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Small Favor

I have a friend who has an uncle whos health is quickly deteriorating, but one of the things that he still enjoys is hearing about other parts of the world. If you have the inclination to write an old veteran a note about your part of the world, maybe a postcard with a picture, it’d be pretty awesome for him.

He’s a fan of hunting and fishing. He also loves food and cooking, but he can’t eat much or cook anymore. If you can send him a message just to say “hello from another part of the world,” his family would be grateful.

Joe Griffin
c/o Cynthia Leonard
97 Leonard Ln
Caulfield, MO 65626

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2019 Series Goal. How did I do and where do I go from here?

My main goal for 2019 was to either catch-up, finish or DNF series that I have already started.  I have a real issue with finishing series, I am not sure why I just do.  I did not have any structure around this goal just that I needed to get it done.  I didn’t make a list since I knew that it would put extra pressure around it that I just didn’t need. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by the results. I did better than I thought I would and I feel much better going into this year knocking some more out.  For this year I make a list of some of the series that I would like to get to this year, knowing I will not get to them all. Did I mention that I have a huge problem with this.

Now some of these series have sat on my shelves for way too long. And as a result, my reading tastes have changed over the years so it just came time to remove them from my shelves.  Bonus when I sold them I was able to put the money towards Christmas.

Series I have finished: (7)

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova
Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger
Charlotte Holmes Series by Brittany Cavallaro
Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco
Kingdom on Fire Series by Jessica Cluess
The Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger
Pottermore Presents Series by J.K. Rowling

Series I have caught up on: (6)

Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire
An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir
Shadow of the Fox Series by Julie Kagawa
The Bohemians Series by Jessica Bucher
Monstress Series by Marjorie M. Liu
Lady Mechanika Volumes Series by Joe Benítez

Series I have read that only the first book is out: (3)

The Scarred Earth Saga by G.A. Aiken
Bow Street Bachelors Series by Kate Bateman
A League of Extraordinary Women Series by Evie Dunmore

Series I DNF’d (some had decisions had to be made – 14)

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
The Witcher Series by Andrzej Sapkowski
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Midnight, Texas Series by Charlaine Harris
Daughter of Smoke & Bone Series by Laini Taylor
Spectacle Series by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Order of Darkness Series by Philippa Gregory
Realm of Elestra by Rebekah Dodson
Song For A Lost Kingdom Series by Steve Moretti
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs
The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black
Rime Chronicles Series by Mindee Arnett
The Witchlands Series by Susan Dennard

I am happy to share with you the absurd list that I have that I would like to get to this year. Sadly this is not all of the started series on my shelves.  These are all books that I already own. I do know that some of these series will have books coming out this year but you will not see them here because these are all books that are currently sitting on my shelves needing read.

Flame in the Mist Duoogy by Renee Ahdieh
Smoke in the Sun

The Falconer Trilogy by Elizabeth May
The Vanishing Throne
The Fallen Kingdom

Steampunk Red Riding Hood Series by Melanie Karsak
Howls and Hallows
Lycans and Legends

The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club by Theodora Goss
The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

Lady Helen by Alison Goodman
Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story
The Dark Days Pact
The Dark Days Deceit

Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence
Grey Sister
Bound
Holy Sister

The Daevabad Trilogy by S. A. Chakraborty
The Kingdom of Copper

The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White
Now I Rise
Bright We Burn

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising

The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney
Wrath of the Bloodeye
A Coven of Witches
Clash of the Demons
Rise of the Huntress
Rage of the Fallen
Grimalkin the Witch Assassin
Lure fo the Dead
Slither
I am Alice
Fury of the Seventh Son
The Spooks Bestiary

Some of these series I just started last year and I want to finish them before they sit of years.

How are you with finishing series?  Let me know in the comments below if you have any thoughts on these books.

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2020 Goals

2020 Goals

This is going to be a long one so grab a cup of tea or your preferred drink and settle in. 

I have decided to approach 2020 a little differently.  I am determined to make this year great so instead of jumping in headfirst I am going to wade in.  If I’m honest 2019 was not the greatest year for me in general. I went in with all of these plans and grand ideas only to fall flat.  I have been reflecting on this for the past few weeks to see where I went wrong and what I can do differently. Yes, there were a lot of factors that played into it like my daughter’s active music schedule, not having a job then changing jobs, and so on but that is life and I need to find a way to work with all of this crazy if I want to succeed.  

As I watched everyone put up their goals for the new year and picking their words, I honestly became overwhelmed. But then it all came to me. I fell flat because I  try to do way too much too fast and I burn myself out it’s not a matter of motivation but I literally exhaust myself and end up sick, which in turn forces me to rest and I fall behind. 

I also realized that I have created a lot of bad habits that I need to fix before I can successfully move forward. Which brings me to my plan. Instead of picking a word for the whole year to live by I am breaking it down to picking a word per month.  This way I can build on what I accomplish and I do not overwhelm myself if things do not go as fast as I want them to. This is driven by my main personal goal this year: To take care of myself. I know this seems obvious to most but when things get tough, that is the first thing to go and I need to make me/my health a priority or I am not doing anyone any good.

My word for January is:  Reset

I need to stop and reset all of the bad habits and begin making them back into good ones.  I know from experience that you can not just say I’m not going to do _____ anymore and have it miraculously work. So this month I am focusing on figuring out what I need to fix (I fix one thing and three more come to the surface) and approaching it without the added stress of a hard deadline. I never give myself enough time and that is one of the reasons I fail.  They say it takes two months to create a habit, so I am going to take this one day at a time.

I am breaking down my 2020 Goals down to four categories General, Personal, Blog, and Reading.

Personal 

  • Take better care of myself:
    • Losing 8 more pounds (this is really important to me because if I accomplish this there is a chance that my diabetes will go away.)
    • Eat Breakfast every day. A real breakfast not junk.
    • Drink my daily water.
  • Create Morning and Evening Routines. If you have any ideas I am all ears.
  • Watch at least 1 SkillShare class a week. 
  • Use my Start Today Journal Daily
  • Use my Bullet Journal Daily
  • Engage with people more

General

  • Controlled Spending (goal is to pay off debt)
    • Book Purchases – 2 a month (this is outside of BOTM YA and Audible)
      If I do not buy 2 books that month they can roll over to the next month
  • Use all of the candles I currently own before I start buying more. (This has always been a big issue in the past I really love candles)
  • Use Coupons – Check weekly and before shopping trips
  • Online Shopping – Only do from home (when feasible) – so I can take advantage of Honey and Swagbucks (plus this gives me time to think on the purchase and decide if I actually need it.)
  • Do Surveys: Pinecone, I-say, Paidview point, etc.
  • Work on eliminating fast food (big money suck)
  • Attend String Association Meetings (horrible parent I don’t think I have attended one yet.)
  • Attend Band Meetings (I stared finally attending these again a few months ago.)

Blog

  • Update the look of my blog
    • Find a Theme that I like (I have been wanting to do this for about 9 months but just never committed to anything so it’s time that I do it.)
    • Update with new header etc when I get them (I commissioned these a little while ago)
    • Create a better schedule for updating site pages (I want to start doing this on a weekly basis)
  • Cross-reference Reviews more timely (I want to do this the day they are posted or weekly)
  • Try to not take on more than 1 review book a month (I took on way too many in October and burned myself out. I am still feeling it.)
  • Post at least 3 times a week
  • Be more active on Social Media ( I really struggle because I have an issue with comparing myself with everyone else. Working on that)

Reading

  • Get my Physical TBR to 175 (I hope that I will get this number down much lower but I am being realistic with how I feel right now.
  • Get my E-Book TBR to 50
  • Catch up on more Series (I was surprised how I did last year so I am hoping to do good this year too.)
  • Clean out my shelves at least once a quarter and take books to sell (if I play this right I won’t be spending too much out of pocket for books which helps with my spending.)
  • DNF if I do not like a book (I put way too much pressure on myself to finish books I’m not feeling.)

So there you have it those are the start of my goals for 2020.  I know I want to start an exercise routine of some kind even if it’s just some time on the treadmill I just need to figure out where to block that out but that will come.  Baby steps.

If you have stayed for all of this you are wonderful.  If you would like to talk about any of it or tell me what your plans are for 2020 talk to me in the comments below or if you want message me on another platform.

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New Releases · Uncategorized

Book Blitz: Women Meditation and Power by Liz Lewinson @LizLewinson @KeriBarnum @RRBookTours1 #NonFiction #GenderStudies #Bloggers

Women Meditation

Congratulations to Liz Lewinson on the release of the latest edition of Women Meditation and Power!

38247527
Women, Meditation, and Power
by Liz Lewinson
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Women’s Studies
Publication Date: January 7, 2020 (New Edition)

Women are the power species on the planet. Why? Because life force or kundalini flows through women more strongly than in men. The primary aspect of the female person is power. The primary aspect of the male person is love and humility. Somewhere back in time, the roles got switched.

Men in charge have unwittingly created a heavy, inflexible power structure that lurches towards destruction. Now is the time for the woman in all of us to up-end the confusion, unravel the deep-rooted lines of misunderstanding, and make it right.

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Author Bio

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LIZ LEWINSON is an award-winning author in biography and Buddhism. Her travels and career in technology and communications have allowed her to observe the inversion of the roles of women and men around the world. She speaks on the topics of women, meditation, and power to students, corporations, and community organizations.

Liz Lewinson

 

Book Blitz Organized By:

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Christmas Books On My TBR

christmas books on my TBR

I thought it would be fun to share the Christmas books that are currently (as of writing this post) on my TBR.  Last year was the first time I read books focused on the holidays and I enjoyed it a lot.  These are the 6 Christmas books on my TBR.  I wonder how many of these I will get read this season.

Carols and Chaos
Carols and Chaos
by Cindy Anstey
Regency Romance, Young Adult, Mystery
Paperback
328 Pages
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A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue.

A Christmas Carol Steampunk
A Christmas Carol Steampunk
by Charles Dickens
with Illustrations by Zdenko Basic
Classics, Steampunk
Hardback
204 Pages
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Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol tells the time-honored tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, whose encounters with the ghosts of Jacob Marley, Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come lead him to examine his bitter existence. Haunting steampunk illustrations by acclaimed artist Zdenko Basic accompany the original story, transforming this Christmas classic like never before. Images of steam-powered machinery, a chilling industrial London, and ornate mechanical gears come together as Scrooge travels through his life on Christmas Eve night.

Additionally, Charles Dickens’ celebrated short stores, “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton” and “A Christmas Tree” are included and paired with equally enchanting steampunk illustrations. Those of us who cherish each holiday with Dickens in our hearts—the man who has linked the Christmas spirit with love, forgiveness, and charity—will treasure this rare collector’s edition for this Christmas and many to come.

Goblins and Snowflakes
Goblins and Snowflakes
by Melanie Karsak
Steampunk, Fantasy, Retelling
Paperback
116 Pages
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Never bargain with goblin men.
Scarlette Rossetti thought her stay at Strawberry Hill Castle during the Christmas holiday would pass by uneventfully. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Enticed by the delights of the nearby village of Twickenham, Scarlette’s life would change in unimaginable ways.

She never expected to be drawn magnetically to The Two Sisters Doll Shop and Toy Emporium.

Scarlette didn’t guess that tinkering clockwork gnomes could have supernatural consequences.

And she didn’t know that one should never, ever, bargain with goblin men.

But during the Christmas season, magic is always brewing.

Hauntings and Humbug
Hauntings and Humbug
by Melanie Karsak
Steampunk, Fantasy, Retelling
Paperback
100 Pages
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It’s Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and Ebony Scrooge is hard at work tinkering weapons of mass destruction and avoiding all things Christmas. When the spirit of her deceased partner, Jacqueline Marley, warns Ebony that she will be visited by three ghosts, Ebony writes the visitation off as a dream. But on this Christmas Eve, the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future must try to pull off a miracle, restoring Ebony’s heart before it’s too late. Hauntings and Humbug is a retelling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, set in New York Times bestselling author Melanie’s Karsak’s steampunk universe.

Bustles and Bells
Bustles and Bells: A Holiday Steampunk Anthology
by Various
Steampunk, Fantasy
E-book
352 Pages
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Join New York TimesUSA Today, bestselling and award-winning speculative fiction authors as they celebrate the holidays this December in steampunk style. Tinsel and trains, tinkers and time-machines, garlands and gaslamps grace the stories in this limited-time anthology.

Corseted ladies and cloaked lords fill your holidays with Christmas cheer—and a touch of Yuletide magic, too—in this collection full of tales of wonder set in alternate landscapes of Victorian style and steam-powered technology.

So deck the skies with dirigibles, gather ’round the clockwork tree, and settle in with your eggnog and goggles for a steampunk celebration like never before!

Once Upon a Duke
Once Upon a Duke
by Erica Ridley
Regency Romance
E-book
212 Pages
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Beware romantic spirits from Christmas past…

Due to the terms of an estranged relative’s will, the Duke of Silkridge must revisit the cold, unforgiving mountains where he lost everything he once loved. As soon as he rights his family legacy, he’ll return to London where he belongs. He definitely won’t rekindle the forbidden spark crackling between him and the irresistible spitfire he’d left behind…

Noelle Pratchett is immune to charming rakehells like the arrogant duke. He stole her heart, stole her first kiss, and then stole away one night never to return. Now he’s back—and so are all the old feelings. Noelle knows he won’t stay. But how can she maintain her icy shields when every heated glance melts her to her core?

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Let’s Chat: Keeping Books We Don’t Like or Don’t Want to Finish

Hey Everyone,

So I have been going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to write this post.  I finally decided to do it because I can’t be the only person that has ever felt this way. I started thinking about this hard earlier this month when I finished a series (Yay me!) but the last book was so disappointing that it ruined the series for me and put me in a two-week reading slump.

As I was putting the books back on my shelf I really starting looking at the books that I have and I realized that there are a few series that I have kept that I did not like the last book I read enough to continue on with them.

I have limited shelf space so why am I keeping books I will never read again? Why am I keeping series that I stopped reading and now feel that I need to go back to the beginning because I must have missed something? Yes, I’m looking at you Throne of Glass.

Answer: Some part of me felt like I had to.

Yes, I know how crazy this sounds. It’s like there is some standard that says you have to have certain books to taken seriously, or you have to read certain books to be considered legit. One it feels great and free to remove those books and tell myself that I don’t have to keep them, but I don’t know where these expectations I placed on myself came from.

In the end, I am going to be able to fit by books on my shelf’s better now after I finish purging. And I will not feel anxious about the books that I feel forced to read and keep.

Also, writing this post has just made me feel so much better.  I guess in its own way I am admitting my issue and I feel better about it.

Does anyone else feel unreasonable expectations in their reading life or beyond?

Let’s talk below!

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Week-long hiatus

As much as it pains me to say I will not be posting anything this week.  This week is just too crazy and I need to step back and take care of myself some. All is well I have just started too many things and now need to get things sorted out. I usually build my posts the week before and finish them on the weekends and that did not happen last week and I am only going to drive myself crazy trying to catch up and get ahead. So I feel this is the most sensible thing I can do.

I will be back next week!

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