#bookofthemonh Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

This is a perfect Summer read. This book has it all: comedy, romance, trauma, heartbreak, and many truths about life and love. So many touching quotes that make this book perfect for annotating.

"A sharp and scintillating summer novel that will make readers laugh out loud and cry happy tears from the New York Times bestselling author of Yours Truly.

Justin has a curse, and thanks to a Reddit thread, it's now all over the internet. Every woman he dates goes on to find their soul mate the second they break up. When a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a plan: They'll date each other and break up. Their curses will cancel each other’s out, and they’ll both go on to find the love of their lives. It’s a bonkers idea… and it just might work.

Emma hadn't planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka.

It's supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma's toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they're suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected–including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?"

#bookofthemonth Bride by Ali Hazelwood

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

I don't remember last time I got though a book so fast, and with a new born this is such a big feat! They had me at vampires and werewolf.

"A dangerous alliance between a Vampyre bride and an Alpha Werewolf becomes a love deep enough to sink your teeth into in this new paranormal romance from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love, Theoretically and The Love Hypothesis.

Misery Lark, the only daughter of the most powerful Vampyre councilman of the Southwest, is an outcast—again. Her days of living in anonymity among the Humans are over: she has been called upon to uphold a historic peacekeeping alliance between the Vampyres and their mortal enemies, the Weres, and she sees little choice but to surrender herself in the exchange—again...

Weres are ruthless and unpredictable, and their Alpha, Lowe Moreland, is no exception. He rules his pack with absolute authority, but not without justice. And, unlike the Vampyre Council, not without feeling. It’s clear from the way he tracks Misery’s every movement that he doesn’t trust her. If only he knew how right he was….

Because Misery has her own reasons to agree to this marriage of convenience, reasons that have nothing to do with politics or alliances, and everything to do with the only thing she's ever cared about. And she is willing to do whatever it takes to get back what’s hers, even if it means a life alone in Were territory…alone with the wolf."

#bookofthemonth House of Flame and Shadow by Sarah J. Maas

Tuesday, April 2, 2024


We all know my love for book series. This is the third book in her popular Crescent City series, House of Flame and Shadow continues Maas’ epic tale of sexy fallen angels and the mortals who love them. I recommend all 3 books but this one might be my favorite so far. 

"The stunning third book in the sexy, action-packed Crescent City series, following the global bestsellers House of Earth and Blood and House of Sky and Breath.

Bryce Quinlan never expected to see a world other than Midgard, but now that she has, all she wants is to get back. Everything she loves is in Midgard: her family, her friends, her mate. Stranded in a strange new world, she's going to need all her wits about her to get home again. And that's no easy feat when she has no idea who to trust.

Hunt Athalar has found himself in some deep holes in his life, but this one might be the deepest of all. After a few brief months with everything he ever wanted, he's in the Asteri's dungeons again, stripped of his freedom and without a clue as to Bryce's fate. He's desperate to help her, but until he can escape the Asteri's leash, his hands are quite literally tied.

In this sexy, breathtaking sequel to the #1 bestsellers House of Earth and Blood and House of Sky and Breath, Sarah J. Maas's Crescent City series reaches new heights as Bryce and Hunt's world is brought to the brink of collapse-with its future resting on their shoulders."

#bookofthemonth The Book of Love by Kelly Link

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

This book has mixed review people either loved it or hated it, I on the side that liked it. The book is long, so its a commitment but I started reading this before I gave birth where I didn't do much except read. If you are reading it, a hundred pages in or so its when it gets good; it's when things become more clear, you will get wrapped up in the story.

"The Book of Love showcases Kelly Link at the height of her powers, channeling potent magic and attuned to all varieties of love—from friendship to romance to abiding family ties—with her trademark compassion, wit, and literary derring-do. Readers will find joy (and a little terror) and an affirmation that love goes on, even when we cannot.

Late one night, Laura, Daniel, and Mo find themselves beneath the fluorescent lights of a high school classroom, almost a year after disappearing from their hometown, the small seaside community of Lovesend, Massachusetts, having long been presumed dead. Which, in fact, they are.

With them in the room is their previously unremarkable high school music teacher, who seems to know something about their disappearance—and what has brought them back again. Desperate to reclaim their lives, the three agree to the terms of the bargain their music teacher proposes. They will be given a series of magical tasks; while they undertake them, they may return to their families and friends, but they can tell no one where they’ve been. In the end, there will be winners and there will be losers.

But their resurrection has attracted the notice of other supernatural figures, all with their own agendas. As Laura, Daniel, and Mo grapple with the pieces of the lives they left behind, and Laura’s sister, Susannah, attempts to reconcile what she remembers with what she fears, these mysterious others begin to arrive, engulfing their community in danger and chaos, and it becomes imperative that the teens solve the mystery of their deaths to avert a looming disaster."

How To Truly Connect To & Understand Culture

Monday, February 19, 2024

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Culture is a big word, and it can mean many things at once. While it might elicit something of a groan to start an article like this, culture is anything that connects people and provides a common fabric of experience. So for instance, even the office at your place of work can have its own culture. Two people can develop their own culture of understanding after being friends for a decade.

But culture as we know it often relates to people, sometimes born out of geographical locations, ethnicities, shared culture heritage, and values. In some cases, cultures can connect and blend into something new. We need only look to many Gen Z individuals whose slang becomes a blend of many different cultures, creating a brand new method of communication. The internet itself is homogenizing the way we speak and connect, which is why the skull face emoji, once a relatively ominous symbol, is now considered an emblem to use when recognizing the humor in something. That’s a cultural change.

Perhaps you have a set of exciting travel experiences coming up. Maybe you’re wondering exactly how to get the best of culture and learn the most while you’re there. Never fear, because in this post we’ll discuss how to truly connect to and understand culture, which should inspire you to have the best time possible:

It’s All About Gastronomy
From delicious cuisine to the cultural centers of a nation’s food production, experiencing the true bounty of that particular part of Earth is a wonderful thing. It’s why heading on Tailor Made Wine Tours France can be such a great way to experience various countries because they show you the essence and the history behind the biggest movers, shakers, and preserving experts of the great winemaking tradition. Exploring a nation through your taste buds is not only smart, it’s appreciated by the locals.

Attend Cultural Events & Festivals
You might consider an event, holiday or seasonal activity as unrepresentative of what the culture is, but that’s not always the case. Sure, an event might be a limited span of time in which many different perspectives come together, but how a culture enjoys a certain event, especially if they have their own take on it, can be enlightening. For example, Thanksgiving in the US is very unique, while the American take on Halloween is also much louder, bolder and more celebratory than in other countries. Moreover, some hold amazing traditions, such as the carnival in Venice. Attending cultural events is not only fun, it can help you understand what a country and its culture values.

Understand Basic Communicative Signifiers
Some countries, like Italy, talk using their hands and are quite expressive. Others are more reserved. Many have figures of speech that might sound a little odd to you, but are benign or even welcoming to them. For example, if a British person welcomes you by saying “You alright?” - they’re not necessarily concerned with your health or worried about you, they’re greeting you. This is just one example. Learning the common fixtures and signifiers of day to day conversation can help you flow more easily from place to place, and have fun doing so. Luckily, the internet is a great resource, as are travel guides.

With this travel advice, you’re sure to better connect and understand culture going forward.

#bookofthemonth The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

I love fantasy and mystery books. The Tainted Cup is the first in a new series from genre ace Robert Jackson Bennett, author of the  Founders Trilogy series. I powered through and was captivated all the way to the end.

"In Daretana’s most opulent mansion, a high Imperial officer lies dead—killed, to all appearances, when a tree spontaneously erupted from his body. Even in this canton at the borders of the Empire, where contagions abound and the blood of the Leviathans works strange magical changes, it’s a death at once terrifying and impossible.

Called in to investigate this mystery is Ana Dolabra, an investigator whose reputation for brilliance is matched only by her eccentricities.

At her side is her new assistant, Dinios Kol. Din is an engraver, magically altered to possess a perfect memory. His job is to observe and report, and act as his superior’s eyes and ears--quite literally, in this case, as among Ana’s quirks are her insistence on wearing a blindfold at all times, and her refusal to step outside the walls of her home.

Din is most perplexed by Ana’s ravenous appetite for information and her mind’s frenzied leaps—not to mention her cheerful disregard for propriety and the apparent joy she takes in scandalizing her young counterpart. Yet as the case unfolds and Ana makes one startling deduction after the next, he finds it hard to deny that she is, indeed, the Empire’s greatest detective.

As the two close in on a mastermind and uncover a scheme that threatens the safety of the Empire itself, Din realizes he’s barely begun to assemble the puzzle that is Ana Dolabra—and wonders how long he’ll be able to keep his own secrets safe from her piercing intellect.

Featuring an unforgettable Holmes-and-Watson style pairing, a gloriously labyrinthine plot, and a haunting and wholly original fantasy world, The Tainted Cup brilliantly reinvents the classic mystery tale."

A Fresh, Mindful Approach to Goal Setting

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Happy New Year!! Hoping that 2024 brings us all health, happiness and abundance. After last year, this year I am committed to making an effort to be more mindful. From how I approach life, self care, and more specifically goal-setting and focusing on things I am thankful for.

Sometimes in November, every Monday morning I started writing down three goals or things I want to accomplish and three things I'm grateful for. I wrote these in my day timer and the whole thing took no longer than five minutes but helped me to visualize and arrange the week ahead. I found that this helped me feel better and that not everything is crazy and out of control. However my agenda was not so conducive to this, so I created one that is – think of it as 5 minute journal within a day timer. 

While you can you sticky notes, your day timer, a simple note book - goal setting for the week and writing down at least 3 things you are grateful every week will help enormously. For one, it will help keep you organized, but more importantly put into focus the good things. Sure, those things are small sometimes but small victories are just as important. 

How do you goal set?