*SERIES HIGHLIGHT* Trylle by Amanda Hocking

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story...

She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits... and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.

Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted... in both worlds.

Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself.  If she doesn't surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe.  But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind... even if it’s the only way to save them?

The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn't the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she’s about to make the ultimate choice... who to love forever. One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life—and now all their lives might be coming to an end. 

Everything has been leading to this moment.  The future of her entire world rests in her hands—if she’s ready to fight for it.

I REALLY enjoyed this series... it's one of those that gets better and better as it goes with the third and final book in the trilogy being the best one yet. I was hesitant to read them because trolls? But seriously... do NOT let that keep you from checking these out because they are GOOD. Different supernatural creatures but all the makings of a wonderful supernatural story are present: great characters you want to root for, yummy boys, family ties, action and danger around every corner... this series kept me engaged from start to finish. If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend that you do. Enjoy!

*REVIEW* The Stars Never Rise


Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

Another stellar book from the amazing Rachel Vincent. I'm telling you, I think she can do no wrong. Everything I've read by her has ensnared me immediately. Definitely a fave author of mine! The Stars Never Rise is the first book of a new series and it was really, really good. Interesting, unique, and full of intriguing characters, drama, action, and creepies. What more could you ask for?

The Stars Never Rise introduces us to Nina, a teenage girl fighting to keep her and her sister clothed and fed in a futuristic world where demons once roamed the land. The Church and their team of exorcists have battled the demons back from the civilized cities and the people now live in these cities, protected by the church and the tall city walls designed to keep the remaining demons out. Not all demons were eradicated in the war and the ones that remain outside the walls are deformed, depraved monsters on the hunt for souls to eat.

Nina's world is completely changed when she learns several shocking truths about her family... truths that endanger her, her sister, and change their relationship with their mother forever. Enter Finn, a delicious specimen of a boy with some shocking abilities who just happens to aid Nina when she needs someone most. Nina is thrust into a world she never knew existed, just as she learns that the world she always thought she knew is nothing as it appears to be. Will Nina be able to save the ones she loves from the horrible truths she uncovers or are things hopeless? All is revealed in this stunning first installment by Rachel Vincent. 

I REALLY enjoyed this one. The characters are so likeable, even the ones who aren't at first. And while readers definitely learn a great deal and get some answers, the ending leaves us with some things unexplained and I, for one, cannot wait to delve into the next installment to see where things go next. All hail, Rachel Vincent! LOVE her books.


My Time as a SAHM

So an enormous benefit of working as an educator is summer break. This summer happens to be a particularly long one... 11 GLORIOUS weeks. It's no secret to those nearest and dearest to me that my biggest wish is that we could afford for me to be a SAHM. I take comfort in the fact that my job at least affords me some serious time off to be at home with my little angel. 10-11 weeks in the summer, all the normal holidays, 1.5-2 weeks at Christmas, and a week for spring break equals a LOT of vacation time at home, much more vacation than a typical 9-5 working mama is likely to get. I know in that regard that I am very, very lucky. So how goes my summer as a SAHM? Pretty amazing and surprising.

I was home with my daughter last summer too but she was much younger, 6-7 months, and it's pretty much a blur at this point. This summer, my little darling is 18 months and a full-fledged toddler. Walking, climbing, running, exerting her independence every chance she gets, saying her favorite word "NO!" and yelling it quite a bit as well. To say that she's more challenging this summer would be a HUGE understatement. I have a new appreciation for full-time SAHMs because it can definitely be mentally draining because if you're like me and you have a bad sleeper, you are on almost all the time. My daughter will only sleep in her crib for maybe 1.5 hours before I have to move her into my bed and since our bed is high off the ground, I end up going to bed with her for safety. That means that out of every single day, I'm only getting after showering and all that, maybe an hour to spend with my husband just being me. Of course, the time with my husband is even LESS during the school year because there's all the preparing for the next workday stuff like packing bags and lunches and all that jazz but I feel like I get a little bit more of a "kid break" during the year.

I think it definitely surprised me to see how draining it can feel to always be "on". I love my daughter more than life itself but I definitely cherish that hour of time before she wakes up, way more than I cherish it during the school year. I also find being home can get a tad bit lonely... sure, I get to wear yoga pants every day and can watch TV when I want, but you can definitely miss interaction with people who are over 3 feet tall.

All that being said, I would stay home in an INSTANT because it's so much easier being a SAHM for me than it is being a working mom. We struggle so much during the school year because everyone is stressed, time is so compressed, weekends end up being all about errands and chores, and the working mom guilt can be absolutely crushing. While it's nice to be out of the house and have some other types of interaction, it really can't compare with getting to spend every day watching your child grow up and experience the world. The toddler age is so fun because they are constantly learning and changing... it's truly incredible.

It's only been 4 weeks but my favorite things right now about being home:

  • Getting to be there for every moment is priceless
  • Morning trips to the park! Afternoon time it is PACKED
  • Napping in the afternoon with my girl, she is the best snuggler
  • No work clothes! Bra? If I feel like it! Yoga pants? Check!
  • More time to get housework done... my house is pure sketch during the school year
  • Grocery trips/errands while others are at work... SO much better than weekend shopping!
  • SO much easier to cook at home when I can prep in the afternoon
  • No commute! Goodbye, traffic!
  • Lots of playtime with my girl, love our summer bond
There are so many more but you get the point. While it's not all roses, I still much prefer our summer way of life. One downside is that finding time to blog is so difficult! I have soooo many reviews to post, it's insane. Cause another perk? Yup. This mama has actually had time to read. I hope all of you are having as wonderful a summer as I am. Here's hoping the next 6.5 weeks go sloooooowly. Cheers!
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