Showing posts with label a glance back. Show all posts
Showing posts with label a glance back. Show all posts

A Glance Back: May

Friday, May 29, 2015

Three things that happened this month:
1. I was able to make a lot of process on my thesis the first couple weeks of this month. I came up with a really kickass plot and outline for my novel for grad school, and I'm actually very proud of it. Now all that's left is to actually begin writing it. 

2. I ended up not going to BEA like I had planned to because...

3. Out of the blue, my mom was hospitalized in California where she was visiting her brother (my family is out of Texas), so when she had vision problems and a terrible headache, she went to the ER. Three days later she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer--a very aggressive type of cancer. One minute, she was okay, the next, she wasn't. It's been a very difficult time, and my family is spread out across state boarders, and it has been very difficult. That's probably why you haven't seen me around the blogosphere or on Twitter. And it's probably why updates and reviews will become less and less over the next month or so.

Top Books I Read:

Both of these were rereads. I had actually read HoF three times and ACOTAR twice, but I decided to get them on audiobook, and I listened to ACOTAR two times more, and HoF once. I just couldn't bring myself to focus on reading the last couple weeks, even though I have a thousand books to read, but instead I chose the comfort zone of SJM's books and wrapped myself in the security blanket of hot Fae men.

A Glance Back: April

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Two things that happened this month:
1. This was the month of research paper writing. In my whole collegiate career, I have never written as many papers in the span of a month as I had in April. I wrote six 8-14page papers this month. And now I'm EXHAUSTED!
2. But I will say that all of my papers were hella good! I got A's on all of them and there were two in particular that caught my professor's gaze. I wrote a paper over Fat Feminism as it pertains to The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson and Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. Then I wrote another one about rape-like situations seen through a feminist lens using The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, and Defy by Sara B. Larson. My prof told me that I should submit one to the Pop Culture Conference in Seattle come April next year, and she also said that both of those papers are some of the best academic writing she has ever read from a student. The compliments sent me over the moon with joy!

Top Books I Read this Month:
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

A Glance Back: March

Saturday, April 4, 2015
3 Things that Happened this Month:
1. North Texas Teen Book Festival. Dude! You guys, this was the coolest events! You should check out my post about it here and enter into the giveaway for a SIGNED Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and a Six of Crows bookmark!
2. Spring Break. Guys, you have no idea how much I needed Spring Break. Actually, I don't even think I knew how much I needed it until it was there. I did so much reading it was unreal and it was 100% glorious!
3. Tornado Season is upon us. So I experienced really bad Oklahoma tornado weather this past week and I kinda freaked out. I'm from Texas, we have very few tornadoes, so I was not doing very will. I just pray that the next couple months aren't terrible.

The Top Books I Read this Month:

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Confess by Colleen Hoover

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

A Glance Back: February

Sunday, March 1, 2015

3 Things That Happened This Month:
1. My birthday happened yesterday!  I am officially a quarter of a century... weird.
I originally didn't think that my birthday would be all that great. I have been in a funk for a while and missing my family somethin' fierce. Well, my roommate decided to make a video of all the people I love and miss wishing me a happy birthday and telling me how much I am loved. Then on top of that 10 of my friends from my church community group braved the snowy and treacherous weather to we celebrate at Whiskey Cake in OKC. Needless to say, a birthday I didn't think would be all that great ended up being absolutely AMAZING!

2. It's been a rough month. School has hit like a ton of bricks. Papers and projects and presentations have taken over my entire life. Everything else just seems to be fraying at the edges. I've been thoroughly exhausted of life in general lately. I even took a couple of mental health days this week and skipped classes. After that, I think I'm a little better, but hopefully I can kick this funk to the curb soon.

3. I met up with Becca last week for the Metropolitan Library Sale. I got 21 books for $16!!! I couldn't believe it! Talk about AMAZING! (you can check out some of my buys at the bottom!)

Top 3 Books I Enjoyed This Month:
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

A Glance Back: January

Saturday, January 31, 2015

5 things that happened this month:
1. Started classes. Oh boy, you guys, I have so much work headed my way this semester! I'm going to be constantly writing papers and studying and reading. The last two weeks have been exhausting and this was just the beginning. I'm still very excited about my classes. All of them are going to be great in their own ways. My Old English Lit class is going to to be great because it's taught by a professor who knows what he's talking about and have a scary prestigious alma maters (Brown, Vanderbilt, and Dartmouth YIKES!)  My YA Lit class is FANTASTIC! I love my teacher, and yeah, it's going to be so much fun! And then I have Milton Poetry and Prose. That class is going to be really hard but so very fun. My teacher is HILARIOUS! I die laughing in every class.

2. I finally got to meet Rachel from the Nerd Herd Reads IRL. She's a great gal, and you should definitely follow her awesome blog! :)

3. So a big thing happened this month. I got an editing job! I'm really excited about it. I'm going to be editing three books for this woman who wants to self publish! I'm SO excited about it. It's a stepping stone to get into the publishing industry, and it just looks really good on a resume. Also, did I mention she is friends with Colleen Hoover? Yeah, I kinda fangirled when I heard.

A Glance Back: December

Saturday, January 3, 2015

5 things that happened this month:
1. I finished my classes the second week of December, and to say that I was loosing hair like crazy because of all the stress, just doesn't adequately describe the excruciating pain and stress this first semester of grad school has caused me. I'm glad it's over. Next semester will be way busier, but I'm hoping much more pleasurable since I'm taking cool classes by excellent professors.

2. I met up with Becca for coffee before all her wisdom teeth shenanigans, and as always, it was one of the highlights of the month. I seriously like this chick! She's way cool and her love for books just makes me like her more. You seriously need to be her friend! We exchanged Christmas gifts, and she gave me Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. It will be the first book on my TBR list for the new year for sure!

3. Christmas!! As always Christmas was such a blessing. I loved being around my family, and I've found that as I've grown up, I have enjoyed giving more than receiving, so seeing the looks on my family's faces when they opened up gifts just made me extremely happy. I also get to say that I got a lot of cool stuff... a lot of kitchen stuff that I needed. Because let's be real, kitchen stuff is CRAZY expensive, and there's no way college students can afford everything.

4. I saw The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and had a severe movie hangover afterwards. I saw it with my dad, and I just couldn't contain my emotions. No, I didn't cry when certain characters died. I knew it was coming since I read the book, but I did shed a tear or two when I realized that this was the end of an era for me. Like many people who felt like the final Harry Potter movie was the end of the era of their childhood, this was mine. I grew up with my dad read LOTR to us as kids, and to have the last of the franchise finished made me extremely sad. I've been seeing these movies in theaters since The Fellowship of the Ring came out back when I was in 6th grade.

5. I'm currently in California, and can I just say how gorgeous it is here? I was born here, but it's been about a decade since I've visited. It's just beautiful and I'm visiting my uncle's family, and we are just having a blast. I just love it here, and I wish I could stay for months!

2 Books I enjoyed this month:
Ignite by Sara B. Larson
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Glance Back at November

Saturday, November 29, 2014

5 things that happened this month:
1. Thanksgiving!!!! You guys have no idea how much I love Thanksgiving! You people who live outside of America, I feel so sorry for you because you don't ever get to experience the awesomeness that is Thanksgiving. I loved hanging out with my family, and it was great because I skipped class and ended up taking the entire week off. It was amazing and lovely and relaxing, though now I get to buckle down and write a scary difficult research paper.

2. I am in the process of writing my research paper. Woof! This is a doozy. I have done more research for that paper than I have for anything else I've ever written. I read a whole freaking book (that was not on my syllabus) in order to research for this paper. Welcome to graduate school.

3. I like hanging out with teenagers, and I do a mentoring thing with kids in my church youth group, so earlier this month, I went to a youth retreat for a weekend. There were about 50-60 kids, and it was so fun. I forget how much I love pouring into students and helping them traverse the windy path that is young adulthood.

4. This month's theme has been 'patience.' It's been really difficult being patient with some of the people that are in my life. I am generally a pretty patient person, but something about this month has thrown me for a loop. I hope once this semester is over I can get back to the normal, more patient me. 

5. I started my Etsy store this month. It was kinda something that I had been thinking about for a while, and I finally took the step and just did it. I actually really enjoy it because while I design the journals, I listen to audiobooks, so I kill two birds with one stone!

2 Books I've enjoyed this month

1. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
2. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

A Glance Back: October

Saturday, November 1, 2014

5 things that happened this month:
1. A lot of changes happened this month. For one, Addison decided to leave the blog. You can read more about that here if you want. Because this happened, the next couple months are definitely going to be a transition to keep up with posts and reviews especially, but I'm really excited where this blog is headed.

2. I spent nearly a week in DC visiting my uncle and his family, and can I just say that it was one of the best trips I've ever had just by myself. It was just me. I wasn't with my sisters or my mom. It was just me, and it was GREAT! I had a blast with my 10 year-old and baby cousins visiting Mount Vernon (George Washington's home and plantation) and Bluemont Vineyard. It was AMAZING!

3. I studied A LOT! Midterms hit this month with a vengeance and stressed me out so incredibly much, but luckily my trip to DC was the perfect de-stresser. 

4. Writing...writing...revision...and more writing. I feel like that was the theme of this month. I'm currently in the process of revising one of my novels, and just so you know, the revision process is hard and BRUTAL! But I'm really liking the changes I've made!

5. I got to meet Becca from Pivot Book Reviews! Okay, so let's talk about this wicked cool lady right quick. She is without a doubt one of the most awesome people I have ever met! I posed the idea of meeting up for coffee since I know very few book bloggers IRL, and so that's what we did. I was worried it might be awkward since we really only knew each other via our blogs, but it was so fun! We just clicked and our conversation even made her late to a book signing she was going to that evening! This chick knows and loves books, and that makes her super cool in my book!

2 books I enjoyed this month:

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

A Glance Back at September

Saturday, September 27, 2014

5 things that happened this month:
1. I was writing like a fiend this past month. I had to write a flash fiction piece for USA Networks -which I got a lovely commission check for -and then I had to write a 25-page short story for my SciFi/Fantasy writing course. I just turned it in yesterday, so I'm a bit nervous about what my professor will think EEEKkk! (Amanda)
2. Heir of Fire came out!!!! So this was a HUGE deal to me! I had been waiting a whole freaking year to get my hands on that beauty, and when the day came, I was in Barnes & Noble to buy the first copy I saw. My heart was so full in that moment, and then it broke into a thousand pieces as I read that beautiful, beautiful book. (Amanda)
3. Something random and fun: I visited my family a few weekends ago, and I went out on a shooting range with my dad. I hadn't shot anything more than a BB gun in years, so I decided I should brush up on my gun safety and target practice. We shot my dad's 270 (which I was only a half inch away from the bullseye at a 100 yard range), and my dad's 9mm. Hand guns are a lot harder to shoot, FYI. They make it look so easy in the movies. (Amanda)

2 books Amanda enjoyed this month:

1.  Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
*review here
2. Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

A Glance Back: August

Saturday, August 30, 2014

5 things that happened this month:
1.  I moved to a different state and began my pursuit for my Master's degree in Creative Writing. It's a lot of change to happen in the matter of a month not to mention a week, so that has been a very interesting transition. I'm eager to get back in the swing of things as far as school goes, especially considering it has been about a year and a half since I've been in undergrad. (Amanda)

2. My family helped me move into my new apartment, and I helped them discover the fun things that around Oklahoma like Pops. (Amanda)

3. This month has been a total blur. I started grad school again, and it feels good. I am loving my poetry class. In my undergrad I was horrible at poetry, but now I find myself really enjoying it. (Addison)

4. I have new roommates that I lovvvvee. We all mesh together so well. We have very different personalities, but they work. I like the dynamic because they accept my introvert nature yet still welcome me any time I'm feeling social. (Addison)

2 Books Amanda enjoyed this month:

1. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
2. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

A Glance Back: July

Saturday, August 9, 2014

4 things that happened this month:
1. Jamie and I attended an author event called Spark a Reaction at Irving Public Library, and it was fantastic!!! We got to meet authors John Corey Whaley, Sherry Thomas, Veronica Rossi, Lisa M. Stasse, and Julie Murphy, not to mention some really awesome bloggers like Oh Magic Hour, Mary Had a Little Book Blog, and In Italics Books. You can read more about this event and what it was like here. (Amanda)

2. I painted... a lot. I painted 6 different acrylic paintings this month. I experimented with multimedia while sticking with acrylics which was different for me, but I loved it! I feel like I've painted and drawn so much this month that I've done more than I have this entire year put together. It was a month of creativity. (Amanda)

3. I got so, so, so sick. Something caused my liver to quit functioning properly, and I had to spend several days in the hospital. I've had test after test done, only for them to come back negative. This week I go in for a liver biopsy and hope for some answers. (Addison)

4. I haven't been on the blog much because of my being sick. Luckily, I have a fantastic BFF that has been holding down the fort in my absence. I am slowly starting to get better, and will have a more active presence on the blog. (Addison)

2 Books that Amanda enjoyed this month:

1. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
2. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

2 Books that Addison enjoyed this month:

1. Stray by Elissa Sussman
2. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Amanda's New Obsession(s):
I have 3 new obsessions actually: 
(1) Colleen Hoover. I never thought I would actually grow to like the New Adult genre or even contemporary/realistic fiction, but I have so much where this lovely author is concerned. Oh my gosh, my love for her latest book Ugly Love knows no bounds. It was beautiful and made me cry and it trampled my heart s thoroughly that I was not the same after having read it. BEAUTIFUL!

(2) Art Nouveau. As I mentioned above, I have been doing a lot of painting lately, and I found that I really like the Art Nouveau style. It's simple yet complex, and beautiful and striking. I've really enjoyed painting a couple of my pieces in this particular style -so much that I may even do more.

(3) Griffin Peterson. After reading Colleen Hoover's Maybe Someday, I have fallen head over heels with this man's voice. All of the lyrics strike a chord within me, and his voice just soothes my soul.

Addison's New Obsession:
Since I've been sick constantly during July, my obsessions were pain pills and blue jello.

Most Popular Review:

3 things Amanda is looking forward to this month:

1. Moving. In a week I will be moving to a different state to go to grad school. I will be working on my MA in Creative Writing. It's going to be a challenge being so far away from my sisters (they are both a Texas A&M, which will be an 8 hour drive from me), because I have really enjoyed my time with them this summer.
2. I'm excited yet so nervous to start classes. It all begins on the 18th. I'm a lot more at peace about it though ever since I dropped a course en lieu of taking a Sci Fi/Fantasy Writing course, which I'm super excited about. But on top of that I'm super nervous at having to take a grad level Lit Theory class. It was the hardest class I had ever taken in undergrad, so I know it's going to kill me this next semester.
3. Buy Bookshelves. Along with moving comes the wonderful, exciting experience of buying new bookshelves! EEKKK!!!!

2 things Addison is looking forward to this month:

1. Grad school starting! I'm ready to be back in class and have a normal schedule.
2. I'm buying a new laptop this month! My computer is about to meet its demise, and I need a new one terribly.

July in a photo:

This is a mural in my hometown in Texas, and this is what inspired my painting binge. (Amanda)

One must always take a selfie before having liver tests done. Am I right? (Addison)

Amanda's favorite quote(s) of the month:
 Love isn't always pretty, Tate. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it'll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you're back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.
 --Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

I'm convinced that people come across others in life whose souls are completely compatible with their own. Some refer to them as soul mates. Some refer to it as true love. Some people believe their souls are compatible with more than one person, and I'm beginning to understand how true that might be.
--Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

For her I bend, for you I break. 
--Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Addison's favorite quote of the month:
I'm a fool. At least I'm a self-aware fool. 
--Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Never have two sentences described the way I love so accurately.

What were your highlights of the month?

A Glance Back at June

Saturday, June 28, 2014

5 things that happened this month:
1. I took some time away from the blogging world -about 2 weeks. I had scheduled posts like crazy for the entire month minus three or so, and it was actually extremely nice. I wrote quite a bit, which was my plan; however, it was not on the projects that I had planned to work on. I didn't finish my current novel (#4). Instead, I worked on a completely new novel, and I began editing my second novel and cringed at all the terrible grammar and badly worded sentences. (Amanda)

2. My sisters finally came back from their trips! Ashley was out of the country for a little over a month and a half, and Allison was visiting her boyfriend in North Carolina for a month. To say that I missed them would be a terrible understatement. I'm super close to my younger sisters, so it's nice to have them back in my home state. (Amanda)

3. I moved into a new apartment! It is close to where I will be going to school in the fall, and is very spacious and modern. I have new roommates that are super chill and fun. So far everything is going well! (Addison)

4. I also took a blogging break. I went on vacation and moved, which allowed for very little blogging time. I was able to queue posts, but I missed out on writing a lot of my personal posts. I did realize how much I would miss the blogging community or the act of keeping up this blog, but I really did. Funny how little things like this blog become so important. (Addison)

5. I've been journaling! While this isn't something super impressive, it is something of note. I've been doing a lot of letter writing to myself, to others, to my past selves. It is super therapeutic and I highly recommend it! (Addison)

2 Books that Amanda enjoyed this month:

1. Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

2 Books that Addison enjoyed this month:

1. We Were Liars by e. lockhart
2. Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Amanda's New Obsession:

Graze Boxes. Let's talk about these lovely things! I was lucky enough to get an invitation which gave me my 1st and 5th box free, so I decided to try it out, and I'm so glad I did! I was struggling trying to find good, healthy snacks throughout the week, and a single Graze box lasts me about a week and a half. And it's full of healthy, organic snacks that you don't regret eating after the fact. If you check out their site you can see all the awesome snacks available, and it's really not a bad price ($6 a box), and the snacks go farther than you expect. If you want the same deal I got, you can use this code and get your 1st and 5th box free after signing up at 1CWWMH7JB

Addison's New Obsession:

Pretty Little Liars. *lowers head* I'm not proud of this, you guys. I am obsessed with Pretty Little Liars. I decided to start watching it on Netflix, which turned out to be a HUGE mistake. I am a sucker for teen drama, and this series is full of it. I am not one for super scary things, but I do appreciate a thrill. While this isn't the most magnificent storytelling I've seen on television, it does make for an addiction. The writers know how to keep the viewers hooked. It is true: two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

Most popular review this month:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

May in a photo:

This has been the rainiest summer I have ever seen in Texas. We get rain at least once a week if not more, and I have loved every minute of it! Central Texas gets so hot and gross, and to have rain to cool off and keep it from going over 100 degrees is a wonderful summer blessing. (Amanda)

June is a month of memories for me, and the heart always remembers. (Addison)

3 things Amanda is looking forward to next month:
1. My best friend of 14 years is getting married in July and I couldn't be more happy for her or to stand up with her on that special day. We've been best friends since 4th grade and even though distance has kept us apart for the last 6 or 7 years (on and off), we have still remained close, and I can't wait for her to marry her wonderful fiancé.
2. I plan on taking advantage of my final month at home. I have no ties and very few obligations, so I will be taking complete advantage of my personal time. I plan on doing much of what I did this past month. Reading, writing, and binge watching television shows.
3. Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne! Oh my gosh, I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this book! I requested it on NetGalley and was denied -apparently Disney Hyperion just doesn't like us, and I'm dying to read it! So I already preordered my copy and am waiting anxiously to have it in my hands finally.

3 things Addison is looking forward to next month:

1. I honestly don't know. I have a feeling that it will be a month of growth and experience, and I am running towards it with open arms.   

Amanda's favorite quote of the month:
“It’s a wishbone,” she’d told him, holding it out. “You hook your finder around the spur, like this, and we each make a wish and pull. Whoever gets the bigger piece gets their wish.”
“Magic?” Akiva had asked. “What bird does this come from, that its bones make magic?”
“Oh, it’s not magic. The wishes don’t really come true.”
“Then why do it?”
She shrugged. “Hope? Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, page 288)

Addison's favorite quote of the month:

“Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same thing spending an hour with you.” ― E. Lockhart, We Were Liars

A Glance Back: May

Friday, May 30, 2014

6 things that happened this month:
    1. Jamie and I got to attend the Dark Days Tour and meet Kiera Cass, Kimberly Derting, Kelley Armstrong, and Danielle Paige. Such a cool event, and then the very next day, we were able to go to the Scholastic warehouse, and we bought ALL the books. You can check out our posts over Dark Days and Scholastic if you want to see all the awesome things we took part in. -Amanda
    2. I became friends with Martina Boone, the author of Compulsion, after I told her how much I loved her book. She's an awesome lady with major talent. You guys should check out her book here! -Amanda
    3. Had some quality bonding time with my sister, Allison, these past couple weeks. A couple days chatting by the pool side and getting tan was wonderful sister therapy. -Amanda
    4. I finished teaching! It was a rough in to an even longer journey. While I was sad to leave, I am excited to see what new chapters are ahead in my journey. -Addison
    5. I signed a lease for an apartment. I am moving in once I get my from my current south western vacation. It will be exciting to begin creating a new space for my pup Gatsby and I. -Addison
    6. I am currently on a two week vacation to Arizona, Colorado, and Missouri! It's been a nice break from everyday life and a good reminder to stay in the present. -Addison

Songs that were played on repeat this month: 

2 books that Amanda enjoyed this month:
Compulsion by Martina Boone
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

2 books that Addison enjoyed this month:
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Amanda's New Obsessions:
As you can tell from the music I put in the Spotify playlist, I have fallen in love with Broadway and Disney music... again. I've always loved theatre and musical theatre, but this month I couldn't stop listening to it. Maybe it had something with seeing Jesus Christ Superstar with my mom back in April -which was really cool, btw. I am such a child at heart. I go through spurts of listening to this kind of music, but I will for always have it readily available on  my phone. Confession: I have a Disney playlist on my computer that plays 18 hours of constant Disney goodness.

Addison's New Obsessions:
1. Mountains! I am loving the beautiful rocks and mountains on my trip. Waking up to nature in its purest form is medicine for my soul. 

2. A new bar I discovered through a dear friend. It is beautiful and inspiring in every way imaginable. I feel like some swanky author will walk through the door at any moment. I've also had some rewarding conversations that have opened a lot of doors for me. 

May in a photo (or two):

3 things Amanda is looking forward to next month:
   1. I'm looking forward to taking the time to really sit down and write for extended periods of time over the course of the month. My goal is to finish my fourth novel by June 30th (which I'm roughly 60% finished with already), and once I'm done with that, I really want to work on revising and editing my three first-draft novels. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm excited to begin the querying process.

   2. It's the first month of summer, so of course I'm going to say swimming! And I actually plan on at least getting somewhat of a tan, since it's been a while and I look like a ghost.

   3. I bought so many books from the Scholastic warehouse that I plan on reading those and the rest of my ARCs that continue to pile up.

3 things Addison is looking forward to next month:
1. Moving into my new apartment! 

2. Developing a writing schedule. This is something that I realllllly need to develop. I want to produce some work that I can be proud of. To do that I need to buckle down and summon my dedication. 

3. Marathoning all the TV I missed this year! Because of my busy schedule I normally don't get to watch much television. In the summertime I marathon it all in a glorious bout of laziness. 

Most Popular Book Review

Amanda's favorite quote of the month:
"There existed something in the world that bound a mage tighter than a blood oath: love. Love was the ultimate chain, the ultimate whip, and the ultimate slave driver."
--The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, page 286

"Maybe the human brain was hardwired to require faith. Some people believed in God. Others believed in sports teams. Some believed blindly in their own talent or intelligence, regardless of evidence to the contrary, and then there were those who believed in family no matter how often it betrayed them. But the people who mattered were the people you chose instead of the people who were yours only by an accident of birth. Real family was heart as much as, if not more than, blood."
--Compulsion by Martina Boone

Addison's favorite quote of the month:
"I look at her there in the shadows of the shut-down city, her hair falling onto her face, and I can see her trying to figure out if I’ve lost it. And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuttered building until we feel the vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her gasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her neck is exposed. I want to rip my hands through her hair until her breath is labored. I want to make her cry and then lick up the tears. And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all the things she can’t understand."
--Where She Went by Gayle Forman

A Glance Back: April

Saturday, April 26, 2014

5 things that happened this month:

1. I got back into subbing and my old dry sense of humor came back with a vengeance. Being around those high schoolers hones my wit and sarcasm, and it honestly feels so good. I also realized that I just missed being around teenagers. There's something so alive in teens, and it's nice to be breathe it in and surround myself with it.

2. I found out at the very end of last month that I got accepted to grad school. I am going to be working towards an MA in Creative Writing. So about a week ago, my mom and I took a road trip up to Oklahoma to talk to my advisor and apartment hunt. Needless to say, it went swimmingly with a great advising appointment and signing a lease that very same day.

3. I've kinda gone through a reading rut. I've only read and finished 4 books, and I want so terribly to get into a few good books and finish them in the matter of days.

4. Addison knew it was going to be a trying month from the get-go but she didn't expect it to be so tough. She lost her grandfather this month and had to help her mother plan the funeral and drive all the way out to Missouri for it.

5. Addison lived through standardized testing!! That is always one of the most stressful and tiresome couple weeks being a public school teacher, and she survived!

5 songs that were listened to on repeat:

2 Books that Amanda read this month:
1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
2. On the Fence by Kasie West

2 Books that Addison read this month:
1. If I Stay by Gale Foreman

Amanda's new obsessions:
  This month, my obsessions have come in the form of entertainment. My mom got me hooked on Veronica Mars. Ugh, I just love that show so much. It aired when I was in high school, so everything from the cell phones to the words they say remind me of my own high school experience, which I have realized has dated me when I talk to people younger than me who make fun of some of the things they do or say.

    And I recently fell in love with the show Grimm. So I don't know if you guys know this, but I am thoroughly fascinated with fairytales -like the old Brothers Grimm fairytales and any oral tradition tales passed down. So this show totally caught my attention. It actually made me start writing a new book. I have an excellent plot with really cool characters, and it really just inspired me. I love when shows do that.

Addison's new obsessions:
   VIKINGS. You guys have no idea how obsessed I am with this show. Amanda was harping on me to watch it for months, and I did back in December. I watched the first episode (which is super lame) and didn't give it a second look until this month. I saw that it was on Amazon Prime, so I figured I would give it another chance. I am so glad I did. I am fascinated with the culture, religion, and history of Vikings now. The show brings it to life in such an addicting way. (Think Game of Thrones, but Vikings) Also, George Blagden. Need I say more?

Most popular book review:

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

3 things Amanda is looking forward to next month:

1. Jamie and I are going to the Dark Days tour at the Irving Public Library on the 6th, and to say that we are excited would be an understatement. Kelley Armstrong, Kiera Cass, Kimberly Derting, and Danielle Page are going to be there signing books. I am in the middle of Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong, but other than that I haven't read any of their books. I'm still excited though especially since I haven't seen Jamie for a little over a month.

2. Next month is May, so you know what that means: SCHOLASTIC WAREHOUSE SALES!!! Jamie and I are going to hit up the warehouse in Waco and then the one in Arlington and buy all the books! I'm super pumped! I'm going to have a killer Stacking the Shelves post for you guys!

3. After the first week in May, my youngest sister is coming home. This will be the first summer that neither of us are going to be doing anything, and we will be able just to chill out and swim and soak up the sun together. So excited!

3 things Addison is looking forward to next month:

1. A WORKING COMPUTER. My laptop is now dining with the gods in Valhalla. The first few weeks I didn't miss it because I was busy with funeral arrangements and helping my family. But as life has started to slow down I am realizing how much I rely on it for everyday life. I haven't been able to post much on the blog, or even work from home. As a teacher, this is highly inconvenient.

2. Arizona/Colorado/Missouri road trip! My mom and I are taking a three state road trip the week school lets out, and I couldn't be anymore excited. We both need the time away from everyday life. My mother loves the mountains and the painted orange sunsets and Arizona canyons are calling my name.

3. Summer. I officially have four more weeks of school, and goodness, this break is looking so beautiful. This has been a rough teaching year for me, and it will be nice to simply be lazy for a few months.

Amanda's favorite quote from a book she read this month:

"Like a wild animal, the truth is too powerful to remain caged." 
--Veronica Roth, Insurgent

Addison's favorite quote from a book she read this month:

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” 
― Gayle FormanIf I Stay

A Glance Back: March

Saturday, March 29, 2014

5 things that happened this month:

1. As seen in the picture below, Jamie, Addison, and I went to Julie Murphy's book launch party in Irving, TX. We were all so excited to be there to meet Julie and network with fellow book bloggers like Arial Dawson -who is super cool by the way. 

2. The third week in March ended up being the worst ever for me (Amanda). At the beginning of the week, I got into a fender bender -which was not my fault, and by the end of the week I was jobless for reasons I will not go into. I am currently in Texas, while my other book blogger half is in Oklahoma. It's kinda sad.

3. Over Addison's spring break, she read 9 books. Her students didn't even believe her and made her get on her Goodreads to show them. Even then, they were still skeptical.

4. Addison and I started really working on our creative writing this month, and Addison began churning out some really awesome pieces while I wrote a number of chapters for my fourth novel.

5. Addison lost her voice for three days due to sickness, meanwhile she struggled finding her voice and speaking up for herself with her employers.

March in a photo:

Top 2 Books I Read (Addison): 
1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
2. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Top 2 Books I Read (Amanda):
1. The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth

3 Things I'm Looking Forward to in April (Addison):

1. More rain! I miss rain and thunderstorms and snuggling up with a good book while I hear the pitter patter of raindrops on the window.

2. The end of April. As a teacher, testing is going to really suck the life out of me, and this is the month that all the testing hits. I'm not looking forward to it.

3. Captain America: Winter Soldier. Need I say more?

3 Things I'm Looking Forward to in April (Amanda):

1. I am going to pick up subbing in public schools again until I find a decent job, and with that comes seeing all the faces of the teenagers who found their way into my heart last spring. I'm really looking forward to it. Teenagers are so fun. You can joke around and be sarcastic, and it's just good fun, especially when most of them like you --that way they always get their work done.

2. Oddly enough, I look forward to being around my parents more. I look forward to the peaceful evenings with them and the non-stressful, healthy environment I have so desperately missed these last 8 months.

3. This next month will be when I focus on working more on the blog and writing creatively. I've been doing well on my recent novel, but I want to go back to my old works and revise and edit them. It's a lot of work, but I look forward to it.

Most Popular Review:

Favorite Quote from a Book I Read (Addison):

“I don't know many rules to live by,' he'd said. 'But here's one. It's simple. Don't put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles--drug or inessential penises either.'

'Inessential penises?' Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. 'Is there any such thing as an essential one?'

'When an essential one comes along, you'll know,' he'd replied.” 
                                        ― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Favorite Quote from a Book I Read (Amanda):

"We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for one another."
                                       --Veronica Roth, Divergent

A Sunday Soliloquy: February 2014 Wrap Up

Sunday, March 2, 2014
After reading Jamie's monthly rewind, I thought I would start doing something similar here! I always love how personal and genuine her posts are, and want to bring a touch of that to our blog. So without further ado, here is our monthly wrap up! 

February in a photo:

"Cogsworth: Well, there's the usual things: flowers... chocolates... promises you don't intend to keep..."

5 Things That Happened In February:
1. This month was rough for both me and Amanda. It seemed like we were both tackling various projects every weekend, and then made an impromptu but much needed trip to Texas. 

2. Work was super stressful for me this month, and I came home in tears almost every day. Teaching isn't for the faint of heart. 

3. I have been working hard at becoming a better twitter-er! I was talking to a friend about how hard is it to tweet, because I feel like no one cares about my off the wall thoughts. Turns out, it is a great tool to connect with other bookish people, which I looooove. 

4. Amanda celebrated her twenty-fourth birthday this month. She went home and spent a long weekend with her family and sisters, which is a rare thing these days. 

5. Amanda also read 9 books in February! If you know Amanda, this is a crazy huge accomplishment for our "Little Engine That Could" reader. (Give her a sexy Russian and solid vampire writing and you won't see her for days.)

Top 2 Books I Read (Addison):
1.  Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
2. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Top 2 Books I Read (Amanda):

1.  Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge 
2. Shadow Kissed by Richelle Mead 

Most Popular Review:

I am SUPER pumped that debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys was our most popular review! Ali Novak is a gem and has become a friend to both of us. We are excited to see where she will go! 

Three Things I am Looking Forward To in March (Addison):
1. SPRING BREAKKKKKKKK. This teacher needs a week off. While I don't plan on going anywhere, I do plan on getting some writing done (hopefully) and catching up on all the TV I've missed this season (I'm coming for you, Agents of SHIELD). 

2. Warmer weather. I love winter. I love the snow. Scarves, sweaters, boots, etc. But this year Oklahoma has had a stupid cold winter, and I am ready for some sunny springtime weather. I recently bought several new dresses that I can't wear until the weather warms up as well. So of course, my desires are partially vain. 

3. Making plans for this autumn. I have several potential opportunities coming up, and I am anxious to make a decision on where I will be headed. I am also a notorious planner. I HATE flying by the seat of my pants. So this is definitely a growing season for me, as I learn to be patient. 

Three Things I am Looking Forward To in March (Amanda):
1. Spring Break: Luckily, I get nearly a full week off of work in the middle of March. You guys have no idea how excited I am about this. 6 days at home with my parents and both of my younger sisters (who will be home from college), and endless days of writing my novel, reading, and computer surfing with nothing to stress over. I am currently counting down my work days till spring break. It just can't get here fast enough.

2. Spring: I am done with winter. I never thought I would say that. I generally love winter. The clothes, the jackets and scarves, the bite at the tip of your nose, and the scent of chimney smoke in the air. That's my favorite thing, but this year, I am so ready for spring. I need to see some green grass and blooming trees. I need to feel the liveliness in the air again.

3. The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas comes out on March 4th (THIS TUESDAY!). Yes, granted all of these novellas were released online as ebooks, but I had both of her books in physical formats. It hurt too much to buy ebooks and when I heard that it would come out in hardback, I did not hesitate. So needless to say, I have yet to read them, so the hardback will be my first experience. I have such a love for Sarah's work. She is easily one of my top 5 favorite authors, so this is a book that I can't wait to get my hands on.

Favorite Quote From A Book I Read (Addison):

“We are synonyms but not the same. Synonyms know each other like old colleagues, like a set of friends who've seen the world together. They swap stories, reminisce about their origins and forget that though they are similar, they are entirely different, and though they share a certain set of attributes, one can never be the other. Because a quiet night is not the same as a silent one, a firm man is not the same as a steady one, and a bright light is not the same as a brilliant one because the way they wedge themselves into a sentence changes everything. They are not the same.” 

-Unravel Me, Tahereh Mafi 

Can I just say, DAMN. This woman writes the exact way my heart has been begging for me to write for years. 

Favorite Quote From A Book I Read (Amanda):

 "'I won't be that guy. I won't be that man who takes someone else's woman away.' [Dimitri said]… 'I don't belong to him… I don't belong to anyone. I make my own choices.' [Rose replied]." 

-Last Sacrifice, Richelle Mead.

Though this isn't some profound quotation, this was something that made me whoop for joy. In normal romance teen fiction, you hear the generic "I don't belong to anyone, but I belong to you' crap. And I love how Rose is a strong enough character to step back and say, 'I don't belong to anyone. I don't even belong to the guy that I love. I belong to myself alone.' To me that is a great step of empowerment in teen fiction, and that's probably my favorite line just because of what it stands for.

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