Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Sunday Serenade: Lynn’s Book Blog

October 20, 2013 Uncategorized 5

Sunday Serenade is The Novel Life feature that highlights and “serenades” a favorite blog of mine. This is probably my favoritest thing in the world to do on my blog – learn about other bloggers, what inspires, desires and specialness these incredible individuals have.

I cannot recall how I stumbled upon Lynn’s Book Blog, oh no, wait ~ it just hit me! When I was signing up for the R.I.P. Event at Stainless Steel Droppings I happened upon Lynn’s Blog.  I was hooked from that first post I read.  Lynn has a talent for creating post titles that tease and tantalize you in…and once you open the post her writing style, opinions and sense of humor keep you there.  It’s not the pictures! I think I’ve only seen one picture on her blog, and I’m so impressed and awed that Lynn keeps us coming back for more ~ more of her and not necessarily more visual entertainment (if that makes any sense at all!).  Anyways, she’s one of my newest favorites ~ with titles like Cheating on the Classics Club, Latest books….(well, you wouldn’t want to run out now!), You will, You will, You will, and Lord of the Rings v. Star Wars?? A Real Toughie, who would not want to read more?!? I’m honored to host her for today’s Sunday Serenade!

What do you do when you’re not blogging or reading?

Well, I work full time in a fairly busy job (about 40 hours a week excluding travel), I have a family, three children, a home and a dog (until fairly recently two dogs 🙁  So life is a little bit busy. But, I enjoy gardening and cooking (not necessarily baking although I have a couple of recipes).  Basically, I’m not a good or bad cook particularly but I have patience and I like making things myself from scratch rather than buying them ready made.  Apart from blogging or reading I love movies.

You do have a busy life! How in the world do you carve out time for blogging, reading, family and life? 

Well, at the same time as 
loving to watch films I watch very little tv, so whilst people are watching regular series every week I’m using the same time to read.  Basically I’ve chosen what I prefer.  TV goes on around me, I spend time with everybody and I interact but I usually have a book. Basically my family come first and they know this, however, I love reading and they also know this and respect it and not only that but sometimes a book can take over, as we know and when I’m reading and I get to the end of a novel I don’t want to talk to anyone – I almost become tense until I’ve finished – of course, if something happens within the family the book is forgotten but in a regular life I read and the family watch tv or play on games and I realise that makes it sound as thought we never get together but that isn’t the case!  Blogging is something that allows me to talk to like minded people But I don’t dwell on my reviews (and that probably shows), I like to write a review as soon as I’ve finished the book and if I don’t the compulsion to do so fades.  Sometimes I think it’s a bad idea to write a review immediately because your thoughts and feelings are too raw when you’ve just finished a book but I sort of like that feeling when I’m reviewing as it has a kind of honesty.

I understand exactly what you mean! I get tense as well when I’m nearing the end and have that “don’t disturb” vibe going on!  I need to take a bit of advice from you and write my reviews immediately as well ~ I tend to lose that compulsion as well.  The honesty in your writing is something I’ve come to really count on and enjoy.  Describe your favorite place to read and why you love it so much.

I read everywhere and anywhere.  On the bus, on my lunch break (except when I’m meeting friends), when I’m sat with the family and they’re maybe watching tv, I have a book and I’m half watching, half reading and if one gathers more momentum then I’ll either stop watching or reading.  (My most recent thing, as you can carry a Kindle quite easily in a small bag – if you go out and people are all just checking out their phones, I take out my Kindle.  It’s amazing how people see this as different but basically if they’re not paying attention to me then ditto!   My absolute favourite place to read is in bed.  It’s relaxing, there are no interruptions and I decide when to turn off my light and go to sleep.  My husband will read at night but fall to sleep after about two pages so I can read more!!!  Yes, reading in bed, quiet, relaxed, no questions, no distractions.

You can also put the Kindle app on your smart phone ~ it’s even easier to carry and read while in the check-out line!  🙂  If you could speed-date any author, who would it be and what would you ask? 

Neil Gaiman – and, will you marry me – okay, so he’s married and so am I.  Okay, I think I have a total author crush going on and have turned fangirl!!  I would like to ask him about his latest book The Ocean at the End of the Lane and whether it’s based on real life experiences from his childhood. 

I absolutely loved your fangirl post about Neil Gaiman!  “My Hero”  And that’s so cool he drew in your autographed copy!  If your life could be summed up in a book or a movie title, what would it be?

That is tough! I genuinely don’t know.  If it’s just a title and not related to the actual content – then – “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  I’m quite a glass full type of person and love life and it is wonderful in so many ways.

It shows in your humor and your writing that you have a love for life and reading.  I’m so happy to have discovered your blog and look forward to reading you for a long, long time!



Sunday Serenade Is Back! Ashley from Nose Graze

October 13, 2013 Uncategorized 4

Sunday Serenade is The Novel Life feature that highlights and “serenades” a special blog. This is probably my favoritest thing in the world to do on my blog – learn about other bloggers, what inspires, desires and specialness these incredible individuals have.

Today I am featuring Ashley from Nose Graze, a blog dedicated to Young Adult & New Adult book reviews and wonderfully useful Blogging Tips.  Ashley is an American student studying in London, has her own blog design business at Creative Whim, reads, blogs, and has time for her boyfriend.  Join me in serenading Ashley!

reading-in-the-poolHow do you carve out time for blogging, reading, school, work and life?

Right now I spend most of my time reading during my commute.  I have to take a 50 minute train ride to university almost every day, so if you include the return journey, that gives me 100 minutes of guaranteed reading time every day (unless I’m on the 7:45am train, in which case I usually sleep! LOL!).  Although the commute does suck, it is nice to have some “scheduled” reading time.  I think it helps a lot. 🙂  Plus it allows me to do other things during the rest of the day (work on blog posts, freelance projects, etc.).

I like that “dedicated reading time.”  I’m such a procrastinator and would probably end up doing homework that entire 50 minute ride!  So Ashley, if your house caught on fire and you could only grab three books on your way out the door, which books would you save?

I would grab: my ARC of A Game of Thrones (I hated the book but I think the actual, physical book itself is so cool), my signed copy of Throne of Glass, and my signed copy of Divergent.  I would pick Throne of Glass because it’s just a freaking awesome book and I love Sarah J. Maas.  And I would choose Divergent because it’s one of the books that first got me involved in book blogging!


That sounds like a story ~ Divergent getting you into book blogging! I’m guessing we can read more about that on your blog?  Describe your favorite place to read and why you love it so much.

Do I have to choose just one??  I love reading in bed.. but more specifically, I love the little setup my boyfriend and I have.  I read in bed, he plays video games a few feet away.  Not only is the bed comfortable, but I just love reading while my boyfriend is close by.  It’s comforting!  I love how we can each do our own thing, but share the moment together.  Another place I love reading is by the fireplace at my parents’ house.  I love snuggling up there with some blankets, my cat, a roaring fire, and usually my mom is there as well!  It’s such a cozy atmosphere, and there’s usually hot chocolate involved. 🙂  Perfect for winter reading!  And this spot gets even better during Christmastime when we have our tree right next to the sofa there.



Ha! Typically the “do I have to choose just” response is for the books!  That’s fantastic you have so many great reading spots to choose from ~ my favorite being the picture of you in the pool reading!  Well, and in front of the fireplace ~ that one sounds pretty hard to beat!  With the quite interesting & very full life you lead, can you sum it up in a book or a movie? (ex: “Mission Impossible”, Great Expectations)

I would say Starcrossed.  I don’t think this phrase necessarily describes my whole life, but I would say it describes the current stage of my life and a lot of the things I’ve been having to deal with and figure out.  A lot of it has to do with my boyfriend and our future together.  We met when we lived in different countries, which is where it started.  But it seems like every time we take a step forward, the world throws up something against us.  Right now the hurdle we have to overcome is the fact that my UK student visa is expiring next year, and the UK eliminated the “post study work visa” I was planning on getting, so now I have to figure out how I’m going to stay in the country.. darn politics coming between love!


Ahh, politics!  Those do get in the way of quite a few things!  You are so resourceful I imagine its all going to work out just fine.  Sending you positive thoughts and energy!  Last question:  If you could speed date any author who would it be? What questions would you ask or topics you’d want to discuss.

I would love to speed date Kasie West!  Honestly I’d want it more to be like a sit down, have a hot chocolate, and chat session.  She just seems so incredibly sweet from the times I’ve spoken to her on Twitter.  and, naturally, I’d want to grill her all about Split Second, which I’m dyyyying to read!  I think I’d also want to chat to her about The Distance Between Us and where her inspiration for that book came from.  I’d be curious about whether or not some of her ideas for that book came from real experiences.

Authors are making themselves so accessible with Twitter and Facebook now.  I too find it so neat to be able to chat it up with an author I admire.  Now you mentioned hot chocolate a couple of times ~ I’m guessing that’s a favorite drink of yours!
Thank you Ashley for your time and I’m thrilled to serenade you on the blog!  I thoroughly enjoy reading about your adventures in London, your thorough yet succinct reviews, and the blog tips you share so freely and frequently.  You have quickly become one of my favorite bloggers {even thought I don’t read as much YA or NA!}.  Cheers to hot chocolate, fireplaces and great reading!
Visit Ashley at Nose Graze where you can read how her blog name came about, catch a few good blog tips, and see the latest YA novels to hit the shelves!



Saturday Snapshot: Koalas = Love

October 5, 2013 Uncategorized 15

When I was much younger a special person in my life gave me a stuffed koala bear after I mentioned it was always my dream to hold a live koala.  I slept with that stuffed animal until the eyes fell out and the nose came off and it somehow disappeared (wondering if that was one of those “mom” things throwing away my favorite but old stuffed animal?!?).  Anyways, last week I shared my love of giraffes. . . .this week, my absolute adoration with koalas.  Photographs taken at the San Diego Zoo.

sweet sleepy baby!

sweet sleepy baby!


peek a boo!

peek a boo!


the epitome of "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!"

the epitome of “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!”

I know, I know. . .I’ve read the stories about how not sweet these animals can be but oh my gosh! don’t they simply look like wonderful snuggle bugs?!? I know my stuffed koala sure got me thru quite a few days and nights as a child/teen/ok, probably into college even!

It is a gorgeous weekend, even with Tropical Storm  Karen bearing down on us ~ do you have many plans outside of football, football, and hockey? sure hope you enjoy your weekends my lovely readers!


Saturday Snapshot was started by the lovely Alyce at At Home With Books.  Now hosted by highly efficient multi-tasker, Melinda at West Metro Mommy, please visit her site for more great blogger pictures!

Happy Weekend!


Saturday Snapshot: San Diego Zoo

September 28, 2013 Uncategorized 17

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’ve probably read how much I love and miss living in San Diego.  All of my family is in Georgia so I wouldn’t leave them but it doesn’t keep me from daydreaming or vacationing in my vision of paradise.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, run, don’t walk, to spend the day soaking up the beauty.  Here’s a peek at one of my favorite animals ~ the giraffe!   Be sure to check out the giraffe teenager below as well ~ wonder if his parents think he is a strange bird during adolescence as well?!?






Whenever I visit the San Diego Zoo I want to hug the giraffes, hold a koala bear and swim with the seals. . .of course I don’t attempt to jump the fence and do just that, but it is nice to dream every now and then!

Whadya think? Do I make a pretty convincing giraffe?!?


Who is your favorite zoo animal? I may even have a picture from my zoo trip!

Saturday Snapshot was started by Alyce at At Home With Books.  Now hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy please visit her site for more great blogger pictures!

Happy Weekend!


Introducing Faith in Fiction Friday

September 18, 2013 Uncategorized 1


Faith in Fiction Friday is a new feature at The Novel Life to highlight and discuss those novels with a faith element ~ anything from flat-up Christian fiction, to a Pulitzer Prize literary novel, or a suspense/thriller with a compassionate character.  I invite you to join FiFF!  FiFF is open to anyone who has a review or discussion to share of a novel with a faith element.

Each Friday I will post a review, interview an author or highlight a novel with a faith element.  At the bottom of the Friday post will be a Mr. Linky tab to link up your Faith in Fiction Friday post.  Please feel free to use the button above!

Join me in delving deep!