Book Blogger Hop ~ 9.29.17


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.

Have you ever slept with a favorite, beloved book under your pillow, or cradled in your arms? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

Uh, not really. Not a beloved book, at least. But a book I was reading that I probably wasn’t supposed to by most people’s standards.

I blame it all on my mother that my favorite genre is romance. I really do, and it’s not because I grew up seeing romance in action or was taught along that line of romantic notions. It’s simply because my mom is a romance reader and she wouldn’t take us to the library. We’d go one time every five months. In the summers that’s all I had, so I became a voracious romance reader at age 12. I read Outlander then.

Not that anyone knew it. I would hide the book I was reading under my mattress – like halfway under. Or if someone was coming and I ran out of time, I’d shove it under my mountain of pillows. I think my mom started to suspect, but she never said anything or checked. As I was typing this, I was talking to my mother. She asked what I was doing, so I explained this prompt and my response. Her reply was “If I could read it, you could read it.” I guess she did know.


My Bullet Journal: Fall – August & September


This is one post in a series of posts about My Bullet Journal Journey. I’ve sequenced the posts so that they chronicle my journey and are step-by-step guides for those of you considering starting your own. 

Fall – August & September

My bullet journal is starting to really beef up! I’m running out of pages so I’m trying to keep things short and sweet for the rest of the year so I don’t run out of space.

August brings school back in session and the hunt for the perfect school supplies and new clothes. This year I didn’t buy any new clothes or new supplies for work. I went back on August 10th and my students arrived on August 16th. This year I only have one teaching partner (as it should be – three all teaching a second course is way too many cooks in the kitchen) and a new SPED co-teacher (again – every year).  I only have one yearbook course this year, which works out fine making my ELA classes a little smaller.

I did my pictorial calendar again and it turned out well. Obviously, I can’t draw a wheelchair. I had a lot of tasks to take care of this month. I let all my appointments get away from me during summer, so I had to make sure I got those scheduled last month.

This will be my last time doing all the numbers for my sleep log. I found another way to not have to do all that. It takes too long. I carried the honeycombs through to my reading page. I forgot to take a picture of the finished page before I started filling things in. And then I discovered a fatal flaw I made. Any writing has to be done in my Micro or Sharpi pens from now on if they’re going to be colored over. My black one ran out, so I used my black tip marker. A week later I went back to color in the hexagon after I finished reading and it smeared horribly. I could not believe my eyes. Lesson learned, right?




I love the way my September divider turned out! I spent a long time painstakingly drawing all of the leaves. I erased so many times trying to get each one right. Then I tried my hand for the first time at blending with my colored pencils. I like how it turned out!


I tried something new again for my calendar. I didn’t use my ruler. Big mistake. I do not like this page. It looks very garish, but it’s what I got. This one needs a little refiguring and reconfiguring.


I also tried a new way to do my habits tracker. It’s a two-page full spread instead of the one I’ve done all year long. Please forgive my outrageous category headings on the left. I need some more practice…perhaps with a pencil first!


I also rethought my sleep tracker and worked a little smarter, not harder. I’m going to do a bar graph again but horizontal this time. And no rewriting all those numbers 30 times! I am also LOVING this washi tape and how this entire spread turned out.

I also REALLY like how most of my September weeklies turned out. I’m getting a little braver and creative.


I hope you’ll get a little braver in your planning, too! 

Next time I will be sharing updates in a Then and Now post. 

My Favorite…Thing About My Job

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

Favorite Thing About My Job

I teach middle school. Sixth grade to be exact, with a handful of seventh and eighth graders in my yearbook class. My favorite thing about teaching – and teaching middle school particularly – is seeing these kids come to middle school trying to figure out who they are and learn academically and socially. Seeing acts of kindness and growth and found confidence in these kids who fall prey to peer pressure is the thing I like the best about my job.


What is your favorite thing about your job?

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: April’s Glow


This was a sweet book. Zac’s character made me take pause. He has an interesting perspective on life.

Synopsis ~ April’s Glow

Distracting herself from a string of bad luck and a disastrous love life, bubbly April Vedora throws herself into her new business —April’s Glow, a candle store in seaside Tarrin’s Bay — the enchanting scents and colourful atmosphere provide a safe haven. But outside business hours she’s clueless about her personal life.

When a mysterious loner moves in next door, she can’t help but become intrigued, and ex-soldier Zac Masterson is equally fascinated by April. But both have sworn off relationships, and while April avoids her emotions by keeping busy and sociable, Zac hides away from the world — and his past.

As the pair chip away at each other’s facades and secrets are revealed, April fears that the man she is unwillingly falling for could represent everything she’s worked so hard to avoid. Or could they be just what the other needs?

They’ve shared their secrets over the back fence, but resolving the past is going to mean opening the doors to their hearts — and letting each other in.



If there was anything worse for April Vedora than being stood up, it was being stood up on April Fools’ Day. A week before her birthday at that. And two days after having really bad sushi and spending half the night getting intimate with the toilet bowl. The only thing that could make life worse was if it rained while she sat on the picnic table by the wishing fountain in Miracle Park, waiting for her first ever internet date to turn up, which by the way, had taken at least eight months to pluck up the courage to agree to. So much for courage. Courage could go and get flushed, like the bad sushi.



The door clapped closed and April stood by the fence, her mouth slightly agape. Had he just named his cat Juliet in response to her cat being called Romeo? [Loc 321]


Truth Chicken and now Magic Coffee. If the coffee could tell her the future, she’d drink bucket loads of it.  [Loc 1506]

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.


Review: Blue Like Elvis


Title: Blue Like Elvis
Author: Diane Moody
Publisher: Green Darner Press
Release Date: March 2012
Length: 370 pages
Series?: Moody Blue #2
Genre: Historical, Christian, Romance

Do you remember where you were the day Elvis died?
I do. I know exactly where I was.
I was there.

In the spring of 1977, Shelby Colter moved back to Memphis, Tennessee hoping to make a fresh start after breaking off her engagement. Working as a patient representative hostess at Baptist Memorial Hospital–the world’s largest private hospital–she’s thrilled with her new job, assisting patients with their non-medical needs. She has to laugh at her colorful co-workers who constantly chat about Elvis-sightings. After all, Baptist Memorial was “Elvis’s hospital.”

Shelby hits the ground running, taking care of her patients, getting to know her new friends, and bumping into . . . Dr. Tucker Thompson? Who knew that annoying kid who used to hang out with her big brother was now a resident at Baptist Memorial Hospital? Little Chubby Tucker–a compassionate, handsome doctor?

As the summer rolls along, three people she loves face life-threatening situations, drawing Shelby back to her faith. And then one night, in a hospital prayer room, she pours out her heart to a most unexpected visitor . . .

Blue Like Elvis is loosely based on the author’s real-life experiences while working at Baptist Memorial Hospital in the summer of 1977. While most of the novel is fiction, the setting of Shelby’s adventures are based on the author’s memories of those days in Memphis leading up to that unforgettable day . . . the day Elvis died

Find the book: Goodreads Amazon

my review

The Skinny

After graduating college, Shelby moves back to Memphis to start over after breaking off her engagement. It’s the summer of 1977 and her college roommate helps her land a job at Baptist Memorial Hospital as a “hostess.” The hostess team operates similarly to stewardesses. They attend to non-medical needs of the patients by visiting them, running errands, and anything else the patients may need. Shelby is particularly good at what she does and has a few constant patients whose stories impact her greatly.

The thing about BMH is that is the world’s largest private hospital. It is also Elvis’s hospital, Shelby soon learns. Whenever needed, Elvis takes over the 16th floor for one of his two-week “stays.” Shelby has had a few sightings of Elvis, but it isn’t until she grasps that he is in her hospital that she takes a particular interest in him, even sneaking her patient friend Donnie to see him, ending in a hilarous and heart-beating episode.

Her coworkers on the hostess team are young, Christian girls who like to chatter and flounder when the boss isn’t around. They are an interesting mix and fun-loving and playful. The contrast to their setting didn’t go unnoticed, and when Dr. Tucker Thompson takes an interest in striking a frienship with Shelby, there is nothing but talk. And confusion. This is Chubby Tucker – her brother’s best friend and boy from her childhood that picked on her. He was annoying and obnoxious. Now he’s handsome and kind. As all the girls try to push Shelby into a match, she must work things out on her own, take things slow, and focus on her faith.


The Players

Shelby Colter – a young girl fresh out of college; hired by Baptist Memorial Hospital as a “hostess”

Tucker Thompson – the chubby kid who was friend to Shelby’s brother; he is now a doctor at BMH


Sandra Garcia – the feisty Puerto Rican in the hostess program with Shelby; they become friends and roommates

The Quote

 “That shy little girl I had to coax to sit on my knee? That was you?” His smile grew bigger.

The Highs and Lows

  • The Plot. The story is told as a flashback of memories. It opens with a young man seeking out the elderly Shelby to research the hostess program that was at Baptist Memorial Hospital, the largest private hospital in the world at its time. The hostess program worked very similar to attending stewardesses at the time. The young man wants to implement a similar program at his own hospital and gets swept up in Shelby’s stories that he wants to hear them all. Her past and Elvis’s final day unfold.
  • Elvis. You don’t have to be an Elvis fan to enjoy this story. I happen to be one thanks to the love my grandmother had for him. Growing up, when a certain aunt and uncle would come to visit, they would bring her an Elvis record. Elvis brought a change to the music industry and was an insane success. While the book never directly speaks to drug use, it only hints to that being rumors and what people said, and disregarded it as factual, but several times pointed out that Baptist Memorial was “Elvis’s hospital” for his “stays” to get back right with the world, like it is a retreat and not a hospital.  Elvis appeared a few times throughout the book, and I loved the way he would talk to the other characters. He wasn’t a big star, he was another person. It only increased my wish that I could have met Elvis, but that was another lifetime. Shelby really didn’t get the big Elvis draw, despite meeting him as a child and her father being “Cadillac Jack,” Elvis’s Caddy dealer. After working at the hospital for a time, she becomes interested in Elvis. His costumes to hide in plain sight were slightly comical, especially the final one toward the end.
  • Christian Overtones. I have made it a point before that I don’t read pushy religious material. While this is a very conscientious Christian book, it didn’t feel pushy. It just felt right for Shelby and her friends. Seeing the shaken foundation and the strength of their faith was rewarding and reassuring. The Singles Club is a group of young professionals at the church that host get-togethers and fellowship. There are some comedic moments with Pedro the Yellow Headed Amazon, the Killer Bs who are socially awkward, hit on all the girls, and have a spectacular fireworks display.
  • Quick and Fun. This is such a quick read. The writing immersed me in the stories Shelby told and I felt like I was there. The retelling of her memories was sweet, sentimental, funny, but they didn’t leave out the bad, either. It wasn’t a rose-colored glasses retelling, and I appreciated that.
  • Heavy. I won’t say it’s light. When Shelby comes up against some trials, they test her trust. This is how she first meets the Reverand. Later this is how she first meets a man wearing a turquoise bracelet in a hospital prayer room. It is none other than Elvis, and they are both there to pray for the same man. They share an incredible few moments wrapped in love and faith, and Elvis leaves a memento for Shelby. Shelby’s brother also finally comes home from Vietnam. He is not the same despite what he shows to his family. His behavior breaks her trust in Tucker, who only tries to help.
  • The Ending. This was such a twist! Even when retelling, the young man doesn’t believe Shelby’s story of her 10-year anniversary trip to Hawaii. It isn’t until she shows him a stack of Christmas cards that he believes the unimaginable. The ending gave me hope that perhaps something like that did happen and no one is the wiser.


Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, Diane Hale Moody is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. She lives with her husband Ken in the rolling hills just outside of Nashville. They are the proud parents of two grown and extraordinary children, Hannah and Ben.

Just after moving to Tennessee in 1999, Diane felt the tug of a long-neglected passion to write again. Since then, she’s written a column for her local newspaper, feature articles for various magazines and curriculum, and several novels with a dozen more stories eagerly vying for her attention.

When she’s not reading or writing, Diane enjoys an eclectic taste in music and movies, great coffee, the company of good friends, and the adoration of a peculiar little pooch named Darby.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Post ~ Ch-ch-changes

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a weekly news post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase the books and other goodies you’ve received, and share news about upcoming events on your blog. Be creative and personalize it! To get in on the Sunday fun day, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.

I have been a little in the dumps lately with no time of my own on my hands. I have fallen behind in all real-life activities: eating, sleeping, reading, watching, socializing, blogging, bullet journaling. I have to put an end to these late nighters at school or else I will be burned out before the end of the month. I slept through my family reunion last weekend. I felt bad, but my body desperately needed the sleep. However, I will say that compared to last year, I am not a zombie. I know the only reason for this is because I am diligently taking my Plexus products, which have given me better gut health and the energy I didn’t have before. I am so thankful I gave it another try. Did I mention a few weeks ago a co-worker in the office accused me of spiking my drink? Going from a walking zombie one year to bright-eyed and chipper the next is apparently concerning – and the power of Plexus!

I was so stressed out about this week. I was out on Tuesday for our yearbook workshop and on Thursday for the UIL coordinator meeting. I was summoned to testify in the same case from the spring on the day of our workshop. I already had a meeting planned and my observation meeting and we have all this homework to bring to our weekly “PLCS” that are not PLCs. The summons on top of it all was enough to send me into hyperventilating mode. Last time I was on the stand for nearly 50 minutes and the opposing attorney tried to bait me on the stand into giving hearsay testimony. I was thanking God and all his angels when the attorney called on Monday around lunchtime to tell me that the parties involved settled. The week was still stressful, and parents are all set on one of two modes: I don’t care or extreme paranoia. The kids, though, are still doing fairly well. Reality is setting in, though.

My dad had his check up with the cardiologist for the pain he’s been having. He was given a clean bill and reminded that there will be pain at times. My brother also moved back home again. He has officially filed for divorce. He actually can speak to me now. AND I have vanquished the fucking whiteflies from my plants! I have been embroiled in this bitter battle since the 4th of July. Those jackholes are DEAD. I am still going to spray again today (third time with the homemade stuff). What do I do with all the damn products I spent $50 at Lowe’s that didn’t work? I still ordered orange oil to spray next weekend just in case. I’ve been told it kills all the bugs.


I am appalled to admit that prior to this past week, I haven’t read in three weeks. By the time I arrive home and finally get myself into bed, I am just too tired. I just roll over and go to sleep. On Thursday night I finally cracked open the digital pages of a new book. I didn’t get any new posts written, and I am not going to stress about it. I don’t think I have too much for October, but I’ll try to work on at least 2 posts each week. Maybe.

I’ve been drudging through Treasured Dreams, which I believe is the last in the series. I thought I was about 1/5 of the way through the book only to find that I was 1/10 of the way through. I really am not as interested in reading this book as I was the first in the series. It seems like an old and tired story already. I am highly considering a DNF here.


The next book I want to read is The Master of Strathburn. I keep thinking it is Stratburn, without the letter h. I could do with a return to the Highland and so far the beginning is like the roles are reversed in how Claire met Jamie in Outlander. Instead of him getting injured, in this story Robert actually shoots Jessie!

Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. 

Since I’ve been feeling dumpy, I decided to do a mini face-lift for the blog. I played around in Canva for a few hours and gave an update to the Sunday Post and to the sidebar. I like the new look. What do you think?

  • Monday
    • Review ~ Blue Like Elvis
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books that Feature POC Characters
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ April’s Glow
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite… ~ Thing About My Job
  • Thursday
  •  Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 9.29.17






Book Blogger Hop ~ 9.22.17


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.

In regards of Banned Books Week (, what are your favorite books that have been banned or challenged? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

Oh, geez. I don’t even know all of them.

One of my favorites is at the top of the list: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Other favorites that made the ban were A Streetcar Named Desire, the Harry Potter series, and Looking for Alaska (#1 in 2015). Like, really? Sexual exploration was your take-away for Looking for Alaska?! Jesus H.

The thing is, people who report and want books banned are afraid. It is fear that rules them. It’s like southern Christians and teaching about sex ed and evolution in schools. The concept of “It’s not true because I don’t like it” and “I know nothing about that so it is wrong” and fear prevail and drive everything. This year my students watched a program about the Civil Rights Movement, and the hate spewed by white people that they watched (real footage) showed that very fear in the words they used and the vehemence behind them. So whenever something that is different and not your way arises, the instinct is to shut it down and suppress it.

It’s psychology. The more you try to remove something, the greater the interest in it. People will find a way to read it, watch it, whatever the more it is slandered or rebuffed. It’s like keeping a teenage girl from their boyfriend. They’ll do all kinds of things in secret to see them…or they’ll just outright defy and run away like a relative of mine did. It’s human nature.

Famous Last Words #26

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend’s older brother, who’s much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.

Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.

As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another in Without Borders.

WWW Wednesdays (Sep 20)


This is a weekly meme 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?

I am choosing to move on with a new book on my list, The Master of Strathburn. It is set in the Highlands, so what could go wrong?

Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene…

Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realises that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon…

Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both…

cover85978-mediumI am putting Treasured Dreams on the backburner in lieu of DNFing it. I thought I was a fifth of the way through the book, struggling as it was, only to realize I was only a tenth of the way in. So I’m moving on and hopefully when I come back to it I will be able to finish getting through it. I feel like I’ve wasted way too much time on it as it is.

 What did you just finish reading?

Pah! I haven’t read in three weeks, let alone finished anything.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am hoping I can fly through these three at the beginning of October and still get to two more books. We will see!

 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! 🙂