Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: SINS OF THE HOUSE OF BORGIA by Sarah Bower

It took me a little longer than I thought it would to read this novel, because I thought I would be unable to put it down, but with work and it not being quite as wonderful as I thought it would be, it took me a little longer.

The story is told in first person by a young woman named Esther. She is a Jewess who, at the beginning of the novel, is fleeing religious persecution in Spain with her family. They flee to Rome, where her father has some type of banking connection with the Pope. Esther and her mother leave after her brother's and father have left in order to follow them to Rome, and on the way her mother dies, so Esther is left in the care of her father. Through her father's connection with the Pope, Esther is set up with a position as Lucrezia Borgia's (the pope's daughter) lady's in waiting. As one of her lady's she befriends Angela Borgia (Lucrezia's cousin),, and she becomes obsessed with Lucrezia's brother, Cesare. Cesare helps to feed her obsession with him by paying special attention to her, and giving her the nickname, La Violante (Promise Breaker). Before Lucrezia is wed to the Duke of Ferrara Violante (Esther) witnesses several scandalous incidents at the Borgian Court that helped to make the name of Borgia infamous. 
Lucrezia is eventually married and sent to live with her husband in Ferrara, and Violante and Angela follow. Lucrezia becomes very ill, and Cesare (her brother) visits her fearing for her death. As the reader you are able to see at this point that their relationship isn't necessarily a normal brother-sister connection. During Cesare's stay he seduces Violante, although it wasn't hard because her obsession with him has become more than just a   little crush. Violante and Cesare make love, and he leaves her with two gifts; pregnant with his bastard child and the French Pox, nice guy, eh?
Time passes and she continues to hope that Cesare will acknowledge that she is pregnant with his child, and her obsession with him continues to grow. Eventually she has the child, and after Cesare recovers from a near death illness, he has the child taken away from her to be raised by his  mother. Violante continues to serve Lucrezia in hopes of regaining custody of her child, but even after Cesare dies, there is no way that his family will give up one of his heirs. 
Lucrezia eventually tells Violante the whole sordid story of her relationship with Cesare, and her real connection to her younger "brother" Giovanni. 
I won't go into details, because the book just came out and I don't want to ruin the entire book for  the reader.

I don't know how many contests I entered trying to win a copy of this book. I would guess I entered at least nine or ten? I was so excited when I saw that I had finally won a copy! I think that I had this book so built up in my head, that when I actually started reading it, there was no way it could measure up to how good I had pictured it to be. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the book, because I definitely did. I'm just saying that it wasn't the 'reading until 3 a.m., can't put down, love it, love it' book that I had it in my mind that it would be! I think I became lost several times in all of the political happenings in the book. I have only read one other book on the Borgia Family, so I was a little lost at times when there would be a lot of detail about the wars and politics that were going on at that time (my own fault). Also, the other book I had read about the Borgia's was THE BORGIA BRIDE by Jeanne Kalogridis, and it was packed full of all the scandal I could dream of!
There were so many different characters in SINS OF THE HOUSE OF BORGIA, that it was easy to get them confused and forget who they were, especially when they weren't major characters. The only other problem I had with the book was Violante's (Esther) obsession with Cesare. It was just insane. Around 300 pages in I realized that she was only 16, so that made a little more sense to me, but as a reader I became extremely annoyed with the main character! I like to feel endeared to the main character, not annoyed! Violante was so naive when it came to Cesare. Believing everything that he said, constantly thinking of him, and also letting everyone around her see how pathetically in love she was with him, even though he gave her absolutely NO hope, in face he and everyone else told her to GIVE IT UP!  Maybe as a modern woman I have trouble understanding that kind of obsession, because I wanted to scream at her to, "GET OVER IT!"
I was also looking for a little more scandal in a book about the Borgia's. There was a little at the beginning, dealing with an orgy, and there was some scandal hinted at throughout. The biggest scandal came in the last few pages and dealt with Lucrezia and Cesare, but I was hoping for more, on the edge of my seat, scandal throughout the book! Maybe that's my deep down romance novel self coming out?

Overall I would give this novel a three out of five stars. I learned a lot about the Borgia's by reading it, because the author definitely knew her facts, and even though she used her creative license to tell a story, she still stuck with the right timeline, and the major historical facts. So, even though I didn't get the over the top, crazy Borgia story, that I wanted, I still did learn a lot.  There was enough scandal and creative license used that I did enjoy the read, and I would definitely recommend it to those who know a little about the Borgia family. If you know nothing at all, or very  little (like me) than I would suggest doing a little google research before you read, so that you're not completely lost!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I guess we'll see how this goes! I've been wanting to post a giveaway, because I know how much I love entering (and winning) book giveaways! I've decided to stick with my favorite genre of novels, which of course is historical fiction. Also, the majority of historical fiction novels I've read over the years take place during the TUDOR time period. The Tudor's were absolutely fascinating, and their family continues to intrigue people to this day! The book I chose for my first giveaway is a novel that I read about one year ago. It is not included in my reviews, because my blog is fairly  new, so I was not blogging at the time of my reading this. I know that I enjoyed the book immensely, and that I would love to share it with a fellow lover of historical fiction!
I am posting the blurb about THE LAST WIFE OF HENRY VIII, so that readers will have an idea of what book they are signing up to win!

Courageous, attractive, romantic, intelligent, Catherine Parr became the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Her story, as Carolly Erickson re-creates it, is page-turning drama: from the splendors of the Field of the Cloth of Gold to the gory last years of the outsize King Henry, when heads rolled and England trembled, Catherine bestrode her destiny and survived to marry her true love.

Catherine Parr attracted the king's lust and, though much in love with the handsome Thomas Seymour, was thrown into the intrigue-filled snake pit of the royal court. While victims of the king's wrath suffered torture and execution, Catherine persevered until, at last, she came within the orbit of the royal fury. King Henry toyed with her, first ordering her arrested, then granting her clemency. She managed to evade execution, but she knew that the king had his wandering eye fixed on wife number seven.

**You MUST be a follower of this BLOG in order to win, and you also MUST leave your name and email address in order to contact the winner!

For extra entries:


+1 TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY ON YOUR TWITTER or BLOG (please provide link for me to verify)



The winner will be drawn at random on April 8, 2011!

I guess we shall see how this giveaway goes! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Top 100 books (supposedly) and book giveaway question...

I ran across this list of the greatest novels of the twentieth century (according to a list compiled at Radcliff College) on a fellow bloggers page Sarcastic Female Literary Circle. I decided that, since I can't fall asleep and I'm bored, that I'd go through and see how many of these books I've conquered over the years!
Key: Bold means I've read it; Underline means that I've started reading it but never finished; and highlighted means that I own the book, but have not read it yet.

1. "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. "The Catcher in the Rye," J.D. Salinger

3. "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck

4. "To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee

5. "The Color Purple," Alice Walker 

6. "Ulysses," James Joyce

7. "Beloved," Toni Morrison

8. "The Lord of the Flies," William Golding
9. "1984," George Orwell

10. "The Sound and the Fury," William Faulkne
11. "Lolita," Vladmir Nabokov
12. "Of Mice and Men," John Steinbeck

13. "Charlotte's Web," E.B. White
14. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," James Joyce
15. "Catch-22," Joseph Heller

16. "Brave New World," Aldous Huxley
17. "Animal Farm," George Orwell

18. "The Sun Also Rises," Ernest Hemingway
19. "As I Lay Dying," William Faulkner 
20. "A Farewell to Arms," Ernest Hemingway

21. "Heart of Darkness," Joseph Conrad
22. "Winnie-the-Pooh," A.A. Milne

23. "Their Eyes Were Watching God," Zora Neale Hurston 24. "Invisible Man," Ralph Ellison
25. "Song of Solomon," Toni Morrison
26. "Gone with the Wind," Margaret Mitchell 
27. "Native Son," Richard Wright
28. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Ken Kesey

29. "Slaughterhouse Five," Kurt Vonnegut
30. "For Whom the Bell Tolls," Ernest 
31. "On the Road," Jack Kerouac
32. "The Old Man and the Sea," Ernest Hemingway
33. "The Call of the Wild," Jack London 
34. "To the Lighthouse," Virginia Woolf
35. "Portrait of a Lady," Henry James
36. "Go Tell it on the Mountain," James Baldwin
37. "The World According to Garp," John Irving
38. "All the King's Men," Robert Penn Warren
39. "A Room with a View," E.M. Forster
40. "The Lord of the Rings," J.R.R. Tolkien
41. "Schindler's List," Thomas Keneally
42. "The Age of Innocence," Edith Wharton 
43. "The Fountainhead," Ayn Rand
44. "Finnegans Wake," James Joyce
45. "The Jungle," Upton Sinclair 
46. "Mrs. Dalloway," Virginia Woolf
47. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Frank L. Baum
48. "Lady Chatterley's Lover," D.H. Lawrence
49. "A Clockwork Orange," Anthony Burgess
50. "The Awakening," Kate Chopin  
51. "My Antonia," Willa Cather
52. "Howard's End," E.M. Forster
53. "In Cold Blood," Truman Capote
54. "Franny and Zooey," J.D. Salinger
55. "Satanic Verses," Salman Rushdie
56. "Jazz," Toni Morrison
57. "Sophie's Choice," William Styron
58. "Absalom, Absalom!" William Faulkner
59. "Passage to India," E.M. Forster
60. "Ethan Frome," Edith Wharton

61. "A Good Man is Hard to Find," Flannery O'Connor
62. "Tender is the Night," F. Scott Fitzgerald
63. "Orlando," Virginia Woolf
64. "Sons and Lovers," D.H. Lawrence
65. "Bonfire of the Vanities," Thomas Wolfe
66. "Cat's Cradle," Kurt Vonnegut
67. "A Separate Peace," John Knowles

68. "Light in August," William Faulkner 
69. "The Wings of the Dove," Henry James
70. "Things Fall Apart," Chinua Achebe 
71. "Rebecca," Daphne du Maurier
72. "A Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Douglas Adams
73. "Naked Lunch," William S. Burroughs
74. "Brideshead Revisited," Evelyn Waugh
75. "Women in Love," D.H. Lawrence
76. "Look Homeward, Angel," Thomas Wolfe
77. "In Our Time," Ernest Hemingway
78. "The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias," Gertrude Stein
79. "The Maltese Falcon," Dashiell Hammett
80. "The Naked and the Dead," Norman Mailer
81. "The Wide Sargasso Sea," Jean Rhys
82. "White Noise," Don DeLillo
83. "O Pioneers!" Willa Cather
84. "Tropic of Cancer," Henry Miller
85. "The War of the Worlds," HG Wells

86. "Lord Jim," Joseph Conrad
87. "The Bostonians," James Henry
88. "An American Tragedy," Theodore Dreiser
89. "Death Comes for the Archbishop," Willa Cather
90. "The Wind in the Willows," Kenneth Grahame
91. "This Side of Paradise," F. Scott Fitzgerald
92. "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand
93. "The French Lieutenant's Woman," John Fowles
94. "Babbitt," Sinclair Lewis
95. "Kim," Rudyard Kipling
96. "The Beautiful and the Damned," F. Scott Fitzgerald
97. "Rabbit, Run," John Updike
98. "Where Angels Fear to Tread," EM Forster
99. "Main Street," Sinclair Lewis
100. "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie

I guess this goes to show that I spend much more time reading books that I enjoy, rather than the books that a list says I should read! I'd rather relax with a book on Tudor England, than trudge through the pages or symbolism and overly descriptive paragraphs! Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of books on this list that I really do love, but I'm surprised by the amount that I have never even heard of! Makes me think that I should branch out and start reading the books on this list! I should probably be more aware since I'm an English Teacher. It's just that I spent six years in college and graduate school reading what THEY told me to read, then I student taught and did a long-terming subbing gig, and I had to read what I was teaching my students. So, when I don't have to teach a novel or read for a class, I choose what I want to read, and as the name of my blog shows, the genre I love is historical fiction! 

Onto other updates: I received the novel TO BE QUEEN by Christy English in the mail the other day, and I am trying to hurry up and finish the current book I am reading so that I can get to hers! She sent me a review copy, and I can't stop talking about it, because it's so exciting to be able to read and review a book by and author whose writing you adore! I am currently still reading the novel SINS OF THE HOUSE OF BORGIA, that I won in a contest a little while ago. I'm a little disappointed by it, but maybe because I had built it up to be so amazing before I won it? I'll review it on here as soon as I finish it! 
I've been apartment hunting in Goodyear Arizona (40 miles west of Phoenix). It's going well so far, but definitely stressful! I can't wait until the waiting is over, and I am comfortably moved in to my new place across the country!

Finally, I was thinking of doing a book giveaway. I'm not sure if 53 followers is enough to have a giveaway, does anyone have any thoughts on this??

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Current Reads & Job Update!

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, since I've been subbing and tutoring almost every day of the week. It sounds bad when I say that I've been doing a lot of reading, but subbing is so boring that pretty much all I have to do is read! I give the students whatever assignment their teacher wants them to work on, then I open up my book. Occasionally I have to come out of my dream land to tell a student to 'cool it,' but for the most part they are pretty good for me.
Currently I'm reading Sins of the House of Borgia by Sarah Bower. I actually won a review copy in a book blog contest. I had entered probably six contests for this book, and I finally won one of them! I started reading it as soon as I received it, and even put aside the book I was reading, Enemy Women. I am around 100 pages into the book so far, and I'm really enjoying it. Books about the Borgia rule are going to be  huge pretty soon, because of the show that's coming out on Showtime about their family. I read The Borgia Bride  a couple of years ago, and although it was fiction, it was still based on the Borgia family, and wow, it was scandalous! I loved it! It had that crazy shock value that was even more shocking, because you realized that that most of the things described actually happened! There was incest, rape, homosexual sex scenes, orgies, crazy drunken sex, etc. At times I was reading with my mouth hanging open because of how sex and power crazed some of the members of the Borgia family were! I can just imagine what Showtime is going to do with a show about this family. There is no way you would be able to put a show about the Borgia's on basic cable! It's going to be one of those shows, similar to "The Tudors" where every five minutes someone is naked or drunk or being murdered! As soon as I'm done with Sins of the House of Borgia, I'll make sure to review it, but so far, so good.
On the job front, things are looking good. I finally received my Letter of Intent to hire the other day via email. This whole time I've been waiting for it to come via snail mail, but no, I found it in my junk folder in my email! I didn't have the email of the woman who sent it to me in my address folder. Luckily I check my junk mail folder, or I would have been shit out of luck! Anyways, they had me at Step One Bachelors degree pay, so I had to email her back and let her know that I have my Masters in Secondary Education. She said she had been misinformed, and sent me the edited version with the correct information on it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I will be making $1,000 more than I had originally been told! I've been looking at apartments out in the cities of Buckeye, Avondale, and Goodyear. Those cities are all within a 15 minutes drive of the school I will be teaching at. It's surprising how expensive apartments are, even though they're 40 minutes outside of Phoenix! I'm trying to stay under $600 a month, and it's not easy! My on and off again boyfriend are looking at getting one together, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea or  not. Actually, I know it's not a good idea, but moving across the country alone is scary. If he does come with me, everything will be in my name, so that if it doesn't work out he can leave without anything tying him up. That's also why I want to stay under $600 per month, because even though I'll be making decent money teaching and plan on getting a serving job part time, I want to make sure that I'll be able to pay rent and utilities, plus all of my other bills without any problems, also I would like to start putting money aside. My mom said she would co-sign a loan for me, so that I can consolidate all of my credit debt. As it is I have around seven credit cards that I pay out each month, and I would rather just pay ONE big bill instead of seven smaller bills.
Anyways, that's the update. I'll be updating again soon with a review of the book I'm now reading!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham

The Stolen Crown is the third novel that I have read by Susan Higginbotham. I really enjoy her writing style, because it's easy to follow, and the dialogue and actions don't feel forced at all. Her descriptions of events and dialogue between characters always seems to flow.
The Stolen Crown is written in first person point of view, told by Katherine Woodville and Harry, Duke of Buckingham. They are looking back on their lives and telling the reader their story, and what lead up to their present situation, and to Harry's eventual downfall at such a young age. It's a touching story, made even more so because it is told in first person, so as a reader you get attached to the characters. We are introduced to Kate and Harry as children, and we are able to read about their lives and the mistakes they made in their youth.
The novel begins with King Edward IV and his scandelous marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, and then it focuses on one of the advantageous marriages that were made for her sisters. Katherine Woodville is the youngest sister of six girls (i think), and as she comes from little money, she has no dowry. Were it not for her sister marrying the King, it would have been difficult to find Kate an advantageous marriage.  However, when Elizabeth becomes Queen everything changes, and Kate ends up married to the richest Duke in England, Harry, Duke of Buckingham.
We all know what happens to King Edward IV (he falls ill and dies unexpectedly), and the mysterious disappearance of his sons (one of whom was King Edward V), and how Richard III had the children of Elizabeth and Edward IV declared bastards so that they could not inherit the throne, and also how Richard III took the throne as his own. Harry, Duke of Buckingham and the newly crowned King Richard III become the best of friends, and Richard III raises Harry up high, and grants him land as well as many other honors, which of course brings Harry more enemies (mo' money, mo' problems, right? lol).
Susan's version of what happened to the princes in the Tower (one of many versions), is that Richard III ordered them to be killed, so that they could not come between himself and the throne. There are many different theories about what happened to the princes, who killed them; and the rumor that Richard had his nephews offed is the one that Susan Higginbotham is going with in this novel. According to The Stolen Crown, Harry is so overwelmed with guilt at the thought of being friends and supporting a King who would kill children, that he helped to come up with a plot to overthrow his former friend, King Richard III, and in turn to place Henry Tudor on the throne. Things don't go as planned with the plot against King Richard III, and Harry ends up getting caught, put to trial, and sentenced to be beheaded. He tells his story in the first person as he is awaiting his death, while Kate tells her story at the same time, while she is banished to Brecon (one of their land holdings).
I am up in the air about Richard's involvement in his nephew's disappearances. I've read several different books on the mysterious disappearances of Edward IV's sons, Edward V and Richard. Some author's blame King Richard III, because he didn't want them to come between himself and the throne. Other's believe that it was King Henry VII who had them killed, so that he could take the throne without the threat of York blood still looming over his reign. Then there are rumors that Harry, the Duke of Buckingham himself did it, or Henry VII's mother, Margaret Beaufort. I tend to be convinced of a different person's guilt after every book I read about this event in history! Who knows, maybe Richard III was the horrible man that was depicted in this novel, and in many others, as well as Shakespeare's play. I haven't researched the disappearance of the princes all that much, but even those who have devoted their lives to researching the princes have not found any conclusive evidence about who killed them, or even what really happened to them. They just seemed to disappear shortly after Richard took the crown.
Although I'm not sure if Richard ordered his nephews to be killed, nor do I have any idea of who it could have been if it wasn't him, I still enjoyed this novel. It made me look at the event from an entirely new perspective. I had never read anything from The Duke of Buckingham's point of view, and I really had no idea who Kate Woodville was. This may not have been my favorite of Susan's books, but I liked it for the reason that I liked her other books; it allows me, as the reader, to learn about historical figures that I normally would not read about, and she gets inside of her characters heads and makes them come alive to the reader. I also like that I was able to follow these two characters from their childhood, where they were first introduced, and through their lives as they grew together as a couple, and then grew a part again towards the end.
The Stolen Crown was a good and easy read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the disappearance of the princes or in one of the theory's of who ordered the princes deaths. It was interesting to see another perspective dealing with the rise and fall of King Richard III.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What's in My Mailbox: Monday!

Ok, so it's time to start something a little bit new. I enjoy doing updates now and then on my life, and of course I love reviewing books that I've read or am currently reading in this blog, but in other's blogs I've noticed that many of them do a little post about what's in their mailbox, so being the copycat that I am, here's what's in MY mailbox!
At any given time there are two to three books on their way to my home. Some may call it an addiction, but whatever, at least it's a healthy addiction! Recently I've had even more books arriving at my house, because of the contests I've entered on other blogs and won, so those don't count towards my book addiction!
Anyways, enough with the rambling!

To be Queen SHOULD be on it's way to my home. I'm hoping, wishing, praying that it's on the way! Christy English, who is an amazing author of historical fiction, was kind enough to offer to send me a review copy of this book to read and review! Obviously I was completely honored at the offer, and took her up on it immediately. Now I am excitedly awaiting its arrival in my mailbox, so that I can put any other book I'm reading at the time down, and begin reading this one! Christy English's novel deals with one of her great "loves," Eleanor of Aquitaine. I've had the pleasure of exchanging messages with Christy, and she absolutely adores writing about Eleanor, and learning everything possible about Eleanor's life. The passion she feels for Eleanor of Aquitaine is evident in her writing, and as a reader it was impossible to put her book down! I read her first book, The Queen's Pawn, around six months ago, and I've been hooked on novel's about Eleanor of Aquitaine ever since!

In the Hope of Rising Again by Helen Scully is the second book that should be making it's way through snail mail to my humble abode. Years ago I went through a phase where I read everything I could find that had to do with the Civil War. Keep in mind, this was prior to or, so it wasn't easy to just jump online and order a cheap book. I had to go to Borders or Barnes and Noble, and shell out $15 for a book to read, and as a teen I wasn't exactly rolling in the money. After joining I was reintroduced to back into historical fiction dealing with the Civil War. Through recommendations from that site, as well as, I came across historical fiction that brought back memories of books I had read and loved; such as Killer Angels by Michael Shaara or The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus. I decided to break free (slightly) from my "To Read" list of books that deal with the time period 1100-1600, and choose a few books that were reminiscent of ten years ago, and the books I loved to read then. In the Hope of Rising Again the reader is taken back to the war between the states, and the magnitude of loss that so many people suffered, as well as the time and strength it took to rebuild their lives. I am looking forward to getting drawn back into a Civil War era historical fiction novel in the near future.

Finally, the third novel that is on it's way is, Isabel the Fair by Margaret Campbell Barnes. I've read at least one of her novel's before, although the name escapes me at the moment, it did have to do with Anne Boleyn. Anyways, I had a credit to use on, and every book that I wanted to order wasn't available, so I ended up searching different lists and recommedations on the site, and came across this novel. I have never read a historical fiction novel on Edward II's wife Isabel of France. I read a novel about Edward II, and know a little bit about her through that novel, as well as mentions of her in a few others novels. However, I think this novel will allow me to learn a great deal more about her, and I am looking forward to that. She seems to have been a very strong woman in history, who may have been misrepresented at times. In the novel's I've read about her in, she's always portrayed as an evil woman, who wanted to invade England in order to dethrone her husband. In hindsight, it was actually for the best, because Edward II was a poor ruler, and rather than go to war, he seceded his throne to his heir, Edward III, who ended up being an excellent ruler that put England back in order. I can see why she was maligned looking at the relationship she had with Mortimer. She basically let him rule her, and in turn he ruled England through her son until Edward III came of age and had Mortimer assassinated, because he became aware of Mortimer's ulterior motives. This book was written quite awhile ago, but it received excellent reviews, so I am looking forward to reading it. The scandal during that time period, between Isabel, Mortimer, Edward II, and Piers Gaveston interests me greatly, and I'm looking forward to reading a different author's point of view about this time in history.

I'm not sure that I will update my "mailbox" every Monday. It honestly depends on if I have any books coming in the mail! I have so many books at home that I need to read, so I should probably take a break from ordering new ones until I get some of the ones I have read! It's so hard though, it feels like Christmas every time a book comes in the mail!

Happy Monday to everyone!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A little randomness about the new English Teaching job!

I'm almost finished with The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham, but I have around 100 pages left to read, so I'm thinking I'll probably review it on here Sunday some time.

I have yet to receive my 'intent to hire' from Tartesso Elementary School in Buckeye, AZ. I'm not sure why it's taking so long? Possibly because there is really no rush for it, or maybe the postal system is just not buzzing along like I would like it to! The principal did ask if I had received it yet, so I guess they're not trying to blow me off! I am really curious to look over it, and see what it entails, as this will be my first 'intent to hire'!
I figured that since I'm not writing a review today (more because I'm being lazy than a lack of books to review!) I figured that I would just post a couple of pictures of my future 'home.'

Pretty well situated, at least I like to think! 3 1/2 hours away from Las Vegas and the Gulf of California. Also, only around 4 hours from Las Angeles. Not to mention the amazing things there are right around Buckeye!

A picture I took right around where the school I was hired at.

Awesome scenery for hiking. I actually WANTED to work out!

Yay! Me and the cactus that 'attacked' me.

My future place of employment, if all goes well! I know it says "elementary," but it is a k-8 school, and I'm certified in English 7-12.

The entrance to driving into the housing complex where the school is located.

Yup, this is what it looks like at night in the housing complex!

Pretty much 80-90% of the homes around the school where I will be teaching look like this, or nicer. Definitely a richy, rich neighborhood! 

As time goes on, and the more I think about it and look at pictures, the more excited I get. It's been a rough winter here in Northwest Pennsylvania, and as much as I love my family, I'm ready to get out of this weather! I know I can always come back home, but I may never have the chance to move across the country and teach! I figure that I need to go out there and give it a try for a couple of years. I can keep my eyes open for opportunities closer to home, and eventually move closer to PA, but for now I have nothing holding me back, so why the hell not!?

Ok, I'm done rambling. I'll be back to the book reviewing either tomorrow of Sunday!