Friday, February 5, 2016

A Gentleman's Game by Theresa Romain

The Basics:
A Gentleman's Game by Theresa Romain
Book One in the Romance of the Turf series
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Historical Romance
Published February 2, 2016
Source: Received Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

I reviewed Theresa Romain twice in 2014, here and here, and I loved her books both times. When I saw this one by her, it was a no-brainer to pick up!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet

The Basics:
The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet
Entangled: digiTeen
Published February 1, 2016
Source: Received Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

Come on, look at that cover! And the blurb made me want to know what Clover's story is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mid-Week Musing, 3

On the topic of author interviews:

When I first started blogging, my goal was just to create an archive of reviews for my own entertainment and edification. 

I had no interest in interacting with authors or marketing folks--I found the idea intimidating, to be honest. And then, I wasn't sure what value I could bring to them as my blog's not a blockbuster as far as page hits.

Gradually, my attitude's started to change. Sure, my blog is still quite small. But it's still viewed by a fair number of people. And I can be another link in the chain, connecting readers with good books.

So I took the plunge, and signed up to interview an author.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Blog Tour: Reckless by Kimberly Kincaid

My second blog tour book of the day is the delightful Reckless by Kimberly Kincaid.  This contemporary romance was also released by Zebra on January 26th. It's the first book in Kincaid's Rescue Squad series. I've read a few good firemen romances in the last couple years, and so I was quite curious about this one when the opportunity to review came up. Stick around to find out just how good it was...

Check out the other stops on the tour at Tasty Book Tours.

Blog Tour: Into The Fury by Kat Martin

Today, I'm happy to be touring Into The Fury by Kat Martin. This romantic suspense was released by Zebra on January 26th. It's the first book in Martin's BOSS, Inc. series, which connects with Martin's earlier romantic suspense series. You'll find a few familiar faces looming around the edges of this book!

Check out the other stops on the tour at Tasty Book Tours.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Entangled Promo - Turning 5!

Entangled Publishing is turning 5 and they are so excited that they'er offering all the books on their latest bestselling imprint, Lovestruck, at a celebratory price of just $.99 each

I'm a big fan of Entangled, I've reviewed quite a few titles for them over the last couple years, and you can bet that I'll be picking up a few more at the sale price!

AND that's not all. Over the next three weeks Entangled Publishing will be giving away 5 Lovestruck prize packs including 5 different Sephora Minimergency kits, an Amazon gift card and other surprise gift cards. So be sure to stop by each of the amazing blogger hosts below and visit the Lovestruck Facebook page to find out about the fun events and giveaways they're hosting in the coming weeks. You will also get sneak peeks inside different releases so you can pick out your must reads.

Haven't read a Lovestruck yet? Take a peek inside...

Blame It on the Kiss by Robin Bielman Excerpt

 “I think game time’s over,” Honor said.

“I think the only game that comes to my mind that’s played in a closet with a beautiful girl has got to do with kissing. Seven Minutes in Heaven or something like that. And since we are in the wedding party, it’s our duty to follow through, right?”

He thought she was beautiful?

Tingles swept over her lips and down the backs of her arms.

“Am I right?”

She cleared her throat and told her body to ignore any more tingles, quivers, flutters, shivers, trembles, prickles, or shudders he might instigate. Bryce belonged to her best friend, even if she wasn’t here to claim him. “Yes, it’s a kissing game. But the rules say one minute.”

“So you planned to kiss the guy that found you in here?”

“On the mouth?” he asked, surprised.

“Yes. But no tongue.”

The small space between them dissolved as he canted his head down to talk in her ear. “I think it’s our obligation to play, Honor. It’s just a game, so can I kiss you?”

YES! Her traitorous body shouted as his husky voice made her toes curl. Then, like he had some magic mojo, she put her arms around his neck. Her hands should not have been anywhere but at her sides, dammit. She reasoned the dark had something to do with it. 

Because she couldn’t really see him, she could pretend he was Theo James and this was her sixty seconds of pretend boyfriend kissing.

“We shouldn’t.”

Maybe it was his agreement. Maybe it was her earlier desire to break her dry spell, to not leave the closet until she’d gotten a kiss. Whatever it was, she found herself pushing aside her guilt and wanting to finish the game she’d agreed to play.

“Okay,” she said.

God, did he have to be so careful with her? She touched her nose to his. “Yes.”

“Plan on one minute in heaven, Honor.”

About the book:

The one guy she shouldn’t want...

Honor Mitchell has lived with guilt and regret for a long time, so when she promises to do the things on her dying best friend’s wish list, she’s determined to follow through and do something right for a change. But when she’s thrown together for wedding duties with the one man who complicates her vow—just by looking at him—she has to put her faith in Bryce Bishop’s pledge to help her, no strings attached.

Bryce’s near one-­night stand with his ex-­girlfriend’s best friend a few months ago might have been a mistake, but helping the beautiful, free­spirited Honor with her promise isn’t. His trust in women is shot, but he can’t help but play his best man card to his advantage and help Honor tick off the items on his ex’s list, even if it puts him in a no­-win situation. Because his assistance might get Honor what she wants, but suddenly being the do-­good guy puts his plans—and heart—in serious jeopardy.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review of Challenges: January

End of January, time for a review of my challenge progress!

I'm committed to 150 books this year. My profile is here.

I've read 19 so far, which is above and beyond my monthly goal of 13.

This one is about reviewing books released in 2016. I'm going to be aiming for New Release Enthusiast (45+).

Almost all of the books reviewed on the blog this month were New Releases.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Because of You by RaShelle Workman
The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan
Fixer-Upper by Ines Saint
Extreme Honor by Piper J. Drake
The Knave of Hearts by Elizabeth Boyle
Torn by Alexa Kim

** I have four additional titles with fully written reviews pre-posted for next month

3. Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2016

My goal for this one is Mt Ararat, which is 48 books from my TBR pile (i.e. books purchased/received prior to 2016). 

North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans
Sweet Girl by Cristin Harber
Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy
Vendetta by Gail Z Martin
Nuts by Alice Clayton
Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones
The Book Thief by Markus Zusakand our new co-host Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!


So COYER runs from December 19th to March 4th. It's all about reading the freebies or nearly free books. 

I've read 18 books that qualify for COYER - mostly ebooks received for review, but a few that I've purchased on sale or gotten as freebies. I do need to get some clean-up done and post them to the link-up. To keep COYER in my mind for February, I've joined the Facebook group!

2016HWLogo5. 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge 

 I'm going for reading level 2 - 2 books per month. This challenge asks you to make a list of all the books you are committing to read, and then check them off on a monthly basis.

I read my two books for January, and I've selected by two books for February.

1. Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins - February
2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - January
4. I am Princess X by Cherie Priest
5. Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger
6. Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
7. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
8. The Collector by Victoria Scott
9. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
10. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch - February (This will be a challenge!)
11. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
12. Reap the Wind by Karen Chance
13. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
14. Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin
15. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
16. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
17. Reckless by Cornelia Funke
18. Shooting Scars by Karina Halle
19. Outcast by Cheryl Brooks
20. North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans - January
21. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
22. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
23. Three by Jay Posey
24. Indexing by Seanan McGuire

6. 2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge

This challenge is the biggie. This challenge is basically a to do list to accomplish over the year. The requirements are basically, choose at least two of Reading/Personal/Blogging and insert two-three sub-goals for each. But I'm going to go above and beyond! 

Reading Goals:

- get my Netgalley percentage up to 90% and keep it there (I'm at 84% currently)

Acquiring books for reviews through mid-March has screwed with my percentage. I'm down to 83%--the opposite direction I wanted to head in! I need to get in 35 reviews to hit 90%, which is a lot. But! I have a plan. There's 5 books that I've read but not posted reviews for; these were books I read quickly when I was sick, but didn't take time to review. I'll need to skim again to refresh my memory, but I think I can knock these out this month. Then there's another 8 that I already plan to review this month, so we're up to 13 total. That leaves 22. I have 5 that are for early March that I hope to review and have scheduled before the end of February, so that's down to 17. I won't be at 90%, but I'll be closer--granted, I'll probably pick up a handful of books to review for the end of March, but if I keep that number reasonable, I should still be farther ahead in this by the end of the month!

- read 1 book from Goodreads' Choice awards per month (doesn't have to be a winner)

I read The Book Thief, a book that came up in discussion during the Goodreads Choice awards the year it came out. I'm calling this done for February.

- create a prioritized TBR list 
BookishResolution Challenge 2016I had a list for January, and I've got a list for February that needs a tiny bit of tweaking.

Personal Goals:

- lose 35 lbs   
 I'm down almost 8 right now
- deep clean/declutter/organize all rooms of my house 
  I'm done the major decluttering/organizing tasks in the kitchen
- write 500 words, 5 days a week, 48 weeks of the year. - This is going to be very hard to do this year - I wrote great the first week and not so great the last three.
- keep an up-to-date wall calendar so my husband has a reference point for family activities.  Calendar is up, I've kept it updated
- duolingo 5 days a week, 48 weeks of the year (rotate languages if need be). 
 I was good on this for the first three weeks, not so much for the last one.

Blogging Goals:

- post 2 blog posts per week, minimum  
  Absolutely on top of this so far.
- by the end of February, have created a buffer of 3 weeks on reviews   
  I have a buffer of a week right now, need to pump this up!
- maintain my goodreads/amazon/50 reads accounts with reviews and read books as I read through 2016  
  I've stayed on top of everything that's gone live on the blog so far.

I haven't tackled any of the following:
- catch up on all outstanding goodreads/amazon reviews from 2015 
- set dates for two themed weeks this year 
- tidy up tags. 
- make indices by rating, author, genre, year reviewed for past reviews, and create a spreadsheet to track, including publisher information