Kiera Book Release, Rapid-Fire-Random-Ten-Author-Interview, Giveaway, & Vlog


Kiera banner

Y’all! Today I’m super excited to be part of the blog tour for the lovely newly released young adult novel, Kiera, by Kate Willis. The book was fantastic, but more about that later.

kate profile pic better

First stop, let’s spend a little bit of time getting to know Kate with The Rapid Fire Random Ten Interview. Ready, set, go!

1. Sweet or Salty? Sweet
2. Africa or Europe? Europe (at least for visiting)
3. Bright or Pastel? Hmmm… pastel, but if I could choose outside of this, earth tones
4. Camping or Resort? Camping
5. Texting or Phone Call? Texting
6. Ocean or Mountains? Mountains ❤
7. Tea of Coffee? Tea
8. Home or Travel? Home
9. Plane or Road Trip? Road trip
10. Morning or Evening? Morning
And, one long question: What is your favorite way to end each day?
I love to read for about half an hour or longer if I can. It helps me wind down and have something to wonder about as I fall asleep. 😉 Although it can be VERY terrible if the book is too good for me to stop. 😀

She blogs over at Once Upon an Ordinary and I totally recommend y’all checking it out.

Next up, my book review. I wrote a full one on Goodreads, but then decided to also vlog about it because the book really was fantastic.

And last of all, y’all should really check out the amazing giveaway Kate’s doing. Enter the giveaway here. Congratulations, Kate! Way to go with writing a fantastic book!


Growing Kids With Character {Book Review}


Find it on:

Why I Choose This Book:

A few years ago I read another book by Miss Hettie, (Un)Natural Mom, and found her thoughts on mothering/personalities to be interesting. Learning about how to interact with different personalities has always been something I am intrigued by, so I was excited to read this book, too.

*Disclaimer: I’m not a parent, and therefore I obviously don’t have experience parenting.

What I Thought of This Book:

It was so incredibly interesting! I had a lot of fun reading through this book which sounds weird cause it’s a parenting book, but in reality, it was so intriguing.

Miss Hettie has a personality system where she compares people to trees. There are four different kinds of trees – Palm Trees, Boxwood Trees, Rosebushes, and Pine Trees – people are either one of these trees, or else a mixture. It’s a bit confusing for the first few pages, but it didn’t take long to get the hang of what’s going on and then it really begins to make sense.

The book is divided into different sections. To begin with, we learn about what the different types of personalities are, and then we move into learning how to work/learn/grow with the different personality types.

Reading the whole book got a little bit redundant because it went over the same information multiple times, just tweaking it depending on what personality they were talking about.

My favorite part of the book was when I got to my personality type. There were several different ones where I was like “Oh, I can kinda relate to that” etc… but then all at once I’m like “THIS!” and it was a big lightbulb moment and I kept nodding my head. What they had to say about how my personality type learns and grows and all that I kept thinking of how much sense it made. #SpotOn


This book is chocked full of good information and is really easy to read. It makes a lot of sense and I recommend it to parents. (Or older siblings.) 😉

*I’m thankful to have gotten this book free for review


The List

The early morning is chilly as I turn off the fan in the window and climb out of bed. There’s so much to do. So much to do.

In my head, I start categorizing all that’s on my plate for the day. Then I sigh. There’s really not time for a run today, is there? I turn the audio Bible on and start listening, trying to push away my mental list for the day that seems to be growing by the moment. After my devotions, I make my bed (it’s still weird for me to wake up in a bed after not regularly sleeping in one for about six years), my mind going haywire with organizing and prioritizing. Nope. No time for a run today. Or, even if I do have the time, I need to devote my energy to other things. More important things.

Then I stop.

This, this is my health I’m thinking about. This is me staying fit and active. This isn’t just so I can check something off my list. This isn’t just so I can look more fit and trim (although I must admit that does play a big factor in the equation). This isn’t just anything. This is me taking care of my body that I’m going to be living in the rest of my life.


Recently I’ve been eating super well. Trying to get a reasonable amount of sleep (at least most of the time). Working on limiting my caffeine intake. And, in the midst of everything else, working at training for a half marathon.

Sometimes I feel like it was a bad idea to sign up for the half marathon for this year. I mean, if I could have predicted the future and what all was going to happen in 2018 I probably wouldn’t have. But I can’t, so I did sign up.

But I didn’t just sign up for the thrill of running a half marathon. I didn’t just sign up so I could cross it off my dream list (been there, done that). I signed up mainly because I knew it would help me get into shape – because it would give me the push I needed to start eating right and paying attention to my body and exercise more. And for a few weeks back when I first signed up, it did. I was going strong and it was exciting. Then I fell by the wayside and stopped caring so much. I told myself that there was still enough time and I didn’t really need to work on it yet.

And that was partly true. But now a lot of time has passed and it is time to get serious. Not just for the half marathon, but with my health overall.

So, despite my long list, I plop a ballcap on my head, tennis shoes on my feet, and head down the road.

It’s a beautiful morning. The air chills, the dew sparkles, and the world is alive.

My checklist is still just as long when I get back to the house after one good mile and one so-so mile, but somehow, well, it doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming anymore.

Giveaway Time!

Y’all! Today I’m spotlighting two great books for a giveaway! (Winner chooses which book they win.)

Gain entries by:

In Hidden Places {Book Review}


Find It On:

Why I Choose This Book:

Miss Tracie’s books are really hit or miss for me – either I am delighted at how she weaves the story together with the history of that day, or else I’m annoyed by the romances and can’t stand the book. This one is set in San Fransico, a city I actually like, and therefore I decided to give it ago. (I don’t like a ton of cities, folks, I’m so much more of a country/small town girl.)

What I Thought About the Book:

First off, I’m quite amused that every other chapter in the book they were talking about how dangerous San Fransico is. In fact, I felt like we didn’t get much of a glimpse into the world building there, except for the dangerous side. Which, considering the book is about her brother who totally disappeared, I guess that makes sense. It simply made me laugh that I was like “Oh, I like this city so I’ll read this book” and then the book was like “This is a scary and dangerous place to be.”

Land sakes, people. The main character. Sheesh, she was one little stuck up snob, but not in the way that characters are generally stuck up snobs. It actually tickled me as much as it ticked me because she was really well written. And her character arch was really good. And she was all around a character who seemed very believable. But wow, she still has a far piece to come.

There were a few things that confused me – like why the main girl needed to get a job right away. It eventually made some sense to me, but I wish the need would have been developed more.

The friendship between the girls was nice, and somewhat of a spin on how I feel a lot of books are. The writing was descriptive. The facts well-displayed. It was interesting to immerse myself in that time period and realize how much has changed in the last 115 years.

I really liked this book, to the point where I would have given it four stars if it weren’t for four things:
1. The romance – most of the book it was fine and I didn’t mind it, but then at the end, it moved way too fast and I wanted to roll my eyes and be like “Yo! You don’t know each other so slow it down”
2. There were so many points of views. I know this is totally a preference here, but I have a really hard time when I get to know exactly what’s going on in everybody’s head. For instance, several of the characters think one guy is bad, but instead of letting the reader try and figure it out for themselves, we hop over into that guy’s head and find out if he’s bad or not. That took away a lot of the mystery and suspense for me
3. There was a little bit with the conclusion of the mystery that made me feel cheated. We’d come so far to figure it out and then poof! Mystery solved just like that
4. The writing wasn’t tight. Sometimes I think that when an author gets really good, they kind of ride on their own success, instead of ensuring that each book is as polished as it really should be


This book isn’t one I would recommend for anyone under the age of sixteen. Part of the story takes place inside a brothel, which didn’t go into much detail, but still. Also, there’s some violence, but nothing detailed or creepy.

*Thanks to the publishing house for giving me a copy to review


May 2018 In Review

What I Focused On in May:
1. Quality family time during vacation
2. Deep cleaning my office and library
3. Getting into a rhythm with adding a lot of grass cutting into life again


Reading Update:

Fiction: 7
Nonfiction: 3
Audiobooks: 2
Book Reviews: 22



Nights Gone: 12
New Places Visited: 0


1.Deep, deep, deep clean my room {YES}
2. Schedule vlogs before Mexico {YES}
3. Full vacation mode in Mexico – no computer, etc… {YES}
4. Set up library for vlogging, etc… {YES}
5. Thyroid work {YES}
6. Begin new blogging schedule {YES}
7. Write 10 book reviews {YES}
8. Beginning training again for half marathon {No}
9. See Aubrey {YES}
10. Work lots at coffee shop {YES}


What I’ve Been Learning:

Life folks. I’ve been learning life.



One of the biggest, craziest, most unexpected things in my life from the month of May was… I decided to get a bed. I’m not sure why folks, I can only chalk it up to nostalgia. I was deep cleaning my office (which is also where I slept on the floor) one day, and I had a sudden longing to get a bed. I haven’t had a bed since we moved nearly four years ago, and I hadn’t slept in my bed for several years before that. I still had my old bed in storage, so some friends helped me move it into my room when the rest of the family was gone on vacation. It fits perfectly into a little nook and takes me back to my childhood.

I also decided to plant a small garden, and several months ago I got a CD player – both things that were a big part of my childhood/early teen years but haven’t been part of my life recently. I guess this must just be the year of whimsical remembering.

One of my favorite things about warm weather coming around is getting to cut grass. My lawnmower’s name is Chadwin and we’re great friends. We often have picnics together (aka me multitasking and eating as I mow), listen to audiobooks, and dance through the fields with music playing through noise-canceling headphones. It’s truly a lovely life.

The month of May also signals our family’s annual vacation. This year I didn’t go quite as long as everyone else because of working at the coffee shop, but as much fun as vacation was, catching up on things while (nearly) alone at home was wonderful, too.

Some of my vacationing highlights were: Staying up all until 4:00 am (twice!) to play cards with my dad and older brother, watching the Royal Wedding, shopping with my sister, and swimming in the ocean during sunset.

Life at the coffee shop really goes with the flow of school, so now that school is out, the coffee shop is a lot more laidback and relaxed. It’s been fun going at a different pace and getting caught up on some deep cleaning. The slower pace has also been nice because the rest of my life has amped up with a lot going on.

Catching up on book reviews was another fun thing I did during May. Now mind you, I didn’t catch up on reading books for review – just on reviewing the books I’d already read. I was a couple months behind with that, so it took several rather intense reviewing sessions to catch up. It’s a relief to have that done.


What were some of your highlights from May?

On My Bookshelf Book Tag

Folks! Today I get to share some stories with y’all – the stories behind the stories. I was realizing recently how so many of my books have their very own story behind them – how I got the book, or where I read it, or what was going on over the time that I finished it. In this vlog, I get to share a few of the cool ones with you. Enjoy!