Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Prowl Trilogy Book Tour



I've decided to join in the Prowl Trilogy Book Tour. I've already reviewed the first book, Prowl, and since I liked that and saw an opportunity to join in on the rest of the books, I jumped in on it!


Prowl Trilogy

To visit the official website of  YA Christian thrillers – the Prowl Trilogy - click this link.


Entice
Author: Amber Garza
Series: Prowl Trilogy
Book #: 2 out of 3
Read: September 24, 2012 - September 25, 2012
My rating: 5 stars


Buy ENTICE

 
ENTICE: Prowl Trilogy #2
        Mackenzie returns home from the summer with her grandma, certain that Wesley is out of her life for good.  Until the nightmares resurface, and strange things start to happen.

         Is Wesley back?

         When the danger escalates and threatens those closest to her, Mackenzie must fight to save them. Only this time the evil is more powerful, and Mackenzie is faced with an impossible decision.

Jenkies' Review:
First off, I should note that I absolutely love the cover of this book. Actually, all three books are really pretty. In comparison to the two books I've read so far in this trilogy, my favorite so far would be this book. I felt like the characters were more developed and it kept you wondering what was going on the entire time. The end of the book had a nice twist and definitely left you wondering what was going to happen.

I felt it was a fairly quick read and felt that the entire story was refreshing. I felt like Mackenzie had a lot of patience for the people in her life and I'm not sure I would have handled it quite as well, to be honest. Even though I wouldn't have the patience, it was still written very realistic. I'm looking forward to reading the next book, in fact, I might start that today because I'm dying to know what will happen next! :)




Saturday, September 22, 2012

Updates!

It has been far too long since I've last posted and I apologize for that! It has been such a busy month! Hailey started school, I joined the PTA at her school, I've started back up volunteering at church, Hailey's soccer started back up again, my birthday was this past week and Hailey's birthday and party are next weekend.

Needless to say, I've been pretty busy. The time I have spent at home has been a mix between preparing for Hailey's birthday party and a little reading before bed. Not a whole lot of housework has gotten done either. So, during the day today I'm spending some time trying to get caught up with that. Tonight I am going out to celebrate my birthday that was this past Wednesday. We are going to a comedy show in Ann Arbor. I've never been to one before, so I'm pretty excited for it.

There is this app that you can get on your Kindle or even on a tablet (which is what I have) that tells you what books are free for the day on Amazon. I love this app. I've downloaded so many books lately. I should note that this app is based off of a blog. I've got the link below, so you don't even have to download it as an app! This past week I've been trying to focus on actually reading them! I'm hoping I'll have a chance today to add a review of the one I've actually finished reading.

So, if you weren't aware the name of the app is called Free Kindle Books and Tips. I'm thinking about having a section of what books I've downloaded from this app and what I want to read, so if you want to join in, you can.

Currently I'm reading Practice Cake by Dalya Moon. I'm about halfway through it and I'm really enjoying it and eager to see how it turns out.

I hope everyone is doing well and as I get in a set routine with all the craziness of my life, I'll be sure to update more often! :)


Friday, September 7, 2012

Gone Girl Book Review

Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Series: N/A
Book #: 1 out of 1
Read: August 28, 2012 - September 7, 2012
Rating: 5 stars

Author's Synopsis:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.



Jenkies' Review:

Of course I had my reading list all planned out and another book that I requested at the library came through! So, I immediately started reading it. To be honest I was drawn to this book because I saw a long waitlist at the library for it. That’s when I knew that there must be something good about this book to draw that much attention. I am happy that I followed that instinct because it was a great read. It is one of those books that I could easily find myself re-reading a few times.
I’ll admit the first half of the book is really setting everything up and getting you to know the characters, Amy and Nick. By the time you reach half way through the book there is a huge twist and next thing you know you’ve read about 3/4ths of the book non-stop. (Okay, I stopped to sleep and take my daughter to school.)
There is a lot of suspense in it and you aren’t ever quite sure how it is going to turn out. I liked that about it, I couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. The style of writing the author has is right up my alley. I will be looking into some of the other books she has…my guess is, they’ll be just as great.
I have tendencies to read a lot of Young Adult books and if you are like me and like to shake it up every now and then, I’d suggest this book. So, go on out and get your name on the list at the library to get this book! Believe me, I had to wait like a month for it, but it was worth it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kindergarten!

Sorry for the delay in posting! Here is what my household has been up to...

I had 6 whole days off from work. It was AMAZING! Last Friday, Nick, Hailey and I went camping with my mother-in-law and about 5 other couples. It was a lot of fun. Hailey was the only grandchild there and she was spoiled by everyone! We ended up staying an extra night at the campground because we were having such a good time.

We were the coolest campers because we had a projector with screen and were watching movies at night. Well, Hailey had it made because we would start watching Shrek until she fell asleep and switch over to a more adult movie.

About to hit the road for Hailey's first day of Kindergarten!
Monday was spent unpacking and doing laundry. We also prepared for Hailey's first day of Kindergarten on Tuesday! Hailey loved Kindergarten. I convinced my mom and sister to go shopping and let me pick out what I want for my birthday after we picked up Hailey from school. (My birthday isn't until the 19th of this month, but hey! who doesn't like presents early?!)

Yesterday was my final day of my 6 days off of work. I had mixed feelings on returning and that was because with Hailey at all day kindergarten, I spent like 7 hours at home by myself. When you have kids, you forget what you did before you had them! So, I went home, threw my sweat pants back on and read some comic books.

I didn't touch my reading lists at all. I'm going to say it is because I felt like I had all the time in the world and next thing I knew I was out of it. Haha...go figure.

Now to go read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn! Have a great week fellow bloggers! :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? #3


Here is another dose of It's Monday, what are you reading? hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey!

Well, last week's plan didn't quite go as I anticipated it to. I read Uglies and did a review on it too! I read like 75 pages of Fool Moon. I was so excited when one of the books from the library came in that it immediately jumped up to the top of my to-read list. Oops, have you ever done that before? Get so excited for a certain book to come in that you forget your plans on the other books?


So, the book I was really excited for was Starters. The cover is probably one of my favorites, it looks so cool and gives off the futuristic feel! I've already read it and finished my review of it this morning. My little cousin, Lexi, spent the night with Hailey on Saturday night. My husband and I took the girls to the park, where he studied for his internship exams and I read. Anyway, the book was alright. I think there was more the author could have done with it and a few things I didn't care for too much. Overall, I liked it and I'll read the second one.

For this week, this is what I have planned to read. I'm going to finish reading Fool Moon in the next couple of days. We are going camping this weekend and I'll have five days off starting on Friday. I'll start and hopefully finish Monsters of Men by next Monday. If for whatever reason I get through both of those books, I'm going to read Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.
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Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

My initial thoughts: 
This book was actually one that a book club on Goodreads was reading. I had immediately requested it from the library but I was number 12 on a waiting list. So, I waited not-so-patiently for this book.  Well, when I went to pick up Starters from the library, I was pleasantly surprised to find this one waiting for me! I think it'll be an interesting read and I'm not really sure what to expect from it. I think it'll be way different than anything that I've read before. I'm really hoping that I can read this this week or even next week.
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I'm also currently listening to an audiobook called Dating is Murder by Harley Jane Kozak. 

Wollie Shelley is a greeting card artist struggling to keep afloat financially and to pursue—despite a series of recent disasters—the search for the love of her life. She reluctantly agrees to be a contestant on the reality television show Biological Clock. The show’s premise: six eligible singles date each other, and the audience votes on which couple would make the best parents. Alas, Wollie isn’t having much luck finding a man she’d like to date “off the air,” much less father her child. As the biological clock ticks away, Wollie gets caught up in a much more pressing demand on her time. Her friend Annika has vanished into thin air and Wollie is convinced that she’s in grave danger. 

When Wollie reports the disappearance to the Los Angeles Police Department, however, the detective assigned to the case seems more interested in dating Wollie than in finding her friend. So Wollie springs into action—and lands right in the middle of an FBI investigation into an international drug cartel. She soon finds herself being stalked by an assortment of threatening characters, including her fellow televisioncontestants, who will stop at nothing to beat the clock. 

With Dating Is Murder, Kozak delivers another sparkling treasure, a laugh-out-loud funny, literate mystery for readers of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton, and for Kozak’s own growing legion of fans.

My initial thoughts:
The title of the book is intriguing. I really enjoy the person reading the book. Her voice doesn't quite match what I'd imagine the character to look like, but she does the humorous parts well. I'm on disc 5 out of 10. I listen to books on my way to work. I work about 45 minutes away from where I live. I love music, but it is nice to break it up every now and then. The story is enticing and suspenseful so far. The character seems a little ditsy, so it gets frustrating at times.
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Alright, so I think that is all. Surprisingly I thought this post was going to be short...I thought wrong. So if you read through it all, good job you!  Have a great Monday! :)

Starters Book Review

Starters
Author: Lissa Price
Series: Starters and Enders
Book #: 1 out of 2
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Read: August 24, 2012 - August 27, 2012
Rating: 3 stars

Author's Synopsis:
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

Jenkies' Review:
First, I'll start with the cover. I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book. It's so beautiful and in person it is even better. It is very metallic and shiny!  Definitely gives off the appropriate futuristic feel.

This book was referred to me by another Goodreads' member. I anticipated this book a lot and when it finally came in from the library, I dropped my original to-read list and added this one to the top! Well, it was an interesting story. I'll give it that. It has a Cinderella feel to it, but definitely with a huge twist.  I found it a little annoying when it would blatantly do Cinderella-esque things. There were a few things that I wish the author wouldn't have followed Cinderella so closely and think it would have come out a little more original.

At the beginning of the book the scenes were well thought out and set up. I wish it would have set it up consistently through the book. The end of the book was not well thought out and left me, at times, confused with the scenery.

There were a few things that I felt the author didn't wrap up and left me with a lot of questions. I'll have to read the second book, Enders, just to find out if she ever wraps those things up. If it weren't for those questions, I'm not sure I'd go read the second book.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Uglies Book Review

Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfield
Series: Uglies
Book #: 1 out of 4
Read: August 22, 2012 - August 23, 2012
Rating: 4 stars


Author's Synopsis:
Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Jenkies' Review:
As you can see above I read this book pretty quickly. That's one thing I like about books is when they are an easy read like that. The author's writing was interesting. I found that it switched from one point of view to another constantly through the book. It would go from Tally's thought processes to second person and then to third person. It threw me off a few times in the book.

If it weren't for the awkward writing style as mentioned above, I probably would have rated it a 5. I loved the story of the book. I loved seeing the character grow within the book. She goes from a shallow girl to one with more of a purpose. I also really enjoyed how quickly everything seemed to move within the book! It gets boring when books drag certain sequences out, so I find it refreshing when multiple things happen in a book.

Towards the end of the book I just became frustrated! To the point where I just wanted to jump up and down and scream at Tally! Like, "C'mon! Just do it already!!!"Now, I'm going to have to order the second book of the series, Pretties.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow Friday #2




Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you’ve read and loved?

This is a tough call. At times I do the exact opposite of the old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." I'm pretty bad at that actually. If I had to choose, I'd definitely say Shiloh Walker's book If you hear her. It reminds me of a book that you wouldn't ever want your mom to know you were reading...
The book is actually not so bad. It's cover makes it seem like it is all just about romance. Don't get me wrong, it does have that...but it is much more than just that. There is a pretty good story too it.

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It's my second Follow Friday! :) I would have posted earlier, but I'm having some problems with my desktop computer. My computer doesn't want to recognize that my monitor is plugged in! So, I pulled out my literally dusty laptop that I haven't used in years. Coincidentally, my laptop's monitor went out. I combined forces and hooked my laptop up to my monitor from my desktop and VOILA! Two not-working-properly computers = 1 awkward set up, but working computer! :)

I was getting my laptop set up with Spotify while I work on this post and I'm pretty sure it made a REALLY weird groaning sound. Ah, I think my computers are mad at me...

I've finished reading Uglies so expect an update later today with a book review for that! :) Have a great Friday! I'm off to an apartment-warming party for my cousin!

-Jenkies

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday...What are you reading? Week #2

I can't believe it is already my second week of joining in Sheila @ Book Journey's What are you reading? meme!



This past week I got through my goals as I planned. I finished Water for Elephants and read Finding Summerland: The Ameryn Chronicles #1

I'm going to add another book to my list of books to read this upcoming week. I'm hoping to read through them, or at the very least when next Monday comes around, I'll be through most of my final book.

First on my list that has been sitting on my desk for sometime now is Jim Butcher's Fool Moon, which is the second in the Dresden Files.


Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work—magical ormundane.
But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.
A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses —and the first two don't count...
My initial thoughts: I'm looking forward to reading this book. I really enjoy the way that Jim Butcher writes his books. At times I find comedic relief in his stories. I've only just started this book this morning and so far it is written the same way the first book was. I'm looking forward to seeing this story unfold.
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Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
My initial thoughts: A few of my coworkers and one of the groups I joined on Goodreads has been reading this lately. So, with all the talk of this book, I figured I've got to find out what the fuss is all about. Reading the synopsis given by the author, it definitely looks interesting. 
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"War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge - the electrifying finale to the award-winning "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.

My initial thoughts: I've read the first two books in this trilogy and the first two were amazing. The second book definitely left off on a cliffhanger, but I didn't want to do 3 reviews in a row of the same series. How boring would that be for my readers? I imagine you'd like to see reviews on different books. Don't worry, I'll still do one on this one of course, but I just wanted to break it up with a few books in between. Anyway, I'm excited to see how the war in this book turns out. I definitely have suggested this story to multiple people.

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Nick squeezing in the picture while at the park...
It took me a little longer than I anticipated to finish up Finding Summerland, but that's more than likely because I had a pretty busy weekend. I took Friday off so I had a nice 3-day weekend! Friday, Hailey, my mom and I went to the county fair. We spent a good three or so hours there. We stopped by the library to exchange books and such. Then followed a trip to the grocery store. My husband got home around 8:15 pm and since Hailey had a wristband for the rides and we already paid for parking, us three headed back out to the fair for a little longer.

On Saturday, Nick's cousin got married so we attended the reception, but ended up leaving early because all the youngsters were coming to party. We headed to my father-in-law's house to help out cut up vegetables for Sunday's events. (We diced, sliced and peeled like mad-men!)

Sunday morning, we headed up to the hall the family rented for Nick's grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary! We helped set everything up and by the time it was over we had been there over 6 hours. We stopped home and Nick and Hailey took a quick nap. Then we went up to the park to let Hailey play while Nick studied for his clinical exams and I read.


Now I'm working on laundry. I'm pretty sure almost our entire wardrobe needs to be washed. But with a weekend as busy as we had, there is no wonder on how the regular chores went untouched. Ah, now to go swap out a load in the washer...

Have a great Monday! :)

-Jenkies

Finding Summerland: The Ameryn Chronicles #1 Review

Finding Summerland: The Ameryn Chronicles #1
Author: Paige Bleu
Series: The Ameryn Chronicles
Book #: 1 out of 5
Read: August 14, 2012 - August 20, 2012
My Rating: 4 stars

Author's Synopsis:
After his brothers recent disapearance Wesley Rochester wished he could just fade into obscurity. Searching for closure, he's haunted by visons. Consumed with decoding the messages, he begins turning dangerously deeper inward. Enter an intriguing, 'not quite' human stranger, who mysteriously arrives just as he feels all hope is lost. Together they begin to realize that their destinies are intricately tangled in a drama reaching far beyond the realms of the wold they know. Discovering the secrets plaguing wesley since childhood are no coincidence, and everything he believes is shattered. Captivated by her, he must decide between the life he has and the one he'd forgotten. 

'Finding Summerland' is like 'Twilight' in the sense that it is a supernatural, coming of age romance—but has a genre bending, metaphysical element and a much deeper rabbit hole. Follow the journey of two star crossed souls as they explore who they are and the ties that bind them. Enter a world intentionally forgotten. A place buried by history, where only the chosen are aware of its existence. A place covenants are made and broken, where myth leads to truth and forbidden love threatens to destroy or be destroyed, becoming just another casualty in their shadow war. 

The introductory novel in a series of five, called 'The Ameryn Chronicles'—but compelling enough to stand alone—'Finding Summerland' is sure to be savored by anyone craving to stretch the bounds of ordinary imagination, edgy enough to engage readers who enjoy unravelling a mystery, and sweet enough to grab onto the hearts of the romance lovers! Where legends breathe and dreams are alive. A 'trippy' journey to a new reality.


Jenkies' Review:

This book was provided through a Read to Review. A great big thank you to the author for sharing this with me. Here is my honest review of the book...

This book is described as something similar to Twilight and while I can see some similarities, I think it definitely has its own story.  I enjoyed the love story aspect and watching it unfold. I also loved the characters. I felt that I could really connect with the main character, Wes, and understand everything he was feeling.

Let's start with the intro - I liked how the story started. It quickly gave away that there was some sort of supernatural feel to it. While it gives that much, it doesn't nearly explain all parts and, to be honest, leaves you confused and wanting to read more to make sense of it. However, I should warn you the end of the book doesn't explain the entire first scene and definitely leaves you on a HUGE cliffhanger.

I rated this a 4 instead of a 5 because I found myself getting a little lost when they were providing some back-story. At the beginning, it seemed to go slowly because I was so eager to find out what they were talking about during the first scene. The book really started picking up about 75 or so pages in. The last 100 pages seemed to go by very fast because I couldn't put the book down.

I'm pretty bummed the second book isn't out yet. I want to find out what happens next! I truly believe that this is going to be a great set of books.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Follow Friday #1


I've decided to join the club for Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

What blogger inspires you?


Hmm, what blogger inspires me? I'd have to say one of my favorites would be Sheila @ Book Journey. I really like the way that she blogs. She isn't strictly book reviews. She updates with parts of her life. If you've read my previous blog postings, you'll see that that is really what I am trying to do here. Perhaps it makes me a tad envious of all the things she does in her life because my life feels like it is about 10% as exciting! Anyway...she is the person who has inspired me! :)

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Hailey and I went to the salon yesterday. I got my hair cut. Okay, okay...it wasn't just a "cut" but I had most of my hair chopped off. I hadn't had it cut in about a year and since it is so thick, it was bugging me! I really should have taken before and after shots...but this is the most recent picture I can find that I have my hair down...and of course the after shot! (I had to take a shower because I had hair all over me and was so itchy!)

Before
After

While we were at the salon I saw these temporary rub-in hair colors. Hailey has been bugging me since my sister-in-law said that she would put a temp color in her hair. These were perfect, it has the consistency of chalk and it washes out! So, since she was so good at the salon while I was getting my hair cut, I bought her one! Pretty much immediately when we got up this morning I gave Hailey a bath/shower and put it in! Then she asked me to curl it. I just put a couple of  streaks in it. The picture I'll show is kinda blurry but where it looks like it is turquoise, it is actually that color.


Now we are heading out to the library and then the county fair! Have a good Friday everyone!

-Jenkies

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Water for Elephants Review



Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Series: N/A
Book #: 1 out of 1
Read: August 10, 2012 - August 14, 2012
My Rating: 4 stars

Author's Synopsis:
An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of "Riding Lessons." "Gritty, sensual and charged with dark secrets involving love, murder and a majestic, mute heroine (Rosie the Elephant)."Q"Parade."


Jenkies' Review:
As you may know from my previous blog postings, this was not my typical book that I like to read. I like settings that are placed in the present, future and dystopian settings. I gave this one a shot because I heard it was really good from multiple people. In the end, I'd say I'm overall pleased with my decision to read it. It was one of those books that had me in tears in a couple of parts, but not nearly as much as I expected I would.

One thing I really like about this book is it flips from the main character. Jacob, during his younger days when he was traveling with the circus to when he is in a nursing home. One thing I find lacking in other books is I am always curious what happens next. This book has a surprising ending, which I enjoyed thoroughly, but I am pleased with just leaving it at that for the ending. At times, I felt like the book dragged at parts. At the end things happened so quickly in comparison. I, personally, would have liked to see more time spent on the last 50-75 pages of the book.

I've got questions! I want to know more! Maybe, just maybe, Sara Gruen will write a book solely on what happened in between the circus-life and nursing home. I think that would be an interesting read!

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Monday - What are you reading?



I've recently decided to join in Sheila from Book Journey's It's Monday! What are you reading? I thought it would be a good idea so you know what to expect from me this week. Also, if you have any book suggestions, I am always open for those!

Currently Reading:
An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of "Riding Lessons." "Gritty, sensual and charged with dark secrets involving love, murder and a majestic, mute heroine (Rosie the Elephant)."Q"Parade."


I actually started this book on Friday afternoon. While it doesn't normally take me all that long to read a book of this size, I've had to work all weekend. I'm on page 196 out of 327. I plan on finishing it tonight or even tomorrow night. (If I'm feeling as ambitious as I am right now, I will tonight.)

I will provide a book review of this book once I complete it. I'm not going to lie, I have been surprisingly captivated by it. I didn't think I'd like it because in the past I haven't really cared for books that were based in different centuries. (Sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with their verbiage.) This has been a great surprise. I'm glad I listened to my mother-in-law and coworkers. :)


Tuesday/Wednesday read:
After his brothers recent disapearance Wesley Rochester wished he could just fade into obscurity. Searching for closure, he's haunted by visons. Consumed with decoding the messages, he begins turning dangerously deeper inward. Enter an intriguing, 'not quite' human stranger, who mysteriously arrives just as he feels all hope is lost. Together they begin to realize that their destinies are intricately tangled in a drama reaching far beyond the realms of the wold they know. Discovering the secrets plaguing wesley since childhood are no coincidence, and everything he believes is shattered. Captivated by her, he must decide between the life he has and the one he'd forgotten. 

'Finding Summerland' is like 'Twilight' in the sense that it is a supernatural, coming of age romance—but has a genre bending, metaphysical element and a much deeper rabbit hole. Follow the journey of two star crossed souls as they explore who they are and the ties that bind them. Enter a world intentionally forgotten. A place buried by history, where only the chosen are aware of its existence. A place covenants are made and broken, where myth leads to truth and forbidden love threatens to destroy or be destroyed, becoming just another casualty in their shadow war. 
The introductory novel in a series of five, called 'The Ameryn Chronicles'—but compelling enough to stand alone—'Finding Summerland' is sure to be savored by anyone craving to stretch the bounds of ordinary imagination, edgy enough to engage readers who enjoy unravelling a mystery, and sweet enough to grab onto the hearts of the romance lovers! Where legends breathe and dreams are alive. A 'trippy' journey to a new reality.


My initial thoughts of this book:

If this is anything like Twilight, which it is described to be, I'm going to love it. Twilight was probably one of the first books that got me reading years ago. (Side note: Although Hunger Games this year pushed me into being more frenetic.)

I've got high hopes for it since it says that it includes some of my favorite things in it. I absolutely love reading books with some sort of love interest in them. (I'm a sucker for romantic comedies.) It also includes the supernatural element as well. I like how books like this push my imagination further than I am able to. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Brady Bunch, sleep talking and bacon - oh my!

Here's a story of a lovely lady....

I introduced The Brady Bunch to my daughter last night. She absolutely loves it. We ended up watching almost an entire disc of it (my sister owns the entire season on DVDs). We watched 5 out of 6 episodes on that first disc. It was then time for bed where Hailey insisted on having the second disc put on in her bedroom while she goes to sleep.
Hailey watching The Brady Bunch

First thing this morning, guess what Hailey asked to watch? Yup, The Brady Bunch. Maybe I'll see if I can put her hair in braided pigtails today so she can look like her new friend, Cindy Brady.

She doesn't quite know all the words to the song at the beginning so all I am hearing is, "The Brady Bunch....The Brady Bunch...The Brady Bunch..."

My husband woke up not long ago and asked me why I was talking to him last night about bacon. I was pretty confused, naturally. He said that I sit up in the middle of the night and asked him if he wanted bacon. He asked me a few times what was I talking about. Sleep Tera isn't so nice, I guess, since I snapped at him and said, "Well, do you want bacon or not?!"

So, I've recently started reading Water for Elephants. It seems like a pretty good book, but I'm not going to lie at the very beginning it was pretty sad. I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue on and read the book, but I've heard several great things about it through family and friends. So, I'll keep going on reading it. I have a strong feeling that I'm going to cry at some point. The beginning also has a feel of The Notebook and as you know, I now avoid anything Nicholas Sparks writes because that made me cry...well...still does when I see the movie.

I'll include my review after I have finished reading, of course. :)

Have a great Saturday folks!

-Jenkies

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Ask and The Answer Review



The Ask and The Answer
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking
Book #: 2 out of 3
Read: August 8, 2012 - August 10, 2012
My Rating: 5 stars

Author's Synopsis:
We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

"The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.

Jenkies' Review:
**contains spoilers
This book was one that I wasn't able to put down. It is 519 pages and it felt like it was too short with as much that happens during the entire book. I've always found the second books in trilogies to not be as exciting as the first or even the last, but this book was fantastic. 

The two main characters want to be with each other and they don't hold back trying to get just that. This story is basically about everyone trying to keep them apart. This book had very few moments where I could guess what was going to happen. In fact, I think there was only one! If I had to describe this book in two words I would choose Surprising and Suspenseful 

In my review for the first book, I admitted that I cried during it. I'm proud to say that I didn't cry in this book at all. There were still emotional moments, but I felt because the story-line kept moving it was hard to focus on any one scene for too long. So, I'm tear-free in this book! Now, I certainly can't guarantee that for the third book I won't cry, but we'll see...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Recipe: Rice & Squash Casserole

Coming up with your own recipes is difficult. You, not only, need to be creative, but it's got to taste good. You can only read so many ways to make chicken noodle soup. I can guarantee that the recipes I will post on here will be Hailey approved. Kids are the most honest judges. My husband will tell me something is good, when in all reality - it's not. This one was Hailey approved. She actually had two helpings of it...

I apologize now but my camera needs to be charged and so does my tablet. I had to use my Blackberry to take the pictures, and anyone that has ever had a Blackberry knows that these aren't the clearest of pictures. The next time I make this (and I'm sure there will be a next time) I'll take better ones and maybe even think in advance and charge those devices.

Rice and Squash Casserole

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium squash, chopped
2 banana peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons of butter
3 cups of rice
~2 1/2 cups of tomato juice
~1 1/2 cups of water
Small container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
Salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder - to taste

1. First you take the onion, squash, banana peppers and butter and saute in a pan until onions start to brown. Season with salt and pepper while it is cooking.

2. Add your rice, tomato juice and water into the pot. (I suggest starting out slow by first adding all of the rice and then water/tomato juice as needed to moisten the rice.) Add garlic powder and Parmesan cheese to taste while rice is cooking. After the rice is done we will move it into a 9x12 pan to go into the oven.


3. Transfer the rice mixture into 9x12 pan. You will then top with ricotta cheese and then some mozzarella cheese.


4. Put in the oven and broil until the cheese starts to brown a little.


5. Serve and enjoy! :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wedding anniversary, wine, etc...

My daughter closed out of my tabs on the computer while I attempted to write a new post. So, let's try this again...

Today is my husband and my first wedding anniversary! Since, he is currently in his clinicals at a local hospital and then works part time after, I won't get to see him too long today. So, we spent the weekend celebrating. I took him on a surprise trip up to Traverse City, MI. We camped out with a couple of our friends, although we weren't at the campground very long. Traverse City is known for...well...basically cherries and wine. We stopped to about 5 different wineries and did some taste testing. We actually did pretty well and only bought 4 bottles of wine to bring home. We drank one bottle on Saturday night and gave one to my aunt who was watching our daughter for us while we were gone. The last time we went up there, which was our honeymoon, we ended up buying 6 and we had only gone to one last time! The lady that waited on us patiently while we tried our wines described our favorite as, "Christmas in bottle." I've provided a picture of the bottle and a link to their website on the right. If you like wine and you like Christmas, this would be my suggestion to you. We bought two bottles of this and this is the one that we ended up giving to my aunt. I'm sure this one will not make it until Christmas, especially since today is our anniversary, I think I can con my husband into cracking this baby open tonight when he gets home. 

So, Nick and I both procrastinated and were empty-handed when it came to gifts for our anniversary. We both seem to be so busy with work, Hailey and everything else that goes on our lives. We decided that we would buy each other's presents while we were walking down the shops in Traverse City. We ended up at a bookstore, go figure, and both picked out what we wanted. How appropriate, right? First anniversaries have the symbol of paper and bought each other paper. I'm excited to read them. In fact, I ended up reading Are you there Vodka? It's me, Chelsea on the car ride home and finished up this morning. I enjoy reading bios and definitely like reading ones that comedians write. Some of my favorites include Ellen Degeneres, Chelsea Handler, Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling. 

I'm off now to go pick up more books on my hold list at the local library and spend the day having a girl's day with my daughter. I think she's got some things planned like going out to eat, dressing up and dancing around the apartment. I've just got to make sure I make it out and pick up some groceries for dinner tonight. Dessert of course will be the top of our wedding cake last year. I hope Nick likes the flattened and freezer burnt cake.



Laters, Jenkies

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Prowl Review


Prowl
Author: Amber Garza
Series: Prowl Trilogy
Book #: 1 out of 3
Read: August 2, 2012 - August 5, 2012
My Rating: 4 stars

Author's Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Smith is sent away to spend a boring summer at her grandma's. But then she meets Wesley. He tells her exactly what she wants to hear and has information about her past that no one else knows. It's almost like he can read her mind.

Only Wesley isn't who he seems.

By the time Mackenzie discovers his true identity it may be too late. She's in too deep and he won't let her go. Now Mackenzie must call on the strongest power of all in order to save her life.


Jenkies' Review:
I found this book to be very interesting and a different story from any that I have read before. Although most of the time I was able to guess what was happening before it did.

The reason I rated it a 4 vs a 5 is because there were a few things that didn't quite flow for me. Sometimes it felt like answers were convenient. I did find some things that editing must have missed in the book, but that is really only if I am going to be picky with it.

Overall, I'd be interested to see where the 2nd book goes with this story and see if the things that I felt were convenient end up having more sustenance to them.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go Review





The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking
Book #: 1 out of 3
Read: July 29, 2012 - August 2, 2012
My Rating: 5 stars

Author's Synopsis:
Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?


Jenkies' Review:
This book was recommended to me by one of my coworkers. She raved about how great it was and I immediately went out and requested it from the library. About half way through this book, I requested the second one from the library because I was already that into it. It has pretty short chapters, so it's easy to read a chapter while - let's say you are warming something up in the microwave!

The way that this book starts out is hilarious. I read the first page and basically re-read it word for word to my husband immediately after. 

I got so hooked in this book that when it was a sad moment or anything, I even cried. (Side Note: I try to avoid books that are known for being sad - pretty much anything that is written by Nicholas Sparks.) I gasped at shocking moments and probably even started to get short with my husband and daughter because I was feeling stressed at times too. It has a great story-line and if you are looking for a book that wraps everything up at the end, this is definitely not one of those books. It left it with a huge cliffhanger and now I'm waiting to get an email from the library to tell me the next one is in!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Storm Front Review



Storm Front
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files
Book #: 1 out of 14
Read: July 24, 2012 - July 27, 2012
My Rating: 5 stars


Author's Synopsis:
The novels of the Dresden Files have become synonymous with action-packed urban fantasy and non-stop fun. Storm Front is Jim Butcher's first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.
For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry's eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry's name. And things are about to get very...interesting.

Jenkies' Review:
This book was something that I would classify as an "easy read". It moved rather quickly for me, which is great. I don't like it when books drag any one particular scene on too long.  The biggest thing that I enjoyed about the book was the humor. Harry Dresden is the main character in this book and when he narrated the story, it really felt like he was just talking to an old friend. It really helped me connect. While, I'm not a wizard or anything cool like that, it was great to be able to connect to the character. The only thing that I would have liked to see was more development with the potential love interest. Since I have yet to read the other books in this series, it very well could be something that is included throughout them. While I have not read many books that were of the sci-fi genre, this was a great book to start with. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that was on the fence with them. It definitely will persuade you to come to the other side. Jim Butcher definitely has made me a fan and I've only read one of his books so far! Now onto the next one...

Once upon a time...


I'm sorry – saying, “Once upon a time” is an outright lie. It would be appropriate to say, “Thrice upon a time…” or something most definitely larger than one. This is probably my umpteenth time attempting to write a blog. I have all of these ideas, but then when it is actually time for me to put them down, I either a) forget or b) realize it’s been done way too many times before.
This will be a compilation of the things that I love to do. My pictures won’t be as artsy, my thoughts as clear or my humor as clever, but I will portray myself and the things that I love to the best of my ability myself. So, let me get on with introducing myself…
My name is Tera, but you can call me Jenkies. I am 25 years old. I have an amazing husband (Nick – or Nicholas when he’s in trouble) who shares the same humor I have (btw, others tell me that “cheesy” is the best way to describe it). I have a creative 4 year old named Hailey. She does the most unusual things but typically whoever meets her finds her entertaining, to say the least. Along the way, I can guarantee that there will be entertaining stories that I have had with her. She keeps us on our toes and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Here is an example of one of those stories…
When Hailey turned three years old, I took her to her scheduled doctor’s appointment. While we were going through the typical things expected at a doctor’s appointment, the nurse asked me if she was potty trained. (Believe me, this in itself was a feat!) I proudly exclaimed, “YES! She is!” The nurse didn’t have any reaction to my excitement and handed me a plastic cup and showed me the way to the bathroom. Fear quickly consumed me as I knew what that meant. I had to get my freshly potty trained three year old to pee in a cup.
I took her to the bathroom and sat her down on the toilet and placed the cup in place. She gave me the most confused look. I explained to her that I needed her to pee and I would catch it in the cup – like a fun little game. She ended up hopping off the toilet and refusing to try to such an absurd thing. The nurse, of course, understood and said that it was okay and we proceeded with the remainder of the doctor’s appointment.
I had to go to work and my husband later called me and informed me that Hailey had taken this attempted activity home. She had taken a few remaining plastic cups from her third birthday party into the bathroom and tried to pee into them. We corrected it and informed her that this task is only to be done at the doctor’s office and that we don’t pee in cups. I’ll never be more thankful than I was that night that she did this with throw-away plastic cups. I’m not sure I could have drank out of our regular glasses again if she had gone in those.
Some other things you can expect from me on this blog would be book reviews, recipes (hopefully with pictures) and more stories like the one I provided above. I’m sure there are other things that you can expect, but of course those will come with time and whatever feels blog-worthy.
I hope you enjoy!
-Jenkies
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