Top Ten Tuesday – Trick or Treat! Give me something GOOD to Read!

October 28, 2014 Meme 7

Here are my top ten books that I think make EXCELLENT scary reads this time of year. And the first…oh, it is so obvious.

The Stand by Stephen King – I’m telling you. Over two years since I read this book and it’s still haunting me.

Dracula by Bram Stoker – There’s a reason I’ve read it every year since I first read it. It’s delightfully spooky, especially the new audio edition I listened to this year. I highly recommend the full cast Audible edition. I mean, hello! Tim Curry as Van Helsing!

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - I admit, I haven’t read this since college, which is a travesty, but I do remember that I really loved it. I need to find a great audiobook to listen to. It was hella spooky, best I remember!

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - Despite a somewhat disappointing reread, I really love this book. It is awesome the first couple of times to you read it. Just don’t read it three times.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – *gasp* *gulp* *sob* I love this book so much!!!! The illustrations (and the story) are soooooooo spooky.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Psychological suspense at it’s BEST.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill - A close second to The Yellow Wallpaper.

The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill - right after The Woman in Black.

Sleep, Pale Sister by Joanne Harris  – I love me some early Joanne Harris (only because I haven’t read the newer stuff) and this one is one of my favorites. Freaky sisters? Victorian/Gothic setting? A volatile and repressing man? It’s got it all baby. I think I gave my copy away dang it. I have to get a new one.

Drood by Dan Simmons - Drood is just so much fun. Yes, it’s huge, but it’s worth the ride. If you’ve ever heard me refer to Charles Dickens as my nemesis, or how Wilkie Collins is SO MUCH BETTER, a lot of it comes down to this book. SO GOOD.

So, what’s your favorite spooky, Halloween read?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

October 27, 2014 Books, Meme 7

October26I did something yesterday I haven’t done in quite awhile. I picked up a book, started reading, and next thing I knew 100 pages had flown past. It was delightful, heady stuff! The book I’m referring to is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I can’t wait to see how these threads she’s weaving come together. As in, really, forget you guys, I’m going to go read.

Just kidding.


In other reading news, after finising the AMAZING The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (read by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham) I started listening to The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester. It’s read by him and, often, I’m leery of listening to books read by the author, but this time I needn’t of worried. He’s a delight.

It’s not HIS fault I keep loosing my focus. {sigh}

It’s also not Rene Denfeld’s fault. The Enchanted is fantastic.  It really is. I just keep stalling on it. If I pick it up, I can whip through 50 pages in a go. It’s just, once I put it down…I have a hard time picking it back up. If it wasn’t for Station Eleven, I would have been worried I was on the verge of a slump. It’s not uncommon for me to have one after a Readathon. Plus, I just speed-read Rick Riordan’s latest Percy Jackson book, The Blood of Olympus. Of course, this is a middle grade book and shouldn’t have taken me long to read.

Alas, we’ll see how this week pans out. Hopefully Station Eleven will keep me engrossed, The Enchanted WILL be picked up again, and The Professor and the Madman will succeed in captivating me because goodness knows I’ve been meaning to read it for like FOREVER.

What are your plans for the reading week? Read anything good next week?

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Meal Plan Sunday

October 26, 2014 Food 11


Wow, I didn’t mean to disappear of the face of the Earth this week, but I think I needed a break after the readathon. It can wear a body, or in this case, brain, out! Plus, I tend to do most of my blog writing on the weekend and, well, I was otherwise occupied last weekend. Anyhow, here I am, back and hopefully I’ll get all my writing done today!

You will notice pretty quick that autumn is in my bones. Or, perhaps, stomach! I am craving the cool weather foods big time!

Sunday – Will probably reheat some chili or soup I have frozen for such days.

Monday – One of my favorite go-to recipes is this: Mississippi Roast. It’s just…delicious, and easy, and everyone at the table loves it. And it’s addictive. I could make it every week. It is made of WIN all the way around. So, imagine my salivary delight as I was perusing Pinterest one day and came across some Mississippi Ribs!!!! Unfortunately, I am the only one in the house who Appreciates. Ribs. This is a travesty. However, the post mentions using a pork roast, so I thought I would try this variation instead. Will have mashed potatoes on the side, and perhaps some roasted asparagus.

Tuesday – I’m not sure anything screams AUTUMN and COLD WEATHER more than Beef Stew. And this Slow Cooker Beef Stew looks AMAZING. Will serve with rice. And crusty bread for everyone else. {sigh}

Wednesday – I’ve been wanting Chicken and Dumplings for ages. The first time I tried a gluten free version, I failed. Miserably. It was a big pot of chicken glue. SO, I’m going to try to get my fix by making Chicken Pot Pie. I love Bisquick’s Gluten Free mix, so I’m going to try Betty Crocker’s version. It’s the beginning of what I’m sure will be a heck of a lot of tweaking, but I WILL get it right! After all! Tomorrow is another day!

And yeah, I’ll keep searching for a doable Chicken and Dumpling recipe.

Saturday – Depending on what we have planned, as always, I hope not much, I hope to make some Vegetable Beef Soup. A big pot of yumminess is just what the doc ordered. Not that I need a doc. Cause I’m not sick. Oh, you know what I mean.

So? How about you? What do you have planned for the week? Or how will you be winging it?



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

October 20, 2014 Books, Meme 9

October 19

Whew! I don’t know about you, but I”m tired. The readathon always takes something out me, something that takes a couple days to get back. Something like a hangover.  It usually takes me a couple of days to get back to reading and normalcy. So, later this week, I’ll pick The Enchanted by up and I hope to get more into The Blood of Olympus. I’m sad to see this series end! Since The Scorpio Races is an audiobook, I can still listen to it; I actually am now. I can’t not. I have to finish. This book is just so fantastic. It will be in my top ten for the year, without a doubt.

Plans for the week include; continue working through the readathon aftermath, find a new audiobook to listen to (I’m leaning towards a reread of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier), and figure out what to read next. Oh, and plan what I want to read for Nonfiction November!

What are your plans for the reading week? Read anything good next week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Meal Plan Sunday

October 19, 2014 Food 4



Whew, y’all! I’m tired! AND I have a cold. Alas, still have to feed the family. With the Readathon prep this past week, I didn’t do a very good job of meal planning for the week. There may be a bit of improvisation this week.

Sunday – It’ll just be me and the hubs tonight, and, since I’m under the weather, I’ll whip up some potato soup. My basic recipe:

Water, enough to cover potatoes
Potatoes, usually 3
Better Than Bouillion Chicken flavor (it’s GF!), depends on how much water needed
Salt and Pepper to taste
Thyme, a couple shakes
Cheese, a lot
Sour Cream (about 1/3 cup)

I cook the potatoes in the water with the BTB, salt and pepper, and thyme. Once the potatoes are cooked, I use the emmersion blender to make it smooth. I don’t like potato chunks in my soup. Add the sour cream, and some heavy cream if I happen to have any, and stir. Serve with cheese!

MondaySausage, Potato, and Cabbage Skillet Fry, from the Homesick Texan. Looks SO GOOD.

Tuesday – It may be a pizza night, yo. I have a GF frozen pizza in the freezer, the rest can order Papa Johns. Depends on how I feel.

Wednesday – I really want to try these Leftover Mashed Potato Puffs from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice, but I need leftover mashed potatoes obviously. I’ll try to make some Tuesday. As for what goes with it, I suppose I will scrounge around in the freezer.

Saturday – Depends on the weather and how I’m feeling (geez, I should be better by THEN) and if we go out, but I’m thinking some sort of soup or crock pot meal is in order. We haven’t had Lasagna Soup in awhile….

 What’s in your plans this week? Do you cook by whim or plan things out?



October 2014 – Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

October 18, 2014 Books 21


think this will always be my favorite. I had a good day when I made that.

It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! Obviously, I never got around to posting any more this week. I was too wrapped up in preparations. Now, it’s time to pray my hard work holds as well as it did last year. I’m off to go host my two hours at the Readathon blog, then I’ll be back over here to chart my reading and cheering. I hope everyone has the best readathon EVER.

Thank you DEWEY!!!! We love you!

8:00 – Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

My tiny, cluttered, but beloved home in North Carolina! Specifically, at this very moment, in my cozy little reading corner.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Y the Last Man #4. After that it will be #5. Then some Lumberjanes #7 and the latest Rick Riordan.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Apples and caramel. Ice cream. Cheese. Chili beans with gluten free cornbread. Oh geez, I’m hungry.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Well, hi there, I’m Heather! I’m co-coordinator and head cheerleader of this massive event with my best bud Andi from Estella’s Revenge. This is our, what? Fourth time hosting? We have such a blast, I can’t remember.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Differently? Not get a headache.

4:00 update

Reading: The Mystery Society by Steve Niles and Fiona Staplse

Finished: Y the Last Man: Deluxe Edition 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra

Pages: 276

Foods: Chocolate Chex cereal with milk, Reuben Casserole, 4 gluten free chocolate cookies, and habanero bbq almonds

Naps: 1/2 (didn’t get to finish… :()


8:30 Update and Mid-Event Survey

Reading: I’m between books at the mo’.

Finished: Y the Last Man: Deluxe Edition 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, The Mystery Society by Steve Niles and Fiona Staples, Wytches by Scott Snyder

Pages: 391

Foods: Chocolate Chex cereal with milk, Reuben Casserole, 4 gluten free chocolate cookies, Habanero BBQ Almonds, Chili with cheese, and another cookie. Oh, and lots of water.

Naps: still only that half of a nap.

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m between books at the moment. Thinking of getting out a book of short stories.

2. How many books have you read so far?


3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Not sure. Depends on if I get that book of short stories, or go with the latest Rick Riordan.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

OMG, Have I? Constantly. I have given in to every single one of them, because it’s always the kids. Or the readathon. Which is like a kid, in a way.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

Nothing. I’m a veteran. I fully expect all the reading, the love, the delight, the chatter, the fatigue, ALL OF IT.

 8:00 am, The End

End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Midnight. I admit it. I saw 12:36 and I crashed.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

As always, graphic novels were my saving grace.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I have a few ideas.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Andi! Girlfriend made it the whole 24 hours! She is the Readathon Queen for sure.

5. How many books did you read?


6. What were the names of the books you read?

Y the Last Man The Deluxe Edition 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
The Mystery Society Vol 1 by Steve Niles and Fiona Staples
Wytches by Scott Sn yder
Lumberjanes #7 by Noelle Stevenson
105 pages of The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Anything with Fiona Staples name on it seems to be my bag, baby. And Lumberjanes is just made of awesome.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Wytches. It’s a little…different.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Recruit, recruit, recruit!!! 70 cheerleaders for over 900 readers makes very large teams.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Oh, I’ll be there. Co-hosting as usual, reading, cheering, all of it.



Top Ten Tuesday – Let’s Book it Outta Here!

October 14, 2014 Meme 8

Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit (whether fictional or real)

Oh this is going to be awesome. The first one that comes to mind is so obvious:


NARNIA by masiani

Narnia! – I devoured the Narnia books over and over when I was a child. My first set fell apart and my second doesn’t look much better. My grandmother had this huge, antique wardrobe that I, you bet, used to open, praying a magical land would be on the other side. Alas, it was never there.

Hogwarts castle by K-Zlovetch

Hogwarts castle
by K-Zlovetch

Another fictional, and obvious, choice is Hogwarts. Even though I was an adult when Harry Potter started, I wasn’t immune to the magic. I’m still not. I’d hop on the Hogwarts Express in a hot minute, if an owl showed up at my chimney.

Scotland 6 by lonelywolf2

Scotland 6
by lonelywolf2

Scotland. You can mostly blame James Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser for that. The rest is on Diana Gabaldon.

Barcelona 2 by matmoon

Barcelona 2
by matmoon

Barcelona. Thanks to Carlos Ruiz Zafon and his books The Shadow of Wind, Marina, The Prince of Mist, and The Angel’s Game. See also, Stephanie Perkins’s Isla and the Happily Ever After, for her Barcelona was romantic in the traditional sense.

The Graves by blood-n-rhetoric

The Graves
by blood-n-rhetoric

Highgate Cemetery. Yes, a cemetery. After reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, I really want to explore it.

I’m stopping at 5 before this becomes TL;DR!

How about you? Where would you like to go? Which book makes you want to go there?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

October 13, 2014 Books, Meme 5


I bet you guys can’t believe this, but I don’t plan on getting much reading done this week. You see, I have this tiny little event to get ready for, called Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. Have you heard of it? Are you ready? I’m not! I’ll be working on it all week and I can’t wait for Saturday!!!

In the meantime, I’ll grab a bit of time with The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld where I can. Ideally, I’ll finish it before Saturday. For some reason, I’ve always want to start  the readathon with a clean slate. I have most of my weeks posts scheduled already, so I’ll be around. Just SUPER BUSY.

What are your plans for the reading week? Read anything good next week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Meal Plan Sunday

October 12, 2014 Food, Weekend Cooking 5



And, so, another hectic week is behind me! Another one lies ahead! How did I do last week? Well, I was so sick on Monday, I didn’t even eat, let alone cook that fish. I still felt bad Tuesday, so Leigh’s Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pork Tenderloin came in REALLY handy. And deliciously. Everyone else had it on buns, while I had it on rice. Well, what I ate of it. Was sooooo queasy from being sick and having a migraine. Wednesday became a fend-for-yourself-night because yours truly was still dealing with the tail end of that migraine. Damn gluten, it’s so sneaky! It hides everywhere!

I sincerely hope this week goes better.

Sunday – I don’t normally cook on Sunday’s, but I am crazy craving some Spaghetti. This is how I make spaghetti, for the most part.

Diced Tomatoes, usually a big can or two smaller ones
About a pound of ground beef
Garlic, I eye ball it. Probably 3 cloves?
Olive Oil
Oregano (from the garden, yo!)
Chili Powder, just a pinch
Tomato Sauce (usually from the garden, that I canned. 1 can)
Pinch of salt, some pepper

And lots of cooking, if I can swing it. Ideally, I like to let it cook all day in the crock pot. The measurements are imprecise, because I usually let my nose and tongue tell me what’s needed. Noodles for the fan, for me either gluten free noodles or zoodles, depending on my mood. Zoodles (shredded zucchini “noodles” natch) are freaking awesome, but sometimes my heart wants something nostalgic. Will probably have salad on the side.


Photo Credit: How Sweet It Is

Monday – I can’t wait to try this. I found this hanging out on Pinterest, looking gorgeous and tasty. How Sweet It Is’s cheesy chicken and rice bake. Seriously. Looks SO YUM. Will probably have some sliced avocado on the side.

Tuesday - Sloppy Joes. I hate them. HATE. THEM. But everyone else loves them, so I’m caving to pressure. I will most likely have rice and veggies with a couple chicken tenders. I found some gluten free ones made by Tyson I want to try! Or, quite possibly, leftover spaghetti. Depends on if I get this craving out of my system.

WednesdayPancakes!!! And BACON!!! I have tried every gf pancake mix on the market and Bisquick’s is definitely my favorite. That and lots of syrup!!! And butter!!! Can you tell I’m excited?

Thursday! – No cooking!

Friday! -No cooking!!

Saturday – Well duh, it’s Readathon day! You would not believe how close I came to missing the Readathon (it got downright scary. I thought Andi was going to have a panic attack) but I managed to get out of prior commitments! The only thing is it’s the Fall Festival at my kids school, so I MAY be out for a couple of hours. And my daughter has a DANCE to go to. Yay. Anyway, game plan on the food situation for Saturday coming up later this week. Readathon Food gets a special post.