The Challenge Report

April 25, 2015

Dewey's 24-hour Readathon logo

Here’s where I’ll be posting the challenges I’ll be participating in during the Readathon. In fact, let’s get started right now!

Hour 0 Challenge: What the Readathon Means to ME

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

I’m in Los Angeles, California, so we have a start at the ungodly hour of 5:00 a.m. Ugh. Good thing I haven’t gone to bed yet. LOL. Soon, though.

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

Probably the Cherise Sinclair book. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time, and it’ll be good to get back to this series. It’s been a while.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

At the moment I want the biggest, orangest bag of Doritos that ever Doritoed. Unfortunately for me, I have none in the house and have no intention of LEAVING the house, so I’m kinda screwed there.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I love to read romance in a bunch of different genres. I knit a lot and take too many pictures of my cat. Lucky for you I don’t always share them online.

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?

I’d sleep more, but that’s only because last time I was in the midst of a 2-month bout of Insomnia so it had literally been months since I slept more than 2-3 hours at a time. It was great for my Readathon reading last time! But I was ready to start playing in traffic.

Treasure Hunt MiniChallenge

The quest was to find three book covers. One with a tree, one with snow, and one with a weapon. Since I love Christmas novellas and romantic suspense, this should be easy. LOL

Okay, so first up is Jill Shalvis’ Merry Christmas, Baby. This is a 2-for-1 as it has both trees AND snow! I loved this little holiday novella, btw. My review for it is HERE.

Book Cover: Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis

Next up is HelenKay Dimon’s Playing Dirty. I love this cover. And this book. This series, really. Romances featuring kick-ass women and men who like to go around and blow stuff up. What’s not to love?

Book Cover: Playing Dirty, HelenKay Dimon

Picture It Challenge

The challenge was to find a picture that represents something within the book I’m currently reading. Since I’m still on Cherise Sinclair’s Master of Freedom and it’s set near Yosemite, this was a no brainer. I LOVE Yosemite. I’ve been there many, many times. In the book Virginia (“Gin”) has a picture of a climber on El Capitan up on her office wall. Here’s my version which I took on my last trip there with my mom in 2009.

(For this I’ll upload the pic here later. In the meantime, TO THE INSTAGRAM!)

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Dewey Redux

April 24, 2015

Logo for Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon

Here we go again! I’m participating in the Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-A-Thon. You can check out my participation last year HERE.

Just like last time, I’ll be updating this post throughout the 24 hours. I’ll have a separate post up for any mini-challenges I’ve completed.

Want to compare what’s on my TBR list with what I’m actually reading? I have a Goodreads shelf just for this Readathon. I have 24 books listed ON MY SHELF, and no, that wasn’t deliberate. There are some novellas on there, and some shorter category books I’ve been meaning to get to, along with at least one advance copy of a book. Maybe more.

So wish me luck! The Readathon will begin at 5 a.m. my time (Los Angeles), and if you want to cheer me and all the others on, you can find us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Readathon.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Reading Machine

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Santa, dear, I’m in a hurry

December 8, 2014

Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now

I think this year We Need a Little Christmas is going to be my holiday fight song. I’m looking forward to Christmas this year, especially getting to spend it with a dear friend, but it’s still a little hard for me. It also doesn’t help that Thanksgiving day it was 90 degrees. So I’m feeling at turns really excited and…really…meh. It would be easier if I could pick an emotion and stick with it.

For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet

Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
It hasn’t snowed a single flurry
But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry

I have fantastic friends who bring all sorts of happiness and laughter and support into my life. My dad and I are making more of an effort to see each other face to face instead of texting all the time (Yes, Dad texts. I know, right?!). My mom’s best friends from college have all adopted me into their group (I’m Nancy 2.0)  and are wonderful amazing women who have known me literally my entire life and love me anyway.

So climb down the chimney
Put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen
Slice up the fruitcake
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough

I still miss mom every day, and I can’t really see that changing any time soon, but that’s okay. This past year I’ve started dealing with my feelings towards some family drama that has gone on since she died. And I’ll be honest. It hurts. A LOT, but I’ve made a few decisions about what I need to do and how I need to deal with it, and while I’m sad, I feel…lighter…after making those decisions.

For I’ve grown a little leaner, grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder, grown a little older
And I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder
I need a little Christmas now

I don’t say any of this for sympathy. I’m not looking for any nor do I want it, but I have no decorations up for Christmas for reasons, (I’ll fill you all in on why later). It doesn’t feel like Christmas here at Chez Guppy. And while I certainly haven’t grown any leaner, I’m pretty sure colder, sadder, and older are definitely checked off on my list this year. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. To do what I needed to do for my own peace of mind and happiness I HAVE had to be a bit cold. So I think I need a little Christmas. Damn it.

Haul out the holly
Well, once I taught you all to live each living day
Fill up the stocking
But Auntie Mame, it’s one week past Thanksgiving Day now

I’m honestly in a good place overall. I’m starting to do some proofreading work and will hopefully eventually get into copy editing and proofreading full time. Honestly, work should not be this much fun. It’s stressful, because I want to do a good job, and meet the deadlines, not to mention I worry I miss stuff, but seriously? I LOVE it, and I think I’m good at it. I hope I’m good at it. 

So climb down the chimney
It’s been a long time since I felt good, neighborly
Slice up the fruitcake
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that mayberry bough

Everything’s pretty much great, but I have moments of sadness, too, and am not QUITE getting into the spirit of Christmas yet. So I’m gonna do what everyone does. Fake it till I make it. In the meantime….

We need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet

And we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
We need a little Christmas now

We need a little Christmas now
We need a little Christmas now

Lynda the Guppy
aka Grinchy Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

We Need A Little Christmas, Mame soundtrack
Book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edward Lee
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman

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Mom Stopped By

October 24, 2014

Want to hear read something weird? All my life people who knew me, but didn’t know my mom’s name, would often call me Nancy. And people who knew mom, but didn’t know my name, would often call her Lynda. We have no idea why. It was one of those weird things that made us laugh, and it happened often enough that we would just respond without thinking.

I went to get my nails done early in the morning the other day. I’ve been going to my manicurist off and on for 7 years or so, and she KNOWS me. She does not know mom’s name. I walked in and Tracy looked up at me and said “Hi, Nancy!”

Want to hear read something even weirder?

It was dad’s birthday.

I suspect mom was stopping in to say HI, and also to remind me to call my dad. Don’t worry, mom. I didn’t forget, but thanks for the laugh.

And of course I miss you more than anything.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With The Silly Mom
aka The Fish With Sticks

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An Exhausted Guppy

October 19, 2014

Well, it’s over. Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-A-Thon. I spent the better part of 24 hours doing nothing but reading. I realize I read fast, but sometimes it’s funny to see just HOW fast. I remember reading each of the Harry Potter books in a day. Even Order of the Phoenix which I think is the longest. I’m the third generation woman in my family to get kicked out of a speed reading class for reading TOO FAST. LOLOL.

This was a shocking amount of fun. I realize I was home alone with just me and the cat, but there was still a wonderful social aspect to this whole thing. There were mini-challenges I could do and blog updates to write and a Goodreads account to update. And there were over 900 people doing it with me, and a whole other group of people who were cheering us all on. Like I said. Shocking amount of fun.

Here are my personal totals:

What Was Read: 5 Books & 4 Short Stories. I have the full list of titles below.

Pages Read: 1,147 pages

Time Spent Reading: About 18 hours, probably. I started at 5:00 a.m. and finished at 4:30 a.m.. In between I took a 4 hour nap, plus did all the blog stuff and checked Twitter periodically, etc. So all in all I probably spent about 18 hours actually reading. That’s about 64 pages an hour. LOL Not too shabby.

Books Purchased Today: 2. (Well, 3 if you count a book I bought for tomorrow. LOL)

Blog Updates: 6 updates to my original post, and 2 Mini-Challenges.

Full List of Books (in the order I read them):

Jennifer Greene, Trouble in Paradise
Jennifer Greene, Quicksand
Anne Rainey, What She Wants
Anne Rainey, What She Craves
Anne Rainey, What She Needs
Victoria Dahl, Fanning the Flames
Cynthia Eden, Mine to Take
Cynthia Eden, Mine to Keep
Katie Reus, Breaking Her Rules

While I enjoyed all the books on this list, two books stand out as particular favorites. The first is Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl. That is one HOT fireman hero. VERY sexy. The second is Jennifer Greene’s Quicksand. It was nice to rediscover what was an old favorite. (Trigger warning: In Quicksand They do deal, in an offhand roundabout way, with a character’s past date rape. Nothing graphic and they don’t go into specifics, but there you go.)

While this WAS fun, It’s now 5:00 a.m. and I’m exhausted. So I’m going to get myself to bed. I’m scheduling this post to go up later in the morning, and hopefully by the time it does I’ll be fast asleep and dreaming dreams of hot firemen and librarians in pencil skirts, thanks to Victoria Dahl.

Lynda the Guppy
aka A Sleepy Guppy
aka A Fish With Sticks

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