Top Ten Tuesday~ Dear Santa, Here’s My Wishlist

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is items that I am hoping for under the tree. While most of the items I am hoping for from Santa will be for my new apartment {goal is February to move}, there are some books that I would like to receive as well…

Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2)

Paper & Fire

Replica

Replica

Hogwarts Classics: 2 Volume Set

Hogwarts Classics

Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)       Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)       Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)

Illuminae & Gemina

Stars of Fortune (The Guardians Trilogy, #1)       Bay of Sighs (The Guardians Trilogy, #2)       Island of Glass (The Guardians Trilogy, #3)

Stars of Fortune, Bay of Sighs, & Island of Glass

Start Where You Are

Start Where You Are

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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Pooh’s Library

**All covers link to Goodreads, all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

I’m Hosting A Giveaway!

Finally! I have really been wanting to host a giveaway on the blog, but just have not been in a position to be able to fund one… until now!

This will be a Rafflecopter giveaway and will be open until 11:59pm PST 12/31/16. I will announce the winner on 01/02/17. This giveaway will be for residents of the US only {sorry international readers… my next giveaway will be open internationally, I promise}.

So what can you win?? A tote bag full of fun bookish related merchandise including the items pictured below plus a few extra treats not shown:

 

Society6 It's A Good Day To Read A Good Book Tote Bag 16" x 16"Society6 Why Can't People Just Sit And Read Books - Bookish Design Mug 11 ozTypographic Tan I Love Books Stud EarringsBook Beaded BookmarkA Room Without Books Quote Wooden Bookmark with TasselLE Rechargeable LED Desk Lamp, Table Lamp, Portable and Flexible, 2-Level Brightness, AC Adaptor and USB Cable Included, Daylight White, Travel Light, Clip Light with Stand, Task LightingPrimitives By Kathy Box Sign, 7 by 4-Inch, I'm ReadingReading Journal: For Book Lovers

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Sunday Post & More~ 12/18/16

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. I will now also be linking this post to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga’s Reviews and It’s Monday! What Are you Reading with The Book Date.

Life Happenings:

As we are in the final weeks of 2016 {seriously where did the year go?}, I am shifting my focus to ruminating on the past year and planning for the year ahead. While I fully intend to spend some time over the next 2 weeks reading, it will not be my focus. I have gift wrapping to do, plans to make, and 2 incredibly busy work weeks ahead. Plus I met and exceeded my reading goals this year by more than I would have ever dreamed… over 130 books completed! I’ll do a full 2016 recap later this month, but I am just so excited about the progress that I made this year and looking so forward to the new year ahead {as may be evidenced by the multitude of challenges I have signed up for}.

Weather got seriously sucky up here this week. We didn’t have snow, but we did get ice and freezing rain. Since I didn’t have a car when I lived in Seattle, I have never driven in this type of weather before and it is incredibly nerve-wracking! On Wednesday I came out from work to discover that the truck was a giant ice cube with icicles! I’ll be glad once I’m moved up near work and don’t have to commute in this nasty weather… unfortunately there are still 2 months to go before the move, so I have a lot more winter to get through! Hopefully we won’t have a repeat of this year’s ice storm which is being called the worst in a century.

I’ll be hosting my first giveaway since converting to a book blog and I’m pretty excited! Come back tomorrow to enter!

Last Week on the Blog:

Sunday Post~ 12/11/16
Even More Challenges for 2017
Top Ten Tuesday~ I’m Looking Forward to These Books
Review: Cupcake Overload
Oops! I Found Even More Challenges for 2017

This Week on the Blog:

I’m Hosting a Giveaway
Top Ten Tuesday~ Dear Santa, Here’s My Wishlist
I’ve Lost Control and I Need to be Stopped~ aka More Challenge Signups
Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts~ Lizzy & Jane

Currently Reading:

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) Me Before You

Recently Completed:

The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun The Happiness Project {re-read}

Up Next on TBR:

Going Home (3-in-1) Going Home

New to the Shelves:

The Young Elites The Young Elites {12 Days of Christmas Swap Gift}

Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) Ink an Bone {12 Days of Christmas Swap Gift}

A Christmas Kiss (Kissed by the Bay, #5) A Christmas Kiss {eARC from Net Galley}

It Had To Be You (Crystal Valley, #2) It Had to Be You {eARC from Net Galley}

Keeping Her (Losing It, #1.5) Keeping Her {Physical book purchased}

** All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Oops! I Found Even More Challenges for 2017

I may perhaps be crazy. Or just really optimistic and excited for all of the wonderful books  that 2017 will bring my way. Whichever is the case, I am joining 3 more challenges for 2017 {and none of them is a series challenge… still looking for one}. In many ways, the challenges overlap each other, so I am not necessarily committing to reading more books, just more books in different areas.

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2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish Things & More

  • The challenge will run from Jan 1, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017.
  • Anyone is welcome to join. You do not need to be a blogger, just post your reviews and come back every month to link them up.
  • Any genre, release date, request date, length, etc. counts so long as it came from Edelweiss or Netgalley.
  • At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews.
  • If you forget to link up one month it’s not a problem just add your reviews next month.
  • If you would like to move up or down levels that is completely fine and at your discretion.

I will be going for the Silver Level of 25 Books for this one.

 

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by My Reader’s Block

*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you’re on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade.  All books counted for lower mountains carry over towards the new peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2017.

*You may sign up anytime from now until November 1st, 2017.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2017. No library books.

*You may count any “currently reading” book that you begin prior to January 1–provided that you had 50% or more of the book left to finish when January 1 rolled around.

*You may count “Did Not Finish” books provided they meet your own standard for such things, you do not plan to ever finish it, and you move it off your mountain [give it away, sell it, etc. OR remove it from your e-resources].

I have chosen the Mt. Vancouver level of 36 books off my TBR.

literary-escapes-2017

2017 Literary Escapes Challenge hosted by Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book

Challenge – Try to read 1 book set in each of the 50 states + the District of Columbia. (51 Points). If you complete the challenge you earn 50 Bonus Points. You also can earn Bonus Points for books set in Counties around the world. 1 Bonus Point for each country. (No repeats – only 1 point can be earned for each country.)

I had just been thinking about how much fun a state or country challenge would be and the very next morning, what did I see? This challenge! I think it was fate telling me that I needed to sign up for it.

So that’s it… my final selection of challenges… unless I find a series challenge I like that is. In the meantime, I’m going to commit to completing at least 5 series in 2017. But I think that I have plenty of other challenges to keep me busy in the meantime. I have set up my Challenge Page to keep track of all of my challenges as well.

Review: Cupcake Overload

Cupcake Overload Book Cover Cupcake Overload
Cupcakes #2
Bethany Lopez
Fiction; Romance
August 22, 2016
eARC
Net Galley

One night I was out with my girls enjoying a much needed ladies night while wondering if one more dirty martini would push me over the edge. The next thing I knew, I was in the club’s bathroom listening to a woman screaming, “No,” and a man’s voice growling, “I know you want it.”

That asshole picked the wrong restroom, in the wrong club, at the wrong time.

Little did I know the asshole was Cade’s VP, and although we saved that woman from his clutches that night, she’d be found floating in a motel pool a month later.

Running a PI firm is a lot harder than taking pictures for one, especially when your professional life spills over into your personal one. I’m going through cupcakes like our new puppy goes through piddle pads, and if I’m not careful there’s bound to be a Cupcake Overload.

This was a really fun, super quick read. I actually finished it in one day and enjoyed it even more than the first book in the series. I’m hoping there will be more.

The story continues with the characters from the first book, Lila, Amy May, and Bea, as well as their partners Cade, Jason, and Shannon. It also features more of Carmen as she joins the group of friends, and of Bran as he helps Lila {and Carmen} with self-defense. I enjoyed the interactions between Lila and her friends throughout the book… even the disagreements.

Lila and Cade deepen their relationship, which is as hot as ever, with Cade spending more time with Lila’s kids and introducing her to his club. We get to learn more about Cade’s past and to see Lila and Eric form a truce as they co-parent the twins. Both Bea and Eric have come to accept and appreciate Cade’s place in Lila’s life as well.

There is also a lot of action as Lila becomes established as a PI and investigates a murder. And of course a ton of humor. I look forward to more from Bethany Lopez.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book through Net Galley and the publisher {Bethany Lopez} in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Top Ten Tuesday~ I’m Looking Forward to These Books

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is the top ten books I am looking forward to in the first half of 2017.

Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology, #1)

Carve the Mark

Stormchaser (Cutter Cay #4)

Stormchaser

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)

Lord of Shadows

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

Flame in the Mist

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So Close by Sylvia Day

Caraval

Caraval

Definitions of Indefinable Things

Definitions of Indefinable Things

RoseBlood

RoseBlood

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)

Our Dark Duet

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2)

The Dark Prophecy

**All covers link to Goodreads, all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Even More Challenges for 2017

Yep, that’s right, I’m signing up for several more challenges for 2017. This should be the last of them, unless I can find a good series challenge {or I see a new one that just looks interesting}. These are all for things that I was planning to do in 2017 anyway, so having a challenge to focus on just gives me more incentive.

New to Me Challenge hosted by The Herd Presents aka Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Choose to read anything new to you… new authors, new genres, new series, etc. All books need to be at least 80 pages long. Minimum of 12 books.

I will be focusing on new to me authors for this challenge and plan to read at least 15 different new authors this year. Some authors I plan to read: Marissa Meyer, Maggie Stiefvater, Kiera Cass, Stephanie Perkins, Colleen Hoover, Dan Brown, Pierce Brown, A.G. Howard… and more.

Read All the Books hosted by The Herd Presents aka Herding Cats & Burning Soup

This challenge does not have a time limit, you just choose an author who has published at least 45 books and read all of them.

I will be reading Nora Roberts and her alter ego JD Robb for my challenge. I would like to get through all of the Nora Roberts books in 2017, then focus on JD Robb for 2018.

Read the Books you Buy Reading Challenge 2017

Read the Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by The Book Date

Rules.

  • Books have been bought in 2017 by you or you can decide to include from and including July 2016 buys.
  • Can be ebook, print book or audiobook
  • You can decide whether you include books bought in 2017 second hand or in book fairs etc.
  • Books for this challenge can also be included in other challenges.
  • Runs from 1st January to 31st of December 2017
  • Choose a percentage of books purchased in 2017 that will be read in 2017

For this challenge, I am choosing the 21 – 40% Making Inroads category. I know that there will be A LOT of books that I want to buy this year {especially since I haven’t been able to buy books for a year}, but I really want to get through my backlist books that are already sitting on my shelves {technically they are sitting in boxes in storage right now, but come February-ish they will be on my shelves}, so will be reading more of the books I already own before diving into the new ones.

Blogger Shame Review Challenge hosted by The Herd Presents aka Herding Cats & Burning Soup

This challenge focuses on all of those reviews that are 4+ months overdue. Minimum 1 review for this challenge.

I have approximately 20 eARCs that I need to get reviewed, plus 1 physical book. My goal is to complete all of these and get my reviews to current in 2017.

Charity Reading Challenge hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews

From Becky’s Book Reviews: “Read for a good cause! Buy books at a charity shop, or, even a friends of the library book sale, or, donate a certain percentage of money for each book you read for the challenge. You can choose your own goal of how many books to read, what charity you’ll be donating money towards, how much money, etc. (For example, you might want to donate $1 for each paperback you read, or, $3 for every hardback you read. You can work out the details yourself.)”

I absolutely love this idea! I decided to donate $5 per book read this year and to choose a different charity each month to send my donation to. Since my reading goal for 2017 is an average of 5 books per month, I should be donating an average of $25 to each charity. Over the next few weeks I’ll be selecting the charities I want to donate to each month.

2017-alphabet-soup-button

2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book

Essentially for this challenge, the goal is to read a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet. The first main word of the title {Discounting “the,” “a,” and “an”} needs to start with the letter {except Q, X & Z which can be the first letter of any word in the title}.

gwb-2017-book-bingo-blue

GWB 2017 Book Bingo hosted by Grand World of Books

Rules:

  1. HAVE FUN!
  2. If you decide to use Bingo board, please link back to original post linked above.

gwb-2017-book-bingo-blue

I’m already thinking about which books I’ll choose for the translation and 100 year old categories. And I haven’t met any authors {yet}, so that one might be hard.

eBook Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair

  • All books counted must be electronic.
  • The ebook in question must have an ISBN or equivalent. If you can buy it or borrow it, it counts.
  • You may move up a level, but not down.

I will be setting my goal at the Byte level of 10 books, but realistically, I plan to read between 12-24 ebooks this year {especially since my Kindle is quite full}.

Audio Book Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair

  • All books counted must be audio!
  • The audio book in question must have an ISBN or equivalent.
  • You may move up a level, but not down.

I am going to go for the Megabyte level 25 books for this challenge. I should be able to finish an audio book every 2 weeks with no problem. I might even be able to hit the Gigabyte level of 50, but that might just be too ambitious right now.

**I will be creating a challenge page where I will be keeping track of the books for each challenge throughout the year.**

Sunday Post~ 12/11/16

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. I will now also be linking this post to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga’s Reviews and It’s Monday! What Are you Reading with The Book Date.

Life Happenings:

This was a fun, if slightly stressful week for the most part. Work has stayed really busy and I still love my job. Thankfully we haven’t gotten snow {yet}, but the weather has still been pretty bad. I was able to spend some time with Cheshire, though just one night. And I got a lot more done that I thought, including some extra posts here on the blog.

Unfortunately we also received some very sad news regarding a very close family friend who passed away this week. She has been my mom’s best friend for the last 40 years, so it was pretty tough for all of us.

Right now I have a couple of days off before the big push to Christmas. My shopping is almost done, I just need stocking stuffers which I plan to get this week. I still need to wrap everything though. I have a few packages that are due to arrive this week with the last of the presents, so hopefully I’ll be able to get everything wrapped by the end of the week. Maybe.

I participated in a couple of blogger gift exchanges this year and got both of my packages this past week. I’ve only opened one of them, as the other is a 12 Days of Christmas theme and we are supposed to start opening the gifts on the 13th. The package I opened came with several books off of my wish list, my first ever Funko Pop {Harry Potter} and the most incredible handmade bookmarks with pictures of my cats {among other things}.

Last Week on the Blog:

Sunday Post~ 12/4/16
Preparing for the Challenge~ 2017
Top Ten Tuesday~ Authors I Discovered This Year
More Challenges for 2017
Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts~ A Drop in the Ocean
Review: Louder Than Words

This Week on the Blog:

Even More Challenges for 2017
Top Ten Tuesday~ I’m Looking Forward to These Books
Review: Cupcake Overload

Currently Reading:

Finding Myself in Britain Finding Myself in Britain

Recently Completed:

Cupcake Overload (Cupcakes, #2) Cupcake Overload

Always Room for Cupcakes (Cupcakes, #1) Always Room for Cupcakes

Up Next on TBR:

Game Changer (A sexy romantic comedy) Game Changer

New to the Shelves:

The Selection (The Selection, #1) The Selection {TBTB Secret Santa Gift}

The Elite (The Selection, #2) The Elite {TBTB Secret Santa Gift}

Finding Audrey Finding Audrey {TBTB Secret Santa Gift}

Remember Me? Remember Me? {TBTB Secret Santa Gift}

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) Anna and the French Kiss {TBTB Secret Santa Gift}

Scrappy Little Nobody Scrappy Little Nobody {TBTB Secret Santa Gift}

Review: Louder Than Words

Louder Than Words Book Cover Louder Than Words
Iris St. Clair
Young Adult
Spencer Imaginarium
September 6, 2016
eARC
Net Galley

This book has a little bit of everything that could possibly happen in a young woman’s life… the loss of a parent, romance, bullying, sexual harassment, etc. Ellen has a lot on her plate and chooses to withdraw into herself and not share a lot of what is happening with her, even from her brother and closest friends.

The characters are all flawed, there are no perfect people in this book, just as there are no perfect people in life. Ellen is flawed in her reactions to the events around her. Rex is flawed in his relationships. Ellen’s mother is flawed in her drug abuse. I think these flaws make the voice in this story more believable.

Everything is told from Ellen’s point of view, so we are not always aware of what is happening outside of her view with the other characters. This leads to a lack of resolution on a couple of plot points, notable Leanne’s relationship with Ivan, whether Gracie is made accountable for her actions, and how Lizzy moves forward with her life. I would have liked one more chapter to resolve all of the loose ends… though maybe the author is planning to cover these in the next book {Lizzy’s story}.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and will definitely read the next book when it is released.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from Net Galley and the publisher {Spencer Imaginarium}. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts~ A Drop in the Ocean

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Welcome to Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts, an original weekly meme hosted by Lexxie at (un)Conventional Bookviews. The idea of this feature is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not.

This week I am featuring A Drop in the Ocean by Jenni Ogden. This scene {pg. 32} takes place between Anna and Tom shortly after they met.

A Drop in the Ocean

“I sat on the edge of his deck with my back to the wide-open French doors. I didn’t want to risk seeing him drop his towel. I heard him moving about inside and then he reappeared, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, his hair still damp and roughened from a brisk toweling. ‘Red wine okay for you?’ he asked.
I nodded, and he bent down and put the bottle and two wine glasses on the deck, then disappeared inside, returning with a packet of biscuits and a wooden board complete with two types of cheese- a wedge of blue and a hunk of tasty- and a bunch of purple grapes.
‘Gosh, this looks very civilized,’ I said, accepting a glass of wine.”

I love blue cheese, but then again, I love most cheeses. What is your favorite cheese?