Books!, Signal Boost, Writing

500 Followers & Giveaway!

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, I honestly can’t believe that I am hosting a giveaway now on my blog. Thank you all so much for joining me on this journey of books and geekery. I have really enjoyed talking to so many of you about books over the last three years…and I look forward to many more years with this blog.

I have been blogging off and on for about a decade now, but have been successfully operating this blog since January 2016, and I have felt so pleased to see how well this particular blog has done. And it is all thanks to you. I wish I could give you all free books.

–Oh, wait, technically I can. LOL. I am a self-published author, so if you would like to download an e-copy of my book Project Death: Resurrection, you can go to Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble, and get yourself a copy. Smashwords has .mobi for all you Kindle users. And I’m trying to get back to my writing and finish the sequel, Project Death: Revelation because I only have a couple more chapters to write and then it will be done. So hopefully that will be a release I will have next year.

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Anyway, I told myself for a while that I would do a giveaway when I reached 500 followers. But I had to figure out how I wanted to handle the prizes and the rules and all of that. I didn’t want to have to exclude any of you wonderful people from having the chance at signing up.

Finally I settled on having options for all of you. So, this giveaway will be open worldwide. And the winner is the one who gets to pick which prize option they would like.

So…if Book Depository ships to where you live, you can pick a book (or books) that add up to $25 US and I will order those for you. Note: this option means that you will have to send me your address. Book Depository does not yet do gift cards, sadly.

Or…if Book Outlet ships to where you live, I will send you a $25 Book Outlet gift card.

Other options include gift cards for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million…or any book store I can buy a gift card for. I know with Amazon and such, I can buy a digital gift card and e-mail it to you.

All you have to do to enter is follow my blog. Oh, and fill out this Rafflecopter.

The giveaway will run from midnight December 8 (so it starts 8 hours after this post goes live) through midnight on December 31. Then, if you are the winner, contact me on any social media, and we will figure out which book option you would like, and where I’m sending it.

Oh, and if you are the winner, I’d love to see what book(s) you end up choosing as your prize, so tag me in a photo on Twitter or Instagram. –Note, this is not required, but I would greatly appreciate it.

Okay, so thank you all once again for being wonderful bookish friends and following my blog. Honestly, I truly appreciate each and every one of you. That’s all from me today, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Manga, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (39)

Hey all, Dani here.

Greetings and welcome to yet another Wednesday reading update post. I’m just a couple months away from this post series being a year old. I’m really glad that doing a weekly reading check-in has helped me keep posting, even as I continue to struggle to find a good balance between work, life, reading, and blogging. But I guess this is the new normal.

I think I’m going to end up prepping up a ton of posts soon-ish. Thanksgiving is coming, so holiday from work, but then Black Friday is the next day, and I try to avoid going anywhere near a store. Then in December the factory is pretty much closed from Christmas to the New Year, so I should have some days/time to try and catch up on my massive backlog of reviews and the like. Hopefully.

Anyway, this post is where I talk about the books I have finished reading over the past week, the books I am currently reading, and the books I hope to start reading soon. So, let’s just start talking about books.

I don’t really have many books to report in this post. All I can say is that I re-read Amazing Fantastic Incredible A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee and Peter David and Colleen Doran. This was an absolutely necessary read for me right now, considering that the wonderful Mr. Lee passed away on Monday.

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I’ll likely have a review for his memoir up this week because I’m grieving his loss and need to talk about him and what Marvel comics have meant to me.

I’m still working on reading the same books I was last week: Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. But I have added one of my most highly anticipated releases to my current reading list: Seasons Turning by Donaya Haymond.

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Have I technically read this book a few times already? Well, yes, but Donaya has informed me that she made a few big changes in editing since the last time I read it. So I am very much looking forward to enjoying this story all over again.

Books!, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2018 Update 2

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow…somehow it is already November 11th. Yikes. And since it is Sunday, I guess it is time for my to give another NaNoWriMo update. Again, as this post is going up in the morning, I will measure my progress against the word count I needed for the 10th of the month. That means 16,666 words is where I am supposed to be to be on track for the month.

Oh boy. I wish I had a great update to give you all. However, I can say that I did actually manage to write some words. Specifically I wrote some words on my nerdy contemporary romance I’ve been wanting to write. I helped my region’s Municipal Liaison host a write-in this past week while she was out of town.

It was at the write-in, on Wednesday, November 7th. We met up at Panera. Well, I would say we, but the only ones who showed up were myself and my fiance. He started drafting a fantasy series he’s been thinking of writing for a while. It should be a great story; the characters are pretty darn awesome.

As for me, I managed to write 465 words…which I know, isn’t a lot. And it certainly didn’t bring me anywhere close to where I needed to be for the month. But as I looked over the scene I wrote, I felt so darn good, everyone. Seriously. I think I can add a little more detail and substance to the scene in future drafts, but for right now I am pretty happy with what I wrote. And it felt so nice to put words on the page again.

That little burst of writing put my total words written for the month at 607 words. In comparison, I have written 2903 words for blog posts in the past week. Oh, and that total doesn’t count what I’ve written for this post.

So, I definitely need to prioritize my writing for the rest of the month. There is still plenty of time to catch up, but I need to actually set aside time each day to work on creative writing.

With any luck, my update next week will show that I’ve actually been writing.

How are you lovely writers out there doing with your writing projects? I hope you are doing well. That is all from me today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

What I’m Reading (38)

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, it’s Wednesday again already. Awesome. Welcome back to me talking about my reading for the last week…which is probably not going to be the most exciting post, because I don’t think that I have a whole lot to talk about.

What I do want to talk about first is all the lovely people who made comments on my NaNoWriMo update from a few days ago. Thank you all so much for caring and encouraging me. I’ve been away from creative writing for a little longer than I would like to admit, and it was so great to have so many of you help motivate me. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

At the time this post goes live, I will just be getting off work, and then I have to go home and pack up all of my writing gear so I can go to Panera for a local write-in.

But first let’s talk about the little bit I have read in the last week. Well, I have read about another 20 pages of Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. And then I managed to get to around the 200 page mark with Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Mansicalco.

For right now, I don’t think I’m going to make plans for books I want to start in the next week. I still have some NaNoWriMo writing to catch up on, and I think these books are going to occupy me for a little bit longer.

How is your week going? Let me know in the comments. I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Tag, Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

The Library Lover’s Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

My blog backlog isn’t just a bunch of reviews. I actually have a few different tags to finish up as well. So once again, I have to thank Katie at Never Not Reading for tagging me in a fun little book tag. What I especially love about this one is that it has a focus on libraries. Considering that I do have a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, and of course being a bookworm, libraries are a big part of my life.

So let’s not waste any time, and I’ll just jump into the questions.

How often do you visit your local library?

Not nearly as often as I did when I was younger. I did go to the library once last month, but that was to use their access to Ancestry to do some genealogical work for my fiance. I don’t really use my library for book borrowing any more. There are so many books I have in my home library that I need to read. Not to mention all the galleys and ARCs I get as well. But I may have to put myself on a bit of a book buying restriction, so my library may just be seeing me a lot more frequently in the near future.

Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you can read or are you someone who checks out the exact amount of books you intend to read before they are due?

Well, I check out as many books as I should be able to read in the time before they are due. BUT, some days I end up not getting to read as much as I would like, which means that it sometimes seems like I check out more than I can read in that time.

How old were you when you got your first library card?

When I was little, the library rules were that you couldn’t have your own card until you were 5 years old. So I have had my first library card since then, so for 25 years now. But my library has changed their rules so that parents can get kids books out on their children’s cards; I think the age limit is 6 months or older now.

Do you go to your library for a particular book or do you check out anything that piques your interest?

A little bit of both, depending. Sometimes I’ll go there for a specific book, sometimes I’ll wander through both the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section and the YA section, and sometimes I’ll do a little bit of both.

Do you only check out books or do you also get DVDs, audiobooks, etc.?

Books and DVDs, though there was a little while when I just went online and borrowed e-books.

From what section of the library do you check out most of your books?

Sci-Fi/Fantasy and YA

What is your favorite part of using your local library?

The library was my happy place when I was growing up. I discovered so many wonderful stories because of being an avid user of the library. So even now when I don’t make frequent visits, I still have fond memories of all my time there. What is really great about using a library is being able to try out a book that you may or may not enjoy without having to go buy it at the store. Libraries are accessible to pretty much everyone, and I like that they make the books easy to access as well.


At this point I am supposed to tag others to do this book tag, but I don’t know who has or has not done it already, so if you would like to do this quick little set of questions then you are TAGGED!

Thanks for reading everyone, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

 

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2018 Update 1

Hey all, Dani here.

So am I just going to keep doing NaNoWriMo posts on Sundays? Well, yes, I suppose I am. They may not always be 500+ word posts, because obviously it is November and I need to be focusing my words on my novel, but I also need the accountability of talking about my progress.

Today is the fourth day of November, which means that going by the NaNoWriMo goal of writing 1,667 words per day, I should be at a total of 6,668 words by the end of the day. But since this post will be going up in the morning, to be on track so far this month, I need to be at 5,001 words right now.

Let’s talk about how I’ve done so far this month with my writing.

Day 1 – November 1 – Well, I woke up at 4:30 am to get ready for work, and then I worked from 5:30 am until 4:00 pm. Oh, and it rained all day. It has actually been raining for most of the last few days. Did I mention that rain has a tendency to make me sleepy? So by the time I got home, made dinner, and then settled down to write, I was pretty darn tired. I think I wrote a grand total of 142 words. So, not the best start to NaNoWriMo, but not the worst either.

Day 2 – November 2 – I woke up at 7:00 am, because I get 3 day weekends every week, so Friday is not a work day. Oh, yeah, and the continued rain let me sleep for pretty much 8 hours, which doesn’t happen all that often. I’m still looking for my story notebook. It has my list of the scenes I need to write to finally finish one of my books, and I decided to work on that before focusing on my new writing project. But after cleaning the apartment yesterday, not everything is where I remember it. So yeah, I need to find this notebook so I can get writing.

End of day update…still no luck finding the notebook. Oh, and there was that five hour chunk of time where we went to our local nerd store to run our bi-weekly D&D sessions.

Day 3 – November 3 – Woke up around 6:30 am today. Still no notebook, but there is blog prep work to do, so let’s get to writing some of those. If only I could count blog words towards my monthly total. My November Calendar Girls post is well over 1000 words. Sadly I can’t do that.

The other bi-weekly D&D session we are in is today, and one of our fellow players likes to come over two hours before the session begins. So, he’s here at like 10:30 am. He and one other player stay after the session to just talk and stuff too. They don’t leave until 8:30 pm. That is a huge chunk of my day gone, especially since the sessions are supposed to be from noon to maybe 5:30/6:00 pm.

Still no actual novel writing accomplished. Three days in and I have 142 words. This is really starting to suck. I think this may be my worst start for NaNoWriMo…and this is my 13th year doing it.

Day 4 – November 4 – Again, I wake up at 6:30 am. Well the clock says 6:30, but we just did the whole Daylight Savings thing, so the clocks fell back an hour at like 2:00 am, so really, my body feels like it is 7:30 am.

For the record, my Calendar Girls post stands currently at 1355 words. Yeah, that is almost what I would need for one day’s worth of writing.

Okay, we went to my mom’s house and I managed to find a backup notebook with my outline so I think I can finally get into writing. I have a lot of catching up to do. It’s time to get writing.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Signal Boost, Writing

October Wrap Up and November TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

I had to mostly pre-write this post, because it is now (or will be when this post goes live) November and I need to prioritize writing my novel over writing my blog or reading for fun. So I don’t know if I’m going to have a huge TBR for this month. But that’s okay, because my wrap-up for October should show that I did plenty of reading.

Endless Quest: Big Trouble by Matt Forbeck (5 stars)

Endless Quest: To Catch A Thief by Matt Forbeck (5 stars)

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill (5 stars)

Wild Embers: Poems of Rebellion Fire and Beauty (4 stars)

My Hero Academia, Volume 15 by Hideo Horikoshi (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vigilantes, Volume 2 by Hideyuki Furuhashi (5 stars)

Fairy Tail Zero by Hiro Mashima (5 stars)

Fairy Tail, Volume 3 by Hiro Mashima (5 stars)

Rule by Ellen Goodlett (4.5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 1 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 2 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 3 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 4 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 5 by Nagabe (5 stars)

All the Feels by Danika Stone (5 stars)

Black Clover, Volume 2 by Yuki Tabata (5 stars)

Black Clover, Volume 3 by Yuki Tabata (5 stars)

Estranged by Ethan M Aldridge (4 stars)

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (4 stars)

The Monster of Selkirk: The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton (4.5 stars)

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (5 stars)

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel (4 stars)

Make a Nerdy Living: How to Turn Your Passions Into Profit, with Advice from Nerds Around the Globe by Alex Langley (4 stars)

Whew…that was a nice list of books finished this month. I am also trying to prep up a bunch of reviews from all of these reads so they can be posted throughout the month and beyond. I actually have a huge list of reviews I need to write, so I may have quite a few posts coming for the rest of the year.

Okay, now onto what I’ve watched this month. Honestly, not nearly as much as everything I’ve read. So let’s just jump into the list: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl — 4.5 stars, The Magicians, season 2 — 5 stars, Hocus Pocus — 5 stars, Halloweentown — 5 stars, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge — 5 stars, The Spiderwick Chronicles — 4.5 stars.

Obviously I have my usual ongoing watches, namely Fairy Tail and Critical Role Campaign 2. The Fairy Tail watch has slowed down a little bit, because I watch it with my fiance and he has recently been distracted by the new Spider-Man video game.

It’s book haul time!

Oh, and if I’m talking about my book haul from October, I guess I should also briefly mention my unhaul from October as well. I ended up removing 94 books from my library.

Now this is where my wrap-up post usually features my monthly Owlcrate unboxing…but my post office delivered my Owlcrate to another apartment in my building, and the package was apparently stolen from that other apartment’s doorstep. I was so excited about the October box too. It featured exclusive Owlcrate editions of both Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and Pride by Ibi Zoboi. So I have filed a stolen package claim because the package was insured, but since the box was sold out, I’m betting I won’t be able to get the lovely signed editions anymore.

Finally, it is time for my November TBR. This is definitely a tentative TBR, because I should spend more time focusing on writing than reading. But the next round of the Manga Madness readathon is coming up next week, and I still have a decent stack of books I’d really like to read, so…these are books that I may or may not get around to this month.

Okay, well that is all for today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo Prep 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) starts in just a few more days. Ahhh…I don’t know that I’m ready yet. This is probably the least prepared that I have been in all my years of NaNo. But I’ve just been so out of practice with creative writing. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to write consistently through November. It would be really nice.

I just keep seeing all of these BookTubers who also write, and they talk about finishing drafts, or finishing edits. One just got her first bound ARCs for her book, and I got so happy for her because that is a big deal, but also sad because I feel like I’m starting to fail even more on my own writing journey.

So what am I doing for planning/plotting/prepping for NaNo? Well, I had some basic chapter title ideas written down, and some very loose character names. But looking at the names, some of them just didn’t fit…so I’m combing through character name databases or baby name databases trying to find names that do work.

But then I feel like I want to get a rough synopsis written. So I’m trying to get a draft of that finished today as well. But then that makes me wonder if I should play with Photoshop a bit and make a mock-up of a cover for inspiration purposes.

I also know that I need to come up with a writing playlist for this book too. I like to have songs that will inspire me for the actual plot of the book I’m writing. So I need to find at least 10-12 songs that work.

What I’m I working on this year? Well, as if it isn’t enough of a challenge for myself that I’m trying to get back into creative writing again, but I’m also going to be tackling a genre I don’t typically write in…and by that I am talking about romance. Basically my book is going to be a nerdy contemporary romance.

I’ve been inspired by my real life romance, and while I have been seeing a little more geeky and nerdy YA contemporary romance books, I think we could still use more of them. And honestly I think my book will be probably more New Adult to adult in age range. The characters all feel like they are in their low to mid 20s or so. I mean, I just turned 30 this year and my fiance is 26. So the characters will probably be around that range as well.

But I’m still so nervous about this project. I want it to be a great story. This is a tale that is near and dear to my heart, because in many ways it is a story I wish I could have read several years ago, when I was feeling so alone and believing that I would never find my own nerdy fairy tail romance. In many ways I feel like perhaps I am putting too much pressure on myself for this story, and that is making it harder for me to actually sit down and write.

However, NaNoWriMo is almost here, so hopefully I can push aside my inner editor and just write. I want to get this story out into the world.

Oh, and if you have any song ideas that you think would fit a geeky couple contemporary romance story, then please suggest them to me in the comments. I would be glad for the help.

Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, are you ready to start writing in a few days?

Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2018 is Coming

Hey all, Dani here.

Crap, it is almost November. I am so not ready. This year I have not talked about NaNoWriMo as much as I have in past years. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, has been a huge part of my life for over a decade now. I participated for the first time back in 2006, and it became something that helped motivate me and keep me going for years.

But my writing has slowed down dramatically…and by that I mean my creative writing. Obviously I’m still doing pretty good with my blogging, though I wish I could squeeze more time in for writing up more reviews and tags and other posts. I’m still trying to find the right work/life balance.

Anyway, I miss creative writing. I’m realizing that it gave me an outlet for a lot of my frustration and anger and all the not so nice feelings that build up in me because of life in general. Channeling those feelings into writing helped me deal with them in a healthy way, and I think not having that outlet is starting to lead to problems for me during the work day.

So, I really need to get writing again.

With just ten days left in the month of October, I need to get working on my NaNoWriMo project. In general I am a fly by the seat of your pants writer. But I do like to have some general things planned out. For the most part I actually just spend hours and hours thinking about what can or should happen in the story. So while most people proclaim to be a planner of a pantser, I consider myself more of a percolater. The ideas just sit in my brain and percolate until it is time for them to come out onto the page.

But since I’ve been away from writing for so long, I also feel like I might need a little more outlining and planning before November comes.

So on top of my reading and my blogging, I now get to spend the rest of the month kind of working on novel stuff.

Wish me luck, everyone. I’m going to need it.

Is anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know so we can help motivate each other.

That’s all for today, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Tag, Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

It has been a little bit since I’ve done a tag, so thank you to Katie at Never Not Reading for tagging me in this lovely little tag. It’s been a little while since I was tagged, but better late than never, right. And the header for this tag was created by Maddie at Munch Reviews, so feel free to check out the blogs of either of these ladies.

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Okay, this is a get-to-know-you type tag, so let’s just jump into it. The rules are pretty much just to answer the questions. Simple.

  1. How long have you been blogging?I started Mousai Books in January 2016, so it has been almost three years. But I had a couple other blogs about a decade ago that didn’t go so well, so I don’t exactly count them in my total blogging time.
  2. At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

    Currently I don’t see me stopping with blogging any time in the near future. But if at some time blogging became more of a chore than something I enjoy doing, I would need to take a break and re-evaluate. But honestly, I so enjoy talking about books and other nerdy hobbies, so I don’t see that happening.
  3. What is the best thing about blogging?The community is absolutely the best part of doing this. I have made some wonderful bookish friends in the past few years, and I am just so glad to have people I can discuss books and games and all sorts of other topics with. It’s wonderful.
  4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?The pressure. This time last year I literally was posting something each and every day, but with work and life changes, I haven’t been able to maintain that sort of schedule this year. I’ve had to spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to adjust my time and my planning and my prep to keep posting, though I wish I could post so much more. I don’t know if there is anything special I do to make that okay, but I do try to reassure myself that pretty much all of us deal with the pressure, and that it’s okay to not post every single day.
  5. How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?I don’t spend more than a couple minutes setting up a photo if I’m taking it myself. Otherwise I just grab the cover image of a book from Goodreads and use it for reviews.
  6. Who is your book crush?Is it sad that I don’t actually have a book crush right now? Honestly since I met my fiance, all the fictional characters just haven’t been able to compare. I realize that is a bit sappy, but it is also true for me.
  7. What author would you like to have on your blog?Oooh…right now I’d have to go with Emily A Duncan, author of the upcoming debut Wicked SaintsThis book will be released in early April 2019, and it currently tops my most anticipated list. Also, Emily Duncan is a fan of some of my favorite metal bands, and she is a librarian from Ohio. So we went to the same grad school, which is really cool. It would be cool to be able to do an author interview with her. Actually, is it okay if I said that I would love to just go hang out with her at a coffee shop and just talk about writing and books and stuff?
  8. What do you wear when you write blog posts?Umm…whatever I want? It really depends on where I write the posts. But for the most part I suppose I am in lounge pants and a t-shirt. When I’m at home I generally like to be comfy. So I wear pajamas and sit on the couch with my computer on my lap and books stacked all around me. It is a setup that has worked for me over the past year and a half.
  9. How long does it take you to prepare?This depends on what post I’m working on. For reviews it doesn’t take that long. The only real prepwork is to grab the cover image, the purchase links, and the summary details. After that it is just a matter of typing up my intro and my review. When it comes to book tags, I prep by copying over the questions and linking to the tag creator and/or the person who tagged me. For some tags I can just answer the questions, but for others I may need to go and look around my personal library for a little while.  But really, most of my posts only take me about a half-hour or so to write up, which isn’t really that bad.
  10. How do you feel about the blogging community?I absolutely love the blogging community. Like I mentioned before, it is my favorite part of blogging, and I have made some great online friends because of it. I can also say that this community has introduced me to so many fun tags and readathons and book clubs, and I am so glad for all of it.
  11. What do you think one should do to create a successful blog?

    There are many things that any of us could do to create a successful blog, but I think being passionate about what you are doing is key. That and trying to have an active presence online. My previous blogs were ones where I didn’t exactly comment on other blogs and try to be a part of the community, and so they never really grew or developed at all. With this blog I have started following a bunch of other blogs, and reading and commenting on other posts, and it has greatly helped me.

Wow, okay, so now I’m supposed to tag people so they can do this tag as well. Hmm… I will tag these people, but if any of you would like to do this one, then by all means consider yourself tagged.

That’s all from me today. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.