionaire Boys Club: The Producer

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  • Monday
    • Review ~ Mistletoe at Moonglow
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Underrated, Hidden Gems
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ TBD
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #21
  •  Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday ~ TBD
    • Book Blogger Hop #4

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29875915I need to finish up Cruel Beauty and also Somebody Like You. I had wanted to start a new book yesterday, but that didn’t happen.

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This is a feature I am adding to my Sunday Posts. After being asked by a coworker – in all seriousness – if I had a life, I decided to join disc jockey Bobby Bones of Kase 101 in doing one human thing each week.

How does it work?

In order to not lose what little sanity I have left and in order to not become enslaved to the Texas Education Agency via my school district, I will…

  • leave school within an hour of dismissal once a week
  • go do one human thing with another human
  • talk about my human thing on the blog each week

I went and spent several hours with my good friend – who I refer to as Pineapple in my do betters. I had a gift for her and I haven’t seen her in a while. We talked and just had a great time. Looked at rescue dogs. It was good for me, and for her.