The Sunshine Blogger Award

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I was nominated by Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts for The Sunshine Blogger Award. (Thanks, Joey!)

Basically, I answer Joey’s questions, tag some friendly bloggers and then they answer my questions. Fun, right? Here it goes!


My answers to Joey’s questions:

1. If you’re in an epic fantasy, what does your warcry sound like before battle? (Spell it out!) 

Aaahhheeeeooooouuuuaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiyyyyoooouuuuuu

2. Who is a villain you despise? Now imagine that your child looks up to this villain. How do you handle it? 

I’m drawing a blank at anything I’ve read lately with a villain, so I’m going to choose those evil vampires in Twilight. Lol. I think I’d have to send my child to counseling or something.

3. You’re a bartender; concoct a drink with 3+ book titles in the name.

Tamed – Wild Reckless – Prude

4. What is one book cover (minus text on it) do you think could fit another book. This could totally be the cover for E.L. James’ Grey.

5. What’s a song you feel best fits a book hangover?

I don’t know if there is a specific song that best fits a book hangover for me. I guess it’s just whatever I’m into at the moment. Lately, it’s been Ed Sheeran’s Photograph, Sam Hunt’s House Party or Yellow Claw’s Till it Hurts.

6. You’re on commute surrounded by readers. You notice that some have cracked spines, others dog-ear their pages, a few annotate it. How do you feel?

I honestly don’t care. They’re not my books, so oh well. At least they’re reading!

7. Would you rather read the page at 25% or 75% (a play on first/last).

75%, I think.

8. Blogging-related. How do you find new inspiration?

I think I’m inspired by authors and books I love. I keep finding new ones to enjoy and I want to share them with others.

9. Your ideal book-significant other (i.e. boyfriend/girlfriend) ends up being together with one of your friends. Your reaction?

Well, since I’m married, I’m happy for them. Probably a little jealous, but I’ve got my perfect match so I’m happy with that.

10. Of all the books on your shelves, which book would you hide something in (you can think about carving the pages out or not)?

I don’t think I should answer this one. What if you were to break into my house and find what I’m hiding? Lol.

11. Complete the phrases: “Reading is…”, “Blogging is…”, “[The] Community is…”

Reading is my favorite escape.

Blogging is so addicting!

The Community is amazing and supportive.


I tag:

Becca @ Becca and Books

Head in the Clouds, Heart in the Books

Giselle @ Hardwork Boulevard

Skylee @ The Night Girl

Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings


My questions:

  1. What is your favorite award or meme you have been tagged with since starting your blog?
  2. What is your favorite hobby other than reading?
  3. What book character has moved you or influenced you the most?
  4. If you could write a sequel to one of your favorite books, which book would it be and what title would you give it?
  5. Who is your newest favorite author?
  6. If you could have any pet, what would it be and what would you name it?
  7. Unicorns or dragons? Why?
  8. What is your least favorite genre to read?
  9. How much do you read per week or how many book?
  10. If you were to read one biography/memoir this year, whose would it be? (Can be a real book or one you wish would be written.)

Thrill Me

Thrill Me (Fool’s Gold #18) by Susan Mallery

Publication Date:

Publisher:

Synopsis: 

Maya Farlow left Fool’s Gold and Del Mitchell suddenly to follow her dreams. Ten years later, she’s back in town. It’s her job to promote Fool’s Gold’s new slogan: The Destination for Romance.

Maya’s not the only one back in town. Del’s returned home. After Maya ran away, Del was left to pick up the pieces of his life and heart. He made a name for himself in extreme sports. He’s also Mayor Marsha’s pick to be the celebrity spokesman for the town’s new slogan.

Now, years after she painfully tore apart his life, Maya is forced to work with Del. Luckily, Del doesn’t hold a grudge. In fact, he likes working closely with Maya way more than he should.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

So, for a little background information, Susan Mallery likes to release books in the Fool’s Gold series in groups of three. This summer, she released Hold MeKiss Me and Thrill Me. I didn’t review Hold Me for A Novel Glimpse, but I did read it. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite Fool’s Gold novel. I liked it, I just wanted more from it. This series has so many amazing books in it and my standard for new Fool’s Gold books is really high. Kiss Me was better. It was really good, but not quite up to my favorite Fool’s Gold novels . (You can read my review for it here.) So, I had really high hopes that Thrill Me would be reminiscent of my favorite Fool’s Gold novels.

It totally was. It was the perfect book for the flight I read it on.  Thrill Me was light and funny. The story was so cute! Both Maya and Del were strong characters on their own, but together they shined. Their chemistry was hot! I loved how they went for their second chance with each other and didn’t let the past get too much in the way. The story was fun to read.

I would definitely suggest Thrill Me to fans of the Fool’s Gold series or anyone that enjoys contemporary romances. Like the rest of the books in the series, there is some carry over of characters but it could be read as a standalone.

Other books and novellas in this series (in order):

Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold, #1) Almost Perfect (Fool's Gold, #2) Sister of the Bride (Fool's Gold, #2.5)  Finding Perfect (Fool's Gold, #3)  Only Mine (Fool's Gold #4)  Only Yours (Fool's Gold, #5)  Only His (Fool's Gold, #6)  Only Us (Fool's Gold, #6.1) Almost Summer: A Fool's Gold Novella (Fool's Gold, #6.2)   Summer Days (Fool's Gold, #7)  Summer Nights (Fool's Gold, #8)  All Summer Long (Fool's Gold, #9)  A Fool's Gold Christmas (Fool's Gold, #9.5)  Halfway There (Fool's Gold, #9.75)  Just One Kiss (Fool's Gold, #10)  Two of a Kind (Fool's Gold, #11)  Three Little Words (Fool's Gold, #12)  Christmas on 4th Street: Yours for Christmas  When We Met (Fool's Gold, #13)  Before We Kiss (Fool's Gold, #14)  Until We Touch (Fool's Gold, #15)  Yours for Christmas (Fool's Gold, #15.5)  Hold Me (Fool's Gold, #16)  Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17)

Blurred Lines

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis:

Parker Blanton and Ben Olson have been platonic best friends since they met their freshman year of college. It’s a shock to everyone they meet. After all, Parker’s a hot chick and Ben’s extremely handsome. Why wouldn’t they be hooking up? They even live together. Truth is, they’re happy being best friends. Parker’s had a serious boyfriend, Lance, for 5 years and Ben is a self-declared ladies man.

All of that changes when Lance dumps Parker. Now, Parker’s on a quest to find a no-strings-attached hook up. She looks to Ben for advice, but quickly decides she may not be up to casual sex with strangers. But what about casual sex with someone she knows? Someone she trusts–like Ben.

Ben and Parker are determined to keep their friendship the same while having casual sex together. It works great until Lance wants Parker back. Will they still have their friendship when they no longer have sex?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit I love friends to lovers stories. There’s just something about two friends who already enjoy and care for each other falling in love. Maybe it’s just the romantic in me, but I find this type of story so sweet.

It was more than just sweet, though. It was steamy. Ben and Parker had major chemistry. (Fans self.) Their connection with each other was off the charts. I honestly can’t believe they waited six years to hook up! How did they not have any sexual tension? I get that Parker had a boyfriend, but there had to be some sort of sparks! 😉

I think New Adult readers will enjoy Blurred Lines. It’s a fun story filled with friendship, love and sex.

Restless Waters

Restless Waters (Left Drowning #2) by Jessica Park

Publication Date: August 26, 2015

Publisher: Flat Finn, Inc.

Synopsis:

Blythe McGuire has finally moved on from the dark past that haunts her. Thanks to her boyfriend Chris and the rest of the Shepherd family, she’s found happiness again. She’s found love and the sense of family she lost.

Her peaceful future doesn’t last long, though. Blythe can tell a storm is brewing in her best friend and Chris’ brother, Sabin. As Sabin begins to pull away from their close friendship, Blythe worries his past may be catching up with him. Blythe wants nothing more than to help Sabin, but will helping him ruin the peacefulness she’s finally found?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jessica Park is a book writing genius. Her writing is so emotional and, at times, devastating. She knows how to pull me in and get me all worried about her characters. Then, in the most unique and intriguing way, she makes everything all better. Well, as better as it can ever get for her damaged characters.

When I originally read Left Drowning, I was overwhelmed. I don’t think I had read any other book at the time that left me feeling such, well feelings. There were so many of them: sad, devastated, happy, hopeful. Left Drowning was such an emotional rollercoaster and I absolutely loved it. It’s a book I’ve recommended to most of my friends time and time again.

When I opened my Twitter account on August 27th and saw Tweets about Jessica Park pulling a Beyonce and releasing a sequel to Left Drowning, I immediately went to Amazon and downloaded it. Nothing could have stopped me from reading Restless Waters. I needed to know how some of my favorite characters were doing.

Blythe and the Shepherds seemed okay at first, but then Sabin really started to worry me. He was far from okay. What he was going through scared me. I worried the happiness everyone had finally found was going to blow up in my face. I’m not going to tell you what happens and ruin it, but it was very emotional and sometimes stressful. Don’t worry, there was some happiness, too.

I truly loved Restless Waters. Once again, Jessica Park has written a book that tears me apart and then puts me back together in the best way possible. For that reason, Jessica Park will always be one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read Left Drowning and Restless Waters (or any of her books, really) you’re missing out.

Other books in this series:

Tales of a Book Bag: Kauai, Hawaii

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Tunnels Beach, Kauai

The final trip my book bag took this summer was to Kauai. It was the first time in almost 10 years that my family took a “big” vacation. We went with two other families. It was hot, humid, beautiful and a ton of fun. I managed to get a little reading done on my trip between the beach and the pool. 😉

Sunrise in Kapa'a

Sunrise in Kapa’a

We were able to visit several different beaches: Tunnels Beach, Rock Quarry Beach, Hideaway Beach, Poipu Beach Park, Lydgate Beach Park, Lumahai Beach and Hanalei Bay. Each was beautiful in its own way. My favorite beach was Rock Quarry Beach. It had a river that meets up with the ocean. The area where they combined made a nice little pool to hang out in. It was also very beautiful.

Hideaway Beach, Princeville

Hideaway Beach, Princeville

Hideaway Beach in Princeville was also a favorite, but the hike down to it was pretty sketchy. Actually, the hike up was worse than down.  It’s very steep with a system of handrails and ropes to guide you up and down. There were also a ton of mosquitoes hiding in the shade. But it was easy to snorkel and find fish there.

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Lumahai Beach

At Lumahai Beach, you can jump off tall rocks into a pool of water The ocean waves sweep you back to shore. Both my husband and daughter tried this. I was too chicken.There is also a small pool of water on the rocks to wade in. It’s the perfect size for small kids.

We didn’t actually visit the Kilauea Lighthouse, but we did stop to take some pretty pictures of it on our way back from Hideaway Beach.

Kilauea Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse

One of my favorite days in Kauai was spent with just my little family. We drove south from where we staying in Kapa’a and stopped to visit a couple of waterfalls and have lunch in Poipu. It was fun to hear my daughter’s exclamations over the beauty she saw.

It was a very fun vacation. I know my book bag enjoyed it. 😉 I hope you enjoy the pictures from Kauai. I’m hoping to have more Tales of a Book Bag posts this winter when the weather changes and there are new sites to see!

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

Check out all of the other places my book bag has been this summer:

Banks Lake, WA

Rimrock Lake, WA

Lake Tapps, WA

The CRAP (To Read) List #2

Back at the beginning of August, I posted this picture of my to-read list on the new CRAP notepad I had picked up on a trip to Portland.

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I can honestly say that I completed this list, with the exception of Boys Like You because I had to return it to the library before I could read it. (I’m hoping I can pick it back up sometime soon, but for now it goes back on my TBR sometime list.) I also added four more books to this list before I was done with it.

I have to admit, having the CRAP (To-Read) list forced me to stick to a plan. I did deviate at times to buddy read with my favorite group on Goodreads, but I mostly stuck to the list. It worked so well for me that I’ve created a second list.

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You’ll notice this time my CRAP (To-Read) list is much longer. A couple of the books are library books, some are from NetGalley, some from author review requests and others are simply books I downloaded on my Kindle.

Right now, I’m reading book #1. It’s Restless Waters by Jessica Park. It’s the sequel to Left Drowning. Jessica Park surprised the reading world Thursday when she released it without any prior promotion. Very cool!

So, what’s on your CRAP (To-Read) list right now? Is it a long list or do you have it under control?

Sweet

Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara Webber

Publication Date: April 27, 2015

Synopsis: 

Sweet is a spinoff of Easy and Breakable from the Contours of the Heart series. It is a standalone novel. While there are a couple of mentions of characters from the first two novels, you won’t feel like you’ve missed anything if you haven’t read them.

Bad boy Boyce Wynn is everything Pearl Torres Frank shouldn’t want. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and doesn’t care what the world thinks of him. But Pearl wants him. She always has. Pearl knows there’s more to Boyce than the tough guy everyone sees.

Now, Pearl’s home from college for summer. Before she heads off to medical school in the fall, she’s determined to have Boyce. It doesn’t matter what it may cost her.

Boyce has been fighting his obsession with Pearl forever. He’s been waiting in the wings for her to be single. Now, she’s home for the summer and it’s his chance to make his move. Can he prove to her he’s worth taking a chance on a former bad boy?

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pearl and Boyce’s love story definitely was sweet! I loved how they had been in love with each other for years, but hadn’t really acted on it. Their shared history was a cool aspect to the story. I especially liked how Boyce pushed Pearl to make her own decisions and protected her. He won me over in Breakable, but I adored him even more in Sweet.

There were just a couple of things that held me back from giving Sweet 5 stars. One, all of the flashbacks. While I liked learning their shared history through the flashbacks, there were just too many of them. They overtook the current story at times. Two, I wasn’t 100% sold on the way the story wrapped up. I don’t want to ruin it, but it just seemed a little out there to me. It didn’t ruin the story or anything and I really liked the book. I just would have rather seen something different happen.

Other books in this series: