College Life: How to start the Semester off right

Hey Guys!

Here we are coming up on a new semester and as usual there are things that can challenge us differently each year.  Whether it’s the fall, spring or summer semesters it is a time for everyone to try their best to be their best.

For some this is going to be their first time away, from family, from friends and from their home.  But that doesn’t mean the challenges they will be facing will be insurmountable. For others it’s one step closer to their goal.  Whether that is graduation, or writing that next big paper.

No matter what you are going to be facing this semester, there are things you can do to make sure you start it off right and keep the momentum going.

Tip #1

Time Management is crucial!

One of the biggest differences with college is that is a bigger balancing game than high school ever was, unless you kept yourself on a very tight schedule.  (I never did)  So one of the biggest favors you’ll be doing yourself is to learn how to manage your time wisely.  Unlike in high school, you won’t have your parents and teachers reminding you to do your homework. You are on your own to remember everything that is due and when bills need to be paid.

One way to do this is to use a planner, now whether this is a physical planner (my favorite is the Happy Planner) or an app that you can access across all your devices is up to you, but having a central place to have what is due when is a lifesaver.

I personally use both, I created an assignment spreadsheet that tracks when my assignments are due and what grades I’m getting on them, what reading I need for class and if their are any scheduled meetings with professors that need to be kept.  I did this on google spreadsheets because I can update and change it right from my phone.

For my planner, I also write down when my assignments are due, but I work out a schedule that works with my day job(s) and with a study and reading schedule that needs to be kept with getting a master’s degree.  (note: if I don’t schedule study time then I don’t usually do it)

Now depending on how you take notes (I hand write mine when I take them because I’m less distracted this way and most of my professors did not allow technology in their classrooms.) you may want to set time aside to re-write your notes.  Whether you type them up or just hand write them again so that you know what you wrote.  (I can’t be the only one who can’t read my own handwriting on some of my notes days later.)   This makes it easier to revise for exams later.

Another great perk of having a planner and scheduling study time, is that you know when you have free time and you can make sure you have a life outside of school.  It is also less daunting than looking at all your assignments and not seeing anything else. With them spread out on a planner they look much more manageable.

There are of course ways to make your schedule much easier to manage.  That way you can enjoy your time as a college student.

  • Depending on how long you want to spend doing things, or if you want to have a long day on campus, try and schedule your classes to where you have breaks throughout the day.  Then during the breaks take care of the homework or assignments for each class. Then you can schedule yourself free time in the evenings.
  • Do not wait till the last minute to cram or study for exams.  As tedious as it is your should be preparing for it from when you get the information.  
  • Remembering everything you’ve heard in lectures is not what you should count on, instead take notes and then when you get home re-write them so that you understand them better.  It has also been said that hand writing your notes rather than typing them is a way to better retain the information.
  • Prioritize!  Always do the most important task first then go on from there.
  • Try to take a break when studying.  I have found that setting an alarm for 45 minutes and then taking a short 10 to 15 minute break makes for better study sessions.  

 

Tip #2

Take On Those Offered Experiences!

I’ve had a few instances where I was offered internships and volunteer opportunities that were amazing.  Paid or not these opportunities offer experiences that you can’t get from a book. First hand knowledge that can help you in your chosen field or even help you understand where your true passion is.

I have always known that I love history, however, I was given a chance to intern (not paid) at a Museum of Science and History in Corpus Christi.  Not only did I get experience, but I also got school credit and a contact in the Museum work world.

What most students fail to understand is that even though you have (or will have) that degree, without experience in the field most jobs will not higher you.  That is what internships and volunteering is good for.

Most interviewers will ask you about your experience and not about what your academic background is.  

So without being able to answer those types of questions it will be hard to show that you are the person they want for the job.  The experience to academics ratio is tilted towards the experience side for most if not all jobs.

Very few job descriptions will list experience as a requirement, but that does not mean that they will not go towards the person with the experience and no degree over the one with the degree but no experience.

Just remember that your first job out of college is rarely the one that you will want to stay at forever, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t take it.  Take the job while you are looking for the one you really want and get the experience that you will be needing to land it.

A good way to start this off and gain the experience you will be needing at a later date is to apply for those internships and volunteer opportunities, or even if you can find a part-time job that is in your field, at least you will know if that is what you really want to do.

Tip #3

Try your hardest to get good grades first!

Most students are under the impression that if they get a low grade then they can  always make it up later on during the semester. This is the worst way of thinking and it can get you into trouble, because before you know it the middle and end of the semester will sneak up on you and it’ll be too late.

Focus on starting off right, put in the study time and get it right the first time.  This will save you a ton of stress in the long run.

Question of the day:  What do you do to start of the semester right?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!

Tabby

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Cover Reveal: Frostbite by Cambria Hebert

Frostbite
Cambria Hebert
(BearPaw Resort, #3)
Publication date: August 3rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

What if we lose everything?

It was a question that had haunted me even after I spoke it aloud.

Turns out one loss—one profound loss—is enough to put everything else at stake.

What a house of cards life can be. How easily everything ices over.

We’ve survived an avalanche, made it through a blizzard, but now a chill has set in. A cold so deep it reaches beyond bone.

The end of the storm provided a new beginning, but we can’t start over while we’re still frozen in the past.

How can I face a man who’s lost so much because of me? How can he face me?

This powerful secret between us grows with every breath I take. Will it pull us closer or sever a bond I once thought unbreakable?

The threat to my life is gone. Yet I’m still terrified.

Cold has laid claim to Liam. Whenever we touch, the bite of frost nips at my heart.

His obsession for revenge grows, hurling him further from me and closer to the frostbite taking over.

Add to Goodreads

Previous books in the series:

 

Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 

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Would You Rather: Book Edition

Hey Guys!
I was searching the internet (procrastinating doing my homework) and I ran across this book tag.  I love the game and the questions are pretty good.
Would you rather…

1. Read only trilogies or stand-alones?

This is a tough one for me.  On one hand I love reading books and developing a relationship with the characters.  Watching as they grow and develop is amazing.  But I also love books that have an ending.

2. Read only female or male authors?

I’m never picky on what gender writes what I’m reading, unless it comes out bad then I don’t normally make it through the book.

3. Shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

I’m generally an Amazon shopper, however, I’ve been known to get from iTunes as well, since I own mainly apple products with the exception of my kindle.

4. All books become movies or Tv Shows?

It would really depend on the book.  There are some out there that they do really well as movies, however, there are some series that would need to be a tv show because of the depth of details needed for the show to be done well and given justice to the characters the authors have taken time to create.

5. Read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

5 books per week.  Sometimes more depending on how busy I get.

6. Be a professional reviewer or author?

Author… because I love to create new worlds.

7. Only read your top 20 favorite books over and over or always read new ones you haven’t read before?

I’d totally pick my top 20.  I’ve been on repeat with Cambria Hebert’s Hashtag and Gearshark series for the last year.

8. Be a librarian or a book seller?

I wouldn’t mind either job, both would have me around books.

9. Only read your favorite genre(s), or every genre except your favourite?

Favorite genre hands down.  Considering I have 5 or 6, I’d be covered for just about anything.

10. Only read physical books or e-books?

While I love my physical books, there are times when it’s just not practical to only have those.  So I would say e-books are the way to go.  Easy to transport and keep as many books with you for options.

 

Question of the Day: What is your go to “can read as many times as you want without getting bored” series or book?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!

Tabby

Book Blitz: Blizzard by Cambria Hebert

Blizzard
Cambria Hebert
(BearPaw Resort #2)
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller

An arctic blast is coming…

Fleeing to the wintry town of Caribou was always meant to be temporary,

BearPaw Resort just a place to hide.

Never in a million years did I expect that running back to the past

would bring me face to face with my future.

But it did, and now everyone I love is in danger.

I’ve already escaped death three times, and I know my luck is running out.

I’m left looking over my shoulder, watching and waiting,

knowing they’re coming

But when?

Hiding is impossible when the mob wants you erased,

and I love Liam far too much to try to disappear.

The more time I spend with him, the more I realize how much he needs me.

A darkness lurks inside him, and the colder it gets, the more I see it in his eyes.

So here I am, more afraid than ever before.

Giving up isn’t an option. Giving in will get us killed.

A blizzard is brewing on our mountain,

more frigid than anything we’ve ever felt.

With everything we ever wanted at stake, the only option is to fight.

When life turns arctic…

Who will survive the blast?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“You might not know all the details of my career, all the places I’ve traveled, or even what I’ve been hoping for in the future. But what you do know is far more important than any of that.”

“And what is it I know?” she asked dubiously.

Lifting her hand, I pressed her palm against my chest. Her fingers were cool compared to my skin. Her hand was small compared to mine when I covered hers completely, pressing it flat over my heart. “You know places inside my heart no one else has ever encountered. You know how hard it is to breathe when we look into each other’s eyes. And I’m betting you feel a gentle tug right about here”—I poked my finger into the center of her chest—“when I walk into a room.”

Her eyes scoured mine. “You feel that, too?”

“Ah, sweetheart, I definitely feel it, too.”

Our foreheads met, and we both smiled.

Too soon, Bells pulled back, her brow knitting. “It doesn’t make sense that I could love you so very much and not know the details.”

“You think knowing my favorite color or the state of my teeth means you love me more?”

“Your favorite color is blue,” she said, mildly affronted.

“‘Cause that’s the color of your eyes.” I kissed the tip of her nose.

“I want the details, Liam. I want everything about you.”

“You already have the most important parts, Bells.”

A stubborn glint came into her eyes, and I chuckled. “If everything is what you want, then everything is what you’ll get.”

 

Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 

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Travel Bucket list: Texas

Hey Guys!

I have always been a person who loved to just get in the car and go.  Road tripping and traveling anywhere just because.  However, if you have ever lived in Texas then you know that a quick trip going anywhere in Texas is a long process.  It would take more than 12 hours from one point to the other, and that’s without stopping for food and bathroom breaks.  So what generally happens is a day trips to random points in Texas rather than out of Texas.

I have compiled a list of 15 places that are on my Texas Travel Bucket List.  Places that I have yet to make it to, or places that I think others should go to.

  1. Devil’s River, Tx

    Devil's River

  2. Davis Mountains State Park

    Davis Mountains State Park

  3. Enchanted RockEnchanted Rock State Park - Panorama of the Summit from Turkey R
  4. Gruene Dance Hall

    Gruene Dance Hall

  5. Visit all the Missions in Texas

    One of the best things for history buffs in Texas is the rich history that is everywhere here.  The missions that are all around are left over from when there were Missionaries coming to convert the natives back during the colonization of the Americas.  There are also so many that it would be hard to put pictures of them all.  However, you can look up some that are in San Antonio here.

  6. Hamilton Pool Preserve

    Hamilton Pool Preserve.jpg

  7. Cattail Falls

    Cattail Falls

  8. Battleship Texas

    Battleship Texas

  9. Palo Duro Canyon

    Palo Duro Canyon

  10. The Dr Pepper Museum

The Dr Pepper Museum11. The National Museum of The Pacific War

The National Museum of The Pacific War .jpg

12. Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston

13. San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site

San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site

14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park 

15. Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

Question of the Day: Where are you from? What is your favorite day trip destination in your area?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!

Tabby

College Life: How To Save Money On Textbooks

Hey Guys!

I’m not sure about you, but I am so beyond glad that it is summer.  Even though I happen to be taking a course that spans both summer 1 & 2.  But it’s nowhere near as hectic as it will be come the fall semester in September.  One thing that I do to prepare for the coming semester, whether it’s fall or spring, is to create a master book list of the needed books and the places that I can find them, in order to spend the least amount of money possible.  As a student that major’s in history my book lists can be anywhere from 10-15 books per class, meaning I’m usually buying somewhere around 20-30 books each semester.

One of the easiest ways to get prepared for the coming semester is to find your book list and begin to get them early.  Because the earlier you get them found the cheaper you can get them, I had to wait until two weeks before classes started last semester and not only was it super expensive, but it also had some books on back order.

The places that I put on my spreadsheet are: Campus bookstore, Amazon, Chegg, Valore Books, and Half-price books.  Below is an example of how I format mine so that I can find the cheapest options.

HIST 5323.001
Book Name/ISBN Website Price to Rent Price to buy Price for ebook Audible
From Old Diplomacy to new, 1865-1900 — 9780882958330 Campus Bookstore $12.20 $19.45
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $8.74
Valore Books $0.01
Chegg $11.49 $14.49
HPB $4.43
Fall of the House of Labor — 9780521379823 Campus bookstore $16.45 $26.25
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $7.94 $7.49 $22.49
Valore Books $12.00
Chegg $22.99 $33.49
HPB $9.99
Nature’s metropolis — 9780393308730 Campus Bookstore $9.40 $14.95 $19.95
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $14.57 $9.99
Valore Books $28.93 $4.89
Chegg $12.99 $14.49
HPB $4.00
Industrializing America — 9780801850141 Campus Bookstore $14.55 $23.25
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $5.99
Valore Books $0.01
Chegg $11.49 $29.99
HPB $4.54
New Promised Land — 9780195158267 Campus Bookstore $7.05 $11.25
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $6.68
Valore Books $25.00 $4.21
Chegg $11.49 $16.99
HPB $4.39
Buffalo Bill’s America — 9780375726583 Campus Bookstore $8.45 $13.45
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $1.99
Valore Books $2.00
Chegg $11.49 $20.49
HPB $3.89
Real All Americans — 9780767926249 Campus Bookstore $8.00 $12.75
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $8.16 $9.99 $25.15
Valore Books $8.34
Chegg $11.49 $12.99
HPB $6.47
Populist Vision — 9780195384710 Campus Bookstore $12.65 $20.20
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $23.70 $9.99
Valore Books $11.45
Chegg $11.49 $26.49
HPB $11.49
New Spirits: Americans in Gilded Age — 9780190217174 Campus Bookstore $23.50 $37.45
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $25.49
Valore Books $26.49
Chegg $17.99 $40.49
HPB $3.00
A Nation Under Our Feet –2818440035449 Campus Bookstore
Islander Bookstore
Amazon
Valore Books
Chegg
HPB
ENGL 5301.001
Book Name/ISBN Website Price to Rent Price to buy Price for ebook Audible
Handmaid’s Tale — 9780385490818 Campus Bookstore $7.50 $11.95
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $10.55 $9.99 $17.47
Valore Books $15.00 $4.81
Chegg $30.99 $34.49 $3.68
HPB $11.57
Fun Home: Family Tragicomic — 9780618871711 Campus bookstore $8.00 $12.75
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $10.65 $9.99
Valore Books $15.00 $1.68
Chegg $24.49 $26.99
HPB $4.97
We Should All be Feminists — 9781101911761 Campus Bookstore $3.75 $5.95
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $7.16 $4.99 $7.35
Valore Books $2.16
Chegg $12.49 $13.99
HPB $4.25
Full Frontal Feminism — 9781580055611 Campus Bookstore $8.00 $12.75
Islander Bookstore
Amazon $12.20 $11.99 $17.95
Valore Books $3.50
Chegg $12.49 $17.49
HPB $5.52

Question of the Day How do you prepare for the coming semester? Comment down below.

Until Next Time!

Tabby

Semester Goals: Spring 2018 Update

Hey Guys!

I can’t believe how fast the spring semester went this year.  Again this year the school semester was supposed to start early, and due to weather (this time a freeze) we had to wait an extra week. But with summer break already here, let’s see how this semester’s goals went.

I can’t tell you how much I am grateful for DaniDearest‘s blog that had me start writing goals down for each semester.  These goals helped me have a focus and something tangible to reach for.

Making my goals public like this was the perfect way for me to be held accountable for them.  Before these last two semesters, I’ve never set goals and never so publicly before.  And doing so helped me.

Here’s my goals for this semester and how I did on them:

 

1. Get at least a B in my classes.

Result: ✓ Success! I can’t believe it myself, but even with starting a new job and having such a heavy reading course list I still manage to keep my grades at a B for the semester.  While I wasn’t too enthused at some of the books that we had to read, I still had a good semester overall.

2. Try and get my assignments done before the day they are due.

Result: X/✓   Ehh… this was a semi win for me.  I was for the most part able to keep ahead of the assignments and get them done before they were due, but somewhere in the middle (probably after spring break) I dropped the ball and started getting behind.  So I’m gonna have to get back into this back in the swing of things.

3. Work out at least 2 times a week. (I’m going to make an effort, but we’ll see.)

Result: X  Yea… nope.  I did not work out once this semester.  I didn’t even step foot into the Dugan.  However, I just got a gym membership so I’m hoping since I’m paying for it I’ll actually manage to go.  I mean I went 5 times… and then just stopped.  So until I manage to at least go twice a week maybe more I’ll be keeping this on my list.

4. Try a fitness class on campus.

Result: X  Yea… nope… see previous number!   Woman Shrugging: Medium Skin Tone on Apple

5. Spend more time with my family and friends.

Result: X/✓  I really dropped the ball on this one.  I don’t think I managed this well at all.  I’m going to need to rework my schedule next semester and work it to where I have more time with my friends and family.  I think with scheduled in down time I might even be less stressed this coming semester.

6. Actually stick to my budget. (for food, or other things)

Result: X/✓  This was a semi-pass for me this semester.  I budgeted myself “free” money each week and was able to only spend that amount for the most part, but I need to work a bit more on this area.

7. Cook more, and take my own lunches for school.

Result: X/✓   I didn’t actually do to bad on this one.  But I need to try harder.  I have recently been trying a food service called HelloFresh, which come this new semester I’m hoping to start packing my lunch and only eating out once or twice a month.

8. Reach my activity goals on my watch each day/week.

Result: ✓ I would definitely say this was a lot better than last semester.  Even with me having some days where I did not even leave my house.  I also had two major papers that I was writing so I had a total of 97 days out of 133.  That’s only 36 days where I did not close all three rings, but even those were almost closed.  Yay me!

 January   23/31  February 18/28  March  20/31 April 23/30     May    13/13

Total: 97/133

9. Post on each of the days I’ve assigned a post on HomeTownGirlWriter.

Result: X  … Nope, yet again this was a major failure.  Some weeks I had posts, and others not so much.  If it hadn’t been for the book posts that I was doing for reveals I wouldn’t have anything to post.  Not only do I still have the same hectic schedule, I added to it by accepting a graduate position.  But I’m trying.

10. Save at least 10% of my paychecks each week.

Result:  X  … Nope, I’m not sure what happened this semester, but I totally slacked on this.  Back to the grind on this for the time being.  

11. Make my bed and pick up things in my room each morning. (In my hope for a clean room/house.)

Result: X  … Nope, I dropped the ball on this one big time.  I’m pretty sure my room looks like a bomb hit it.  I keep trying but it just seems to get worse instead of better.  I’m gonna have to get a new game plan and try again.

12. Take time for myself each week.

Result: ✓  Completed! I made sure that each week I had at least 30 minutes to an hour for myself.  Whether it was just to read a book that I wanted or to take a long bubble bath, it was my me time.  I especially needed this because this last semester has been a really rough one.  This is something that I’ll keep working towards as the semesters come and go.

13. Open my planner everyday and make sure it’s completed for the upcoming week.

Result: ✓  I’m not sure what I did before I started using my Happy Planner, I love my mini (although I do have a classic as well) and the fact that I can take it anywhere!

14. Have saved at least $500 by the end of the semester.

Result: Yep!!! I finally completed this. I’m working on getting better at saving my money.

15. Go somewhere I’ve never been before.

Result:    Yep! While not as exciting as mountain climbing.  I got to go to Marble Falls and pick my own strawberries!  It was a blast with my sister and her family, watching the kids pick their own as well.

Results

7.5/15 Goals Completed

Hmmm… I think I need to work on this some more.  This is the reason that I love having my goals written down, this way I know where I need to improve and where I can adjust.

Question of the day: How did you do on any goals that you set for your Spring 2018 semester?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!

Tabby

Cover Reveal: Blizzard by Cambria Hebert

Blizzard
Cambria Hebert
(BearPaw Resort #2)
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller

An arctic blast is coming…

Fleeing to the wintry town of Caribou was always meant to be temporary,

BearPaw Resort just a place to hide.

Never in a million years did I expect that running back to the past

would bring me face to face with my future.

But it did, and now everyone I love is in danger.

I’ve already escaped death three times, and I know my luck is running out.

I’m left looking over my shoulder, watching and waiting,

knowing they’re coming

But when?

Hiding is impossible when the mob wants you erased,

and I love Liam far too much to try to disappear.

The more time I spend with him, the more I realize how much he needs me.

A darkness lurks inside him, and the colder it gets, the more I see it in his eyes.

So here I am, more afraid than ever before.

Giving up isn’t an option. Giving in will get us killed.

A blizzard is brewing on our mountain,

more frigid than anything we’ve ever felt.

With everything we ever wanted at stake, the only option is to fight.

When life turns arctic…

Who will survive the blast?

Add to Goodreads

Book 1 in the series:

REVEAL-WRAP-Blizzard

Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 

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Blog Tour: Bound Excerpt by Alexandrea Wis and Lucas Astor

Bound
Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
(A Magnus Blackwell Novel #2)
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: April 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Supernatural

Magnus Blackwell’s past is about to catch up with him.

An evil force has seized New Orleans. Pestilence, suffering, and darkness cloak the city. The citizens are scared and need their mambo to guide them, but Lexie Arden can’t help anyone. A diabolical presence has taken Lexie’s power and severed her ties with the other side.

Magnus Blackwell is fighting demons of his own. Torn between his devotion to Lexie and a spirit from his past, Magnus’s loyalty is put to the test. He must revisit his sins to uncover the key to the hatred ripping the city apart. If he doesn’t, Lexie’s reign as mambo will end.

Their search for answers leads them deep into the darker realms of voodoo—until a desperate Lexie does the unthinkable, and Magnus can do nothing to spare her from her fate.

Excerpt:

Confounded by what was happening, Magnus went to the green water at the swamps’ edge along the side of the house. Raindrops created ripples on the stagnant water. Their concentric circles grew, intersecting in swells, releasing voices in their wake.

Magnus paced at the slimy green bank, attempting to make sense of the strange sounds. The cries of men, women, and children rose up and overwhelmed him.

“Save us!” a woman shrieked.

“Please, help me. I want to be free,” a man’s husky voice entreated.

“Take me away from this hell,” a high-pitched wail begged.

The voices built around Magnus, crowding his ears, imploring him to rescue their tormented souls. He had never heard such noises from anyone.

A vision of his Frannie hurtling over the cliff’s edge at Altmover Manor replayed in his head. The sound she made as she toppled to the rocks below resembled the pitiful cries of the spirits around him. Magnus closed his eyes, disgusted by the memory.

When his eyes opened, he scampered backward. In the boggy water, hundreds of bodies floated in various stages of decomposition. Arms, hands, legs, and torsos bobbed on the surface. The woman in black he’d seen with Lexie stood at the water’s edge, calling to the dead to wake from their soggy tombs.

Horrified by the agony he saw on their contorted faces, Magnus wanted to obliterate the vision by returning to his shadowy realm, but he couldn’t tear himself away. The images of body parts and broken souls held him captive as bitter waves of anger and anguish rolled off the water.

“Your master’s in danger.”

Magnus spun around.

A little girl in a long white nightgown trimmed in yellow ribbon stood next to him. Down the front, a stain of burnt red went all the way to her bare feet. She held a dirty teddy bear in her arms, but when she peered up at him, a gaping wound across her throat exposed the bone underneath.

Magnus didn’t know if he could believe the phantom before him. Spirits had never reached out to him before. This was Lexie’s realm. Why did he suddenly have her gift?

“Are you real?”

“Yes, sir. Very real, just like you.”

He knelt down beside the child. “What is your name?”

“Mattie. I died in the swamp when I was six. The mistress has me enslaved to do her bidding.”

He touched the nose of the teddy bear in her arms. His fingers passed through the toy. “What mistress?”

“The Lady La Fay. The one who called your master to her side.”

Magnus examined her gray skin and sunken eyes. “I don’t have a master.”

She pointed to the cottage. “You’re bound to the woman who went inside. She’s your master and the one who controls your fate. We are all bound to those who work the dark realm. You’ll see.”

 

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Author Bio:

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

 

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Semester Goals: Summer 2018

Hey Guys!

So this summer I’ve decided to take a summer course that way I can finish my degree a little longer… and because to keep being a graduate assistant I have to have at least one course in the summer.  So here I go taking a summer individual study course in advanced Oral History.

It’s going to be an interesting week and a half until classes begin… mainly because my professor has yet to create the class and the semester starts on the 29th of May.  At the end of the Spring 2018 semester I had a 7.5/15 goals completed,  given that this is a short summer session I’m only doing 10 goals and I’m hoping to complete at least 8 out of the 10.

 

Here’s my goals for this semester: Since this is only a summer session, between 4-8 weeks rather than the longer semester at 15 weeks, I’ve shortened my list.

  1. Get at least a B in my class.
  2. Try and get my assignments done before the day they are due.
  3. Work out at least 2 times a week. (I’m going to make an effort, but we’ll see.)
  4. Reach my activity goals on my watch each day/week.
  5. Post on each of the days I’ve assigned a post on HomeTownGirlWriter.
  6. Expand my Photography business. (The tiny one that it is!)
  7. Take time for myself each week.
  8. Open my planner everyday and make sure it’s completed for the upcoming week.
  9. Have saved at least $200 by the end of the semester.
  10. Go somewhere exciting.

Well let’s see how this turns out this semester.

Question of the Day: Do you do summer sessions or do you take a vacation?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!

Tabby