Sunday Post (August 31)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ Last Week on G1000W ~

~ This Week on G1000W ~

  • Operation: Genocide by Yvonne Walus (blast + giveaway)
  • Oh, Baby (Diary of a Real Payne #3) by Annie Tipton (blast + giveaway)
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Sprung by Noel Kelbian (review + giveaway)
  • Thoughts on Thursdays
  • Feature Follow Friday
  • Smolder by Noel Kelbian (review + giveaway)

~ Other Open Giveaways on G1000W ~

~ New Arrivals to Land of 1000 Wonders ~

This week there were some really good books that came out! It was hard to stay away from them…and I didn’t…but I didn’t go overboard. I downloaded maaayyyyybe only 15 books this week (or less!). Here are a few that immediately grabbed my interest.

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~ Around Town in the Spotlight ~

There are so many read-a-thons and “clean your shelves” challenges going on. It’s fantastic! I gave my best shot to Beat the Heat, but only completed about half of my goal since school started.

Publishers Weekly released an article about the Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2014. Do you agree with their picks?

August Monthly Chit Chat

August News

August ushers in the beginning of the new school year, and with it goes my freedom. I returned to the classroom. I was proud that I only spent two days prior to our service and work days setting up my classroom, but I am so thankful I took those two days to do so. Our two half-day workdays? They were filled with meetings, still.

I am hoping my class sizes stay relative to what they are currently. Last year, I had 85 students in on-level classes and 53 Pre-AP students between two classes. I had over 130 students, and my counterpart had barely 105. It seems this year we flip flopped – and I will take it! Here’s to hoping! 😉

I finally got a letter from JB. It’s taking a week for incoming and outgoing mail out of Ft. Benning. I just sent off my second letter last week. Oh, and look what I found!

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The family feud has escalated. My uncle had citations served, and pretty much all of the relevant and important information in the document — that he and my grandfather signed and swore to as true and prepared by his attorney — was wrong. The item has been placed on the court docket. It will be very interesting to see if he throws a fit in the courtroom because he can’t keep his cool when the judge corrects his — and his attorney’s — errors.

My jungle is doing marvelous! My mother is jealous.

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Thoughts on Thursdays ~ Discussion Post

I finally started discussion posts! I know, I know. I am so behind on the times.

Things that piqued my interest in August:

Tours & Blasts

In both my Tour Organization and Minimizing posts, I talked about downsizing my tour and blast efforts. Even though school starting means that I will have less time to read, I want to amp up my reading for the review end of the blog.

That doesn’t mean I’m doing away with tours and blasts altogether. I don’t think I could ever leave Candace or Renee; they are just too good at what they do! They make my part easy as pie.

Here’s a quick recap of August tour reviews, blasts and giveaways:

Challenges

August also brought along the Beat the Heat read-a-thon. My goal was to read 8 books. Check out the challenge and my goals here.

In August I completed…

  •  70 / 52 books for Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge
  •  8 / 25 books for NetGalley & Edelweiss Challenge
  • 21 / 26 books for Alphabet Soup Challenge (I only need J, N, U, X and Z!)
  • 53 / 20 books for Women’s Challenge
  • 11 / 15 books for Historical Challenge
  • 2 / 5 books for Non-Fiction Challenge
  • 42  / 50 books for Summer Reading Challenge
  • 20 / 25 books for Bookish Bingo!

As you can see, I am getting close for most of my goals! I have already taken care of two, and I have my Summer Reading and Bookish Bingo all planned out. I also have plans to meet my NetGalley challenge through my Fall Months of Review by Genre…which might also boost up my historical reading for the Historical challenge.

Fall Months of Reviews by Genre

Folks, it’s here!! Yep, we are fast approaching fall, and with that I will be featuring one genre each month. This idea came upon me in the spring as a means to clean out my ever growing TBR pile on my Kindle. September will be sizzling with romances!

September will be dedicated to reviews of romances.

October will be dedicated to reviews of all crimes and mysteries.

November will be dedicated to reviews of diverse reads.

December will be dedicated to reviews of all things Christmas and winter.

Reading Updates

Read in August:

cover1000 22493296 An American Girl in Italy unnamed (4) 22066928 unnamed (5) Print 22081556 15717986 Neurotica 22464926

On My Plate for September:

Tycoon's Vacation Scornfully Yours Fire at Dusk Fire at Dawn Conditional Love Caught Up in Us Brazilian Job Born to Be Wild Bluegrass Undercover Bluegrass State of Mind Billionaire Wins the Game

Feature Follow Friday (August 29)

Alison Can Read Feature & FollowIt is the Friday Feature Follow!

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (links above) and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
email
bloglovin

The Question:

Tell us about a book character you’d trade places with.  (Escaping within Pages)

My Answer: 

I would trade places, without a doubt, with Claire (Beauchamp) Randall from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Now, that requires I still know everything she knows, especially all the medical stuff she knows, for which she can attribute as the reason she is eventually accused of being a witch. Otherwise, I’d be a blubbering idiot Jamie is carting around.

BUT I digress….I want to be Claire because…

  1. Jamie. I don’t even need to say any more.
  2. I like time travel.
  3. I would enjoy both the time she lived in (1945 Britain) and the time she travels to (1743 Scotland).
  4. She gets to time travel more than once! She lives two lives in two different centuries!
  5. She’s a badass, plain and simple.

And because I love Outlander so much, here are a few of my favorite quotes! These are all said, of course, by Jamie. 

“I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”

“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”

“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary.”

“There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I’ll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye—when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I’ll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save—respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?”

Which character would you trade places with? Leave me a comment with your response and your Friday Follow. 

Blast + Giveaway: In The Rearview

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Title: In the Rearview
Author: Maria Anne Green
Publisher: Astraea Press
Release Date: August 2014
Length: 386 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Contemporary

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

*****Synopsis*****

image (2)When Meagan’s secret is found out, and she realizes there is no way to outrun her habit of cutting, she tries to work through it, and her depression, before she cuts too deep, making a mistake that can never be undone.

Meagan’s problems aren’t like every other adolescent’s no matter how much she wishes they could be. Hers are worse. They’ve pulled her down into the depths of a depression that is anything but normal. She begins her pattern of self-harm as her depression threatens to drown her. She starts with one cut that leads to the next, and the next. After starting, it’s apparent that there’s no stopping, and Meagan spirals into a dark and cruel world she doesn’t understand. Meagan cuts to feel better, but that comfort doesn’t last long enough, and soon life is worse than it ever was before.

While learning to quit cutting Meagan faces life-altering obstacles and grows up in the process. IN THE REARVIEW is a story of pain, loss, confusion, and hope told through Meagan’s poems, journal entries, and a splash of narrative.

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*****Excerpt*****

Meagan stared down at her desk. Her focus moved beyond the assignment in front of her without actually seeing what she was looking toward. There were lines, spaces of white, and blobs of writing, but nothing seemed important enough to consider closely. Truthfully she didn’t care.

She didn’t feel the need to focus.

Her gaze slowly moved up to the front of the classroom, and again she fixated on a point past what was before her. She did not concentrate on the teacher. There was a face, a moving mouth, but she didn’t connect it with the sounds struggling slowly, like sticky sludge past her ears. She didn’t hear the instructions being uttered; each word fell on deaf ears as she mindlessly doodled.

Twisting her hair around her finger, she thought about how nice it would be to be at home, in bed, with the curtains closed instead of in this loud and hyper school. It seemed her classmates had recently started caring too much about what was going on around them. There was too much drama, too much noise, too much concern jumping all around her. It was all so taxing.

It was such a bother.

Meagan, in contrast, was usually in a world of her own. Her head felt fuzzy most of the time, and unless she used a lot of energy, most conversations sounded muffled, like there was cotton in her ears. She didn’t feel the need to engage anymore. Her desire to try so hard just to do what had once come easily had dwindled to nothing. At first she’d tried, but not now. Not anymore. It had become too difficult to care.

And that was her biggest problem. Meagan didn’t care much about any of these changes. She was fine walking through school without any effort. Her feet felt a little heavier as each day passed, and her head felt a little more under pressure of a crushing fog that numbed her, but she pushed through it all. She didn’t mind neglecting what used to bring her excitement. In fact, it was just easier not to give a crap.

Everything was distinctly lackluster these days.

*****About the Author*****

mariaanngreenMaria Green currently lives in Minnesota, despite its bitter winters, with her husband. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in English. When she isn’t writing, Maria loves to read with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet wine, craft, and spend time with her family. This is her first published novel.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs in this giveaway. Open internationally.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

New Release + Giveaway: Perfectly Ernest

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Welcome to the release party for Perfectly Ernest by E.J. Wesley! This is a New Adult Contemporary with romantic elements. Perfectly Ernest is now available for sale!

Title: Perfectly Ernest
Author: E.J. Wesley
Release Date: September 2014
Length: 240 pages
Series?: no
Genre: NA, Contemporary

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

*****Synopsis*****

unnamed (1)A gripping story of striking out and winning big.
From a distance, Ernie’s life seems perfect—he’s a star college baseball player adored by the student body and coveted by professional teams. Up close, he is a disaster. Since the death of his mother, he’s been trapped by a promise he made and forced to live her dream instead of his own. He reaches his breaking point in the biggest game of his young career and sets off a chain of events that will either define or destroy the rest of his life.
 
 Ernie grudgingly joins a quirky campus counseling group that empowers him to heal himself and right his wrongs. By testing old friendships, forging unlikely new ones, and exploring an exciting romance, he begins to unravel the jumbled knot his tangled inner-psyche has become. But old rivals, mental illness, and the risk of a forbidden relationship soon threaten his progress. Will Ernie’s new direction and friends be his salvation, or confirmation that he is forever doomed by his imperfections?
 
 Perfectly Ernest is a New Adult contemporary novel with romantic elements by author E.J. Wesley. Ernest offers a smart, funny, sweet, sexy, uplifting, and oftentimes poignant perspective of one person’s difficult transition into adulthood. It is a story about overcoming the demons of mental illness and struggling with the profound burden of expectations—both real and imagined. But it’s mostly a tale of friendship, hope, and love.

*****Excerpt*****

We made our way to the giant black trashcan, strategically stationed in the middle of the yard. I plucked a soda from a nearby ice chest. Luther eyed the red brew of punch and floating fruit.
 
“Want some?” I asked.
 
“I’m not twenty-one.”
 
I grabbed a cup and fished some out for him. “I’m guessing you aren’t the only one. I’ll make sure you get home.”
 
He took a sip with a curious but satisfied smile. His nose crinkled.
 
“Don’t like it?”
 
“You kidding? It’s amazing! What’s in it?”
 
“Probably everything Darko had left over from his last party.” I laughed. “Be careful. It sneaks up on you.”
 
“Roger that.” Luther offered me a mock salute with his cup hand. “You don’t drink?”
 
“Not much. I tend to spend a lot of miserable time in my own head as it is. Alcohol makes it worse. And Mom said my old man had a thing for cheap whiskey. Made him mean according to her, so I figure why chance it.”
 
We found Junkyard and Bash watching the girls fight. Judging by the pink mustache Junk had grown, he’d been enjoying the punch, too.
 
Bash put his arm around my neck. “Just in time for the show, buddy.”
 
“Why is your shirt unbuttoned? Are those gold chains?” I swiped at Bash’s hairless chest and he ducked away.
 
“Chicks dig it,” Bash said, adjusting his pants so a healthy amount of boxer short peeked out the top.
 
“I bet.” I turned to Junk. “What’s the good word?”
 
“They’ve still got their clothes on.” He punched me on the arm. “This is bullshit.”
 
“There’s no justice,” I said and smiled. “You remember Luther?”
 
He hugged Luther, making his eyes bulge as he squeezed. “Welcome to fight night. How do you know my boy?”
 
“We bumped into each other.” Luther took a nervous sip of punch. “On campus the other day.”
 
Junk narrowed his eyes. “You met at the shrink?”
 
I nodded and swallowed an uncomfortable lump in my throat. I had no clue where Junk would take this, seeing as he didn’t think my head needed much straightening to begin with.
 
“That’s cool,” Junkyard said his tone thoughtful and quiet. He took a drink of his punch.
“You guys got any extra cash?” Bash poked his head between us. “I’m trying to get some bets going.”
 
Luther shook his head, but I fished a five out of my pocket and handed the money over. Junkyard and Bash disappeared, leaving Luther and me in silence. The girls had finished. Now, four skinny guys were going at it tag team style.
 
“Your buddy okay with you being in counseling?” Luther asked.
 
“Not sure.”
 
I truly wasn’t sure what it meant between Junk and me. Alone, I didn’t think he gave a damn one way or the other. But if I ever told him the truth about the game, would he see me going to counseling as an excuse? In his eyes, I could understand how it might look like I’d opted to blame my past troubles for my present problems instead of owning up to my mistake. Hell, that was how I felt half the time, which was why the need to confess to him had been weighing on me so much. Somehow, I had to make him understand that the festering wound I’d been walking around with most of my life had finally gone septic and left me crippled.
 
The tag team match ended abruptly when one of the competitors accidentally bloodied his opponent’s nose. The onlookers drifted away.Darko hurried onto the matt to make an announcement.
 
“Ladies and miscreants, gather round for the main event.”
 
“This should be good,” I whispered to Luther. “Wonder who the idiots are?”
 
“In this corner,” Darko shouted, “we’ve got The Beast of the South State Wild—and your star catcher. Behold, the Junkyard Dog.”
 
Junk bounced to center ring, wearing nothing but his boxer-briefs, a pair of blue inflatable boxing gloves, a carpet’s worth of hair on his barrel chest, and a gap-toothed smile. There were catcalls from some girls standing near us—a few from guys as well. Junk gave the latter a crossed-arm FU.
 
“Who in the hell did they convince to fight him?” I asked, already feeling sorry for the poor bastard. “Please tell me it’s not Bash. Junk can literally bench press two of him.”
 
I’d wrestled Junk plenty of times, goofing around. It was like fighting a sweaty boulder with a yellow Mohawk.
 
“I don’t know.” Luther downed the rest of his cocktail in a single gulp. “But if he’s not wearing pants either, I’m going to need another drink.”
 
Luther wandered away.
 
Darko scanned the crowd, which was growing exponentially.
 
“Where is he? There.” He pointed in my general direction. I took a cautious step backward.
 
“Hawk, get up here and face your doom.”
 
I held my hands up and smiled. “I don’t think so.”
 
Junk pointed at me with one arm and flexed his other. “Ernie, get your ass up here or I’ll drag you up by your ball hairs. These people want a show.”
 
Darko hopped off the ring and jogged over to me.
 
“That’s right, folks. We’ve got pitcher versus catcher—best friends battling to the bitter end. Place your bets.”
 
“I’m not doing this, Darko.” I removed his arm from around my shoulders.
 
Junk and I needed to talk, not fake fight. On top of that, he’d been oddly contemplative.
 
Something was eating him, and I guessed what it was. He wasn’t convinced I’d simply screwed up. We’d been too good of friends for too long for him not to sense that. Junk was also horrible at articulating anything remotely close to a feeling. Putting the pieces together, I figured this might be his attempt at working through this. Combined with booze and crowd of onlookers, I couldn’t think of a worse way for him to navigate his issues with me.
 
Bash came up behind me. He leaned in close enough to whisper in my ear. “C’mon, Ernie. People are already placing bets. I know Junk’s going to kick your ass, and you know it. But the freshman don’t. I’m going to clean up. Do it for a friend.”
 
Darko grinned. “We’re talking an entire semester of my parties funded, Ernie. That’s like getting free admission to an adult’s only theme park.”
 
I scanned the crowd. There were a lot of eyes staring at me. A lot of them were very pretty female eyes. My chest swelled. Wherever the macho switch inside my body was located, Darko had found and flicked it.

 

*****About the Author*****

unnamed (2)Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, there were limits on the amount and types of entertainment at my disposal. Perhaps that’s why I set my imagination free. After collecting degrees in psychology and counseling, life brought me to Missouri, Texas, and Northern California–where I currently read, write, and live. I fill my spare time playing video games, watching movies, planning for the zombie apocalypse, reading graphic novels, and playing with my dogs.
 
My passion for New Adult literature led me to producing the weekly New Adult Lit Chat on Twitter and contributing to the NA Alley Blog. I’m also the author of Moonsongs, a series of New Adult, urban fantasy novelettes. Find me on Twitter @EJWesley or Facebook and we’ll chat!

 

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

unnamed (3)Here’s what’s in the giveaway:

  • 1 New Adult sports books bundle (INT)
  • 1 $15 iTunes gift credit (INT)
  • 1 signed paperback copy of Perfectly Ernest + Ernest team jersey. (US)

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Next Month: September Sizzlers

I started reading romance novels when I was in sixth or seventh grade. My mom was a fanatic (and ironically, so is D’s mom) and had an entire stack three deep of books as tall as one of my brother’s behind our back door, and another large stash on a large table that butted up to my bunk bed.

In those stacks were two books that hold special places in my reading heart.

1160066The first is none other than Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. With Starz FINALLY getting the TV series underway, it is creating a lot of hype about the series. I am a big history fanatic, but a romantic at heart, so all of those mail-order bride, Victorian romances and other historical romances always hit the spot.

Outlander is the book I talk about that is my favorite book of all time. That’s right, ALL TIME.

The other book that I fell in love with is actually crumbling. After we moved in March I couldn’t find it. I remember specifically packing it with my nightstand stuff, but it wasn’t there…turns out, I packed two nightstand boxes. I finally found it in June, and had to separate it from my bookshelf so that it doesn’t get damaged more than it is.

622475    20140823_183753

Earlier in the year, after the March clean-your-reader challenges, I had to put the breaks on a growing obsession: free books. I was downloading books at so fast a rate each week, that was in the range of the goals some people set for the year! It was getting insanely crazy. I had to put a stop to it.

My first step was deciding to stop accepting books for review at the end of April. My second step, I know admit, seems like I’m shooting myself in the foot. This fall, starting in September, I am reviewing books by genre. Each month will feature a different genre aaaaallll month long.

I know that can seem monotonous and overkill, but otherwise I don’t know how I’m going to get my Kindle cleared out efficiently.

September will be the month of Sizzlers!

Sweet. Sexy. Steamy. Romance.

Here are just a few of the books I will be featuring….

Aristotle and Dante Billionaire Wins the Game Bluegrass State of Mind Bluegrass Undercover Born to Be Wild Brazilian Job Caught Up in Us Conditional Love Fire at Dawn Fire at Dusk Fresh Temptation Hired by the Cowboy Scornfully Yours Tycoon's Vacation

 

Review + Giveaway: Eclair Goes To Stella’s

Title: Eclair Goes To Stella’s
Author: Michelle Weidenbenner
Publisher: Random Publishing, LLC
Release Date: August 2014
Length: 76 pages
Genre: Children’s
Recommended Age: 5 – 9 

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*****Synopsis*****

Hi, I’m Éclair and I’m seven. My sister Meggie is two. When mom got sick we had to go live with Stella, my dad’s mom, the one with maroon colored hair. I begged Dad not to make us stay with her because she beat her horse and was going to eat her rooster, but he didn’t believe me. Even after I pretended I was going to barf, he left us with Stella.

So there we were, Meggie and me, on a strange pink farm with a skinny horse, a mean rooster, and Stinky Stella who had a living room filled with dead deer heads.

What would she do to us?

Would we end up on her wall too?

eclair pic

“Do you want to name her?” Stella said.
I squeezed my eyes to think again. “Star. She looks like a movie star.”
“I love it.” Stella reached up to give me a high-five. “Star, it is.”

*****Review*****

This book is short and sweet – and funny!

Claire (called Eclair) and her baby sister, Meggie, have to roadtrip from Florida to Indiana to live with their grandma. The first meeting is absolutely hilarious! Claire takes everything literally and is quite an insightful kid. The chapters about the first day being at Stella’s cracked me up!

Claire’s voice is clear and distinct, and spot-on for a child her age.

I really wanted to go to Abby’s house that Saturday. She had invited a new girl, Beth, who’d just moved to our block. I needed to meet her because I didn’t want her getting any ideas about taking my place as Abby’s BFF.

The story is very representative of our current culture, and speaking from a teacher’s perspective, very true about our kids. A lot of kids now are raised by another family member – a grandparent or aunt/uncle, and that’s what happens in this book. It also brings up the white elephant of mental illness in our society, and Claire shares a few comments about living with a parent who suffers from depression, which explains their visit to stay with (grandma) Stella.

*****About the Author*****

Michelle grew up in the suburbs of Detroit with five brothers.  She enjoys writing her novels and encouraging writers and readers alike. She is living her dream writing stories of real people searching for their dreams and confronting their fears, showing the passion of the characters’ plights, often giving her the ability to show the reader the ‘other’ side of the story. When she is not writing she enjoys life on the tennis court and is known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.”

Her debut novel, CACHE a PREDATOR, a geocaching mystery. was launched in July, 2013 and has been an Amazon best-seller in the crime/thriller category.  Her other works include: Willow, Scattered Links, Kelly’s Story, Eclair Series, and The Vision in a Kiss.  She has won contests in both The Writer’s Journal and The Writer’s Digest. Love is Just a Word (Scattered Links) was a bronze medalist is the 2010 Frasier Contest, a 2011 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest, and won the Aspiring Writer’s Contest withe THE READING ROOM, 2013.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There is a $25 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash) with a Sterling Silver and Brass Horse Charm  Necklace and signed Eclair book up for first place grabs, as well as 4 more signed books.

Amazon GC/Paypal Cash open Worldwide.  Necklace/Signed books open to US/CA/UK.

Contest ends 9/25/14 at 11.59pm EST.

 

Horse Charm Necklace from Chapman Jewelers, Warsaw, Indiana. Sterling Silver and Brass Brown Satin Cord – Extends 16″ – 18″ (not red cord as shown in image).

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are my own.