The Friday 56

The Friday 56 #2~ The Death Cure

I’ll be linking up with Freda at Freda’s Voice for another edition of The Friday 56 this week. This meme is a lot of fun and I would love to participate every week, but for now will be participating every other week.

*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.

This week I chose The Death Cure by James Dashner.

“She returned his gaze, the slightest of smiles on her face. ‘I’ve been wanting to do something like that for a long time. Good thing I convinced Janson to assign me to you for this procedure.’ She bent over and took the unconscious man’s key card, slipped it into her pocket. ‘This’ll get us in anywhere.'”

What is something that you have been wanting to do?

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Thirsty Thursdays & Hungry Hearts #4~ Into the Dark

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. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this and am happy to continue participating again this week.

This week I picked Into the Dark by Cindy Gerard {pg. 150}. To be honest, there’s not a lot of food discussed in this book, so my options were limited. But I figured how can you go wrong with steak and beer, right?

“‘Steak and beer,’ he said inanely, lifted a hand toward the food in a vain attempt to do the right thing. She needed food not sex. And right now, he needed a brain, not a dick.
Com. part. men. tal. ize.
He moved a step away, feigned concentration on retrieving napkins. ‘Hope beer’s okay. It’s actually cheaper than water.'”

What’s your favorite drink with steak?


Review: The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely

The Sapphire Affair Book Cover The Sapphire Affair
Jewel #1
Lauren Blakely
Fiction; Romance
Montlake Romance
July 12, 2016
Kindle; e-ARC
Net Galley; Montlake Romance

If I had to pick just one word to describe this story is would be heat! The amount of heat generated between Jake and Steph just pours off the pages {or in my case the Kindle screen}. They simply cannot keep their hands off each other.

But don’t think that heat is all there is to these characters, they are also filled with lots of fun and humor. They both have been hurt and taken advantage of in the past, so they are hesitant to fully trust each other, but their attraction to each other and their fun loving natures continue to draw them together.

While there is a mystery involved in the story, most of the focus in this book is on the relationship between Jake and Steph. Clues are found and the investigation progresses, but the action mostly takes place in the form of passion, rather than the hunt for answers.

I found this to be a super quick, fun read and was left wanting so much more at the end. As I was coming to the end of the story, I knew there was so much that would not be answered in this first book, and I was right. The story ends on a cliffhanger that opens up a whole new collection of questions while providing no answers. The second book continues the story and I can’t wait to read it to find out what happens next between Steph and Jake… and to get the answers to what is really going on.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC copy of this book in return for an honest review; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ Far Off Places

It’s time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is books that take place outside the United States. I read a lot of travel memoirs that take place all over the world, but I decided that I wanted to focus on fiction for this top ten.

Seducing Summer (The Four Seasons #1)  Seducing Summer~ New Zealand

All the Light We Cannot See  All the Light We Cannot See~ France; Germany; Russia

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society~ UK

Can You Keep a Secret?  Can You Keep a Secret?~ UK

The Little Paris Bookshop  The Little Paris Bookshop~ France

Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel, #2)  Something Blue~ UK

Born in Fire (Born In Trilogy, #1)  Born in Fire~ Ireland

The Apple Tart of Hope  The Apple Tart of Hope~ Ireland

Hide and Seek (T-FLAC, #3)  Hide and Seek~ South America

Into the Dark (The Bodyguards, #6)  Into the Dark~ Argentina

I actually have so many books that take place in the UK that I could do an entire list of just those and still have some left over.

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

Monday Update

Monday Update #14~ Breaking the Slump


Hello again, and welcome to my weekly reading update. I will once again be joining up with The Book Date for the meme It’s Monday! What are You Reading?


While my reading slump {and life slump} held hard through late Thursday {0 books completed between Monday & Thursday}, things finally kicked back into shape! My reading picked up considerably even before the introduction of a whole new collection of e-books. I expect to get through a lot of books this coming week too… I mean who doesn’t like to play with a new toy? I am loving my Kindle Fire so far!

Recently Completed:

The Witness      The Scargill Cove Case Files (Arcane Society, #9.5; Looking Glass Trilogy, #0.5)

The Witness//The Scargill Cove Case Files

Currently Reading:

Into the Dark (The Bodyguards, #6)      Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives      The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)      Liars, Inc.     One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft

Into the Dark//Run Like a Girl//The Death Cure//Liars, Inc//One Year to a Writing Life

Seducing Summer (The Four Seasons #1)      The Sapphire Affair (Jewel, #1)

Seducing Summer//The Sapphire Affair

Up Next on the TBR:

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)      Going Home (3-in-1)      One Less Problem Without You: A Novel      The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)      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

A Discovery of Witches//Going Home//One Less Problem Without You//The Lightning Thief//The Happiness Project

Before You Go (Impossible Love, #1)

Before You Go

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

Sunday Post

Sunday Post #11~ Birthday Recap

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 actually have stuff to talk about this week! Though my funk pretty much stayed with me all week, I did break out of it finally Thursday night. I really think that spending time with Cheshire was the key. Kitties are magical people!
So Friday was my birthday and I spent in a perfectly wonderful way… with Cheshire, in my pajamas, reading and posting to social media. Yes, I decided it would be fun to put up a total of 45 posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in honor of my 45th birthday. I had a hard time coming up with some of the posts… especially for Instagram, but I had fun doing it. And I had great response on my Facebook and Instagram pages; Twitter, on the other hand, crickets. Literally zero engagement, thus reinforcing my current feelings about Twitter.
Because I was not at my parents’ house on Friday, they gave me my gift on Saturday when I got home. I also got my gift from my brother and sister-in-law Saturday. (There was cake too). My brother and SIL got me the Kindle Fire that I wanted and my parents got me a cute case for it plus an Amazon GC so I can buy books. As I am writing this it is Saturday evening and I have already picked up a bunch of free Kindle books. It’ll take me a little longer to determine which ones I want to buy. And I may end up buying physical books instead.And, now that I have a Kindle, I also joined Netgalley today and requested a few e-ARCs. There are a couple of big ones that I don’t figure I’ll be approved for, but we’ll see. I need to go back and refine my profile now that I’ve got a feel for the site, and I want to check things out a bit more as well.
To round all of this out, Cheshire and I also won a giveaway on one of the cat blogs I follow, so we have a bunch of awesome treats and toys headed our way. (I used to never win anything, but have actually won a few books over the last couple of years and now this, so maybe my luck is changing).
Thank you to everyone who stopped by the blog or my social media pages with birthday wishes! I truly appreciated them all.

Last Week on the Blog:

Sunday Post #10
Monday Update #13
Top Ten Tuesday~ All About Me
Review: Room by Emma Donoghue
Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #3: The Witness

This Week on the Blog:

Monday Update #14
Top Ten Tuesday~ Foreign Destinations
Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #4
The Friday 56 #2
Stacking the Shelves

Reviews This Week:

None scheduled

Book of the Week:

The Witness

Quote of the Week:

“She was having dinner with him again. That made twice in one week, and that didn’t count the huckleberry pie.
She was dating the chief of police.
‘For God’s sake. How did he do this? I don’t date. I can’t date.'”

Abigail, The Witness by Nora Roberts, pg. 180

Last Week’s Goals:

I survived the week and spent quality time with Cheshire, so I’ll say the week was a success!

This Week’s Goals:

Set up Kindle shelf for Goodreads
Set up Netgalley and Library-to-go accounts and Kindle Fire
Set up Review Schedule
Complete at least 3 books

Notable Posts from the Blog World:

Jo Talks Books: Should Books Have Ratings Like Movies from Book Lovers Blog
I’m Hiring an Assistant for What Should I Read Next! from Modern Mrs. Darcy
Why Do I Do This from 125 Pages
Why I Never Change My Original Rating of a Book from Caffeinated Book Reviewer
3 Hilarious Books Every Cat Lover Must Read from Cat Lady Confidential
Requesting ARCs| Advice from Publishers from The Book’s Buzz
How to Fabulously Get Started on #Bookstagram from Paper Fury

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #3~ The Witness

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.

For this week’s scene, I chose The Witness from Nora Roberts {p. 67}, and it’s not pizza!

“By the time Elizabeth came back in, wearing jeans and a blue tank with a thin froth of lace at the edges, he’d piled a plate with bacon, eggs, toast.

She stared at the plate. ‘That’s a lot of food.’ Bacon? Her nutritionist would have a heart attack.
The idea of the reaction made her smile.
‘You look hungry.’
‘I am.’ The smile stayed in place as she looked up at him. ‘I’m not supposed to eat bacon.’
‘Processed meat, sodium, animal fat. It’s not on my approved list. My mother and my nutritionist have devised a very specific meal plan.'”

I am not a fan of pork products, but even I love bacon on sandwiches. It’s a shame that until this point in her life {she’s 16, almost 17}, Elizabeth had never before tasted bacon. Spoiler alert: she eats it… and loves it!


Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

Room Book Cover Room
Emma Donoghue
Back Bay Books

From the back cover:

"To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child."

This is a powerful, moving story about trauma, change, and the bond between mother and child, all told from the perspective of a 5-year-old.

While I have heard some criticism for the choice of Jack as the narrator for this story, I actually feel it was an inspired decision. While he does not understand the traumas and horrors that his mother has faced {mostly because she has shielded him from them}, we can read between the lines and understand the abuse she has faced for so many years. We are also inspired and moved by how much Ma has done to provide as normal of a childhood as possible for her son in the circumstances.

The transition from Room, the only reality that Jack has ever known, to the outside world again benefits from Jack’s perspective to share the fear and confusion. The reader is able to fully understand what it is like to have everything you’ve ever known be taken away and a whole world of unknown people, things, and experiences thrust upon you.

In my opinion, choosing a child’s POV for such a serious subject helped to convey a sense of hope and optimism in an otherwise tragic situation.

I found this to be an intensely emotional story, but definitely worth the read.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ All About Me

If it’s Tuesday that means it’s time to link up with the team at The Broke and the Bookish for some Top Ten Tuesday fun! This week’s topic is 10 Facts About Me, so get ready to learn everything that you have been dying to know about me…

Happy Birthday Cake

I will be 45 on Friday

And I’m kind of struggling with it. In the past I’ve never minded growing older because honestly, I have never looked or felt my age. But this year, and probably because of my current life situation, I am having a hard time. I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything in my life and I’m running out of time. But I also feel stuck and unable to change that right now.

Free stock photo of city, lights, night, skyline

I have lived in 3 states

And they have all been on the west coast. I was born in California and lived there for almost 40 years, then moved to Washington and lived there for close to 5 years. I have spent the last 8 months in Oregon.

Free stock photo of addiction, bet, betting, casino

I have been to 7 states total

In addition to the 3 states I’ve lived in, I’ve also been to Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Minnesota. I used to go to Arizona for business trips and have been to Las Vegas 5 times. I traveled to Walt Disney World 9 years ago and went to a blogging conference in Minneapolis a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to travel and had a goal to visit every state, but as I grow older, I don’t know that it will happen.

Free stock photo of numbers, time, watch, white

I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up

Seriously, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. I’ve spent the lat 20 plus years working in retail and customer service, but that’s not where my passion lies. I don’t even know where my passion lies.

Free stock photo of apple, desk, laptop, notebook

I have been blogging for 5 years

My first couple of blog attempts went nowhere, but I did have a weight loss/healthy living blog for 3 years before starting my book blog in April. Honestly this has been my most successful blog venture thus far.

Free stock photo of walking, hiker, hiking, lake

I am a complete introvert

I don’t feel comfortable around a lot of people and prefer living alone. I express myself much better on paper {or computer screen} than I do face to face. Right now the only people I ever talk to are my family. I interact with a few friends online as well as all of you wonderful readers, but mostly I just keep to myself.

Free stock photo of animal, eyes, fur, africa

I am a Gryffindor/Thunderbird

When I joined Pottermore, I was sorted into my Hogwarts and Ilvermorny houses. I was completely shocked by my Hogwarts house because I always figured I was a Ravenclaw, but it turns out I am actually a Gryffindor. For Ilvermorny, I’m a Thunderbird. And if you’re curious, I have an 11″ hard cypress wand with a core of unicorn hair.

Free stock photo of couple, love, rings, religion

I have never been married

I have never even been close to being married. And I’ve barely dated since high school. My last date was over a year before I moved to Washington… so more than 6 years ago. Wow. Mostly that goes back to the whole introvert thing, I guess.

Free stock photo of food, vegetables, meal, vegetarian

I never use recipes when I cook

I like to create in the kitchen and rarely make a dish the same way twice. The exception to this is when I bake. While I will get creative with baking substitutions, I do follow recipes when baking. Just not with meals or candy making, I completely wing it there.

Free stock photo of music, rock, audio, guitars

I can never choose one “favorite”

When someone asks me what my favorite book or movie is, I can never come up with an answer. The same applies to authors, actors, bands, singers, etc. I usually have a list of at least 5 things that fall into my favorites. Occasionally I can narrow it down to two, like favorite color {pink or blue} or favorite type of food {Italian or Mexican}, but usually not just one favorite. The only exceptions to this rule are favorite Disney character {Eeyore} and favorite Disney princess {Cinderella}.

So there you have it, the top ten things you never knew you wanted to know about me. Did I miss anything?

Monday Update

Monday Update #13


I will be linking up with Kathryn @ The Book Date again this week for It’s Monday! What are you Reading?


I have been in a reading funk {and an overall funk} all week. I’m not sure if it’s a book hangover after completing two pretty intense emotional books or something else. I did read some, but essentially didn’t finish anything this week until Sunday night.

Recently Completed:

Can You Keep a Secret?

Can You Keep a Secret?

Currently Reading:

The Witness      The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)      Into the Dark (The Bodyguards, #6)      Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives      Liars, Inc.

The Witness//The Death Cure//Into the Dark//Run Like a Girl//Liars Inc.

Up Next on the TBR:

One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft      A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)      Going Home (3-in-1)      One Less Problem Without You: A Novel      The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

One Year to a Writing Life//A Discovery of Witches//Going Home//One Less Problem Without You//The Lightning Thief

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