Thursday, August 10, 2017 | By: Taffy

Summer reading updates! #3

Next week (August20-27)  the #COYER challenge is to read only audio or ebooks.

I'm wrapping up my TBR Wipeout challenge this week. Here are my thoughts on my summer reading:

I got a lot of books off my TBR pile! I read 18 books in June and July. August isn't over yet (sumer'snotoversummer'snotoversummer'snotover) so I still have a few weeks to finish up my challenges.

Here are the ones I'm hope to read through the rest of August:





Dream me by Kathryn Berla


Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to your biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy








Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts















These are the ones I've enjoyed the last couple of weeks:


The Killing Curse
by H.B. Moore

"Taheer Sayid picked up his cell phone and selected his most trustworthy contact."

HB Moore kills it again! Another great addition to this series!














Havencross by Julie Daines

"Two hundred fifty miles into this journey and not a word spoken."

 Deception, lies, romance, unrequited love and smugglers all roll along in Ms. Daines newest, delightful book.


Saturday, July 29, 2017 | By: Taffy

Summer reading update #2

For #COYER this week (July 23-30) I'm reading only physical books, which was a little hard only because I was finishing up two ebooks. but i have plenty of hardcover to read! I'll let you know what I read in a few weeks.

Another month of reading!  

Here are the ones I am reading:




The Killing Curse 
by H.B. Moore








It Started With Goodbye 
by Christina June










Don't Kiss the Messenger 
by Katie Ray










Thick as Thieves 
by Megan Whalen Turner













Here are a couple I enjoyed the past couple of weeks:


My Lady Jane
Cynthia hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.


  Clever. Funny. Smart. Hilarious at times. Intriguing all the time. The story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen, is told from the three different, rich viewpoints, thanks to three great writers.  
"Your mother was a hamster and your father reeked of elder berries!"





A Season in London

POOR RELATIONS by Elizabeth Johns


""This is my cousin, Emma Standrich," said Jane Wetherby said for the hundredth time that evening."


Emma feels she needs to become a governess to save her family. Colonel Shelton is smitten with her and offers his hand in marriage and the access to his money to help her save her family

 
EDWARD & EMILY by Heather B. Moore

""This is my cousin, Emma Standrich," said Jane Wetherby said for the hundredth time that evening."


Emma feels she needs to become a governess to save her family. Colonel Shelton is smitten with her and offers his hand in marriage and the access to his money to help her save her family

 
A SPORTING SEASON by Rebecca Connolly


"A season in London."
 
What a fun read! Daphne is determined to ruin her season in London before anyone else does and Jaime is determined to have a front row seat. Their dialogue is snappy and intelligent and their chemistry sweet.



Saturday, July 15, 2017 | By: Taffy

Summer reading updates...

This week (June 25-July2)  in the #COYER challenge I'm only reading ebooks. I'll be back on July 23rd to update how that went.

Here are the books I'm reading right now:


The Library of Light and Shadow
by M. J. Rose









A Season in London (Timeless Regency collection)
 Elizabeth Johns, Heather B Moore, Rebecca Connolly









 Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor










My Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand









I've read a lot of books this past month. Here's a rundown on what I enjoyed:


The Clockwork Dynasty
by Daniel H Wilson

Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past...

Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar's loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.

The Clockwork Dynasty seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning.
 


 Opening line:
"The age of the thing is in the feel of it."

I wasn't sure how much I would like this book but I then I couldn't put it down so I guess it's safe to say I did like. 


Full review here

My Own Mr. Darcy
by Karey White

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.


  Opening line:
"The theater was nearly empty."


I LOVE the cover!

Full review here.


A Beautiful Blue Death
by Charles Finch
On any given day in London, all Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, wants to do is relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist another chance to unravel a mystery, even if it means trudging through the snow to her townhouse next door.


One of Jane's former servants, Prudence Smith, is dead -- an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prudence dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by an elusive lack of motive in the girl's death.


When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence? Or was it something else entirely, something that Lenox alone can uncover before the killer strikes again -- disturbingly close to home?



Opening line:

"Charles Lenox sat in the study of his town house in Hampden Lane--that small, shop-lined street just off Grosvenor Place where he had passed most of his adult life--and sifted through the papers that had accumulated upon his desk, as they would, inevitably, when one became a member of Parliament. "

I really quite enjoyed my first foray into the Charles Lenox Mysteries. 


Full review here.

Saturday, July 1, 2017 | By: Taffy

Annual Summer TBR Wipeout and other challenges

I'm doing FOUR reading challenges this summer. Not hard. Just reading. Cleaning out my Kindle and hardcover books by finally reading those books that have been begging to be picked up and loved.

My reading challenges are with #COYER (Clean Out Your E-Reads), Modern Mrs. Darcy , TBR Wipeout and Summer Book Trek *



I think it sounds fun and a great way to push me to get books on my TBR pile read!


  1. A Beautiful Blue Death
  2. A Study in Silks
  3. Prisoner of Ice and Snow
  4. Dream Me
  5. Ash and Quill
  6. Bring Her Home
  7. Perish From Earth
  8. Hello, Sunshine
  9. My Own Mr. Darcy*
  10. Relax, I'm a Ninja*
  11. An Ocean Away*
  12. A Season in London*
  13. Star-touched Queen
  14. The Clockwork Dynasty
  15. Lies Jane Austen Told Me*
  16. As You Wish
  17. My Lady Jane*
  18. Havencross*
  19. Flame in the Mist
  20. Watch Me Disappear
  21. Secret of the India Orchid*
  22. Fitness Junkie
  23. Royal Bastards
  24. The Original Jinny Moon
  25. Wreckage*
  26. Girl Out of Water
  27. It Started With Goodbye
  28. Don't Kiss the Messenger
  29. Thick As Thieves
  30. Defy the Stars
  31. The Go Between
  32. Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone
  33. The Library of Light and Shadow
  34. Mask of Shadows
  35. Where the Light Falls
  36. Romancing Daphne*
  37. P.S. I Like You*
  38. Presence
  39. Rosemarked
  40. I hate Everyone But You
  41. The Fifth Doll
  42. Everything We Keep
  43. The Killing Curse
  44. The Midnight Dance
  45. The Space Between Words

This is one of two challenges on Modern Mrs. Darcy's blog


I'm so excited to do these challenges!

What are you reading this summer??



Saturday, May 27, 2017 | By: Taffy

My summer reading list challenge! Join me! #COYER



I'm doing a reading challenge this summer to try and catch up on my reading, especially my e-books.

#COYER (clean off your e-reader) begins June 17th. There are two ways to do the challenge:

1. Read all the books you want. Read and review.
2. Summer reading list and the read-a-thon that goes with it. I'm choosing this option.

Find out more HERE.

I think it sounds fun and a great way to push me to get books on my TBR pile read!

  1. A Beautiful Blue Death
  2. A Study in Silks
  3. Prisoner of Ice and Snow
  4. Dream Me
  5. Ash and Quill
  6. Bring Her Home
  7. Perish From Earth
  8. Hello, Sunshine
  9. My Own Mr. Darcy
  10. Relax, I'm a Ninja
  11. An Ocean Away
  12. A Season in London
  13. Star-touched Queen
  14. The Clockwork Dynasty
  15. Lies Jane Austen Told Me
  16. As You Wish
  17. My Lady Jane
  18. Havencross
  19. Flame in the Mist
  20. Watch Me Disappear
  21. Secret of the India Orchid
  22. Fitness Junkie
  23. Royal Bastards
  24. The Original Jinny Moon
  25. Wreckage
  26. Girl Out of Water
  27. It Started With Goodbye
  28. Don't Kiss the Messenger
  29. Thick As Thieves
  30. Defy the Stars
  31. The Go Between
  32. Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone
  33. The Library of Light and Shadow
  34. Mask of Shadows
  35. Where the Light Falls
  36. Romancing Daphne
  37. P.S. I Like You
  38. Presence
  39. Rosemarked
  40. I hate Everyone But You
  41. The Fifth Doll
  42. Everything We Keep
  43. The Killing Curse
  44. The Midnight Dance
  45. The Space Between Words
I'm so excited to do this challenge!

 I wonder how many I'll read??????


Read-a-thon Challenge:
  • Read-a-thon Dates are
    • June 25th – July 2nd ~ read only ebooks
    • July 23rd to July 30th ~ read only physical books
    • August 20th to August 27th ~ read only audio and ebooks

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 | By: Taffy

I rocked my childhood or how my childhood affects my writing

At least, in my mind I rocked it. I mean, look at these toys and shows! How can one not love what I got to play with and watch while growing up?


These were favorite toys when I was little. I LOVED them and they got a lot of use not only from me but my siblings too. I remember making words with the magnetic letters when I was first starting to spell. We also had the house. We use to take the furniture and people outside and make houses for them out of dirt, sticks and flowers.






My family use to have these bunnies as decor. 
I petted them. 
I liked their fuzziness!







Stickers! I loved the googly eye stickers and the Scratch n' Sniff stickers. The smells bring back memories of junior high days. Which may or may not have been tumultuous and ugly. But all was well when friends shared stickers.












NOTES! 

I passed so many notes in the my years from elementary to high school. We even folded them this way. We retold our day with stick figures or made up very important quizzes like this:



Do you like:
Mike 
Chase 
Grant 

Are you mad at me:
Yes 
No 
Maybe ☑




Do any of you remember these cassettes? My friends and I made tons of mixed tapes together. I still have some. Hubby and I still have a whole drawer of cassettes! Huh. I don't think we have anything to play them.



I'm a little bit country! 
An I'm a little bit rock n' roll!



Here's the last and the most iconic childhood memory for me: Donny and Marie Osmond! I watched them on TV. I listened to them on the radio and cassette, bought purple socks and I. had. the. action figures. Donny got to kiss a lot of my Barbies, just sayin'.


***

I find that a lot of my experiences and friends and family come out a bit in my writing. They surface unexpectedly and I'm usually surprised why and how. Seeing that multicolored cassette in this post kinda makes me want to write and 80's themed book.
For years after I graduated from junior high, I dreamed about that school. The things that happened there shaped me in more ways than I think. I could draw a map of that school. I wish I could have walked it and taken pictures before it was torn down. Maybe I'll do a story set in junior high. I'll have to find my photo albums and year books.
So what I'm saying is that our experiences shape the stories we write or what we want to write. It's okay to write what we know. It's okay to write reality based on our experiences. We need to hear other's memories and stories. No one can say we know or we don't understand because we do, according to our experiences.
Don't be afraid to write what you know. Or maybe, be very afraid. And write from there...
There's just not enough time to write them all.






Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | By: Taffy

100 (or something like that) Book Challenge!

I'm taking my lead from Nathan Bransford and doing the 100 book challenge. He said it was harder for him than he thought. I'm kinda excited to look at all the books I've enjoyed reading.



I'll meet Nathan's challenge and see how hard it is.


UPDATE: like two hours later... I ended up 180! WHAT?? I added every book in a series. So I went back and put the books in a series on the same line. Even doing that I still had 137. 
My middle grade, picture books and all genres are mixed up in this list.

This challenge was hard in that it took FOREVER to go through my goodreads books and find the ones I loved/enjoyed reading.



So here is my list, in random order that I don't expect anyone to read because it is freaking long. LOL

What about you? Can you come up with 100 fav books?


  1. The Far Pavilions, Shadow of the Moon
  2. Jane Eyre
  3. Pride and Prejudice
  4. Persuasion
  5. An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire, These Three Remain
  6. A Tale of Two Cities
  7. A Christmas Carol
  8. Silas Marner 
  9. The Screwtape Letters
  10. Seven Gables
  11. The Raven
  12. Pudd'nhead Wilson
  13. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
  14. Birdman of Alcatraz
  15. The Count of Monte Cristo 
  16. Magnificent Obsession
  17. The Poisonwood Bible
  18. Wives and Daughter
  19. North and South
  20.  Hagseed: The Tempest Retelling
  21. To Kill a Mockingbird
  22. Island of the Blue Dolphins
  23. The Secret Garden
  24. The Penderwick's
  25. The Giver
  26. Eragon
  27. The Secret Journal of Brett Colton
  28. Anne of Green Gables
  29. Edenbrook
  30. These is My Words 
  31. Enchanted April
  32. Prisoner of Zenda
  33. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
  34. The Rent Collector
  35. Fried Green Tomatoes
  36. Al Capone Irons My Shirts 
  37. The Indian in the Cupboard 
  38. No Talking
  39. Stargirl
  40. Fablehaven, Rise of the Evening Star, Grip of the Shadow Plague, Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, Keys to the Demon Prison
  41. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
  42. You Are Mine
  43. The Importance of Being Earnest
  44. A Lantern in Her Hand
  45. Gone with the Wind
  46. Romeo and Juliet 
  47. Much Ado About Nothing
  48. The Canterbury Tales
  49. SkippyJon Jones
  50. Good Night Moon 
  51. Oh! The Places You'll Go!
  52. Love Twelve Miles Long
  53. 14 Cows for America
  54. The Tale of Despereaux
  55. The Magician's Elephant
  56. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
  57. Double Trouble in Walla Walla
  58. The Princess Bride
  59. Jellicoe Road
  60. The Hundredth Queen
  61. Pivot Point
  62. On Little Wings
  63. Wednesday Wars
  64. The Pearl
  65. Eleanor and The Iron King
  66. Willowkeep
  67. Unraveled
  68. Blind Eye
  69. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency 
  70. The Help 
  71. Unspoken
  72. The Forgotten Garden
  73. The Secret Keeper
  74. Lord of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, Hobbit
  75. Inside Out & Back Again
  76. A Light in the Attic
  77. Falling Up
  78. The Giving Tree 
  79. Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book
  80. The Polar Express 
  81. Death of a Salesman
  82. Ink and Bone
  83. It's a Mall World After All
  84. My Fair Godmother
  85. Austenland
  86. The Goose Girl
  87. Princess Academy 
  88. The Actor and the Housewife
  89. Rapunzel's Revenge 
  90. Princess of the Midnight Ball, Princess of Glass
  91. Dragon Slippers
  92. The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, The Iron Knight
  93. Sorcerers Stone, Prisoner of Azkaban, Chamber Secret, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blooded Prince, Deathly Hollows
  94. Entwined
  95. Traitor
  96. The Girl of Fire and Thorns
  97. Forgotten 
  98. Fallen
  99. Gilded Cage
  100. The Reader
  101. An Ember in the Ashes
  102. Three Dark Crowns
  103. The Wraith and the Dawn
  104. Things Half in Shadow
  105. The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia
  106. The False Prince, The Runaway King, The Shadow Throne
  107. Mark of the Thief, Rise of the Wolf
  108. The Kiss of a Stranger 
  109. Seeking Persephone
  110. Courting Miss Lancaster
  111. As You Are
  112. Glimmer of Hope
  113. The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance
  114. Elantris
  115. Legion
  116. Steelheart, Firefight, Calamity
  117. Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians, Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones
  118. Dodger
  119. The Final Empire, The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment,The Wicked Day
  120. City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass
  121. Maze Runner
  122. Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant
  123. The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Catching Fire
  124. Band of Sisters
  125. Wolf Hollow
  126. Yellow Star 
  127. The Healing Spell
  128. Loser 
  129. Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn
  130. The Host
  131. Christmas Oranges
  132. The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes
  133. Increase in Learning: Spiritual Patterns
  134. The Second Rescue: The story...Willie and Martin Handcart
  135. The Remarkable Soul of a Woman
  136. Women of the Book of Mormon
  137. Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish