WWW Wednesdays (Dec 20)

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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?

I’m going to read one more Christmas book…and maybe one more if I can squeeze two in and finish them before Christmas. 🙂 I am starting this one today.

Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn’t handle—until he’s hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her—and she can hold her own—Crispin knows he has finally met his match.

Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she’s near him. She’s never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn’t expect…


 What did you just finish reading?

I completely forgot I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever with my Impact class this month! We just finished it last week and yesterday all my kids finally finished up their tests over it! It’s hard to take their AR tests when 29 kids have to share 3 Chromebooks and school’s internet has been screwy lately. They LOVED it. One of my kids enjoyed it so much he and his mom went online and found that it was eventually turned into a series (20 years later) and there are two additional books about the Herdmans! I went online last night and bought all three books for myself for at home. 🙂

I also finished reading The Christmas Cowboy Hero, which I’ve noticed is very popular right now. For once I seem to have the jump on everyone else. This one is set in Texas on a large cattle ranch, so the setting was very familiar. I enjoyed the book so much. Look for my review next week!


What do you think you’ll read next?

If I can pull it off, I do want to read Christmas at Seashell Cottage and Christmas at Evergreen Inn next. I think I might even after Christmas just to finish the two so I can definitely say Donna Alward is my most read author for the year.


 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: No Place Like You

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: No Place Like You
Author: Emma Douglas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: December 2017
Length: 304 pages
Series?: Cloud Bay #3
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Home–in the island village of Cloud Bay–is where the heart is. . .

Leah Santelli always knew that Zach Harper, son of a rock legend and her best friend’s brother, was painfully out of reach. Then, on the night of her eighteenth birthday, Leah shocked herself by asking for–and receiving–the gift she wanted: one night of passion with Zach before he left town to pursue his rock star dreams. Now, years later, Zach is back in Cloud Bay to record his first solo album. His return could also be Leah’s big chance to step up her own music career. But getting the producing credit she needs means spending long hours with Zach in the recording studio…and falling back into the habit of longing for him, for better or worse.

Zach used to believe that a man must put his past behind him. But coming back home for Cloud Bay’s famed music festival has allowed him to finally make amends with his family and, much to his surprise, reunite with Leah. He might have left her once but now it seems he can’t stay away. Trouble is, even though the heat between them burns hotter than ever, Leah has old wounds in need of healing before she can give Zach a real chance. Can he find a way to convince her that they can make more than just great music together–and that she’s the one that he wants for all time?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts 

Zach Harper, son of the late Gery Harper and leader of the rock band Blacklight, is working hard to establish his own way in the world. After his band leader breaks the band up to “find himself,” Zach returns home to Lansing Island and Cloud Bay. With at least a year off, he plans to make his own music and launch a solo album. Returning home won’t be an easy landing after his six years away. Six years in which he ditched his sister and their musical career when his father fell ill, joined another band to continue moving his career forward, and being a no-show with no word at the family music festival, Cloud Fest, on the island the year before. Essentially, Zach has done everything he could to ignore his family and advance his own musical career.

While making amends with his sisters, Faith and Mina, and stepmother Lou, Zach also finds himself being a jerk to the Grey studio sound engineer, Leah. The girl-next-door type of girl, Leah grew up on the island living on the fringes of the Grey Harper family. Her father served as his sound engineer and she spent many days on at the Harper studio.  Now she is following in her own father’s footsteps while Zach is trying to make his name and his own way, no matter who he has to use or step over or leave out to make it happen.

Just like he did 10 years ago when he loved and left Leah on her 18th birthday. Not that she is holding a grudge – she knew he was leaving but she wanted her night with him anyway. Since then Leah Santelli has lived her own life. She married and later divorced, and she is happy with her life. Now she is trying to get her own music career as a producer off the ground. Zach’s return home and solo album is the perfect project to launch her own career.

First, Zach totally rebuffs the idea of Leah the unknown nobody making his album. Despite knowing him well and knowing his music well, Zach wants a big wig to produce his music. After being turned down by his dream producer and having another mangle his vision, he slinks back to Leah, who is doing some amazing work with one of Faith’s newfound female artists.

As their professional career flourishes, Leah and Zach find themselves in the conundrum of the personal creeping in. Once again, Leah proposes a liaison. This time, though, a friends with benefits relationship. She knows once the album is finished he’ll be leaving again, but she’ll spend her time with him while she can.

I loved Leah’s character. She is strong and spunky and has an equal measure of compassion for others and also herself. She has her own dreams that aren’t shadowed by a relationship. I didn’t like that Zach called most of the shots. He makes himself look like a huge jerk. While Leah is in charge of the studio, she is also doing her best work as a producer and has her sights set on a bigger project after Zach’ album.

With Cloud Fest, the music fest his father started decades ago, on the horizon for Lansing Island and Cloud Bay, Zach is betting on the secret slot to launch his new music and create some buzz and publicity. Suddenly, one of his father’s bandmates and father of his best friend, swoops in and steals the secret slot from under him. There is lots of drama revolving around those issues that throw Zach out of kilter. In some form of retribution, Zach is offered the producer of a lifetime.

Zach has continually put his desires for his career above his family and friends for years and years. He has everything at his fingertips, but can only pick one dream.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emma Douglas has read like a wild thing since she was small. She discovered romance novels at an age that way probably way too young but she survived unscathed. When she realized you could make up stories as well as read them, she started taking notes about what the characters wandering through her head were telling her and then, eventually, books happened.

Before the books happened she did the usual things (was a band geek (and a geek generally), had crushes on rock stars and fictional characters, spent chunks of her summers on an island beach, got a degree in something sensible that doesn’t involve writing about kissing, became a black belt in internet procrastination, fell down the rabbit-hole of craft, traveled a bit, indulged her love of baked goods, got bossed around by cats, began a quest for the perfect margarita, and napped to recover from all of the above.

She still does most of that plus the writing thing from a tiny house which her feline overlords have kindly agreed to share with her.

Find the author: GoodreadsWebsite | Twitter 

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: Deck the Halls

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Synopsis ~ Deck the Halls

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his presence is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

 

Chapter 1 

George Reilly twisted the wire on the back of the red velvet bow, anchoring it to the wreath frame. He frowned, looked at the bow, and adjusted it so it was even on the front of the cedar-and-spruce wreath.


Teasers

It was like looking at an older, female version of the man he’d failed so horribly. The man he still thought of every day – George’s best friend.

 

Pain made people do all sorts of things they never imagined.

 


Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: I Hope Santa Brings…

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


I Hope Santa Brings…

There are a handful of books I can think of that I want (sooner rather than later).

I also really want a Fit Bit, but I don’t know which one to get. Maybe you guys can help? I want it primarily to measure my sleep. An Amazon gift card would also be nice. 🙂

I have a list of 10 or so Disney movies that I still have not added to my collection that I need to. I also want a set of Micro Line pens for my bullet journal. The last thing I want is a personal electromagnetic shock therapy device for my back. You put the little pads all over the place

 

What are you looking forward to seeing under your tree?

Review: A Season of You

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: A Season of You
Author: Emma Douglas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 2017
Length: 293 pages
Series?: Cloud Bay #2
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

It’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season…

Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . . Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas–and forever–is Will?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts 

Ever since seeing Mina Harper waiting for the ferry five years ago, Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight. Will’s dreams with his dream girl were dashed when he discovered Mina was happily married. He set Mina out of his sights, but she was never far from mind. He continues to build his whiskey distillery business with his brother, Stefan, on Lansing Island. The Salt Devil is waiting for its first barrels to ready, and run a bar to ensure continual capital in the meantime.

Fast forward five years and Mina has experienced more loss than someone her age should. She lost her infamous and legendary rock star father to cancer, and shortly after she lost her beloved husband to a drunk driver. A drunk driver leaving Will and Stefan’s bar. While Will is responsible for all the accounting of the distillery and bar, those numbers just don’t add up in his favor. He’d never even stand a chance of getting more than a perfunctory greeting in passing from Mina Harper.

With winter weather settling in, Mina is cursing her bad fortune with a flat tire late one night. With a mishap and misstep, Mina goes down hard. With Will’s late nights, he notices the car pulled to the side of the road and then the sudden wild wielding of a flashlight slicing through the dark and takes himself out to investigate. He discovers Mina lying on the ground with a gash on her head. Bundling her and her lab Stewie into his rebuilt Mustang, he takes her to the hospital. Being discharged, Will is tasked with taking care of Mina throughout the night.

Lansing Island is home to the Harper family and her father’s Blacklight bandmates. They basically have their own compounds on the island, monitored by high tech security and everything. Her older brother Zach is off touring and her older sister Faith is still on the island and newly married. Lou, her father’s second wife and Lou’s mother, is the self-proclaimed mother to all three of the Harper kids.

Like Rapunzel in her tower, Mina hardens her heart and locks herself in her lighthouse when the storms of life are too much. Trying just to cope and survive the day to day, for the last few years Mina has been serving as the night shift for the island’s search and rescue operations. While it is an unpaid, voluntary position, Mina doesn’t need the money after her inheritance. She does it to serve a purpose and to chase away her own demons. She enjoys the solitude of the night, it keeps her from fighting her PTSD and sleeping at night, and she can take her dog Stewie. Every morning she returns to the lighthouse on the Harper compound and spends the morning hours using the fabulous light to paint by. She has an upcoming art show in LA that she is furiously working to finish paintings for. It is the first thing she will do on her own – out from her father’s famous name. She is set to send 30 ocean seascapes to the gallery, but that night with Will has her doing nothing but thinking of drawing his face, his hands. Him. It is a distraction she can’t afford right now, and a risk she can’t take.

When Mina’s boss tasks her with attending and aiding in the annual Christmas Festival, Mina is in weekly contact with the mayor, Angie, and Will. The mayor has set her sights on belittling the Harper family after her father starts dating Lou, Mina’s step-mom. While I feel there is much more to Angie’s anger, I enjoyed Mina and Angie’s own father setting her straight from her witchy words.

But mistlefoes change sides when the mistletoe is hung, and soon Will finds himself getting the opening he’s always been hoping for. Mina sets the boundaries that this relationship is only temporary. Will bets on Mina letting her self-imposed parameters fall away as the days and nights go on. Will understands Mina’s insecurities and also respects her feelings, doing everything he can to help her. In their time together, Mina learns there is so much more to Will than whiskey. Despite living on the island, he has a terrible fear of the water. But it’s not the water that destroys his relationship with Mina. The differences in their lives – Will working for everything he has, putting everything into The Salt Devil and Mina having everything at her fingertip’s courtesy of her daddy’s millions – rend a tear in the fabric of what they were building together.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emma Douglas has read like a wild thing since she was small. She discovered romance novels at an age that way probably way too young but she survived unscathed. When she realized you could make up stories as well as read them, she started taking notes about what the characters wandering through her head were telling her and then, eventually, books happened.

Before the books happened she did the usual things (was a band geek (and a geek generally), had crushes on rock stars and fictional characters, spent chunks of her summers on an island beach, got a degree in something sensible that doesn’t involve writing about kissing, became a black belt in internet procrastination, fell down the rabbit-hole of craft, traveled a bit, indulged her love of baked goods, got bossed around by cats, began a quest for the perfect margarita, and napped to recover from all of the above.

She still does most of that plus the writing thing from a tiny house which her feline overlords have kindly agreed to share with her.

Find the author: GoodreadsWebsite | Twitter 

Review: Deck the Halls

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Deck the Halls
Author: Donna Alward
Publisher: Swerve
Release Date: October 2017
Length: 128 pages
Series?: Darling, VT #3.5
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts 

This installment in the Darling, VT series focuses on George. Homeless and a vagrant when helped by Aiden and Laurel, he has been working at The Ladybug Garden Center for a while now. With the help of his new friends and a compassionate town, he now has his own little apartment. Despite his good fortune, he still suffers from his past that landed him on the streets. Like many veterans today, George lost his best friend in combat. Returning home to face his friend’s family was impossible. He didn’t keep his friend safe, and he lost his life because of George. Instead, George returned home and followed a few different paths before landing on the streets.

Fifteen years later, the twin sister of George’s friend finds him at The Ladybug. Amy shows up just weeks before Christmas following her own disaster of a divorce. George isn’t ready to face Amy – or the nightmares she brings back. While Amy is looking for closure for herself and her family, George cannot go back to that dark place. The guilt and PTSD kept George from contacting Amy’s family all these years. Amy is not leaving town until she can get George to share her brother’s final days and minutes of his life.

I loved the Christmas setting! Amy is installed in a rented farmhouse for her visit, and she does her best to spruce it and make it ready for the holiday away from home. George is making holiday wreaths at the Garden Center. Together they go shopping and decorate George’s apartment for Christmas, including a little tree. The cheer and moments that reminded me of the season helped to alleviate some of the pain you felt for George and Amy and all they lost.

I applaud Donna Alward for writing about the reality that many veterans face when they return to the United States after serving a hard deployment. This is just a touch of what it is like to live with the horrors they have seen while serving their country. PTSD is the silent killer of 22 veterans per day who take their own lives. Coming home from war, a six-month deployment on a ship, or simply transitioning from a life in uniform to a life without one, can be difficult and the various state and federal systems set up to deal with this transition and life after military services are unable to meet the need. The challenges of adjustment and transition, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and physical disabilities, all need to be addressed especially as these things result in barriers to education, employment, healthcare, and overall individual well-being. There are just too many gaps in the system and our veterans suffer.

With George and Amy having a shared past and connection, it was easy to see they would be drawn to one another. While there is no moving on from a veteran’s past, they are able to move forward with their lives. Amy found herself wanting to be part of George’s moving forward.

The running theme throughout the book is second chances, and the heartwarming love and friendship from Amy really made those second chances possible beyond what George already had.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

marti-corn-photography-donna-alward-h-r-1600While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday Post ~ I’m Going Thru The Big D And Don’t Mean Dallas

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.


I haven’t read or kept up with any of my games on my phone, despite having Monday off. I spent it at the dentist where the new dental assistant raved about my mouth FULL of all 32 teeth and the amazing care of them. Apparently most people with all of their teeth have issues with their teeth in the back. And y’all, I still have room to spare. Empirical proof that I’m a big mouth. I felt it was very sacrilegious to go directly from the dentist out to lunch and ruin the pretty polish job, but that’s exactly what I did.

Footage of my actual mouth as seen by the dentist.

I worked on the blog and commenting since I had a few hours until my next appointment. I paid the remainder of my ticket and the clerk was super nice to me (especially after hearing about her dragon-breathing behavior from a few). Then I took myself over to the hospital for my SECOND sleep study consultation with my NEW pulmonologist! If you’re new, you can read all about my original visit with the first pulmonologist here. This has been a long time coming, and I am so glad I got the right doctor this time. I firmly believe that my PCP before my current one and the pulmonologist I was originally referred to were both treating me less aggressively than if I was a man. I do believe I was subjected to gender bias by my medical providers. My care went nowhere with either of these doctors, both of which were also female.

My new pulmonologist was a small Asian man who honestly looked and acted like he walked off the set of Sex and the City. And he was awesome! He did not make me fill out five pages about my sleep. He came in, asked specific questions that led me to reference my rinky-dink take home test last year. He confirmed those tests are very inaccurate, as I believed and fought against before ever taking it home. According to it, I stopped breathing 4x per hour. To qualify for sleep apnea is 5x per hour. Despite taking my Plexus products since May, from last year I have gained 10 pounds, so he definitely believes I will qualify. He did not harp about my weight. Instead, he focused on making sure I am getting good sleep and if not why not, fixing my snoring issue, and getting The Man back into the same bed because he’ll often go to the couch or go sleep with the dogs due to my snoring. He ordered a full in-lab sleep study which is what I advocated for on Nov. 8, 2016 at my original consultation. If for whatever reason I don’t qualify, they will keep me the next day and do testing for two sleep disorders. Medication could be involved, and even if I don’t qualify and get a CPAP covered, I can still buy one for about $500 and I can go back and see him for all of the adjusting because he said it will help me breathe and sleep better. He also confirmed what I have tried telling people for years about breathing strips – they do not work for me! The source of my snoring is coming from my throat. He noted that I have an unusually narrow passageway, which explains the excessively loud snoring. When everything relaxes when I fall asleep, it is blocking the passageway and further reducing airflow.

That’s me on the left, with a much narrower passageway for airflow.

Tuesday night my mom and I went to see Wonder. I loved it, but I wasn’t impressed with the so much focus on Auggie’s mom (played by Julia Roberts) and very basic appearances by his dad (played by Owen Wilson). I expected more from his character. I loved spending time with my mom, who was convinced one of the cooks brought our appetizer out just to see me. I think she might have been high on her tears or deprived of sleep.

Wednesday I scheduled an end-of-day appointment with my PCP to get medicated for anxiety. I have been fighting it in full force for the past year or more. Over the summer when I was not let out of my contract to accept the new job offers, it increased exponentially. I have lost hacks of hair ever since. It is definitely noticeable, especially on the right side of my head, and I am self-conscious about it. In the last few months I have tried to be more self-aware of the tugging and pulling and reduced some of it. My PCP happens to also be my work partner’s PCP. She is medicated and has changed some of hers over the last two years and she loves him for that. My partner externally combusts, and when she hasn’t taken her meds she is for real legit crazy. We had that about three weeks ago. Meanwhile, I internally combust.  And that is why I went.

I was not so lucky or happy on Wednesday. He came in and told me I wouldn’t be seen for why I was there. Apparently when I did my well check in mid-October my A1C came back on the threshold between pre and diabetic. He diagnosed me as diabetic. I was shocked I wasn’t contacted in the two months to come back in for an appointment because I didn’t know! My A1C last year was 6.0. My A1C this year was 6.5. I’ve talked to my partner, who is Type 1, and my cousin, who is both. They both said 6.5 is not diabetic and my PCP is jumping the gun. Regardless, he put on the stern doctor hat and was no-nonsense and I should do something now. My cholesterol is high, and my blood pressure is constantly up and down from my 5 years of records on file. I’m on a cholesterol medication and will get a BP medication if it isn’t 130/80 or below on Tuesday. Since I don’t like going to the doctor, it will most likely be high. My grandfather’s was always heart attack level at doctor visits, and significantly lower at home. I was sent out with all the fixings for blood glucose readings and did my first prick yesterday morning. AM sugars should be 90-110. Mine were 95. GOOD. PM should be below 140. Mine were 181. NOT GOOD.

My new normal.

The Man took Baby to the vet this week because she keeps limping. At times she’ll look fine, so we were on the fence about it. She has arthritis and also needs to lose 8-13 pounds. She has an anti-inflammatory and pain med that I swear makes her high. Her eyes are all bloodshot and not long after she passes out like she’s just run 10 miles.

Throughout the week, The Man has been funneling packages from the front door, to the living room, to the hiding place in the closet. Really, it’s to keep Cera from destroying anything. He opened a box that had some of the dogs’ presents and something else in it. He took out whatever non-dog thing was in the box and closed it back up. Fifteen minutes after going to bed, he heard some strange noises. Cera had opened the box and picked out her stuff, claiming a blanket and toy. A silver blanket and teal toy were out. He let her keep the blanket. When we came back on Friday night from dinner, she had gotten the teal toy out again!

Last weekend I wrote all my outstanding reviews and then on Sunday I sat down and wheedled down my challenges. While I said I was trimming down my challenges to focus on NetGalley, I am actually doing more than I think I ever have. They all pretty much work hand in hand, and the ones that don’t are just for fun. All of my challenge pages for 2018 complete and I have my spreadsheet raring to go. If I complete them, that’s great, but I won’t be all that bothered if I don’t. I realized though, in reading all the rules over again, I NEVER link up my monthly or quarterly or whatever links. I suck at that, so that’s something I need to work on next year.  I also made a list (with topics and dates) of specific posts I need to work for the rest of the year and beginning of 2018.

Once again, not a lot of reading accomplished throughout the week. I tried and will keep on trying to do better. I am hoping over the holidays I can get back to my bullet journal, and I want to put all my challenge lists down on the pages as well as having the spreadsheet. I am such a paper person in that regard.

I finally finished Hope at Christmas. I don’t know what was up, but I swear every time I picked up that book there was a time warp. I just never had time to finish it. I love how it ended. Super cute, very heartwarming read with little teen friends, too. So cute!! Y’all need to read it!

I picked up The Christmas Cowboy Hero and so far I’m loving it! A young woman is struggling to raise her two teen brothers after her mother abandoned them. The book opens with her going to the jail to bail out the older brother for cattle rustling. The ranch owner makes a deal with him for hard labor sweat equity instead of going to jail and having to be bailed out. I am excited to see where this goes for all three of the siblings and the ranch.

  • Monday
    • Review ~ Deck the Halls
  • Tuesday
    • Review ~ A Season of You
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ I Hope Santa Brings…
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ Deck the Halls
  • Wednesday
    • Review ~ No Place Like You
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite ~ Christmas Tradition
  • Thursday
    • Review ~ Hope at Christmas
    • Famous Last Words #37
  •  Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 12.22.17

@sissybearla

Book Blogger Hop ~ 12.15.17

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.


Which book(s) would you like Santa to bring you this year? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

 

I am awful at keeping up with series when new books are published. I am horrible at following and fangirling about new books because I don’t keep up well. In October I fell a little in love with a couple of authors, so I bought their books and I want a few more of their books. Honestly, I’ll buy the books myself at some point, but sooner is always better rather than later, right?

 

Review: Chocolate Kisses and Love Filled Wishes

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Chocolate Kisses and Love Filled Wishes
Author: Linda West
Publisher: Morning Mayan Publishing
Release Date: February 2016
Length: 178 pages
Series?: Love on Kissing Bridge Mountain #3
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Summer and Brad are slated to get married but things go awry in Kissing Bridge! Brad’s younger sister, snowboarding champion, Kacey Anderson is forced to come home to heal from a bad accident. After being told she can no longer compete, she begins to train at home while still missing her beloved Olympic gold medalist boyfriend Brody Jenkins. Against doctor’s orders, she begins to regain her strength in the hopes of competing in the 2016 Olympics. When a young Climate Change activist enlists her help to bring awareness to the cause, Kacey begins to think that her future may be much different then she imagined.

Summer is forced back to LA to finish a modeling contract when the worst blizzard in decades hits their hometown. Unable to return, she can only suffer as she hears a fate worse than she can ever imagine is unfolding back home in Kissing Bridge Mountain.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts 

The first thing I notice about a book after the cover is the synopsis on Goodreads/Amazon. Looking at the blurb for this book had a bunch of trash and unnecessary sentences that are not about the content of the book. Always a first clue that it most likely isn’t a well-developed book.

My thoughts were absolutely correct in that regard. The storyline is interesting – a young Olypmic hopeful suffering an injury, returning home. But there is no development of a true story here. Even the timeline of events is not believable. It is definitely something written as a novella instead of a novel. The story is rushed, there is no depth to the characters or events. Also, this book is marketed as a Christmas read, but there’s not really a Christmas background. There’s just snow. Snow does not equal Christmas.

The events of the book are pretty hokey, bordering on the unrealistic. I did like how the “save the earth” guy was found out and run off and the rescue scene at the end.

Additionally, the editors need to spend some quality time with this book. Both the developmental editor in helping get the storyline off the ground and the copy editor to proof for grammar, particularly for paragraphs, dialogues, and breaks within a chapter. It is difficult trying to figure out who is speaking what and when and then when there is a setting or time shift and there are no *** or line breaks to help readers determine the passage of time and new characters in the new scene. Readers’ brains shouldn’t hurt trying to figure out your book.

It was hard to determine who the MC was supposed to be because it keeps switching between Kacey and Summer. It seemed like two different book ideas (because again, undeveloped) mashed together into one piece of writing masquerading as a novel.

This is definitely not a romance read. I suppose it is better for young adults pining over a breakup because there wasn’t much more to the book besides that.

 

Famous Last Words #36

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.


 

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

Deck the Halls