Thursday, August 28, 2014

Music Thursday: King of Anything

Wow! Can you believe today is Thursday already? I can't!

Although a large percentage of songs I listen to is made up of showtunes, I do listen to some non-showtunes as well. Here is one from one of my favorite artists, Sara Bareilles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bible Verse Wednesday: You Have Done Wonderful Things

Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago
Isaiah 25:1


Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Monday: A Table By the Window

Hey everyone! How are you doing this week? I hope well.

Today I have a review of A Table By the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge.
Here's a little about the book.

"Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love
The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?"


My Thoughts:
The Idea:
This story focuses on Juliette, a food writer from a food-oriented Italian/French family. When her grandma dies, she leaves behind a deep secret that Juliette wants to get to the bottom of. Then she unexpectedly enters a long-distance relationship with a man in Tennessee who is completely unlike her family. Will she choose him, or the food-writing career she has begun to dislike?
The Characters:
There is really only one main character to this story, and that is Juliette. I liked her! I was really invested in her life by the time the book was done.
The Plot:
The beginning was a little bit slow, but I was really interested in it by the ending. This has a pretty tame, slow-moving plot, but interesting nonetheless.
The Setting:
This is set in the West Coast of modern-day US. The setting fit the story, and it made the struggle even harder on Juliette when deciding what to do about her long-distance relationship.
Overall:
This was a nice, light, summer read. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Catch-Up Friday: Disney World and School Started

So, what have I been up to lately?
Well, last week, I was at Disney World. If you know me, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with Disney World, so this was thrilling for me.
What's your favorite ride at Disney? Tell me in the comments. Mine is Pirates of the Caribbean. I rode it three times on this trip and five times when I went to Disneyland a few years ago. (Maybe that's why there are pirates in my books!)
Here are some pictures of the fun I had.
It was my first time riding Splash Mountain. I loved it!

I resort-hopped some. The Boaardwalk was really nice!

When I get married...

The Beach Club Resort was pretty cool as well. 

I loved it there!

The Be Our Guest restaurant was Beauty and the Beast-themed. 

I wanted to meet Gaston, but he wasn't there, so I had to settle for his statue. 

Waiting for the monorail at the end of the day! I spent 16 hours total at Disney World in one day. And I wouldn't have had it any other way!




Other than that, when I got home, I started typing up my edits for Carried Home. Then, school started. On Thursday, I began senior year of high school!


So, tell me in the comments. What is your favorite Disney World Ride?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

So, a writer friend of mine decided to nominate me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Chances are, you've heard of it, but in case you haven't, it's basically this: If you get nominated, you have to dump a bucket of ice water over your head within 24 hours of being nominated, or you have to donate $100 to the ALS Organization.

Here's my video:
video
Have you done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Bible Verse Wednesday: Learning and Guidance

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. 
Proverbs 1:5

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Monday: Caught in the Middle

Hey everyone! I'm finally back to hopefully posting on a regular schedule once again.

Today I have a review for you of Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings.

Here's a little about the book:


"She Wants the Freedom of the Open Plains. He Wants the Prestige of a Successful Career.
Neither is Ready for What Comes Instead.

The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life's next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected--Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.
Anne's been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She's only in town to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in town, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.
But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society--and it's not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick's work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others' expectations, can the pair find their way to love?"


My Thoughts:
The Idea:
The beginning of this book is very attention-getting. It starts with a train robbery when the main character, Anne, saves the hero, Nicholas, from near-death by the train robbers. 
Anne later gets stuck with taking care of her former cook's abandoned child, and trouble ensues as she grows to care for the child and struggles to take care of him. 
Nick's work causes a whole other set of issues and he works together with Anne to help keep an eye on the child and make Anne--a buffalo hunter--more presentable to the town's society.
The Characters:
I really enjoyed reading about Anne and Nick! They seemed very real. Anne had a dark past and because of that, was very strong and cold. I tended to like the characters more as I got into the book rather than at the start of the book. 
The Plot:
The plot was slower at the beginning, and it took me a while to get into it. However, after a bit, I really enjoyed the book! Especially the last third. I really enjoyed it.
The Setting:
The setting fit very well with the story. Anne is used to being a buffalo hunter out on the range, and now she is forced to live in a city setting. She is not used to being around people after some unfortunate events when she was younger. This setting really challenges her.
Overall:
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a touching read!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hiatus

Hey everyone! I'm just letting you know that I'm taking a hiatus from this blog for a week or so! I'll look forward to seeing you all soon.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Monday: Giveaway of Through the Deep Waters


Hey everyone! I am offering you a giveaway from Waterbrook Multnomah for Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer! 
So, enter to win this amazing book today.
The contest starts on July 31, 2014 at 6:00am EST and ends on August 20, 2014 at 11:59pm. One winner will be chosen at random on August 21, 2014 and will be alerted by email. For a complete listing of the rules, please see below.




Friday, August 1, 2014

Catch Up Friday: A Fun Week

Hey everyone! What have you been doing this week?
I've been really busy doing different things--one of them being editing my first draft of Carried Home.
I created this necklace featuring--you guessed it--my very own Swept to Sea! Do you like it?
Also during the week, I went out to see the movie Pompeii. I really enjoyed it! Have you seen that film?
In the middle of the week, President Obama stopped by my town to stay overnight and give a speech. (Without getting all political, even if I don't agree with everything the president is doing, it's still pretty neat to have someone so famous come near you.) He even stopped at my favorite local coffee shop in Parkville--one owned by my friend! 
Here is his plane as he flew over my house to land in KCI. How close have you gotten to a president?