Monthly Archives: June 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday! is a weekly meme originally hosted over at Book Journey that allows bloggers to post a sort of wrap-up of the past week while also looking to the week ahead. Without further ado…

Last Week: Katie’s sister ended up staying with us all week, which was fun and challenging at the same time. Her Netflix choices of the week were The Carrie Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, neither of which are really my thing, but I was mostly able to tune it out and either read or do some gaming or whatever. My highlight of the week was definitely the midnight release for Batman: Arkham Knight! Back in February I preordered the limited edition PS4 console bundle, so I stayed up way too late Monday night setting it up and getting my first playtime with the game.

After the reading binge that was the week before last, I needed a break. Kind of. I mean, I didn’t stop reading, but I also didn’t feel the need to compulsively sit around with a book. So I didn’t. I spent a lot of time with my new console, hanging out with the roomies, or just picking up back issues of Game Informer if I wanted a quick read or two. It was odd, but very freeing!


Silver in the Blood (Silver in the Blood, #1) Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski

Currently Reading: Serafina and the Black Cloak – Robert Beatty; King Dork Approximately – Frank Portman

Serafina and the Black Cloak King Dork Approximately

Looking Ahead: I’m still in that weird mood where I really don’t need to read like I do on a normal basis. So I’m thinking I probably won’t read much this week, because I’ll be too preoccupied with gaming. I’m currently playing through Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which I hated at first but now am really getting into. I’m also playing Arkham Knight. So I’m going to work on some review copies and sequels (story of my life!), but I’m not too worried about meeting goals or anything like that!

Rise of the Iron Eagle Game (Jasper Dent, #2) Awake

That’s it for this week!






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Sunday Sagacity – Midyear Checkpoint


Welcome to Sunday Sagacity, my twice-monthly reflection series that I created to chronicle my year-long goal to instill discipline in my life in some key areas. Each week, I’ll very briefly touch on each of those areas. I’ll talk about my victories and my failures, and hopefully gain the motivation and accountability I need to carry out my goals.

It’s been a while since my last Sunday Sagacity post, but can you believe we’re halfway through the year? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the older I get, the faster the days and weeks and years pass. Do you guys feel the same way? Like, wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we were buried under all the snow from snowpocalypse 2015?

Much as the year has progressed, so my goals have progressed. There have been good weeks and bad weeks and everything in between. Here’s a rundown.

Money – My savings is kind of at a standstill, but I know the contributing factors. One is that extra money is theoretically going toward debt. The other is that I’ve spent a good deal of money lately, more than I normally would, on fun stuff. Concert tickets to see Taylor Davis in Nashville, the last few payments on a limited edition Batman PS4 console bundle, a Dungeons & Dragons board game (retails for $65) that I bought at Half-Price Books for $20, and a variety of lunches and dinners and ice cream trips with family and friends. And I may have gotten an extremely early start on Christmas shopping. I don’t regret any of these things, but my immediate goal is to get back on track.

Quiet Time – Thanks to our ongoing health challenge, I’m having quiet time every day. The great thing is that this is becoming a habit, something that leaves a noticeable gap if the day is drawing to a close and I haven’t done it yet. The not so great thing is that my quiet time feels less organic and more stilted than before. I’ve been fitting it in wherever I can in order to check it off the list, but I haven’t made it a priority. It isn’t really something that I’m always doing for Jesus, and that’s made it suffer.

Physical Health – Much like quiet time, this has become something that I do because I haven’t done it yet that day. I love playing basketball and tennis, but it’s usually too hot to do either of those things, so we usually head to the fitness center to use the treadmill or exercise bike. So I go in, do my 15 minutes, and get out. But at least I’m doing it! I just wish I liked this more.

Healthy Eating – This is something in which I’ve regressed. We were doing great about limiting fast food intake to about once a week, with exceptions for work lunches or nights when we ruin dinner. But recently, we’ve gone out so much. I contribute this largely to the number of guests we’ve had. It’s always easier to go when you have guests, so we’ve done fast food dinners a lot, breakfast at least once, and even ice cream runs several times. And my coworkers are always up to going out for lunch, so I haven’t done well there either. Gotta get this under control.

Intentional Living – We’ve had so many guests lately that I feel like our apartment has a revolving door. And that maybe I should start charging rent. I’ve had to be “on” and in hostess mode a lot lately, so maybe this is forced intentional living, but after the past few weeks, I don’t have the energy for anything else. Don’t get me wrong – it’s fun to have people over, but I need space and time between guests to decompress and recuperate. On the work front, Lindsey and I make it a point to maintain our friendship by having lunch fairly often, and I have an awesome new coworker that I think could be a great friend. I’ve also been going to life group, and while I’m not sure that it will ever get easier, I’m trying to open myself up each week.

So that’s it for this time. It almost feels like I’m a little bit at a standstill. Mostly, I think I’m just tired. We’ve had a ton of guests, I’ve been working a lot, and my schedule is just now getting back to normal. Hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll recharge and get a much needed boost of energy! 🙂



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Preview – Silver in the Blood

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Title: Silver in the Blood (Silver in the Blood #1)

Author: Jessica Day George

YA – Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Release Date: July 7, 2015

Source: NetGalley

For a while now, Jessica Day George has been one of my go-to authors for fantasy. She writes wonderfully unique, quirky, fun series that are simply a pleasure to read. Like Dragon Slippers, in which Creel is sacrificed to the local dragon, but talks her way out of his clutches, only to go on to change the world with a pair of strange slippers. Or the Castle Glower series, a delightful tale of a castle that has the ability to add and remove rooms and help the occupants inside defend against attack and treachery. These books have given me many a lovely hour of escaping into a new, magical world of wonder and delight.

Silver in the Blood is George’s newest title, and the start of a new series of the same name. In the first installment, cousins Dacia and Lou, both of New York City, return to their family’s ancestral home in Bucharest, Romania. They believe they are going to enjoy an extended stay in order to meet the family and learn about their heritage and Romanian culture. Instead, they find out that their family harbors an old, deep secret and that the girls have been brought to Romania to become officially initiated into the family order.

I’m not going to say more than that, because one of the best things about the book is the way that information is divulged. At first it seems fragmented and disorienting, but then I realized that it’s probably meant to feel exactly that way. The girls themselves are disoriented after arriving in a new country and begging for answers that aren’t exactly forthcoming. The suspense and intrigue adds to the mystery of the family and plays into their overall agenda.

George writes in the author’s note that Silver in the Blood was originally set in modern times and told through things like e-mails, text messages, and diary entries. Thanks to a friend’s suggestion, she wrote the book as historical fiction instead. Knowing that tidbit makes me appreciate the book even more. The historical setting serves the story well as a time and place steeped in history, lore, and political intrigue. Modern day technology and knowledge wouldn’t have done the job in quite the same way. As historical fiction, the reader is drawn into the polite society of Bucharest, which is a sharp contrast to other parts of the plot.

There’s plenty of romantic intrigue as well, with a host of charming suitors, each with their own stories and secrets. The romantic element didn’t feel added on hastily; it served to further the plot and reveal information that may not have been revealed so well elsewhere.

Although it took a while for me to warm up to this book, that was entirely my own fault, as I was reading in bits and pieces here and there. When I finally sat down to devote my full attention to the novel, I was drawn in and needed to know what was going to happen next. The pacing is superb, the plot suspenseful, and the historical setting a perfect complement to George’s unique blend of fantasy. I’m excited that this is a new series, although now I face the familiar difficulty of anticipating the next book.

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