Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Lover's Tag

I saw this post on Lauren's blog A Blonde Librarian, and she tagged anyone and everyone who wanted to participate. It looked like a fun one, so I thought, why not? :) Here goes :)

1) Do you have a certain place at home for reading? 
Generally I'll be sitting on the comfy couch, or in bed. Where ever I feel comfortable at the time! Sometimes if my husband's not home I'll read while eating dinner at the table or something. Just depends on the day!

2) Bookmark or random piece of paper? 
If it's MY book, a bookmark. If it's a library book, usually the receipt they give you with the due date on it. I have this fear that I will return a library book with my personal bookmark in it so I don't use mine in library books...weird I know!
3) Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part etc?
I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter. Or at least one of those paragraph breaks or something. Sometimes I don't get that option (reading at lunch, on breaks, whatever) and it's a bit frustrating.
4) Do you eat or drink while reading? 
Oh absolutely. Reading while drinking a Pepsi and eating popcorn is one of my FAVORITE things to do. If I'm reading in the morning, I like to drink coffee.   As I said before, if it's just me at home for a meal, I'll usually read while eating that too. I read every day during my lunch break while eating my lunch.

5) Can you read while listening to music or watching TV? 
Yes, if it's not too loud. Usually I'll have the TV on for a little background noise. Frequently I will read while my husband is playing the guitar, and that's quite enjoyable too.

6) One book at a time, or several at once? 
I try to do one book at a time but I am definitely guilty of reading multiple at one time. Like now, for instance.  I finished one book at lunch but didn't have the next book with me to start. But, I had my Kindle. So I started reading on my Kindle...and now I'm reading two books. :)

7) Reading at home, or everywhere? 
EVERYWHERE! I always, always have a book with me. Just in case.  As an introvert, reading is my escape.

8) Reading out loud, or silently in your head? 
Silently, definitely!!

9) Do you read ahead or skip pages? 
Nope. Don't want to risk a spoiler!!  I'll look to see how many pages in a chapter, but won't read anything just in case.

10) Breaking the spine or keeping it new? 
I generally like to keep books looking as best they can if I buy them new. If it's a mass market paperback sometimes it's hard not to break the spine. I'm not too picky about that, as long as the pages are in good condition. I hate it when they're dog eared or curled or anything like that. 

11) Do you write in books? 
No way. In college sometimes I'd write in my textbooks but even that was tough for me. If there's a passage in a book I like, rather than write in it, I write it down in a journal, or take a pic of it with my phone.
I'm going to follow in Lauren's footsteps and not tag anyone specific, so if you want to do this tag, feel free!! Let me know if you do it too by linking your post in the comments!!
Happy Reading, friends :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Versatile Blogger Award!

The Versatile Blogger Award is the best of the ‘chain letter’ awards out there in the blogosphere. Bloggers can only nominate each other for this award and when a blogger nominate another for this award, he/she looks out for the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page, or of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

Thanks go to Christina at Once Untold for nominating me for this award!!
Rules of Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Nominate 10-15 other bloggers relatively new to blogging
2. Let the bloggers know that you've nominated them.
3. Share 10 random facts about yourself.
4. Thank the blogger who nominated you either by leaving a comment or following them and link back to their blog.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.

10 Random Facts About Me:

1. I love animals! I have four cats and a Black Lab.
2.  Sunset is my favorite time of day.
3. My favorite place to read is with a view of the ocean.
4. I am left handed.
5.  I lettered in Journalism in high school. Yes, you can do that.
6. I was a cheerleader in high school, but I loved my dance classes more.
7. I took figure skating lessons for five years and still love to go skating.
8. I don't have kids. Not sure I want to either. Don't judge me.
9.  My favorite snack is popcorn.
10.  I can be bribed to do just about anything for various quantitates of Pepsi :)

My Versatile Blogger Award Nominations:


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

TLC Bok Tour Review: The Boy Who Loved Rain (Plus a Giveaway!)

Title: The Boy Who Loved Rain
Author: Gerard Kelly
288 pages, published January 2015
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Note: I received this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Good Reads:

They say that what you don't know can't hurt you. They're wrong.
David Dryden, pastor of a high-profile church in London, is admired for his emphasis on the Christian family.  But all is not well in his own family. He and his wife, Fiona, have been glossing over his son Colom's erratic behavior. Then, when a commitment to die is discovered in Colom's room after the suicide of a school friend, David finds himself out of his depth--and Fiona, in panic, takes Colom and flees.  A wonderful, intelligent, and searching novel about the toxic nature of secrets, and the possibility of starting again.

My Review:

This book was so eloquent and so beautiful! It was thought provoking, emotional, and had so much depth.  I loved the theme of rain throughout the book--all the rain themed quotes at the beginning of each chapter, and how it all made sense at the very end of the book.

In addition to the beautiful, poetic writing, I absolutely loved the story and the characters. I really felt for Fiona in particular, who was so desperately fighting to help her son despite her husband's wishes to not seek help outside the church.  I felt for Colom, who is clearly at a turning point in his life and has no idea how to move forward, as he is haunted by a dream he does not understand. 

Kelly has a fantastic writing style--he takes readers on a journey through Colom's past that makes the book impossible to put down. I kept wanting to know more and more. The story snowballs until you reach the end that ties everything together. I highly recommend this beautiful, heart wrenching book. It will make you think long after you've read the last page!

Author Gerard Kelly

 About the Author:

Gerard Kelly is a well-known speaker and author of fourteen books. He and his wife live and work in France and co-founded the Blessed Network, a movement of young leaders committed to God’s mission on mainland Europe.

*Must be 18 or older to enter
*Open to US residents only
*Ends 3/3/2015
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see a full list of blogs participating in this tour, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's Monday, what are you reading?

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.
Recently Finished:
Currently Reading:
On Deck:
Things Not Seen (Things, #1)15798595Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
What are you reading this Monday?
Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: A Second Bite at the Apple

A Second Bite at the AppleTitle: A Second Bite at the Aple
Author: Dana Bate
336 pages, published November 2014
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food. Not with eating it--though she does that too--but with writing about the wonders of the gastronomic world, from obscure fruit hybrids to organic farming techniques. Since food journalism jobs are more coveted than Cronuts®, Sydney pays her bills working for one of TV's biggest egomaniacs--until she's left scrambling for shifts at a local farmers' market.

Stacking muffins for the Wild Yeast Bakery isn't going to win her any James Beard awards. But soon Sydney is writing the market's weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of putting her love life into deep freeze, she's even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot at the story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a crisp--along with her relationship and her reputation...

My Review:

The cover is the first thing that made me love this book, and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! Any novel that ties in a cooking and food component is usually a winner with me and this one was no exception. I loved Sydney as a character--I admired her courage to rebuild her life and achieve her goals even if it meant starting from the bottom, and the courage she had to change her goals as they didn't match with what she felt in her heart was right.

I desperately wanted to visit the Farmer's Market. I LOVE farmer's markets and all the yummy foods at the ones where Sydney worked sounded wonderful!  This aspect made the book so much more than a "chick lit" romance novel--it gave it some depth.

The book is well written, keeps you guessing, and very entertaining.   You won't regret reading it!

Overall rating for "A Second Bite at the Apple": A

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Confess

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  The event spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. This week, I am excited for the release of:

by Colleen Hoover
ConfessRelease Date: March 10, 2015
320 pages
Genre: Contemporary

From Good Reads:
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin...

Most of you know I absolutely LOVE Colleen Hoover's books.  I've already pre-ordered this one and can't wait to get this one in my mailbox on March 10!!

What book are you looking forward to this Wednesday?

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top Ten Book Related Problems

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Book Related Problems! This should be fun!

1. I can't stop buying books! I think we all have this problem. I have stacks of books to read at home, but I see a book store...or a book sale...or books on sale online...and I can't stop myself. I need MORE!

2. My bookshelves are packed. My husband even built me a new bookshelf....and it's already packed.  I need an entire room of bookshelves really, but we have a small until then...overstuffed bookshelves are my life :) Or I need to sort through and sell some of my books that I'm not going to reread...but....I can't part with

3. My TBR list is endless. I actually have real anxiety about the fact that there are so many books I want to read but I know I won't be able to read them all.

4. Book hangovers. I love that books that give me book hangovers, but it makes figuring out what to read next impossible!
  5. Work/etc taking up all my reading time. 8 hours of reading time a day, gone! Having to cook, clean, laundry, etc? Reading time gone!

6. I go to the library for one book, and come out with five (or more). Oh that one looks good! Oh! So does that one! Pretty soon I have an armful of books.

7. People bugging me when I'm reading (unless its for a good reason). This especially bugs me on my lunch break. Yes, I'm sitting in my car reading on purpose. Don't talk to me. I'm introverting.

8. Always having to carry a big purse because I ALWAYS have to have my kindle and a book with me. A physical book in case my kindle battery dies, of course :)

9. Preferring to read than hang out with (most) people.  With the exception of some good friends/family, I'd really just rather hang out at home and read.

10.When people say "I've seen the movie, I don't need to read the book." Really?!? 99.99% of the time, the book is better!

What are your bookish problems?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mailbox Monday

Image result for mailbox 

Mailbox Monday  is a weekly event where readers and bloggers can share any new books they received in their mailbox during the past week. I'm also including new books on my kindle, even though they didn't technically came in the mail :)

Next week I'm participating in my first TLC Book Tour, and the book I'm reviewing came in the mail this week! The Book I'll be reviewing is The Boy Who Loved Rain. So excited to read and review this one!


Since this past Saturday was also Valentine's Day, my awesome hubby let me pick out some books for my Kindle!! Thanks to him, these three lovlies are now on my kindle! So excited to read all three of these!!



 All the Bright Places

Did you get any books in the mail this week? Share in the comments!

Happy Reading, friends!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Review : What Happens in Tuscany

What Happens in Tuscany...Title: What Happens in Tuscany
Author: T. A. Williams
Ebook, published January 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

From GoodReads:

From rainy England…
Katie never imagined her life was perfect. But when she finds herself on a rainy street, soaked to the bone and with only a cheating boyfriend and a dead-end job keeping her in town, she knows something has to change. Which is what leads her to Iddlescombe Manor, to be companion to Lady Victoria Chalker-Pyne – the only 25 year old Katie’s ever met who hasn’t heard of Twitter, thinks camisoles are de rigueur, and desperately needs an education in the 21st century!

…to the Tuscan sun!
But it wouldn’t be an education without a summer holiday – and where better than Tuscany? Decamping to Victoria’s family villa, it’s soon clear that the valley really does have it all: sun, sea…and some seriously gorgeous neighbours. The only question is: when the weather’s this hot, the wine is this smooth and the local men are this irresistible…will Katie ever want to make the journey home?

My Review:

What drew me too this book was the setting--lately I've been obsessed with everything Italy. so this was the perfect book to lift my spirits in the dreary, rainy winter we've been having. I was also wanting a lighthearted, fun read, and that's just what I got from this book. I also loved the dog on the cover (of course!). It was such a fun read because Katie, the main character was getting to have so much fun--shopping with Victoria, a road trip from England to Italy, staying at a fancy villa without worry about the cost.  I could almost picture myself there, eating yummy food with her Italian friends and Dante (the Labrador). 

The only thing that bothered me in this whole book was how every time Paul's character was mentioned, his first and last name was used. Every other character was just their first name, but Paul was always Paul Taylor, except for in quotes (for example "What is Paul doing today?". Every other time, it was  Paul Taylor.  I tried to overanalyze it and thought it might mean something, but I couldn't come up with anything definitive.

Overall, this was a fun read that's perfect for a relaxing weekend. You don't have to think too much and just relax and enjoy the story.

Overall rating for "What Happens in Tuscany": B

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts: February 12

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

Summer Secrets1.I've been reviewing books for NetGalley for awhile no, but my most exciting NetGalley moment definitely came this week when I got approved for Jane Green's new book, Summer Secrets. It's due out in June. I'm a huge fan of her books and was super excited to get approved for one of her books!

2. I discovered a new website! Thrift Books is a website for used books--and all orders over $5 ship for free!! If you sign up for their newsletter, you get a 10% off coupon code right off the bat. Excited to explore this website--their used books are very affordable!

Peyton is 8 months old!
3. My puppy turned 8 months old on Tuesday!! Weighing in at 50 pounds, he's not so little any more :)  Love this little dude so much!!

4. I apologize for the lack of blog posts lately, as I've been sick :( My husband gave me his lovely cold. Just in time for Valentine's Day! On the upside, this cold is much better than the flu he gave me for Christmas two years ago. Now THIS is real love, people!! Lol :)

5. I'm participating in the 2nd Annual Love for Books Readathon this week! Due to being sick, I haven't felt good enough to read nearly the amount I'd like, but I've still finished one book already and well on my way to my goal of two books. I love readathons!

6. For all you ladies out there like me that are  stressed out perfectionists, read this article.  It's really good.  Instead of beating ourselves up, let's celebrate all our awesome accomplishments!! This is something I need to remind myself of every happens. Things aren't perfect....and that's OKAY! :)

Have a good Valentine's Day weekend, friends! Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2nd Annual Love for Books Readathon!

2nd annual LfBR

I just found out about this readathon hosted by Jessi @ A Novel Heartbeat! I absolutely love readathons, not only because I have an extra excuse to devote time to reading but because it's a great way to connect with other readers and bloggers!

I didn't participate in this readathon last year but I'm super excited to participate this year! The readathon runs from Monday February 8 at 12:01am through Sunday February 15 at 11:59pm. There will be mini challenges to participate in and a giveaway at the end of the readathon!

My goals:

*Read 2 books (or more)
*Read every day
*Participate in mini challenges/connect with other bloggers
*Have Fun!

Monday 2/9
Currently reading: What Happens in Tuscany
Pages read today: 75
Books completed today: 0

Tuesday 2/10
Currently reading: What Happens in Tuscany
Pages read today: 60
Total Pages Read This Week:135
Books completed today:

Wednesday 2/11
Currently reading: What Happens in Tuscany
Pages read today:165
Total Pages Read This Week:300
Books completed today: What Happens in Tuscany

Thursday 2/12
Currently reading: Gone Too Far
Pages read today: 45
Total Pages Read This Week: 345
 Books completed today:

Friday 2/13
Currently reading:  Gone too far
Pages read today: 0 (FAIL)
Total Pages Read This Week: 345
Books completed today:

Saturday 2/14
Currently reading: Gone Too Far
Pages read today: 0 (FAIL)
Total Pages Read This Week:345
Books completed today:

Sunday 2/15
Currently reading: The Boy Who Loved Rain
Pages read today: 25
Total Pages Read This Week: 370
Books completed today:


Total # pages read: 370
 Books I completed:1

I was a bit of an epic fail at this readathon, however I got really sick on the Monday of the readathon and sadly didn't feel well enough to read much :( Saturday I was finally feeling better but since it was Valentine's Day I wanted to spend lots of time with my hubby. Looking forward to future readathons where I can do much better than this!

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading?

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.
Recently Finished:
This Side of Home
A Second Bite at the Apple
Currently Reading:
What Happens in Tuscany...
On Deck:
Help Yourself
Happy Reading!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bookish Bingo: New Year Edition: Updates!!

A new year, a new Bookish Bingo!! The challenge is hosted by  Great Imaginations and runs from January 1 through March 31, and the goal was to get a "bingo" (or more!) by the end of the challenge! More information can be found on Great Imaginations' sign up post. This is where I'll be keeping track of updates and books read.

Here's how I'm doing so far!

Books Completed:
B4: PoC MC: This Side of Home
I1: Start a Series: Slammed
I4: Mental Illness: Leaving Time
N1: 2015 Debut: House Broken
G3: Over 400 pages: Hopeless (410 pgs)
G4: 2014 Release You Missed: Station Eleven

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read Yet/Want to Read. I'm using Contemporary Fiction for this one!

Life of Pi One Hundred Years of Solitude Never Let Me GoThe Night Circus
A Dog's PurposeThe Kite RunnerOrphan Train

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetUnder the Tuscan SunMemoirs of a Geisha

There you have it!! What books can you not believe you haven't read yet?

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mini Review Monday: Slammed and Never Never

If you read my blog regularly you know I absolutely LOVE Colleen Hoover's books. Every new book I read of hers is my new favorite. I've recently read Slammed and Never Never (a novella she wrote with Tarryn Fisher) and couldn't put either of them down!

by Colleen Hoover
Slammed (Slammed, #1)317 pages, published January 2012
Genre: New adult
Source: Library

What I loved so much about Slammed is that I related to it on a personal level, more so than any of her other books. I lost my father at age 29, so I understand how devastating the death of a parent can be. I really felt for Layken right from the first page. I loved how Will and Layken's stories ended up paralleling each other (don't want to give anything away here). I loved the ending, despite any sad parts.  It was another perfect, heartwarming, just what you need in the middle of winter Colleen Hoover novel. It's an emotional journey that  makes you laugh and cry, and by the end it became my new favorite CoHo read. Until Confess releases, of course!

Never Never (Never Never, #1)
Never Never (part 1)
by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
140 pages, published January 2015
Genre: New adult
Source: purchased on my Kindle
There's been SO MUCH buzz about this book for quite a along time, and of course because of the author I HAD to read it. This was my first time reading anything by Tarryn Fisher and I was definitely impressed!  The novella sucked you in from the first sentence, confused the heck out of you, kept you confused, and then dropped a cliffhanger bomb of an ending on you that makes the prospect of waiting until May for the next book seem impossible. They gave you just enough information to not be too mad about what you don't know, and enough to keep you glued to your kindle screen until you finished it.  Charlie and Silas are both engaging and interesting characters, Silas in particular.  Part Two cannot come soon enough! 

Happy Reading!!