How Dare You, Goodreads!

I have been working furiously – well, as furious as a teacher who stays working at school until 8 pm (or later) most days and also is an events coordinator for the campus, oh and also is in charge of the hell that is yearbook (seriously, most ostracized group of students and teacher on any campus) – can. I was SO proud of myself for finishing two books over the Thanksgiving break and finishing a third earlier this week.

I knew that I was sitting at 44 books before finishing the one this week. That means I only have eight (really, seven) to go.

 

And then I actually LOOKED at my Goodreads Challenge tracker.

 

Do you know what that asshat said?!

 

“Three books behind schedule.”

 

How. Dare. You.

And then I quickly went through a series of emotions that looked something like…

All I can say about this is that Goodreads is being a dastardly “gentleman” and obviously lying, trying to pretend he is a slick, smooth snake charmer. Like, STFU Goodreads, you can’t math. I am NOT three books – or two, now – behind. Quit lying. Where’s yo momma at? I’m ’bout to get your momma on the phone. Let’s go. Where she at?

 

Do you ever feel pressured by your Goodreads tracker? 

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Famous Last Words #34

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


 

From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry–just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.

Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously–how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real. And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart.

Christmas at Two Love Lane

My Favorite…Museum

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.


Museum

Honestly, I haven’t been to many museums in my life. I’ve been to Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Bob Bullock Museum in Austin, and the small Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture, Dick’s Classic Car Garage, and Ft. Croghan Grounds and Museum.

I can’t say I have a favorite. I did enjoy my visit to the Museum of Natural Science. I went in 8th grade and there was a Titanic exhibit. I was enamored of all things Titanic in the middle school years, so I really enjoyed it. The Man and I were going to go last summer, but the Houston Zoo wore us out and we made our way back home. I knew we should have brought the dogs and stayed overnight!

What is your favorite museum? 

WWW Wednesdays (Nov 29)

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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?

You want to read this book. Trust me. It is set in a cute hometown bookstore, The Busy Bea, and run by a sweet elderly woman named Bea.

I started reading Hope at Christmas over the weekend and I have fallen in love with the MC, Sydney. She is a recent divorcé with a 10-year-old Daddy’s girl. Her daughter is sweet but also selfish. I hope she truly redeems herself throughout the book. Sydney uproots her daughter after much indecision to move her daughter to the town she grew up in with her grandparents, into the house she inherited. The narration about her divorce and the feelings evoked are so raw and a true testament to the betrayal and self-doubt and low self-worth one feels after suffering one of the greatest shatterings of trust one can feel in their life. I have found myself highlighting almost all of those parts. They speak volumes.

I started reading chapter six last night and it was just revealed that something is going to happen to the bookstore Sydney grew up in and has been hired at for holiday help! Noooooooo!

A recently divorced woman and her daughter look for a fresh start by moving to a small town that embraces them in ways that only fate and the magic of Christmas can explain.

Sydney Ragsdale is divorced, but her husband is still calling the shots. In an attempt to shake free from his hold, she and her daughter, Ray Anne, head for tiny Hopewell, NC to the only asset her ex has no control over – a decaying farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. She finds solace at The Book Bea, the bookstore she’d loved as a child during her summer stays. 

Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. Father of a twelve-year-old son, he’s Hopewell, North Carolina’s most sought-after bachelor. His young bride abandoned him and his son just before Christmas and has never come back. It has left his son bitter about Christmas which is hard for Mac who loves the magic of the season. He’s been the Santa here in Hopewell since the year Seth was born. 

But when catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that sends Ray Anne running away. As Sydney tries to figure out what her next steps are she discovers all of the answers are right here in Hopewell.


 What did you just finish reading?

I am so proud that I finished these two books during the Thanksgiving week. I was disappointed when I discovered they are the second and third book in the Cloud Bay series since I recently received both from NetGalley. I wish they would add the option to read the previous books in the series as a courtesy service, especially if it is only the second or third book in the series. Do you agree?

The series follows the three children of a famous rock LEGEND. They are all half-siblings, having only their dad in common. Their father lost his battle with cancer and his band disbanded, but many band members still live on the island where their famous recording studio is located. The entire band is still a family of sorts. Their inheritance was massive, and they continue to receive income from their father’s estate. Enough that each child is a millionaire several times over!

A Season of You is the second book in the series and follows the youngest child. Mina is only 23 and already a widow. She is struggling to make it following the death of her husband. She had the one greatest love of her life and has put the notion of any other man in her life to bed. She wants to make her own way in the world and make something for herself based on her own merit, not based on her world-renowned father’s name. She is secretly painting away furiously in the lighthouse she lives in on the island for an art gallery in L.A. She is using her mother’s maiden name to earn her credit as an artist. She is keeping this a big secret and on the super down-low. She is also ostracized for “not needing to work” and volunteering to work the night shift for the island’s search and rescue program. The mayor definitely has it out for Mina and her sister Faith, who still lives on the island, too, and runs their dad’s company.

No Place Like You is the third book and follows the oldest sibling, Zach. Like Mina, he is struggling to make his own way in the world – in the music world, his father’s domain – under the oppressing weight of his father’s infinite fame. Zach’s band is nowhere near as famous, but they do fairly well in their own right. When his band’s lead announces he is taking a year off, he leaves everyone scrambling with how to minimize damage control and spin this whirlwind disaster in a positive light. With a year’s vacation in his sights and a “not my problem to deal with” attitude, Zach returns home to Cloud Bay for the first time in six years. He plans to use his year to branch out on his own. He wants to continue writing and record his own music using his dad’s private recording studio. The sound engineer for his dad’s label, Leah, offers to help him by producing several of his songs. She really needs the credit as the producer to be considered to produce for other artists. Zach lets the overwhelming feeling of walking in his rock legend father’s footsteps get to him and hold him back, but at the same time, he wants to do everything in his power to launch his new album, even if that means throwing all of Leah’s hard work under the bus. It was so angsty because they both worked SO hard to make this music together. It was painful to watch Leah’s world crumble and her dreams dashed. There’s also a massive fight with one of his dad’s band members! I thought it was a lost cause at that point…but there are always loopholes! 🙂 I enjoyed this book more than A Season of You, but I liked them both.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I am going to read the Donna Alward books next, Christmas at Seashell Cottage and Christmas at Evergreen Inn. She will be my most-read author this year with something like 5 books. These are books 1.5 and 3.5, respectively, in the Jewell Cove series. My NetGalley goal this year was 50 books. After reading these two books, I will be sitting at 31 books for my NG Challenge. I’ve been saying for months that I won’t make it…but I just might. Or come closer than I thought possible. I still want to read at least 10 more NG books before the year is out. Plus, COYER Switch starts December 16 so…I’m going to be reading my tailfeathers off!


 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! 🙂

Review: Without Borders

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Without Borders
Author: Amanda Heger
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Release Date: April 2016
Length: 242 pages
Series?: Wanderlove #1
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top-tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend’s older brother, who’s much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.

Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.

As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

This story set in Nicaragua and features adopted Nicaraguan brother and sister working with their mother to provide medical care in their country. They have a volunteer guide and accept volunteer doctors to take on their excursions. There is a dating show reality star dentist and their American friend hoping for a recommendation after the expedition.

Annie needs a boost getting into Brown’s medical school, so she volunteers for a mobile medical clinic run by her friend’s family. Annie met the Gutierrez siblings when they traveled to America and Marisol spent a year learning about her diabetes, how to use the machines, and manage her medical condition while back at home. It has been a long time since then, and Marisol’s brother Felipe is still crushing hard on Annie, although his feelings for the “volun-tourists” are staunchly a polar opposite. He despises being forced to take these privileged individuals on their medical excursions because they soon become dead weight, yet his mother writes them glowing recommendations as they leave. It is the only way to save their business and provide care for the many without.

Annie soon finds all of her plans are out the window as soon as she arrives in Nicaragua. Nearly all of her belongings and supplies are left at headquarters, and she must carefully choose what to bring on this traveling trip. She is relegated to passing out mosquito nets to children…and teaching sex ed to children and adults.

Communication is a large divide in this story, but it is a true representation of the struggles to learn another language. Annie makes all the attempts to learn the language and be able to fully lead her classes on her own with some support with translation from time to time. Marisol and Felipe love the English idioms, and often say them slightly incorrectly. It is endearing and charming – and true. While Marisol plays it off and acts cute, Felipe berates himself so heavily. He carries a heavy load while Marisol breezes through life.

The jungle is a dangerous place, and it is a true mission getting to the people. And then there is the fragile and tentative trust of the villagers that Felipe’s mother has established over many years. Along the way, there is a robbery at gunpoint in the jungle, a jaunt to eat starfruit, and a freak out over a lost vagina model for sex ed that is soon replaced with a fuzzy vagina. There is also a village fight that puts everyone on the medical team in jeopardy and Annie is in the center of it all.

There is more than one romance blossoming in the Nicaraguan jungle. While Felipe is staunchly and harshly treating Annie, who withers and then boldens under his criticism and direction, she learns more about him and where his heart lies and what he wants to do with the clinic. His own doubts and fears, hopes and dreams, and care for his people have Annie falling for him. Meanwhile, the American dentist reality TV show star is a lovesick puppy for Marisol, and there is more to his character than meets the stereotypical eye.

I enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie that the four young people and their guide develop in the heart of Nicaragua. It is a story that speaks to so many topics, and I found the title fit like a glass slipper. The ending was not at all what I was expecting and tied things up too neatly, but I enjoyed the brigade adventures through the jungle and the Nicaraguan people.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Heger is a writer, attorney, and bookworm. She lives in the Midwest with three unruly rescue dogs and a husband who encourages her delusions of grandeur. She strongly believes Amy Poehler is her soul mate, and one of her life goals is to adopt a pig and name it Ron Swineson.

Find the author: GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Sunday Post ~ Loosen the Jeans

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a weekly news post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase the books and other goodies you’ve received, and share news about upcoming events on your blog. Be creative and personalize it! To get in on the Sunday fun day, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.


My school district finally gave in to the low attendance rates of Monday and Tuesday the week of Thanksgiving and made those two days holidays this year. The entire week was nice to have, but having so much time also made me squander those first few days. I didn’t do much of anything productive in terms of reading or blogging and I kept falling back asleep throughout the day. I got a few posts updated and scheduled, but nothing significant. I got sucked into a black hole and I have nothing to show for it. I also didn’t have my Plexus products with me. I somehow thought I had brand new bottles of my daytime products in my suitcase, but I only had my nighttime bottle. I think that helped contribute to my constant naps throughout the day.

The Man and I celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday because he had to go police on Thursday and Friday. Since Marie Callendar’s have shut down all their stores in Texas, we instead ordered our feast from Luby’s. The ham was actually bigger than we’ve gotten the past three years from Marie Callendar’s and we had a little more diversity in sides. I think we’ll do that again next year. Then on Thursday, I traveled to my aunt’s for Thanksgiving with my family (re: screeching teenage and adult boys with Nerf and pellet guns who won’t get the hell out of the house).

I finally got some of my act together on Tuesday. I had to go to the bank and post office, and we picked up the food. I mailed off some photos of Baby and Cera and The Man and me to The Man’s dad, who is battling cancer. I also scheduled the maintenance for my Jeep, which has a seatbelt and airbag recall. I found it odd that that is not something they would get you in right away for. I have to wait two more weeks.

After coming back from the store on Tuesday, we went to see a movie. When we came home, Cera had grabbed the brand new 80 count bottle of Unisom sleep pills off the counter and jumped up onto the sink to get the brand new box of 5 Hour Energy off the shelf over the sink. We got home and found the couch filled with little blue pills and she laid it on, pretending like she could barely move. The Man counted out all the pills and all 80 were there and she only tore open the box and chewed on the caps of the 5 Hour Energy shots. That dog is so motivated by behavior and revenge, and she is smarter than she lets on. She acts like a dodo bird without a brain, but oh, does she have one.

Despite trying to watch some Christmas movies on the Hallmark channels – and The Man making jokes about it – they were too slow moving along with plots that didn’t quite seem plausible, plus the boatloads of commercials. I quickly can tune out in that type of environment while I’m reading or blogging simultaneously. Which I did. So I binge watched Forensic Files. I blame my aunt, who to this day has true crime shoes playing on her TV all the time. I wanted to become a forensic detective, but the whole girls and science thing kinda got me in middle school.

Despite my slow start, I tried to catch up toward the end of the week. I am currently reading Hope at Christmas and so far I am loving it! It involves a hometown book store. 🙂

I now have 5 reviews to write for December. And I am less than 10 books away from completing my Goodreads Challenge. While that’s great, I really wanted to make a big fat dent in my NetGalley Challenge. I know I won’t meet my goal for that challenge before the year is out, but I have read over 25 books from that list. I’m hoping I can get closer to 35 before the end of the year.

I did make an entire list of NetGalley books for next year’s Alphabet Soup Challenge, so I will be hot to trot come January 1 to make a bigger dent next year.

  

  • Monday
    • Review ~ Without Borders
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Winter TBR
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ Snowed
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite ~ Museum
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #34
  •  Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 12.1.17

You can still enter my Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway Hop!  Click the button below. 

@sissybearla