WWW Wednesdays (May 31)

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.


What are you currently reading?

It’s been a month since I posted a WWW. I’ve been on hiatus and I am slowly coming back. I’ve been able to make a small dent in my TBR list. I took a short break from my NetGalley list with some Amazon freebies. Now it’s back to the NetGalley backlog!

34831518One jaded rock star. One sheltered classical musician. One hell of a red dust road trip…

Sheltered, coddled, gifted, Iris longs for something more than practice and performing. She wants to rebel, break the rules, have a hot affair, fall in love — to really live before happily committing to her classical music bubble. But her strict parents and her stricter schedule keep her confined to her gilded cage, even as she yearns desperately to be free.

Super star, successful, and sick of all of it, Kit just wants to stop. Stop the touring and the recording and the media and the bickering with his band mates. After two years on the road, he’s coming apart at the seams. He has to slow down, calm down, clear his head — to really think before recommitting to his rock star lifestyle. But his manager and the tour schedule keep him locked to his super star lifestyle, even as he rages against the confinement.

A chance encounter in a car park leads to a snap decision and an enormous risk: suddenly Kit and Iris are on an extraordinary road trip together across Australia, making their own choices, breaking all the rules. But reality is chasing them more quickly than they can know, and soon Kit and Iris will have to decide whether they are just running away — or running away together.

 


 What did you just finish reading?

I had a great reading month while I was on hiatus. While that’s a good thing, I now have 15+ reviews to write. There will be pain. 😦 I enjoyed My One True Highlander and The Unwanted Heiress with all the trickery and secrecy involved. I adored Blue Like Elvis. If you are an Elvis fan, you might enjoy it. I didn’t go back and reread the synopsis for Misty Lake, so I was a little surprised when I started reading. Sam has a stalker! I read The Black Sheep in one night. I started around 11pm or so Saturday night, and I finished around 6am Sunday morning.


What do you think you’ll read next?

34650776I have two recently requested NetGalley picks, one being my current read. Next up will be Memories of May, and then I’m moving on down the list. I’ve cleared out books all the way back to last March and January. Then I’ll keep working backward through 2015. I am SO excited to be seeing such progress!


 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

Cover Characteristics: Swamp

Cover Characteristics2

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

Swamp

This was an interesting topic. One of my favorite songs to this day is Seminole Wind. I sung my heart out to that as a toddler. While I am terrified of the murky and lurky in the swamps, I respect the need for them and their necessity.

 

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Book Blogger Hop #22

book-blogger-hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


What is the most fun part/aspect of being a book blogger? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

Oh, you know! 

It’s YOU!

You know, when I first started blogging and didn’t know what in the world I was doing, I thought getting free books directly from an author, agent, or publisher before they released was super cool and the best thing ever.

Now I know that’s only part of the equation. The most fun thing about blogging is YOU guys! All the friends I’ve made and the conversations we’ve had and the virtual relationships we’ve developed make me happy. I love learning new things from you guys on your blogs and being inspired by you guys. I love doing what I do and I am one of those where I have to stick to a schedule or it’s complete anarchy over here, but I enjoy the whole process and knowing that this is mine. My space, my publications, and I’m sharing them with you. I’m proud of it all.

Cover Characteristics: Clocks

Cover Characteristics2

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

Clocks

I have to admit – I hate the sound of analog clocks. Growing up in a 100+ year-old house (that my great-great grandfather built), I could hear the kitchen clock ticking from the opposite corner of the house. It kept me up at night and drove me crazy.

 

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Book Blogger Hop #21

book-blogger-hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


What do you do with books you no longer want? Do you donate them? Do you take them to a half-price bookstore? Does a friend or family member benefit? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

When I made the most recent move of my bookcase, I decided I needed to review some books just sitting around on my shelves. A few of them were mass paperback romances I purchased at WalMart that I never intended to re-read, and a book or two someone gave me when I first started blogging that weren’t my kind of reads, and a bunch of children’s books I was sent for review. Those kinds of things that I knew I could part with and not regret, so I did. I gave them to my mom. She gave the ones appropriate to her school’s library. The school is K-8 in a very rural area with approximately 120 students in good years. The rest she donated to our public library. I had wanted to do giveaways in little bundles of 2-3 similar books, but I just didn’t have the time, and I can’t even answer my own doctor’s calls during the daytime, let alone get to the post office. I also know of some bloggers who set up a post with a list and sale prices and they sell them through their blog.

My Bullet Journal: Oopsies & Reinvented Pages

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This is the fourth in a series of posts about My Bullet Journal Journey. I’ve sequenced the posts so that they chronicle my journey and are step-by-step guides for those of you considering starting your own. 


I’ve been working at bullet journaling for five months now. It is a journey of self-discovery and a learning process. I started mid-January and decided to delay my posts until I had enough content and time to share them how I really wanted them done.

I am not an artist. I grip my writing utensils tightly and I write heavily. Lightness on a page is hard for me. It requires retraining your entire fine motor skills and muscle memory. It also requires patience, which I’m not always the best at it. Sometimes it means lots of erasure or just going straight to the White Out. I’m also not always the best at generating or creating a fresh idea, so sometimes I start with an inspirational find and later on think of ways to tweak what I’ve put on the page and make it more creative and appealing.

Oopsies! & Reinvented Pages

wish-list

I started a Wish List page for larger, perhaps pricey, items. When I started this page I kept it a simple list. I could only think of one item that I could put down, and the page stayed this way for a few months.

Until I found something new to add to brighten the plain page. I love the dandelion blowing in the wind I have seen on a few others’ pages, so I decided to incorporate it on my Wish List. The dandelion is whimsical and dreamy…like my wish list. 🙂

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My Mood Tracker is also something I improved. Originally I started with only 5 moods: Happy, Sad, Mad, Stressed, and Bleh. I used these through all of January.

When I showed my yearbook students my Mood Tracker (because they are also doing their own bullet journals), they didn’t like that I had a bunch of bleh days. In fact, they thought I should add another mood: Frustrated. Most of them are former students I have taught or current students, so they know me well and they understood I needed to add this mood to my list.

So I did. After reflecting on my moods I allotted myself, I realize next year I am going to make a better effort up front to include the variety of moods to help me better categorize and track my mood. Bleh doesn’t please me as an every day mood. Perhaps content?

My movie tracker started out even worse than my Wish List. It was a very minimalist list. And I hated that. It was so boring.

I did a little research, found some other examples out there and reinvented this page. It took a lot of White Out. As a perfectionist, that drives me crazy, but I would rather have the page the best way I can make it than worry about correcting something to redo or get rid of entirely.

 I made a grievous mistake one day while setting up my weeklies. Somehow I got off on the dates and messed up an entire page. You can see on the front of the page I corrected it by freehand, but the backside shows the tell-tale mistake. Originally I had Saturday and Sunday as the 3rd and the 4th, when in reality it was the 4th and the 5th. You can still see the 3 and 4 on the underside when the light hits it just right.

After my students presented two of their collections shortly before leaving for spring break, they gave me a handful of ideas. One of those was a travel destinations spread. My student had a simple list with related icons on a page (half-spread). Because I always investigate before I start a new spread, searching for inspiration, I came across a very professional spread I tried to duplicate. I’m not as good of an artist, and I definitely have a thing or seven to learn about proper shading and such (although I was told white helps blend everything, so I tried that). Then while on a mission to buy some desperately needed White Out, I popped into the sticker aisle at Walmart and found the perfect sticker set for my page. I decided to do a little reinventing. Unfortunately for me, the way it was designed didn’t leave a whole lot of space for my sticker additions, and I also discovered the airplane isn’t just a sticker. It’s an actual decoration attaché and quite thick. I caution using anything that doesn’t lie flat in your book, like a true sticker or the like. It makes your book bulky, but it is also difficult to work on the following pages.


Keep an eye out for some of my favorite spread designs in an upcoming post and a new list of supplies I’ve added to my arsenal toolbox since getting started. 

Are you a die-hard perfectionist or do you believe in a little White Out here and there? 

Cover Characteristics: Footprints

Cover Characteristics2

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

Footprints

I struggled with this one! I thought for sure I would find so many great choices for today, but I just kept coming across great beach covers. Hmph.

Read More »

Book Blogger Hop #20

book-blogger-hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


If you read a book you ended up hating, would you stay away from future books by that author, or would you give them a second chance? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

I think initially I would stay away from the author for a while. I would have to seriously reconsider giving the author a second chance, but it really does depend on why I ended up hating a book. Like, what kind of hate we talking ’bout here? If it is a fundamental issue, such as moral or ethical conflicts with my personal beliefs to such an extent in that direction, I would most likely never read from that author again. If it was hating how a certain situation went down in the book (like the wrong person chosen in a stupid love triangle that shouldn’t have happened in the first place), I would give a second chance. If there were greviious errors with the actual writing in terms of syntax, grammar, and punctuation, it would be hard for me to give a second chance, but I understand not all authors can afford a copy editor. However, I also feel like there are plenty of folks we know personally (a trusted group of relatives or friends)  who could be asked to beta read and give that feedback to fix prior to publishing. Then there are other authors who don’t know and/or can’t afford a developmental editor. Last summer I reviewed Audrey Greathouse’s The Neverland Wars and pointed out some things I noticed in her writing, and she commented on my review echoing the items I pinpointed in my review.

audrey-greathouse

I know some authors don’t ever look at what people say about their books, and some lurk and look but never say anything, and then there are others who comment, whether it is a simple “thanks for reviewing” generic comment or something more meaningful, like what Audrey commented.

Following my review, and when she was sending out her ARCS for the second book in the series, she sent me this wonderful email with an ARC:

audrey

Sometimes we just need a second chance.

 

Blitz + Giveaway: The Lucky One

The Lucky One
Sylvie Stewart
(Carolina Connections, #3)
Publication date: May 11th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

When your luck runs out, do you run away—or do you stay and fight?

Bailey:
Let’s get one thing straight. I am not your typical girl. Sure I’ve got all the parts, but I’ve been a stubborn, irreverent tomboy since the womb, as my Irish father would proudly attest. Despite my Irish blood, I’ve had a bit of bad luck here and there—I recently trusted the wrong guy and got derailed in my professional pursuits. But I’ve bounced back. With my shields firmly in place, I thought nothing, or no one, could touch me again. Until he did. And he just might make this tomboy do the girliest thing in the world—fall head over heels in love. Of all the damn luck…

Jake:
I’m a pretty lucky guy. I have a phenomenal family, a career I love, and I’m building a brand-new life back in my hometown. And, not to be a jerk about it, but I do more than all right with the ladies. Everything’s been going according to plan—like I said, I’m a lucky guy.

That was, until my luck ran out.

Until I met the girl I call “Irish.”

Irony can go kiss my a$$.

Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

I was struck again by the thought that everyone in the world seemed to be good with kids but me. And how unfair was it that Jake Beckett was not only hot as sin and a wizard in the sack, but he was also nice to small people and fainting women?

What was I supposed to do with that?

We finally pulled into the driveway and I hopped out quickly to avoid any awkward assistance that might be offered. Seeming to need no invitation, Jake followed us inside and closed the door behind him.

I took a deep breath and firmed my back as well as my resolve.

“As you can see, we’re all fine. I appreciate your concern—and the burritos—but everything is under control. We’ll go ahead and get on with our day and you can get on with yours.” I held my hand out toward the door like some damn restaurant hostess.

“Uh-huh,” he replied and had the nerve to lean against the entryway wall and put his hands in his pockets.

What was this? Was he posing for a bachelor-of-the-month calendar?

Gah!

I performed the hostess gesture yet again.

This time it received a grin.

“What?!” I demanded.

He looked me up and down. “Uh-huh.”

I became acutely aware of my attire and general appearance in that moment. I could feel the heat rising to my cheeks.

My hair was in a messy ponytail and I was dressed in athletic shorts and a men’s t-shirt. I didn’t need to look down to know there was a ketchup stain on the hem and a dinosaur riding a bicycle on the front. I have no explanation.

I urged myself to ignore Jake’s look and not even attempt to interpret it.

This moment perfectly captured the reason all Jake’s texts and calls had gone unanswered over the past three weeks.

He wasn’t texting me.

He was texting the girl from the wedding.

The girl I’d pretended to be for one night.

The girl I would never be.

The one I couldn’t afford to be.

(Copyright 2017 Sylvie Stewart)

 

Sylvie Stewart’s addiction to books has been a lifelong problem. It was the cause of many scoldings when her mother discovered Sylvie army-crawling to the bookshelf after lights out. And it is the reason her husband would have a fairly solid case if he claimed “alienation of affection” and pointed a finger at her e-reader (a.k.a “The Precious”). Never-the-less, books are in Sylvie’s heart to stay, and she has transformed her love of books into a career as an author.

A recent move to North Carolina inspired Sylvie’s debut Romantic Comedy series. Carolina Connections is a collection of standalone novels based in her new hometown, and it combines her love of romance, humor, and sexy times. There is also some wine drinking incorporated in there, as this is another of Sylvie’s passions. Perhaps a future story will also involve kayaking, a new interest in Sylvie’s life. Experience has taught her that you can’t kayak and drink wine simultaneously, though, so don’t try this at home!

The Fix, The Spark, and The Lucky One are now available. The fourth book in the Carolina Connections series will release in Fall 2017.. That is, if Sylvie’s eight-year-old twins will stop trying to peek at her laptop while she’s writing. That might lead to some awkward parent-teacher conferences.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Blitz + Giveaway: Written In Blood

Written In Blood
Alex R. Carver
Publication date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller

A peaceful village torn apart by murder, mistrust, and a desire for revenge.

When Oakhurst’s daughters begin to turn up, brutally murdered and with accusatory words carved into their skin, the residents of the small, close-knit community are unwilling to believe that one of their own might be a killer. Suspicion falls on the village’s newest resident, Zack Wild, attractive, charming, author of violent crime novels, and possessor of a dark history; he seems like the perfect suspect. As the investigation continues, the evidence against Wild mounts, but is prejudice against the newcomer affecting the judgment of Sergeant Mitchell, Constable Turner thinks so; she is determined to bring the killer to justice, no matter who it is, or what she has to do. Who will be proved right, and will they catch the killer before he can strike again?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

The greeting that rose to his lips died there when he caught sight of the person on his doorstep. The first thing he saw was a pair of tanned legs, followed by a red micro mini-skirt that was only a little bigger than a belt, then a red top, cut low to show off the cleavage and so skin-tight he couldn’t help thinking that it must be at least one size too small. From the skirt and top his eyes took in the rest of the figure, which he liked very much – he could not remember the last time he saw someone in such a revealing outfit, at least not in person – before moving up to the face.

He quickly cut off his thoughts when he saw how young his visitor was. She had the body of a woman, but it was clear from her face that she was a teen, no older than sixteen. He couldn’t think why such a provocatively-dressed teen would be on his doorstep at any time, let alone at a quarter past two on a Friday afternoon, when he was sure she should be at school, and for a few moments he just stood there, staring.

“Hello,” he finally managed to say.

“You’re Zack Wild,” Lucy said excitedly, the last of her nerves gone now that she was there and she saw how he looked at her – the same way almost every other male did, regardless of their age.

“That’s right,” Zack agreed. He was still getting used to people reacting to him in that fashion, though he didn’t think he would ever become truly comfortable with the semi-fame that came with being a best-selling author. “And you are?”

“Lucy, Lucy Goulding, I’m a huge fan,” she declared breathlessly. Her nervousness might be gone, chased away by her usual confidence, but she wasn’t yet in complete control of herself – she was as attracted to Zack Wild as she suspected he was to her, and his looks were having an effect on her.

“Hello, Lucy,” Zack shook her hand briefly. “I wouldn’t have thought my books were the sort of thing a girl like you would read,” he said. He was not interested in such things, but his agent had provided him with a breakdown of his reading audience, which told him that it was mostly twenty to forty-five year olds that read his books.

“Oh I absolutely love them,” Lucy enthused. “I love them all. I’ve read everything you’ve written. I borrowed the first one from my dad, and just had to get the rest. Your true crime books are great, but I prefer your Inspector Deakins books. Would you sign them; I’ve brought them all with me.”

 

Alex Carver has worked a number of jobs over the years, none of which provided the satisfaction he got from writing, and he has now given up the day jobs to write full-time. Primarily he writes crime fiction, reflecting his interest in the seedy underbelly of life, but science fiction and kids adventure have featured in his writing, with books in those genres on the long list of titles he is preparing for release.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

 

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