Monday Update

Monday Update #16

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I will once again be linking up with It’s Monday! What are You Reading? hosted by The Book Date.

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Recently Completed:

Liars, Inc.      Never Forgotten Love (Second Chances #1)      It Was Me All Along: A Memoir      Forged in Smoke (Red-Hot SEALs, #3)      Only Her (K2 Team #5)

Liars, Inc.//Never Forgotten Love//It Was Me All Along//Forged in Smoke//Only Her

Currently Reading:

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)      Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)      Broken Pieces      A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)      One Less Problem Without You: A Novel

Nevernight//Illuminae//Broken Pieces//A Discovery of Witches//One Less Problem Without You

Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives      One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft

Run Like a Girl//One Year to a Writing Life

Up Next on the TBR:

One with You (Crossfire, #5)     The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)     Letters from Paris     The One and Only     Sweet Reunion (Hope Falls, #1)     June

One With You//The Lightning Thief//Letters from Paris//The One and Only//Sweet Reunion//June

 

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

Sunday Post

Sunday Post #13

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:

Not a lot happened this week, basically just the usual… lots of reading and filling out job applications. Of course, this was a Cheshire week, so I also spent quality time snuggled up to my little furball.
I was a little under the weather mid-week, so I basically just relaxed and tried to keep from melting in the heat. Unfortunately my parent’s house does not have air conditioning and while the weather in the Pacific Northwest is normally pretty mild, it can get hot between July and September. Thankfully we haven’t seen triple digits yet, but we have been seeing high 90’s. Add in peri-menopausal hot flashes and I’m having a great time! Seriously though, I pretty much live in front of the fan and eat a lot of fruit and ice cream lol.

Last Week on the Blog:

Sunday Post #12
Monday Update #15
Top Ten Tuesday~ Inspiring Reads
Review: The Graces
Review: Seducing Summer by Serenity Woods
Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #5~ Liar’s Inc.
A Collection of Random Observations
Stacking the Shelves #6

This Week on the Blog:

Monday Update #16
Top Ten Tuesday~ I Want it NOW
Thirsty Thursday #6
Friday 56 #3
Stacking the Shelves #7

This Week’s Reviews:

Nevernight
Forged in Smoke
Only Her
Broken Pieces

Book of the Week:

Liars, Inc.

Quote of the Week:

“I don’t make to-do lists, but if I did, today’s would have gone somethings like this: 1. get drunk, 2. get laid, 3. go surfing (not necessarily in that order). Noticeably absent from the list: get arrested. And yet here I am, spending my eighteenth birthday with my back against the wall of the Colonel’s hunting cabin, two FBI agents prowling the dark with their guns drawn, both trying to get me to confess to the murder of my friend Preston DeWitt.”

Max, Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes p. 3

Last Week’s Goals:

Again, I was successful with my goals. I was able to complete 4 books, spent some great quality time with Cheshire, gathered a bunch of different props to use for Bookstagram photos, and added some core work to my current fitness routine.

This Week’s Goals:

Comment on at least 7 different blogs
Complete at least 4 books
Build onto current strength routine
Donate used books

Notable Posts from the Blog World:

How to Appropriately and Effectively Recommend Books from Paper Fury
All or Nothing: Always Good or Bad? from Debbish Dot Com
Discussion Post: I Don’t Take My Time Reading Anymore from My Thoughts…Literally
The Special Edition from Beauty and the Bookshelf
Spotlight on: Motivation, Determination and WORDS from Stardust and Words

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves #6

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One of the best things about Saturday’s is getting to join up with the team at Tynga’s Reviews to share my bookish haul from the week.

eARCs for Review:

Faultlines      Forged in Smoke (Red-Hot SEALs, #3)      Broken Pieces: A Novel      Only Her (K2 Team #5)      Finding Myself in Britain

Faultlines//Forged in Smoke//Broken Pieces//Only Her//Finding Myself in Britain

Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers      Buzz Books 2016: Romance      Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Fall/Winter

Unlocking Worlds//Buzz Books 2016 Romance//Buzz Books 2016 YA

Thank you to:
Net Galley
Publishers Lunch
Griffins Wharf
Authentic Media
Montlake Romance
Lake Union Publishing

Physical Books Purchased:

One with You (Crossfire, #5)      Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

One With You//Me Before You

eBooks Purchased:

Angels & Whiskey (Saddles & Racks, #1)      Sweet Harmonies (Hope Falls, #2)      Oz: The Complete Collection

Angels & Whiskey//Sweet Harmonies//Oz: The Complete Collection

 

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

Friday Fun

A Collection of Random Observations

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This post is inspired by the Thinking Out Loud meme from Running with Spoons.

Free stock photo of person, woman, hand, relaxing

~ I admit that I expected a lot of the free Kindle books to be pretty cheesy or poorly written, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the ones that I have read so far.

~ It should also be noted that most of the free Kindle books are first in a series, with the rest of the series ranging in price. I actually really like this because I can try the series first without being out any money, and then buy the others if I want them.

~ Since half of my reading is on the Kindle now, I’ve been trying to determine if I read faster with the e-book or the physical book. At this point I really can’t tell, I think it’s fairly even.

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~ One thing I do know, it is much harder for me to skim ahead with e-books! I always skim ahead with physical books {which is probably why I don’t enjoy mysteries as much}, but with the Kindle it’s awkward to skim ahead, so I have no spoilers.

~ Moving on to something other than the Kindle, I’ve noticed that my OCD has been showing itself a lot lately. I’ve always had some mild OCD tendencies about certain things, but since I have been focusing more on my self-care and working with a plan each day, it has really kicked in. To be fair, it’s not bad, just that I have to do certain things in a certain order each day {like the way I open my applications on my computer and the order of the tabs in my browser}.

~ Related to the above, due to my short attention span, I tend to rotate through tasks and projects throughout the day… and they are always in the same order. Sometimes I try to mix it up a little and start with something different, but I always find myself shifting back to my original order.

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~ My short attention span is also the reason I read multiple books at a time and switch between them.

~ I am making a big effort with my Bookstagram account right now {if you follow me, you might have noticed}. Since I don’t have a lot of my own stuff available to use for props, I asked my mom if I could borrow a few things. She completely surprised me by going through all of her stuff and finding all kinds of things I could use.

~ While you are reading this, I am currently snuggled up with Cheshire and probably reading. I have wifi for the phone while I’m at my brother’s, but no computer access, so all blogging is scheduled in advance on my Cheshire weeks.

Well, I  think I’ve revealed enough with this post…

Are you on Bookstagram?

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #5~ Liars Inc.

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 Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes {p. 70}.

“I didn’t realize how starving I was until I pulled into my driveway ten minutes later, I left the gear in the car and took the porch steps in a single leap. My whole family was at the table, throwing back bacon-wrapped chicken nuggets and green beans. Amanda was going through a vegetarian phase, something probably inspired by Parvati, so Darla had cooked her a veggie burger in addition to the beans.
I grabbed a clean plate from the dishwasher and helped myself to the chicken nuggets….”

This is not what I would consider a really appetizing meal, though I like chicken nuggets. Green beans are one of the few vegetables I don’t like… and I’ve never been fond of veggie burgers. Would you eat this?

 

Review

Review: Seducing Summer by Serenity Woods

Seducing Summer Book Cover Seducing Summer
The Four Seasons #1
Serenity Woods
Fiction; Romance
February 14, 2016
Kindle
238
Amazon

When a CEO falls in love with her PA, it can only lead to trouble…

Callie Summer, CEO of The Four Seasons lingerie business, is in shock. She’d expected her new PA to be a middle-aged frump, but Jean turns out to be Gene, and he’s neither middle-aged, nor anything like a frump. When the gorgeous Bond-lookalike insists he’ll be the perfect companion on her business trip around the country, Callie agrees to give him a trial. Having recently found her ex in bed with another woman, she’s not looking for love. But a little bit of private lusting never did anyone any harm.

Once a military journalist with the New Zealand Army, Gene now runs his own security firm. Hired by Callie’s mother, Phoebe, to secretly protect her daughter after Phoebe receives death threats against her family, Gene finds his work cut out for him. Callie’s as delectable as she is infuriating, and his urge to seduce her fights with his duty to keep her safe.

It’s not long before they give in to their passion, and the weather isn’t the only thing that turns hot and sultry as they travel further north. But Gene can’t keep his identity a secret from Callie forever. And when an attempt is finally made on her life, the truth threatens to break them apart.

Warning: it grows hotter and hotter as they travel north through the country. So does the weather.

This was a super sweet romance, the first in a series of 4 set in New Zealand.

Callie is a businesswoman, running a lingerie company with her friends. She knows what she’s doing in the business world, but can be out of her depth in matters of the heart. Gene is working undercover as Callie’s PA and has also had troubles of his own in the romance department.

The pair hit it off immediately and set out full of flirting and teasing. They both show a lot of humor and respect as they interact. Their attraction to each other is there from the start, though both try to fight it. Gene is reluctant to get involved because he is trying to protect Callie, Callie feels rejected by Gene’s resistance.

Ultimately, once they connect, that’s it. They both remain committed to each other no matter what is thrown at them.

I am excited to see where this series goes, watching Gene and Callie evolve as we get to know Callie’s friends better in further installments.

As this was a free book for Kindle on Amazon, I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as quality, but it was well written and a lot of fun.

Review

Review: The Graces

The Graces Book Cover The Graces
Laure Eve
Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Amulet Books
September 6, 2016
e-ARC
362
Net Galley, ABRAMS Kids, Amulet Books

From Net Galley:

"When a glamorous family of teenage witches brings a mysterious new girl into their fold, they unwittingly nurture a powerful black magic that could destroy them all. This paranormal YA fantasy features intrigue, spells, and a devastating twist. In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.

Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They've managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they're rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you're not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She's different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don't know is that River's presence in town is no accident.

This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches."

Wow. That was all that I could say when I finished this book, just wow. I absolutely loved it.

The evolution of the characters from start to finish in this book is amazing. Watching the Grace children change as circumstances evolve, especially in relation to the changes in River based on those same circumstances, is riveting. I don’t want to give away spoilers, so I’ll just say the story provides a true representation of how those that seem to have the power can often be weak.

I have always been fascinated by magic, and feel that the author did an amazing job incorporating the mystique surrounding the belief in witchcraft. And setting everything against the backdrop of a typical high school, full of cliques and awkwardness, only magnifies River’s desire to belong.

The story was compelling and I devoured the book, especially the last 30%. I didn’t want to put it down and just had to know what happened. I was not disappointed by the ending… if anything, I was left wanting even more!

Disclaimer: I received an electronic advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher {ABRAMS Kids, Amulet Books} through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ Inspiring Reads

Time for more Top Ten Tuesday! As always, I am joining up with the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish to share my top ten for this week. The theme for this week is books that made me want to learn or do something. I decided to stick with non-fiction this week and focus on my most inspiring non-fiction reads.

No Opportunity Wasted: Creating a Life List No Opportunity Wasted~ Phil Keoghan of The Amazing Race fame shares his ideas for a “list for life” in which you create a list of adventures you want to achieve in your lifetime. And each time you fulfill an adventure, you add a new item to the list. I’ve mentioned previously how much I love this book, and even after multiple re-readings, I come away inspired to create my own list. On my current list for life are taking a road trip to every state in the contiguous United States and creating a cat sanctuary, among other things.

Eat, Pray, Love Eat Pray Love~ This is another book that I have repeatedly shared, read, and extolled the praises of! After my initial reading of Elizabeth Gilbert’s adventures, I was inspired to learn more about Hindu and Buddhism. While I had studied religions a bit in the past, this was what really focused me on these two paths.

Under the Tuscan Sun Bella Tuscany Under the Tuscan Sun/ Bella Tuscany~ These first two books from Frances Mayes about her life in Italy not only made me want to visit Italy someday, they also inspired me to cook. In addition to talking about the house she and her partner {now husband} bought and renovated in Italy and the amazing gardens there, Ms. Mayes also shares recipes for authentic Italian dishes. I have the third book about her life in Italy sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. PS The movie is only loosely based on her life and completely different from the book.

Yes Please Yes Please~ After reading about Amy Poehler’s life and career, all I could think was that I wanted to try Improv. Unfortunately I have not been in a position to take a class yet, but I really want to once I am working again and have already started looking for Improv classes in my area. I should note that I am incredibly shy, a total introvert, and have sometimes debilitating social anxiety, but I think this could really help me deal with it.

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living Julie & Julia~ I read this book when I was first learning about the whole blogging world. At the time I wrote a personal blog as part of a private web community, but had never considered writing a public blog. After reading about Julie Powell’s blogging experience, I decided to take the plunge and started my first wordpress.com hosted blog.

Simple Abundance:  A Daybook of Comfort and Joy Simple Abundance~ Through this book I learned some key skills that I have continued to utilize to this day… using a vision board and keeping a gratitude journal. Both of these have helped me to stay focused on the positive and when I feel myself slipping, I remind myself to bring out some Sara Ban Breathnach and get back on track.

Start Something That Matters Start Something that Matters~ Learning the story behind TOMS footwear and the philosophy of Blake Mycoskie has further inspired my desire to give back. My plan {when I eventually start my own business} is to adopt the one for one concept.

The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still, American Style The Accidental Buddhist~ After being inspired to learn more about Buddhism from Elizabeth Gilbert, reading about Dinty Moore’s experiences really got me to the place where I wanted to adopt a meditation practice in my own life. I am horrible at it, but I hope to improve with time.

Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide To Finding Her Inner French Girl Entre Nous~ After reading this homage to the French Woman, I was left with the desire to learn French. I took a quarter of French in college many, many years ago, but never pursued it before. Debra Ollivier has made me start look into classes in the area and online language programs.

Coming Up for Air: Simple Acts to Redefine Your Life Coming Up for Air~ The first thing I wanted when I finished this book for the first time was to go to a cabin on my own somewhere for a retreat. I still want that. Me, some music, lots of books, paint supplies, a camera, and lots of great food. But mostly, what Margaret Becker inspired me to do was to express myself on paper and in paints.

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

Monday Update

Monday Update #15

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Welcome to another edition of my Monday Update. I’ll be once again linking up with The Book Date for their weekly meme, It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

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Now that I have access to additional books from the library and e-ARCs through my Kindle, I am re-vamping my reading piles a bit. I am still reading multiple books at a time, but I’m reading one book from each category, rather than having them randomly mixed in my TBR pile. My Currently Reading stack is a little larger than normal this week as I’m clearing a couple of non-fiction books out. That being said, here’s where we are this week…

Recently Completed:

The Sapphire Affair (Jewel, #1)     Seducing Summer (The Four Seasons #1)     The Graces (The Graces, #1)     Into the Dark (The Bodyguards, #6)     Before You Go (Impossible Love, #1)     The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)

The Sapphire Affair//Seducing Summer//The Graces//Into the Dark//Before You Go//The Death Cure

Currently Reading:

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)      It Was Me All Along: A Memoir      Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives      Liars, Inc.      One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft

Nevernight//It Was Me All Along//Run Like a Girl//Liar’s Inc.//One Year to a Writing Life

One Less Problem Without You: A Novel      Never Forgotten Love (Second Chances #1)

One Less Problem Without You//Never Forgotten Love

Up Next on the TBR:

June     Going Home (3-in-1)     A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)     Letters from Paris     Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)     Sweet Reunion (Hope Falls, #1)

June//Going Home//A Discovery of Witches//Letters from Paris//Illuminae//Sweet Reunion

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

Sunday Post

Sunday Post #12

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:

If you saw my post from yesterday, you know that I spent my week acquiring lots and lots of books. I am a total book hoarder and want ALL THE BOOKS! Thankfully, I was able to find a ton of free Kindle books on Amazon. I also went to the library with my mom on Friday and walked out with 10 books, she doesn’t understand why I don’t just take 2 and come back for more… I can’t explain it to her.
In addition to bonding with my Kindle, I also worked on my editorial calendar for August, getting all of my reviews scheduled for the coming weeks. Time was devoted to self-care as well, I have been sorely lacking in this area for a while, which probably contributed to the funk I was in a couple weeks ago. But I am feeling really good right now and hope to remain in this state for a while.

Last Week on the Blog:

Sunday Post #11~ Birthday Recap
Monday Update #14~ Breaking the Slump
Top Ten Tuesday~ Far Off Places
Review: The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely
Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts #4~ Into the Dark
The Friday 56 #2~ The Death Cure
Stacking the Shelves #5~ A Haul of Epic Proportions

This Week on the Blog:

Monday Update #15
Top Ten Tuesday~ Inspiring Reads
Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts #5~ Liar’s Inc
A Collection of Random Observations
Stacking the Shelves #6

This Week’s Reviews:

The Graces
Seducing Summer

Book of the Week:

Before You Go (Impossible Love, #1)

Quote of the Week:

“To say my life is bliss would be a gross misrepresentation. It is bliss to the nth degree times infinity. I am in love- with a sexy, smart, kind, amazing guy, and somehow he finds me worth all the trouble.”

Tabby, Before You Go by Clare James {78%}

Last Week’s Goals:

I happily met all of my goals this week! I set up a Kindle shelf in Goodreads, set up accounts with Net Galley and Library 2 Go, set up my review schedule for August {barring any additional review titles}, and completed more than 3 books!

This Week’s Goals:

Locate props for bookish photo shoots
Complete at least 4 books
Spend quality time with Cheshire
Add core work to my current fitness plan

Notable Posts from the Blog World:

Where Do We Go From Here? from Helene in Between
What’s Up With Weird Titles? from Book Haven
The Art of Starting a Book Review: Nine Ideas for Bloggers from Forever Literary