Tag Archives: Sandi S

Happy Birthday to My Buddy Sandi S. (And a Post from the Birthday Girl Herself!)

Y’all it’s ALBTALBS regular Sandi’s birthday today!!! So everyone read her post, answer her question, and wish her a lovely birthday!

It’s the time of year when my thoughts stray from all those calories I shouldn’t eat to how many pieces of birthday cake will I get before my family eats it. Yes, it’s my birthday!

In the past I’ve gifted myself with various electronic devices, but even I have to admit I have more devices than any one person should. Also, as unbelievable as it sounds I use almost all of them! Sadly, I rarely use my NOOK as I just don’t have the time to read at Barnes and Noble like I used to, and because I owned my Kindle first most of my books are on that device.

So, what could I possibly want this year? A long time ago in a galaxy far away, and in a past life….ok…so really in my pre child years, and living in Iowa I learned the art of counted cross stitch. I created some very lovely Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers which hung in my home for years. During our recent renovation the pictures came down, and promptly got misplaced. When they were recently recovered the frames were damaged. AHHH….perfect birthday gift to myself, new frames for my handiwork.

Ok…the pictures are reframed and awaiting hanging. Why that should seriously be my gift it’s truly something the whole family and our friends will get to share because after all they will be hanging in a prime viewing spot to get the appropriate oohs and aahs…I didn’t work on them for a LONG LONG time for them to not be where great numbers of people can see them.

Wait! It’s my birthday and the occasion only comes once a year. It really does deserve something I don’t have to share. I know! I need a book or two, or maybe even three! What good things have you been reading? Share and I just might be heading over to Amazon and hitting buy and thinking of you why I read the book or books I treated myself to for this momentous occasion.

Sandi’s Post on Book Clubs and Paper vs. Ebook

Last Saturday of the month whaaat? I’m trying not to panic. But, as you know, I have monthly structure! Yay! That means it’s Sandi Shilhanek’s post. Yes, she of Fresh Fiction fame. 😀 And my buddy, so let’s see what she wants to talk about this month!

This week one of the local book clubs that I belong to had their monthly meeting.  Unfortunately it was a small number of us that got to actually attend, and worse than that only one of use had read one of the books for discussion and only one of us had started the other book we were to discuss. Do not tell my fellow members that I told you this.

I had not read either book as one was a historical and one was a fiction title. I typically do not read historicals and I honestly cannot remember the last time I read something that would be possibly be considered more fiction than romance, suspense,mystery, or even women’s fiction.  Believe me when I tell you I had every intention of reading the one title but time slipped away and with being a member of four very different book clubs and having a full time job it’s hard to read every book for every club!

Since it appeared that discussing the books with a very limited number of people present and an even more limited number having read said books we got very sidetracked and talked about our preferences for reading.  One member switches between her e-reader and paper books, one member only reads paper books, and was telling us about her TBR pile that she is hoarding as she fears that bookstores and real books might soon be a thing of the past.  Another member said she had not read a paper book in almost a year and had in fact dejunked a rather outlandish numbers of paper books in favor of being electronic.

I myself am finding that I prefer my ebooks to my paper books, and am pulling way back on even getting something signed, because I do have to find a space for that signed book,and find myself at a point in my life where I would like to simplify, so do I really need that extra bookshelf?

What about you?  Are you finding yourself becoming more of an ebook reader than you thought you would be?  If so do you have a preferred device for reading on?  I love my Ipad for when I’m out and about as I can read and do other things, but at home I use my  Kindle.  Sometimes I will use the Kindle app on my phone, but I had moved away from doing that but recently have seen myself doing it more.

Until next time…happy reading!

PS – the book covers were ones I’ve chosen – as in what I’ve been reading or will read. Whoo!

Sandi’s Post: It’s Cool To Be Me

The last few weeks it’s been totally cool to be me.  I don’t necessarily always feel that way, but lately it’s been pretty awesome!

Last weekend I got to meet Meg Cabot.  Yes, that Meg Cabot who wrote the Princess Diaries.  What a sweetheart she is!  She had some really entertaining stories, and everyone who attended got a copy of her book Overbite as part of the admission price.

This is where I have to admit I won’t read Overbite, so I offered it up to a friend who is really excited to get a signed copy.  I instead bought a book recommended by the lovely Barnes and Noble Associate who was selling books that day.  It’s still in the bag, so I don’t recall the title.   After having listened to Ms. Cabot speak and having her sign my books I had to go back to the lovely bookseller and buy some more books for myself and for a friend!  Those wonderful signed books are also still languishing in the bags!

This weekend I’m going to another event where I will have the chance to meet Catherine Ashe, Caroline Linden, and Maya Rodale.  I am basically a contemporary reader, but I have been known to pick up a historical now and again.  I wonder if after having met these ladies I will end up bringing home more print books to add to my collection that I’m really trying to dejunk, but will never be 100% successful at doing as I know print books will always hold a place in my heart!

How will you be spending the weekend?  If you could meet any current author who would it be?  Would you be calm cool and collected when you met the author, or would you have to be all agog and tongue tied?  Should you ever have the chance to meet me I will tell you about the time I finally got to meet Robyn Carr.

In the meantime enjoy what you’re reading, and don’t forget to spread the word about the great book you read!

Sandi’s Post!

[Remember how Sandi is here the last Saturday of each month? I heart her very much. Yay Sandi!]

January 2012

We are almost to the end of the first month of 2012.  It’s been a fairly good month for me both professionally and personally.

After several weeks of being unhappy professionally I finally see a light.  I spent a good part of one day barely able to refrain from doing a snoopy dance in my seat when that light finally started shining!  I realize that no job is perfect, but with the change that I had been asking for and finally received my job got closer to perfection, and that’s good enough for me!

I decided that I really enjoy reading and that without a doubt I was going to make time to read each and every day!  I also decided that I was going to do a much better job in tracking what I read or listen to than I did in 2011.  So far I believe that there have been few days where I didn’t read at least a page, and I’m confident that every book I’ve read has been recorded at least once, and hopefully even two or three times! Obsessive I know, but this way I can be sure I’m tracking because if my different lists don’t match I know right away I forgot to add something somewhere.

Without a doubt the best book I read in January 2012 was Home Front by Kristin Hannah which is her latest title.  I got to read an advance copy because I review for Fresh Fiction.   It’s an amazing story of one family’s journey through deployment, active duty, injury, recovery, and eventual fitting back into the family during the Iraq war.  Have the tissues handy because you will need them.

Is 2012 shaping up to be the type of year you had hoped?  Did you resolve to change something about yourself or your job and been able to make it happen?  Did you set a reading goal?  Tell me something happy to keep my good mood going as the year progresses!

Sandi’s Post: Goodbye 2011 Hello 2012

It’s time to bid a fond farewell to 2011 and to look forward into 2012.  However, before I can think about looking forward I want to take a glimpse backward.

I had huge hopes of 2011 finally being my year after having had several that weren’t so hot.  Well, while things weren’t horrendous they weren’t as rosy perfect as I would have hoped, but I still managed to read and listen to about 90 different books.

During 2011 I discovered a couple of writers who while they have been around a year or more I just got to.  I discovered Christy Reece who writes romantic suspense, and who had been lingering in my TBR since Rescue Me was first released.  I’m thrilled to say I totally loved Rescue Me, but as I’m basically a book hoarder, the rest of the series still remains waiting for me!

I discovered Karen White, who again had been just laying in my TBR waiting patiently for her turn!  Karen’s book I did in audio because she was coming to my area to sign, and I wanted to be able to say I had “read” at least one book.  Now I know that when I need my women’s fiction fix I have a great read waiting in the ever present TBR!

The last discovery who comes quickly to mind is Tawny Weber.  Ms. Weber writes for the Blaze line, and while at first I wasn’t quite sure what I thought of her by the time I concluded her Undercover Operatives miniseries I was quite ready to delve into the TBR mountain range and see if she might be hiding there somewhere!

While not new discoveries for me I also enjoyed books by Kristin Hannah, Robyn Carr, Elin Hilderbrand, Beverly Barton, Nancy Thayer, and so many more!

With 2011 behind me I look forward to what 2012 is going to bring.  I know there are some unresolved issues to be dealt with in the new year, and have my fingers crossed for their positive outcome, but I know that regardless of what fate has in store for me, my TBR mountain range contains some great reading by the authors listed above and I’m looking forward to some new discoveries in 2012!

How was your 2011?  Was it all you had hoped for personally and reading wise?  Are you setting any sort of goal for 2012?  Is there an author with an upcoming book you’re excited to get? An author you’re going to try for the first time?  Tell all, as inquiring minds need to know!

Holiday Wish List

Oops this one’s on me – Sandi is supposed to have the last Saturday of each month as her day… :X But I didn’t see it when I was scheduling posts/didn’t think she had it written yet, so pretend she wrote the months as “November turns into December” okay? Pretty please?

As October makes it’s turn into November and the holiday season people are starting to think about their Christmas gift giving.  I am among them.  Not only am I thinking about what I’d like to give to certain members of my family I’m also thinking about what I might like to receive.

With the variety of e-readers now offered by Amazon I’m considering getting one for my daughter in law.  That way she could share my books, and I could easily add some more to hers when an occasion arises, or the mood strikes.  For my youngest son and my husband I’m considering IPODS because neither has one, and especially if my husband had one we could perhaps dejunk the many CD’s we’ve collected over the years .  Still pondering what to do for my oldest, and of course until I whip out some form of payment nothing is cut in stone.

As for me I’m always wanting the latest greatest gadget.  Currently I’m in IPAD lust, but that’s just not really feasible for me for this holiday season.  I’ll settle for some good books and or gift cards to buy said books with.  What books should I ask for?

What’s on your holiday wish list?  What are you considering giving to others? Hope everyone has a great stress free holiday season!

Sandi’s Post: Slumps?

I wonder how many people out there have suffered from the dreaded reading slump.  I know it’s not something that readers like to think about let alone even encounter!  I have been in a reading slump that has come and gone all of 2011.

I recently suffered some computer issues that unfortunately made me lose my list of reads for 2011, but I promise it wasn’t a long list!  I know that there were some excellent reads on it because I read all of the new Virgin River Series books by Robyn Carr, and all of the new Chesapeake Shores books from Sherryl Woods.   I’m also sure that there was a book or two that I didn’t enjoy as much, but without the actual list I have no memory!

Fortunately August brought me a slew of great reading, and I think I can say I’m out of the slump, and won’t be going back.  However, I do know that one should never say never!

Now, I wonder how many of you actually suffer from a reading slump periodically.  What do you do to get yourself through the worst of it?  How often might you find yourself in a slump?

Special Guest: Sandi S!

Sandi is one of my online buddies, and I :X actually don’t even know when I “met” her… but we – along with others- chat about twice a week, and have for some time now. (I wanna say at least two years?) She’s also a blogger a Fresh Fiction, and I imagine many people – or authors at least, as you’ll see – know her, or at least of her. She also attends a number of events, as she’s one of those lucky readers that lives in Texas, where they have events galore. 😛 Anyway, I approached Sandi about doing a guest spot here, and she kindly agreed, and is here to talk… well, what else but books with us all!

I’m truly fortunate to live in a large metropolitan area.  At any given time I have my choice to attend a sporting event, a foreign film, a concert, a theatrical production, or perhaps a show at a local museum.  How do I choose to spend my spare time, with my book friends of course!

My book friends are not just the paper or electronic variety, but a very eclectic group of readers who make up the wonderful DFWTeaReaders.  The group has been meeting for more than 10 years, and I’m really not sure how long I’ve been a member.

The best thing about being a member of this group is the wonderful author signings that we get to attend, and the number of times that we get to do special events with the authors.  I’ve had the opportunity to be up close and personal with so many authors, and from a variety of genres that I wouldn’t normally read, but after talking with the author I get inspired to branch out.

It was after hearing Sherrilyn Kenyon talk and her story having me in tears that had me picking up my first Dark Hunter novel.  It was meeting Lauren Willig and seeing what a fun bundle of energy she is that had me picking up The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and getting hooked on the Napoleonic Era.

I’d been a huge fan of Robyn Carr for a long time, and am a friendly stalker of hers.  (Yes, she knows, and thankfully can even joke about it.) [Really. Sandi straight up loves Robyn. We all tease her about restraining orders ;).] If you haven’t yet made a journey to Virgin River I think you need to.  It was due to my association with DFWTeaReaders and Fresh Fiction that I got to meet her in person.  What a dream come true!

It’s that same association that has allowed me to have dinner with Carolyn Brown, not once but twice! [Oh and heads up – the kindle version of Love Drunk Cowboy, which is a book cover Sandi asked me to use, is only 99 cents  right now!]  I got to meet and talk with Mary Alice Monroe twice as well.  As I sat to write this post I was getting ready to help host a dinner for Karen White.

So yes, where I live makes a difference in the activities I can enjoy.  What about where you live?  Does it allow you a vast variety of activities? If not what is special about where you live?  If you could live anywhere where would it be?  See I’m full of questions, and quite hopeful you respond.