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Team Sea to See…and they’re off

So this isn’t a typical post for me, but its something awesome that a friend of mine is doing (in fact, as this post was published they departed Oceanside California). Race Across America is an annual race where the crazy people, whoops, I mean cyclists, either individually or in teams, try to be the fastest person to cross the United States. It starts in Oceanside, CA and ends in Annapolis, MD. These teams cross over 3000 miles, 12 states and over 170,000ft of climbing (which just makes me cringe…I hate anything that makes me climb hills!). What makes this even more awesome is that my friend, Pamela (yeah, girl, i’m calling you out), is one of 4 pilots on a team that features all blind stokers (the folks that are in the back of a tandem bike). The team, Sea to See (isn’t that a great play on words) is aiming to change the narrative about what visually impaired folks can do.

I’m going to be tracking them through live updates (available HERE)

You can read more about Team Sea to See HERE and if you would like to donate to their mission, here is the link: DONATE HERE

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Movie Monday (2) – Annie

Pop some popcorn, sit back, put your feet up and tell us about the movie(s) you have seen this week!

My choice for Movie Monday this week is an oldie but a goodie. Early last week, I was laying on the couch, flipping through the movie options on Netflix, Hulu and Starz, I saw that the original Annie had been added to the Starz line-up and I knew then that I had to watch it.

Annie is one of my all-time favorite movies – i’m pretty sure that the VHS of the movie I had growning up (yeah, i’m so old that I remember VHS) that I wore it out watching it so much, especially the different songs – I would fast-forward between the different songs and just watch them and sing horribly off-tune. There are likely going to be spoilers in this post, but since the movie came out over 3 decades ago, hopefully most people have seen it.

I love Annie because its a story where the underlying theme is hope and dreams – themes that seem so often to be missing from our daily lives – Annie dreams and hopes that her parents will come and rescue her from the orphanage; when Mr Warbucks assistant (Grace) shows up at the orphanage, Annie hopes that she will be picked; even after Mr Warbucks wants to adopt her, she hopes that he will help her find her parents (culminating in her trip to the White House and the iconic song, Tomorrow). And in the movie climax – she hopes that she will be rescued after she is kidnapped….and those are just the key events during the movie.

There are so many actors who starred in Annie who are still appearing in Hollywood movies today – names like Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters. And yet others, like Aileen Quinn who played Annie – has had limited screen time since it was released (only 7 mentions of actress in IMDB). It kind of makes want me want to use Annie as a start place to binge watch the filmologies of some of these actors.

Not long after I watched Annie in my teen years – i read the book that it was based on – it was a fairly good adaptation from the book – there are some scenes that are more fleshed out (as you would expect – most of which have to do with Annie’s time at the orphanage). so I definitely recommend reading it, if you get the change.

Tell me – have you ever seen Annie? If yes, what is your favorite song from the movie? If not, tell me what movies you have watched this week?

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2018 in Movie Monday, Uncategorized

 

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First Line Fridays – 11 May 2018

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books

I never thought I would be sooo glad to sleep in my own bed! I got home Monday night after nearly three weeks on the road, including being busy on all the weekends – so my plan for Saturday and Sunday is to resemble a sloth as much as possible.
(normally i would insert a witty picture of couch sloth here…but i couldn’t find one I liked!). Anyways, on to my reading for this weekend – when I got home Monday night I had a package from St Martin’s Press which wouldn’t you know it, had an ARC for BA Paris’ new book in it. I honestly can’t remember if i signed up to receive it or if it was a gift from previously reviewing for them – either way, i’m not going to argue! Without further ado, here is my First Line Friday!

“We were on our way back from skiing in Megeve. I decided to stop in Paris on the way up as a surprise for Layla, because she had never been there before.”

Bring Me Back – B.A. Paris

From Goodreads:
A young British couple are driving through France on vacation when they stop at a service station. He runs in to use the restroom, she stays in the car. When he returns, her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part of his life now. Until he comes home from work one day and finds his new fiancee sitting on their sofa turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about, because his wife-to-be is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their relationship becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

Why FLF?
I just finished listening to The Breakdown by this author a month or so ago and she kept me on the literal edge of my seat during the entire 13hrs of the audiobook – which I didn’t think was possible. While I had an inkling of how I thought it would turn out, i was so far off base…so i’m hoping that Bring Me Back will keep me equally as much engaged and anticipatory!

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in First Line Fridays, Uncategorized

 

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Audiobook Review – The Duchess Deal – Tessa Dare

The Duchess Deal
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: #1 in the Girl Meets Duke series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
Run Time: 7hrs 56min
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

Review:
Tessa Dare is one of those authors that I feel like I should more of because I have enjoyed the few of her books that I’ve read and yet, I tend to pass her other when looking at various historical romances…i’m honestly not sure why…that being said, because of this, I was happy when the first book in her new series was nominated for an Audie in the romance category. I happened to start the Duchess Deal on my 6hr trek to Ohio (which I do once a month) – so I was able to fully invest myself in the story for almost the entirety of my trip and i’m glad that I did – because the audiobook that made that drive pretty much fly by. I found myself laughing hard quite often and when I did stop for gas and snackage – hurrying through the story, so I could keep listening. I’ll admit that there wasn’t anything overly special about the story line – but it just hit the spot for what I was currently looking for – some angst, a marriage of convenience, as well as a Beauty and the Beast type storyline and the requisite Happily Ever After. I’m a simple girl, what can I say? 🙂

This is the first time that I’ve listened to Mary Jane Wells, but I had to say that I overall enjoyed the experience. Her feminine voices were all distinct to me and i could easily identify who was talking; although I will say that her masculine ones weren’t as distinct – but thankfully, the majority of the book was told from a female POV. Taking a look at her other available audiobooks, it looks like she has found her niche in historical romance (I saw many authors that I have read in the past and I would likely pick up an audiobook narrated by her, in order to continue reading those authors). Her narration pacing was solid and the narration was neither too quiet or too loud (I didn’t have to adjust the volume on my radio while listening).

Overall, I gave the writing 3.5 stars and the narration 4 stars – but I am definitely interesting in trying the later books in the series when they are released in audio.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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First Line Fridays – 10 November 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

John Doe would never understand human ways.

From:
Firefighter Sea Dragon – Zoe Chant

I will say for the most part, many of the authors I have discovered through Kindle Unlimited have been one and done kind of books (i.e. I read one book by the author and no desire to read anymore) – however, occasionally, I find an author that I want to read more of and Zoe Chant is one of those authors. I picked up the first book in this series after I saw it recommended on the now defunct Amazon Romance forums (sad face because I always got really good book recommendations from there). Since then I’ve been reading the books in the series on and off – I just finished up book 3 earlier today and immediately downloaded book 4 because I’m curious about who John Doe actually is. Plus the whole sea dragon shifter is just intriguing, since its something totally different. Here’s to more enjoyable reads by this author and I definately recommend if you like books featuring non-traditional shifters (for the most part) and a fairly relaxed writing style.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in First Line Fridays, Uncategorized

 

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Review – Pupcakes – Annie England Noblin

Pupcakes
Author: Annie England Noblin
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
All she wants is a settled-down life.

What she gets is a dog—and a whole new normal . . .

There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce and sudden move. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.

And because rent-free doesn’t mean bills-free, Brydie gets a night-shift job at a big-box grocery. Whoever guessed there were so many people who wanted baked goods after midnight?

Then, she gets an idea—why not combine her baking skills with her new-found dog knowledge? And so her store Pupcakes is born. Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!

Review:
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for a bookcovers that have dogs on them – my eye catches on them in bookstores and at the library. So when I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing Pupcakes by Annie England Noblin, it was like yes please (although, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of pugs, there is just something about them…) Ms. Noblin is a new author to me, but after reading Pupcakes, I can say that it won’t be the last time I read something by her. There was nothing really unique about her writing style, but it just drew me in. After suffering a bit of a reading slump the last few weeks (on top of being busy at work), I needed a book that engaged me that I wanted to keep reading.

Using Theodore Roosevelt (yes, that was the dogs name) as a vehicle to tell the story was something that make it engaging. The dog wasn’t just an accessory to a character, but was primary to moving the story from beginning to end. But it wasn’t just a story of a woman and dog – it was about finding yourself about life changing events, about rediscovering who you are and finding love again. I felt that while I hadn’t experienced any of what Brydie had gone through that she was still relatable. Then there was Nathan – ahhh, I love a good doctor 🙂 (I don’t think I need to say much more than that right?) In general the cast of characters (Joe, Rosa, Lillian from the overnight bakery) and Pauline (without who there wouldn’t have been a Teddy Roosevelt to fall in love with).

An ultimately satisfying story that made me want to keep reading, as well as try my hand at making homemade dog cookies (i’m sure my two would love me even more if I did that)…I think one thing that would have made the book great, would have been some of the different recipes that Brydie created. A solid 3.5 stars and another added to Mt. I-want-to-read-more-of! 😉

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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First Lines Friday – 20 October 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

Jack Avery stared at the scene before him while sucking on a cherry lollipop his godson Aiden had given him.

From:
Running With a Sweet Talker – Jami Albright

A few months ago, I borrowed a book from Amazon Kindle Unlimited called Running from the Rock Star. What I didn’t know at the time was a) how much I was going to enjoy it and b) that the author would end up on my auto-buy list PDQ (pretty darn quick). There was something fresh about her writing, which was very needed as a run of a few less than stellar reads. So when I got an email from her a couple weeks ago, asking if I wanted to review the next book in the series – i’m pretty sure my response was something that went, not only yes, but heck yeah (or maybe gimme gimme gimme). With Dewey Read-a-thon this week (although I’m not fully participating), Running with a Sweet Talker is on the top of my to-read pile.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2017 in First Line Fridays, Uncategorized

 

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