Friday, February 5, 2016

Books & Crafts #1 ~ #BookBlogger #CraftCircle ~ Join Us!



Welcome to Books & Crafts, a craft circle composed of book bloggers, a sporadic meme where we share our other creative pursuits aside from reading and blogging. Everyone is welcome to join, just add yout tag/label links below and you're good to go!


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As most of y'all know, I'm a crafter. I scrapbook, papercraft (cards, etc.), and I knit. I'm very excited about the opportunity to share with y'all some of the things I make...you know, when I'm not doing the duties of a wife/mom OR reading. ;)

Last weekend, I went on a girls' getaway with a group of friends. We typically scrapbook when we're together, and I did some of that. But I thought I'd share with y'all some of the other crafting I did. I made bookmarks!

These are made using super big paperclips, which I purchased at Target (I think). I used punches to shape the paper, using 2 pieces of the solid, and one of the print. I used crafty foam adhesive to adhere the paper to the paperclip, tombow adhesive to adhere the print paper to the solid, and glue dots to adhere the bling! ;)







Do you craft too? Wanna get in on the fun? Just add your link below. And don't forget to check out the other hosts' crafts! :D
(I had problems with the linky so I'll add it in when I figure out the issue. Until then, head over to Talk Supe and link up there. Thanks!)




Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #31


My pick this week comes from:

Confess by Colleen Hoover


I'm participating in the read-along with Chapter Break this month. I've only read chapters 1-6 so far...cried in the prologue. Yeah, Colleen Hoover does that to me. 

These few scenes (I pieced them together) are kinda funny though. See what y'all think...

"Do they have cheese sticks?" she asks.
I'm not sure if they have cheese sticks, but I'll say anything at this point just to spend a few more minutes with her. "The best in town."

...

Me: I'm coming for a drink. Do you serve cheese sticks?
Harrison: Nope.
Me: Do me a favor. When I order cheese sticks, don't say you don't serve them. Just say you ran out.
Harrison: Okay. Random request, but whatever.

...


"Bring us two Jack and Cokes," he says. "And an order of cheese sticks."
Harrison taps the bar with this fist and says, "Coming right up." He begins to turn around but quickly faces Owen again. "Oh, we're all out of cheese sticks. Travesty. Cheese fries okay?"
I try not to frown, but I was really looking forward to cheese sticks. Owen looks at me and I not. "Sounds good," I say.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Audio Review ~ Charming ~ Dannika Dark

CharmingCharming by Dannika Dark
Seven Series # 6.5
Narrated by: Nicole Poole
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: Audible credit
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove
Goodreads

Synopsis
After seven hundred years, Prince has acquired everything a Packmaster could desire. But when he meets the enchanting Nadia Kozlov, he realized that there's one thing he doesn't have: answers. Princes owes his life to a man he hasn't seen in centuries, and Nadia holds the key to his whereabouts, because that man is her father. Destinies collide when Nadia's sister shows up unexpectedly. Katarina is a skilled bounty hunter, hot on the trail of a nefarious outlaw who turns out to be Prince's old nemesis. Prince teams up with Nadia's sister to track down the Mage, but the real game of cat and mouse is already underway as sparks fly between Prince and the cunning bounty hunter. The only trouble is, Nadia wants him too.



Charming - a word I'd never considered in conjunction with Prince, the serious, rigid, disciplined Packmaster. I was curious about the title and I was absolutely pleased with how Ms. Dark worked that word into the story.

Charming is a story I was happy to get. While Prince isn't necessarily my favorite character in the Seven series, he does have my respect. He's disciplined in his leadership, but a fair, if arrogant, man. Getting his backstory, learning his history, answered so many questions about him. I appreciated those answers. Of course, getting those answers was precipitated by Prince meeting Nadia and Katarina Kozlov - the daughters of a man with an important role in Prince's past. Kat's appearance is brought about due to her job and her search for her father - and a Mage, who also played a pivotal rile in Prince's life.

Despite there being some tension and suspense, coupled with some action, Charming might be the lightest story in this series. This is mostly due to Kat and her feisty personality. She has no filter and the things that come out of her mouth had me, and Prince, laughing! I like how Charming played out but what I enjoyed the most - the thing that had me snickering often , is the fact that Prince falls for a woman so unlike him - so opposite of what he thought he'd been looking for. And watching that made for a lot of fun.

Nicole Poole, as usual, impressed me with her narration. Her delivery kept the packing perfect and her voices and accents for both men and women were spot on.

I'm eager to see how this series winds up but at the same time, I hate to see it end.



Monday, February 1, 2016

Release Day Review ~ Troublemaker ~ Melissa Pearl

TroublemakerTroublemaker by Melissa Pearl
Songbird Series #6
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease, #COYER B2B
Goodreads

Synopsis
Kelly DeMarco is out of Marcus Chapman's league. When they met in high school he was besotted with the blue-eyed goddess, but she never gave him the time of day.

High school is now over and the tide is turning.

Five years later, Kelly is job-hunting and the best she can find happens to be Marcus Chapman's personal assistant. He is thrilled by this second chance and determined to win the beauty's affections, but Kelly has no intention of falling for the "class clown."

What you're looking for can be hiding right in front of you.

In spite of her resolve, Marcus's playful charm begins to chip away at Kelly's protective veneer, and she starts to realize that tall, dark, and mysterious isn't a requirement, and sometimes Mr. I Don't Think So can actually be Mr. Perfect.

Will Kelly's obsession with keeping up appearances push Marcus away, or will he have enough drawing power to convince his favorite girl that honest love can outclass anything?




The Songbird Series is one of my favorites because it's comfortable. The writing is always easy to read, the characters feel familiar and are engaging, and the music element gives the stories that little something extra that makes them that much more enjoyable. Troublemaker is a great addition to the series with a couple I was rooting for and an excellent soundtrack!

Marcus is a manager at Torrence Records. He's an affable guy, loyal, honest, and hard-working. I loved his goofy grin, his determination to make people smile and laugh, and his kinda nerdy personality. (In other words, kinda like my hubby. ;) Things are going well for him and then his high school crush turns up to interview for a job as his personal assistant.

Kelly is something else. As the heir to a fashion company, she was raised in a cold home with certain expectations placed on her. Basically, she's always felt like an ornament. She does let a few close friends see the real Kelly, but she hasn't introduced them to her world. And Marcus is *not* her type. Too bad she'll be working for him and he's determined to change her mind.

Marcus was a sweetheart! I liked that Ms. Pearl had the story be about a guy who's been in love forever with the unattainable girl. I had a hard time connecting with Kelly because of her haughtiness. She's so entrenched in social status, seeing people according to where they fall in social circles, how they look, how they dress. It rubbed me wrong, especially considering the expectations her parents placed on her were chafing her. It took a really long time for her to grow a backbone and to realize what she could have with Marcus. Because Marcus - he always saw the real Kelly underneath all her window-dressing. It's a good thing Troublemaker is told using dual POV so that I could connect with Marcus - and see Kelly through his eyes. I did eventually warm up to her though and I was fist pumping when she finally stood up for herself against her parents, and fought for Marcus.

I have to mention how much I loved Ms. Pearl's use of music in the story - not only in Marcus' job but as an important element in both Marcus' and Kelly's lives. They use it to communicate - and it added this layer of fun to their story. Now Ms. Pearl has me anxious for the next couple's story - and I get the pleasure of going back for a few I missed in between.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Post #3 ~ Pardon the Interruption

Sunday Post

As y'all probably all know, the Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share my news from the week whether it be book, blog, or just life news. Since I read so many of your Sunday Posts and I wanted to add something new in 2016, I've decided to join in the fun!


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Yeah, it's been a few weeks. Sorry y'all! There has been too many things going on and I didn't make time to get my Sunday Post done. My older daughter made the All-County Band on baritone saxophone, so the week before last was full of me taking her 'down-the-hill' to rehearsals and to see her concert, on top of orthodontist appointments for my younger ones, and making sure they're all fed on those days when they are at school from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. for their various musical activities. The week before - I can't even remember now. I've slept - a little - since then. ;) This week was a little slower but not much since we had a 'recruitment tour' for orchestra and jazz band (we visit the 2 local elementaries and the middle school to recruit for the music dept) and I was hauling instruments from location to location. However, I'm currently on my way home from a girls' weekend spent scrapbooking. :D

Reading-wise, week before last was a busy week. I got several books read. It helped having those 3 hours waiting on my daughter's rehearsals to be over. ;) This week, I finished My TBR read (listen), and 3 books - so I'd say another good reading week. :D

I hope this past week was full of good stuff for y'all! And I hope you'll enjoy the upcoming one as well! :)


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COYERBTBsignupBookworm BrandeeBlogger ShameNew Release Challenge 2016 - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Challenge Updates
So far, I've read 11 books out of 40 for COYER B2B, 6 books for #ShelfLove, 6 books for Blogger Shame, and 5 books for my New Release challenges. Some of these overlap - I've read 14 books so far this year.

How are y'all doing with your challenges?

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged #80


Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where I share with you the books I have bought, borrowed, or bagged (gifted or won) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, and any other bookishness I want to share. :)


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Welcome to my first edition of BB&B for 2016! ;) It's been a few weeks since I posted. And despite the fact that I got a lot of holiday loot in the form of GCs to Amazon and B&N, I've been somewhat paralyzed when it comes to actually spending any of it. There are just so many books I want to read, but....can I get to them right away? Probably not and so I've sat on my one-click trigger. ;) I did pick up a couple of things though. Here's what I added recently.


Bought
Happily Ever Now (Happily Ever After, #0.5)Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1)House of RoyalsClub Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands, #1)
 All these titles were FREE, and Happily Ever Now was Lola @Lola's Reviews' recommendation, Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper was Christy @Christy's Love of Books' recommendation. House of Royals was a recommendation from Kristen @Moonlight & Metaphors, and Club Shadowlands was recommended by Anna @Herding Cats & Burning Soup.


Borrowed
Riding the Storm (ACRO, #1)Real (Real, #1)Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1)

I picked up these from the library! I've had Riding the Storm and Real on my TBR for awhile, thanks to Lorna @Rabid Reads and Naomi @Nomi's Reading Palace. Libriomancer was put on my TBR by Terri @Second Run Reviews.


Bagged
Last First KissLike GravityLingusRevelationRestraint

I received Last First Kiss, Like Gravity, Lingus, Revelation and Restraint in audio for review. Thanks, Tantor Audio!


Last Week's Reviews
Upcoming Reviews
Troublemaker by Melissa Pearl
Charming by Dannika Dark
In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks
Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Saturday, January 30, 2016

My TBR List Review ~ Wrong Number, Right Guy ~ Elle Casey

MyTBRList

My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading. I think it's a fabulous idea because it gets y'all in the game and it helps me knock off some of the many, many books on my TBR list. You're more than welcome to join in the fun! I've included the basic rules below but you can click on the graphic above to hop over to Michelle's site where you can find all the details. 

Here's how it works:
On the first Saturday of each month, I will make a post with three books from my TBR List (these books can be already on your ereader or bookshelf OR books you might want to purchase) and add your link on the linky that will be provided on Michelle's post. Y'ALL will help me choose which book I will read next. The following Saturday, I will announce which book won. Then the last Saturday of the month, I'll post my review.

Fun, right?!?


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Wrong Number, Right GuyWrong Number, Right Guy by Elle Casey
The Bourbon Street Boys #1
Narrated by: Emily Foster
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Source: Audible credit
Rating: 3 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove
Goodreads

Synopsis
When a mysterious text message summons May Wexler to a biker bar in downtown New Orleans, she knows something is very wrong. Her sister has sent out an SOS, but when May gets there, she's nowhere to be found and May is the one in trouble--she's wearing pink espadrilles, she's got a Chihuahua in her purse, and she's in the middle of a shootout.

After tall, muscular Ozzie comes to her rescue, May has no choice to but follow him to safety. At the headquarters of his private security firm, the Bourbon Street Boys, she finds a refuge for the night--and the offer of a job. But it's not long before a gun-toting stalker isn't the only complication in May's life: the more time she spends with Ozzie, the less she can deny that they've got some serious chemistry. A wrong number got her into this mess...Will it also get her the right guy?



Wrong Number, Right Guy was a meh read for me. There were moments that were funny, a few that were suspenseful, but mostly I just kept wondering when it was going to get somewhere.

May meets Ozzy when he mistakenly texts her and she mistakenly thinks the texts are from her sister - who must be drunk texting on her new phone. Their meeting puts May in danger so Ozzy steps in to protect her and eventually gives her a job at his security company, in surveillance since she's a photographer. May begins working with Ozzy's team - getting trained as well as acquainted with them, while they're trying to locate and determine the threat level of the person who might be after May. There is a complication though - May and Ozzy are attracted to one another.

The story spends a lot of time doing a lot of build up - so much telling rather than showing. Teaching May the skills she'll need for her new job, May talking to and spending time with her sister and her sister's kids, May making friends with everyone - even the romance takes forever. Now I like a slow-build romance but this was ridiculous. (Nothing happens til ~chapter 44 of 52 chapters!) May is 29 and seems very naive and acts immaturely, although she can use a taser and a single stick advantageously. Her use of silly words and phrases drove me batty - "I've got to stop being such a weiner!" And despite the fact that there's a big cast of characters and we do spend quite a bit of time with them, we don't get to know them all that well. I like Ozzy and May's sister, Jenny, but I felt like I didn't really connect with anyone that well. 

Okay, that's a lot of bashing. And there were parts I liked. I liked May's relationship with her sister. They were very close and very supportive of one another. There were moments of laugh-out-loud humor, like when May first uses her taser on a member of Ozzy's team. I liked May's and Ozzy's dogs, Felix - a chihuahua mix, and Sahara - a large mix-breed. I liked Ozzy. He seems somewhat socially awkward - he doesn't really know how to talk to May at first. He's very protective and loyal and once he gets comfortable around May, he's pretty funny. I think I'd like the rest of the cast as well if I'd gotten more details about them.

As for the narrator, I didn't mind her voice per se, but she didn't have much range. She didn't do the voices of the different characters that well, and there were quite a few. She also didn't read with enough inflection to move the story along or evoke the necessary emotions from a scene.

I do wonder if I'd have enjoyed this more if I'd read it. I'm not sure. It got so many great reviews though - so I'm thinking this is a case of 'it's me, not the book'. At any rate, I do have another novel from Ms. Casey - which I'll *read*, and then let y'all know my consensus on her writing (my opinion anyway). But Wrong Number, Right Guy wasn't for me.



2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge ~ January Update

BookishResolution Challenge 2016


Laura @Trips Down Imagination Road and Michelle @Because Reading are once again hosting the Bookish Resolutions Challenge in 2016. I participated in this challenge last year and it was a good way to keep me motivated in certain areas, so I decided to do it again this year.

My Goals for 2016
  • Blogging Goals
    • Keep up with commenting back weekly
    • Link up my challenge posts bi-weekly
    • Learn some HTML to change up format of posts
  • Reading Goals
    • Raise my Netgalley rating to 50%
    • Read books my kids *need* me to read
      • Alice in Wonderland
      • Death with Interruptions 
      • Everything is Illuminated
      • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
      • Listening for Luka
      • School of Good and Evil
      • The Things They Carried
      • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
      • Wonderstruck
  • Personal Goals
    • Stick to my daily schedule


Progress made in January

Blogging Goals

  • I've been good at keeping up with commenting back, and I've been enjoying the chats. :)
  • I've linked ____ for my challenges
  • I've learned NOTHING towards my goal
Reading Goals

  • I've posted 2 reviews to Netgalley. Woohoo!
  • I read Listening for Luka off my Kids' Recs List. :D
Personal Goals
  • So far, I've done fairly well with sticking to my daily schedule. It's tough some days because I don't get everything done in the allotted time slot, but if I have time, I go back to that task later in the day. I have made the time for exercise every day and that makes a big difference for my mental health. ;) I've not spent as much time with my writing as I'd like though. So, it's still a work in progress but I'm working on it. :D