On the twelfth day of #blogmas …Tag Tuesday: ‘Tis the Season

Hey everyone! ‘Tis the season for some tag fun, huh? So this tag was created by RichardMediaGeek and can be viewed here. In the spirit of the holiday season, here we go!

Books Jay Asher

1. Do you have a favorite Winter read? Stealing Christmas by John Grisham (you all may know it better from the movie “Christmas With the Kranks”) is definitely one of my favorite winter reads. Its got all of the holiday feels and all of the cozy winter warmth for the heart.

2. Find a book with blue on the cover!  Jay Asher’s What Light. I loved this book!

3. Find a book you’d use as the star on a Christmas tree? A Christmas Carol for sure. This book is a star on every tree! And there are so many lovely covers for this book!!

4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a Winter vacation! Hogwarts! How beautiful would Hogwarts and the Great Hall be in winter?! I want hot cider and other magical food and beverages, snuggled in a huge chair in the common room in front of a fire! I would never leave!

51d0ll6azql-_ac_ul115_5. Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your Winter vacation! Will Farrell as Buddy the Elf

6. Name one book on your Wishlist this year! Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

7. Favorite Holiday drink, treat, & movie? Drink = Hot Cocoa with lots of mini marshmallows; treat = peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses; movie = The Santa Claus

I hereby tag you all to go out into the world and do this fun set for yourselves!! Enjoy!!

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On the ninth day of #blogmas …

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Attention, Attention! Hear ye, hear ye! Have I got a link for you! I just found this on Twitter and it feels like Christmas came early! I am so excited that I found out, and I am so excited to share it with you! Sad I didn’t find it earlier! So, without further ado….(drumroll please)….I present to you Rivited Read’s 25 Reads of December!

dqje_fwxkamrnsxBasically what they are doing is making 25 books available for FREE for 24 hours. There is a different one each day, and they are all YA new releases! Yeah, its only 24 hours, but its the complete book and several of the books on this list are books I have wondered if I want to spend money on, or pass up. At the same time, several I have read, but they (Rivitedlit.com) still offer other books that are available for 2 days or a week. There are plenty of other things to explore around their website as well, if you’ve never checked them out before. Reviews, articles, etc. And just for the record, I am no way affiliated with Rivited….just a reader who likes free books (don’t we all??)! 🙂 Happy reading!

Listening to: They Both Die At the End (Audiobook)

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On the fifth day of #blogmas …Tag Tuesday: The Christmas Song Book Tag

This tag was made by Hail Hearts NYC on YouTube. The original video can be watched here.

#1 – “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – Name a villainous creature you couldn’t help but love. The. Darkling.!!! So, I say this and I’m only in the first of the Grisha trilogy. I don’t know if he truly is a villain…as of now, I assume he is…but I love him!

#2 – “All I Want For Christmas is You” – Which book do you most hope to see under your tree this year? I have been itching to read anything by Megan Miranda all year long! Her covers just grab me and I’m always down for a good mystery.

tim-gouw-165547#3 – “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and still believes in themselves. Jordan from Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (my summary & review of the book is here). I loved this book because Jordan/Julian was a character who had a goal and did whatever it took to reach it. She stuck by that and worked so hard and truly believed that she could do something that no one had ever done before. And she did it.

#4 – “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Which character do you think is at the top of the naughty/nice list? Naughty list: Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles. I just finished reading the novella Fairest and it was so insightful into Levana’s past. I wish we had books on all villain’s pasts. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know all of the Disney villains’ backgrounds? Nice list: Iko from the Lunar Chronicles. I also recently finished reading Wires and Nerve, which is the graphic novel that follows the Lunar Chronicles and oh. my. stars. it was MAGNIFICENT!! So it was my first graphic novel but it was easy to read and I literally laughed out loud. The book gave new life and personality to the characters and it was grand! Do NOT disregard this book! Its a must-read! (But only after you’ve finished the series!)

chinda-sam-185434#5 – “Frosty the Snowman” – What book just melts your heart? My go-to book for a heart-warmer is Anne of Green Gables. First off there is the childhood nostalgia behind the book for me, and then secondly Anne herself is such a charming and warm character. Then when you mix in the secondary characters–Diana, Matthew, Marilla, Gilbert–my very soul is warmed.

#6 – “Feliz Navidad” – Pick a book that takes place in a country other than your own. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is set in London in 1818 and is a tale of mystery, spies, and dressmaking.

#7 – “Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Which Christmas book do you use to spread the joy? Either A Christmas Carol or Skipping Christmas. I didn’t realize, until a couple years ago while randomly shopping at Half Price Books, that the movie “Christmas With the Kranks” was based on this book by John Grisham, but I really recommend giving it a read! The movie is actually pretty faithful to the book and its a pretty quick, easy, cozy read so if you need some holiday cheer, give it a go!

#8 – “Sleigh Ride” – Which character would you choose to spread holiday cheer with? Me and Luna Lovegood all the way, just to see what unique, creative mischief we can come up with!

#9 – “Baby, its Cold Outside” – Which book, that you didn’t like, would you sacrifice to warm yourself up on a cold day? First We Were IV . What a pity 😦

#10 – “Do You Hear What I Hear?” – What book do you think everyone should read? Hmm… tie between The Hate U Give, The Library of Fates, and The Light We Lost. Those are my top 3 reads for 2017.

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged!! Spread the love around and feel free to let me know if you have any thoughts on any of these books!

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On the second day of #blogmas ….

andrew-neel-48762I present to you my wrap-up for the month of November. Regarding books read, I hit my average, which is four books read. I miss the days when I was finishing 6 books every month. Those were the days! So here is a re-cap of my completed books for the month of November:

32682118 – 4 stars     22663629 – 3.5 stars

34058936 – 5 stars!!    28016509 – 3.5 stars

In 2016 I read 127 books in total. I was so proud of that number – it was my largest ever! This year my goal was 100! I’m currently at 75, so I’m not likely going to hit that number, but I’m still going to try to get as close as possible to it so we’ll see!

What reading goal(s) did you set for yourself for this year? Are you close to hitting it or did you reach it already?

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Tag Tuesday: Falling for Fall

Hi everyone! Today is the perfect fall day and how could I possibly do any other tag than the “Falling for Fall” tag from my fellow GREAT Blogger Jackie at The Bookworm Cafe. So here we go!

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  1. What is your favorite Fall scent? Nothing beats Mother Nature’s fresh morning dew on fallen leaves. Or the smell of an apple barn in the fall! Oh, love it! But I guess when it comes to commercial scents, Bath & Body Works’ Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin and/or Apple Pumpkin. Both are SO GOOD!! Yum!
  2. Do you prefer apple stuff or pumpkin stuff? Apples in September and Pumpkins in October. But really everything all the time, lol!
  3. What is one thing that you look forward to every single Fall? Going to apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Reading mysteries and suspense books. Decorating. Wait, the question only called for one thing didn’t it? Whoops! ;P
  4. How do you like to spend the more chilly/cloudy days in the Fall? Cuddled up with a book and a cup of tea or cider.
  5. Which do you prefer: Halloween or Thanksgiving? All of the above!
  6. What is one thing you do to embrace the Fall season? ALL THE THINGS!! lol. Decorate my house and office desk, light candles, read seasonal books. 
  7. What photos would you like to get this Fall season? I just took fall-themed engagement photos!
  8. Favorite childhood memory from this season? Carving pumpkins with my mom and brother.
  9. What is your favorite trend (fashion/makeup/etc) so far this season? Oooh, this is probably the area that I follow the least. I do know I like the slouchy sweaters/cardigans though.
  10. Describe what the Fall weather really looks like where you live. I’m in the midwest so the leaves are changing and falling and pumpkins are growing and we have apples and gourds and all the good stuff!

I hereby tag:

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Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

25062038Little & Lion is the story of two siblings who go by the nicknames Little and Lion. Little, aka Suzette, comes home for the summer from boarding school after experimenting with her female roommate and is still questioning her own sexuality. Meanwhile her stepbrother Lion, aka Lionel, has been struggling with severe bipolar disorder. As Suzette settles in at home, she finds herself falling for the same girl as Lionel, and Lionel’s bipolar spirals out of control. Suzette has to confront all that she has said and not said to help her brother before it is too late.

In my opinion, Lionel was a fantastic character who, in his illness, was fantastically portrayed. I was not a fan of how Suzette handled it, but honestly, it was probably a realistic reaction to how a sibling or close friend might react to those confessions. Suzette was constantly monitoring and overreacting to Lion’s confessions and it drove me crazy. I hated the back and forth between his issues and her issues. It was all just too much for me. I wish the book had just been about either his troubles with bipolar and summer drama or her struggles with sexuality and summer drama. Having the book be about both just crammed so much drama and emotion into one little book.

All of that being said though, it was still a pretty decent story. I still liked all of the diversity and appreciated Brandy Colbert’s writing. If you’re into diverse books and/or can relate to either of these scenarios, then you’ll probably enjoy this book so give it a shot!

Book soundtrack: American Jesus by Bad Religion

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Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower

Hey everyone! So fall is upon us here in the Midwest and with the changing seasons, I tend to change genres a bit because I’m a mood reader. Hot, sunny weather means I want to read positive, love-vibes. Its contemporary romance weather to me typically. Cooler, autumn weather typically means cozy mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, etc. Winter for me is fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. And spring? Paranormal. I don’t know why I feel this way about these genres and the seasons….that’s just how it is! All that being said, here’s my first cozy of the season! Its an ARC from Netgalley that just released on 8/29/17!

33290628Assaulted Caramel was a pretty good cozy mystery about Bailey King, who has taken a break from her job as assistant chocolatier at a world famous New York chocolate shop to take care of her ailing Amish grandfather. Her quick trip turns into a long haul when a dead body turns up in her grandparents’ own small chocolate shop and Bailey becomes the prime suspect.

So this book was actually very well written for a cozy, in my opinion. It was the first in series and it had just the right amount of balance between main character mystery, grandparent ailment problems, New York promotion drama, best friend fun, potential man romance for later down the road, small town sheriff conflict, etc. All of the cliches you expect in your mystery lite and just the right amount. I didn’t find the characters annoying….and the one character had a pet potbelly pig! Cute!! 🙂 I loved it! Overall, it wasn’t a groundbreaking read, but I wasn’t bored, I wasn’t really in LOVE with it, but I did like it!

How do you choose what genre and/or book to read next?

Book soundtrack: Mercury & Lightning by John Mark McMillan

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Reader Problems Book Tag

Hi everyone! To make up for my missed #TagTuesday last week, my weekly tag falls on a Saturday for this week. I was tagged by Dora, more formally known in our blogging family as Dorka at Berries and Books for the tag for the week, which is Reader Problems, and if some of these don’t just rub you the wrong way, then you are broken! Here goes:

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next? I am a mood reader so it depends on what kind of mood I am in. I think that my mood depends a lot on the weather and the season, so if it is summer and it is sunny, I’ll probably choose a contemporary romance. If its fall and its dreary, I’ll probably pick suspense or horror. Winter I tend to choose more fantasy/dystopian. etc. One other thing that determines what I read next is any other ARC/galley deadlines. If I told a publisher I would read something and have a review up by a publication, then I’ll make sure that I have that done. If I’m doing a tour and I need to get a book read and do my photos and a review, then I will have to prioritize reading that book.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed? If I made it halfway, I will likely finish. Less than halfway, probably not. Unless its an 800-page book, but I don’t read long tomes very often and honestly  that is part of the reason. Another consideration is, again, if I am committed by a publisher. If I have to finish it to write a review, then I will. If not, I probably will. But usually, I try to give a book the benefit of the doubt because usually, endings are the best parts.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how? The holiday season can either be the biggest help or hurt to TBR lists. Personally, I get a small break from work around the holidays so I like to think positive and hope that I will reach my goal. If not, it really isn’t the end of the world. I will just adjust my goal for next year.

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope? I. HATE. THIS. But really, what else is there to do except wait until you can collect the copies you need. Trade away for what you want, order them online. If you really love them so much, that’s just what you have to do.

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? There has to be someone else out there who feels the same way. I know there are hundreds and thousands of people who love”Queen Maas” for example but I’m still in the dark about her books. I know I’m in the vast minority on that. I feel so lonely in this…but I have met a couple of people who either dislike (GASP!) or have not yet read her books. Again, very few…but they do exist. So while I FEEL alone, I am not alone. You just have to search and wait until you find those few and far between who are like you. The book community is shockingly huge once you really get into it.

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal? Oh, I’ll cry over a book in public. Not purposely, but if I have to, I will. I have. The pain is real.

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7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!? Yeah, this has happened to me. I’ve tried to find the synopsis on Goodreads. I’ve tried Wikipedia. I’ve tried just going on in the sequel. A good author will recap everything for you and you should be fine and things will come back to you. But a really good book will be worth the reread. However, rereads are time consuming so its rather a tossup, in my opinion.

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask? Sorry, but I just put my foot down and say no. Maybe I’ll escort them to use my B&N discount or take them to the library but no, not taking my babies…I mean, books.

9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump? Knock on wood, but I really don’t get this problem.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy? The one that I truly intend to read next. When I have a coupon. Usually. Hopefully.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them? Ohhhh, you got me. Probably a really long time. Ohhh, the pain!!! I’m so sorry bank account!! But my shelves look beautiful!!

Moving forward, I tag:

Linda @ Linda’s Little Library

Sarah @ Book Hooked Nook

Cassandra @ Cassie Winters

Stephanie @ Phannie the Ginger Worm

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Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Hi everyone! So I know I have been MIA for a little while. My apologies. I started a new full-time job! My very first full-time job, actually!! It has been a very exciting ride! So far I am absolutely loving it and I count myself so lucky to be working in my field and in a job where I like the people as well as what I am doing. So far I am still in training but hey, things are going so well. 🙂 Anyway, as you can see from my post title, I have a review today. Here goes:

32905343If you have heard of Meddling Kids, you know that we are expecting the Mystery Machine and its cohorts. Scooby Doo and Shaggy too, right? Well, more or less. We know the characters are knock-offs and its set in the 90’s and things have to be a little different but still…nostalgia, man!! It has to be good!! Plus, that COVER!!! RIGHT?!?!

Hmmm. Not for me. I did not connect with ANY of the characters. And I was bored. I was bored 97% of the time. I should have put it down and not finished but I kept going because it was an ARC and I felt obligated and come on, that COVER! And yeah, so sue me, I did want to see how it ended. (There was a little bit of a loose end, now that I really think about it….but I’ll let that be…maybe there’ll be a sequel).

Here is one perk to the book: If you are needing to build your vocabulary, for example, taking your SAT’s soon?, read this book. There are so many ridiculously advanced words in this book (myriaphonic!)….why? No idea. So the writing is….good? But big, flashy words don’t make writing good. Cantero goes from big words and descriptive narrative to scriptive writing.

Andy: Yes, I think so.
Peter: I’m a ghost and you can’t see me. I’m only in crazy-Nate’s head.
Nate: I’m not crazy.
Kerri: But I’m not a lesbian!
Andy: Not yet. And yes Nate, that’s why you broke out of an insane asylum ten minutes ago.

Meanwhile, Tim cuddled with his penguin and the gang continued towards the Zoinks River….yeah, that’s right. So, that’s the jist. Maybe (hopefully) you will enjoy it far more than I did. I will not deny that it had its fun, female ass-kicking moments. It also had its moments as an okay mystery novel. However, don’t get your hopes up as a Scooby Doo knock off, in MY opinion. Just go watch the reruns.

Book Soundtrack: “Love Train” by The O’Jays

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*Mystery Blogger Award*

Its #SundayFunday and I hope it is treating you all well! I have a “to do” list about a mile long because I start a new job tomorrow! My world is about to be flipped upside down because I am going from basically unemployed to full-time in a snap! YIKES!!! Yes, I am terrified but at the same time I am so excited. This will be my first full-time job and I feel so blessed to have found something in my field and close to my house.

Ok, that’s enough of the personal mumbo jumbo, that’s not why you’re all here. On to the bookish! I was just nominated for the ominous-sounding but truly fun *Mystery Blogger Award* by Maggie @ The Caramel Files. Here’s the scoop:

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The Rules:

  • Put the award logo on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 people
  • Notify your nominees
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

About me:

  • Since I mentioned “my field” and what-not, I’ll elaborate a little and then get back to books. My first degree is a Bachelor’s in Music, and I have been teaching voice and piano lessons part-time for the part 6 years since I graduated. I recently went back to school and got another degree (Associate’s) in Health Information so I now can work full time in a hospital with medical records and still teach part time on the side.
  • I am a trained classical singer, meaning that I sing opera. Of course, I can also sing (or teach) pretty much any genre out there, but I do love the challenge, beauty, and complexity of opera.
  • While I love wearing beautiful gowns and putting on stage make-up to sing, I also love camping, canoeing, and being outside in general. I spent every summer growing up at a camp and then I worked there for many years and its my home away from home. My music friends in college never understood this about me.

My Favorite Post So Far: The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag …It got a great reaction from readers and it was one of the most fun tags I have done! Plus there were just so many great books I/we got to talk about in general so that’s always awesome.

Maggie’s Questions:

  1. Is there a book or story you feel parallels your life? If yes, tell us all about it! This is perfect timing for this question because I just finished the best book for this: 257521542 So you know how I mentioned earlier that I enjoy that weird mix of fancy opera and down-and-dirty outdoors? Yep, this book has it. Now I’m not saying that you have to be into both of those things to enjoy this book. Its not a book for opera-lovers. It is contemporary-YA and it is a powerful read, it also just happens to have those other two elements in it and I love it for that all the more, and that is what parallels my life. A lot of the other details in the story do not (in fact, pretty much none of the story line has anything to do with my life, lol).
  2. What title would you choose for your autobiography and why? Hmm. Life Songs – Pretty open-ended. I’m not very creative when it comes to writing, which is why I read books and not write them.
  3. What are the last three books you chose to DNF?
  4. What was your favorite book as a child and why? I don’t think I had any one favorite book as a child. My grandmother ran a “Books on Parade” branch out of her basement so I had access to kids books all the time and we were constantly reading everything that circulated. I remember reading Goldilocks, Clifford, Goodnight Moon, later as I grew up Anne of Green Gables and Harry Potter.
  5. Is there a genre you absolutely refuse to read? If yes, why? I don’t read Harlequin Romances or high fantasy. To me the romances are just too cheesy and get boring and high fantasies are just too ‘out there’ for me to wrap my head around. Too many places and names for me to remember and pronounce and wrap my head around and my brain gets overloaded.

Questions for my Nominees:

  1. How many books have you read so far this year? What is your goal for the rest of the year?
  2. If you could spend a day with any bookish character, who would it be and why?
  3. Piggybacking off of Q2, what would you want to do in your day with chosen bookish character (where would you go, what would you see…could be real or a setting in their book, etc.)?
  4. If you could do one as a full time job, which would you choose: reading books or writing books?
  5. What is your most and least favorite book you have read this year?

I nominate:

Listening to: “Golden Lion” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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