Lunch, books, and more!

Yesterday I went with my sister-in-law Jenna to a book signing at our local indie bookstore in Tampa, Inkwood Books. One our way to the signing, we went to Hyde Park to have lunch at Nature’s Table Café. I had a California Club on wheat bread. It was as delicious as it looks….. Bacon AND avocado? Yes, please.


natures table cafe


After lunch, we headed to Inkwood Books for the book signing with Rick Yancey and his new YA book, The 5th Wave. This is supposed to be the next big thing, much like The Hunger Games. Jenna has a YA Lit review blog, Jenna Does Books, and whenever she attends these events, she invites me and it’s always fun to tag along. We both love to read and she is forever recommending books to me. If she loves a book, I know I need to read it. My to-read list is forever long!

Be sure to check out Jenna’s blog if you are a YA Lit fan… She has reviews, giveaways, and more. And most exciting… She is an aspiring writer herself. So proud of her!

Rick Yancey was very entertaining and fun to listen to. I always love to hear how an author came to be an author, how they turned their ideas into a book, and what they think of other books. It was a treat to listen to him talk about his influences and how his idea for this book, the first in a trilogy, came from his wife telling him that she is afraid of aliens. I am very excited to read this book.


The 5th Wave

“The first wave took out half a million people. The second wave put that to shame.” Now humanity, or what’s left of it, faces the oncoming of the 5th wave and only one rule applies: Trust no one. 16-year old Cassie travels alone in the plague and war-ravaged remnants of her hometown, desperate to fulfill a promise made to her little brother. Along the way she must evade Them, the enemy who is all but indecipherable from other survivors. When she meets Evan Walker, Cassie must decide whether or not she can put her brother’s fate–as well as her own– in his hands. The 5th Wave is an exciting, thoughtful, brilliant read.


rick yancey signing 051813


rick yancey 2



5th wave 1    5th wave 2


Always a fun time with Jenna and it made for a nice Saturday afternoon!



Do you read YA Lit? How often do you go to book signings?

Fun Fact Friday


fun fact friday


Friday! Friday! Friday! I am really excited about it being Friday this week. I know, I know…. I’m excited every week for Friday, but REALLY excited for this Friday. Let’s get to it.


  • Tomorrow night hubby and I will see Daughtry for the fifth time. Hi, my name is Nanci, and I love Daughtry. He will be at Ruth Eckerd Hall with 3 Doors Down, who we have never seen. We saw Daughtry just last April for what was probably his best show yet. Here are couple photos from that night. You’re welcome.


daughtry meet n greet 042012


daughtry 042013 1


  • Sunday I am running the Gasparilla 8K, which will be my third race this month and will make four towards my #10in2013 challenge. I am not so excited about the warm weather and the chance of rain, but I am looking forward to a fun event and the run along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Maybe I’ll be last year’s time? Maybe.


  • Last night, I went to a book launch party with my fabulous sister-in-law / book blogger Jenna at Inkwood Books in Hyde Park. Kristen Simmons is a local author and has written the second book in her YA Lit trilogy Article 5. Kristen was adorable and her excitement and gratitude over her books was very endearing. I have not read the first book yet, so I bought it as well as the second one and of course I had them signed. Of course.


  • My niece will be starting Kindergarten this fall. Holy. Cow. Jenna and I were discussing this last night. How can that be possible? Autumn is going to be even more adorable as a Kindergartner.


  • I came across a new blog yesterday that reminds me so much of me and I can’t wait to read more and follow her. You should check it out… Word to Run By


  • I want to cut my hair, it’s getting so long. But I also want to keep it long. I like being able to braid it for hot yoga and I have to be able to pull it back when I run. Decisions.


  • A month from now, my Aunt Darlene will be here for about a week! I can’t wait to see her!!


  • I am way behind on the 28 Day Blog Challenge that I am taking part in (#28DBC). So many great ideas to fine tune my blog and I will get to them…. It just may not happen within the 28 days of February. Katy Widrick is a rock star for putting this challenge on and sharing so many great tips, ideas, and advice.


  • I have been thinking again about getting a bike. The thought of riding a bike always sounds way more fun than it actually is. It’s just not comfortable. But it would be great exercise.


  • And because I’m totally in Daughtry-mode, I will leave you what is one of my favorite Daughtry videos. Enjoy!


Daughtry–Crawling Back To You

Favorite posts of 2012



happy new year 2013



As 2012 comes to an end tonight and we welcome 2013, I am thinking about this year and all the things I accomplished. 2012 has definitely been the year of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve done so many things that I normally would not do. I hope that I continue to face my fears head-on in 2013.

To finish out the year, I thought I’d do a list of my favorite posts of the year. This was really tough to narrow down and I’m probably forgetting something, but these posts meant the most to me. From completing not one but TWO half-marathons, meeting the wonderful women of Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers, my first blog conference, becoming Yelp Elite, starting Jingle Bikes For Kids, wonderful family time, along with several struggles I faced – it’s been a memorable year.  I hope you enjoy this look back with me…



I love my blog and I really look forward to continuing to blog in 2013 and to see how it grows. I would like to thank each and every one of you for following and showing interest in my babbling. It helps to keep me sane.

Wishing you all a SAFE and Happy New Year!!

Books of 2012

This year, I set a goal of reading 40 books for the year on Goodreads. As we quickly approach the end of 2012, I am 5 books behind that goal. I would have loved to meet that goal and even pass it up. Alas, that did not happen but I will instead focus on the 35 books that I have read.


Edge of the Past (Edge, #2)    Pretty Amy    Sharp: A Memoir    Terra (Terrestrials, #1)    When it Happens to You    Love Anthony

Heart of the Matter     Twenty Weeks     Swim: An eShort Story     A Three Dog Life    Lucky Man: A Memoir    No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

Whole Latte Life     Life on the Edge (Edge, #1)    Life From Scratch    One Good Dog     Poser   What Alice Forgot

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)     Something Like Normal     A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table    Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm    Still Alice    Radiate

Starters (Starters and Enders, #1)      Dog Years: A Memoir     Home Front     The Fifth Child     The Long Run    The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Fault in Our Stars    The Color of Heaven     Sing You Home     Chasing Rainbows    Comfort and Joy


As you can tell, I have a wide variety of reading interests. I enjoy YA Lit, and always take recommendations from my sister-in-law Jenna and her blog Making The Grade. If she suggests I read a book, she’s usually right and I will love it. This was absolutely the case with:

  •  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  •  Starters by Lissa Price
  •  Radiate by Marley Gibson
  •  Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (read about meeting Trish here!)
  •  Life On The Edge by Jennifer Comeaux
  •  Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
  •  Edge of the Past by Jennifer Comeaux


I also love books about dogs and their relationship with people. A favorite author of mine is Jon Katz and I have several books of his on my to-read bookshelf this year.


For all of you runners out there who feel like you’re not really a runner (ooh that’s me!), I strongly suggest you read No Need For Speed by John “The Penguin” Bingham. You can read my review on it here.


A new favorite author of mine this year is Lisa Genova. After reading Left Neglected in 2011, I had to read Still Alice. Both are thought-provoking, about very strong women facing medical crises that affect their lives and the lives of their families. 2012 also brought her newest book, Love Anthony, about a grieving mother, her autistic son, and new friendships. What I loved most about this book, was the voice of Anthony and her perspective on everything. Very touching…


This year, I also took part in my my first book club, thanks to the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers. The theme is to read books written by bloggers. The first book we read was A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. What a fantastic read this was, I enjoyed every bit of it. The second book we read was Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess). This book was laugh out loud funny and I thought it was the perfect book for a book club setting. You can read about our night out here. What a fun time we had talking about the book!


I also had the pleasure of reading a book by a fellow blogger who I follow and talk to on Facebook. Terra by Gretchen Powell is a must read. I just finished it last week – you can read my blog post and review about it here and here. I’m already thinking about reading it again.


So you’re probably wondering which of these books was my favorite? And my answer would be, you want me to pick just one?! That is a tough question! I enjoyed so many of them, all for different reasons. But if I had to pick just one, my favorite read of 2012 would be… A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. All around a wonderful book about food and family, meeting her husband all because of her blog, and sharing a recipe in each chapter. Loved it!!


And because I hate just picking one, here are my top 5 books of 2012:

  • A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
  • Terra by Gretchen Powell
  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • Love Anthony by Lisa Genova


I’d love for you to follow me on Goodreads… You can read my Goodreads profile here and add me as a friend! For 2013, I will set another goal of 40 books for the year and see if I can hit that goal this time. There is certainly no shortage of books on my to-read list!


What was your favorite book of 2012? Do you like to set reading goals for yourself?

{book review} Terra by Gretchen Powell


terra signed 1


terra signed 2


When a fellow blogger writes a book, you have to read it. Especially when she starts a second blog about the writing of her book and self-publishing, and you get more and more excited about it as she gets closer and closer to publishing it. So, when it was released on Amazon on December 11, I immediately downloaded it on my Kindle, anxious to read it.

And when your sister-in-law, asks you to write a guest review for her fabulous YA Lit review blog Making The Grade, you jump at the chance. I am happy to share my guest review with you here…


Gretchen Powell has written her first book titled Terra, a YA dystopian book about a girl, her brother, and their life in Genesis X-16. Terra’s life is changed forever when a discovery leads her to a world she never thought she would be a part of and a boy named Adam who is unlike any other she’s ever met.

I love this book. From the beginning, I was hooked. The characters are real and likeable, and a perfect fit for the world that Gretchen has created. I was held captive by the entire story line – the interaction between Terra and the government was as enthralling as that between her and Adam. And the odds they face are unimaginable… Acid rain that keeps them inside for days, a quarantine line that can’t be crossed, and meals that come in pill form.

I admit that there are some dystopian novels that I just cannot get through, the characters and worlds that the authors create are far too complicated. Not the case with Terra. And while I can never imagine living in a time or place where the government has divided the people so far, or where I would have to go out and scavenge for recyclables in exchange for currency to live off of, Terra is very easy to empathize with because her character is so REAL. Forgetting about the futuristic theme of the book for a moment, Terra struggles with loss, fear, and desire. Real qualities.

Terra can be compared to the likes of The Hunger Games and Starters. Gretchen Powell can absolutely hold her own in the YA world and will go far with Terra. There is no doubt that I want – and need – to read more. I cannot wait for the next one. In the meantime, I am sure I will read this again and again.


Terra is available on Amazon (Kindle and paperback) and Barnes and Noble (Nook).



For more on Gretchen Powell, you can follow her on:

Honey, I Shrunk The Gretchen

Gretchen Powell