Monday, June 18, 2018

Update

A lot has happened since I last wrote. Right now I'm sitting at a nice little restaurant on a golf course resort in the middle of literal nowhere. It's called Trestle Creek Resort, and the only reason why I'm at a place like this is because I'm an intern at my local county office, and not because I suddenly came into a lot of money, lol.

Yes, I'm currently in the process of fulfilling my Digital Media Practicum. I'm so thankful to have netted such a nice internship. I'm hoping they'll keep me when I finish the minimum 125 hours I need to finish the practicum. It'd be nice not to worry about looking for a job when this is all done.

At the county I work in the communications/media department and I do things like writing up Facebook posts, but not publishing them; putting together ads for the newspapers and online, and sorting pictures and tagging them on an online database. It' so much fun and everyone's so nice. I feel so comfortable working there.

One of the things I had to do was make an ad for a halloween bash taking place in July, and so had to come up with a little cute vector that somehow incorporated both summer and halloween. This is what I came up with:


He turned out much cuter than I was hoping. I hope to write more later :)

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Situation With Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii

It has been several days since Mt. Kilauea started erupting ferociously. I don't think I've ever seen it erupt as bad as it is now in all 22 years of my life. I had a feeling something like this might happen when I heard of how the floor of Kilauea's crater collapsed and the volcano stopped erupting for a time last year. But when it started erupting again like it used to before it stopped, I thought that was it, and nothing more dramatic like that would come out of it.

Now, the volcano is acting in a way that all three of the videos I decided to share about the situation makes it look like a scene out of a disaster movie like 2012. To me, it's fascinating and terrifying to check up on the situation, and I can't imagine how the people who have been forced to flee are feeling right now.

I'll be keeping them in their prayers.




Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Century of Books Quarterly Review

It is May, and the year is chugging away at a nightmarish pace. Before we know it, summer's going to be here, then autumn! All of a sudden, we'll be turning a year older (22 going on 23 for me), and we will be reeling from the effects!

So far, I've read a total of 8 years this year. Only 4 of those books actually count for A Century of Books, since I'm currently a Bethany House Publishers book reviewer. So, I read a lot of 2018 books.

The books I've read so far cover the years 2018, 2013, 2002, and 1967.

I'm about to begin reading a book that was published in 2008.



1967

The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett – Set in the late Middle Ages, a quick-witted orphan, abused by his grandfather, risks his life to care for a wounded knight who is on a quest but can't remember what he is searching for. Exciting, engrossing, enchanting!



2002

The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership by Steven B. Sample – In this offbeat approach to leadership, college president Steven B. Sample—the man who turned the University of Southern California into one of the most respected and highly rated universities in the country—challenges many conventional teachings on the subject. Here, Sample outlines an iconoclastic style of leadership that flies in the face of current leadership thought, but a style that unquestionably works, nevertheless. Sample urges leaders and aspiring leaders to focus on some key counterintuitive truths. He offers his own down-to-earth, homespun, and often provocative advice on some complex and thoughtful issues. And he provides many practical, if controversial, tactics for successful leadership, suggesting, among other things, that leaders should sometimes compromise their principles, not read everything that comes across their desks, and always put off decisions.



2013

The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison—even though she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive if she does—in this second instalment from Marissa Meyer.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.



2018

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason – When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl's heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope—believing that once their marriage is sanctioned by God, Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between pleasing Hannah and living up to his father's demanding expectations.

At every turn, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away. With Nolan's new life pulling him irrevocably away from the woman he loves, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

Total Books Read for Challenge: 4
Months Left Until End of Challenge: 13

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Falling for You: a book review

Falling for You. Becky Wade. 2018. Bethany House Publishers. Pages: 368. [Source: Netgalley/Bethany House Publishers Review Program]

§§§

"Hey," Willow said. "Sorry I missed your call."

"No problem. I was calling because…Well, for a reason that you're not going to be thrilled about."

"Okay. What am I not going to be thrilled about?"

"The fact that it involves Corbin."

Willow winced, then concentrated on swallowing her bite of cookie. Nora was right. She wasn't thrilled.

§§§

Rating: 5/5 ❤︎

You wouldn't believe how excited I was for this book to come out. I was extremely delighted to find out that I could request A Bradford Sisters Romance #2 to review, and didn't hesitate to say YES to reviewing it. A childish part of me had hoped that I would have finished reading this before May 1st just so I could say I finished it before it came out in stores, but I was too busy packing up my apartment since I graduated from college (woot woot~!). And it doesn't matter that I didn't finish it before the 1st, because I wanted to enjoy this and not miss a single thing about it!

I didn't connect with Willow Bradford, Nora Bradford's older sister, as strongly as I had with Nora. But that's probably just because Nora is just so much like me—bookish, creative, a major history buff, absorbing information like a sponge—while Willow is a model who is more into the finer things in life (because her income allows her to indulge). But this didn't stop me from enjoying the book!

At first, I didn't like Corbin. I didn't like Corbin since I was introduced to him near the end of True to You, when John Lawson, Nora's beau, brought him along to a family party. I had been wondering what was up between Willow and Corbin since that encounter, but I wasn't sure if book 2 would feature their story or Britt's and Zander's. It kind of makes me wonder what Britt and Zander are going to have to go through before they get together? hmm...

But as the story progressed, I got to know Corbin more, and I started to like him. I began to sympathize with him whenever he tried to make headway in their relationship. The way he breached Willow's rules did get on my nerves, though, because to me it seemed that he didn't respect boundaries, which can be dangerous in a relationship.

Thankfully, Corbin quickly won my heart, and at one point I was almost yelling because Willow had been told by Corbin's dad to stay away from him and all I wanted was for her to tell him or for him to find out somehow so he could have a serious talk with his dad.

The ending of the story was a bit bittersweet, but Willow and Corbin had completely reconciled by then which made the ending happy as well.

This instalment of showed me a great story about getting back together again without having to go through countless aggravating obstacles. It also reminded me how I need to forgive and not hold grudges for as long as I do—though those I have a grudge against never really work to help me to forgive them, so... yeah.

I would definitely read this one again, and I want to buy it. I so, so want to buy it.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Funny Cat Thursday!

I've decided that, because I'm constantly too busy to post a funny cat video on Wednesdays, I guess it's just got to be 'Funny Cat Thursday'!

My parents shared this gem today on Facebook, so I decided to share it with you guys!


The Accidental Guardian

The Accidental Guardian. Mary Connealy. 2018. Bethany House Publishers. Pages: 305. [Source: Netgalley/Bethany House Publishers Review Program]

***

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes the hand behind the attack as the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he'd finally carved out a home and started a herd – while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail, driving off dangerous men. He'd hoped those days were over, but the latest attack shows he was wrong.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace offers them the only shelter for miles around, and agrees to take them in until she can safely continue. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling – yet enticing.

Working to survive the winter and finally bring justice to the trail, Trace and Deborah find themselves drawn together – yet every day approaches the moment she'll leave forever.

***

Rating: 3.5/5

I hate to say this, but I wasn't really all that happy with this one. Yes it was engaging, and yet it had a good plot, and it had so much going for it which drives me crazy because Mary Connealy didn't seem to harness it properly.

I'm not the biggest fan of western stories, though once in a while I'll pick up a good one. When I was a teenager, I was in love with Gilbert Morris' Reno series. But, unfortunately, this story just didn't meet my expectations.

Trace was such a sweet man and is the kind of man I dream of finding someday.

The plot of this novel was good, with the climax hitting at the end with a decent resolution afterwards. The novel itself ends rather abruptly, but I can see how it leads immediately to its sequel, The Reluctant Warrior, which comes out later this year. I think I will read it when it comes out, just to quell some curiosities I have.

I guess the biggest problem I have it the fact that there were blocks of dialogue that here paragraphs long. It really didn't work for this novel. When Trace told Deb about his past, he kept talking and talking, instead of switching over to a flashback or something that would have drawn the reader deeper into the world of the story.

The way the story was written made me feel like I was on the 'outside' instead of being sucked in. The goal of the author should be to suck their readers into their story. I like it when I'm sucked into a story, because that way I can escape from the stresses of real life for a while.

This is only a problem, I think, because I've been training myself to become a better writer, and through my countless hours reading articles by other authors, I've begun to notice little things that break little rules I've learned to follow. It's kind of like how my training to become a better photographer has been judging the pictures I've seen and the movies I've watched, to the point I can't look at a blurry photo and call it 'good' anymore.

The Accidental Guardian had its good and its bad, and one day I might reread it when my life isn't as stressful it has been over the last month. But until then, the book will remain at a firm 3.5 out of 5.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Heartwarming Cat Video Friday!

Here's a couple of cute cat videos I found on Youtube. One's about how some cats react to members of the family coming home for the first time in a while, and the other is about the first meeting between two cats. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!



Update

A lot has happened since I last wrote. Right now I'm sitting at a nice little restaurant on a golf course resort in the middle of litera...