Saturday, September 01, 2018

Goodreads Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge Wrap-Up [NEED TO COMPLETE]

Image result for summer reading

This summer I tackled the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge, which you can find by clicking this link here: Summer Reading Challenge. There were two different challenges depending on if you want to do the Beginner Level or the Expert Level - I personally did the Beginner Level, because I had a lot happening this summer, and didn't have as much time to read for the Expert Level Challenge. So my summer started back in May, so personally, I started this challenge this Monday, May 21st, and I am ending on Friday, August 31st.

I did something a little different with this challenge, because there were so many categories to read and because of the time restrictions that I will had over the summer, I did this challenge as a combined challenge for my YA and Adult books. This will also be posted over on my Adult blog.

So here are the requirements and books I completed for the challenge:

Summer-Related Tasks:
Into the Great Wide Open: Read a book that takes place out in the great wide open
Get Your Grill On: Read a book that features summer recipes or outdoor summer activities
Colors of Summer: Read a book that features a yellow, green, or sandy cover
Beach Bum: Read a book that could be considered a "beach read"
Sand Between My Toes: Read a book that takes place in or around a beach/ocean
Ocean Blue: Read a book that takes place on the water
Hook 'Em: Read a book that features fishing or fisherman
Sports-a-holic: Read a book that features a popular summer sport
Campfire Story: Read a book that scares the crap out of you
One and Done: Read a book that you can finish in one day

Tasks to Stretch Your Comfort Zone
Let's Get it On: Read a book that features falling in or out of love
Take Pride: Read a book written by an LGBTQIA author or that features an LGBTQIA character
Read the World: Read a book that takes place in a country - or about a culture - other than your own
Diversify Yourself: Read a book by an author of color
You Have a Lovely Accent: Read a book that was translated from another language
Won't Be Long: Read a collection of short stories or essays
Poet at Heart: Read a book of poetry
My, What Big Teeth You Have: Read a book that puts a spin on a well-known fairytale
High Noon: Read a classic or contemporary western
TBRing: Read a book from the bottom of your TBR pile
Unshelve It: Read a book that's been sitting on your Goodreads Shelves for a while
Childhood Reboot: Read a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel
Listen to Me: Listen to an audiobook


Sunday, July 01, 2018

June Wrap-Up and July TBR

In the month of June, I read a total of 6 books.

The first book that I finished this month was a nonfiction audiobook about the Titanic, called Iceberg Right Ahead! The Tragedy of the Titanic. This was a really short book about the sinking of the Titanic, and the before and after regarding the ship. It was informational and I enjoyed listening to it.

Following that, I finished one of the two books that I definitely wanted to complete during this month, Anatomist's Wife. I loved this book, and am looking forward to finishing the series as soon as possible.

The next nonfiction audiobook that I listened to was Terrible Typhoid Mary. I gave this book 2 stars, and it wasn't necessarily because it was a horrible book - although it was slightly boring the way it is told, and because I found some of the information to be unnecessary. My problem was that I felt there was a lot of bias from Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and how she makes a lot of assumptions throughout the book. I might also be somewhat biased in my opinion of the book because I have a degree in Biology. Which leads to the other reason I didn't really like this novel, it didn't really add any new information in regards to what I already had learned about Mary Mallon in my classes, which was a little disappointing.

I also listened to my first audiobook by Erica Spindler, Justice for Sara, which was a fantastic introduction to this author. I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook. And my first book by Elizabeth Hoyt, For the Love of Pete, which was another audiobook that I was able to get done.

The next book that I read in the month of June (which technically I didn't read all of the book because it's a choose-your-own romance, and I only read the romance plots that intrigued me) was My Lady's Choosing. I wasn't a fan and was rather disappointed because this was one of my highly anticipated releases for this year.cnav


For the month of July, I have some of the same books on my TBR because I did not get to read many of the physical books on June's TBR and instead listened to a lot of audiobooks.

Two of the books that are a top priority for me to finish this month are Sweet Revenge and Mortal Arts. Both of these books are books that I have already started, and hope to complete fairly soon. That being said, I am also going to try to complete as many of Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby Mystery books that I can (because I am hoarding the series from my library in both physical and ebook copy). Another priority is the audiobook that I am currently listening to, and that is Hating Game.


Three other books that I would love to get to during this month are Anatomy of Death (also known as Dissection of Murder), Anatomist's Apprentice, and Silent in the Grave. These books were also on my TBR for last month and still remain. Along with these three, I have also added one more book to the list that I would love to get to and that is Mesmerized.


The next books on my TBR are an "if I get the chance" read, but I'm not aiming to complete them, and that is two more books by Elizabeth Hoyt writing under Julia Harper, and they are Hot and Once and Always. And one book by Sarah McCoy that I received an ARC of, which is Marilla of Green Gables.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Review: My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

36054958My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

The romance novel that lets you pick your path, follow your heart, and find happily ever after
You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-loving highlander Captain Angus McTaggart? Or perhaps race through the chapters chasing a good (and arousing) man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, Lord Garraway Craven? Or read on recklessly and take to the Continent as the “traveling companion” of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline? Or yet some other intriguing fate? Make choices, turn pages, and discover all the daring delights of the multiple (and intertwining!) storylines. And in every path you pick, beguiling illustrations bring all the lust and love to life.

Pages: 352
Format: E-Book
Published By: Quirk Books
Genre: Adult - Historical, Romance


This is the second interactive book that I have read this year (well the first was more of an attempt), and I am reviewing this one because I read a lot more of this book than I did of my first attempt, and after reading these books, I just feel like Interactive Books aren't my thing. In My Lady's Choosing, you can pick a few different routes - you can stay in London, you can go to Scotland, or you can travel to Egypt. If I am correct in my thinking two of the paths allow you to stay in London, but one just didn't intrigue me at all.

Out of all plotlines or paths, I read three of the four (if I am correct in that line of thinking). I liked staying in London and going to Scotland. I wasn't that impressed with the Egypt storylines. So even liking the two, I had major issues with this book.

First, as I said I liked the storyline but I didn't love them - I honestly didn't like "Me", and I was indifferent with the romantic choices. Secondly, the writing was silly at times, and made it hard for me to enjoy the book. I just wanted to shut the book so I didn't have to read the cringe-worthy writing. And third, I just didn't really like any of the plotlines that much, and it's because these are fairly short stories, but I just couldn't really get into them.

Overall, I wasn't impressed which is upsetting because this was one of the top books that I wanted to read this year, and I did, and it was a huge letdown from my expectations.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Review: Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber

13542496Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister's estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage--a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn't about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage's search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim...

Pages: 357
Format: Paperback
Published By: Berkley
Genre: Adult - Mystery, Historical, Romance
Series: Lady Darby Mystery


Anatomist's Wife was a surprisingly wonderful and thrilling novel. I was not expecting, for whatever reason, to love it as much as I did. I was drawn into this novel from the very first page, and could not put it down until I had finished the book. Anatomist's Wife is about Kiera Darby, who was the wife of a late Anatomist, and because of her association with him, her reputation and life are in ruins; so she goes to live with her sister in Scotland. While there, her sister and brother-in-law throw and party and one of the guests winds up murdered, which results in her aiding Sebastian Gage in trying to find out who murdered the guest and why.

This novel was perfectly paced, there are slower moments and then there are faster moments, but this book keeps you on the edge of her seat waiting to find out what happens next. The characters were all amazing from Kiera and Gage to Alanna and Phillip, and then there are some characters who you absolutely hate, but I feel that it was very historically accurate in their behavior. And the murderer, I am pleased to say that I didn't figure it out until right before the book divulged that information.

Kiera is a strong heroine, especially considering what she has been through. She doesn't let what others would think completely hold her back from trying to help Gage. Initially, Gage is very dislikable and frustrating, but as the story progressed, it's hard to slowly not like him. There was a hint of romantic tension between the two of them, but that didn't progress into anything in the first book, and I loved that their relationship is going slow - it's not normal in historical novels
(at least in regards to what I have read). I also absolutely loved Alanna and Phillip, and their relationship with each other - it's so cute.

I was very satisfied with this book, and I wished that it hadn't ended so soon, but the great thing is that it's a series, so the story of Kiera and Gage is not yet finished. I would highly recommend this novel if you are interested in a historical mystery with a touch of romance, because this is the perfect blend. I look forward to reading and finishing, Mortal Arts.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Tour + Review and Giveaway: Chosen by Paulina Ulrich

Paulina Ulrich
(Fighting Fate #1)
Publication date: October 31st 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Nothing can stand in the way of outspoken, rule-breaker-extraordinaire; Kaddy Richston…except destiny. She set her sights on being in a rock band and leaving her small Wyoming town along with the painful memories of her past.
But destiny had other plans for her.
The observant Cole Huntington enters her life and becomes the bump in the road Kaddy is trying to pave for her future. Striking blue eyes, features to make any girl swoon, he’s everything but the new-to-town bad boy. Calm, cool, and always collected, he plans on unraveling every one of Kaddy’s dark secrets.
Kaddy is determined to undermine whatever intentions he has until she learns of a destiny she never asked for. The only person she can turn to for answers is the last person she’d want help from: Cole Huntington, who seemed to dislike her rule-breaking as much as she dislikes his rule-following.

Author Bio:
After receiving her BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, she now writes full time with, of course, her cats to keep her company. She is the author of the Flightless Bird series, the award nominated Fighting Fate series and many more stories to come. She also writes nonfiction and has been published in various literary magazines. When she’s not writing, reading, or doing author-y stuff, she’s out buying way too many cute shoes… 


Monday, June 18, 2018

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: Not Her Gargoyle by Annie Nicholas

Not Her Gargoyle
Annie Nicholas
Publication date: June 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Ruby is done with jerks, dead-end jobs, and eviction notices. Everyone else she knows is finding ways out of this crappy neighborhood, so why can’t she? Since opportunities refuse to fall from the sky, Ruby makes her own. To hell with the little voice in her heart whispering about love. She never met a man she wanted to keep…then she met a gargoyle. Men were boring after all.
Nick was a con, a thief, and a rogue. He couldn’t keep a dime in his pocket even if it was glued. Then he met a ruby. Not one from the earth but one of flesh and blood. And ass. Let’s not forget the ass. Stealing her heart was now all he wanted.
He has a plan that could make both their dreams come true. It only involves an itsy-bitsy risk. All they must do is rob a witch.
Oh, and avoid the dragons.

Grab your copy for only 99¢ during release week only!

A distant dragon roar made Nick miss a wing beat. He swirled out of control for a second and caught his balance. One of them was close and he bet it was Eoin. Masquerading as a human would help Nick avoid recapture. He increased his speed, heading back to the apartment.
Landing on Ruby’s fire escape, he found the window cracked open for him. He smiled at the small gesture of kindness. She was one of the sweetest women. He recalled how fiercely she’d protected her sister from the vampire and himself when they had invaded the apartment. That felt like forever ago. She had been ready to fight them both. Brave and beautiful and kind.
Once more he wondered why she didn’t have a mate.
Nick climbed inside and found her on the couch, feet propped on the coffee table as she watched the evening news. Three empty bottles of beer sat next to the couch.
“Honey, I’m home,” he sang out. He’d always wanted to say that.
She gave him a huge grin and waved him over. “Come sit with me.”
The couch seemed too small for the two of them so he sat on the floor in front of her instead, leaning his back against it.
“Look.” She pointed to the television. “More gargoyles.”
His brothers were on the evening news, flying over the city’s port. “Yeah, I know them.” The dragon would hear about this if he wasn’t already watching. Nick hoped his brothers would lie quiet for a few days so Eoin wouldn’t blast them from the skies.
Ruby draped herself over his shoulders and handed him a beer, rubbing her face on his skin. “You’re very warm.” She snuggled closer between his wings, her arms lazily circling his neck from behind. “Can you shoot flames like the dragons?”
He snorted and took a sip of beer. “No. Are you drunk?” He eyed the bottles. There were only three. Then again, she was much smaller than a gargoyle. Maybe three was all it took.
“Nah, but I’m feeling good.” She sighed and seemed to melt against him. “I had an awful day.”
He reached behind and scratched her scalp with the tips of his claws like he would any family member in distress. He knew from experience that it felt good. He’d had a bad day too. Touching her made him feel better.
She moaned in his ear and it sent shivers down his spine. She bent over his shoulder more, giving him better access to her head. “That feels great.”
He undid the pins holding her hair and allowed it to cascade over his chest before continuing to massage her scalp. “What happened?” She felt so soft and tiny. Delicate like an angel. A brief whiff of her sweet smell and he struggled with the urge to bury his nose into her hair.
“What do you mean?” Her voice was muffled against his skin. Sleepy.
“Why was today so awful?”
“My boss sold the diner. I might be unemployed soon and my landlord is pressuring for rent.”
Nick finished his beer, absentmindedly scratching Ruby’s head. Stalking her boss until he changed his mind on selling the diner would probably end up with the police being called. Killing him was not Nick’s style. “Who’s the new owner?” He moved his hands to her shoulders and gently massaged the knots. Maybe they could be convinced to keep Ruby as an employee.
“The right side is worse than the left. Oh God, right there. Don’t stop.”
Those breathless pleas made him shudder. His wings reflexively expanded. She was setting off instinctual triggers. He breathed through the strong urge to carry her away somewhere dark and secluded. Teach her a thing or two about gargoyle anatomy. The desire to show her exactly how good he was at making women scream grew. The good kind of scream. Not the bad kind. Well, he could make them do that, too.
“I don’t know about the diner. I imagine I’ll meet them soon. My boss says that my job is secure—”
“That’s good news.” He ran long strands of red hair under his nose. Closing his eyes, he inhaled deeply. So, he didn’t have to beat anyone.
“It is, but it’s also a lie. I’ve been through this before. The shifters are trying to clean up this area. They are building shifter oriented neighborhoods close to here and investors are gobbling up every available building.”
“They are planning to make this neighborhood nicer?” That meant safer. Shifters were territorial and the majority responsible citizens. Any criminals in the area would be smart to move. He scratched his chin. Most shifters didn’t care for his kind.
“Nicer means more expensive. It means my landlord can increase the rent, which means I’m going to have to move just like everyone else.”
This wasn’t the Ruby he remembered. She seemed deflated draped over his body in defeat. “But you could find a better job at one of these new businesses.”
“That’s if I can find a job. The last place I worked was a biker bar. The new owners renovated the place, it became an after-work lounge for hipsters. Then I was fired because I didn’t fit their expectations as a bartender.”

Author Bio:
Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon's ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont.
Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press. 


Friday, June 15, 2018

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: When Time Stands Still by Sara Furlong Burr

When Time Stands Still
Sara Furlong Burr
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
It’s been nearly a decade since Elle Sloan last saw Luke Hutchins. Close to ten years since she broke up with him over a single phone call, providing him with little explanation. Since the end of their relationship, Elle has done everything she could do to move on, marrying, proceeding forward with her life, almost allowing herself to completely forget about Luke.
Out of nowhere, Elle receives a phone call from Luke’s mother. Luke has been in a horrific car accident and, a month later, has just awoken from a coma. However, instead of celebrating, his family is stunned to learn that Luke is suffering from amnesia and only remembers his life as it was before his breakup with Elle. Not wanting to tell Luke that he and Elle aren’t together anymore for fear it may compromise his recovery, Elle is asked by Luke’s family to come to the hospital to see him. Their hope is that she will slowly be able to jog his memory and cushion the blow.
Guilt-ridden over how their relationship ended, Elle readily agrees, finding herself transported back in time with Luke to the life they once shared and the future they could have had together.

I heard voices even before I stepped inside of the room. They were soft, but one by one, I was able to discern who was speaking. The first voice struck me like a freight train, catapulting me further back in time with each word he spoke. The second one made my heart skip a beat.
As I walked farther into the room, I saw another vision of my past sitting next to the hospital bed. His attention, at first, was entirely focused on the occupant in the bed, until movement from me diverted his attention to me. He locked eyes with me, surprise on his face quickly turning to an odd combination of contradiction. Anger, excitement, and suspicion all appeared to be waging war and were enough to give me whiplash just looking at him. Peter Monroe—or just Monroe, as he preferred to be called—had been Luke’s best friend since pretty much the dawn of each other’s existence. He’d aged. His boyish good looks had hardened into a man who would have been difficult to recognize to me, save for the same square chin, overly large nose, and mischievous eyes I had remembered so fondly.
Another step inside the room revealed a sight I had fought valiantly to keep from infiltrating my dreams for the last several years. Like Monroe, he didn’t notice my arrival at first, and I was grateful for that because the shock I was feeling at that moment would have undoubtedly transferred onto him. His head was turned, his eyes, from what I could see of them, were closed. Most of his features were facing Monroe, but from what little I could make out of them, he looked exactly how I remembered him. The rest of his body, however, was a different story.
His hair had begun to grow back after having obviously been recently shaved to prep him for surgery. On the side of his head that was visible to me, a bandage was secured to his scalp just above his ear and was wrapped around his head. Both of his legs had been broken and were secured with immobilizers, resembling large boots. He’d been through hell and back physically, and I feared he’d soon go through the same emotionally, all because of me.
Tears fell down my face before I even had the chance to realize they had formed. Not wanting Luke to see me upset, I dabbed my eyes with my sleeve and did my best to maintain my composure before he realized I was there. With a lump in my throat, I took a step closer to the bed, approaching it on the opposite side of Monroe. There another chair sat, which I was grateful for in the event my legs felt like they were going to give out on me. Monroe sat watching me expectantly, silently screaming at me to announce my presence and put an end to the torment Luke must have been going through since regaining consciousness.
Closing my eyes, I took a breath and spoke. “Luke.”

Author Bio:
Sara “Furlong” Burr was born and raised in Michigan and currently still lives there with her husband, two daughters, a high-strung Lab, and three judgmental cats. When she’s not writing, Sara enjoys reading, camping, spending time with her family, and attempting to paint while consuming more amaretto sours than she cares to admit.