One Lovely Mystery

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I’m making an exception to my never-having-time-to-do-tags anymore to do a tag by one of my favorite bloggers and friend, Mischenko. She has so graciously nominated me for both of these awards plus I like the title because I like to think I’m a lovely mystery on occasion. Anyway, thank you Mischenko. You obviously know how inspiring you are to me; especially when it gets me gifted with expensive blenders 😉

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself
7 More Facts about me:
  • I am very good at finding things on the internet especially a good deal because I’m cheap and poor
  • I did my own hair and makeup for my wedding because I’m weird and felt that nobody was else was good enough at doing my hair and I used a Youtube tutorial for basic makeup
  • On a regular day, I don’t wear makeup at all. Too much work and I think it makes me look like a different person
  • I hate wearing dresses unless it’s absolutely necessary. I hate wearing heels more. I’m all about comfy clothes and would come to work in my pajamas if I could
  • I have a younger sister. Most people think I’m an only child though cause we rarely talk to each other
  • Which leads into my family is very dramatic so I make it a point to see them a couple times of year cause I can’t handle more than a couple hours at a time
  • But I have a huge extended family through my friends network and I’m super grateful for that.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

This award was originally created by Maggie @okoto enigma

“Mystery blogger award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

RULES:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Since I just shared 7 things, I’m just going to answer Mischenko’s question.

Mischenko’s Questions:


1. What’s your ideal pet?

I already have 2 cats and a painted turtle. My next ideal pet is most definitely a dog. I’ve only ever had a dog as a pet once in my entire life and I love him still. He was a pit-bull/lab mix named Cinnaman (cause he was the man) and he was mine. He lived to be the ripe old age of 14 years old. Since his passing I’ve vowed that if I ever get another dog it will be a pit bull mix of some sort.

2. What’s your favorite food? 

Lol, I don’t even know how to answer that. I love eating. It’s life. For the past couple days it’s been KFC fried chicken. I also love sushi and alfredo and steak and zucchini fries and authentic ramen and pho. I love food.

3. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

If I could do over anything I would probably have chosen to go to community college instead of a private college. Student loan debt is not fun and I wish it would go away faster. I definitely don’t regret the friends or the experiences but expensive college is overrated considering my degree is sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

4. What is your favorite music?

Girl! I just love music! I will pretty much listen to any genre except country (sorry folks, I can’t take the southern twang) oh and also Taylor Swift. Not of fan of her at all. I love artists such as Pentatonix, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Gavin Degraw, Evanescence, Lindsay Sterling, Leona Lewis, Radiohead and occasionally I will jam on some classic Disney tunes. Yes, I am that friend that will sing in dance in public if I know and like the song. I’m always discovering new music though from listening to Pandora and Tidal all day.

5. Who do you most admire in life?

I pretty much admire anyone who is following their dreams and accepting people of all walks of life no matter their skin color, religion, gender, any of that. Life is way too short to worry about those things especially with much bigger problems going on in the world. I also admire everyone taking steps to protect the environment and the animals that live within it whether that be lifestyle changes or volunteering or donating. Oh! I also admire authors because they keep me sane with all their wonderful pieces of gold, silver and precious gems that make me even more poor but super rich at the same time.

My favorite posts will have to be my stories. Just click the “story” tag and you’ll find them. I still can’t believe half of them are my life but I enjoy sharing them with you all and bringing smiles to your faces each day. I also like my endangered posts cause they bring awareness and Facebook Friday posts seem to be a hit as well. (I really like my blog can you tell?) 😀


Consider yourselves tagged. I’m too lazy to list people and I know I’m not the only one who has tags upon tags on the back burner. Again, I made an exception because Mischenko is very influential in my life and I love her. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you’re missing out and you should probably remedy that situation!

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Get To Know Me Tag

I haven’t done a tag in while (cause I just have way too many stories to tell) and I actually had a story lined up for today but I saw this tag floating around and I remember Patty tagging me a long time ago (sorry!) so I decided to join in the tag fun instead.

get to know me tag

VITAL STATS

Name: Chanel

Nicknames: Nel, Chica, Sexy

Star Sign: Taurus

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Occupation: Office manager for a small business

Living In: The heart of the nation — Ohio, USA


APPEARANCE

Hair color: Black or jet black as my mom would tell you. I’m too scared to ever try to dye it because I like my hair a lot.

Hair length: It’s about breast length which is the longest it’s ever been. I have kinky afro hair and I used to straighten it a lot or do those brazillian keratin treatments but it changed my hair texture a lot so a couple years ago I let a friend take scissors to my hair and cut out all the straight so I wore it in a short afro puff for a while. Now I’m constantly trying out different hairstyles I see on Youtube.

Eye Color: Dark brown according to my driver’s license

Best Feature: I don’t know! That’s like a question you ask a man but maybe my smile because people always comment about how happy I am all the time.

Braces: Nope, never. Almost once but my mom disagreed with the dentist’s assessment so I didn’t get them

Piercings:  Ears that I got pierced at birth. I don’t want anymore

Tattoos: Yes. I have on on my lower left back. Its a bamboo shoot with “to live” in japanese next to it. I got it in my senior year of college. I got the words “to live” because I was feeling some kind of way back in those days so I tracked down my Indonesian friend, Soya, and had him draw the exact symbols for me because I didn’t trust the internet translations and he is fluent in Japanese.

Right or Left: Right I guess. I’m right handed, lol.


FIRSTS

Real Holiday: I’m guessing I had quite a few as a child that I don’t remember but I’ll probably say Thanksgiving and Christmas cause that’s the only time I really see all my family together in one spot. For a couple years growing up, our house was the party spot. Every holiday, my mom would throw these huge, extravagant events and we’d have family and all the neighbors and their kids piled up into our house. It was great but definitely exhausting.

Best Friend: My husband of course but also my friend Suki. We met in an MMORPG (massive mulitplayer online role playing game) almost 10 years ago and it was an instant connection. Back then, when we were poor college students, we would only see each other once a year but now we make it a point to see each other at least twice or three times a year. She always comes to visit me around my birthday and I always visit her in the late summer early fall (her birthday is in December and I’m not a travel in the snow type of person). She was my maid of honor at my wedding and I was matron of honor at hers. We’ll actually get to see each other in October because we’re all flying down to Orlando to have some beach time before it gets cold. 🙂

Award: I always used to get perfect attendance awards in school. I’m the type that unless I’m falling down sick, I was going to school. The first and best award I ever remember getting is back in sixth grade. We had this big awards ceremony and I was sure this kid was going to get valedictorian over me because I just didn’t think I’d made the cut. Well to my and my mother’s surprise, I ended up getting that award. It was funny because she yelled at me later for not telling her and I had to keep reiterating that I didn’t know! In high school I got into the National Honor Society which is cool. I still have the book that contains hundreds of kid’s faces that made it that year. In my work life, I’ve received employee of the month numerous times. When I used to work at Petsmart, I actually got the award 2 months in a row which was super awesome!

Sport: I played volleyball and ran track throughout middle school and high school. I dropped all sports in college cause I just didn’t have time.

Concert: My first concert ever was Jay-Z with my husband. That’s his favorite rapper. Later that year though I got to see Pentatonix back when they were just YouTube famous and touring colleges and that concert was AMAZING! After that, I’d say the other best concert was seeing JayZ and Beyonce together with my husband 2 years ago. In two weeks, I’ll get to see Ed Sheeran in concert so I’m excited for that as well!


FAVORITES

TV Show(s): Oh goodness, there are so many! I love Game of Thrones, all the TGIT shows which are Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, Spartacus, the Marvel Netflix TV shows, Shameless, a long list of anime, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Xena: Warrior Princess, I mean this can seriously go on forever

Color: Purple

Songs: I have favorite artists that sing some of my favorite songs — Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Gavin Degraw, Evanescence, Prince, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Pentatonix, Gorillaz, Ed Sheeran, etc. I’ll listen to any genre except country

Restaurant: My favorite restaurant is this place called House of Hunan. Its sushi and thai food and my husband and I eat there probably about once every other month. We had our second date there and the one waitress still remembers us from ten years ago.

Shops: I hate shopping even though its necessary for survival. I love book shopping though so I go to a lot of independent bookstores in my area as well as library sales.

Books: I really love the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, The Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, Mercy Thompson series by Patrica Briggs, The Emperors Edge and Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker, every book Judith McNaught has ever written and The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.

Shoes: I’m most comfortable wearing flip flops. But most of the time I prefer big comfy socks or socks in general. You don’t want to know how many pairs of socks I’ve accumulated….

Book Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Suspense


CURRENTLY

Feeling: A little tired. I woke up around the time my husband leaves and then when I tried to go back to sleep, a car alarm went off so I’m definitely running on low fumes. However, I feel happy at the same time cause I made a mixed berry smoothie in my new Vitamix (anniversary present) and I’m in love with that machine!

Single or Taken: Taken and then some. Just celebrated our 10 year dating anniversary last week and we’ve been married for 2 and a half of those years.

Eating: Drinking my mixed berry smoothie and eating some lemon creme Nekot cookies

Thinking About: How I have to wait two years for the final season of Game of Thrones. All the actors and actresses better be safe and live for the next two years!

Watching: I’m watching three shows actually. I’m in the middle of the final season of Orphan Black, season 2 of The Last Kingdom and season 2 of Wynonna Earp.

Wearing: Work attire


FUTURE

Want Kids: Yes. One only. Took me years to come to this decision. Child birth terrifies me and I told my husband if he wants more than one, he better pray for twins.

Want to Get Married: Already am

Want To Travel: Yes, definitely. First time out of the US (besides Canada) was when we went on our honeymoon to Florence, Italy. Our next big travel will most definitely be Japan. It’s the top of our bucket list.


DO YOU BELIEVE…

In Yourself: I very much do. I used to be a shy, quiet individual but I don’t know where she went because I’m definitely very outspoken and passionate about a lot of things and not afraid to say what’s on my mind.

God: I can’t say that I do but I can’t say that I don’t either. Religion is a touchy subject; one that I choose not to touch because people can be easily offended.

Miracles: I guess so. I’ve never experienced one personally but I’ve seen some unbelievable things happen so I wouldn’t completely rule them out.

Love at first sight: Ha! I was just talking to Noriko about this. I believe in lust at first sight. I think it takes a lot to grow to love a person and I mean in the significant other sense. I can easily love my friends on sight. It’s an interesting feeling.

Ghosts: Sure why not? I read paranormal things all the time. It’s in the realm of possibility.

Aliens: Definite yes. Only because the universe is vast and it’s one of those things we’ll probably never know in our lifetime. The Milky Way is not the only galaxy and the Sun is not the only sun in the universe.

Soul Mates: I want to say yes because I feel like I’ve found mine but I also believe a person can have many soul mates in many forms in one’s life.

Heaven: Goes back to my answer for God. I’ve never been there or met someone who’s been there and came back to tell me about it so maybe, maybe not.

Hell: See answer for Heaven.

Kissing on a first date: If the chemistry is there, hell yes! Take the chance! You only live once!


I’m not going to tag anyone because this is quite long. Feel free to do this tag if you’re interested! Hope you enjoyed another segment about your friend Nel. Have a great Monday everybody!

Growing Self Award

I recently decided not to post on the weekends because I’m so behind on my Goodreads challenge I figured I’d be able to devote more time to reading if I cut back on my posting. I still interact and read all of your posts, I just don’t post any of my own. I’ve been nominated for quite a few awards over the past few weeks. I’m also behind on those and I want to say I apologize for that and admit that I’m probably not going to catch up on them if they aren’t book related (please don’t hate me).

Today, however, not only am I breaking my no weekend posts rule, but I’m also doing an award post. I actually cant NOT do this award because it’s just so beautiful. The wonderful, fabulous, amazing Roda nominated me for her Growing Self Award. Here is the description:


What is the Growing Self Blogger Award?

“The Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through life’s challenges not only to GROW as individuals, but to reach out and help others GROW as well.” ~Roda

How Does It Work:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the individual that nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Describe the award and mention the creator: Roda @ Growingself.blog
  • Nominate up to 5 blogs. Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically celebrate those individuals that make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Give 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

I’ve been around since the inception of this award and I always applauded each wave of nominees. I honestly thought I didn’t fit the parameters for this award so never thought it would come my way. Imagine my surprise when it did exactly that and not only from Roda herself but also Mischenko and Noriko. If we were all in person, I’d pretty much be speechless. I know the Endangered posts are having a lot of impact, which is what I continue to wish for, but I’m coming to realize that my stories are a lot of fun as well and my blogging purpose, besides talking about my everyday passions, is to bring a smile to each person’s face. I don’t often talk about my own insecurities but I just want to say that I appreciate that the three of you recognize something in me that you feel the need to share with others.

With that said, I would like to point out the souls who have impacted my blogging experience as well as my life in general in a fantastic way. Most of you have already been nominated but you’re going to endure another one! 😉 P.S. it’s going to be more than five.

The first person I have to nominate is my blogging bff, Peela. Peela and I connected one long ago day over her post consisting of her encounter with an old man trying to buy a box of tampons for a female member of his family. I remember laughing so hard and instantly knew I had to read more. From there I’ve been enduring following her six word romance story religiously and the rest is history. We talk every single day. I defer to her for advice about literally everything. She lives on the other side of the world but is truly one of the closest friends I’ve ever had. So thank you Peela for being you.

Next, I have to shout out James. I know he’s basically been nominated by everyone because hes such a great person but he’s another one that I talk to on a daily basis. I don’t know what else to say that anyone else hasn’t said but I’m glad that we have the friendship that we do. You know how much you mean to me. I’m glad you trust my advice as much as I trust yours and I look forward to our continued friendship and helping you grow your writing career.

Following James, I nominate theorangutanlibrarian. As I’ve said in previous posts, she was one of my first 10 followers. I remember being amazed that someone with over 1000 followers (at that time) saw something worth following on my blog. She always responds to my comments I leave on her blog as much as I respond to hers on my blog. I really feel like I can wax poetic about you girl but just know you are definitely a huge reason I keep writing.

I have to re-nominated Noriko. Noriko is another soul who lives on the other side of the world but since we’ve met has been such a great friend! I love boosting your confidence on your book reviews because you truly write them very well. I’m also so glad you’ve started to share a bit of your world with me and the rest of your readers. You are so freaking sweet and I always look forward to talking to you every day!

I’m also re-nominating Mischenko. Honestly, where do I begin. You inspire me to explore! That’s the best way I can describe it. I never thought I’d ever have a feeling to read non-fiction until you and I definitely didn’t think I’d find myself wanting to be in the kitchen more often thanks to you. You are a great friend, an amazing mother and truly a role model for all of us.

(This is getting long, I know, but bear with me through a few more!)

I can’t have a love post without nominating Linda. I’m sure you all have seen the banter Linda and I have with each other on a regular basis. I mean I even made a post called the Unique Linda Award because she is the very definition of unique! I never thought I’d find my equal in the snarky, no holds barred department until I met you. Because of you I got into sharing more stories about my everyday life and the craziness I get into. I was pretty open and honest before but you’ve definitely driven me to new, awesome levels. I know you’re having a rough time right now but I hope when you read this post that you smile even if it’s for a couple seconds.

I have to nominate Patty. Patty and I got close over our love for all things Charley Davidson. She got me in with the Grimlet Street Crew and inspires me to be more involved in the book community. I love seeing your cake posts because you are super talented and I cannot wait until November because our meet is going to be the highlight of my year!

This next person I’m considering an honorable mention. I’d like to nomin-mention CimmerianSentiment. Cim writes romance short stories that I’m absolutely hooked too. The installments are the first posts I read every morning and like I said before, I’m your number one fan. I know you don’t do awards but I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you. Especially when you make exceptions for me while torturing me with cliffhangers!

I’m ending this post by thanking Roda herself for creating such a beautiful award in the first place. I believe you’ve left a great mark on the blogging community through your experiences and your encouragement to all of us to be our best selves.

I love you all and thank you for being the most exceptional people on the internet. ♥♥♥

The TBR Tag

I was nominated by my beautiful friend Noriko to do this tag a while ago (sorry!) and I’m finally getting around to doing it. Thank you Noriko for making me think about dusting off my TBR shelf. One day I’ll actually do it 😉

Questions:

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

There’s no rhyme or reason to it cause I’m constantly adding to it. I have a list on Goodreads that mostly gets ignored.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Definitely ebook. I have this problem of downloading all the free books Bookbub and Instafreebie send me. I have a ridiculous amount of ebooks. If I had to guess a number, it’s probably upwards of 200 or more, no joke.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Depends on my mood. I usually go for fantasy, romance and sci-fi but once in a while I’ll throw in a contemporary or suspense novel.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

According to Goodreads, there’s literally a whole page of books that have been on my TBR since Februrary 2015.

A book that you recently added to your TBR.

The Undying King by Grace Draven
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A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

Woodwalker by Emily Martin
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A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading.

Probably the remaining Study books. I hate when a series is picked up a million years later with very different cover art. Fire Study came out in 2008 and was a good end to the books in my opinion. Shadow Study came out in 2015! That’s a huge gap! I can’t do it. Plus I hate the covers.
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An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones. I have my signed copy preordered 🙂
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A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. I’m getting closer and closer to reading this! I’ve heard nothing but good things.
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A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

Nobody’s recommended a book to me in a while so I’m going to pick Hexed by Kevin Hearne cause I read Hounded and really enjoyed it and would like to jump back into that series since I’ve heard it gets so much better!

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A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read.

Honor and Roses by Elizabeth Cole. I just got this through a free Bookbub and the cover art is gorgeous! Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve read a historical.

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The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf.

  • 217 on Goodreads
  • 81 on Google Play Books (free downloads)
  • 42 on Barnes & Noble (free downloads)
  • and an unknown, always growing number on my physical shelf (library sale later today!!! Weeee!)

I’m going to refrain from nominating anyone this round because I know a lot of people are overwhelmed with the amount of tags they’ve been receiving lately. If you would like to do this tag, please go for it and link back to this post so I can have more things to add to my TBR ;).

Do any of my choices look appealing to you? Have you read any of them or are now maybe thinking about reading them? Let me know in the comments below!

Dreamy Book Covers Tag

My favorite internet librarian has graciously tagged me in a neat bookish tag that of course I had to do because I can’t deny her anything. If you have not met theorangutanlibrarian by now, well, I don’t know what to tell you except to give you this look that screams “you have a problem and you need to fix it now.” She was one of my first 10 followers and my 1000th comment (which btw, I’m quickly coming up on the 3000 mark orangutan so I hope you’re ready!). I could wax poetic about how fantastic her blog is and how much she’s made my blogging experience great but that pretty much sums it up so I hope you visit and follow her site because she’s truly brilliant!

RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator of this tag (Tiana @ The Book Raven)
  • Use the original tag image in your post.
  • At least tag one fellow blogger for doing this tag!
  • List the rules.

‘No Ideas But in Things’ A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it.

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Star nomad is the ship. It’s set in space. There’s a fun crew. And space adventures commence!

‘Dark and Lovely’A cover that is so creepilicious, that you want to eat it up.

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This is a pretty creepy cover in my opinion but the story is great! It’s all about alchemy, elemental mages, necromancy and demons from another plane. I devoured the whole series.

‘Sugary Sweet’A CUTE cover that is so fluffy, you want to give it a hug.

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This is the best I could come up with. I realized I don’t have cute, fluffy book covers so I chose this one because who doesn’t want to hug a wolf?? This, and the rest of the series is on my TBR.

‘The Simple Aesthetic’A book cover that stuns with the most minimalist of designs.

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This one was hard to choose as well but I feel like these UK covers are super minamalistic cause they each feature half a man’s face with a different color title. P.S. The Psy Changeling series is awesome!

‘Cover Envy’A book you wish you had on your shelves, but don’t yet.

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It’s not on my shelves yet but it will be October 31, 2017! I have it on preorder and I’ve never been so excited for Halloween in my life!

‘Traveling Abroad’A beautiful book cover featuring a country outside of your own.

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So the story’s setting is in San Francisco but the stories in the book itself are set in China. There are four mothers who are sharing China’s culture and stories of how they grew up and what it means to be a Chinese immigrant to their daughters who are American born over games of mah-jong.

‘The Colour Wheel’ A cover that showcases one of your favourite colours.

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Purple is my favorite color… (And this book broke my brain for a day)

‘Changing Gears’A cover change you absolutely adore.

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I can’t talk about a cover change without showing you the side by side comparison. The left is the cover I have and the right is the updated one. I definitely like the modern one a whole lot even though the old one isn’t half bad!

‘Oldie but Goodie’A favourite cover of your favourite classic.

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Again, in order to understand why I like the new cover, I have to show you the old one. The left one was the only cover back in high school when this was required reading. I obtained the right one at a book sale for 50 cents and I was blown away by the change and absolutely love it!

And the winner is Which book cover mentioned above is your favourite.

I’m going to do what orangutan did and leave it up to you, dear readers, to decide. Which cover is your favorite? Have you read any of the books listed (besides 12th Grave of course)? Let me know in the comments below!

I nominate:

Blogger Recognition Award

Good morning! It’s the end of the week and its been all about the tags. I admit it. I did tags because I had a lazy week. Well, it was a busy week and I’m still trying to get my thoughts together to share some stories (in between binge reading amazing books).

I was nominated by the lovely and awesome hsimone for Blogger Recognition Award. This is the first one for me to receive and I definitely thank her for this. If you don’t know hsimone, you should check her blog out. She’s a book blogger; posting reviews and tags. She’s really nice and you’d be lucky to follow her so go over there and click the button! 🙂

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

My Story

Reactionary Tales started after doing a lot of research. Actually, I started a WordPress blog before, a free one (I think it’s still active too), and I wrote on it for maybe a month and then gave up. At the time it was just to prove a point. I wasn’t truly interested. Then I started discussing with M and my husband about blogging seriously. So as with everything, I do a lot of research before I start. I decided that this time around, I’d pay for my server and go all the way. Coming up with a name was the hardest part. I thought the blog would be about book reviews and retail stresses and that’s where reactions came from. Then I decided that every piece is a sort of tale and then the name just popped into my head. This blog was started in late February but writing regularly didn’t start until middle-late March. And the rest is history. I’ve found a niche in telling my life stories in between bookish themes and its quite fun.

My Advice

First piece of advice I would say is if you’re blogging just to get followers, great. But if you’re gaining followers without interacting with them in any capacity, especially the ones who check out you site regularly, then that’s a fast way to lose a good follower. It’s easy to click the follow button and never interact but when someone follows me, I get excited. I check out their site and try to get to know them. I let them know their content is awesome (cause I’m a comment freak) and that I look forward to their posts each day. I think letting people know that you look forward to their content all the time encourages bloggers to want to write more. And the more you all write, the more I have to read and I love to read.

My second piece of advice would probably be don’t stress when you can’t write on your blog everyday. I did at first but then I realized that I can’t do it all some days. We all have a life outside of the internet and even though mobile technology has made it a slightly easier process, life still gets busy. Don’t worry that your readers will be upset with you because you didn’t write for a few days. That’s perfectly okay and, you know me, if your blog is silent for a week or so, I will hit the Contact button and email you to make sure you’re still alive and happy and will look forward to your next post whenever it comes.

I’m going to dedicate this award to my regulars who I don’t even have to tag because they read my posts regularly:

cimmeriansentiment (who was one of my first followers), everydaystrange, Noriko, Stephanie, James, Mischenko, Cherylene, Linda, Lana, Robin, Mr. Mel, Susan, Des, intentowin, Silas, Mr. Mel, Roda, Peela, Patty, theorangutanlibrarian, LizScanlon, Dani, updownflight and ostenomadography. Also, special shout out to jcbkr who follows regularly through Twitter.

You all are pretty great. Thanks for having a reaction to my blog and thank you for every like, comment and interacting with me in general. I appreciate you all very much. 💜💜

How I Choose My Books Tag

Sometime last week I think, the wonderful Noriko at Diary of a Bookfiend nominated me for this tag. If you haven’t met her yet you need to! She’s so sweet, write fantastic book reviews and has recently been introducing us to different aspects of Japanese culture. Go over there and click the follow button right away!

I decided to be different and instead of pulling pictures from the web, I took pictures of my literal books off my shelf. Hope you enjoy!

Questions:

1. Find a Book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

I couldn’t just pick one. I have a lot more blue books than I thought! Top left, you all already know! This was required reading back in high school and is the same book from high school which is why it looks so beat up. I adore The Three Musketeers. Then of course you have Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I got the first 4 books as a gift when I turned 12 and the rest is history. Eighth Grave After Dark is one of 11, soon to be 12, books in the Charley Davidson series. Lastly, Forged in Blood I is the sixth book in The Emperor’s Edge series. Lindsay Buroker was my introduction into the world of indie authors and I adore everything she writes!

 

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

Switched is basically a different take on the average switched at birth story. The idea of a girl who’s parents think she’s a monster only to find out she’s actually a troll was quite an intriguing idea. I ended up unexpectedly, enjoying this trilogy a lot more than I thought I would!

 

 

 

 

 

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

I discovered this book at a library sale for 50 cents. I found books 1 and 3 and then ended up finding book 2 at Half Price Books. I haven’t read them yet but they look like a fun, high fantasy adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

An ex friend let me borrow these books to read and at first I wasn’t a fan because the book covers look so silly and the description furthers that. You have plain Jane True in Rockabill, Maine who is a selkie shifter and doesn’t really fit in with “normal” human society; not that it bothers her much. There are adventures and a love triangle (that I actually like!). It was an overall great 6 book series even though it doesn’t have stellar Goodrreads reviews.

 

 

 

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / Book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

I’ve only just discovered that booktubing is a thing so I don’t have an answer to this question at this time.

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

When I saw the look of this book, I was instantly intrigued. The description hooked me right away and it did not disappoint and also fueled my love for all things Sandra Brown. In the story, you have a successful ghost writer who is writing the ultimate thriller novel. It turns out that there are some grains of truth in the story and his manuscript editor is unexpectedly in the middle of it all. It’s SUCH an amazing piece of writing. I wasn’t able to put it down once I started.

 

 

 

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

I discovered the Canadian produced television show first. It stars Christina Cox and Kyle Schbmid and I believe it only had 2 seasons. Funny thing is I started reading this 4 book series thinking it was the book version of the show but turns out they only share the same title. I enjoyed it nonetheless considering this author doesn’t write very much anymore I don’t think. Note: This is Jennifer Armintrout not to be confused with Jennifer Armentrout. (Two different people. I checked.)

 

 

 

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught is my all time favorite historical romance. I picked this book up at a library sale back in college for 25 cents. I had never read romance before and she did not disappoint. Her writing style is brilliant. Because of this book alone I developed an obsession with McNaught and now own and have read every book she’s ever written. I had two of my best friends read some of her books expecting them to not like them and they are now collecting their own copies.

 

 

Since this is a pretty long post, I’m going to opt to tag everyone to do this post. I know of lot of you read on a semi regular basis and I can’t just choose certain people because I’m selfish and want to know everyone’s views and book choices. Please link me to your post if you decide to do this! I really want to read them!

What do you think of my choices and reasonings? Have you read any of these books? Do you need a bigger bookshelf like I do? Let me know in the comments below!

I Messed Up Book Tag

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I was tagged by the wonderful Stephanie over at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction. If you haven’t met Stephanie yet, you should. I’ve gotten to know her these past few weeks and she’s such a great person! She’s so smart too! She primarily blogs about books but she also gives us tidbits into her life as a teacher, wife and mother. Check her out and hit that follow button!


A character appearance that you misread or imagined differently:

Rose and Dmitri from the Vampire Academy. I mean come on, even her book cover art person looks more badass than who they casted. As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew I wouldn’t watch it. Rose was portrayed as really fierce, no nonsense character. And Dmitiri was the broody, hot mentor who was a bit older than Rose. It was all just a big no. (Book Rose left, movie Rose right)

A character name that you’ve been pronouncing wrong:

Reyes. I always said it like Rays but apparently it’s pronounced Ray-as. Feyre is another one. The author wrote pronunciations in the book but I still don’t know if I’m saying it right. And lastly, Curran. I don’t know if it’s Cur-ron or Cur-raan or something completely different. Oh! And then there’s Sicarius. That could be Si-car-ee-us or Si-care-ee-us. I could go on… haha

An overused trope that is your guilty pleasure:

I’d have to say it’s the woman who struggles through life in some form or fashion and thinks she doesn’t need a man to make her life better when in actuality the man is the reason her life is getting better and better (Looking at you Pamela Clare, Judith McNaught, etc etc) I’m a sucker for those types of romantic book dramas.

A cliché character type that you like better on screen than reading about:

I think I’d have to say the character that has all the wealth and social status and then gets thrown out for whatever reason only to come back later to stir things up and make things right. In the Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward it was a guy and was still cliche. I definitely like watching it better than reading it (looking at you Revenge).

A word/phrase you learned because of its use in a book:

I’d have to go with phrases I read out of Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones.
“Mistakes were made. Others were blamed.” My old boss used to say that all the time. Not sure where he got it from but I definitely picked it up.
“Don’t judge me because I’m quiet. Nobody plans a murder out loud.” I laughed out loud when I read that one and decided to use it and lastly,
“Time to make today my bitch.” Quite uplifting to yourself when you’re having one of those blah waking days and need to boost yourself.

Have you ever not read or completed a required-reading book for school?

I want to say yes….. I can’t remember what book it was but I remember cutting corners of not reading the book by using Sparknotes. I don’t know if that’s still around now but Sparknotes was basically a website that analyzed each chapter of a book online. You could literally read a book that way without actually reading it. I used it a lot when writing papers to help boost my perspectives or contradict them.

Have you ever skipped (or wanted to) a chapter from the point of view of a character you weren’t interested in? 

Yes to both. Some authors can do multiple character POV seamlessly. Others, not so much. It usually happens when a book is predictable.

Have you ever canceled social plans to read a book?

HAHA! Guilty!! “My husband decided he wanted a date night” is my go to excuse. In my defense though, the book was ridiculously has-to-be-finished-today-no-matter-what type of books and my friends are completely understanding of my reading obsession.


Whew! This took me longer than I thought to finish! I really had to think about my answers. I just want to tag Patty and Lana for this one cause I don’t think they’ve done this tag yet and I want to know what they’d say. If anyone else would like to participate, feel free and link back to me so I can see your answers!

Black Cat Blue Sea Award

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Thank you to my buddy James for nominating me for this award. If you do not know James by now then you’re late to the party and need to come join us ASAP. He operates over at This is My Truth Now and he’s very intelligent and fun person to talk to. I always look forward to all his posts and we communicate regularly outside of WordPress.

What Is This Award:

This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.

You know, I just have to say I love that someone would make an award like this. When I first started blogging, it was about followers. I remember saying I wanted to strive for 100 followers. It took a while but when I did hit that I didn’t really think about follower counts anymore because of the interactions I have with my readers every day. I appreciate everyone that takes the time to read and leave a comment and just connects with me each day. So, besides thanking James, I want to thank all of you as well 🙂

 


Rules:

  • anybody nominated can nominate up to eight other bloggers
  • the nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator
  • the questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions
  • if any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award

 

Questions:

What would you like bloggers to do more of that they aren’t doing right now?

I don’t even know how to answer that. Each blogger has their own unique way of writing or even expressing their gratitude in other people’s posts. I learned this when I posted my Questions to Bloggers post a couple months ago. We all have real lives outside of WP so maybe I’d say, make make sure you’re living your life. Never feel guilty if you can’t write consistently. You write when you write and  your followers will be happy no matter how much content you put out.

Tell us 4 things about yourself, one of which is not true… and see if we can guess.

I was once tasked with capturing a great horned owl in it’s pen with no direction; just handed gloves and a net

I’ve handled a 6 foot and a 9 foot boa constrictors on a regular basis

I boated across a lake to capture trumpeter swans before they fledged

I climbed into a giant sewer to capture a Canada goose with a broken wing 

(Good luck guessing!)

Describe a perfect day that balances all the things you love.

A perfect day for me is spending time with my husband in any capacity. We share one day off together; Sundays and it’s nice. Usually he’s gone by the time I wake up so we get to wake up together and we’ll make breakfast and then most of the day we just chill out on our sectional. He plays his video games and I read or we’ll watch something on the various streaming outlets we subscribe to (recently Crunchyroll for Attack on Titan). Its pretty great. And we can’t forget about all the cat cuddles that occur when we nobody has to be anywhere!

Nominations:

My questions:

  • What’s your dream job?
  • Do you ever have moments where you get bored with routine and feel like being spontaneous in a big way? Share examples if you have some!
  • Who is your celebrity crush? (And don’t tell me you don’t have one!)

Sunshine Blogger Award 2&3

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Hey, hey! It’s Monday! Last week I was nominated and tagged in a few things so for the next couple of days, it will probably be me catching up to the wonderful people who had me in mind for these things.

I was lucky to be nominated for Sunshine Blogger Award by two great bloggers; Roda @ Growing Self and Cherylene @ Living vs. Existing. Both these beautiful ladies have really great blogs dedicated to sharing tips, stories and general advice to make us all better people. I thank you both and really appreciate having met you two in this wonderful corner of the interwebs. I’m sure a lot of you probably know both of them but if you haven’t met them yet, check out their sites and hit that follow button! You will not regret reading the content they both share with us on a regular basis 🙂

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How Does It Work:

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  •  Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
  •  Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog

Questions from Roda:

  1. Use one word to describe yourself.

Awesome!!

  1. What is your favorite season? Why?

My favorite season would have to be either Spring or Fall. Summer is too hot and too many bugs and winter is too cold.

  1. Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

I’m an in between mouse. I like to have my own space and not stuck in a gridlock every day but I also like not having to drive 30 minutes for a burger at Wendy’s when the craving arises.

  1. What is your superpower?

My superpower is probably eating. The amount of food I consume in a day surprises most people because I’m so skinny.

  1. Why do you write?

I write because it’s fun. I like sharing my stories that are sometimes too good to be true and I like connecting and talking about books and shows and music and generally being social. Blogging doesn’t work the same when you write in a physical notebook.

  1. What is your favorite book? (Jay and Nel – just one!)

My favorite book often changes from month to month but my all time favorite classic book is The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.

  1. What brings you JOY?

My husband’s face. Food. Books. My pet’s faces. Being financially stable. Netflix. I could go on for a while 😉

  1. What is your favorite fruit?

Blueberries. I will eat blueberry anything.

  1. Who is your role model? Why?

My role model is most probably my mother. She raised me as a single parent and did the best she could. Wasn’t always easy but considering she’s the only parent I have, I definitely appreciate her even if she annoys me sometimes.

  1. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?

There are many places in the world I would like to go but right now, my husband and I really want to go to Japan. We’re huge anime, sushi, ramen, fiberoptics fans and we really want to go and immerse ourselves in the culture.

  1. What do you love most about YOU?

I love everything about me as conceited as that sounds. I am who I am and I accept that so there’s nothing not to love.


Questions from Cherylene:

  1. What is your favourite time of day?

My favorite time of day is night. I have a love/hate relationship with the sun.

  1. What do you think are the two most important character traits a person can possess?

This is a great question. I would have to say open ears and an open mind. We’re not all equal in this world and if you can be a good listener and think beyond what you know, I think it makes for a better person in the long run.

  1. In a relationships that stand the test of time, what do you think are the key things for their success?

Communication. Without communication, a relationship dies. Have to always be willing to talk honestly to a person whether its positive or negative in order for any relationship to stand a chance at surviving.

  1. What do you do to help care for the environment?

Ha. Not enough. I recycle and repurpose as much as possible. I buy used unless something absolutely needs to be new. I’ve participated in numerous restoration and rehabilitation programs. I bring awareness to endangered animals/plants/oceans through my blog every week.

  1. Use one word to describe your childhood memories.

Loner. I was not very social as a child. I liked to keep to myself with my nose in a book.

  1. If you could do one thing for the world to make it a better place what would you do?

Honestly nothing. The world is and always will be a cynical place.

  1. Do you have a favourite fast-food restaurant?

Well I love Wendy’s chicken nuggets and Swensons zucchini fries and I love Chinese food; honey chicken, egg foo young and dim sum! Mmmmm, now I’m hungry.

  1. In the junk food category, what food do you consider your weakness?

Whoppers! I can eat a whole box in one sitting. They’re so addicting.

  1. If you won the lottery in the morning what would be the first three things you would do?

I would pay off my student loans first because they’re obnoxious and then I would set up a big ole mutual fund. After that we’d go to Japan and then probably Australia since we’re already over there. I probably should ask, how much money did I win???

  1. What do you like most about your blog?

My content naturally but I also like the colors. I’m thinking about changing my theme again because there’s some shortcodes I can’t use with this one. (I am a tech nerd just FYI)

  1. Do you have a favourite quote?

“I’m not weird, I’m gifted.”


Because I’ve been nominated for this award 3 times, consider everyone tagged. (Plus, I have the case of the laziness Mondays). Hope you enjoyed my answers and remember to checkout Roda and Cherylene’s blogs!