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Showing posts from January, 2012

The Month of Letters Challenge

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February marks author and blogger Mary Robinette Kowal's The Month of Letters Challenge.

Basically, send something in the mail to someone every mailing day in February, for a total of 24 items mailed. (U.S. total mailing days, as Sundays and Presidents' Day are non-mail days.) Also, write back to everyone who writes to you.

Learn more at the FAQ page here.

I'm planning to participate. Are you?

This and That

I'm more than a little disappointed after a visit to one of my local Barnes & Noble locations yesterday. Where are the books? Yes, they still have books, though nowhere near as many unique titles and copies of each title as they used to have. Instead, the physical store is consumed with Nook promotion (help desk, plenty of models to try, and accessories) and toys/games/gifts (for adults and kids). I left without making a single purchase, as did my friend.

Have you been in a Barnes & Noble recently? Do you agree about the apparent move away from the physical book, and, if so, do you find that trend a positive or a negative?

I <3 Bill Maher. We dropped all of our premium cable channels months ago, and I had the chance for a Maher fix with a free HBO preview this weekend. Anyone else a fan?

I also went on a writing rampage this weekend--and didn't get the mail into our mailbox this morning. Ugh. Anyway, many of you should receive a valentine, postcard, or ot…

This and That

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Allie, the world's sweetest, most undemanding Rottweiler, turned nine yesterday. The best part of her day? Extra treats and rubs. Living with a vivacious seven-year-old human child and a fluffy, demanding Shih tzu means that Allie doesn't always get her fair share of the love and attention.

Exciting milestone--Maya sold 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies! Okay, that counts the boxes I bought to send to soldiers overseas and my nieces at college, but still. . . . At her meeting for Brownies tonight, they're going to calculate the total number sold by the entire troop. Should be significant.

Another exciting milestone--My online book club at work reached twenty members, counting me, this week while also moving to a less hectic quarterly reading schedule! All of the 2012 book selections are classics--Oliver Twist this month, The Scarlet Pimpernel in April, White Fang in July, and Jane Eyre in October.

What's new in your world?

Existence by Abbi Glines

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I'm getting old. How do I know? I was rooting for the wrong guy in Abbi Glines' Existence (2011), even while knowing Pagan would pick the other one.

Who is Pagan? A pretty in the smart girl kind of way high school senior with the ability to see dead people. She sees the spirits, but they don't talk to her. Not until she sees Dank on the first day of school, anyway.

Who is Dank? Let's just say there's a reason he can talk to her when other spirits haven't that I don't want to reveal, and he's also able to assume a human form, eventually attending Pagan's school and singing in a popular group. He's sexy, mysterious, and fights acting on his attraction to Pagan.

Who is Leif? The star quarterback with a learning disability who Pagan goes from despising to liking when she tutors him. He's handsome, charming, and very into Pagan.

I really enjoyed this book, especially Pagan's character, right up until the last line. There's a s…

Cheddar's--January 18, 2012

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Maya and I tried the new Lincoln location for Cheddar's Casual Cafe, a chain out of Texas, on Wednesday. Maya says she has a new favorite restaurant, and we're already planning to go again tomorrow with my best friend and, possibly, her daughter.

Maya recommends the chocolate shake for dessert.

The mozzarella sticks were my favorite part of the meal.

The aquarium kept Maya entertained during our fifteen-minute wait for a table.

Have you ever eaten at a Cheddar's location? What did you think?

Blogs I Love

My friend Becky pointed me to Kittling: Books, which is a great blog for readers, mainly devoted to covering mysteries. I love the interviews with authors, which always have interesting pictures and questions.

IHeart Organizing is a great site for those addicted to organizing--or to seeing the possibilities of organization. I especially enjoy seeing the results of do-it-yourself projects from her readers.

Irish Farmerette provides a little eye candy from rural Ireland, along with to-die-for recipes. I'm going to get to Ireland one of these days.

My Little Norway provides a glimpse of another country I hope to visit at some point.

Any favorite blogs you care to share?

Girl Scout Cookies

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Me: "Maya, hold on; I want to take your picture before you start selling cookies."
Maya: "No."
Me: "It's for the blog."
Maya: "Oh, okay."

Maya didn't particularly enjoy selling Girl Scout cookies, but she's very happy she surpassed her goal of selling $50 worth of cookies. I'm relieved she (a) set a reasonable goal and (b) made the goal because I didn't want her to be disappointed.

My favorite comment of the weekend, "I need to try all of the cookies because I shouldn't be selling something I haven't even tried before." Yes, the poor girl has my sweet tooth!

This and That

The end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 found me in a rather dark place. Too much bad/sad news too close together, I suppose, more than anything else. I'm finally starting to feel more like my regular self again. Finally.

I definitely have a new appreciation for people who always suffer from some form of depression, though.

Maya gets her Girl Scout cookies at tonight's meeting. She's more than a little nervous about talking to people and making change. I promised to help with making change, but I told her that she has to do all of the talking/selling. I also told her that she doesn't have to sell cookies next year if she doesn't enjoy the process this year. Fortunately, her troop is low pressure on selling, and not all of the girls are selling cookies this time around.

Today was also pajamas day at Maya's school, so I'll have to take a photo to share later. We were in our usual rush to get ready this morning, and I didn't have a chance for a photo…

Lothaire by Kresley Cole

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If you're a fan of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series, you may have anxiously been waiting to hear the story of possibly the most ruthless vampire to ever appear in paranormal romance. I've certainly been waiting and wondering. The wait is over with this month's release of Lothaire (2012).

Lothaire has a plan for assuming the thrones of both vampire races--the Dacian, his mother's people, and the Horde, his father's people--and gaining his revenge for his past torture and neglect and his mother's death. He just needs to get a certain wishing ring in order to remove a human soul from a body that his Bride, Saroya, currently inhabits, and they can rule together after he also makes the body immortal.

As for the human, Elizabeth/Ellie is courageous, smart, funny, and headstrong. She's loyal and family-oriented, and her love for those close to her is her greatest weakness and strongest asset.

And what if Elizabeth is Lothaire's true Bride ins…

Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty

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Near the beginning of Sarah McCarty's Promises Linger (2004), the first entry in the Promises series, set in 1868 Wyoming Territory:

A man could look at a face like that for years and never get tired. It wasn't that she was beautiful, though she was mighty easy on the eyes. It was the way the planes and hollows came together in a delicate balance of strength, humor and bone-deep sensuality that had him gaping like a green kid. A face like that spoke of endurance and character. A face like that invited visions of naked bodies and long, lusty, leisurely nights. And her mouth, hell, her mouth was a fantasy unto itself. He couldn't begin to corral the ideas the sight of those wide plump lips had running through his head.

Asa McIntyre's initial thoughts when Elizabeth Coyote enters a saloon to find her abusive husband of one day to let him know their sham of a marriage is over. Fortunately, the marriage wasn't consummated, and Asa is exactly the man Elizabeth needs for…

Photos, December 2011

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Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 holds much joy, creativity, peace, and blessings for you and yours.

We finally decorated our tree on Saturday, December 24.
What can be better as a gift than a book about a cute dog?
Maya was pretty ecstatic to open her last gift on Christmas morning and find a Nook Tablet.
Putting her Nook to good use by book shopping.
While touring the Nebraska State Capitol Building, Maya deemed this the "world's scariest elevator." She risked the ride to look down at Lincoln from the fourteenth floor, though.
The Christmas tree at the Capitol Building is real, huge, and decorated with ornaments from around the state.
Ivanna Cone in Lincoln's historic Haymarket has some delicious ice cream. Maya certainly gives their Cake Batter with sprinkles a "thumbs up."

Hope 2011 ended well for you.