Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sponsored Post: "Thirteen Crossroads"

So, you might have noticed that I've got Sponsorship Opportunities available. When I decided to revamp The Modern Jane Austen, and give it purpose, I decided that I wanted to start promoting books and blogs via Passionfruit Ads. 

I'm proud to announce my first Ad of this kind on my blog. Please check it out. It sounds like a great story! I love epic fantasies! 


Khyrah is a small kingdom in the western mountains, so small that it should hardly be of note, but because of its importance in the history and culture of Western Eretsfel, Khyrah, along with its rulers and emblematic Crystal Palace, has for centuries been considered the symbolic leader of the other much larger kingdoms of the West. Its role in the future of Eretsfel becomes uncertain, however, as a young empire from the East begins to cast a shadow over the rest of the world. Adria, the princess and heir of Khyrah, is too young to see the coming storm for what it is and is more focused on a choice that she will soon have to make. As the oldest daughter of the king, it is her responsibility to choose a husband, the boy who will someday rule by her side. Over the next year, she will spend one day, and one day only, with each boy in the kingdom of her age so that she can reach a decision by the time she turns nineteen, but even a year before that on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she fears that she may never be able to live up to all that is expected of her. Meanwhile, Alec, Adria's much older, adopted brother and leader of Khyrah's small but formidable Valley Guard, hopes he can shield her from having to worry about more than her search as he and the king try to shape Khyrah’s destiny. Neither Alec nor the king could have ever predicted the role that an obscure boy on the southern edge of the kingdom will play in the plans they've set in motion.

For more information, be sure to check out Trevor's website at: www.thirteencrossroads.com/Crystal%20Palace/About.html

It can be purchased through 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April is The Month Of The Cat

Last month, I showed you how Chewy.com treated my dog with all natural treats and a rope toy that was bigger than he was (He's still totally obsessed, by the way. It's hilarious), and I decided this month, it would be all about the cats.

My mother would tell you that every month is all about the cats. The house rule is that "Nothing is more important than petting the kitties." Meaning, if they want attention, you give them attention, dammit. Henry and Tris have no trouble telling you they want to be snuggled. Jane is usually good to just hang out next to me, but I shouldn't actually touch her. She's never been super snuggly, but she does have her moments. 

When I was browsing through Chewy.com to see what to get the kitties, I actually chose two items. The first was a Furminator brush. 


We have an ionic brush that we mostly use on Frisket, but Tris hates it. I'm sure she thinks it mas her smell like him (The Horror!), so getting the cats their own brush was something I've been meaning to do for awhile. 

This brush has wire bristles on one side, which I don't really use. The other side has nylon bristles that get old fur out of their coats, and helps them stay clean. The cats LOVE to be brushed. Especially Jane, especially around her face. If you hold the brush, she'll push her face against it, doing it herself. It's kind of adorable. The brush is definitely working to get their winter coats out, and the bristles are soft enough to not feel like they're being stabbed. 

I also got some treats for them. Every morning, my dad gets up, gets ready for work, lets Frisket out, and gives the cats some treats (well, Tris and Henry. Jane's not really into treats). I got them Canidae Grain-Free PURE Taste with Fresh Chicken Cat Treats


They're used to little treats that my dad can spread out on the floor, and they can go to town, and these fit the bill. Plus, they're grain free, so if Jane did choose to indulge once in awhile, she can eat them without having a food allergy flare up (for whatever reason, grain-products cause her to break out). From what I gather, they really enjoyed these treats, which are also a crunchy treat that helps them clean their teeth (I don't want to go near my cats with a toothbrush, so this is a better option). 

I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to try out products for my babies. So far we're 2-2 on what the pets love.

Currently, Chewy.com is running a promotion of 20% off your order when you set up Auto Ship. Can you believe it? They offer Auto Ship! Automatic payment/delivery is amazing. Don't have to think about it much. We have our coffee order on Autoship, and it's been great, so I can only imagine how great it would be to get your pet supplies shipped to you every month. No more schlepping to the store to pick up the products you need (which my dad and I had to do last weekend, and got sidetracked by the kitties up for adoption. There's always a pep talk involved whenever we have to walk away. It's tragic). 

  • What treats do your pets like?
I was offered free products to try with my partnership with Chewy.com. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Trying to Use Time To My Own Benefit

I've mentioned before how I have about an hour's drive in the car every day. Thirty minutes to work, and thirty minutes home. Sometimes longer depending on traffic, and traffic has been insane lately. I'm blaming the suddenly nice weather. People are getting really confident in their driving.

Scary, right?

Anyway, you might recall at the start of the year I wanted to read 26 books this year. That's nothing for people like my mom and my sister, who devour books with abandon. I tend to read blogs, magazine articles, and a lot of nonfiction, with some classic literature thrown in for good measure. My dad's kind of the same way.

Enter Audible

Sometime back in January, Chelsey talked about how she's taken to listening to books in her car on her way to and from work, or whenever she's running errands in town, via Audible. 

I tried to do this in college with Books on CD from my local library, but what I discovered was that unless I was driving long distances, I really didn't pay much attention to the books I'd taken out. It was great when I was driving home from school during college, but driving to work when I lived ten minutes away just wasn't feasible for me. 

Since Audible offers two free books to start, and a month free, I decided to give it a whirl. 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Source
The first book I got was The Time Traveler's Wife, which was a book I'd been wanting to read for a long time. I'd seen the movie, starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, and was less than impressed by it. That was the general consensus of the movie. After listening to the book, I honestly think they need to remake the movie, but do it as a miniseries. 

Anyway, the book, itself, had two different narrators, a man and a woman, Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole, as the book is split into his story and hers, where they're both going along their own chronology, and always seem to meet in the middle. Having the two different narrators helped keep the story lines clear. At first, I didn't get it, but it made a lot of sense as the story went on. 

The story, itself, was actually really good. On the one hand, you know what's going to come, because it's already happened to one character, but you don't know how it came to be, which kept everything mysterious. The story chronicles the romance between Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire. Clare met Henry was she was 6, and he 36, but Henry met Clare when he was 31, and she was 23. As the title suggests, he's a Time Traveler, which means he disappears at the most inopportune times, and ends up naked and disoriented at places that have special meaning to him. Since Clare had met him when she was six, after he'd met her older self, he kept gravitating back to her. 

Back to Audible


It's definitely a story of star-crossed lovers trying to keep a shred of normalcy in their lives. I really liked it, and I really liked that it made my commute seem like less of a chore in the car. I just downloaded the Audible app to my phone, and was able to play the book directly. I also downloaded the book Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, and while also a good book, it's got some aspects which I don't like, which I'll get into more once I finish it. 

Once your Free Trial is up, you get to keep your two books that you downloaded during the trial, but then they charge you $14.95 per month, which also includes a credit for a book. This is a great deal, if you ask me. Most of the books are more expensive than that, but since I don't listen to more than one a month, it works out for me.

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Because it's so convenient, I've also taken to listening to them at the gym, when I'm on a treadmill, lifting weights, on the massage table, or even in Red Light Therapy. If you've got your phone and headphones, you can listen to a book, and it helps for me if I'm not trying to do something else. 

After looking through the App last week, I realized that it's got a sleep timer, so you can set it before bed, listen to your story, and potentially fall asleep without losing your place (which, admittedly, I did, and had to rewind to the previous chapter, but it could've been a lot worse!). 

After I finish Orphan Train, I plan to start the Game of Thrones series. Lord, help me.

I'm definitely a fan, and if you're interested, you can get a free trial to test it out, too! It's actually fantastic, and I can't believe I wasted so much time hemming and hawing over whether or not I'd actually use it. I might actually hit my goal of 26 books this year!

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks. I can't overstate what a good deal this is. I honestly can't. I'm a big fan, and hope you will be, too.
  • Have you tried Audible? What do you think?
  • Got any recommendations for me?

That Time I Almost Met Debbie Reynolds

It's no secret I love old Hollywood musicals. I even like bad musicals that have elements of Old Hollywood in them (Looking at YOU, Xana...