Challenge

#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In February 18, 2017

January 11-18, 2017 Stats

I upped my calories a bit, felt better, increased my numbers (excepting sleep), and dropped about 2 lbs. Bodies are weird. Still no real motivation, but I am grinding it out and have lost approximately 32 lbs since October. Still re-reading. I finished off the rest of the Briggs and have moved back into Shelly Laurenston-I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get The Unyielding PDQ, I need the pick me up.

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Challenge, Thoughts and Opinions

#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In February 10, 2017

Week of February 4-10, 2017 Stats

I did slightly better on sleep most of this week (without the sleep hygiene sacrifice of sleeping in on the weekends), which naturally came back to bite me in the butt last night. As for the rest, I think I have been underfeeding. Simply the fact that I was falling asleep so early (for me) is a good sign my body is unwell. That plus the awful stall and the declining motivation to do much of anything is probably a good sign that I need to eat more, not less. I’m not even going to try to do my 5 K this weekend, I am just going to try to relax. Though I am giving some thought to trying to run a mile a couple of times a week, literally jog/run/wobble rather than just walk. For now thoughts are about all it is.

I also need to decide what to read this week, particularly out of my ARCS and for #TBRChallenge. I am still just rereading, and right now I am back on Patricia Briggs.

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Challenge, Thoughts and Opinions

#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In February 3, 2017

Week of January 28-February 3 2017 Stats

I am click clacking along, not reading much but still keeping my butt off the chairs for the most part and I improved over last weeks stats. Except of course for sleep which was abysmal as usual.

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I have also been using some Runtastic apps for body weight training. I know I need to get back to the gym, but this is what I’ve got for now.

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4 star review

Review – Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands + Giveaway

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New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands welcomes readers back to the Scottish Highlands, where a gallant warrior vows to protect a beautiful runaway . . .

Lady Murine Carmichael has known her share of bad luck. But when her debt-ridden half brother tries to sell her off in exchange for a few Scottish horses, it’s the final straw. If keeping her freedom means escaping through harsh countryside alone, so be it. She has barely begun her journey when she lands an unlikely escort—the brawny Highlander who just refused to buy her virtue.

Dougall Buchanan was disgusted by Lord Danvries’ shameful offer, but Murine tempts him beyond measure. Even bedraggled and dusty, the lass glows with beauty and bravery. Dougall wants to do more than just help her flee. He wants to protect her—with his life and his heart—if she’ll only let him. For Murine may be pursued by a powerful foe, but nothing compares to the fiery courage of a Highlander in love.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review. GIVEAWAY

This is my happy-go-lucky, light and sappy, happy place. Lynsay Sands is almost always good for a few laughs and a sappy romance, and I have been digging on this series for a while now. In fact, I moved this ahead on my queue after reading a truly angst inducing series, after which I was compelled to go back to the angst which prompted a reread of this whole series. They are that light, happy, and fluffy. The perfect counterpoint to angst.

We had met both Murine and Dougall in the previous books, and Murine had already proved herself to be kind, loyal, and brave. So I was predisposed to like her. She didn’t necessarily exhibit the extreme competence levels of previous heroines, but she was cute and likeable so I was happy to go through her story to happily ever after. And while Dougall was really just one of a bunch of big brash Buchanans, well I enjoy that sort of character, so he worked for me as well. And needless to say I enjoyed seeing the rest of the brothers again too and will look forward to the rest of their stories as well (particularly that of the scarred eldest brother). And while this story itself stands alone, I think it is one where it is best if you have read the series, especially books 2 & 3.

The story itself was a series of pratfalls, misadventures, and misunderstandings (albit small ones which were mostly talked out in quick order-I HATE the BIG Mis). Murine has had horrible disasters befall her, and a really hard life of late, but her stepbrother’s latest betrayal was just one step too far. Escape was in order. And so our fainting heroine rides forth on her trusty steed…a bull. Seriously! That is just the start of the ridiculousness in store if you pick up this book.

Poor Murine and Dougall. They stagger from one calamity to the next, eventually finding love and a life together. It was sweet and left me feeling happy. Though I’ll admit, I saw the bad guy coming from YEARS away, literally, I saw it coming from book 2. But even so, I enjoyed the story.

Now I’ll admit, this isn’t the most earth shaking and moving or memorable story. In fact in probably a week or two I’ll probably remember very little of it except the bull (and maybe the plumber’s crack above that kilt…how odd is that cover?). But that is fine, it is great even. Because that isn’t why I read these books, I read them for that happy little moood lifting buzz, and it provided that in spades. So it not being the most memorable book every just means I’ll be even happier when I go back and re-read it, which I guarantee you I will! I finished it with a big old sloppy/sappy grin on my face, and if you like a good wallpaper highland historical complete with brogue, Sands put out another winner.

Falling for the Highlander (Highlanders, #4)

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Challenge, Thoughts and Opinions

#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In January 27, 2017

Week of January 21-27 Stats

Everything has been a bit hit or miss; eating, exercising, motivation. Likely most of this boils down to sleep, but it is very much a chicken or egg thing. Am I sleeping less well than usual because I have been less active, or am I less active because I am not sleeping well? Probably it is just my stupid brain/body being stupid, but that doesn’t help the fact that I find myself distracted, irritable, and short tempered. I am seriously considering investing in more specific sleep hardware. I wish Fitbit had something, but it looks like right now the Withings Aura is the most comprehensive item available, and I DO have the option to “purchase” a 20% off code with my Higi points (they also have Garmin, WSS, iHealth and LeftLane, so if anyone wants a code I can see if I can figure out how to share them, I have way more points than I know what to do with). And I am also keeping my eyes out on the Sleep Number 360, desperate times call for desperate measures. Would it help? Probably not, but more data is more data.

All I know is that food logging is back to being a seriously ingrained habit, though that doesn’t necessarily mean I make good choices. I went to log my morning once this week and found calories already in. When I looked I had logged 2 fun sized Snickers in the Midnight-4:00 am slot. I checked my Fitbit and sure enough, I got up at 3:05 am…apparently for a snack. Aren’t parasomnias fun :/ In the meantime, I’d better finish up this post and get back up off my behind.

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2.5 star review

Review – The Hangman’s Daughter by Gavin G. Smith

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Four hundred years in the future, the most dangerous criminals are kept in suspended animation aboard prison ships and “rehabilitated” in a shared virtual reality environment. But Miska Storrow, a thief and hacker with a background in black ops, has stolen one of these ships, the Hangman’s Daughter, and made it her own. Controlled by explosive collars and trained in virtual reality by the electronic ghost of a dead marine sergeant, the thieves, gangsters, murderers, and worse are transformed into Miska’s own private indentured army: the Bastard Legion. Are the mercenaries just for fun and profit, or does Miska have a hidden purpose connected to her covert past?

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

They say a change is as good as a rest, and this sounded interesting and just enough out of my usual milieu to be just what I needed. And I am so sorry to say, mostly it didn’t work for me.

It should have. Strong militaristic heroine with a grudge and a plan? A high degree of moral relativity with a somewhat amoral heroine? Fighting and gratuitous violence? All things that SHOULD have made it my catnip.

Unfortunately the author stalled on a couple of key points. I don’t mind a crazy heroine, in fact I adore them. But this one whiplashed from on target-large and in charge, to crazed manic pixie sex bot who randomly exclaims “Pretty!”. It was pointless. I don’t know what the author was thinking. Was it an attempt to humanize her or make her more feminine? To appeal to a particular fan base? To capture romance readers or sci-fi dude bros? I just don’t get it, and it didn’t appeal. And worse than not appealing, it detracted from the story.

And the story itself was good, or at least it should have been. We have a woman out for revenge. We have battles to fight, plots to plot. All of space is the canvas and the scope is potentially enormous. And the fighting and plotting were good, it is where this author shines. But instead of sticking to that, or putting in hints of sexual attraction, the author beat us over the head with something that was completely irrelevant to the story. It broke into the meat of the story making it a slog to get through, I almost gave up at the 60% mark it drug the story down so much.

As relatively well as the author manages the action parts of the story and came up with a compelling premise, characterization is obviously a struggle yet. It isn’t just the main heroine though. From the start the way the sub characters were thrown at us, the just failed to initially flesh. It was just more noticeable with Miska, which is probably a combination of the fact we spend the entire story in her head…and because I am female.

In any event, there is some good material to work with, and I hope the author gets some help with characterization because I think tightening that up would probably tighten up the story line as well. And I am just masochistic enough that should another book in the series come out, I’ll read it.

The Hangman's Daughter: The Bastard Legion: Book 1
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Challenge, Thoughts and Opinions

#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In January 20, 2017

jan-5k-2017

I started this post initially by saying that if the fog cleared I would do my 5K later today, but then I looked at myself, and said “Stop procrastinating”, got up, and did my first 5K-wet, fog, mud and all. I guess if I were following my own internal logic I would wait to post it until next week, but damn it, I am proud of myself even if it was done in a truly uninspiring time. I am rocking and rolling along otherwise in keeping moving on a daily basis, and figuring out how to work it into my work day.

I am feeling a touch blah though, about the fact that I am in a bit of a stall, despite the fact that I knew it was coming. And knowing all I have to do is continue as I am to get out of it really doesn’t help the blah.

January 21, 2017 5K Stats

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Week of January 14-20, 2017 Stats

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