Friday, February 28, 2014

ARC Envy #17 - Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or whatever of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 

Title: Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4)
Author: Katie McGarry (website)(Twitter)
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN (website)(Twitter)
Expected Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Judging a book by its cover:  Honestly not loving the cover but the inside is what I want anyway so whatever.

Know anything about the author?  Yes, she is the queen of swoon. This is her second appearance in ARC Envy.

Why do I want it?  Have read the others in the series (Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, and Crash Into You - not reviewed). Squeal!

Summary from Goodreads:

Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

What ARC are you envying this week?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - REWIND: 10 Tips for New Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event from The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is REWIND, picking a topic we loved from before or one we might have missed.

I've chosen my top ten tips for new bloggers. Nothing earth shattering but things that I think we all need to be reminded of from time to time...

1. Find your own voice - Whether writing more formally or writing with a ton of slang, find your own voice. Write how you want and make it sound like you. There is no one else just like the unique voice that you are without trying to be someone else...even if they are super cool!

2. Don't worry about posting every single day - life is busy and sometimes we think that we have to post every day or our "numbers" will go down. Blogging should be fun and if you are forcing your self to post just to post, your writing won't be as good so your readers won't enjoy it as much AND you'll end up not liking your blog. Post when you have something to say. Don't worry if you don't. Which goes with...

3. Don't worry about your "numbers" - it's fun to get ARCs, comments, followers and page views but sometimes worrying about it too much takes all the fun out of blogging. Blog for yourself and you'll always be happy!

4. Try something new - whether it is a new weekly/monthly feature, a new genre, a new page theme...don't get stuck in a rut. Do something new to shake things up a bit.

5. Know why you blog - this goes a bit with #3 that if you always blog for yourself you'll always be happy. Trying to impress other people won't always work but writing a blog because you enjoy writing a blog always will.

6. Get out there and meet people - one of the best ways to become involved in the blogging community is to get out there and meet people. Through Twitter or Facebook or events like Top Ten Tuesday, you'll meet people who will become friends and that's the best thing about blogging!

7. Don't forget to comment - comments make the blogging world go round so don't forget to comment on your favorite blogs when you have a chance. Everyone loves to get feedback and to know that someone is reading (and enjoying) what they have taken the time to write.

8. Remember there is no right way - it doesn't matter how you format your blog - whether you post only reviews or a mix of reviews and other stuff. What matters is that you're doing it your way. 

9. Have fun - this is worth its own number...have fun. What's the point of blogging if it is a chore?

10. Keep learning - if you keep learning you'll always keep growing as a blogger and your blog will continue to get better - better to read, better to write, better to have. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Right Now

Right now I am excited about a project I'm working on with My Favorite.

Right now I am still walking on air from a weekend mostly spent with My Favorite.

Right now I am wondering how we are going to get through this crazy busy week. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Right now I am reading Parasite by Mira Grant. It was due to the library last week but I kept it anyway. I will pay the dang fine...I NEED to finish it.

Right now I am listening to One Direction's newest CD. Who knew that I could be a fan.

Right now I am working on changing over my blog to my new blog name. Taking way longer than I thought.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Right Now

Right now...

I am reading Parasite by Mira Grant. She is a favorite for sure.

I am listening to this on repeat thanks to Cole's school. They had a dance party to get the kids in a good mood and ready for learning and played this. How awesome sauce is that? His school rocks. Now if one of us is grumpy this song comes on and everyone is laughing within 10 seconds.

I am a part of an awesome mastermind for business owners. Trying to move into a different direction and this group knows their stuff. The future looks bright and I'm so excited.

I am working out to Jillian Michaels' Kickboxing. Intense, fast and fun. The best workout that I've ever done. Transforming every area of my life...including me.

I am obsessed with Booktube videos. I've found some great booktubers and could watch videos about books for hours. :-)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is top ten reasons I love being a blogger/reader.

This week's theme is awesome. I did 5 for each.

Reasons I love being a blogger:

1. The great people I've met - I have some friends that I've met through blogging and it is wonderful!
2.  Interacting through comments on my blog. Talking books is my favorite part of being a blogger.
3.  Getting great ideas for books. The variety of book blogs makes it so easy to have a (towering) TBR pile. Being a book blogger makes me in the know about all the new books because of those great book blogs.
4.  Being able to review books. Just the very idea that I can read something and then talk about it is so great. I love being able to talk books with people who "get" me.
5.  Sharing books. I adore getting books in the mail and I love sending them too. Being a book blogger has made it where I can do this regularly.

Reasons I love being a reader:

1.  Book boyfriends. This one is pretty self explanatory, yes?
2.  Escaping from every day life...even if it is into a place that I wouldn't really want to live (the Hunger Games, anyone?)
3.  Revisiting old favorites and realizing, once again, how wonderful they are.
4.  Passing on my own love of reading to my boys. Seeing them enjoy books makes me even more glad that I'm a reader.
5.  Tons of choices for things to do since I can read my way to anyplace...Italy in 1920? New Orleans in the future? A charming boarding school for wizards? I can go anyplace at anytime without leaving my couch. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Adding to the Stacks #16

Two review books that I'm super excited about. Dark Eden by Chris Beckett and The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. Love the alien planet aspect of Dark Eden and The Divorce Papers is not my usual kind of book and I'm trying to branch out. There is nothing funny about divorce so I'm highly interested to see how she makes it "hilarious" like the blurb says.

From Goodreads:

On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. 

The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return. 

But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.

Already remarkably acclaimed in the UK, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature; part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty--rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.

From Goodreads:

Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client. After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. She is locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane—and she also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. As she so disarmingly puts it: It’s her first divorce, too.

Debut novelist Susan Rieger doesn’t leave a word out of place in this hilarious and expertly crafted debut that shines with the power and pleasure of storytelling. Told through personal correspondence, office memos, emails, articles, and legal papers, this playful reinvention of the epistolary form races along with humor and heartache, exploring the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails. For Sophie, the whole affair sparks a hard look at her own relationships—not only with her parents, but with colleagues, friends, lovers, and most importantly, herself. Much like Where’d You Go, BernadetteThe Divorce Papers will have you laughing aloud and thanking the literature gods for this incredible, fresh new voice in fiction.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is books that will make you swoon. I'm not a big romance reader but I do love swoon. Do you see a pattern here people? Three books from the Master of Swoon herself, Katie McGarry. And I couldn't make it to 10. I guess I need more swoon in my life, huh?

 Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry - everyone was talking about this one and several people recommended it to me despite my loathing dislike of most romance books. The main character's name is Echo was I thought would bug the everliving heck out of me but no...Katie McGarry fangirl for life. Oh the swoon.

Dare You To (Pushing the Limiis #2) by Katie McGarry - this is actually my favorite of the books so far because I loved Beth's story so much. More swoon.

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry - she made me a fan of Isiah which I hadn't quite been in the other books. 

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - my heart goes all a flutter even thinking of this one. The characters are so adorable and she's so sarcastic. Win. And I totally want the shoes and dress on the cover. 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - one word...Etienne.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo - my future husband, The Darkling, is contained within. Don't think of touching him though...he's mine. Swoon.

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo - The Darkling AND Sturmhond. What more could a girl ask for?

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi - chapter 62. Enough said.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks - Noah, ya'll. Noah. Good golly.

If you played along this week, link me up to your list so that I can add more swoon to my life.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blog Tour for Ripper by Isabel Allende

Title: Ripper
Author: Isabel Allende (website)
Pages: 496
Source: TLC Book Tours for review 
Rating: 3/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Isabel Allende-the New York Times bestselling author whose books, including Maya's Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, and Zorro, have sold more than 57 million copies around the world-demonstrates her remarkable literary versatility with this atmospheric, fast-paced mystery involving a brilliant teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco

The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Yet, while their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda's father, she's reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her-Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco's elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.

While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature, like her father, the SFPD's Deputy Chief of Homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.

When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, discovering, before the police do, that the deaths may be connected. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother's disappearance be linked to the serial killer? Now, with her mother's life on the line, the young detective must solve the most complex mystery she's ever faced before it's too late

The summary on this one sounds like it would be something I'd totally love. Unfortunately it didn't live up to the hype I had in my head. I am a huge fan of stories with serial killers but the mystery got lost in the writing.  am guessing that this would be a literary mystery because it was written with fancier language than I usually read in mysteries. The writing was lovely but there were huge chunks of text that told things not related to what came before it. Something like...she was walking through the woods. And then 3 paragraphs about how the woods were discovered and what they were originally called and on and on. That aspect kept me from settling into the mystery aspect of it.

The online game Ripper is interesting and I enjoyed how Allende wove that into her story. Amanda comes into her own by playing the game and then by trying to solve the real life serial killing. I loved, loved, loved her relationship with her grandfather. So nice to read about a wonderful relationship like that.

Another aspect I really enjoyed was how the Ripper players were so varied and from around the world but they were still good friends. Never meeting in real life doesn't mean much in today's society. With social media, we converse more on our digital devices than in real person. The game really brought that home.

The pacing was slower than I prefer for a mystery - I like lots of action but was satisfied with it overall because of the beautiful writing.

You can find the rest of the tour here.

About Isabel Allende:

Isabel Allende is the bestselling author of twelve works of fiction, four memoirs, and three young adult novels, which have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages, with more than 57 million copies sold. In 2004, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2012. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California. Find out more about Allende, her books, and her foundation at, and connect with her on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's #2) by Ransom Riggs (Thoughts On)

TitleHollow City (Miss Peregrine's #2)
Author: Ransom Riggs (website)(Twitter)
Pages: 352
Publisher: Quirk (website)(Twitter)
Source: copy from publisher for review
Rating: 4.5/5

Summary from Goodreads:

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.

Earlier in the week I reviewed the first of the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and although my thoughts on it were quite scattered, I hope that I got the point across that it was wonderful. There are few times when I immediately pick up the next book in a series but I couldn't wait to start this one.

As much as I enjoyed the first book, I was quite pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the second one even more.  The action starts up - quite literally - with the last scene of book 1 and never lets up until the end. "Edge of your seat" comes to mind when describing it. There is such a sense of danger and foreboding that the pace never slows. 

Jacob and the other peculiar children and trying to save Miss Peregrine. They travel to London to find any loop that might still be open. But they are in war time London which presents even more danger for these "children". A new cast of characters is introduced and the gypsies are fun.

I love that the peculiar children are even more fleshed out in this one. They are easy to keep straight even though there are several of them. Their personalities are so varied and their voices are so distinct. The race against the clock brings out their personalities even more. What your heart is, is shown when the going gets tough. They had to stick together even more this time around and it was enjoyable to see them grow together.

The romance aspect was a bit more pronounced in Hollow City and even though I still don't necessarily agree with it, it was not badly done. The relationship changes over time so I am curious to see where it ends.

As much as I loved Miss Peregrine's, I do think that Hollow City is even more well written. Once really see what is being described in the story. I've been so impressed with these books and can't wait to read the next one.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Adding to the Stacks #15

Just 2 new ones this week and both of them are middle grade.

Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams - first in a series that I "bought" with points. The boys need to be reading harder books and this one looked fun. 

Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith - provided a copy by Quirk Books for review. This is the second in a series.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Once again I'm going off the bookish rails to post a non bookish post. But I am so annoyed that I don't care. I want to post this as many places as possible because customer service should mean something no matter how freaking big the company is. I've posted on my Twitter. I've contacted the company AGAIN. I've posted on my Facebook and now on here. Annoyed much? Oh yeah.

Will never step foot in the North Monroe Street Pizza Hut after once again being told that we can't use the Book It certificate for anything other than pizza. Cole has used his certificate for bread sticks the past 2 months (after throwing away past certificates since he won't eat the pizza). Manager Jeanetta told me that that store doesn't accept them EVEN THOUGH I'VE USED THEM THAT WAY FOR TWO FREAKING MONTHS WITH NO TROUBLE. I explained that I had complained about our treatment several months ago and was contacted by the general manager who said that store DOES accept them for items the same or less in price. She pretty much just dismissed us after saying that I couldn't have used them that way at that store. Really? Because he did it twice and bought other bread sticks each time too. NEVER will I go to that store again. Don't take the stupid coupon but don't dismiss us. Once again I left with a little boy in tears who couldn't use his certificate. In future months when he earns his certificate we will go to Hungry Howie's Pizza or Papa John's Pizza for bread sticks instead...I'd rather pay for them elsewhere than be treated like I'm an idiot that is lying.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Scattered Thoughts On)

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's #1)
Author: Ransom Riggs (website)(Twitter)
Pages: 352
Publisher: Quirk (website)(Twitter)
Source: library
Rating: 4/5

Summary from Goodreads:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

I have to say that Quirk is one of, if not the, favorite publishers I've read. I've not read a single thing they've published that I haven't adored. Miss Peregrine's is a magical, delightful, quirky (see what I did there?!) book that had me from the get go. I read it in an afternoon. I'm quite a slow reader but I whipped through these pages because the story was so good.

The writing style is wonderful. The descriptions are awesome. The characters are so well rounded. In a word, I loved it. That Riggs wrote this around the pictures in the book is simply brilliant. The pictures add quite a bit to the story line and I actually wished there had been more.

Usually I have a clear favorite character but all of these were so fantastical and so varied that I couldn't pick just one. I wanted to go to Miss Peregrine's myself. The story was so unique that I find it hard to even write an adequate review. 

The tragedy that started Jacob on his journey to Wales and Miss Peregrine's wasn't sugar coated. It was awful and sad. What I liked most about the book though, was the sense that Jacob was evolving so definitely. He was maturing and doing what he needed to do even when it was difficult. He questioned himself but he moved forward.

I know that some bloggers had a hard time with the romance that he becomes involved in. Although I'm not 100% for it, I can appreciate why it happens. 

I've already read the second in the series and can't wait for the next. Ya'll need to get this book asap. If you've read it, tell me...did you love it as much as I did? Meh? Hated it?