Sunday, May 26, 2013

Summer Lovin' Readathon

The Summer Lovin’ Readathon is a week-long readathon event hosted by seven independent bloggers! (Oh, Chrys!, Tumbling Books, Effortlessly Reading, Love Life Read, Shelf Addiction, Read Sleep Repeat, and Reviewing Wonderland)

Spend the week reading at your own pace, when and how you want too. There will be daily challenges for awesome prizes and opportunities to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.

As if that weren’t enough – the week will end with a 24-hr marathon readathon! Twitter parties, mini-challenges, games, prizes given EVERY HOUR, and more chances to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.

Sign-ups will be open through July 6th. I’m in, are you?!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Mother's Curse

Please enjoy this excerpt from the exciting and beautifully written YA fantasy, Mother’s Curse, by Thaddeus Nowak. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $450 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

Feeling slightly better for having a bit of light to keep with her, she continued down the street, occasionally looking through a window to see the remains of a room.  After the third storefront she passed, she wondered at the reason all of the furniture and even drapes, carpets, and accessories had been left behind.  Even in the desperate flight from Antar, people were still taking their belongings.  They removed their drapes, even ones far less decorative then what Stephenie suspected were here.  Why would everyone desert a city and yet leave almost everything behind as if they were simply going across town to visit a friend?  She was hesitant to consider an answer.  This city had been deserted and abandoned for a long time.  Antar castle and city above had been there for as long as memory could recall and the original castle even before then.  Had any of those above known about a city deep in the rocks under their feet, there would have been stories.
Stephenie used her stolen crystal to look into a shop that reminded her of a bakery, with a large oven in the back wall and the remains of shelves still partially attached to a side wall.  The sparkle of something shiny and shaped like a pendant caught her eye.  Looking closer at a mass on the floor, she paused and then stepped quickly away from the window as a shiver of fear rolled down her spine.
She closed her eyes, but the unmistakable image of a human skull laying on the floor would not leave her sight.  She shivered again and looked up and down the street.  Perhaps they didn’t leave.
Mustering her courage, Stephenie slowly approached the window again.  She forced herself to look at the mass on the floor.  Wiping away some of the dirt on the window, she could make out the arms and runners of a rocking chair mixed with what was likely clothing and the decayed bones of the person who’s head had rolled several feet away after the chair had collapsed.  Bits of hair and desiccated skin clung to the skull, which was fortunately staring away from the window.  The person died sitting in a chair and no one came to remove or bury the body?
Stephenie sniffed the air and thought about the strange odor she had been noticing since she had entered the city.  It was a musty sweet smell.  “Is this a plague city?”  She felt her throat tightening with each breath and again quickly retreated from the window.  She turned toward the way she had entered the city, ready to run back to the large doors and flee, but the dryness of her throat and the sound of water stopped her.  If this is a plague city, then I am as good as dead and I might as well die after I’ve had something to drink.
Slowly, she turned around and continued down the street, no longer bothering to look into the store fronts.  The rot and death they held did not interest her anymore.
She passed several side streets, but continued following the slowly turning main street because the sound of water was getting louder in the direction it was heading.  After a short time, the street opened into another large plaza at least a hundred feet in diameter.  Several streets exited the round plaza, but at the very center, lit with several points of glowing light was a fountain.  Its water pushed up from a center mound and cascaded down several stone statues into a series of white marble bowls.  The fountain was a dozen feet high and thirty feet across.
Drawn by thirst, Stephenie quickly reached the edge of the fountain and could feel a cool mist splashing over her.  Knowing she would die slowly and painfully from whatever disease had killed the residents of this city, she did not care if the water was poison as long as it tasted fresh.  Taking a small sip, she tested the flavor and found it cleaner than what she was used to in the castle.  Scooping up more water with her hands, she drank deeply before noticing how dirty her hands had become.  After quickly rubbing away the dirt, she moved a couple feet away and continued to drink until her stomach felt full.
Relieved of her thirst, she sat down next to the fountain and buried her face in her wet hands.  She sobbed with frustration and relief in one confused wail.  While she would not die of thirst, how was she going to get out and warn her father and Joshua about her mother’s betrayal?  She cradled her cut arm in her lap and leaned back with her eyes closed.  I’ve got light and some water, but what good would warning everyone do if I bring a plague to them?  She shook her head.  Damn it, why do the gods hate me so?  Fundamentally, she knew her tie with Elrin, even if a result of her mother’s doing, was her real damnation.  She could not bring herself to worship the demon god and she dared not seek out the other gods for fear the priests would sense her connection to Elrin.
Opening her eyes, she stared at her foot prints along the cobbled street.  A lone trail to remind her that she had to do whatever it was she was going to do on her own.  There was no one to help her.
She sat silently staring into the distance for some time.  Then she blinked her eyes, uncertain that she was not imagining it, but after a moment, there was definitely a strange luminescence moving down the street.  As it grew closer, she scrambled to her feet, recognizing the dim outlines of a human form.  The apparition was moving in her direction.  She quickly moved away from the fountain, but as it closed on the fountain, it appeared not to notice Stephenie at all.  Instead, it held its, or her, hands as if carrying something.  When it reached the fountain, it leaned over as if scooping up water.

Mother's Curse BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Mother’s Curse and Daughter’s Justice eBook editions are just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $450 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
  1. Get your copy for just 99 cents
  2. BONUS:  The sequel is also discounted to 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  4. Visit the featured social media event
Mother’s Curse is a coming of age story about the youngest Princess of Cothel and her efforts to save her father and brother from her mother’s schemes, while at the same time, coming to terms with what it means to be a witch. Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes.
Daughter’s Justice continues Stephenie’s journey of discovery, where she must overcome national opposition to her being a witch as well as lead her friends and protectors on a mission to stabilize her countries finances. Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, oriTunes.
Thaddeus Nowak is a writer of fantasy novels who enjoys hiking, photography, and the outdoors. Visit Ted on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

I'm currently in the middle of Mother's Curse, and so far it is really good.  I'm just nervous that I won't get it finished in time for the review.  I am having a extremely busy week at work, and I'm doing Couch to 5K, (I just finished day 2), and I'm laying in the tanning bed so that I can go back to the beach this weekend. (2 weekends in a row Holla!)  So, I may not get the book finished before then.  Enjoy this excerpt though, I am really enjoying what I've read of the book.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I took a long break...

Yeah, this Blog Every Day in May thing didn't work out for me.

I went to the beach, and we had NO wi-fi and I was just enjoying it.  I had the best time doing absolutely nothing but spending a ton of time with my twin and laying out and sleeping.

The Bout of Books 7.0 finished up as well.

So, here's my final numbers on that.

Finished Crossed: 195 pages
Finished Strawberry Shortcake Murder: 320 pages
Started Notorious Nineteen: 22 pages
Started Mother's Curse: 81 pages
Read about 10 pages in The Bride Quartet (I'm just not into it)

So all in all, I read 618 pages and finished 2 books completely.

Not bad for my first readathon I'd say.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Miscellaneous Thoughts courtesy of Hanna

Bout of Books 7.0 Day 2 is now over.  Day 3 is almost over as well, but I haven't even started that! 

I finished Crossed, so the last 55 pages of that.  I also got 43 pages into Strawberry Shortcake Murder.

Hopefully, I will finish that one tomorrow on my way to the beach, and then I have Mother's Curse and Daughter's Justice to make it through for a blog tour next week.

So I've finished 1 book and read 238 pages total during this challenge.

I am currently packing (in my head for my beach trip this weekend), and figuring out what I need to do to prepare.  I'm also mentally losing 20 pounds which leads me to my next point.

I mentioned that I joined the gym... Well I've been twice.

Which is better than nothing I know, but I want to be one of those every day people.  But, here's my issue... running hurts! Like majorly.  It hurts my shoulders, my neck, and I will inevitably have a headache the next day if I run.  So I'm looking for alternatives to running that will still give me a good workout.  Suggestions?

It's also really hard to eat healthy in the workplace.  Bad excuses I know, but these are things I truly struggle with.  Since I don't live by myself I eat whatever my mom cooks, so it's not always what I want to take for the next day.  And, we might have one serving of leftovers and 4 people who could possibly take them so I don't always get first dibs.

I have a lot more thoughts running around in my head, but I have packing and reading to do before I can do that.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So I missed a day...

So, I missed a day in the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  Yesterday was a super busy day though.
I came to work, went to the gym, ate dinner, and then finished off my night at Wal-Mart.
Which also didn't give me a ton of time to get to much reading in the Bout of Books challenge.
I was trying to get through Crossed last night, but I only got 140 pages read, and I still have 55 to go.  It will definitely be finished tonight, and next up is Strawberry Shortcake Murder probably.  Just because I loved the first one, and need something light to read.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bout of Books 7.0

I am so excited to be participating in the Bout of Books 7.0.  It's my first one ever, so we'll see how it goes.  Obviously I have to work this week, but I also have a beach trip so that will be helpful with the challenge also.

Bout of Books

My goals are going to be pretty heavy, but I have confidence in myself.
- Finish Crossed
- Read Mother's Curse
- Read Daughter's Justice
- Read Strawberry Shortcake Murder
- Read Notorious Nineteen
- Read Strawberry Shortcake Murder
- Read The Shop on Blossom Street
- Start Along the Watchtower

Most of these have to be read because they are due back to the library or they have to have a review written about them before the end of this Readathon.

Check back for the updates throughout the week.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

10 words to sell yourself

So this is a pretty hard prompt, but I'm supposed to sell myself in 10 words.

- Caring
- Violinist
- Happy
- Redhead
- Loving
- Feisty
- Openminded
- Easygoing
- Compassionate
- Driven


Friday, May 10, 2013

My Most Embarrassing Moment

I have quite a few embarrassing moments in my life, but the one that comes to mind most often happened probably more than 10 years ago.

We were camping in Cherokee, NC with my whole family, like we used to do ALL the time back then.  It had been raining allllll day so we couldn't go to the pool, we couldn't go to the river, we basically couldn't do anything.  Well when it finally stopped raining, me and my brother went to the road and started throwing a rock back and forth.  (Don't ask why, I was 8 okay?)

I was never the best thrower in the world (actually I'm pretty close to the worst), so I was throwing all of my rocks underhanded.  Ross says, "Come on Hanna throw one overhanded."  And, the first one I throw hits a mans truck at the next campsite.  I immediately ran inside bawling, and my dad had to sort it all out.  That man looked for a dent on his truck for over 2 hours, and never found one.  (Lucky me)

I've never thrown a rock again.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Moment in My Day

I rarely take pictures of my day, but today you lovely readers got lucky.

This was during my webinar for UNCC while I was at work.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A piece of advice...

The most important piece of advice that I have is to live everyday like you mean it, and not let others rule your life.  You control your life, and you need to be proud of it at the end of the day.

I have to remind myself of these two things daily.  Literally.  I get too caught up in what others think of me, or what I think someone else would want me to do that I don't fully realize what I want to do or what I want my life to look like from the outside in.  

And if you aren't proud of yourself at the end of the day how can anyone else be proud of you?  Life is way too short to live it like you don't mean it.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Turning Point

When I got sick I lost the thirty pounds I had gained in college and I was happy with my weight, but I also wasn't eating at all and slept 20/24 hours of the day.  So since then I've gained about 15 of it back, and while I know this isn't a lot it's still hard for me.

So, today I took the first step and I joined the YMCA.  I didn't actually work out or anything, because I went straight from work.  But, I have the membership (which is free with my work might I add.)

I plan on going for the first time tomorrow before I go babysit my cousins.

I can't wait to make this life change.


Monday, May 6, 2013


So, I'm a little late to the party, but I recently started the She Reads Truth study on Hosea.  I'm only on day 3, but I've already learned so much about God's love through just the first two chapters.

I don't think I had ever read one word of Hosea before I started this study and the thought of that is just awful to me.  I'm ashamed to say there are parts of my bible I haven't even touched.  I've decided to branch out and after I finish Hosea I'm going to start another book that I've never read.  I've just been reading the same things over and over again.  And, while there are wonderful things in Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and the Gospels there are equally great lessons in every other book of the bible too.

I'm putting this on here for everyone to be able to keep me accountable for my words, and join me if you feel moved! It's never too late to start the She Reads Truth study.

- Are there any books you have been neglecting lately?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Crush

So, today is supposed to be about publicly professing my love to another blogger.

So, we're not exactly blog best friends yet, (I wish), but her blog is the first one I wrote a comment on, and the first person who commented back.  I freaking LOVE her! We have the same brain malformation, she wears a lot of Lilly, and she's pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen.  And, I love how she lives life like there's no end.  I live mine spontaneously through her.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Most Meaningful Quote

I believe a lot of quotes are meaningful and I definitely need a different one depending on the day.

But today's favorite quote is:

If I remembered to pray for these things, I wouldn't have to worry about a thing.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Uncomfortable Things

Today's topic for Blog Every Day in May is things that make me uncomfortable.  There are quite a few of those actually.

- I really hate when people smack their food.  

-  I get really uncomfortable when people text me things I don't want to hear/know and so I just ignore their text message.

- I don't answer if someone calls and I don't know their number.  I ignored Gardner Webb for three months.  Good thing I got in at Charlotte.

-  I don't like when people talk about getting stuck on an elevator when I'm already on an elevator.  Let's just ignore the fact that I could face my death here alright?

-  Which leads to the fact that I'm really claustrophobic and I hate huge crowds that don't have any room to move at all.

-  I hate when people find out I play violin and their next question is "are you any good at it?"  Well no I'm terrible and I just keep playing to make people suffer.  If I wasn't good at it I wouldn't have put 19 years and over $45000 into it.

These are just a few things I don't like to be in my life.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

One thing that makes me mad...

This is going to be a 2 part post:
My every day in May post and a pet peeve.

I have been thinking about what I am good at doing all day.  I'm alright at quite a few things.

- I'm really good at rolling out of the bed at 7:12 and getting out the door looking really presentable by 7:35 and still making it to work on time.
- I'm pretty good at playing violin, or so I've been told.  I know what really good is so I don't think I'm all that great.
This was my senior year in high school.  I'm the red headed one on the left.

- I'm pretty great at forgiving people.  No matter what you've done to me in the past I'll always be there for you.

And now for part 2 of our scheduled programming:
Know what makes me mad?

When someone is in too much of a hurry.
This has been on my mind a lot this week, and I think it's because literally every day there has been either an accident or traffic on my way to and from work.  
I drive to work on a major interstate, so there are no stop lights to try to beat or anything.
I used to think the sun would get in people's eyes as they went around a curve and they just slammed on their brakes which caused a chain reaction.
But, this year it's been accidents that have caused the traffic.

And, I'm not referring to the people in the accidents.  My heart and prayers are always with them.
I'm referring to the people who change lanes 20 times in a mile and a half because they think that one lane is going faster than another.  Honestly, we all get there at the same time.

Or, the people who come from the third lane all the way over in stand still traffic to try to get off.
Well, hate to tell ya but that road isn't much better.  Once you get over there you have to deal with the people and the stoplights.

I literally drive to work with the EXACT SAME people every morning, give or take a few.  By this point, they should know what happens on the interstate.  If it's that big of an issue leave ten minutes earlier.  It's just always on my mind.  These people aren't slowing down long enough to enjoy their lives.  They're just speeding through it like they do on the interstate every morning.

Except most people's driving already terrifies me.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Story of My Life in 250 Words

I kept seeing the Blog Every Day in May challenge, and I was super hesitant about it.  But, I figured what the heck?  Why not at least try?
So the first prompt is to tell the Story of My Life in 250 Words:
My name is Hanna and it intentionally has no h on the end of it.  I grew up in a small town in NC.  My whole family lives within a two town radius of me.  I went to school three hours away from home at NC State.  I moved back home after college.  I was supposed to take a job at Disney World last August, but I got really sick and couldn't .  I work at a wonderful place that always keeps a smile on my face.  I am getting my Masters in Accounting starting July 1.  I'm really unobservant, and don't realize if someone is staring at me.  The red hair has caused stares all my life, I'm used to it by now.  I'm just living life and paying back my loans one paycheck at a time.