The Christmas Tag

the-christmas-tag-awardI almost forgot about this tag! My friend Cindy over at Bird Flight, tagged me for this a few weeks ago. If you haven’t met Cindy, you really should. She shares the most wonderful stories about her life dealing with various mental illness as well as some cool Czech food recipes among other things. I’ve truly learned a lot from her blog and she’s such a wonderful person in general so please give her a visit and a follow!

This festive tag was created by Little DIY Projects . Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog
  • Add the picture in your blog
  • Copy these rules into your post
  • Add a link to this original post (littlediyprojects.wordpress.com/thechristmastag)
  • Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas-related questions if you want)
  • Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs
  • Have fun!

And here are the questions and my answers:

  • 1. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

My favorite thing about Christmas, as harsh as this is going to sound, is having a day off from work. I used to work heavily with animals and after that retail and Christmas doesn’t exist for animals so it was very rare when I actually got the day off. I’m glad I get to wake up with my husband and just cuddle and enjoy the peace.

  • 2. What’s your favourite Christmas memory?

Hmmm. I think I’d have to go with all the dinners that occurred with my family. Huge family gatherings like Thanksgiving where we’d all exchange gifts. My mother would always take me and my sister to the dollar store and give us like $20 dollars to spend on all our aunts and uncles and cousins for Christmas. The dollar store we went to had all KINDS of cool stuff. I remember one year we got everyone these huge mugs that had their birth month and zodiac sign on them. I think my grandma still has hers! Oh, another memory that’s great was my grandpa used to give us all these giant candy canes with money taped around them and a lemon. He showed us how to bite the candy cane and stick in the lemon and sip “lemonade” that way. 

  • 3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?

Not really. Someone hosts a dinner on Christmas even or a brunch on Christmas Day usually and we just be together and reminisce about the year over delicious foods.

  • 4. What’s your Christmas wish? (Can be personal or general)

My Christmas wish is to continue being as healthy as I am right now. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve never broken a bone, never had a cavity, I don’t have any type of disorder and I don’t get headaches. Whether it be genetics or whatever, I’m absolutely grateful and I hope it continues for as long as I live.

  • 5. What’s your favourite Christmas dish?

Do you even know me?!?! I can’t even answer that question because I love food. It’s basically Thanksgiving all over again and I love all the food!

  • 6. What’s your favourite Christmas decoration?

I honestly don’t have one.. You see, my husband was raised around Jehovah Witnesses so nobody ever decorated. I’m slowly but surely cracking his shell. We got these little gold and silver kitty hooks to hang stockings on and the kitties are wearing Santa hats. They sit on our wood stove when it’s not burning. If I wasn’t painting my house next week, I would have gotten some lights to string up or maybe even a little tree. Baby steps right?!?

  • 7. What’s your favourite Christmas song?

I hate Christmas music. Before you start yelling at me, I worked in retail for FOUR YEARS! Christmas music started the day after Halloween and didn’t end until January at some point. You get over hearing the same song in 50 variations for 8+ hour shifts, 6 days a week okay! But if you demanded I picked one Christmas song to like, I’d choose Little Drummer Boy cover by Pentatonix:

  • 8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?

Usually I celebrate in one of my family member’s homes. The only time I had a completely different Christmas was when I was in Maui back in 2011. My coworkers were my family then and we had a pretty great time. 🙂

  • 9. What does the ‘Christmas Spirit’ mean to you?

I have to be honest, it doesn’t mean much to me. I’m not religious in any capacity but I think for most it just means love and happiness and hopeful life in general.

  • 10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

WELL! If I could spend Christmas with my Idris Elba I definitely would in a heartbeat! I think I would also spend time with some of you lovely bloggers and experience how your Christmases are since we all come from different backgrounds.

Here’s the part where I’m supposed to tag people but it’s the holidays and we’re all busy bloggers so I say to you, Merry, early Christmas and if you want to do this tag, go for it! Have fun with it! If you want to answer any of the questions without doing an official post, feel free to leave me a comment below. 🙂

Sunshine-y Questions

I’m feeling pretty decent this morning. 9 hours of sleep with only one bladder interruption in the night seems to have done the trick. Why can’t that happen every night?? Silly body.

Anyway, a few days ago, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award – Dani style. Dani blogs over at Perspective of a Writer and if you haven’t met her yet, you should. She always has the coolest, colorful graphics paired with such insightful posts about reading and writing as well as her many, varied reviews. I’ve done this award a few times but besides another one with really great questions, she mentioned that my blog is one of many that she looks forward to reading because it brings sunshine into her world each day. As you can probably tell, that made me feel really, really good so I’m really excited to answer these questions and thank you Dani. ♥

Sunshine Blogger Award

(Graphic above brought to you by the talented Dani. Isn’t it cool??) I’m sure you all have been nominated for this award at one time or another so I’m going to refrain from posting the rules and jump right into answering the questions.

Who is the one person that is the sunshine in your life?
There are plenty of people I could name here but I have to give it to my husband. We’ve been together for 10 years so far and we are just the silliest of people. He always makes lame jokes that only I understand and he calls me wif and I call him hubbanero. We just get along so well and he makes me smile even when I want to strangle him. 😉

Do you prefer all happy movies, or occasional sad movies?
I am a huge fantasy, sci-fi movie watcher so I kind of want to say my preference falls under both categories because I never know if it’s going to be sad or happy. That being said though, I occasionally have moments where I want to watch a sappy, romantic comedy because I know it’ll be a tearjerker at some point but still have a happy ending. I watch Grey’s Anatomy which is like the king of kings of the emotional spectrum so yeah, I have to say both. As a side note though, there is a super CUTE movie that just got added to Netflix called, “The Christmas Prince” and it’s a good, happy go lucky film if you’re looking to watch something holiday related!

What is the one food that always makes you happy?
Oh man, just one? I love eating in general. I’d have to say maybe anything with noodles in it. Like, I love linguine so spaghetti or alfredo or that balsamic steak pasta dish at Olive Garden. I also really like potatoes. Hash browns, mashed, tater tots, french fries, baked.. I really like potatoes. And broccoli too. Raw or fresh, doesn’t matter to me. Oh and chicken wings and waffles. And eggs! Oh, eggs are so good especially paired with bacon. I need to stop, I can go forever…

What is the sunshine on your blog?
Hmm, I think my stories are lots of pockets of sunshine. People seem to really enjoy them and my goal is usually to bring smiles and even laughs to my readers’ faces. I also think the Endangered posts are sunshine. They’re not exactly happy but they bring awareness which is a varied brand of sunshine on its own. Lastly, I think the Facebook Friday posts are all types of sunshine cause I always post something funny that is guaranteed smiles!

What is your favorite holiday? wacky “fun” day?
Saturdays and Sundays and all the other days in between throughout the year when I don’t have to work. Having no obligations and spending the day doing absolutely whatever you want are the best, fun days always.

What is one thing you love about yourself?
I love that I have the ability to love in many ways; from people to animals to inanimate objects. And it’s honest love too. I just have so much of it to spread. 🙂

What is one think you love about the blogging community?
I have to steal Dani’s answer for this one and also say diversity. I’ve met so many people from all over the world who all have their own unique writing styles and writing content. It’s pretty wonderful and makes for something to look forward to each day.

What is the one book that made you smile the most?
What is with the one questions?? I honestly don’t even know because almost every book I read has made me smile and I can’t gauge which book was more smile-ly than the other. I’m totally passing on this one considering it would require me to go through a history of my life.

Where is your corner of sunshine in your home?
Our couch setup. I can sit and watch Netflix or Amazon or read and my husband can sit and play video games or listen to podcasts. At dinner we merge in the corner and watch something together on the TV. Last show was The Punisher. I think next up is Voltron maybe. And the cats will come up and pile on us. Here’s a picture:

What is your favorite color or colors?
My favorite color, if it isn’t obvious yet, is purple. I also like green a lot. When I was younger, my favorite color was blue. It’s so crazy how that changes over time.

What is the one movie (or drama) that always makes you happy?
Oh! Okay, I can’t name just one again but I’m going to say Rush Hour. They are sooooo funny! And also Underworld and The Road to El Dorado and Aladdin. Oh and Lion King. See? One is impossible!

Instead of nominating specific people, I just want to point out the wonderful souls I’ve met in the blogging world that bring me sunshine daily whether through your blogs or social media:

orangutanlibrarian
Peela
Noriko
Mischenko
Lana
Patty
cimmeriansentiment
Linda
Roda
James
Mr. Mel

Glad to have met you all and you’re all are awesome. Keep bringing sunshine to my world pretty please. 🙂

The Fall Book Tag

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This tag was created by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm. All of the graphics used belong to her.

I was tagged by two of my favorites to do the Fall Book Tag: Mischenko at ReadRantRock&Roll and Claire at Brizzlelass Books. I decided to focus only on books I’ve read this year cause I imagine I may get tagged in this next year and I’ll have a new set of books to recommend (beg you to read) by then. 😉

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Ferromancer by Becca Andre. First book in her new series and its set in a time where canals were the main mode of transportation for manufacturing businesses. There’s also a super freaking cool character named Lock who’s an iron pocket watch that can transform into a little iron dragon! If you like steampunk elements in a fantasy novel, you have to check this book out!

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Gotta go with Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. I pray that they continue this series because it’s ridiculously good.

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Definitely Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh. I can’t tell you how much I swooned and melted into a puddle of emotions while reading this book because Raphael and Elena…. ❤️❤️😍

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Besides Ferromancer that has all the colors in it, I’ll have to go with Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. Great intro book into a very long space opera series.

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This year there were many but in order for me to not repeat authors, I’m going to go with A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. So much stuff goes down in that massive 700 page book that it’ll leave you in a bit of awe.

Yay for Autumn! I hope you enjoyed this tag. I’m only going to tag a couple people but feel free to do this tag if you haven’t already: Lana, Noriko, Orangutan, Patty

Have you read any of these books before? Do any of them look interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

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

book tag

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!)