Sunday, July 31, 2011

CAGED IN DARKNESS by Joy Stroube: GIVEAWAY!!





Joy Stroube, author of Caged in Darkness, has offered to give away an ebook copy (format of your choice) to one of my lucky readers! This comes right in time to celebrate my blog now having over 300 followers!! As and added bonus, I will also throw in a paperback copy of DEAD IRON by Devon Monk. So, one lucky follower entering my giveaway will receive an ebook copy of Caged in Darkness as well as a paperback copy of Dead Iron! Pretty good deal in my opinion! :)


Make sure to check out my post about the author of CAGED IN DARKNESS, Joy Stroube. She was kind enough not only to do an interview for my blog, but also to write a guest post! You can also check out some quotes from her book as well as the synopsis.


CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT JOY STROUBE'S GUEST POST/INTERVIEW!

To enter the giveaway all you need to do is: 
**BE A FOLLOWER OF MY BLOG & LEAVE A COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!** 

BONUS ENTRIES: 
1. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER  
2. TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY 
3. BECOME MY FRIEND ON GOODREADS 
4. BECOME MY FRIEND ON SHELFARI

You will get one extra entry for each bonus entry!


This giveaway will end AUGUST SEVENTH!




Also, a HUGE thank you to Jennie Webb for creating my new title background! It's wonderful & I LOVE it! :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

THE TUDOR THRONE by Brandy Purdy: Review

Blurb:


In the wake of King Henry VIII's death, England's throne is left in a precarious state - as is the peculiar relationship between his two daughters. Mary, the elder, once treasured, had been declared a bastard in favour of her flame-haired half-sister, Elizabeth, born of the doomed Anne Boleyn. Yet the bond between the sisters was palpable from the start. Now reinstated, Mary eventually assumes her place as queen. But as Mary's religious zeal evolves into a reign of terror, young Elizabeth gains the people's favour. Gripped by a tormenting paranoia, Mary is soon convinced that her beloved Elizabeth is in fact her worst enemy. And the virginal Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era...


My Review:


[I received this novel from the author as a review copy.]


Over the past several years I have read many books dealing with the Tudors. Most of them have dealt with Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth Tudor, and a few have been about Henry VIII’s other five wives, his sisters, and his daughter Mary. THE TUDOR THRONE, however, is the first Tudor novel that I have read that gives both Mary and Elizabeth Tudor’s points of view together following their father’s death. All of the books that I have read about Elizabeth have mentioned Mary or even had Mary play a large part in the book, or included Elizabeth in a book about Mary, but never have I read a book that placed equal importance on both Mary and Elizabeth's points of view. The novel was written as a first person account of both of their lives, so the chapters alternate between Mary’s point of view and Elizabeth’s. Although I have read their stories a hundred times, from a hundred different books, it was still a terrific novel that held my interest until the end. 


Switching back and forth between the sister’s perspectives enables the reader to really get to know both Mary and Elizabeth. Their fears and insecurities come to light in a way that only a first person narrative can provide. Both women were deeply affected by their father’s treatment of their mothers, and of women in general. Any future relationships with the opposite sex are indirectly tainted by their father’s treatment of women. Both Mary and Elizabeth are frightened of and desperate for love. Mary is desperate to find the love she lost from her father for so many years when she was young. She easily succumbs to Philip of Spain’s half-hearted courtship of her, and although she is the Queen of England, she allows him to rule her, as well as her country. After taking care of herself, guarding her emotions, and having no one to lean on for so long she is more than willing to put her life and love into Philip's hands, though he is no way worth it. 


Elizabeth turns out much differently when it comes to love and trust. Rather than throw everything away for love and companionship as her sister did, she puts up a wall around her that is impossible to penetrate. She refuses to end up like her mother, or any of the other women that her father loved passionately, only to discard when bored, angry, or seeking an heir. Elizabeth, unlike Mary, refuses to rely on anyone, especially a man. She wants to be her own woman, and to make decisions for herself and for her country. Years of sadness and loneliness had weakened Mary’s resolve, while it had strengthened Elizabeth’s. While both women were talented and extremely intelligent, it will forever be Elizabeth who stands out in people’s minds, because of the idea of womanly strength and power that she stood for.


I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys Tudor history. While Ms. Purdy did take creative license when it came to several parts of the book, it was still a well researched Tudor novel. I was impressed by what a quick and easy read it was. There was never a dull moment, and I was able to transport myself to Mary and Elizabeth’s Tudor England every time I opened the book. The fact that it was written in first person, from both women’s perspectives, (both before and after becoming Queen of England) added to the enjoyment and excitement of this fascinating novel of historical fiction.


I without a doubt give this book five out of five stars!


This novel is also published in the UK, but it is under the title, MARY & ELIZABETH by EMILY PURDY. It was published in the US on July 28th.


PURCHASE THE TUDOR THRONE HERE!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CAGED IN DARKNESS by Joy Stroube: Guest Post & Interview!

Caged in Darkness
By J.D. Stroube

The ebook version will be available for purchase on August 1, 2011 at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and many other online websites. Shortly after the ebook release, a print version should be available through Amazon, as well.

Synopsis:

A witch raised in a cage of darkness...

Savannah Cross was born into a life of isolation and abuse. As a child, she witnessed her parents perform acts of malevolent evil, and now feels permanently tainted by their dark deeds.

When a coven discovers a tear stricken child, wounded on their elders lawn, they offer her a sanctuary she has never known. Savannah spends the next several years shattered, continuously looking over her shoulder, waiting for the darkness to claim her.

On her 16th birthday, Savannah’s life takes a drastic turn.She is consumed by overwhelming power that forever alters her emotionally and physically.

She must choose between two loves; the one who taught her to smile or the darkly seductive stranger who tempts her towards another path. Savannah must decide between the coven that was her haven and another one vying for her initiation. Just as Savannah begins to grasp what fate has in store for her, an evil looms over her loved ones; coming to claim an unbreakable debt.

How will she choose and survive the greatest evil she has ever witnessed... long enough to have a choice to make

The Idea Behind “Caged in Darkness”

My whole life I have been a dreamer. I would stay awake at night and daydream about other worlds and what it would be like to live in them. When I am asleep, I tend to have lucid dreams, which are complete plots to a book. I often write these dreams down, as ideas for future book. I have a dream journal designated for this purpose. Sometimes I find my ideas, while watching a show or reading a book. The idea for “Caged in Darkness” came to me, while browsing the Goodreads website for a new book. I had a strong urge to read a book about witches, but most of the books I came across did not satisfy my craving. Instead, I wrote down a plot for the kind of book I wished I could find. I then incorporated some other unique aspects to it and created a recipe for what I believe is an amazing series!

Quotes from Caged in Darkness

The day I first came to Meadow Falls is little more than a dream, though that little girl plagues me everyday. I still hear her crying out, and my skull fractures as pain is inflicted on her. She remained frozen in an eternal chamber of torture, and I did not know how to help her escape. Though, I would never escape her. She would follow me around for the rest of my life; a ghost waiting in the wings for me to acknowledge her. Her soft trailing fingers would continue to attempt a connection that I refused to allow; that I couldn’t allow if I wanted to survive. That ghostly girl was weak and insecure, while I needed to be strong and confident.

"What you are or where you came from is not important. It is who you are and the choices you make, that determine who you will become. If you can look inward and be satisfied, the opinions of others should melt away."

"All that is left to bring you pain, are the memories. If you face those, you’ll be free. You can’t spend the rest of your life hiding from yourself; always afraid that your memories will incapacitate you, and they will if you continue to bury them."

"No one has freewill until they are an adult, and by then the choices that were made for them, have already set them on a course that gives limited freedom in the choices to be made."


Interview:

1.      What was the inspiration behind Caged  in Darkness?


The inspiration behind Caged in Darkness began with my craving for a paranormal book that was not a vampire novel. I have always been fascinated by witches and the Wiccan religion. When I couldn’t find a book to sate my craving, I decided to write one. Caged in Darkness ended up evolving past the plot I originally imagined and took on a life of its own. When I was developing Savannah’s character, I gave her a dark past that she overcomes. As a psychology major, I have an appreciation for anyone who manages to carve their own path. I fueled Savannah’s personality with a great deal of my own.

1.  What book are you currently reading?


I am currently reading many different books. The Game of Thrones is my favorite out of the ones I am reading. I began reading it because I watched the show and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. It’s refreshingly original and it’s nice to read a fantasy novel since I rarely do.

1.  Who is you’re your favorite author?


I have many favorite authors. My favorites depend on the genre. Historical Romance, my favorites are Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, Sarah Maclean, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn. Mystery my favorites are Lisa Jackson and Kay Hooper. Fantasy would be James Clemens and Jim Butcher. The genre with most of my favorite authors is probably Young Adult. I absolutely love Rick Riordan, Richelle Mead, Rachel Hawkins, Claudia Gray, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and L.J. Smith. I love reading most genres. However, my favorites are Historical Romance and Young Adult.

1. What prompted you to start your writing career?


I’ve been writing my whole life, but have always been insecure about letting people read my pieces. My friends and family told me that I was a natural and was destined to become a writer. It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. However, I always had a little voice telling me that they were only saying those things, because they felt obligated. My professors often compliment my essays, but those are academic. Then, about six months ago, I had to write a personal narrative for one of my classes. My professor called me and told me that my essay was phenomenal. It was vastly different hearing it from her, because I knew she didn’t feel an obligation to compliment me. I also befriended a girl from my University, who quickly became an email buddy. We would tell each other about our experiences. Every time she read my emails, she would mention that she felt pulled in by them. She continually told me I should be a writer, which was amazing since I never told her about that dream. Finally, I decided that I needed to publish my books. I am sure there will be some people who won’t enjoy my books, but hopefully the people who do enjoy them will out number the ones who don’t.

1.   Why do you think people will be interested in reading your books?



I plan to release my novels quickly. As a reader, I despise waiting a year for the next book in a series and I refuse to do this with my readers. I have three series and a stand alone novel that I will be releasing. I think people will be interested in reading my books because my writing style is unique and I have an extraordinary imagination. The people who know me, often comment on how I see the world differently. I am extremely descriptive, obsessed with editing, and I try to incorporate many twists to my stories. When I read, I can usually figure out everything that will happen in a book within the first few chapters. I don’t want people to have that issue with my books. I try to ensure that my readers will be completely surprised by my books. I also make my characters personalities realistic. There are so many different people in the world and each personality is unique. My characters aren’t perfect; they have flaws. However, I think their flaws are what make them captivating.

What authors do you look up to or consider to be mentors?

The authors I most consider my mentors are James Clemens and Richelle Mead. James Clemens pulled me into his Banned and the Banished series because he constantly introduced new developments into each book. His books were so unique that I still have not found a fantasy author who lives up to him. His series has remained by favorite since I was in junior high. Richelle Mead captivates me with her writing because it is so sincere. She goes the extra step to create her characters and her plot. I admire both authors.

Did you have a lot of help and support while writing this novel?

I’ve been lucky to have an amazing support network! My family is encouraging and is with me every step I take. My friends (Lisa, Jackie, Sarah, Regina, and Kari) all help with my editing and constantly beg me for the next piece I write. They really help to boost my self esteem. My husband is phenomenal, because he doesn’t let me give up. My father has always believed in me, which makes it easier to believe in myself. Surprisingly, my cover artist “Regina Wamba” has been great for support. We became friends during the process of creating the cover for Caged in Darkness. I feel blessed to know that I have so many people to catch me if I fall.

Do you plan to continue writing novels in the future?

I am hoping to make writing novels a career. However, I also understand that many authors cannot make a living on writing alone. I write because it’s my passio,n not for money. For now, writing is something I do purely because it makes me happy. My career will be a psychologist once I am finished with the massive amount of schooling it takes to become one.

When did you first realize that you wanted to become an author?

My interest in writing originated when I was too young to write properly. My stories were scribbles back then. I remember beginning because my family told me to write a story during dinner. I think it was to get me to sit still, but it turned into one of my favorite things to do. When I gazed on my scribbles, I saw a real story and would read it to family members. As I aged, I became a better writer. My family quickly picked up on my natural ability and encouraged it. 


Thanks so much to Joy Stroube, author of CAGED IN DARKNESS, for taking time to write a guest blog post for me as well as do an interview! I am looking forward to reading CAGED IN DARKNESS in the very near future!


Friday, July 15, 2011

A LADY'S CHARADE (Medieval Romance Novel) by Eliza Knight: Review

I've been on a kick reading and reviewing romance novels for awhile on here, and here is yet another one! I suppose that when MY love life sucks, romance novels allow me to lose myself in them for a little while! Also, to those who have sent me ebooks or paperbacks to review, I promise I am working on it. Moving across the country took more out of me than I expected, and my motivation to read went out the door! I'm getting into the swing of things again!

Blurb:

From across a field of battle, English knight, Alexander, Lord Hardwyck, spots the object of his desire—and his conquest, Scottish traitor Lady Chloe.

Her lies could be her undoing…

Abandoned across the border and disguised for her safety, Chloe realizes the man who besieged her home in Scotland has now become her savior in England. Her life in danger, she vows to keep her identity secret, lest she suffer his wrath, for he wants her dead.

Or love could claim them both and unravel two countries in the process…

Alexander suspects Chloe is not who she says she is and has declared war on the angelic vixen who's laid claim to his heart. A fierce battle of the minds it will be, for once the truth is revealed they will both have to choose between love and duty.
 



My Review:



This was definitely a great romance novel! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. I love when an author brings “new” characters into historical fiction novels. So many hist. fict. books are about well known people in history (not that it’s a bad thing!!) but it’s cool to hear from the perspective on the time period through the eyes of someone new.

I was immediately drawn to Chloe. She’s a strong, intelligent woman who is able to make it through several sticky situations. The hero of the novel, Alexander, is the perfect romance novel hero. He’s strong and also has an angry, devilish streak in him that makes women want to tame him, and those are definitely MY favorite kind of romance heroes—no one wants a pushover.

The connection between Chloe and Alexander is pretty intense. How they hold out as long as they do is beyond me! The author, Eliza Knight, went into some pretty steamy detail about the love scenes between the two of them.

This  novel was not just about steamy sex & knights in armor, it also has a great story line, and two characters that you really want to root for, did I mention the steamy sex scenes?

I would definitely recommend this book to any historical romance novel fans. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I give this novel five out of five stars!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RAFE'S REDEMPTION by Jennifer Jakes: Review

Blurb:

He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman. For hunted recluse Rafe McBride, the raven-haired beauty on the auction block is exactly what he doesn't need. A dependent woman will be another clue his vengeful stepbrother can use to find and kill him. But Rafe's conscience won't let him leave another innocent's virginity to the riff-raff bidding. He buys her, promising to return her to St. Louis untouched. He only prays the impending blizzard holds off before her sultry beauty breaks his willpower. She wanted freedom, not a lover. Whisked to the auction block by her devious, gambling cousin, and then sold into the arms of a gorgeous stranger, outspoken artist Maggie Monroe isn't about to go meekly. Especially when the rugged mountain man looks like sin and danger rolled into one. But a blizzard and temptation thrust them together, and Maggie yearns to explore her smoldering passion for Rafe. But when the snow clears, will the danger and secrets that surround Rafe and Maggie tear them apart?




My Review:

I was hooked by the first chapter of this book. This was the first ‘erotic’ historical fiction novel that I’ve read in awhile. I used to be hooked on them! Then I slowly started reading historical fiction that still had a little sexy stuff going on, but had more of a historical base to it than an erotic.

Maggie and Rafe are the two characters in this novel. They both come from wealthy families, but through different circumstances they end up in a way disowned by their families. Maggie because of a step-brother who was no good, and Rafe because of something he had done during the Civil War. The sexual tension through the first part of the book was pretty intense! I definitely was holding my breath at times because of some of the VERY naughty language. I’m in no way a prude, so it was appealing and not at all disgusting to me. However, if you’re a sexual prude, then obviously don’t pick this book up. If you feel like getting kinda turned on, well then, this book is for you! Lol I won’t lie, when the sexual tension was finally over, and they took it to the next level, the sex scenes and the dialogue between each other AND in their heads was pretty arousing! So if you are into erotic fiction, this is most definitely a book to pick up!

It also has a really good story line, and enough adventure to keep the reader interested. It isn’t all about sex like some erotic novels. The author did an excellent job of making both Maggie and Rafe well-rounded characters, and the reader is rooting for them the whole time. It’s not just about random, gratuitous sex; it’s also about passion and love between two good people. Rafe come across as a hard guy at first, but of course Maggie is able to get through his hard exterior to see the amazing guy he really is.

There are also the antagonists in the story, because you can’t have a good adventure story without someone or several someone’s who are trying to either break up the romantic relationship or are enemies from before and are trying to settle a score. One of these people is Maggie’s step-brother, who is trying to have her killed because he wants to inherit the Monroe fortune, and the other is Simon who is Rafe’s step-brother who is trying to revenge his brother Shane. Shane was a rapist, and Rafe didn’t let him get away with it, so there are scores to be settled, and that adds to the excitement.

The story wasn’t forced at all, yes there were some clichĂ© romance story parts, but honestly, there is no way to write a romance novel without some of the usual romance novel happenings. Jennifer Jakes definitely has a dang good imagination when it comes to describing the sex scenes, wow! I can only hope her own sex life is as amazing as the one she describes! I definitely will be purchasing more novels by her in the future, because this novel has gotten my mind back in the gutter! Lol

I would without a doubt give this novel 5 out of 5 stars.  It was well written, had a great story line, well-researched, and the descriptions were great!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

FAIR MAIDEN by Cheri Schmidt: Review **SPOILER ALERT**

Blurb:

It's the Victorian era in England, but Tessa is from the medieval past. She awakens within a castle she has never seen before. Knowledge of her name also evades her. However, even worse than not knowing who or where she is, she cannot recall how she died or why she is dressed as a bride. 

Along with Christian, the earl of the castle she haunts, Tessa tries to discover who she is and break the spell holding her in a prison of death. They never imagined the curse keeping them apart is the only thing protecting her, until it's too late.

My Review:

I had fun reading this book and getting to know the characters. I was a big fan of Tessa, and I really liked her story. She was entertaining and sweet, the only thing that started to get a little old with her was the crying. She seemed to cry over everything! Obviously she was in a crappy situation, where she spent most of the book confused and not knowing who she truly was, but it seemed like she spent the majority of the time crying. She obviously was very emotional, and if I were a doctor I would probably prescribe her with some serious Prozac! 

The main plot of this novel was trying to figure out who Tessa really is. Christian, the young man who ‘found’ Tessa, is her sidekick turned love-of-her-life who helps Tessa to discover why she was sleeping for a couple of hundred years, and why she comes back in a ghost-like form. Together they are able to figure out how to change her to real flesh and blood, like a human, but they need to figure out how to break the spell in order to keep her from randomly changing back into a translucent ghost-like individual. This novel has kind of a mystery feel to it with the reader working along with Christian and Tessa to try to figure out her past, and why cannot stay in her human form.

Christian was an interesting character, and I honestly didn’t like him very much. He was a little bit ‘over-the-top’ I would say. He gets angry over everything, and he’s also extremely jealous! Christian is the Earl of Krestly Castle, so possibly he felt entitled to act like a jerk because of his status as nobility? Several times he flips at the drop of a hat, and he’s described a lot as making “menacing” faces, or screaming at somebody in the novel. I feel like he’s a little bi-polar (yes, I am diagnosing the emotional problems of these characters!) because one minute he’ll be talking to Tessa like you might talk to a little kid, calling her pet names all of the time, and clinging to her constantly, then the next minute he’s angry or jealous, and he needs to know where she is at, at all times. I understand he’s concerned for her, but acting like a clingy, over bearing woman wouldn’t score any points with me! I wrote a note to myself at one point while reading that said, “He might be a nice catch if he wasn't in serious need of anger management therapy!” And, at the end of the novel I still felt that way!

This book was directed towards readers at a younger age than me. I think that it would more appropriate for a middle school student or a student in early high school.  Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the read and the humor was definitely for older as well as younger readers, but the relationship between Tessa and Christian was a little too juvenile for me.

As I said, I did enjoy the humor and there were several parts where I laughed out loud while reading! In one part of the book Christian and Tessa are kissing, and as he leans forward to kiss her more, she goes from her solid, human form back into her translucent, ghost like form and he falls ‘through’ her and smacks his head off the door!

There was also the ‘evil’ character, who is Prince Dominic. He was alive with Tessa a couple of hundred years ago, and she escaped marriage to him by “dying.” I don’t want to ruin the story with spoilers, but Dominic is an evil guy, and the reason Tessa has the issues with her human form and ghost form has to do with him.

This was a fun adventurous story, and it has a sweet, innocent love story that builds between Christian and Tessa throughout the book. As I said, I wasn’t a fan of Christian, because I think he is a little crazy, but altogether it was a good read that I would definitely recommend, but I think that younger readers will get much more enjoyment out of it than older readers.

I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WINNERS OF FAIR MAIDEN GIVEAWAY by Cheri Schmidt

Sorry I didn't announce the winners yesterday, but I just reached Phoenix today! I'm soooo happy to be done driving! Yay! Tomorrow I'll be moving into my apartment, and when I have some more alone time I will post some pictures of the cross country trip!



Anyways, the WINNERS of the giveaway for the novel FAIR MAIDEN by Cheri Schmidt are:
Nikki---> Winner of the signed paperback copy.
Sophie Gonzales---> Winner of one of the ebooks.
Marcie---> Winner of the second ebook!

Congrats to the winners and THANK YOU ALL for entering the giveaway! I appreciate it so much!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

OLIVIA'S JOURNEY by B.J. Lashbrooks

Blurb:

It’s the Spring of 1865 and Mr. Lincoln runs the country...probably better than Olivia’s hard-fisted uncle runs his farm in Southern Indiana. Olivia would give anything to escape his abuse, but as long as he provides a shelter for her and her two younger sisters, she has no choice. But she soon has to make a daring decision when she finds a Confederate soldier bleeding alongside the river that borders her uncle’s farm. Soon Olivia and the soldier are running for their lives through Yankee country, with only Olivia’s twelve year old sister for company. But then the War is declared over and the President dead, what will that mean for the Confederate man who’d done so much to help Olivia? What will that mean for h

My Review:
I was completely captivated by the book by the first page. This novel takes place during the last week of the Civil War, which, to me is one of the most fascinating time periods in American history. I felt connected to both Olivia and Grayson from the beginning of the book. I found myself ‘cheering’ for both of them. Olivia because she’s lost so many important people in her life, is abused by the person who is supposed to be taking care of her (her uncle), and also for having to grow up so quickly and be both a mother and a father to her two younger sisters. Then there is Grayson, who has had to see the terrors of war close up as a Confederate surgeon, has no idea where his younger brother is now that they war has ended and the Confederate prisoners released, and also doesn’t know has become of his farm in Tennessee. If I can connect to the main characters within the first chapter of a novel, then I know it’s going to be a page turner for me, and it most definitely was.
The adventure in this book is not so much an on the edge of your seat, can’t wait to see what happens next; but more of an adventure where Olivia finds herself and also finds love. Of course there are a couple of scenarios where their lives are at risk, and Grayson’s life is definitely at risk for being a Confederate soldier in Union territory, but there’s so much more to their adventure.
During the train ride the trio (Olivia, Amelia, and Grayson) are making to Chicago, Olivia’s personal growth becomes very apparent. She realizes that she is almost 21 years old, and she has been living her life entirely for her sisters, and has put little thought as to what SHE wants out of life. She realizes that she has feelings for Grayson, and that it’s time for her to pursue her hopes and dreams, and to live for herself for the first time ever. She has been lost for so many years, and now, with the help of Grayson she has begun to find herself again. Books that show a character showing personal growth are my favorite type of book. I also love books that take place during an important event in history, because not only am I reading a wonderful story, but I am also learning more about a fascinating time period.
I think that I’ve talked this book up enough for everyone to realize that I give it a FIVE out of FIVE stars without a second thought. Great book, great characters, amazing writing, and an all around amazing story! 



Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm heading out West!


During the next week or so I am going to extremely busy, because tomorrow bright and early we are leaving with the UHaul behind us and heading to Arizona! A few months back I accepted a job as a 7th grade English teacher in a small town West of Phoenix. My parents are helping me drive out there and get set up in my new apartment. I'm hoping to get a lot of reading done during the drive, since my dad is a control freak I probably won't be doing much driving & I'm OK with that! We're not going to drive day and night, so it's probably going to take us around four days to get out there. My sister lives in Phoenix, so we're going to stay with her for a night or two until my apartment is ready to move in to, which will be July 8th. I will be getting online when we stop and of course at hotels, but I don't know how much posting I'll be doing. I will be sure to post the winners of my giveaway on the 5th of July. I will also be taking lots of pictures of my trip out west in order to share with everyone! And, if I do end up having a  lot of time to get online, then I will make sure to do some updates about the trip! I am NOT looking forward to driving across the country, but it will be nice to spend time with my parents and too see some new sights before I get settled in, in the desert! :)

Anyways, I just wanted to keep everyone up to date--if you even care! lol

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Fourth of July! Make sure to party hard, but also to be safe! =]]