Saturday, December 31, 2016

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in December 30

Here's my post for the last two weeks as I was away last week. My husband surprised me with a trip away for Christmas this year - and didn't tell me where we were going until 2 weeks before we left!!! So where did we go? London and it was a fantastic trip with a ton of walking :) So, while I didn't officially do any training/set exercising this past week, I sure did get in a ton of steps - so many that my fitbit died on the last day of our trip - good thing it was a travel day ;)
December Goals:

  • 10K steps M-F, at least 7,500 steps on the weekend - met
  • 30 minutes of active walking every day, M-F - met
  • Eat mindfully/eat enough (esp. in important while training!) - met
My training plan for the Challenge Walk MS I'll be doing in March of 2017:

  • 4 miles, 2 days a week, interval training - Put on hold until 2017
  • Distance walks (distances will vary, try to do 2 days, back-to-back ) - Put on hold until 2017
  • Try to attend one yoga class a week- Put on hold until 2017

Here's how my last 2 weeks went:    

Dec 17:  6,814 steps
Dec 18:  7,054 steps
Dec 19:  19,712 steps (5K+ - 4.54 Charity Miles for MS)

Dec 20:  13,557 steps
(5K+ - 3.45 Charity Miles for MS)
Dec 21:  11,827 steps

Dec 22:  7
,586 steps
Dec 23:  7
,350 steps 

Total Steps: 73,900 steps

***Away from Dec 24-Dec 30
Dec 24:  9,180 steps
Dec 25:  19,812 steps
Dec 26:  20,616 steps 

Dec 27:  15,198 steps

Dec 28:  16,673 steps

Dec 29:  16
,355 steps
Dec 30:  9
,544 steps 

Total Steps: 107,378 steps

Audiobooks listened to these past 2 weeks (since I'm not much of a music fan, I listen to books while I walk): 

  • Started & Finished The Last Girl by Jane Casey, narrated by Sarah Coomes

How did your week go? You can find this week's link-up here.

***In March of 2017, I'll be doing the CHALLENGE WALK MS in Savannah, GA. It is a three-day, 50-mile walk that tests your strength and your spirit, and makes an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with MS and their families.

To help me reach my fundraising goal, click here :)

Virtual 5K /10K Tally:
     January:                               May:                             September:   
           5K  -  3                                  5K  -  9                                 5K  -  4
         10K  -  0                                10K  -  2                               10K  -  4
     February:                             June:                            October:

           5K  -  4                                  5K  -  5                                 5K  -  2
         10K  -  1                                 10K  -  5                              10K  -  0 
     March:                                  July:                             November:
           5K  -  4                                  5K  -  3                                 5K  -  4
         10K  -  1                                 10K  -  1                               10K  -  2
     April:                                    August:                        December:
           5K  -  4                                  5K  -  8                                 5K  -  9
         10K  -  5                                 10K  -  1                               10K  -  3


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand (audio)

Title: Winter Storms
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Series: Winter, #3
Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published: October 2016, Hachette Audio
Length: 6 hours 31 minutes
Source: Library
Gather under the mistletoe for one last round of caroling with the Quinn family in this heartwarming conclusion to Elin Hilderbrand's bestselling Winter Street Trilogy.

Some of the stormy weather of the past few seasons seems to have finally lifted for the Quinns. After a year apart, and an ill-fated affair with the Winter Street Inn's old Santa Claus, Mitzi has returned to rule the roost; Patrick is about to be released from prison; Kevin has a successful new business and is finally ready to tie the knot with Isabelle; and best of all, there's hopeful news about Bart, who has been captured by enemy forces in Afghanistan.

That doesn't mean there aren't a few dark clouds on the horizon. Kelley has recently survived a health scare; Jennifer can't quite shake her addiction to the drugs she used as a crutch while Patrick was in jail; and Ava still can't decide between the two lovers that she's been juggling with limited success. However, if there's one holiday that brings the Quinn family together to give thanks for the good times, it's Christmas. And this year promises to be a celebration unlike any other as the Quinns prepare to host Kevin and Isabelle's wedding at the inn. But as the special day approaches, a historic once-in-a-century blizzard bears down on Nantucket, threatening to keep the Quinns away from the place--and the people--they love most. Before the snow clears, the Quinns will have to survive enough upheavals to send anyone running for the spiked eggnog, in this touching novel that proves that when the holidays roll around, you can always go home again.

My thoughts: I just love Elin Hilderbrand's books and love that she now has been writing a winter series in addition to her "summer" books. These books are quick, fun reads that definitely get you in the holiday mood!

I just love the Quinn family - they are a totally dysfunctional family and I love them for it! Each of them have their own personal issues and we get to see them as they figure out their way through their problems. But, as this was the final book in this trilogy (at the time of writing), it did have that wrap-up feel to it at times. Some of the characters finally figured out their problems that they had been struggling with since the first book

This has been such a great series and while I was sad that this was going to be the final book in her Winter trilogy - I heard musings (after the book came out) that this might not be the case - apparently she is writing another Winter book that will also connect to a Summer book??? This is why Elin Hilderbrand is such an awesome author - she definitely listens to her fans!

Audio thoughts: Erin Bennett does a great job narrating this story. She gives each character their own voice and really sets a good pace. She is able to use just the right tone and emotion when need and adds just the right amount of humor, too. This was a fun book to listen to and the only one of the series that I did.

Books in this series: 
  1. Winter Street
  2. Winter Stroll
  3. Winter Storms


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo (audio)

Title: The Invisible Guardian
Author: Dolores Redondo
Series: The Baztan Trilogy, #1
Narrator: Coleen Marlo
Published: March 2016, Brilliance Audio / Atria Books
Length: 11 hours 59 minutes / 384 pages
Source: Personal copy via Audible / Netgalley
Already a #1 international bestseller, this tautly written and gripping psychological thriller forces a police inspector to reluctantly return to her hometown in Basque Country—a place engulfed in mythology and superstition—to solve a series of eerie murders.

When the naked body of a teenage girl is found on a riverbank in Basque Country, Spain, homicide inspector Amaia Salazar must return to the hometown she always sought to escape. A dark secret from Amaia’s past plagues her with nightmares, and as her investigation deepens, the old pagan beliefs of the community threaten to derail her astute detective work. The lines between mythology and reality begin to blur, and Amaia must discover whether the crimes are the work of a ritualistic killer or of a mythical creature known as the Basajaun, the Invisible Guardian.

Torn between the rational procedures of her job and the local superstitions of a region shaped by the Spanish Inquisition, Amaia fights against the demons of her past in order to track down a killer on the run.

My thoughts: This is the first book in Dolores Redondo's Baztan Trilogy and I was attracted to it because it was a police procedural and because it was set in Spain - a setting I haven't read police procedurals in yet. And I found it to be quite intriguing - plus I loved the bit of mythical lore that's thrown in!

I found myself completely engaged in this story - between the mystery of the teenage girls and what is happening to them, the myth of the Basajuan and the forest, and whatever is going on with Amaia's family - I was hooked! And I loved the way the story was told - history is slowly revealed, about the family, about the village, about the case - it slowly comes together to give you the full picture, but keeps you just on the edge so that you can't help but stay glued to the story.

I am looking forward to seeing what comes next in this trilogy as a big secret is revealed at the end of this book - a secret that could affect Amaia. I can't wait to see how she deals with it!

Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Coleen Marlo narrate a book and I thought she did a great job with this book. She was able to give each of the characters their own unique voice and she was spot on with the pacing and even with emotions of the characters as needed. 

Books in this trilogy:
  1. The Invisible Guardian
  2. The Legacy of the Bones 
  3. Offering to the Storm - not yet published in English

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft

Title: While you Were Sleeping
Author: Kathryn Croft
Published: November 2016, Bookouture
Format: ARC E-book, 326 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher
You wake up to find the man beside you is dead.
He is not your husband. This is not your bed.
What do you do?

Tara Logan lives a quiet life with her husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.

But her peace is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them.
And worse – he has been stabbed to death.

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara stays silent, fearing the truth will rip her family apart.

But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara soon realises that someone in her life knows what really happened to Lee. She must get to the truth before they do.

Tara made a mistake … but will one night cost her everything?

A gripping, shocking psychological thriller, with a twist that will take you by surprise.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Kathryn Croft and let me tell you, it certainly won't be my last! This book was amazing - it is a tightly woven, twisted psychological thriller that starts off strong and never lets up...this book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

This is one of those books that the more you read, the more questions you end up with as there are so many twists and turns. You don't know who you can trust, you don't know what is going on but it's so good, you find yourself frantically flipping the pages, desperate to figure out this mystery.

Every time I thought I had figured out who really killed Lee, something would be discovered to disprove that...oh how frustrated I was getting! But in a good way...this is such a well-crafted, complex story. So much misdirection, so many red-herrings. 

The characters really come to life in this book. They are well-fleshed out and complex. And whether you end up liking them or not, most of them have secrets that give them the sense they could be "the one." Who can you trust?

I loved this book and will definitely be checking out Kathryn Crofts other books...I can't believe I haven't read her before!

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