Am I Rocking Out My 2020 Reading Goal? (Feb. Update)

Hey Y’all,

How’s it goin’; how ya been?

Fantastic, I hope.

Today, I thought it would be cool to do a pulse-check on my reading goal, since we’re about to bid adieu to February and say –hello– to March.

My Goal: Read 50 books this year.

50 is a stretch because 24 books is the most I’ve ever read in a year. As you can see, I’m aiming to double that number.

Number of Books Read In 2020: a whopping 3!

Since this is really the first time we’re talking about this reading goal, let’s get into some background.

The Reason Why I Set This Goal

Continue reading “Am I Rocking Out My 2020 Reading Goal? (Feb. Update)”

Book Wrap Up: Hidden by Helen Frost

Guess who finished her second read of 2020?!

Yep, isss me!

Woo hoo!

As you can see, my reading year is off to a slow start, but I’ve gotta turn this this ship around, and fast, if I’m going to make it to my goal of either 15,000 pages read, or 50 books read.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I could earn a small fee, at no additional cost to you.

Right after I finished book number 2, I started my third book of the year, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are cemented in my mind as Holmes and Watson, so despite my best efforts, I keep imagining them as I read.

Now, let’s talk about what I actually read: Hidden by Helen Frost.


Middle Grade Fiction | First Publushed: 2011

From GoodReads

When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra’s father steals a minivan. He doesn’t know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.

Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth—that is, if they’re willing to reveal to each other the stories that they’ve hidden for so long.

Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of a friendship that can overcome pain.


FUN FACT: I ordered this book back on April 20, 2013. I finished this book on February 03, 2020: 20-freakin’-20! That’s 7 years it’s been sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. I’m appalled! Best go see what else is lurking on my shelf from eras gone by. Aaah, I digress.

Continue reading “Book Wrap Up: Hidden by Helen Frost”

A Robot in the Garden. Book Review.

That’s it guys: my final read of the decade.

I’ve gotta say, I enjoyed this heartwarming story about getting unstuck, wrapped in a tale of friendship.


Meet Ben. He’s married to Amy; she is smart, driven, and poised for success. Meanwhile, he spends his days in his pajamas, living off the money his parents left to him. But Amy wants more from their marriage, yet she hasn’t been successful in motivating Ben to strive for more. And she is fed up.

Early one morning, she notices a robot sitting against a tree in their yard. Not the sleek service Androids that are all the rage, but a rinky-dink, haphazardly thrown together, robot. She asks Ben to send it away.

But he’s determined that there is something special about this robot, even though he can’t explain why. So, he keeps it, much to Amy’s dismay.

After giving the robot a once-over, Ben notices that one of its cylinders is leaking fluid. Unable to repair it, and concerned for its survival, Ben and the robot embark on a quest to find, and return it, to its owner, before it’s too late.

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I liked it, ummm, I said that already.

Ok, let’s start with this –

Continue reading “A Robot in the Garden. Book Review.”

Book Spotlight: The Benefits of Being An Octopus (Middle Grade Fiction Novel)

I can’t figure it out!

I read The Benefits of Being an Octopus book months ago, and have wanted to talk about it since then but I just can not figure out how to.

Have you ever desperately wanted to express something, then opened your mouth to speak on it, and all of a sudden your thoughts jam?

(Brain jam…is that a thing? If not, let’s coin a new phrase.)

Well, that’s how this has been for me.

I don’t think I’ll ever have the right words, and again, it’s been months, so here goes nothing.

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The Benefits of Being An Octopus (by Ann Braden)

♥ It’s a Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Novel.

♥ It gives us a peek into poverty and the family struggles that follow.

Continue reading “Book Spotlight: The Benefits of Being An Octopus (Middle Grade Fiction Novel)”

Audio-Book Chronicles: I Found One I Like…I Think

I hate audiobooks!

Well, hate may be too strong a word, so let me walk that back.

Let’s just say that audio-books and I don’t vibe, most of the time. Though, I have had a lot of luck with Contemporary Romances.

Despite having tried other audio-genres, and finding myself disinterested, I wanted to give John Marrs’ The Passengers a shot.

So, I borrowed it from the library.

Synopsis: Eight people have their self-driving cars hacked. They each receive a message: in 2.5 hours, it is highly likely that you will be dead.

The passengers are – An expectant mom. A film star. A wife. Her husband. A suicidal man. A disabled war hero. An illegal immigrant. An abusive wife fleeing her husband.

Who lives? Who dies? You be the judge. But is there more to the passengers than meets the eye?

Long story short: I gave it 4 stars.

The first two parts were thrilling!

Continue reading “Audio-Book Chronicles: I Found One I Like…I Think”

Note To Self…Home Alone? No Horror Novels!

I had a plan.

I’d go home, relax a bit, read a bit while the sun was still out, then start dinner.

With every intention to follow through on my plan, I turned on the television.

Hooked on a movie, the sun set.

Afterwards, I started dinner, cleaned a bit, and walked a mile on the treadmill.

Well into the evening, I decided to pick up that book after all.

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The Title: The Carrow Haunt by Darcy Coats.

Not really one for horror novels since R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series of the late 90’s…don’t you dare try and guess my age 😀 …I wanted to try a spooky story.

::The Carrow Haunt tells the fictional tale of eight strangers’ 2 week stay in a defunct, rumoredly haunted, hotel. ::

I started reading on Saturday, and read a little more on Sunday before making a firm agreement with myself to only read when someone was home with me.

Eager to get back to the story, I caved on Tuesday NIGHT, and read one full chapter.

After that, a few things happened:

Continue reading “Note To Self…Home Alone? No Horror Novels!”

My Very First Reread: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising is one of my favorite books, though I’ve only read it once, 6 years ago.

A Brief Synopsis

Esperanza Rising is a riches to rags tale where we follow our protagonist Esperanza Ortega, 12 year old daughter of Sixto Ortega, a wealthy rancher in 1920’s Mexico.

One fateful day, Sixto is killed by bandits.

During this time in Mexico, only men are permitted to own land. And after Sixto is killed, his two corrupt step-brothers approach his widow, Ramona, and offer to marry her, so that she may stay with the land.

She refuses.

Fearing retaliation for their public embarrassment, and penniless, she and Esperanza flee to the United States to a work camp for migrant workers.

Heads up: Affiliate links ahead, which means I could earn a small fee if you make a purchase using one of these links.

We continue following Esperanza’s experience from here.

A Little Background on My Rereading Experience

I’d never reread a book, until now. With so many good books on my TBR that I have yet to read, compounded with the fact that I read like a turtle, I couldn’t make a case for revisiting a book I’d already read, no matter how much I enjoyed it.

But this time was different.

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I Love Fall Tag

Hey You!

Happy First Day of Fall.

To honor this day, I thought a Tag would be fun.

Now, I wasn’t tagged, but I’m going to do it anyway.

So, this is called the I Heart Fall Tag and I found it over at Mama Kat’s Losin It. It’s actually a YouTube tag, but I’m going to do mine right here on the blog.

Are you READY to get into the questions?

Me too. Let’s go!

Favorite Fall Scent

Is it random if I say Cozy Cardigan by Scentsy?


Ok then, Cozy Cardigan by Scentsy.

Best Way to Spend a Rainy Day

In fluffy jammies, covered in blankets up to my nostrils, watching movies, or reading a good book.

Favorite Fall Drink

Oh, wait, I don’t think I have a favorite Fall drink. But I will enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte from time to time.

Football, yay or nay?

Hmm, I’m pretty sure it’s a cardinal sin for a Texan to answer ‘nay’ buuuutttt…

Yay to attending a game in person, on a crisp evening, while bundled up in a coat and scarf. The atmosphere is electrifying!

Nay if I’m watching on TV. I pretty much have the attention span of a gnat.

Am I safe?

Continue reading “I Love Fall Tag”

Book Review: The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

Hey Y’all,

It’s book review time!

Today we’re chatting about the Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian novel: The Book of M by Peng Shepherd.

Whew chile, this was rough!

At least, for me, it was.

First, we’ll get into the synopsis, then I’m going to tell you about why this book was a no-go, no-no, for me.

Just so you’ll know, both the synopsis, and the review, are spoiler-free.

Let’s get into it –


One day a man mysteriously loses his shadow.

His memories soon follow.

As the days pass, more people lose their shadows too, along with their memories.

What began as a singular case, quickly turns into a global pandemic.

Widespread chaos follows.

We follow married couple Ory and Max, just after Max has lost her shadow.

Max, not wanting to endanger Ory, because losing your shadow has strange side-effects, flees their home.

Despite a promise they made to one another, he refuses to leave her alone in a world filled with danger, so he goes after her.

::Official synopsis here::

My Thoughts

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My First Spiral Deco Mesh Wreath: How I Made It

Now, y’all know that I love to read, right?

But a girl can only read so much before my eyes go cross, and my brain turns to mush.

I needed something new; something to do when I wasn’t reading.

So I decided to try my hand at wreath-making.

Now, there are lots of different types of wreaths you can make, and a plethora of materials you can use to make them, but I figured a spiral deco mesh wreath would be the easiest (and cheapest) place to start.

Translation: I’m new at this and I didn’t want to spend a ton of coin in case I lost interest, or was terrible at it.

At the time, I didn’t have use for a wreath, so I figured I’d make it for someone else. But who?

My 4 year old niece is obsessed with Poppy from the movie Trolls by Dreamworks. So, being the awesome Auntie that I am :P, I decided to make one for her.

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The final product…

Like it? Well here’s how to make one of your very own…

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