Saturday, November 22, 2014

Time To Talk! Fangirling, The Beginning of The End, Not Liking A Popular Book, & a Happy Birthday!

This is the coffee mug I'm actually using
RIGHT NOW while I write this! 

So HELLO everyone! Wow, I've been insanely busy in my "real" life lately and I feel like I miss my blog and my reading friends. I haven't really been able to devote the time and thought to my blog but I wanted to get something out there. What to do in this situation? How about a little update? 

 FIRST OF ALL: I finished what will be one of my favorite books this year. You know when you finish a book and your thoughts have to just sit for awhile before they become complete and coherent? Well, that's how I feel about I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe. My post is coming soon (it needs editing, you guys, my thoughts are all over the place) but WOW. Just, WOW. I finished and immediately began pushing that book on people - before I finished crying my eyes out. (And then I made the paperback cover my phone wallpaper for a few days because LOOK AT IT.)

So after finishing that book, I wanted something F-U-N, fun. But I wasn't sure what to read! I scrolled around in my Kindle and settled on the Kylie Ryans Series by Caisey Quinn and decided to give it a try. You guys, I was pretty-much immediately hooked and ended up reading the books back-to-back-to-back. I can't remember the last time that I've done that. Three in a row, baby! This series follows a young girl that moves to Nashville to pursue her dreams of becoming a country music singer. Not only was the story super fun BUT I ended up completely going FANGIRL and made reading this series even more fun for myself. (More on how I made this series even better in a post later this week!) I can't wait to share it with you guys - I was absolutely ridiculous and made myself myself. I hope you can laugh along with me. 

THEN, oh my goodness, I read Allegiant by Veronica Roth. This was a big deal for me because I didn't love the first book and I really didn't like the second book at all. It took me a while - like, a long time - to get into
Allegiant. (It was overdue at the library so I had no choice: read it or turn it back in and wait forever again.) There was a point, finally, toward the very end of the book that I thought OKAY THIS IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT HARD. But I read it and it was less hard than I thought, even though the ending stunk. I didn't love that series at all. My reasons for feeling the way I do are completely valid; I don't understand why everyone loved it and I probably won't end up rereading it. This is why I love the reading, though, because everyone has such different opinions on stories and what is good for you may not be good for me...I am interesting in seeing the movie at some point because I've heard it was a good adaptation. BUT HEY, I can say that I've read this series and that's something, right? Right.

FINALLY, I've finished with my Grisha reread! I reread the first two books so I could read Ruin and Rising for the very first time. OH GOSH, YOU GUYS, I'M REALLY DOING IT. I'm about to finish this series! I can't stand it but I also can't wait. It's the best kind of torture and I have a great friend on standby (if I haven't worn her out already) for all of my feelings. I'm afraid and I'm excited. I'm afraid and I'm excited. 


A couple more random thoughts! 

1. Happy Birthday to ME! Last Sunday was my birthday! It was fantastic, actually. Last weekend, we made a quick trip all the way across the state to see favorite singer-songwriters of ours: SAM QUINN and JOSH OLIVER. There was also a lunch composed entirely of chocolate cake. I'm not sorry! 

I did not get any books for my birthday this year BUT I did get a little bump-up in my Audible account, which made me really excited. I also got a ton of birthday wishes on Twitter and Facebook, which was the best thing of all. It made me feel super special. Big smiles for days! 

2. Unrelated, but nearly everything I've had on hold at the library has come in at once! DOES THIS EVER HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE? I've got my digital loans maxed-out and two are waiting for me - if I don't download them before my "3 days" is up they'll go to the next person! How does this even happen? I try to be really careful not to put things on hold that will arrive all at once and here I am, at the busiest time of year, with ALL THE BOOKS to read! No complaints, really. But still! It's kind of hilarious. 

3. I've got a pretty big giveaway going on right now! Click HERE to go to that particular blog post and enter! You can win one of the books on my to-read list (or any book from those series). It's OPEN WORLDWIDE and ends November 29! Hurry! Also, tell your friends - I've LOVED getting to know the people that have stopped by and shared their reading quirks. LOVED IT. I want more people to tell their stories! 


You guys, thanks so much for hanging out with me while I've had a busy week! Thanks for reading my update! 

If you're one of the ones that I've sent crazy messages to with my thoughts on any of the books above OR ANY BOOK AT ALL - THANK YOU SO MUCH. Really! If you've read any of these books, what did you think? Tell me! I want to talk about books!

And I want to buy a book for one of you. Go enter that giveaway. GO! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yes, Please! {3} First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen + Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.


Publish Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Waverly Family #2

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

I've read a couple of Sarah Addison Allen's books in the recent past. I read The Girl Who Chased The Moon and The Peach Keeper very quickly and loved them.This author uses a perfect blend of contemporary and magical realism that I adore plus a wonderful setting (she loves a North Carolina setting; I really connect to that place because I live in North Carolina!). 

I only very recently realized that the upcoming First Frost a sequel to Garden Spells. I haven't read Garden Spells but am excited for the extra nudge to go ahead pick it up. With a January release date, I ought to go ahead and get started!



Publish Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: Once Upon A Crime Family #1

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

Okay, yeah, I'm intrigued by the mafia-vibe of this one. Black market for organs? Sounds a little interesting. Sign me up! The synopsis sounds great. 

There are so many great books coming out soon. 
What are YOU waiting for? 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mini Review Time | Three Holiday Favorites + Something New For Your List

 Kissing Under the Mistletoe / Bella Andre / September 24, 2013 / Amazon / B&N 
Kissing Under the Mistletoe / 
Marina Adair Amazon / B&N
Not Quite Dating Catherine Bybee / Amazon / B&N

Well, I LOVE holiday reading and I've spent the last couple of years adding to my list. These three titles are among my absolute favorite finds from last year. In fact, I've just spent the last couple of weeks rereading each of these so I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you all in case you don't know about them and want to put them on YOUR list. (I also added a new find at the bottom!)

Each of these three titles are available to borrow through Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program (both to read and to listen to). I chose to reread each of them via print + audiobook, of course, and OF COURSE I loved this. I also own them all because since I read them last year and have already reread them this year, I'm sure that I'll probably continue to enjoy them for holiday seasons to come. 


Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Bella Andre (The Sullivans #10)
Published September 24, 2013  by Harlequin MIRA
Find It: Amazon / B&N 

If you've read anything from Bella Andre's The Sullivans Series, you probably love these siblings with strong family ties. I do! This book is the story of Mary and Jack Sullivan - THE PARENTS - and how they got together. From a chance meeting to a life filled with love and reconnection with family. The story is told as Mary reflects on highlights of her romance with Jack as she prepares for her family to gather for their holiday festivities. 

The first time I started this book, I wondered if I would like it as much as the others by this author. I mean, Mary and Jack are the parents of the siblings I usually read about! HOWEVER, because the story is told through Mary's memories of younger days, I pretty much forgot that these was a Sullivan "parents" and got lost in the story. ALSO, even though this is the tenth book in the series, it is perfectly okay to read it out of order. I did! (And I rarely do that.) 


Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Marina Adair (St. Helena Vineyard #1)
Published October 16, 2012  by Montlake Romance
Find It: Amazon / B&N 

This book is the first in its series, which I LOVE. This is another companion series with siblings and strong family ties. This is kinda-sorta a forbidden love story with a bit of humor, which is really fun. Gabe DeLuca has made it his life mission to make Regan Martin miserable after she accidentally had an affair with his sister's scumbag of a husband. When Regan shows up at his winery as a new hire...well, this is immediately taken care of...and so is the nice housing that came with the job! Unfortunately Gabe and his brothers displace Regan's small daughter in the process, and in an effort to make things right with them HE FALLS IN LOVE WITH HER. They both fall in love, actually. They become a family! It's a marvelous HEA. And funny. With a great small-town vibe and fun characters. I can't wait to keep going with this series. 


Not Quite Dating by Catherine Bybee (Not Quite #1)
Published November 13, 2012  by Montlake Romance
Find It: Amazon / B&N

Okay, so NO, this cover doesn't look like a holiday book...BUT IT IS! Here we have one of those rich-guy-pretends-to-not-be-rich so he knows the gal will love him for HIM and not his money. I never get tired of that storyline! The difference in this case is that the gal isn't one of those it-doesn't-matter-what-we-have-as-long-as-we-have-love types. She WANTS to marry a guy with plenty of money because she is a single mother working a pitiful job and having such a hard time making ends meet for her kid. 

Jack Morrison is a super-wealthy heir to a hotel chain. He's also a cowboy at heart. When he sees Jessie working as a waitress at a diner late one night, he is immediately drawn to her but she doesn't given him the time of day! First of all, she doesn't know who he is even though he is a media favorite because of his social status so that's a huge PLUS in her favor. Second, she's pretty and great at witty banter! SCORE, thinks Jack. BUT, she's very upfront about her intentions of only dating wealthy men. Jack decides to befriend her and help her find "the right guy" with hopes that she'll see that he's "the right guy" -- and she does! But it takes forever and a few big events for her to realize that Jack is the guy for her. I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT. 

I've actually read this one three times. THREE. I need to keep going with this series, too, but I can't seem to stop reading this story. 


The Mistletoe Effect by Melissa Cutler
Published by St. Martin's
Publish Date: October 7, 2014

200 Pages
Source: Publisher
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

It’ll be a Christmas to remember when hotel heiress Carina Briscoe falls for cowboy James Decker, the bad boy stable manager of her family’s Texas resort, after they’re roped into pretending marriage. The marriage might be a sham but the sparks between them are anything but. Still, with a little help from the heroine’s interfering family, they might end up with the greatest Christmas gift of all: true love. (Goodreads)

This is a holiday story that I chose because of the cute cover. It was new to me this year and it is the steamiest of all of my holiday reads this year so far. That being said, it's also pretty funny and there are cowboys so that's always a plus! Carina and Decker get "fake-married" as a publicity stunt for the resort that they both work for in Texas -- the thing is that they both have obvious big-time crush-feelings for one another so they decide to have fun with their fake marriage until they actually really fall in love. The fun part of the story, I think, is that they both have such a hard time admitting to themselves and one another that they want to stay together FOR REAL after so many of the staff at the resort are in on their secret. This is a quick, fun, inexpensive holiday read that I'm sure I'll be rereading again for the smiles and laughs.  Also the HEA! 


Have YOU read any of these? 

Do you have any holiday recommendations for me? 
I'm LOVING the holiday stories and romances lately! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Getting To Know You + Giveaway (INT)

Hosted by Cuddlebuggery
Click HERE for the list of participating blogs!

I don't often do Blog Hops, you guys, but I loved the idea of this one! Here is a chance for me to share something about myself by giving away a book. This is a marvelous idea! But which books do I want to give away and how will they represent me? 

Hmmmmmm? Well I'm choosing to give away a book from a series that I need to either START or FINISH. 

Get to know me
  1. I pick my books based on my mood. Or whatever pretty cover calls out to me when I'm ready to read. Or whatever has just been recommended to me. I could pick my next book because of...WHO KNOWS WHAT! I NEVER plan my reading list ahead of time. 
  2. I trade bookmarks every time I finish a book. I have a pretty, shiny box that I keep most of them in. Some are crafted, some are homemade, and some are book swag. I LOVE THEM ALL. 
  3. I'm a very eclectic reader and a very emotional reader, which means that my friends often get very animated messages from me when something big happens in a book. 
  4. I absolutely cannot read books that are super-duper hyped-up until all of the fuss dies down. It kills the excitement for me! I've tried and been BURNED. 
  5. I read several books at the same time. I just do. I usually have an audiobook or two going as well as something on my Kindle and maybe one or two print copies. THIS IS WHO I AM. 
I could go on listing reading quirks, but the point is that I love reading and I love this community. I love the idea of getting to know other readers and bloggers better! NOW! Onto the giveaway!

So, basically, the winner gets to 
choose from the following books: 

Even though these are all YA books, I read at least a little bit of pretty much everything! 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!