Posts Categorized: Books

The Woodcutter by Kate Danley

April 10, 2014 Book Reviews, Books 9 ★★★★★

The Woodcutter by Kate DanleyThe Woodcutter
by Kate Danley
(Website, Goodreads)
Published by 47North
on October 14th 2010
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 346
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
Buy the Book
five-stars
Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.

Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

You guys. When I started this book, I didn’t know what to expect. It was an impulse buy. It was $3.99 on Amazon. The premise sounded interesting. And I was in a funk and needed some retail therapy. So in the cart it went. Then, somehow, it didn’t flounder in my TBR. I picked it up the next day. STILL not expecting much.

I certainly didn’t expect to fall head over heels in love with it and promptly call it my favorite book of the year. The whole year. Like, I’ve already read my favorite book of 2014 and I already know nothing else will hold a candle, favorite book of the year.

No, I am not delusional. I am in love, damn it!

So, what’s so great about this book?

  • If you know me at all, you know I love fairy tales. The Woodcutter takes place in a world where fairy tales are real, they continuously play out, and Woodcutter plays his part, as well as watching over this unique world.
  • All my favorites are there; Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Baba Yaga, Oberon and Tatiana, (lots of different traditions are covered) but there are also other traditional fairy tale tropes – magic trees, moving houses, pixies and more.
  • The best part however, is there is something wrong with this world where everything happens so predictably according to story. The stories are changing. In such brilliant ways. In horrible ways. In ways that just keep you reading. It’s like the Grimm brothers on some dark, twisted shit.
  • The writing is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Seriously gorgeous. So fairy tale faithful gorgeous.
  • The best description I can think of; it’s a fairy tale for grown ups, with all your favorite fairy tale characters from your youth.

My favorite character without a doubt was the Woodcutter. His (insert mental picture of me clasping my fists to my head because I can’t think of the words I so desperately want) WAY with his environment; the trees (oh, the trees, my second favorite character), the stories, the pixies, all of it, was simply mesmerizing. He’s such a quiet, unassuming man, but he’s also the hero. Perhaps reluctantly since throughout the book he just wants to go home to his plain, boring, but adored and wonderful wife, but he keeps on. He just keeps on keeping on, doing the job tasked him, because he cares. He cares so damn much. It’s his job, but it’s also something more. It’s his life. He feels like a throwback character to another time to me; when men did what they had to do not only because it was their job but also because it was their passion.

I also loved how all the stories were turned on their heads, so to speak. All the stories change. Red Riding Hood still goes tripping through the forest, but she doesn’t quite end up the way she usually does. Neither does her grandmother. Snow White still flees into the forest with the Hunter, but she never makes it to the dwarves. Rumplestiltskin still goes for a first born, but things don’t turn out quite the way he hopes. Traditionally weak female characters are suddenly empowered. Males find themselves forced into unfamiliar circumstances. And it was all delightful to me. DeLightFul.

Did I mention the writing is gorgeous? Kate Danley really outdid herself with keeping to the traditional fairy tale tropes. The writing practically sings. You know I highlighted a ton of quotes, right? Here are a few of my favorites:

She was who she was, no more, and that was what made her so special.

Winter was fading and the tender touch of spring had caressed the earth, leaving its gift of new blossoms in delicate green.

The absence of glamour was intoxicating. Surrounded by a swirl of other ladies in paired fineries and magicked perfumes, she stood in the firelight with no auras, no spells-just quiet, like an ancient oak rooted deep to the center of the earth.

He took those fingers and held them to his lips, loving them, loving them for loving him, loving them for teaching him how to love.

There are so many more I want to share, but I can’t because they give too much of the story away. I feel like I have been very inadequate in describing this book, but I feel reasonably sure I have conveyed my love for it. If you give it a try, please let me know. I’m dying to talk to someone about it.

I purchased this book through Amazon.com. If you should buy the book through my link, I will receive around 4% of the price in commission.

About Kate Danley

Kate Danley is twenty year veteran of stage and screen with a B.S. in theatre from Towson University. She was one of four students to be named a Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts in the annual competition.

Her debut novel, The Woodcutter, was honored with the Garcia Award for the Best Fiction Book of the Year, is the 1st Place Fantasy Book in the Reader Views Literary Awards, and the winner of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

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

April 7, 2014 Books, Meme 6

Oh my goodness. It’s Monday. Where did that come from?

What are you reading this week? Me? I am not sure. I’ve been so busy! You see, I have a severe case of wanting to read everything and having no time to do it.

No. Time. At. All.

That said, I did finish a book this week! LOL Son was sick, what can I say? I read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry in the space of a day and boy, y’all, did I love it. Gabrielle Zevin has been one of my favorite authors since I read her first book (back when it first came out even!) and I can never wait to get my hands on something by her. It has been such a pleasure watching her grow as an author.

I had to do a crazy about of traveling Thursday and Friday for training for work, and since I was driving so much (2.5 hours down, 2.5 hours back, two. days. in. a. row.), I finished up Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, also read by Neil Gaiman. Neverwhere continues to make strides toward being my favorite Neil Gaiman. The Graveyard Book better watch out!

I’m reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, a book firmly embedded in my Top Ten for Life Favorite books list, with my Andiroo, but I’m reading it slowly because 1) I’m savoring it and 2) I’m not totally sure she’s committed! LOL I’ll keep going anyway, but oh how I hope she gets into it soon!

This leaves me without a spare book (I typically like to have at least 2 going, I need the back and forth between books) (for a break, ya know?) and an audiobook. I started and stopped several books yesterday because, like I said, I want to read them all, but nothing really grabbed me. There are so many books! Like you didn’t know this, I know. *sigh*

I’m feeling like I need a young adult novel. To cleanse the palate, as they say. Although which, I have no idea. I think I’ll sit down with a stack and go with the first one that grabs me. I love my techniques, don’t you?

I’m also left without an audiobook on the go. There are so many of these as well, yes, I know you know. I’m leaning toward Gulp by Mary Roach, A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley, or The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. I’m more heavily leaning toward the 100 year-old dude.

What do you think of my plans? What should I read next? Obviously, I can use the advice.

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Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

April 3, 2014 Book Reviews, Books 9 ★★★★★

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesHowl's Moving Castle
by Diana Wynne Jones
Series: Howl's Moving Castle #1
Published by Greenwillow Books
on January 1st 1986
Genres: Classic, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 340
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
Buy the Book
five-stars
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the ey

“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.”

I swore this month that I would make friends with Diana Wynne Jones if it killed me (gross over-exaggeration, but typical of me as you know). I’m happy, so happy, to report that after 3 years of trying, I have found a Diana Wynne Jones’s book I like, nay, love. I LOVE IT.

A few things about it:

  • Who is the main character? That would be Sophie, the eldest of three daughters and destined to fail. Why is she destined to fail? Because everyone knows the oldest will fail! She hides in her widowed step-mother’s hat shop, making hats all day, talking to them (as in the hats), and generally being a bit of a mouse. She has some magical abilities but doesn’t really seem to realize it.
  • Who is Howl? Howl is a wizard! And something of a dandy. Okay, more than something of a dandy, he is QUITE the dandy. And rumored to eat the hearts of all the girls who fall in love with him or something like that. There are a LOT of rumors about Howl.
  • What final gets Sophie out of the hat shop? The Witch of the Waste! Sophie somehow caught the ire of the Witch (that magical ability that Sophie doesn’t seem to know about no doubt) and she comes along and ages Sophie about 70 years completely out of spite.
  • How does Sophie deal with that? By running away and going to live with Howl in his magical walking castle of course! There she meets Calcifer; a fire demon who lives in Howl’s fireplace. They make a deal; if she will help Calcifer break the curse on him, he will help her break the curse on her. She hires herself as Howl’s cleaning lady and moves on in.
  • Also along for the ride? Michael, who is Howl’s apprentice; a scarecrow; Sophie’s two sisters; various spiders; a man-dog; and, of course, the house. Plus various other minor characters.

Oh, I love so many things about what Diana Wynne Jones did with this story. The sheer fun of it was a delight. It was just a joy to read. And I feel like I haven’t read enough books this year that were just plain old fun, joyful reads. I need more of these reads in my life.

I loved the main character of Sophie. She starts the book as such a mousy person, but becoming “old” set her free in so many ways. She started saying the things she thought, she started doing the things she wanted to do…she just became so much less inhibited. As I have aged, I have noticed that I too have started doing and saying things I want and think more often and can only assume that Wynne Jones was showing that getting old can do that to a person. I hope it continues for me! I love that she takes her destiny into her own hands, rather than staying on the path to failure as she believes because of her birth. And I loved how Sophie ended up, but of course, I can’t tell you exactly how she ends up. You’ll have to read the book for yourself.

I was surprised at how much I liked Howl. He is a different kind of immature than Sophie. Sophie’s immaturity is based on a sheltered homelife and a timid personality. Howl is a spoiled brat. When he doesn’t get his way, he throws temper-tantrums. His room is a disaster. He trolls from woman to woman, loving them until they love him back then he’s off on the next conquest. Yet, as Wynne Jones paints this picture of him, I couldn’t help but start to understand him and as I understood him, to like him.

And then, there’s Calcifer. You can’t have Howl without Calcifer. He’s described in the book as a fire demon and he lives in Howl’s fireplace. His magic and Howl’s are so intertwined, it is put forth that one cannot live without the other. The two have made a mysterious bargain. Calcifer is the one who decides to let Sophie in and in return for letting her stay, they will help each other break their respective curses. Calcifer is by far my favorite character in the whole book. He’s so grumpy and crabby and powerful and can be a bit mean. By the end of the book, Calcifer’s life is just as intertwined with Sophie’s as with Howl’s, in a sense making a family.

The main antagonist, The Witch of the Waste, is the most powerful magician around and she has her sights set on Howl, since he spited her. Howl therefore does everything he can to avoid her. I think a lot of her power comes from her broken heart and I appreciated how Wynne Jones shows how that power can be used for ill. By the end, despite all the things she has done, I was merely left feeling sorry for her.

As for Wynne Jones’s writing, it’s equal parts clever, hilarious, moving, and just plain ole fun. I love how she shows age doesn’t necessarily mean life is over, and that anyone can be family. I love that she took a dandy (Howl) and turned him into something more. And I loved how she took this timid mouse of a girl and turned her into something amazing. Gosh, I just loved this book so much. I hope it’s obvious. And I hope you’ll read it. I have left out so much! Howl’s Moving Castle is a book rich in story, characters, personality, and, like I said, fun.

Quotes:

“Yes, you are nosy. You’re a dreadfully nosy, horribly bossy, appallingly clean old woman. Control yourself. You’re victimizing us all.”

“More about Howl? Sophie thought desperately. I have to blacken his name! Her mind was such a blank that for a second it actually seemed to her that Howl had no faults at all. How stupid! ‘Well, he’s fickle, careless, selfish, and hysterical,’ she said. ‘Half the time I think he doesn’t care what happens to anyone as long as he’s alright–but then I find out how awfully kind he’s been to someone. Then I think he’s kind just when it suits him–only then I find out he undercharges poor people. I don’t know, Your Majesty. He’s a mess.”

“Really, these wizards! You’d think no one had ever had a cold before! Well, what is it?” she asked, hobbling through the bedroom door onto the filthy carpet.

“I’m dying of boredom,” Howl said pathetically. “Or maybe just dying.”

“So you were going to rescue the Prince! Why did you pretend to run away? To deceive the Witch?”

“Not likely! I’m a coward. Only way I can do something this frightening is to tell myself I’m not doing it!”

Affiliates disclosure: if you buy a book through my affiliate link, I will get 4%.

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Monthly Wrap Up – March 2014

March 31, 2014 Books, Monthly Wrap Up 7

March 2014

Dear March. Dear, dear March. Wow, we had quite a time this month didn’t we? So many adventures. I went to Texas for the very first time. I met my bestest friend Andi! I got her married off to an amazingly fantastic man! I made it home to our poor kiddos. Three of the four of us battled the craziest stomach bug EVER. And I still managed to read eight books. EIGHT BOOKS!

What I read?

21. I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
22. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
23. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
24. Y the Last Man Deluxe Edition 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
25. The House Girl by Tara Conklin
26. Saga, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
27. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley
28. Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez  McRobbie, read by Cassandra Campbell

Such a great month. What’s Left of Me was something of a disappointment, the more I think on it. Saga was almost a let down after I was so excited about it. I overhyped that one for myself I’m afraid. The House Girl was so so; parts of it annoyed me. I Shall Be Near to You was really good, but I would have liked more out of it. It felt like a young adult, and I’m not sure it is being marketed as such, since I wasn’t expecting a young adult feel. Y the Last Man (#2) was great. Howl’s Moving Castle was amazing. And The Woodcutter came out of nowhere to completely knock me off my feet. I wish I had read Princesses Behaving Badly in print. I wanted to take so many notes that I just couldn’t while listening on my commute. Still enjoyed it, but it’s not going to stay with me As always, Cassandra Campbell was amazing.

So, April, what fun will we have? I expect I’ll be listening to more audio, since I’ll be cleaning out the garden and getting it ready for the garden. Some ideas for April are:

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman (already listening to this one. I had a craving.)
The 100-Year-Old Man Who  by Jonas Jonasson, read by Stephen Crossley
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, read by Tavia Gilbert
The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball, read by Tavia Gilbert
A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley, read by Jayne Entwistle
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, read by Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver

As for reading, I know I’m reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, since it’s my sinister way of making Andi read it. I’d also like to read. I also really want to read A Farm Dies Once a Year by Arlo Crawford. In fact, I think I’ll go start that right now, since the iPad is charging! I hope to finished Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, a lovely collection of Victorian/Steampunk/Fairy Tale/etc short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling sure know how to pick awesome stories. I also have How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, The White Forest by Adam McOmber, The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld, The Martian by Andy Weir, Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall, and many, many more. I mean, I have Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman, Unnatural Creatures edited by Neil Gaiman, Swamplandia by Karen Russell, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Read Magic by Emily Croy Barker, and  How Paris Became Paris by Joan DeJean from the library! SO MANY CHOICES.

My head hurts.

As usual, I’m shooting for way more than I can read, especially with the Readathon looming and all the work that entails, but here’s hoping!

What’s on your April list?

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

March 24, 2014 Books, Meme 9

Blah. Blah, blah, blah.

This is the weekend I had. Very blah. My son woke up at 1:00ish Saturday morning throwing up. And he just kept one throwing up. All Saturday morning, into Saturday afternoon, Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon. He finally stopped after lunch but I can tell even now after just haven’t woken him up Monday morning that he still feels poorly.

Plus, I know because I caught it too.

So, blah. Plus, someone got ahold of my husband’s debit card number and lifted a SUBSTANTIAL amount of money from our bank account Friday. After the trip to Texas last week and that, I wanted a quiet weekend at home, BUT NOT LIKE THIS.

So, in between trips to the bathroom with the boy (who knew a boy could throw up that much) and for myself and just leaving the hubby alone to suffer (such a baby), I did get a bit of reading done. I finished The House Girl, which I’m reading with Andi and for Kelly’s Fellowship of the Worms March pick. More on that later.

I finished Y the Last Man Deluxe Volume 2 and all I can say on that is How Soon Have Volume 3 get here? Oh, wait, I have to buy it, right? AND I HAVE NO MONEY.

*sigh*

Okay, I’m stop wallowing.

Today, since I called in, I’ve been napping and reading The Woodcutter by Kate Danley. It’s a nice, quick read that was about all I could concentrate on right now. The writing is quite lovely and it’s all fairy tales, which is so my bag baby.

After this, I plan to start listening to Princesses Behaving Badly while I (hopefully) find it in me to do some laundry. There is so much laundry. Then maybe one of my Once Upon a Time or Spring Reads will call to me. I’m very fickle right now. I can’t tell you how many books I went through before The Woodcutter caught my fancy.

Happy Monday and have a great reading week!

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Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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Once Upon a Time VIII

March 22, 2014 Books 9

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Spring. It is in the air. Well, at least that is what is on the calendar. The rumor around here is that Winter is going to make a couple more last stands before it’s all said and done and I am NOT happy about that. I am ready for leaves, vines to curl from the ground, the smell of freshly mowed grass, dogwood blossoms, and to put my seedlings in the ground. Winter, you can kiss it.

With Spring comes one of my very favorite reading events; Once Upon a Time, hosted by the wonderful Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings. I’m pretty sure I have participated in this event every year since it’s inception and have loved it from the first moment. So you know I can’t miss this. If you haven’t heard of it, visit Carl’s blog for more info (and hey! Sign up! Join me!). Here are the two Quests I will be partaking in:

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Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

  • It’s time to reread some Patrick Rothfuss. I will either read or listen to The Wise Man’s Fear and hope and pray book 3 comes out VERY, VERY SOON.
  • I’d like to read the second book in the Howl’s Moving Castle series by Diana Wynne Jones; Castle in the Air.
  • I’d also really like to get started on the second book in the Songs of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin;
  • I want to reread Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which is really duking it out for my favorite ADULT Gaiman book. I don’t think it can beat The Graveyard Book as my FAVORITE Gaiman (but honestly, it is close).
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Cathrynne Valente. This WILL BE THE YEAR I finally read this book!
  • Other possibilities include Among Others by Jo Walton, Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (no, still haven’t read it), Interworld and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Temereraire by Naomi Novik, and A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle. And many others. Many, many others.

This quest involves the reading of one or more short stories that fit within at least one of the four genres during the course of any weekend, or weekends, during the challenge. Ideally you would post about your short story readings on Sundays or Mondays, but this is not strictly necessary.

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  • Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, edited by Ellen Datlow
  • Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales, since I picked up a GORGEOUS edition in Texas
  • Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories by Angela Carter
  • The Secret History of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle

Are you planning to join in? Have any books you can recommend?

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News of a Capricious Sort

March 21, 2014 Books, News 4

News of a capricious sort

Oh my goodness y’all, but have I got some news and stuffs for you today!

«« Firstly, and you totally have to be a 80s child to get this, THEY ARE MAKING A JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS MOVIE. *gasp* I just can’t even y’all. I just can’t. I seriously loved me some Jem and the Holograms when I was a wee one. And by wee I mean like 7 or 8 so you cannot hold my taste against me.

«« Getting my geek on! MST3K is coming back! But to National Geographic?

«« Woman Authors You Need to Read from Every Genre. Several of these sound FAB-U-LOUS.

«« The Ten Most Annoying teenagers from books. Do you agree? I’m totally with them on Holden Caulfield. He’s the reason I can’t read that book. And of course Bella from Twilight is a shoe in. Who would you add? Who would you take away?

«« Humble Bumble has a great ebook Bundle (whew that’s hard to say) going on right now! I loved Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Title by Holly Black. Plus there is some of Wil Wheaton’s work included. Pay enough and you can get Cory Doctorow’s Homeland (sequel to Little Brother), read by Wil Wheaton!!

«« This is awesome. Here is lovely old advisory from William Matthews Bookseller. Doesn’t tell you how to close it though. (From Cory Doctorow via Boing Boing.)

«« Feeling the need to get as far away from Winter as you can and find some Spring? Look no further than these 8 Rejuvenating Books according to the Huffington Post.

«« Last one, I swear. I’m two weeks behind! I haven’t read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, but this article TOTALLY made me want to. Geek Love at 25: How a Freak Family Inspired Your Pop Culture Heroes.

«« Okay, really lastly. I just discovered this band this week and they have THE BEST name. American Authors – Best Day of My Life:

Happy Friday!

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To My Dear Mrs. Dunn,

March 16, 2014 Books 20

estellasrevenge_on_Instagram 3I’m not sure I can adequately express what’s in my heart tonight. I just left you this morning; me on my way home and you off on your honeymoon (phase 1) with your awesome husband. (OMG, husband!!!) While I am so very happy to be home, home to the rolling hills and huge trees of North Carolina, a part of my heart stayed behind in Texas.

I got to meet my bestest friend ever and I had to leave her behind.

I admit it; I was nervous. We’ve talked for almost 14 years and never talked. I’ve heard your voice, you’ve heard mine, but we had never TALKED to each other. Not on the phone, not on Skype, nothing. We’ve emailed like crazy, we’ve text each other like mad, we’ve done everything BUT talk to each other. So I was nervous. Would I still be able to talk to you? Would I feel awkward? Or worse, would we not get along at all?

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Nothing could have been further from the truth. From the start, you and David treated Aaron and I like the long lost friends we thankfully are. During a week that should have been spent catching up with family, wrapping up the final details for your wedding, and trying to chill, you escorted us around Dallas, showing us the sites (and the bookstores!) and making sure we had the best food. You took me along to get your dress (hello! getting to know you!). You made appointments for me to get my hair done, nails done…you included me like I was one of the family. Good grief, you baked me a freaking cake the night before your wedding!!! David was completely awesome making my poor hubby, who literally only knew me and a little bit about you feel completely welcome and a part of things too. (Hello, stand in best man!) Like I’ve always said; that guy is a keeper!

I can’t begin to tell you how incredibly honored I was to be one of your (awesome) matrons of honor. To know I was standing there with a friend you’ve known in real life for most of your life, and know you see us as equals in your life, gave me an amazing feeling. Internet friends forever!

Sitting here writing this, I am reminded again of how much I wish we lived closer to each other. It was so much fun learning new things about you, getting to know David and your awesome mom, and meeting ALL the puppies. Give them all a tummy rub for me. Well, just give David and Pam a hug.

Thank you again for the awesome week. Aaron and I hope we get to reciprocate someday soon! Love you!

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Leaving on a jet plane!

March 12, 2014 Books 14

andidear

That’s my best friend. Isn’t she adorable?

I am leaving this morning, going to meet my best friend Andi for the first time!!! I know, that sounds weird, but it’s true. She wrote up a nice, lovely post about our history, so instead of rehashing, I’m just going to direct you there. Come right back though!

There. All caught up? Great!

We have been through SOOOOO many shenanigans together. So when Andi asked me to be one of her matrons of honor, what could I say? After the ARE YOU SUREs? I of course said YES! Many months later, here I am. Heading to Dallas Texas. To say I cannot wait would be a MAJORLY HUGE understatement.

So stay tuned. To my blog, to her blog, to our Twitters, Instagrams, and Facebook. This is going to be the meet up to beat all meet ups. Word.

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

March 10, 2014 Books, Meme 6

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Hey! Guess what? I AM LEAVING FOR TEXAS IN TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

*squeal*

Honestly, I’m amazed I’m reading at all. I have so many things on my mind. What to pack? What to do? How many more clothes to wash? How to get my hubby to get the suitcases from the attic? (I only asked him to do it three days ago!) How much I’m going to cry when I finally meet my Andi? How am I going to get my dress to Texas with minimal wrinkling? What am I going to do about my poor daughter who can barely stand that we’re leaving for four nights? She’s already in tears most of the time and being all clingy. 

I see a lot of Facetime/Skyping in my future for sure.

Oh yes, reading. Right. Amazingly, I AM DOING THIS. A little bit.  I had an incredibly busy weekend of washing clothes and stuff. Friday night I finished I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe (amazingly with few tears). Twas SO GOOD. Then Monday morning, while a load of clothes were washing, I started Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. You may remember I said I was going to make friends with her this year. Well halleluah! We did it. I zipped through about half of that book yesterday, despite laundry, TWO BIRTHDAY PARTIES, AND two naps. Yes, I had two naps. Daylight Savings Time kills me. I woke up late today.

Whoa nelly. Books. Right. I read almost half of Howl yesterday. AND I LOVE IT.

I’ve been listening to Shotgun Lovesongs in the car during my commute. I’m amazed to find that I am about halfway through the book, when I feel like I’m barely into the story. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to take a break from it since it’s on CD and I won’t be back until Sunday AND I’m too lazy to burn it and put it on my phone. Don’t let this attitude influence your thinking on the book; I’m always too lazy to burn things to put on my phone.

I started Y: The Last Man Deluxe Edition 2 Friday night. I didn’t get very far into it, but I can tell it’s just as exciting as the first one. I said I wasn’t going to take any books with me to Texas (wah? I mean actual made out of paper books. My iPad is DEFINITELY going with me and therefore over 200 books. You can breathe now.) but Y may make the trip if I don’t finish it by Wednesday.

Honestly, I haven’t touched Queen and Country since February. I am not sure what this means. I was enjoying it, but am not feeling particularly motivated to pick it up. Maybe after Texas.

TEXAS!! And my Andi! In TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeek!!!

Have a great week everyone!

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Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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