Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#thankfullyreading weekend


Image result for snoopy happy thanksgiving pictures

 Over at Jenn's Bookshelves blog, there is a mini-read-a-thon going called Thankfully Reading Weekend (November 22-26, 2017). I decided at the last minute to join in since we are staying put for the holiday weekend. I DO NOT DO BLACK FRIDAY - I still have nightmares about working 3 BFs when I was employed at Wal-Mart (this was before I joined the military and one of the major reasons why I joined the military, lol). On the challenge kick-off post, Jenn listed a few questions for participants to answer in our opening post. Here are my answers:

Q1. How will/did you celebrate Thanksgiving?
A1. We are getting together with other military families at a friend's house and doing Turkey Day potluck style. The hosts are deep frying a turkey, which is my favorite kind! I am supplying dessert, so I baked 3 pumpkin pies and one apple crisp (complete with ice cream and whipped cream), plus I am defrosting a pecan pie courtesy of my friend Marie Callendar, as this pie was requested by the host's husband and man in charge of deep fryer.

Q2. What’s in your TBR pile for the weekend?
A2. Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin (historical inspirational romance), The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich (non-fiction women's history), The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen (historical romance), and Bloom by Kelle Hampton (memoir on motherhood and raising a child with Down Syndrome).

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Q3. How much time do you think you’ll have for reading?
A3. Due to work restrictions and duties, my husband has to be in the very local area and needs access to the car to get to work if called in. So pretty much all the time for reading this weekend minus the time socializing with friends over Thanksgiving dinner.

Q4. What book are you starting out with?
A4. Through Waters Deep - looking forward to reading a WWII romance between an American woman and British naval officer.

Q5. Are you reading print, ebooks, or audio? Maybe a bit each?
A5. All reading will be from e-books on my NOOK. Audio doesn't work with the kids home.

Q6. What books will you be talking about during Thanksgiving dinner? Be sure to keep track of any recommendations you receive and share when you have the time.
A6. I don't read the same type of (genre) books my friends' or my husband reads, so I sit out on the recommendations. I do talk to everyone about reading habits or other bookish things, though.

Follow along or join in on Twitter (#thankfullyreading) or Instagram (#thankfullyreading)!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Taking on the Switch


WinterCoyer2017

Welp, it's been a while since I posted anything here. One day I will get into regular blogging. I'll post my post summer challenge summaries and my fall challenge summaries in future posts. This post is dedicated to announce my participation in another edition of COYER! This is my first winter edition, but I am excited to beat the winter blues (and ward off a possible reading slump) by participating socially and reading.

After reading the rules and the descriptions of each type, I decided to take on the Switch version (kind of Go Big or Go Home kick in the pants). So today I made my list of 30 books that I would like to get through. Some of the books are doing double-duty - in addition to being on the COYER list, these books will help me to finish the Pop Sugar Challenge and/or the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season (a game I'm participating in on BookLikes).

Here's my list! I choose all fiction books because I just read fiction books faster than non-fiction. I also decided not to add any books to the list after reading 5 books because I want to be kept accountable to this TBR and not get distracted by shiny new books.

Friday, July 21, 2017

24 in 48/2nd COYER Summer Read-a-thon Reading List



I think I am in the beginning of a summer cold, just in time for back to back read-a-thons. I am sipping some herbal tea (Twinings Lemon and Ginger and Twinings African Rooibos with Vanilla) in the hopes I can nip this cold in the bud.

So what am I reading for 24 in 48 (July22 -23) and the second COYER Summer (July 23 - 30) read-a-thons? Here's the list:

1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
2. Chaucer's Major Tales by Michael Hoy and Michael Stevens
3. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
4. The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan (adapted by Robert Venditti)
5. A Sultry Love Song by Kianna Alexander
6. Falling for the Enemy by Naomi Rawlings
7. The Soldier's Secrets by Naomi Rawlings
8. The Greek Tycoon's Green Card Groom by Kate McMurray
9. Secret Agent Under Fire by Geri Krotow
10. Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin

The first four titles are prompt fillers for the Pop Sugar Challenge. The other six are category length romances, four of those I got at RT in Atlanta. The rules for the second COYER read-a-thon is that you have to read physical books from your list only (I added the other four books to my reading list), so I just made that my rule for 24 in 48 too - that way if I was in the middle of a book read for 24 in 48 I wouldn't have to put it aside for a week to finish it.

Until next time, happy reading!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Reading Lovin'

It has been a while, huh? Drinking a cupof Twinings African Rooibos, Strawberry, and Vanilla tea while it non-stops raining and cold here in east England. I recommend this tea, it is a perfect balance between sweet and spicy. So here is what I have been up to....

COYER Summer Vacation 2017
So I opted into the reading list part of this challenge. Out of the original 30 books on my list, I have read and reviewed 10 and DNF 1 (let's just say category romance from the 1980s DO NOT AGE WELL). As per the rules of the challenge, I added 10 books to the list and have already read 2 of the added books.

Highlights from the Reading List
1. Author Allie Pleiter - she can deliver in both contemporary romance and historical romance (inspirational in both genres). I have four of her books on my original 30 and have read and enjoyed 3 of them. The Bull Rider's Homecoming is the contemporary and although it is the third book in the series, you can read it as a stand-alone. Homefront Hero and The Doctor's Undoing are set in WWI era and can be read as stand-alones, but work better when you read HH first.

 
2. The Brides of Waterloo series
This was a little noticed series from Harlequin Historical that was published on the 200th anniversary of the Waterloo campaign. I highly recommend you read them in order, due to the different stories picking up along the same time line. I LOVED the first two books, but the third one left me disappointed (I didn't like the heroine).
 
 
3. The Soldier's Dark Secret by Marguerite Kaye
Continuing on the Britain is at war with France theme, this story deals with a long-time Army officer who resigns his commission after the Waterloo campaign and a French painter looking for answers to her parentage. So good! First book in two book series called Comrades in Arms.
 
 
 
Hey notice anything about the books highlighted? Yes, they are all from lines that Harlequin announced in May 2017 that are being shut down. Needless to say, I have many feelings toward that announcement, most that can be summed up as GRRRRRRR WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
 

 

 The Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo
Making my way through this challenge by only using what is on my COYER list. No bingos yet, stayed tuned. If you play, note that the rules set up that any book read starting June 1st counts.

24 in 48 Read-a-thon
I am all signed up and ready to binge read! This read-a-thon takes place at the same time that the second read-a-thon for COYER, so I will be reading my print books off my reading list for 24 in 48. I will be updating throughout 24 in 48 here and at Instagram. Sign up today!


Until next time, happy reading!


 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Update on my Reading Life

Yes it has been a while since I posted...April 2017 is pretty much a blur for me. But I wanted to update my readers on what is going on in my reading and tea drinking life, so I thought now would be a good time.

Upcoming Read-a-thons
1. Dewey's 24hr Read-a-thon - happening this Saturday, April 29th about 1pm in my time zone. The goal is to make it to 12 hours of reading, the stretch goal is to make it to 15 hours. I don't really have a TBR set aside for this read-a-thon; I am just going to finish up any April reads or read a book for a book-related game I am playing with some online friends. I think there is still time to sign up and participate.

2. Bout of Books (Cycle 19) - happening Monday, May 8th through Sunday, May 14th. Again, no real TBR set aside, just the one big book I am reading for the Pop Sugar challenge (fills in the 800+ page prompt) and any book for the bookish game. My real goal is to really participate in the daily challenges - this is one area of the BoB read-a-thon I continually suck at. Sign ups are active; I've done the declaration post on my BookLikes blog.

Reading Challenges
1. Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2017 - 29/52 prompts filled. Starting in May I will be reading London by Edward Rutherfurd, and 829 page historical fiction about my favorite city. This is to fill in the prompt for 800+ page book. It will take me all of May and June to read it while I also read other books for the online game. If I don't get this prompt done before the first half of 2017 is over, I won't get to it in the second half due to procrastination and lack of enthusiasm for reading long books.



2. Library Love Challenge (OverDrive Junkie level) - 29/36 read; I don't count DNFs. Since I am close to finishing this one early, I might take the summer off from borrowing and picking up again in the fall. This will give me more room to read off my physical TBR shelf.

3. BookLikes/Good Reads Challenge - 57/150

Upcoming Events
1. RT Booklover's Convention 2017 - in just a few days I will be in Atlanta for my first RT convention! This has been on my bucket list for as long as I have known there was such a convention. And I have always wanted to visit Atlanta, so there will be some sight seeing as well as indulging in all things romance. I'm also excited for some warm weather - right now England is in a rain/cold snap weather pattern.

So that is what I have been up to. Can't wait to share my RT experience, my British Library experience, and more with you in May. Until then - happy reading!




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

#trypod

Hey everyone! I know I have been majorly slacking here on my blog lately; it seems BookLikes is back up and running, so I have been reviewing and blogging there.

Today's topic is about the #trypod campaign - a hashtag that invites people to promote their favorite podcasts to friends, blog readers, family, etc. I am a big fan of podcasts; sorry not sorry but British radio really doesn't do it for me and the one American station here plays the John Tesh radio show for three hours every weekday morning....yeah so I have turned my iPhone into my personal talk radio station. I listen in the car, when I am cleaning the house, or at the gym; I use iTunes podcast app to listen.

So here is a list of my favorite podcasts, in no particular order:

1. Book Riot Media Group podcasts
    There is a group of podcasts from the bookish people at Book Riot. I listened to the Book Riot podcast, All the Books!, and Get Booked. The first and last podcasts are about a hour long; the second runs about 30-40 minutes. All of them release new shows once a week. Price: $Free, the shows are supported with advertisers.

2. Stuff You Missed in History Class
    My first podcast. I have only been listening to this since the current hosts have been doing the podcast. Each episode is about 30-45 minutes long and some topics take up two episodes. You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy this podcast - this podcast has the ability to make you into a history buff! The show releases two episodes each week; if the topic is a two-part subject, I wait until the second show is aired before listening to show number one. $Free, the show is supported with advertisers.

3. Disaster Area Podcast
    A relative new kid on the podcast block. Created, researched, hosted, edited - the whole enchilada is done by Jennifer M. who has a curious fascination with disasters, natural or man-made. There are no ads, so the host has a Patreon account if you want to donate some money towards the upkeep of the podcast. My favorite episodes are the movie breaks - they are hilarious! Episodes released when Jennifer has the opportunity to get them out. Price: $Free, no ads, donations welcomed!

4. Dirt Cast/Big Time Dicks
    The newest additions to my podcast listening, both podcasts are from the team at Jezebel.com. Dirt Cast is all about celebrity news and gossip, but they end up doing some really extensive journalism on some subjects; for example, their show on Scientology is a must listen to. Big Time Dicks is all about US politics and this new administration. Episodes release once a week. Price: $Free, no ads, no donations.

5. Throwing Shade
    I was recommended this podcast by iTunes as I also listened to Stuff Mom Never Told You (a now-defunct podcast). It took me a couple of episodes to get a feel for how Bryan and Erin work and interact, and then I went into the mother of all binge listens and listen to every episode in a matter of weeks. Hilarious, insightful, really great interviews - and cute dogs. Bryan and Erin also just finished their weekly television show (same name) and will be touring soon. Episodes release once a week. $Free, some ads, donations taken at the website.

6. Smart Podcast, Trashy Books
    My favorite romance book blog in podcast form. Sarah is a great host and Sassy knows her traditional Celtic music. My favorite episodes are All the Bitches Assemble (basically when all the bloggers get together and talk about a whole bunch of stuff, some not related to romance) and when the owners of The Ripped Bodice are on. Episodes release once a week. $Free, there are ads, but you can also send donations to Patreon.

7. The Readers
    Simon from Liverpool and Thomas from D.C. are the best trans-Atlantic Odd Couple you could ever listen to. I'm not one for literary fiction, but no worries as these guys read across a wide variety of genres. Usually episodes are released once every other week. $Free, no ads, no donations taken.

Until next time, happy reading podcast listening!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Finished for Challenge


Book Review
Heir to a Desert Legacy
Harlequin, 2013
Read January 2017
1 star
 
 
I usually love Maisey Yates sheikh romances, but this one was a long slog to get through. It took me almost the entire month to read this less than 200 page book. The premise was different, but this was too stereotypical of the Presents line for my taste. The only reason I continued reading this to the end was that it filled a spot on the bingo card.
 
Sayid was a decent hero, but Chloe was all over the place mentally and emotionally and not smart for a doctoral candidate in physics. Their conversations were stilted when they weren't cringe-inducing. I could have done without the constant reminders that she had just given birth (yep, a virgin birth) and she was breastfeeding while sexy times were going on. And rocket scientist in training Chloe didn't realize breastfeeding was not a suitable replacement for birth control when she ends up pregnant at the end of the book (mere months after giving birth - which most medical doctors warn not to do, as it increases complications in second pregnancy and increases the chances of the mother suffering PPD or PPS).