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Happy New Year – Blog Hop & Giveaway

31 Dec

12-26-2013 2-24-19 PM

I decided to join this blog hop to force myself to think about my bookish goals for the next year.

Looking back on my goals when I started this blog in March, one thing I haven’t done is regularly blog about book-related travel. Although I don’t travel as much as I’d like, I’m going to start writing about any book related travels I do make.

I’ve done well at reviewing books by indie authors and have participated in quite a few book tours. In fact, I plan on decreasing the number of book tours I join this year so that I can focus more on books sent by authors and publishers. I’ve also been so busy that I haven’t been reading for pleasure; not that I don’t enjoy most of the books I read to review, but there are classics and popular books I haven’t read because I’ve committed to reading so many newer books. So, at least monthly, I am going to read a classic or other book just because I want to.

My main goal is to continue to find new authors (to me) and share their work with others. I am amazed at how many talented authors there are who are pretty much unknown and I’d like to help change that.


I’m giving away 3 paperbacks that I received over the past year to review: The March of the Toymakers by Julianne Victoria, Not for Profit by Glenn Shepard, The Sea-God at Sunrise by G.L. Tysk.

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Merry Christmas

25 Dec

'merry christmas' photo (c) 2008, takako tominaga - license:

Merry Christmas to everyone. It’s my favorite time of year! My heart goes out to all of those who are away serving our country or to those who otherwise can’t make it home to spend time with their families.
Thank you for all the kind words and support this past year as I started up this blog and continue to learn exactly what I want to do here.
My son and his fiancee are here from Iowa and Christmas morning we all go to my parents’ house to spend the day with family. Once breakfast and opening presents is done, we play games all day. It’s always a fun time and we always look forward to it. We will miss the family who won’t be there this year (CJ, Eric, Laurie, and my adorable niece, Vivian).




28 Sep

This is not book related in any way but I had to share a photo of the spider that our son found in my back yard!1240612_10200905813871334_554747470_n (1)

Book Buying Travels

20 Aug

8-20-2013 7-57-26 PMI went to a big book sale over the weekend. They had over a million books for sale! After standing for hours looking through all those books, I did find a few to buy and I even found a couple gems. They didn’t have shopping carts like the last big sale I went to so I found a box, filled it with books, went through the checkout line, took the books out to my car and put them in the trunk and then went back inside and started all over again. There were boys there who were wanting to carry the books outside for customers so, after the first load, I let them help me. They didn’t have to carry them too far since I was the first one there that morning so my car was in the best parking space.  Continue reading

Day Three in New York

2 Jun

We started the day at the Children’s Book & Author Breakfast. The featured authors were Octavia Spencer, Rick Riordan, Mary Pope Osborne, and Veronica Roth. All four were very good and I could have listened to them for a lot longer, which is saying a lot since I usually get bored with speeches. This was definitely my favorite event of the Expo. If I go again, I will go to all of the author breakfasts.6-2-2013 5-45-15 AMVeronica Roth, author of the Divergent series.

That was the end of the Book Expo for us. The rest of the day was for tourism. We took the subway to the World Trade Center. It was my first time on the subway and it was not dirty, not hot, not scary; however, at one of the stops when the doors opened, I saw a rat the size of a small dog running across the platform. My mouth must have dropped open because a guy sitting near me asked, “Did you see that?!” I wish I could have gotten a picture of that!

IMG_20130531_114407_088The view while waiting to go to the World Trade Center Memorial.

IMG_20130531_121801_090One of the memorial pools. So many of the names are of emergency personnel. I’d forgotten how many people lost their lives trying to save others.IMG_20130531_125607_330I had to stop at The Strand Bookstore. This is the view when you walk in.

IMG_20130531_195004_473Last stop: Wicked. It was amazing. If I ever go back to New York, I think I’ll spend my time and money on Broadway. The only negative about that night was that during intermission we got a text from my sister saying that tornadoes were headed toward Joplin and 2 tornadoes had touched down in St. Louis so it was hard to enjoy the 2nd half of the show not knowing what was going on at home.

Day Two in New York – all about books

31 May

The word for the day: overwhelming.ny 026It was a busy day at the Book Expo! They had more sessions in which I learned quite a bit and we got several signed books. I’ll be reviewing those as I read them.

ny 032And I got to meet Tim Conway! He was very gracious. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be selling that autographed book or not.

First Day in New York

30 May

P5230092Our first full day in New York was pretty busy. I spent most of the day in sessions presented by BEA andABA (American Bookseller’s Association). Javits Center is less than a mile from our hotel so we walked there. It’s like a whole different world here! So many people are walking all the time. And half the time they don’t pay attention to the walk/don’t walk signs. It’s crazy!

IMG_20130529_174740_285Last night we walked down Broadway and to Times Square. 

ny 021Times Square. People everywhere!

IMG_20130529_185017_646Some familiar faces on Times Square.

First night in New York

29 May

We flew into La Guardia last night in a small airplane…what my grandma used to call a puddle jumper. It’d been 25 years since I’d flown. My stomach wouldn’t mind if it was another 25 years. The view from the plane was beautiful. I was a little disappointed, though, because I was hoping to see the New York lights when we flew in but there was too much cloud cover. IMG_20130528_205505_482The cab ride from the airport to our hotel was an interesting one. Our cab driver didn’t say a word the whole way and I wasn’t about to strike up a conversation. As fast as he was driving, I figured he needed to concentrate. Besides, the news was on the TV. Yes, TV. I don’t travel much and I’ve never visited NYC before so I had no clue that the taxis had a TV and a credit card machine in the back seat.

We’re staying at The New Yorker on 8th Avenue. It’s within walking distance of a lot of things. More about that tomorrow. Here’s Tommy checking out the view from our room. IMG_20130529_064729_926

Another view from our room:


New York City, Here We Come!

28 May
New-York-Lights_1920x1080_3057My niece, Meghan, and I are leaving today to go to New York City for the week to go to Book Expo America (BEA). It’s the premier trade event for the North American publishing industry. This will be my first time going to BEA and my first visit to New York City! There’s a lot going on at BEA but we’re going to take time to at least go to a Broadway play, Times Square, the World Trade Center site, and an as yet to be determined museum. And, of course, we have to check out some of the bookstores there. I am usually terrible at remembering to take pictures but I’ll try to take some good ones to share.
Tommy 109Tommy, my traveling terrier, will be joining us  on our trip. He’s so excited to be going! Here he is sitting on the edge of my suitcase anxiously waiting to get on the road.

Two Year Anniversary of the Joplin Tornado

22 May

Two years ago today, at 5:41 pm, an EF5 tornado changed the lives of the residents of Joplin. What started out as a happy day, graduation day for many, turned out so differently than any of us could have imagined. I am so proud of the residents of Joplin and how they responded to this tragedy, especially my family members. Whether it was a lost home, a damaged home, or helping others in their time of need, I truly have an amazing family. I’d also like to thank the thousands and thousands of volunteers who continue to help Joplin rebuild.

We have said from day one that we were happy that all we lost was the store. We still had our home and not one person in my family was hurt. We are truly blessed!

5-10-2013 6-40-34 AMOur furniture and bookstore in Joplin before the tornado.

248268_10150613850875019_7030444_nWhat was left of our store the night of the tornado.

284524_10150737989200019_3461647_nOur store now. We reopened on June 9, 2011. We went out of town and bought new furniture to fill the store. I’m still working on filling the bookshelves. I had over 100,000 books in the first store and it’s going to take a while to get back to where I was.

Here’s a video from the Joplin tornado. Our store is on here from 2:34-2:40.

My heart goes out to the people of Moore, Oklahoma.

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