Wednesday, October 01, 2014

To Selena, Wtih Love - Perez

Title: To Selena, With Love

Author: Chris Perez
Published: 2014
Genre: Memoir

Book Source: 
I purchased this book myself.

Recommended if you like: Memoirs, Music/Artists, Selena fans

What Its About:  

Selena Quintanilla Perez was taken from this world so suddenly, so violently.  Countless fans felt the sudden, tragic emptiness and  patiently awaited...something more.  The 2000 film starring Jennifer Lopez was a band-aid on the glistening wound, but not quite enough to heal. While time has helped, fans finally have a book to ease their loss, Chris Perez's retelling of his and Selena's love story.

Perez talks about his experiences meeting Selena and her family, how he came to be part of Los Dinos (Selena's back-up group), the struggle of performing music which did not fulfill his passion for rock 'n roll, and talks of the difficulties of finding his way into the extremely tight-knit Quintanilla family. He offers an honest look at the joys, and the difficulties, of being Selena's husband...and being Abraham Quintanilla's son-in-law. 
He offers a more thorough look at the timeline around Selena's murder and shares what life has been like since that horrible, heartbreaking loss. 

The Bottom Line:

Much of this book is very similar to the movie, right down to sharing the same stories. It would have been nice if Perez had picked more untold stories and anecdotes. But the look at Perez' point of view is valuable. It provides a more thorough look at Selena as a woman, not just Abraham Quintanilla's daughter, and reminds fans of the wealth of talent that was lost.

Definitely a great read if you are a fan...or are just wondering what happened after the movie ended.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 09/30/14

A good lyric is like a great book...
Sounds of SilenceSimon and Garfunkle, Artist
Paul Simon, Writer

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 09//23/14

A good lyric is like a great book...

Stairway to Heaven
Let Zeppelin, Artist
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Writers

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it really makes me wonder

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll

And she's buying a stairway to heaven

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mondays and Monday Mailbox - 09/22/14


Monday Mailbox hosted by Marcia @ To Be Continued.
It's Monday! hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey.

Now Reading: 
Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom's Small Prayer in a Big Way (Laura Sobiech) 

Just Finished
Stronger (Jeff Bauman)
The Perks of Being A Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

On Deck
So, so many...

These are from a couple of weeks back. I keep forgetting to post it!

And this little goodie, which was won in a giveaway from Kim over at Sophisticated Dorkiness, Thanks Kim! Can't wait to read this one!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Salon - 09/21/14

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


Hello all,

Apologies for blogging so little... The first month or so of school is always crazy busy...any time at work where I can usually sneak in a bit of blogging is rare and by the time I get home I'm fully spent.  I interviewed this past week and await a response on the job situation. It's stressful not knowing what to expect, I'm a planner!  But all I can do is wait to see what happens.

Hubby and I have started working on some music. We are very different people when it comes to performing.  He likes to rehearse and repeat, repeat until he gets something. I'm more a fly by the seat of my pants, learn it as I go performer.  So we are taking it slow and trying to find a mix that allows him learning time, but enables me to not get bored.  It's weird, developing a totally new working relationship with someone you already love and care can't exactly go home and bitch about him/her to your spouse, you know!?! Ha!

Purely Vocals had our last official gig this past weekend...very sad. But we are solidifying our plans to record in October which will be fun.

Today is two months since our kitty passed. Every day is a struggle, but what are you going to do, right? We keep pushing through.


I've fallen behind on my reviews. I'm reading though, so I hope to catch up soon and return this baby to a book blog and not a  Shannon whines blog.

Hope it's a great week of everyone!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Savings - 9/20/14

After taking a while off, I'm finally getting back into the swing a bit with the couponing. I'm trying out a new system for organizing my coupons. Not surprisingly, cutting all those coupons was beginning to wear on me.  So now I am trying the method I mentioned where you just cut what you need. I'm also using post it notes to ensure I don't miss great coupons from that week...and maintaining my binder categories for peelies, printed, and "found" coupons.

Not sure how this will all work... But as always it's a work in progress!


2 packs for FREE!

Regular price $0.99
Stacked with two coupons for $1.00 off each



Sale price $1.83
Stacked with $0.50 coupons for each


$1.33 for each

Don't forget rain checks! This past week's Arm and Hammer deal was good, but with coupons it was great.  But, both local Stop 'n Shops were out. Hmmphhh!  But, they were willing to rain check the deal. So when more comes in I am ready to stock up my shelves.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 09/16/14


A good lyric is like a great book...
Let That Pony Run
Pam Tillis, Artist
Gretchen Peters, Writer

Mary was married with children
Had the perfect suburban life
Til her husband came clean with the help of Jim Beam
And confessed all his sins in one night
Said he'd fallen in love with a barmaid
Said she made him feel reckless and young
And when he got through, what else could she do
She just let that pony run

You do what you gotta do
You know what you know
You hang on til you can't hang on
And then you learn to let go
You get what you want sometimes
But when it's all said and done
You do what you gotta do
And then you let that pony run

Mary moved to West Virginia
After the shock wore off
She got a divorce and a chestnut horse
And a barn with an old hayloft
And sometimes she rides by the river
Says it makes her feel reckless and young
She closes her eyes and she holds on tight
And she lets that pony run
You do what you gotta do
You know what you know
You hang on til you can't hang on
And then you learn to let go
You get what you want sometimes
But when it's all said and done
You do what you gotta do
And then you let that pony run.

Let that pony run.

Oh, oh, oh....

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 09/9/14

A good lyric is like a great book...
Secret Gardens 
Judy Collins, Artist & Writer

My grandmother's house is still there
But it isn't the same
A plain wooden cottage
A patch of brown lawn
And a fence that hangs standing
And sighing in the Seattle rain.

I drive by with strangers
And wish they could see what I see
A tangle of summer birds
Flying in sunlight
A forest of lillies
An orchard of apricot trees.

Secret Gardens of the heart
Where the flowers bloom forever
I see you shining through the night
In the ice and snow of winter.

Great grandfather's farm is still there
But it isn't the same
The barn is torn down
And the fences are gone
The Idaho wind blos
The topsoil away every Spring.

I still see the ghosts
Of the people I knew long ago
Inside the old kitchen
They bend and sigh
My life passed them up
And the world passed them by.

Secret Gardens of the heart
Where the old stay young forever
I see you shining through the night
In the ice and snow of winter.

But most of all
It is me that has changed
And yet I'm still the same
That's me at the weddings
That's me at the graves.
Dressed like the people
Who once looked so grown-up and brave.

I look in the mirror
Through the eyes of the child that was me
I see willows bending
The season is Spring
And the silver blue sailing birds
Fly with the sun on their wings.

Secret Gardens of the heart
Where dreams live on forever
I see you shining through the night
In the ice and snow of winter.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sunday Salon - 09/7/14

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


Another busy (hmm, Mr. iPad said "bust") week! Students are back and the days are flying by. 

I await a response to my resume, which I sent. I've been hunting for songs that might interest an audience in a piano-bar-like setting for hubby and I to learn (suggestions, anyone?!? Bueller? Bueller?). And PV is wrapping up a few final performances this month, before hopefully recording in October.

Hubby and I have almost finished painting the house. It looks really nice. In fact, two neighbors have commented about the color already. We are hoping to finish up next weekend, well before the cold weather. There are of course many other jobs around the house which I hope to accomplish too!

I had my first couponing trip in quite a while this week, since ou loss... Success!  Check Saturday to see what came home and what it cost me!


Doing pretty good reading too...well for me. I powered through Jeff Bauman's memoir, Stronger, about losing his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing. And, I've picked up an "oldie" (it's not that old..but it's not new either), but goodie that I had yet to read. Check tomorrow's Monday post to see what it is!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

August 2014 ReCap....


This month I read: 
Total Read: 2
YTD: 18
Adult: 2
YA/children's: 0
Abandoned: 0

Leaving Time (Jodi Picoult)
To Selena, With Love (Chris Perez)



Favorite Book(s) of the Month:

Leaving Time

Challenges Update: 
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge = 18 of 58
A-Z Book Challenge = 16 of 26
Library Reading Challenge = 2 of 36
E-Book Reading Challenge = 13 of 25
What's in a Name 6 Challenge =  2 of 6

Year of ReReading Challenge - 0 of 1-4

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 09/2/14

A good lyric is like a great book...

Don't Laugh At Me

Mark Wills, Artist
Allen Shamblin and Steve Seskin, Writers

I'm a little boy with glasses
The one they call the geek
A little girl who never smiles
'Cause I've got braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels
To cry myself to sleep

I'm that kid on every playground
Who's always chosen last
A single teenage mother
Tryin' to overcome my past
You don't have to be my friend
But is it too much to ask

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me

I'm the cripple on the corner
You've passed me on the street
And I wouldn't be out here beggin'
If I had enough to eat
And don't think I don't notice
That our eyes never meet

I lost my wife and little boy when
Someone cross that yellow line
The day we laid them in the ground
Is the day I lost my mind
And right now I'm down to holdin'
This little cardboard

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me

I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm short, I'm tall
I'm deaf, I'm blind, hey, aren't we all

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at m

Monday, September 01, 2014

Sunday Salon - 08/31/14

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


Hello friends!

It's been a while (and this post is late...), but here I am. It's a start. So, much has been going on since my last post...

It's been just over a month since my kitty died. Hubby and I are still struggling, but surviving. It's the best we can offer. We have chatted about getting another kitten or two, but not quite yet.

Work is gearing up for the students' return tomorrow. I'm prepared work-wise, but honestly exhausted from life. Not sure how the fall will go...hoping for the best. They have finally posted the position that will essentially split my job in two. I now have to decide whether to apply or to sit back and wait it out, having no idea what the rest of my job will look like after upcoming major changes (move to a new building, combining of admin staff from various departments). Both options are stressful and scary, though not unexpected. Though I knew it was coming, it doesn't make the changes any easier. 

After ten amazing, wonderful years, my singing group Purely Vocals has decided to, for the most part, disband. We are still close friends, and nothing bad occurred. It's just life changes. One of the women is retiring in the fall and she travels quite a bit. Rehearsals are impossible with her overseas. So, though we may sing a few small gigs next summer, for the most part we are done. I'm sad; it's been an awesome experience...singing with my "diva-sisters". I'm open to the changes that are coming for all of us though...

Before we go, PV hopes to record a CD...for memories sake, if nothing more.  Also, Hubby and I are now talking about putting something together. Have I mentioned hubby is a fantastic musician?! I am a good singer, good voice and all. But he is a true musician...guitar, keyboards, etc, etc. We are hoping to put together a duo and start gigging locally next summer. Wish us luck!

This holiday weekend, I traveled to my childhood home of Reading, PA for a wedding. It was a lovely event and a terrific weekend (though hubby stayed home). I stayed in a hotel that allowed me a gorgeous view of the city and the Pagoda.  It was really nice, nostalgic. But I was glad to get home last night.

Spending my holiday reading, cleaning and preparing for the weeks to come.


Getting going again, though I am still doubting I will accomplish my annual reading goals. So, the pressure is off and I can just enjoy the books, right?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2013
Genre: YA Fiction
3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source:

Recommended if you like: Fiction, YA, Horror tales

What Its About: 
Our narrator, a 50-something man visiting his childhood hometown for a funeral, stops by his old neighborhood for a quick visit. But this isn't just any old visit, or any old home for that matter. As a seven year old boy, it turns out, our narrator experienced a horrible and unexplainable event and this neighborhood, or something, draws him home to remember.

When he arrives, he heads to the big farmhouse and pond, or "ocean" as his friend Lettie used to call it, as the end of his street. He knocks and is confused when an old woman answers. He's not surprised to see the woman, he is just unsure which woman she is. Given the years, it could not possibly be Old Mrs. Hempstock, Lettie's grandmother. It must be Lettie's mother, Ginnie.'s not. And Old Mrs. Hempstock invites him to visit the Ocean and remember...

Years ago, his parents took in a lodger who committed suicide and then things went from uneasy to strange and dangerous. This singular event seemed to have unleashed a spirit, or malevolent force, who wanted to exist permanently in their world. The Hempstock women are left to clean up the situation while ensuring the boy's safety.

The Bottom Line:
A good read. Billed as an adult novel, it reads more like a YA novel. As always, it sucks readers, even adults, into its world and offers the typical Gaiman thrills and chills.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 08/26/14

A good lyric is like a great book...
Keeping the Faith
Billy Joel, Artist & Writer

If it seems like I've been lost
In let's remember
If you think I'm feeling older
And missing my younger days
Oh, then you should have known me much better
'Cause my past is something that never
Got in my way
Oh no

Still I would not be here now
If I never had the hunger
And I'm not ashamed to say
The wild boys were my friends

'Cause I never felt the desire
'Til their music set me on fire
And then I was saved, yeah
That's why I'm keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

We wore old matador boots
Only Flagg Brothers had them with a Cuban heel
Iridescent socks with the same color shirt
And a tight pair of chinos
I put on my shark skin jacket
You know the kind with the velvet collar
And ditty-bop shades
Oh yeah
I took a fresh pack of Luckies
And a mint called Sen-Sen
My old man's Trojans
And his Old Spice after shave

Combed my hair in a pompadour
Like the rest of the Romeos wore
A permanent wave, Yeah
We were keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

You can get just so much
From a good thing
You can linger too long
In your dreams
Say goodbye to the
Oldies but goodies
'Cause the good ole days weren't
Always good
And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems

Learned stickball as a formal education
Lost a lot of fights
But it taught me how to lose O.K.
Oh, I heard about sex
But not enough
I found you could dance
And still look tough anyway
Oh yes I did
I found out a man ain't just being macho
Ate an awful lot of late night drive-in food
Drank a lot of take home pay

I thought I was the Duke of Earl
When I made it with a red-haired girl
In the Chevrolet. Oh yeah
We were keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

You know the good ole days weren't always good
And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems

I told you my reasons
For the whole revival
Now I'm going outside to have
An ice cold beer in the shade
Oh, I'm going to listen to my 45's
Ain't it wonderful to be alive
When the rock 'n' roll plays, yeah
When the memory stays, yeah
I'm keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith
I'm keeping the faith,
Yes I am

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leaving Time - Picoult

Title: Leaving Time, A Novel

Author: Jodi Picoult
Published: 2014
Genre: Fiction
4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

Book Source: 
I received this book from the publisher, Ballantine Books, free of cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended if you like: Picoult, Fiction, Elephants/Animals, Mysticism

What Its About:  
Jenna Metcalf was abandoned as a child. Her father, the director of an elephant sanctuary, was admitted to a mental institution.  Her mother, a researcher of grief in elephants, disappeared one night after a terrible accident in which a fellow employee was trampled to death.  For most of her thirteen years, Jenna has dreamed of finding her mother, who surely would never have left her willingly. Finally, she is able to utilize the information that she has been gathering from the internet and from her mother's research journals to aid in her search.

Understanding, however, that a thirteen year old can only do so much, Jenna draws Serenity Jones, a washed-up psychic, and Virgil Stanhope, a worn-out detective, into her search efforts. Both are drawn to assist in the venture due to previous failures in their own careers.  Jones seems to have lost her previous psychic abilities after an embarrassingly public mistake where she assured a prominent family a child was living when he was not.  Stanhope was the detective who investigated the trampling death, who finds himself haunted by the case and his doubts as to whether it was correctly resolved.

With the help of Jenna's childhood memories, Jones' sixth sense, and Stanhope's keen officer's eye and sensibility, the three struggle to rediscover and understand decade old clues to Alice Metcalf's disappearance. It is only by assisting one another that they can answer the questions that lead up to an exciting and fascinating finish.

The Bottom Line:
Pure Picoult, this book is a terrific read that readers, fans or not, will love! More mystery, no court battle, this novel grips you from the get-go and hangs on until the last second. You cannot help but become enthralled by the Jenna, Jones, and Stanhope characters. Their stories are so enticing.

Furthermore, this book offers a wonderful educational feel as well, offering much information as to the plight of elephants, whether in captivity or the wild. After reading, you will certainly think twice about visiting your local zoo or circus event.

I enjoyed this book very much!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 8/19/14

A great lyric is like a great book...

Alyssa Lies
Jason Michael Carroll, Artist & Writer

My little girl met a new friend
Just the other day
On the playground at school
Between the tires and the swings
But she came home with tear-filled eyes
And she said to me "Daddy, Alyssa Lies"

I just brushed it off at first
Cause I didn't know how much my little girl had been hurt
Or the things she had seen
I wasn't ready when I said you can tell me
And she said

Alyssa Lies
To the classroom
Alyssa lies
Everyday at school
Alyssa lies
To the teachers
As she tries to cover every bruise

My little girl laid her head down
That night to go to sleep
As I stepped out the room I heard her say
A prayer so soft and sweet
God bless my mom and my dad
And my new friend Alyssa
I know she needs you bad


I had the worst night of sleep in years
As I tried to think of a way to calm her fears
I knew exactly what i had to do
But when we got to school on Monday I heard the news

My little girl asked me why everybody looked so sad
The lump in my throat grew bigger
With every question that she asked
Until I felt the tears run down my face
And I told her that Alyssa wouldn't be at school today

She doesn't lie
In the classroom
She doesn't lie
Anymore at school
Alyssa lies
With Jesus
Because there's nothing anyone would do

Tears filled my eyes,
When my little girl asked me why Alyssa lies

Daddy tell me why
Alyssa lies

Monday, August 18, 2014