Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts~ Carve the Mark

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I’m participating in Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts, hosted by Lexxie over at {un}Conventional Book Views again this week.

What is Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts? Well here’s a description from Lexxie’s site:

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. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read. Each week there is a link-up for the current post so that it’s easy to find other participants as well.

This week I am featuring Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. This scene features Akos and Cisi. {pg. 464}

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1)

Cisi offered him a mug of tea, yellow green. The blend for fortitude, judging by its shade. He wasn’t any good  at mixing that one, since he’d spent most of his time working with hushflower, to put people to sleep and kill their pain. It didn’t taste like much– bitter like a new stem, freshly snapped– but it make him steadier like it was supposed to.


On Why I Don’t Comment {Very Often}

I read a lot of blogs, and I read most of them every day, but I rarely comment on them. I will also never join a comment for comment group or challenge. It’s not that I don’t think that your blog deserves a comment or that I’m not grateful to you for commenting on my blog, it’s just that I want my comments to be genuine and real.

There are a couple of reasons why I don’t comment. The biggest reason is that while I read the post, I don’t have anything to say about it, other than “nice post,” which I feel isn’t a real comment. If the post moves me in some way and I have something genuine to contribute, I do comment, but if not, I’ll read the post and move on.

Another reason I don’t comment is if I have a divergent opinion that may open me to attack from other posters. I shy away from all forms of confrontation whenever possible,and that includes in the virtual world. There have been times where I have actually typed up a comment in response to a post {or a comment on the post}, but my anxiety pulls me back and I don’t actually publish my comment.

I want any comments that I leave to be genuine, heartfelt, and meaningful. If I can’t come up with a comment that fits that bill, I won’t leave one. I also want the comments that I leave to be positive and respectful, so I won’t leave a negative comment, even if I find a post to be inflammatory.

When it comes to replying to comments left on my blog, I use the same philosophy. I try to answer any questions and thank people for any compliments. But I don’t reply to every comment left on my blog because I want to start genuine conversations, not simply say “thank you for posting.” Please note, however, that I do thank you for posting! I love getting comments, but my favorites are those that are truly thought out and address something I’ve talked about in my post. There is also the fact that I spend 40+ hours a week working and another 10+ hours a week commuting, which doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time for replying if I want to get any actual reading done.

What do you think? Do you comment on every blog you read? Do you reply to all of the comments on your blog?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ I Keep Meaning to Read You

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the topic is series you’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t yet. There are quite a few of these on my list! Here’s ten:

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

The Raven Cycle

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

The Lunar Chronicles

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Matched (Matched, #1)

The Matched Trilogy

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

The Heroes of Olympus

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)

The Lorien Legacies

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

The Caster Chronicles

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1)

The Secret

Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #1)

The Keys to the Kingdom

Uglies (Uglies, #1)

The Uglies

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


Review: Rejected Writers Take the Stage

Rejected Writers Take the Stage Book Cover Rejected Writers Take the Stage
Southlea Bay
Suzanne Kelman
Lake Union Publishing
June 6, 2017
Net Galley

This is the second Southlea Bay book, and honestly, I think you need to read the first book to really  get a feel for the story, and I unfortunately read book 2 first.

The story pretty much jumps right in, with not a lot of background and we are introduced to the characters as though we already know them. It was a little difficult getting invested in the characters without the background information, which I’m sure was presented in the first book in this series.

The plot revolves mostly around Flora and Annie, however the story is narrated by Janet in first person at some points, and a third person narrator at other times. I’m really not sure why, but assume that this was something that was presented in the first book as well?

I liked Flora’s character, she had a lot of self-confidence issues, but managed to overcome them. Plus she ultimately stood up for herself with Dan. Dan, however was an idiot and I thought Flora could do a lot better, but maybe there’s something in book one that is redeeming for Dan.

Annie kind of reminds me of myself and the way that I handle situations. She not necessarily a strong character, but she’s very relatable. I have some issues with Janet, though I adored the rest of the book club characters, even Dolores. They were kooky and weird and a lot of fun. Don’t get me started on Marcy, but she is one of the villains of this story, so hating her was supposed to happen.

The story overall was fun, and I think if I had read the first book, I would have enjoyed it more. I plan to read the first book now and learn all the back story I missed!

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

Monday Update, Stacking the Shelves, Sunday Post

My Week in Review 2017 #24

This is my week in review, where I update you on my life~ reading, blogging and general. I will also be linking up with some amazing blogs.

Sunday Post

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.

Life Happenings:

I had so much fun doing the Get Social blog hop and hope to participate again. I was introduced to quite a few new blogs, some of which I think may become favorites. It also introduced me to a couple of new memes that I may add to my repertoire {yes, I know, I’m addicted to memes, I love them!}. And now I am also participating in Blog Ahead and Bloggiesta, so I am focusing on getting some discussion posts put together and scheduled for these challenges.

I haven’t really done anything other than work for the last week. The weather has been rainy and dreary again, so that’s a bummer.

And there is a bit of good news on the library front. While I still don’t have digital access, my local branch has re-opened as a reading room with honor system check outs. It doesn’t help with my audiobook dilemma, but it will help if I run out of reading material before I move {unless I decide to start unpacking boxes lol}. And it provides most library services for the community which I think is so incredibly important!

I did find a potential solution to the audiobook issues, however. I signed up for the free trial of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, which gives you access to up to 10 ebooks at a time for $9.99/month. You can read as many as you want during the month, you just have to return something if you already have 10 checked out. You don’t get to keep the books permanently, and when you return them {or cancel your subscription}, the books are removed from your devices. Pretty much like they would be with library checkouts. How does this help me get audiobooks? Because if the ebook also has an audible version, you get both. I’m listening to my first audible book now. There are some cons to this though, as most of the titles that are available are not new releases or even from bigger publishing houses, but there are some series that look good that I’ve decided to give a try and we’ll see. Since I will be traveling a bit for work over the next several weeks, having something to listen to in the car will be a lifesaver!

Last Week on the Blog:

My Week in Review 2017 #23
Top Ten Tuesday~ In Honor of Dad
Cat Thursday #24
Thirsty Thursdays & Hungry Hearts~ The Invisible Library
Thursday Quotables~The Lifeboat Clique
Mini Bloggiesta Sign Up 2017
The Friday 56~ Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Book Beginnings~ A Dog’s Purpose
Review: The Sweetest Kiss

This Week on the Blog:

Top Ten Tuesday~ I’ve Been Meaning to Read You
Cat Thursday #25
Thirsty Thursdays & Hungry Hearts~ Carve the Mark
Thursday Quotables~Beautiful
The Friday 56~ The Invisible Library
Book Beginnings~ The Start of Me and You


It’s Monday! What Are you Reading from The Book Date takes a look at the books we have been reading over the past week and what we’re planning to read next.

Currently Reading:

The Promise Kitchen  The Little French Bistro

The Promise Kitchen//The Little French Bistro

Recently Completed:

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1)  The Thing About Jellyfish  Rejected Writers Take the Stage  The Sweetest Kiss (Kissed by the Bay #4)

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares//The Thing About Jellyfish//The Rejected Writers Take the Stage//The Sweetest Kiss

Up Next on TBR:

Pretty Little World  All the Good Parts  Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Pretty Little World//All the Good Parts//Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

I will also be linking this post to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga’s Reviews & Reading Reality, a link up to share the new books we’ve added to our shelves over the past week.

New to the Shelves:

Purchased ebooks:

Fight with Me (With Me in Seattle, #2)

Fight With Me

Kindle Unlimited Books:

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet  Crazy for Her (K2 Team, #1)  Forged in Fire (Red-Hot SEALs, #1)  The Rejected Writers' Book Club (Southlea Bay, #1)  Catching Jordan  The Second Chance Cafe (Hope Springs #1)  From Rocket Boys to October Sky: How the Classic Memoir Rocket Boys Was Written and the Hit Movie October Sky Was Made  Minerva  Accidentally Hers (Sterling Canyon, #1)  The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet//Crazy for Her//Forged in Fire//The Rejected Writer’s Book Club//Catching Jordan//The Second Chance Cafe//From Rocket Boys to October Sky//Minerva//Accidentally Hers//The Paper Magician

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


Review: The Sweetest Kiss

The Sweetest Kiss Book Cover The Sweetest Kiss
Kissed by the Bay
Susan Hatler
Hatco Publishing
August 31, 2017
Net Galley

Megan Wallace wants three things: to make a living as an artist, to fulfill a promise she made her grandmother to visit the Boboli Gardens in Italy, and—oh yeah— for her best friend Brian Watts to fall in love with her. When the local library hosts an art competition, in which the winner will receive a one-year contract to paint in Florence, Italy, Megan sets out to make all her dreams come true.

Since Brian is a talented woodworker, Megan plans to ask him to make the custom frames for her paintings. She’s crushed to discover he’s already partnered up with Chelsea Chambers, Megan’s rival since art school. Megan is even more devastated when Chelsea sets her sights on Brian romantically.

The stakes are high and there can only be one winner. When the contest judges praise Chelsea’s classic style, Megan wonders if she should forego her own surreal painting style for one that’s more traditional. Brian urges her to be true to her talent. He also gives her reason to believe that maybe he feels more than friendship for her after all.

Will Megan have to give up her vision in order to win the contest? And if she wins, will she have to say goodbye to the love of her life?

This was another sweet romance from Susan Hatler, not a lot of fire or passion, just sweet, a case of best friends discovering true love with each other.

As I have read other books in the series, I was familiar with many of the characters. The women in the book are all great friends, with the exception of Chelsea of course, but she is the villain of the piece, so that makes sense. The men in the story are also good people.

I liked the relationship between Megan and Brian and felt their relationship was real, if not intensely passionate. I think maybe the passion was supposed to be happening behind the scenes? Brian does seem a little closed off at one point, and while his past is a factor, I think he shut down too much all things considered.

I was able to relate to Megan and her insecurities and financial troubles. She was real to me and I was able to understand her motivations. I would have liked to have seen more of Wendy, Charlie and Olivia in this story, though I understand they were here simply as supporting characters. Olivia’s character felt very flat for me, which was so different from Olivia’s own story, I feel like she got lost in this storyline.

All in all, I did enjoy this book, just as I enjoy pretty much all of Susan Hatler’s work. I can’t wait for the next!

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

The Friday 56

The Friday 56~ Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

It’s time for another edition of The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Link up.

This week I chose to feature Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)

“I felt alone, but not in a bad way. I really liked being alone. Maybe I liked it too much. Maybe my father was like that too.”

Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings~ A Dog’s Purpose

I’ve added some additional memes to my repertoire and am linking up with Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader.

This meme is a fairly simple concept, we share the first line or so from a current read. This week I’m featuring A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron.

A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)

 One day it occurred to me that the warm, squeaky, smelly things squirming around next to me were my brothers and sister. I was very disappointed.

This beginning is so sad to me.


Mini Bloggiesta Sign Up 2017

Bloggiesta Button 2

It’s time for the mini Bloggiesta! I have participated in the past, though it’s certainly been a while. The mini Bloggiesta weekend is June 17-18. Basically it’s a time to do work on your blog that you’ve been putting off. For full information {or to sign up} visit the Bloggiesta site.

As I am working on Saturday, I will be focusing my Bloggiesta time on Sunday and here is what I am planning to accomplish:

  1. Brainstorm discussion topics for the remainder of the year
  2. Schedule topics
  3. Decide what {if any} memes I will be adding this year

I think this will work out perfectly with my Blog Ahead goal of scheduling 15 discussion posts.