It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Hey there!  Welcome to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list!

Late one coming up tonight… busy weekend and came home this afternoon to a bit of a yard mess, apparently while we were away someone ran off the road yesterday, took out our mailbox and a few trees on the edge of our property.

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Here is what I posted this past week:

Book Exchange – How It Works and Why It Is Awesome

Lethal by Sandra Brown

Ugh… what a week.  Apparently I posted pretty much nothing.  Hopefully this week will be a better one.  I am on the verge of a couple of audio books ending and I did finish a book tonight.  July has turned out to be just a hard month all around and my focus has been off.

Please add your link below to what you are reading and what you hope to be reading this next week, I will update this post in the morning to include what I plan to read this week.

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Snapshots of The 50 Mile Bike Ride and a WINNER Announced

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Good morning!  Happy Saturday.  I have some fun pics to post from last weekends bike ride for todays Saturday Snapshot.  My friend Amy and I try to do the Tour Of Saints every year.  It is a 50 mile bike ride that takes places in St Joseph Minnesota, a beautiful little town about an hour and 15 minutes from where we live.

Normally, by the time we do this ride in July we have a few rides in for the season… not this year.  We have both been so busy that the first time I was on my bike this year was the night before the ride when I took it a couple of miles down the road and back to make sure it was riding smooth.

So… off we went:

 

Sheila DeChantal, Amy Price, Book JOurney

This above pic is at the first pit stop.  We were a little over 11 miles in, it was already becoming WARM out and there was some annoying wind happening.

AMy Price, Book JOurney

The next pit stop was at mile 25 and by this time it was HOT but the direction we were going was with the wind to our backs so it was a nicer leg of the ride and we were feeling pretty optimistic.

 

Tour Of Saints, Book JOurney

Just about every year I brag about the fruit on this ride.  They always have beautiful strawberries.  This year for me it was more about the grapes (which were delicious!) and of course, I did not take a picture of.

 

St Joseph Minnesota, Tour Of Saints, Sheila DeChantal, Book JOurney

This fun little straw (twig?) house was here last year too.  It is pretty cool.  Last year we walked through it but this year we just stopped and took a couple of pictures and took off again, the wind was once again in our face.

 

The last 20 miles of the ride were tough.  It was pretty wide open fields we were riding by and the sun was baking us like ants under a magnifying glass.  Between the sun and the wind we were moving pretty slow and by the time we were done we were really DONE.

It is always a good time but it was a tough ride this year probably also because we had not trained… but we are stubborn so we did it. :D

 

Check out other Saturday Snapshots here.

 

I also need to announce a winner from the Page Girls Birthday Week post I put up earlier this week.  If you have not went over and checked them out yet, please do – they are posting fun articles!

The winner of the book and coasters is:  (using random.org)

 

A Curious Gal! 

YAY!  Please send me your shipping info and I will pass it on to have the coasters sent to you and I will email you the code for the book. :)

That’s it.  Have a super rest of your weekend. I am at the cabin until Sunday later afternoon and have no internet there so will be back in touch after I return.

Morning Meandering… The Afterwards and Open Doors

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Good morning!

Jiminy Crickets life is cra-zy.  And yes, pretty sure that is the first time I have ever used Jiminy Crickets in a sentence.

Yesterday was my last day on the job I had for 10 years and 5 months. It was a bitter-sweet last day with a staff lunch and everyone went around and said a favorite memory they have with me… that was fun and it was perfect just to keep the lunch light enough so I was not a swarm of tears the whole time.  :)  As you can probably imagine… more than a few of the favorite memories had to do with office pranks, and chasing birds; but there were also ones having to do with the way I had a smile for everyone, and no matter what was going on in my life I didn’t let it get me down, willing to give anything a go no matter how crazy it seemed, integrity, and having a heart for the hurting….being able to see things in people that sometimes others can not see.  That is my take away… fond memories and it was awesome to hear what they see in me.

It is weird to be on the other side of that now.  It’s crazy to think come Monday morning I will not be heading across town into work, but instead working on setting up a routine and discipline of heading down stairs into my home office.  It is a wildly exciting and at the same time a little frightening too.

I am doing this…. after years of talking about it…. I am doing it.

EEP!

And here is the cool things about all that.  I have had offers come in to write for magazines.  I am working with a newspaper in the cities as well.  Just this morning I received an amazing email from a fellow reviewer and author who is working on two pretty cool things that she invited me to partake in that could lead to bigger things. And if I can have my book ready to submit again by August 12th  I can take part in a pool of books that are being selected for publication and marketing.  Holy smokes!!!!  I have to get moving! Things that I normally would have to politely decline but now instead can consider and even say yes to.  A couple of my friends have come forward this week and offered me flexible positions in their businesses if I need any supplemental income during this transition because they too want me to be able to write and follow my passion.

Anyhoo…

here I am.

This morning I am working on setting up the office and a few things around the house.  I am planning to take off for the cabin this afternoon – hopefully.

What’s on your agenda for this weekend?

 

 

 

 

LETHAL by Sandra Brown

LETHAL Sandra Brown, Sheila DeChantal, Book JOurney

 

Honor Gillette is a young widower of a Police Officer.  She now lives alone with her 4-year-old daughter trying hard to provide a stable life for them both.  When a man is found laying in their yard apparently harmed Honor goes to help him only to discover that he is the man flashed across the tv screen that the police are looking for the murder of 7 people, Lee Coburn.

Lee takes Honor and her daughter hostage in their own home, promising if they cooperate he will not hurt them.  Honor has no choice but to do as he says. As the days unfold Honor realizes that Coburn is much more than what the media is saying… in fact as Honor is about to learn – nothing is as it seems and who to trust, including those closest to her becomes the burning question.

How do you run away from the very people who days earlier would have been the ones you would run to?

 

 

 

I read this book as part of our June book exchange for book club.  This is the book that I picked out of the pile of wrapped books.  I had attempted Sandra Brown a few years back thinking I would like her writing style but struggled and had not finished the book, or picked her up since.  This was going to be another attempt.

 

LETHAL was an ok read.  From the moment Honor finds Coburn in her yard and takes her hostage I started having a little Labor Day by Joyce Maynard feeling.  Both books had single mom’s and a single child, both books the woman was taken hostage…. While in many ways the books are not alike, there was just enough there to make me feel like I had been here before.

The storyline felt a bit over the top, however I did find the book to be interesting enough to keep me going to find out what was going to happen.  When I shared my thoughts with my book club in July about this book I called it a steamier version of Labor Day.  In the end I preferred Lee Coburn’s character over Henry in Labor Day.  Coburn was someone I could cheer on…. Henry… not so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… CHANGES. Stay Awake For It

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Life is strange.

Stay awake for it.  ;)

I am sitting here this morning pajama clad and coffee ready.  It is the start of what looks to be another beautiful day.  I feel much like I am on the brink of something new and exciting but at the same time I am all knotted up inside.

Tomorrow will be my last day at a job that I have had for over ten years.  It is something I have given a lot of thought too… prayed over for the last couple of months… and finally took the step I needed to.  Current life happenings helped me make the final decision… (life has a funny way of doing that).

While sentimental Sheila is sad to move on from something she really enjoyed, realistic and adventurous Sheila knows it is the right thing to do.  It is possible to be sad and excited all rolled into one.  Future plans include setting up my home office, putting my writing back on track, and being able to say yes to a few offers that have come in that I had to say no to in the past.

Life also…

is never dull.

Last weekend my friend Amy and I were on the Tour Of Saints bike ride which we do every year.  I will talk more about the ride on Saturday morning but for now, I want to talk about the coffee. :) mmmmm coffee.

I picked up coffee the morning of the ride at Carribou Coffee and saw they had a promotion going on for people who took pictures of whatever they were doing with their coffee and hast tagged it #stayawakeforit.  Always game for new things I figured why not.  I would think leaving in the early hours on a Sunday morning for a what was going to be a sweltering hot day would be worthy…

Sheila DeChantal, Amy Price

#stayawakeforit

 

Life… is not always easy.  But is can be adventurous, and fun, and as I mentioned above…. never – NEVER dull.  Stay awake for it.  ;)

 

What are your “stay Awake For It” moments happening right now?

The Book Exchange.. How It Works And Why It Is Awesome

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The book club I am part of (The Bookies) have had a fun exchange that we have taken part in for the past three years.  I recently posted about it here.  It is a lot of fun and a great summer break idea for your book club or for you and your friends just to read really great books.

Here is the basic layout of how to do it.

  • Pick a date when you ask each person in your group to bring a wrapped book to the group.  (*we encourage brown wrap so people do not choose by the packaging ;) )
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY – The book everyone brings NEEDS to be a book the giver has read and liked very much if not LOVED.
  • Inside the front cover of the book place a post it note saying why you loved the book so much and if you want the receiver to keep it or return it after is read.

 

At your gathering you each choose a book and what you pick is what you read.  When you meet up again, you each share the book you read, who gave it to you and what you thought of it.  It is a lot of fun.

 

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Our group does this every June so in July during our annual picnic, we share what we each read instead of a whole group book review like we do the rest of the year.

 

collage for BJ

 

This year some of the books that made this exchange were:

 

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Burial Rights by Hannah Kent

Night by Elie Wiesel

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

Lethal by Sandra Brown  (this is the book I picked out of the pile)

Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

City Of Bones by Cassandra Claire

That Night by Chevy Stevens

 

My favorite part of the whole process is to listen to what everyone thinks about the books.  As you can see above we had some pretty amazing books in the group and a couple really deep ones (Night and Boy In The Striped Pajamas – two books that I think everyone must read.  For the most part everyone really enjoyed the book they picked.  As readers, at least I know for myself… I love it when a freind recommends that next great read.

Morning Meanderings… SQQQQUUEEEE Package In The Mail!

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Mmmmmmmm coffee.

It was a long stormy night here.  By the time I went to bed the wind was picking up and a lot of thunder and lightning. With temps in the 90′s and the high humidity as well it had been said that we could get winds up to 70 miles per hour in this storm which yes… is a bit concerning.  I sat up in bed and watched out the window for a while worried about my trees, deck furniture, the wild rabbits….

alas, sleep won over.

This morning, things look good.

There are a few branches around but all is well.  I walked out and checked my crazy apple tree too; the one I have propped up with stakes to help its heavy branches and it is fine.

*whew*

 

In other news…. don’t you love receiving packages in the mail?  I love it!  Books thrill me…. every time.  It never gets old!  And the occasional package shipped from a friend or a fellow book lover is another level of exciting!  These are a little more personal because they are planning something just for the receiver.

I had signed up for The Book Monsters Christmas In July for just this reason.  I was given my swap partner which was Tula at Primary School Library Diva, we exchanged a wish list and a little bit about ourselves.  SO FUN! 

My package arrived yesterday…

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Fun right?  YAY!!!  The Rowell book is one from my wish list!  SUPER exciting stuff!  A fun magazine, Skittles, and a cute little card.  Thank you Tula!  LOVE it!!!  I hope you love yours too :)

 

Finally this morning, I hope you seen my post I put up yesterday afternoon about the Page Girls Birthday Week and Giveaway.  It is pretty sweet and a fun site to check out.  (And to be clear the pic is of my blowing a party horn…. lol… there has been some confusion about what is in my mouth or in front of my face. )  :D

Have a super Tuesday!

Page Girl’s Birthday Week Celebration and Giveaway!!!!

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey, The Page Girls

Life has been hard here lately, I am not going to lie.  So when Cecily from The Page Girls asked if I wanted to be part of their launch celebration I jumped at the chance to be part of the fun.

I like fun.

The Page Girls is a lit magazine with themed weekly issues with short stories, book reviews, essays, videos, cocktail recipes, and more.  (Which one of these topics catches your attention?  ;) )

This week – as their official kick off they are having daily giveaways, fun discussions, and more!

The Page Girls, Book JOurney

As part of this weeks celebration they allowed me to join in on the giveaways!  I will be giving away an E-Book copy of Here For The Cake and a set of these super cute coasters :)

The Page Girls

SQQQQUUUEEEE right?  and the coasters match the book cover so how sweet is that?

 

To enter this giveaway please pop over to The Page Girls and look at their site.  Come back here and leave a comment on something you seen or liked on their page.  :)  That is it.  I will draw a winner on Saturday morning and send that winner the link to the E Book and the coasters.

 

The Page Girls, Book JOurney

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Hey there!  Welcome to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list!

It was another week of not a lot happening here in the reading world.  Here is what I did post:

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Brown Bag Author Event:  Julie Kramer

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

Save The Date by Mary Kay Andrews

The Third Plate By Dan Barber (excellent non fiction!)

 

Ok ok… when you look at that list you would think I read a lot this week, but the only one of these I finished this week was Save The Date, the others are just reviews I am just catching upon.

 

I am exhausted from going on a 50 mile bike ride today in high heat and strong winds so I am not going to list what the plan is for this week.  Please add your link to It’s Monday What Are You Reading below where it says click here.  :)

 

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Morning Meanderings… Going To Woodstock!

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Good morning!  I am up early this Sunday all ready to head out the door, pick up my friend Amy and hit the road for our annual 50 mile bike ride in St. Joseph Minnesota.  We have completed this ride for probably 4 years now (maybe 5)… and it always seems like it is a HOT HUMID day.  Today… is no exception.  Looks like it will be in the 80′s and humid.  Packed double water today.

It is always a good time… even if we do complain about the hills and the humidity.  ;)

 

Here are the books that I welcomed into my home this week:

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After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid ( this was on the Summer Reading hot list)

 

Barefoot In Babylon by Bob Spitz (this is all about Woodstock and I am crazy excited about it!  I can only find a link to the old one, but this book is a new revised copy!)

 

The Bone House by Brian Freeman (Brian was our author at the library last week and he told me this was the book of his to start with.)

 

That’s it.  I need to go… want to pick up coffee and a banana.

Have a super Sunday!

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