A Year in Review — Hello 2014, Goodbye 2013!

happy new year

2014 is finally here if you can believe it (I can’t!).  In some ways, 2013 was the longest year and in others it flew by.  It was definitely a year of challenges, but it ended a lot better than it started.

PLUS, I found my place in the world when I came into this blog.  So, I can’t help but be thankful for that.  Here’s a little review about 2013, as well as my look forward to 2014!

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Hello Goodbye. (June/July)


Hello Goodbye is a new feature I’m introducing to Such A Novel Idea.  The idea for this feature came from the lovely Emma Snow!  Go visit her blog, it’s fantastic.  Hello Goodbye is a monthly feature highlighting a few of my favorite things from the past month. Enjoy!


June was a busy month!  I read 2o books (no lie!), applied for 29474390283 jobs, spent a gazillon hours at the pool with my kiddos, celebrating 8 wonderful years with my husband, and blogged lived to tell about it!

Summer here in Texas has gone from hot, to deadly hot, to ‘Ineedovenmittstodrivemycar’ hot.  Now that it is July, we’re seeing cooler temps (YAY 97-98 degrees!) and a bit of rain, so maybe we won’t all melt off the side of the earth.

Favorite Books

I read a lot of great books in June, but my favorites have to be: Slammed, The Summer I Became A Nerd, and Ghost Hand*.

Slammed had all the feels, poetry, and COLLEEN HOOVER. How could I not love it!?  And WHY did I wait so long to read it?

From my review: Colleen Hoover knows just how to reel you in, rip your heart out, and give it back to you slowly, one page at a time.  I have yet to read something by Hoover I haven’t immediately loved.

The Summer I Became a Nerd was full of nerdy goodness.  I want to be best friends with the main characters, the author, and anyone who likes this book as much as I do!

From my review: This book is full of nerdy goodness — comic books, comic con, LARP’ing and more.  And romance.  Over comic books.  I mean, I don’t think I can sell it any better than that.

I cannot express how much I enjoyed this book.  I didn’t even know it existed until the author e-mailed me to review it. And man, SO MANY THANKS to her for that!  I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for her to finish/publish book two.  The best part – both of her books were crowd-funded on Kickstarter! SO cool.

From My Review: *Look for my review on Saturday, June 6th!*

Favorite Music

There are three songs I’ve had on repeat all June!  Old Pine by Ben Howard, Young Blood (White Sea Remix) by The Naked and The Famous, and Red Hands by Walk Off the Earth.

Old Pine by Ben Howard

This song. THIS SONG.  Seriously, this is my favorite song of the year.  I know it isn’t FROM 2013, but I didn’t find out about it until now. And now that I have it, I listen to it over and over and over.  Click the cd cover and YOU can too!

First there is the beautiful twang of the guitar. I mean, the first full minute is nothing but guitar, and I could seriously just listen to that all day long.  And then there are the hauntingly beautiful lyrics.  The song is relaxing and transports you to another time.

“Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know that memories
Were the best things you ever had
The summer shone beat down on bony backs
So far from home where the ocean stood
Down dust and pine cone tracks

We slept like dogs down by the fire side
Awoke to the fog all around us 
The boom of summer time

We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell we sang
Just to bless the morning.”

Young Blood (White Sea Remix) by The Naked and The Famous

I first heard this song over a year ago on SYTYCD.  As a fan of the original, I had already been listening to that version for a couple of years.  But the White Sea remix seriously called out to me… And I HAD to have it.  A year later, it was FINALLY released on an album and my little heart couldn’t be happier!

“We’re only young and naive still
We require certain skills
The mood it changes like the wind
Hard to control when it begins

The bittersweet between my teeth
Trying to find the in-betweens
Fall back in love eventually
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Can’t help myself but count the flaws
Claw my way out through these walls
One temporary escape
Feel it start to permeate

We lie beneath the stars at night
Our hands gripping each other tight
You keep my secrets hope to die
Promises, swear them to the sky”

Red Hands by Walk Off the Earth

This band is incredible!  I first heard of them when they did a cover of Goyte’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and it blew me away.  So, when I first heard this song, I immediately knew that’s who it was!  Love this song and can’t wait to see more from them.

“I’ve seen it all before, you back out, and everything’s changing
I needed something more, you stepped down, so what are you chasing?
I’d put it on rewind for this time only
(Is that what you really want?)

I realize that I got red hands, I wanna change this (day-oh)
Don’t ask me why I choose to lie, I stay blind, oh (day-oh)
It’s clear to me that you are fuming too, your accusations are burning through-oo
(Is that what you really want?)

Oh yeah, oh yeah-ah, that gun is loaded

That gun is loaded, but it’s not in my hand
That gun is loaded, but it’s not in my hand
The fire burns, I’m not the one with the match, man
That gun is loaded, but it’s not in my hand”

Favorite Television Show

I didn’t watch a lot of tv, with the exception of Law & Order: SVU reruns. However, there was this one show that I was sort of peer pressured into watching. And then proceeded to become obsessed with. In fact, I watched the entire series (three seasons) in five days. God Bless HBO Go! Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season

GOT3-Tyrion-Poster-1 game-of-thrones-s3-poster-7 GOT3_AryaPoster1-610x903

This show gave me ALL THE FEELS. And luckily, after the Twitterverse went mad, I wasn’t so surprised when the shocker of season three happened.

My favorites: Daenerys Targaryen, Lord Tyrion Lannister, and Arya Stark (obviously!). Now I just have to deal with the fact that there are no more episodes for months.

Favorite Thing I Did


I figured out how to read IN the pool. Not by the pool, not sort of in the pool where only your feet get wet, but in the pool.  Turns out 1 quart size Ziploc bag + Kindle Paperwhite = reading perfection. And trust me, it works… Kids were splashing me left and right and my Kindle just stayed as dry as can be.  I think this may have been the best thing I figured out all year long, honestly.

So, that’s it!  June was real fun, but I’d like to welcome July to the world. I hope it’s good!



Indie Spotlight: Tracy Rozzlynn

Today’s post spotlights two series by YA author Tracy Rozzlynn.  The first is a science fiction series (Verita) and the other a dystopian series (Fast-Tracked).  Both of these series are two of my favorites and I’m anxiously awaiting the finales to both!  Click on the book covers to learn more about each book.

The Verita Series


About Verita

If your world suddenly crumbled, leaving you with nothing but heartache, would you risk your life for a chance at a new beginning on a new world?

Brett Bradbury’s parents are dead, her boyfriend’s a cheater, and her best friend essentially dumped her. Truly alone in the world, Brett agrees to help colonize the newly discovered planet, Verita.

Now Brett’s on a strange new world. She quickly makes friends and starts her assigned job. Verita begins to feel like home, but it’s far from perfect. Brett has an overwhelming attraction to Brody, despite the fact that he’s entirely not her type. Her colleague, Ryan, utterly hates her for reasons out of her control. And there are creatures in the forest that would like nothing more than to devour everyone for dinner.

Brett’s heart and mind are at odds each other. She’s constantly fighting with Ryan. So, concentrating on her job is becoming more and more difficult. Plus it’s hard to ignore some of the strange things that have been happening around her. But, when Brett finds herself stranded in the wilderness, the only thing that matters is survival.

About Concisus

Against the odds Brett and Ryan survived the wilderness and found their way back to the base. But their welcome back isn’t quite the homecoming they envisioned. Dr. Brant has transformed into a different person and is intent on making Brett and Ryan’s life miserable. And the intense, unnatural attraction between the colonists has worsened. Almost the entire base is love struck now, including Brett’s friends.

The Fast-Tracked Series


About Fast-Tracked

Study hard, do well on your assessment, and you’ll be rewarded.

The phrase had been repeated throughout Alexandria’s life. A person’s rank on their assessment test determined everything. Their job, where they lived, and even who they could marry. At least that’s what Alexandria thought before she received the results.

Alexandria’s assessment elevates her to fast-tracker status, but Byron, her best friend turned true love, isn’t as lucky. His results sink him to the lowest possible rank and a guaranteed life of hardship and misery.

Everything Alexandria believed is a lie. Fast-trackers run the country. Anger one of them and your whole world could fall apart. Anger one of them and the people you love suffer.

Disillusioned, Alexandria plunges herself into the fast-tracker’s world in hopes of helping Byron. But can she help Byron before she completely loses herself to the allure of their lifestyle?

About Fast-Trapped

Byron is safe. Zandria has committed herself to life as a fast-tracker, but she’s determined to make the most of it.

As a first-generation fast-tracker, Zandria is a designated newbie. Most fast-trackers considered her a temporary interloper, but her recent business acquisitions, and especially her engagement, changed everything. With her recently secured internship, Zandria plans to immerse herself in politics. As a high-ranking politician, Zandria could improve worker-level conditions and combat fast-tracker corruption.

Everything Zandria has learned about fast-trackers isn’t enough to prepare her for their politics or marriage.

About the Author

tracyrTracy Rozzlynn writes Science Fiction and Fantasy for Young Adults. She lives in New England with her young daughter and a variety of pets. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Rhode Island.

Verita is her debut novel.

Connect with Tracy

Blog // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Amazon