Book Review: Lady Midnight

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Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover

Summary
5 years after the Shadowhunters battled in Idris, Emma Carstairs and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn are no longer kids, but warriors. Partners in battle. Based at the Los Angeles institute, they must call upon their training to solve a string of murders of humans and faeries. Keeping their friends close and their enemies closer, they form an illegal alliance with the faeries to solve the murders. What’s at stake is so much more than answers, for Emma its revenge for the killing of her parents and for Julian, it’s the possible return of his brother Mark, half faerie/half Shadowhunter, who was taken from their family after the battle of Idris. As dark magic begins to reveal secrets of the murders, Emma and Julian are faced with secrets of their own as their feelings for each other grow and their relationship as parabatai is threatened by their love for each other. Something that is strictly forbidden in Shadowhunter world.

Review
Blending the storylines of Mortal Instruments and background that made the Shadowhunter world come to life with her other series, Clare has done a phenomenal job bridging the worlds and introducing another institute. Featuring the same suspense found in the previous books, dark magic has a way of provoking and good vs evil is set within blurred boundaries. The descriptive words and settings make you feel like your part of the world, witnessing the Shadowhunters battling the demons. A fast paced, fantastical book that only gets better the more you read.

Rating
4 Stars

Central Florida Sprint Triathlon Series #3: Race Recap

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Now that I’ve had a week to process the third race in the Sommer Sports Central Florida Sprint Triathlon Series I can say that I’ve been left with two very distinct feelings: satisfaction and hunger…for more.  I’m so happy with how this race went and more importantly, how I executed my race plan. But at the same time, I know there is so much more that I’m capable of and that’s why I love this sport! My race goals specifically this time around…

  1. Relax in transitions
  2. Cadence consistency on the bike, good gear shifting on the hills
  3. Don’t go out too hard on the run, maintain cadence, descend pace

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SWIM: .25 MILES/6:12
My goal for the swim this time around (on top of “don’t get eaten by a gator” which is basically my number 1 goal every time I enter a lake in FL) was to just execute everything the same as race 2, except remember not to put my feet down too early and swim in a bit farther. I was a bit worried about how warm the water would be given that it was 91* in July, but we’ve actually had quite a bit of rain and some overcast days in the last few weeks that the lake had cooled off a bit. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but it was one of the most sluggish swims I’ve had in a long time. I could not seem to get my arms moving, my right shoulder was dropping (that’s the coach in me being over analytical), it took me longer than it has to break away from the group and from the last buoy till I stood up seemed never-ending. Mentally I tried to just race and stay tough. While I did beat all the woman in my wave, two elite age group (14 & 15 years old)  girls from wave 1 did beat me, which is frustrating, but again, I know what I’m capable of.

TRANSITION 1: 2:21
Running from the water to my bike I just kept telling myself that a poor swim doesn’t have to transcend into the rest of the race. The bike was a new opportunity. One of the things I talked about with my coach after my last race was making sure my gearing was set for the initial hill when my bike was racked in transition and working on keeping calm while getting ready in transition.

BIKE: 10.4 MILES/36:35 (17.1 mph)
What a difference a few weeks riding outside on the hills can make! I’ve spent the majority of my bike training till this point on the trainer for a couple of reasons. Time, because biking early or late depending on work could mean the sun has gone down already, but also safety for my hip given the extra factors in road conditions and elements. After a painful bike during the second race where I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere, I felt strong and controlled during this entire portion! My shifting was perfect, the hills actually felt small  and it took the other woman a bit longer to catch me after the swim ;) I settled into my cadence, worked on pushing myself and fueling correctly to prepare for the run. I still managed to get my feet out of my shoes fine, however dismounting I should have slowed down a touch more as I almost dropped my bike! Oops! Overall, this was a great PR and I look forward to getting stronger still on the bike!

TRANSITION 2: 1:15
Calm was the goal in this transition. I quickly racked my bike, slipped on my shoes and took off. With coach reminding me to breath and my friend yelling at me to not go out too hard, I felt ready to tackle the run.

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RUN: 3.1 MILES/25:45 (8:19 pace)
The first mile of this run I kept telling myself to slow down. Honestly, this is the best my legs have felt coming off the bike, probably in big part due to being stronger on the bike. When I saw 8:20 pace I willed myself to slow down, but about a half mile in I realized that just wasn’t going to happen (8:20 felt too comfortable) that I decided to just go with it and if I died, I died. Well I didn’t die exactly, but I didn’t make it as uncomfortable as I should have either. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable is still something I’m working on. Overall, my cadence on the run wasn’t terrible and my pacing fairly even. It’s nice to see a PR on this portion as well and know there is still room for improvement!

FINAL TIME: 1:12:06
I ended up 4th in my age group, just off the podium, which was a bummer, but it was about a 3 minute PR! A great conversation with my coach the other week reminded me that I have to remember how far I’ve come since my FAI surgery and that I’m now really a triathlete, woohoo! I can check that one off my list! No seriously, I have a list :) I have a tendency to set really big goals for myself (in all aspects of my life) and I need to remember that triathlon is just one part of it all. One I just happen to really like :)

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GEAR: Speedo Women’s Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored GoggleCoeur Sports Tri KitCoeur Sports VisorOakley SunglassesHoka One One Clifton 2Trek Émonda, Garneau Tri Speed Bike Shoes, Garmin 920XTGarmin HRM-Tri

NUTRITION: Osmo Nutrition(bike), Honey Stinger Chews (bike)

Book Review: Secret Sisters

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IMG_8121Title: Secret Sisters
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Genre: Romance/Suspense
Publisher: Berkley Books/Penguin Random House, LLC
Format: Hardcover

Summary
Almost two decades after Madeline and Daphne at the age of 12 survived a brutal attack at the Aurora Point Hotel, they thought they’d left the secrets buried and their friendship a memory of the past. However, when Madeline’s grandmother, the owner of a prestigious boutique hotel chain, suspiciously ends up dead, the girls are thrust back together and their special bond reignited as they search to solve the mysteries of past and present. To help them solve these mysteries, Madeline enlists the help of Jack Rayner, private security consultant and despite his own mysterious past, she finds herself falling for him. As answers unfold surrounding the questionable deaths of Madeline’s grandmother and others, a small town in Washington is pushed into the spotlight and no secret is safe.

Review
Krentz once again delivers the perfect combination of mystery, romance and substance to grab your attention from the beginning and leave you in suspense of what will happen next. The intertwined stories of the characters come to light as the book progresses, along with the mystery of the situation itself. The emotions they experience are so real and the storytelling so compelling, you feel as if you’re part of the adventure.

Rating
4.5 Stars

 

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