Saturday, September 29, 2012

Where have I been?

Wedding Mania- Summer 2012
 Well some of you may have noticed that I have been missing from action for a little while.  I have to say that part of the reason is that I have been in a bit of a reading slump but the real reason is that life has just been extremely exciting and I have not had time to update my blog.  I wanted to share a bit with you what has been going on. 

My sister Mallory, cousin Michelle, me, sister Kendra.

To begin, I am lucky enough to have summers off since I'm a teacher.  The summer began wonderfully relaxing and I spent a lot of time outside reading on the deck or at the river.  This summer was the summer of crazy.  My husband and I were extremely busy with weddings and family get togethers.  Over the summer we had 3 weddings and my family had a huge reunion with cousins from all over Canada and the States.  I was super excited to spend some time with my cousin Michelle from Chicago. 

Jumping picture in New Brunswick
Towards the end of the summer, my sister and I took a trip through eastern Canada.  My husband was sad to see me go for 2 weeks but he had to work.  My sister and I traveled from Ottawa to Quebec City.  Then onto the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick for a few days.  Here we got to kayak in the Hopewell Rocks and do a little hiking. 

On a hike in Fundy National Park, NB
After camping for 2 nights in Fundy National Park we made our way to Cape Breton and explored the Cabot Trail.  While we were there we did a lot of hiking and we also got to go whale watching on a zodiac boat.  Let me tell you- highlight of the trip!

Skyline Trail
One of the hiking trails that we went on in the Cabot Trail was called the Skyline Trail and while the signs were a tab bit alarming (bears, coyotes and moose all frequent the area), it was well worth the view of the ocean.  It was absolutely stunning! 

 After the Cabot Trail it was off to Halifax.  My sister used to live in Halifax for a summer and we have cousins there.  After camping for 4 nights we were sooooo happy to have a bed!  It was also the best shower I've ever had :)  In Halifax we relaxed during the day and at night we enjoyed the night life.  We toured the Alexander Keiths brewery.  Let me tell you this was not quite what I expected but hey I got 2 beers out of the deal!  We also spent some time with my cousins and my uncle taking in the sights and enjoying some beer at a local pub. 
Alexander Keith's Brewery

On the beach in PEI
While in Halifax I got some really strange news about my job situation too.   I have been substitute teaching for the last 5 years.  I have been lucky enough to get long-tern contracts for the last 2 years but I had yet to secure a full time permanent position with my school board.  When I left on my trip, I was supposed to be teaching Grade 1 French at a new school.  Well, then my principal from my school last year called and asked me to come back to teach Grade 2 French and I accepted this long term substitute position.  Then after our tour of Alexander Keiths I got a phone call asking me to interview for a full time permanent position at a different school in Senior Kindergarten.  Well this was an opportunity I couldn't refuse and after a phone interview I was offered the job.  I couldn't believe my luck! After all that hard work, supply teaching for 5 years I was finally going to have a permanent position.  I couldn't be happier but before I could focus on this my trip with my sister continued with a trip to Prince Edward Island.  The day we got there was beautiful and we promptly headed to the greatest beach.  It had gorgeous sand and warm ocean water. 

Anne of Green Gables House
The following day was not quite as nice.  It ended up raining for the rest of our time in PEI but that was okay because come rain or shine we were going to see the Anne of Green Gable house.  While I love Anne of Green Gables, my sister is just slightly more obsessed with this Canadian literature classic.  It was much smaller than I thought but it was still quite fun to see everything.  I also couldn't resist buying every Anne book there is known to man at the bookstore on the site.  I forgot to mention that we also stayed at the cutest little cottage.  It was Green Gables Cottages and while we weren't there for long, I would love to go back.  The second night we were there we also got the chance to see Anne the Musical and of course afterwards, have some Cows ice cream. 

Our cottage in PEI
If you ever get a chance to visit this island I would definitely recommend it!! After PEI, our trip was coming to a close.  We headed back to Quebec City and stayed overnight before heading back home to Ottawa.  This trip with my sister was a once in a lifetime opportunity but I have to admit that I missed my husband a lot while I was away.  I even missed our first year anniversary and I felt horrible about it.  We booked the trip without even thinking of the dates and when we realized it was too late to change it.  Thank goodness I married a very kind and patient man.  

Anyhow, after the trip I started school right away.  I had one day to set up my classroom and while it works for now there is still a tonne of stuff to do.

And now for the best reason of all for my absence!!! I am the oldest of six children and as I've said before on this blog things were tough growing up.  That being said, this is the reason why I am close with all my siblings and when I found out my baby brother was going to be a daddy I coudn't have been happier!  Well, my brother's girlfriend went into labour 2 days ago and I have been spending time at the hospital for the last two days.  Well, it was definitely worth it because today at 6:41pm, my niece Elizabeth Theresa was born!  We'll call her Ellie for short but she is the sweetest, most precious thing I have ever seen.  Well I have been rambling on here for quite some time but I will let you be the judge of just how cute my niece is with a few pictures.  Anyhow, things should start to mellow out and I will be back to regular posting.  Until then, Happy Reading!!

My sisters and I with our niece
Me and Ellie!
Me and Ellie

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WoW: Lucid

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

Here is my pick this week:

Here is a summary from Goodreads:

What if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?

Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn't be more different--except for one thing. They share a secret that they can't tell a soul. At night, they dream that they're each other.

The deeper they're pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This is a dazzling debut that will steal readers' hearts.

This book comes out October 2nd, 2012.  I have always been interested in dreams and this looks excellent.   Happy Reading!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unfinished

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

This week's edition is top ten series I need to finish.  Here are mine in to particular order:

 1. Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade series.  I listened to the first 2 books on audio but I have not gotten to the third installment yet even though I loved the first 2 books. 
2. Chelsea Cain's Gretchen Lowell series.  This series is seriously disturbing!  It is about a serial killer and I really enjoyed the first 2 novels. 

 3. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa- I enjoyed reading the first 3 books in this series but I'm not sure faeries are my thing.  I still want to read the rest of the series though because I do enjoy Kagawa's writing style. 
4. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty.  I have no idea why I didn't just dive into the next novel of this series after reading the first but this series has been on my tbr for way too long!

 5. Alan Bradley's Flavia de Lucci series.  I love the main character in this novel and have two on my shelf to read.
6. I have only read the first 3 novels in the series.  I know, I know, where have I been?

 7. The Castor Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  I listened to the first 2 books on audio.  I have the 3rd on my computer and I am waiting on the fourth! 
8. The Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong.  I really enjoy these books but I haven't read them all yet.

9. The Mortal Instruments series.  I have read the first 3 but I own the others. I really need to get on this
10. Kristin Cashore's series.  I have read Graceling and I own the other 2. 

Oh jeez.  This list just reminds me of how many books I have on my TBR.  I'm interested to see what the rest of your lists look like.  Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: August 30th, 2011
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 370 pgs
ISBN: 9781442422247
Source: borrowed from a fellow blogger

Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.

My Review:
I started reading this book because I got a copy of the second book in the series in the mail as an ARC.  I had heard mixed things about this book and I wasn't sure if I would like it or not.  I'm glad I decided to give it a chance because I ended up quite enjoying it.   The book goes back and forth between two narrators.  We have Emily who falls for her best friend's boyfriend and we have Chase who comes from meager means and does something cruel to someone else.  As a result bad things start happening to them.  The Furies have come to right the wrongs that these two characters have put forth. 
Throughout the book, you can't help but sympathize with both Emily and Chase.  While they may be doing things that they know are wrong, they are deeply regretful of these choices and they try to remedy the situation.  I found that this book had a great writing style and the book is character driven rather than plot driven.  I tend to really enjoy these types of books because it makes you think about the reasons behind people's acts.  This is what I found myself doing throughout this novel.  I did like the paranormal element of the furies and I found that Miles really wrote these characters well.  I am looking forward to reading Envy very soon.  Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WoW: Velveteen

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

Here is my pick this week: 

Here is a summary from Goodreads: 

Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.


Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal... and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

This book comes out October 9th and I can't wait.  I have been hearing about this from the author's Youtube channel for quite some time. It should be a good one! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WoW: The Secret Keeper

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

Here is my pick this week:

 Here is a summary from Goodreads:

1959 England. Laurel Nicolson is sixteen years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day and lay to rest her own feelings of guilt. One photograph, of her mother and a woman Laurel has never met, called Vivian, is her first clue.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths some people go to fulfill them, and the strange consequences they sometimes have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers and schemers, play-acting and deception told against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

This book comes out October 9th, 2012.  I have loved all Morton's other books so I can't wait to read this one. Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wow: Live by Night

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

Here is my pick:

Here is a summary from Goodreads:

Combining edgy suspense and the vivid period detail that made The Given Day a smashing success, award-winning, bestselling author Dennis Lehane delivers a masterful epic of Prohibition-era America told through the story of a charismatic young gangster on his rise through the glitz and the violence of the Roaring 20s

By 1926, Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston Police captain, defies his proper upbringing and his father's strict law-and-order orthodoxy. Graduating from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the riches, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns battle for control, no one-neither family or friends, enemies or lovers-can be trusted. For men like Joe, beyond the money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems more likely than all others: an early death.

Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the razzle-dazzle of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa's Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a relentless epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femme fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a propulsive saga of revenge, it is also a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was a cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue.

This book comes out October 2nd, 2012.  It is the sequel to The Given Day and I really enjoyed that historical fiction novel.  Happy Reading!