Cover Characteristics: Fortune Cookies

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This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

Fortune Cookies

I do not eat Chinese food (allergies and digestive issues, story of my life), so I didn’t learn the power of the fortune cookie until I was engaged several years ago. I kept all of my fortunes in a jewelry box. When The Man orders Chinese every once in a blue moon, he totally disregards the fortune cookies! I think there is still an element of truth or magic or something to them.

 

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Sunday Post ~ I’m Losing It

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: Suday Post Meme.


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I spent the week writing my backlog of reviews. It was a struggle since these were the books I read in April and May, so I was going back and re-reading large chunks of them. With so many historical romances, and two Alex’s and then two Daphne’s, I started mixing things up. I’m still working on the last couple. I’m also considering joining a new meme as Top Ten Tuesday and Feature Follow Friday both seem to be faltering. I want to finish my current book, Blue Steal, before I start any new posts.

I discovered that all of my audiobooks from Audiobook SYNC I downloaded last summer and earlier this summer are gone. I was sad and then that little voice inside of me that keeps telling me I am turning into a hoarder like both my parents rejoiced and threw cakefetti all over the place.

With shift change last Sunday, The Man took it off and we had almost a full week together. We went on our 2.5 mile walk every night. Baby and Cera loved it, and so did I.

I also noticed something BIG.

I’ve lost weight!

I don’t know how much exactly because I don’t believe in scales (I only ever know my weight when I go to the doctor), but can tell a big difference around my hips and torso. My sweat belt is significantly looser and I’m able to wear some undergarments that I bought back in April that were too small and I was too lazy to return. Now they fit, so I have lost considerable inches around my hips. I’m starting to see results from my Plexus regimen! I didn’t know when I would first notice any changes. This is my second round with Plexus. The first time I didn’t stick to it, and I quit it. I started in mid-May and I am seeing results in the one place I thought I never would. And I really haven’t changed my diet at all. I don’t eat out as frequently as during the school year, and I’ve only had soda about five times all summer. That’s really the only thing that has changed, and it’s minimal. I can’t wait to see how I feel in two more months. YAAAAAAY! If you want to know more about Plexus, I’d love to chat with you about it.

Thursday night took a bad turn. Cera wandered into off and came back to the couch smelling funny. I went into the spare bedroom (Baby’s room, although she doesn’t hang out in there much anymore) and found two huge spots of throw-up on the bed and what I thought was a silver dollar size amount of diarrhea. When I started to clean up, I discovered it wasn’t fecal matter. It was blood. And it was midnight. I got dressed and got Cera ready to go and we drove to The Man’s sector. Cera received an officer escort into the emergency vet clinic. They did x rays to check for blockage, fecal test, and some others. She was dehydrated. We were encouraged to leave her overnight for IV fluids, or we could bring her home under constant monitoring. I wanted to bring her home. We got some meds and ID food. I don’t think Cera understood what was going on; all that registered was DADDY. Like being on a field trip in the middle of the night without Baby to see Daddy in a weird place was normal. I will say he looked pretty damn sexy in his uniform. 🙂 When he left we turned around and looked out the window and waved to him. The front desk girl awwwed.

 

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@sissybearla

 

 

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  • Monday
    • Cover Characteristics ~ Fortune Cookies
    • Review ~ The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ Never Trust a Pirate
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • TBD
  •  Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 7.21.17

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Book Blogger Hop ~7.14.17

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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 is your go-to drink and/or snack while reading? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

 

I don’t really drink or snack while reading. I get too consumed. Anything that should be hot gets cold, and anything that should be cold gets warm.

If I do snack on something, it is usually something I can pop in the microwave (like mini corn dogs) or pretzels or chips. And milk is my go-to drink.

My Bullet Journal: Things That Didn’t Work

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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. 

  • #1 – My Bullet Journal: Taking the Plunge (materials)
  • #2 – How to Get Started (terms and basic set up)
  • #3 – My Collections
  • #4 – Oopsies & Reinvented Pages
  • #5 – Tools in the Toolbox 
  • #6 – Favorite Spreads
  • #7 – Things That Didn’t Work

I decided to start a bullet journal about 10 or so days into January. I had no real idea what I was doing, so I’m chronicling my progress through the first year. I also hope it might help some of you who want to start one but might be a little afraid to take the plunge.

I followed the guide from another blogger who was very vocal about her bullet journal. Nereyda got a lot of bloggers on board. And there I was sitting behind the safety of my screen ooohing and ahhhing. For months. I was scared I would be a failure at bullet journaling and I couldn’t compete. Let’s be real: I still can’t compete.

Every once in a while I get a brilliant idea for my bullet journal. And then other times I realize…that totally did not work for me. And I hate it. Let’s not do that again. Gotta find something new.

Things That Didn’t Work For Me 

And What I’m Doing Now Instead

 
 

Monthly Tracker

Jan 3 Jan task list

When I started my bullet journal in January, I was following the guides of others. I spent a lot of time researching that first month and in large part imitated things I found. So when I started, I thought my monthly calendar along with its companion (left) and the monthly task list (right) were gems. I could track my bills, my blog posts, and my own personal tasks and notes.

Then came February. I set my monthly up the same way, except I changed up the companion (bottom right) due to time consumption. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to keep structuring that page and it changed over the course of the months.

But that task list! Notice how it’s mostly empty? While I loved the concept of this spread, it didn’t end up working out for me. I just didn’t realize it yet. For February I had moved the blog section to the left page and made it the full page, and split the right side between the tasks and the bills. The point of the tracker for my blog was to list out posts I had already completed and scheduled. Then I would be able to see where I had holes in the weeks and which posts I hadn’t completed yet.

That didn’t end up working out. I almost never looked at this page after I created it. And my March one is even more telling. I didn’t even fill in my posts! They’re all still blank besides the type of post!

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After March I discontinued the task list entirely. I only continued the monthly calendar and companion with my books, to-do, and goals.

 

Monthly Calendar

After ditching the task list, I spent two more months not quite satisfied with my monthly calendar and companion. The calendar stayed the same, always on the left side and always the same size. I started realizing the boxes were too small to write for some days if there were multiple events or things I needed to record. And it was hard to see at a glance.

So I decided to use a full spread calendar for June to see how it worked out. And I do like it better! Now my monthly calendar looks like this:

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Mood Tracker

20170518_201605.jpgI started the year off setting up some basics in my bullet journal, including a mood tracker for the year. I’ve seen most people call this Year in Pixels. Same thing. When I presented the bullet journal project to my students, they expressed their dissatisfaction with my limited moods and a lot of “blah” days. I was also unhappy with the few mood choices, too.  I added a “frustrated” mood, but I kept wondering how to classify my mood when there could have been more than one throughout the day. What if there was one thing that really set me off and pissed me off, but otherwise the entire day was good? Which mood do you pick?

Then I found someone on Instagram who was using a daily mood tracker. And not just one mood, either. They recognized the same things I was wondering about and had multiple moods to be marked each day. At the bottom of their pages, I remember seeing three separate items: situation, temporary, and something else I don’t remember. I thought those were very good ways to put your days and feelings into focus. I just spent 30 minutes trying to find it again. I’ve got to find a system to saving things to go back to on Instagram. *sigh*

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I’m still going to be keeping track of my daily mood tracker for the year, but my new mood tracker with multiple moods might help me better select what fits best for the whole day.

 

Sleep Tracker

Jan sleep

I’ve been having a lot of sleep issues for the last ten months or so. It seemed to be getting worse, and I even had a joke of a sleep study done. I decided I needed a sleep tracker when I started bullet journaling.

My January tracker was very basic. I decided to do a line graph. I thought it looked interesting, but after finishing it for the month I realized it didn’t really help me tell my doctors what time I went to sleep and what time I woke up to help me in building a routine. (Pffft. We don’t need no stinkin’ routines!)

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I kept the line graph for February, but then got a little smarter in March. I redesigned how I was going to track my sleep by both the time I went to bed and woke up, as well as color coding the amount of sleep I got in two-hour increments. This makes it very easy visually to see both of the important things I needed to know.

The only thing about this tracker was a lot of times I would either get the day wrong or I’d be on the wrong hour line and I’d mess up. So I started tick marking with a pencil and also using a ruler on the sides to ensure I was staying within the day’s vertical lines.

20170527_201633.jpgWhen I came back from hiatus, I started reviewing things in my bullet journal and updating for June.  I wanted to try something different for my sleep log. It was WAY MORE work up front, but all I have to do is mark my sleep time using a highlighter and highlight from start to stop for the night! I also included a wider range of times, because sometimes (ahem, weekends, holidays) I sleep much longer than I normally would otherwise.

This will have to be one thing I set up well in advance due to the time it takes. I will miss all the color, though.


Do you have some things that just didn’t quite work right for you? Or something that’s been phenomenal for you? 

Look for the next post in the series about some of my most recent work. 

WWW Wednesdays (July 12)

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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’ve been busy writing reviews for the last three days and I’m still not through all of them. I have nine more to go, so I haven’t been doing much reading. :/

I started reading Blue Steal at the end of last week and I started flying through it. I’m now reading only at bedtime, so I’m not reading as much each day as I was. I am in love with this sneaky storyline. The entire history surrounding the disappearance of the Petrovsky sapphires is fascinating. Thus far, there are three stories about what happened that night: what was told and recorded in the police report, what the only living witness says, and the twist of the truth. Now the truth is known and I am anxious to see how the rest plays out – and if the sapphires are found.

Selina Migliore is smart and streetwise—with an ill sister and an elderly grandmother relying on her, she has to be. When fate hands her a chance to change her life, she’s determined to seize it. All she has to do is retrieve a long-lost sapphire necklace before the Empire Hotel is blown to smithereens. Nothing’s going to get in her way…

…except Jack Tierney, PI, who’s also on the hunt for the stolen jewelry. Jack is amused by his clashes with the pushy brunette, but as he continues to bump into Selina at strange times and in odd places, he starts to question who she is and what she’s doing at the Empire.

The pressure cooker really heats up when a new player enters the scene and it becomes apparent that Jack’s not the only one keeping an eye on Selina… 


 What did you just finish reading?

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It took me a while to get through Memories of May. At first it was dragging along, and the switching back and forth to visit Ms. May and her telling her story kept changing formats, so it was hard to tell if it was Ms. May speaking or if it is her granddaughter writing it out for her book. I loved that Olivia runs a bookstore – a family bookstore – that was started by Ms. May. There is a story behind why she opened a bookstore, and it is sweet. However, in a small community like Tarrin’s Bay, I found it difficult to believe she could support herself and her daughter on her small income from the bookstore, especially given how often she mentioned that her life revolved around not having any extra time because she had to work to support her family. Once Olivia started taking a writing class, the bookstore kind of disappeared entirely from the story.


What do you think you’ll read next?

These are next up on the NetGalley backlog. I’m slowly and steadily working my way through. I’m now at 7% and almost to 50 reviews! Once I get my backlog of reviews written, I’ll be at 50 and probably at 9-10%. Whoooo….

 


 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: Duke with Benefits

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I am trying to catch up on my backlog of recent reads since I have been hiatus-ing. And it will let me catch up with my reading since I’m not reading as fast these days and it’s taking me longer to get through a book.

Synopsis ~ Duke with Benefits

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?

Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher―an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches―Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

 

Prologue

You will soon embark on a quest for something very valuable, but along the way you will risk losing your greatest love.

– Madame Albinia’s Fortune for Lady Daphne Forsyth

Lady Daphne Forsyth’s boots crunched over the gravel drive leading up to the entrance of Beauchamp House as she walked behind the group of men carrying hr wounded friend.

Someone had shot Miss Ivy Wareham.

 


Teaser

It had been the promise that the library at Beauchamp House contained the famous Cameron Riddle, which legend said would lead the one able to decode it to a treasure hidden away by the leader of Clan Cameron in the days of the last Jacobite rebellion, that led Daphne to travel south to take her place among the four Beauchamp Heiresses. [Loc 252]

 

“I never feel it with you,” she said softly.

Arrested by both her cryptic words and the touch of vulnerability to her tone, he turned back.

“The fear,” she continued quietly. “Whenever I meet eyes with someone, I get this…knot of fear in my stomach. Anxiety.” [Loc 1660]

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: The Piper’s Price

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Piper’s Price
Author: Audrey Greathouse
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Release Date: February 2017
Length: 309 pages
Series?: The Neverland Wars #2
Genre: Fairy Tale, Retelling, Fantasy, YA

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.

Hunting him down will require a spy in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.

The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.

my review

The Skinny

Peter Pan must save Neverland! Grown ups in Reality have upped their game, and these are no longer idle threats. The War is near, and Peter cannot win it without more children. In order to gain the following Neverland needs, Peter needs the Piper’s help. Except they are nearly arch enemies. Then there’s the problem of some puzzling tokens that must be found to summon the Piper.

Since Peter can’t go himself, he sends Gwen back to Reality to hide with an old Native American friend. Peter’s perfect pairing is no surprise – Tiger Lily will help Gwen along the way and keep her safe from the Anomalous Activity Department. While gathering intel, Gwen is reunited with a friend of her own. Once returning to Reality, Gwen has no one besides Tiger Lily. Except there’s Jay – the boy she is crushing on – and whose party she literally vanished from at the end of the first book. He can keep a secret, but her magic might give her away.

Gwen also meets an interesting group of ladies while waiting for her moment to meet and lure the dangerous Pied Piper into Peter’s plan. Once it arrives, Gwen is thrown for quite a loop. Luring the Piper is much more difficult than she ever imagined – and the stakes are high.

 

The Players

Gwen – 16 years old, struggling with growing up and remaining innocent

Peter Pan – 14 years old, struggling to find the Piper and protect Neverland

Lasiandra – the blonde mermaid who developed a friendship with Gwen, despite mermaids not being trustworthy

Tiger Lily – a grown woman now, living in a trailer

Jay – Gwen’s crush, good at keeping secrets

Dawn – Tiger Lily’s friend, she agrees to help Gwen find one of the puzzle items

Piper – the magical pipe-playing man who lures children away,

 

The Quote

“This isn’t about you or your children. It’s about the greater issue of children’s autonomy and Neverland’s right to exist.”

 

The Highs and Lows

  • Plot. Unlike the first book that had an unclear plot line, there is a clear and strong plot that pulls in many characters and presents new situations and new information for readers that continue to make the war Peter is fighting more real. This book picks up a short time after the end of the first book when Gwen and her sister fled Jay’s party with the black coats of the Anomalous Activity Department on their heels. They want to strip Neverland of magic forever. The bombings are becoming more frequent and dangerous in Neverland.
  • Overarching Conflict. To preserve Neverland and prevent the grown-ups in Reality from stealing Neverland’s magic, Peter needs to recruit an army of children. For once, Peter has a plan. Unfortunately, it involves dealing with the devil: the Piper. Peter and Gwen must solve a riddle and bring the required tokens for the Piper to appear. Solving the riddles proves quite difficult and requires the help of others.
  • Lasiandra. The blonde-haired mermaid is more than meets the eye. While mermaids are not to be trusted, she somehow gains a glimmer of trust from Gwen. She and Gwen develop a friendship that is mutually beneficial. While Lasiandra is helping Gwen in the short term, she will reap her rewards in the long run. She provides Gwen with important information and also gifts her a mermaid scale for future use to call her when Gwen should need her.
  • Gwen’s Dilemmas. Gwen experiences a series of dilemmas throughout this installment. It made her more real and believable as a character. First of them all is the fact that Gwen is now 16 – the oldest of the Lost Boys of Neverland. For her, it is harder to engage in Neverland. In fact, she is losing the ability to fly. It is becoming cumbersome to play along with the Lost Boys and their games. Then there is the fact that Peter sends her away – back to reality, hiding out in Tiger Lily’s trailer. While Peter claims she is helping and doing the important work to finding the Piper, Gwen can’t help but wonder why Peter wanted to send her away from Neverland. Was she the right person for this job? Was this mission even real? Does Peter trust her? Is he going to follow through? Her doubts are real and even more real for a teenage girl. She doesn’t feel that she belongs in either place – Neverland or Reality.
  • Tiger Lily. Who knew she’d been living in Reality all this time? She is living as an actual Native American, leading a relatively quiet life. Apparently she, along with her friends (princesses?), were part of the MRP, Magic Relocation Program, and have denounced all things magic since. Most of them want nothing to do with magic – or Peter – anymore after all these years. Tiger Lily and her friend Dawn are the most helpful to Gwen. While Gwen hides out at Tiger Lily’s, she acts sort of like a surrogate parent, but more like an older, wiser friend. And she’s the only one who openly will help Peter, causing me to question what Peter had done in the past to these Neverland migrants.
  • Peter. Again Peter seemed one-dimensional and elusive. I was expecting him to have greater exposure in this book and to show character growth. The closest he came was his reassurance to Gwen about choosing and trusting her above all.
  • The Piper. He is revered as notorious and sinister. After solving the token riddles and presenting the Piper with them, Gwen soon finds she is in over her head. Acquiring the Piper’s assistance is not as easy as handing over a pirate patch and other baubles. His price is much higher: the crown of Princess Charlotte of Wales, a root cutting from the Never Tree, and of course his pipe. Ultimately, the Piper wants to be finished with the mermaids, whose magic can always find him thanks to the stars. So he needs something more powerful than them from Neverland – the Never Tree cutting. It could be the most damaging thing of all to Neverland.
  • Jay. I thought we saw the last of Jay when Gwen fled his party at the end of the first book, but her crush on him seems to have a hold over her. While contacting him at all was extremely risky, Jay seemingly knows how to keep secrets – and big ones. I found it hard to believe that he wouldn’t spill the beans and give away her presence – especially to her parents – but I suppose that shows the distance and disconnect they had before she disappeared. What did Jay really know about Gwen anyway? They obviously weren’t that close. I did find it ironic though, that Gwen was the one with the crush on him, but anytime she told him to jump, he asked how high…or rather, what hour of the night and which remote location to meet at. There was more to Jay, though. He actually listened to and supported Gwen, unlike her parents or even Peter.

 

The last two-thirds of the book really rocketed the tension and the danger Gwen and Peter and all of their friends are in. While they secured the Piper, it comes at an additional cost, and the dark side of adulthood that Peter has pronounced all along is finally seen in itself. I hope this increased anxiety and action flows through into setting up another great plot line to come next.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

6545831Audrey Greathouse is a Seattle-based author of science-fiction and fantasy. Raised in the suburbs, she became a writer after being introduced to NaNoWriMo during her sophmore year of high school. Since then, she has drafted more than a dozen books, 100 sonnets, and 800 other poems, and a handful of short stories and one-act plays.

After dropping out of her university and beginning training as a circus performer on the aerial silks, she returned to school to study at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education to earn her B.A. in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Computer Information Technologies.

Audrey Greathouse is a die-hard punk cabaret fan, and pianist of fourteen years. She’s usually somewhere along the west coast, and she is always writing.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads