Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bloggiesta ~ March 27th - 30th

It's that time again! Bloggiesta time! Time to do some maintenance on my blog and learn a few new things! :)

For those of you who don't know, Bloggiesta is a time when bloggers come together (online, of course!), and work on their blogs. There are mini-challenges and tweet chats that you can participate in that will help you with some behind the scenes maintenance, or just encourage you to get those blog projects done that you have been procrastinating! For more details click here

My plan this weekend is to do the mini-challenge I wanted to do last time but didn't. Plus, get a few other things done. 

Here's my list:

  • How to Create an Image Map by A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall (from the mini-Bloggiesta in January) Didn't do this. I couldn't get my mind to focus on it. (see below for full explanation)
  • How to Tackle Google+  by Amanda Shofner (I totally need this!)
  • Write two reviews.
  • Check out the other mini-challenges - I'll let you know if I do any of them!
  • Participate in two of the twitter chats. I only participated in one twitter chat.
  • Comment on other Bloggiesta participants blogs. I don't have a count, but I did get to more than a few.
  • Update my blog roll.
  • Make social media icon buttons. I followed this youtube video by Blogaholic Designs

That's what I have so far. I'm not sure how much time I will actually have this weekend, but hopefully I can get a lot done!  I'll update my progress as I get done. 

Thank you to @SueySays and those who are hosting a mini-challenge! You are awesome!

Want to join us? Hop over to Bloggiesta and sign up! 

Here's an update to my weekend: Unfortunately, I didn't get as much done as I hoped. I had a few unexpected surprises that got in the way of the productive Bloggiesta that I had hope to have. 

Thursday started out well and I was able to attend Amanda's How to tackle Google + hangout video, which was very good. I also visited and commented on a few Bloggiesta participants blog posts.

Friday didn't go so well, after spending three hours at the hair salon where my hair-dresser put way too many highlights in and now my hair is too blond (not what I wanted), I came home, fixed dinner and started to work on my blog stuff. That's when I experienced my first earthquake. Ever. Starting with one foreshock, then an hour later with a nice 5.1 earthquake that lasted about 20 seconds, with many aftershocks that spread into Saturday night. (I also felt one Sunday morning.) Needless to say it was a nerve-racking weekend for me, and I spent more time watching the news and learning about earthquake preparedness than working on blog stuff. But I did manage to get a few things done (see list above)! I really like the social media buttons I added! 

I also had unexpected company when my daughter came for a visit. That's always nice!

I hope you all had a better weekend! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ March 26, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.To play along, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I just started The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Series #2) by James Dashner. The action picks up right away in this book because it begins right where The Maze Runner ends. :) I'm enjoying it!

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading The Maze Runner (Book 1) by James Dashner. It was really good! Although, it was a little hard for me to get into. 

I just watched The Maze Runner trailer. It look's great! The movie is supposed to come out in September. I can't wait to see it! You can watch the trailer here.

What do I think I'll read next? My plan is to read  The Death Cure (Maze Runner Series #3) by James Dashner. And that will finish off this series. There is a fourth book, but it's a prequel about how it all began. Right now I don't think I'll be reading that. Maybe later.

Click on the titles to read more about them. (links to Amazon.)

What are you reading? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Lasting Love Affair by P.O. Dixon ~ My Review

A Lasting Love Affair: Darcy and Elizabeth by P.O. Dixon 

Publication Date: December 12, 2013 
Publisher: Regents and Cotswold Book Group 
Pages: 170 
Received: e-copy from author for my honest review. 
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

A Lasting Love Affair is a Pride and Prejudice variation and begins with Elizabeth going to live with her wealthy aunt, Lady Vanessa Barrett, Mr. Bennet’s estranged sister.  In going there, the family hopes to heal the rift between the families. Lady Vanessa is a widow with no heir to leave her fortune to, and if all goes well Elizabeth will become Lady Vanessa’s heir apparent. By doing this, Elizabeth will also be saving her sisters and mother should anything happen to Mr. Bennet.

Lady Vanessa reminds me of Lady Catherine, dictatorial and rude. She has it in mind that Elizabeth should marry her nephew Lord Andrew, the future Earl of Bosley, thus uniting the two estates. But she did have her good moments like when she had a little “tete-a-tete” with Caroline Bingley! I enjoyed that!

It is in the village near Barrington Hill (Lady Vanessa's estate), that Elizabeth first meets Darcy. They get off to a bad start as they literally bump into each other, and both are rude to one another. But soon they are in each other’s company often as he is staying with Lord Andrew, and the two families spend a lot of time together. 

I was not happy with this Elizabeth. I found her to be a bit more curt than usual. There wasn’t the usual playfulness in the banter between Darcy and Elizabeth. But I do have to admit that Elizabeth has a good reason to have lost some of her sparkle. She has lost someone very special to her and is afraid to ever get that close to anyone else ever again. I was sad for her lost too.

Ms. Dixon is very good at using bits of the dialogue from the original and sprinkling it throughout her books, mixing them up, giving them to other people and situations. She does this in this book, as well. For instance, it’s Elizabeth who calls Darcy "tolerable" when asked to describe him.  
A Lasting Love Affair is good, but not my favorite of Dixon's works. Although, I would always recommend any of her stories, especially if you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice variations! One of my favorites of hers is Bewitched Body and Soul. You can read my review here.

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of the book for my honest review.

Buy: A Lasting Love Affair: Darcy and Elizabeth 

Add to goodreads.

Connect with P.O. Dixon

twitterfacebook website • blog 

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Consequences Winners!

Hey Everyone! Rafflecopter has picked the winners!

But first, I want to thank C.P. Odom, Meryton Press and Leatherbound Reviews for putting together this fantastic giveaway of 

Consequences by C.P. Odom!

Without further ado.... the winners are!

Vesper ~ paperback!


Ceri ~ e-book!

Thanks so much to all who entered!

I have emailed the winners.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesday ~ March 19, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I am just beginning The Maze Runner (Book 1) by James Dashner. My daughter loves this series and really wanted me to read it. So I am! :) I'm kinda of on a dystopian kick right now, so I'm looking forward to it. I'll let you know how I like it! 

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Consequences by C.P. Odom. It was really good! I should have a review up in a week or so.

What do I think I'll read next? Most likely I will be reading The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2) by James Dashner. 

Click on the titles to read more about them. (links to Amazon)

What are you reading?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Consequences Blog Tour ~ Excerpt and GIVEAWAY!

Hello my fellow readers! I'm excited to be part of the Consequences Blog Tour hosted by Leatherbound Reviews!

Today C.P. Odom stops by with an excerpt from his book Consequences!  Along with a question and answer from the Author's Q&A at the back of the book. As an added bonus, there is a giveaway at the bottom of this post!! 

Consequences by C.P. Odom 

Publication Date: December 17, 2013 
Publisher: Meryton Press
Pages: 278 

Book Blurb:
Consequences is a cautionary tale about the evils of hasty judgment, revisiting Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and one of those pivotal moments when Elizabeth Bennet throws away Mr. Darcy’s offer of marriage so decisively. What transpires from that point is well known to Austen’s extensive readership, but what if even one element in the chain of events in her novel turns out differently? Does Austen’s happy ending eventually come to pass, or is the outcome more bleak?

And if, in order to secure financial security for her loved ones, Elizabeth does not reject Darcy, is she married to a proud, arrogant, disdainful man who, as she feared, forces her to deny her own relatives and thus condemns her to a lifetime of misery? Or does she find herself married to a man who cares enough for her to reject the opposition of his family and chance his very standing in society in order to marry a woman he loves beyond measure?

Consequences, written by the author of A Most Civil Proposal, explores two alternate realities—both tragedy and triumph.

Set up for excerpt from Mr. Odom:

The excerpt I chose is the first half of Chapter 16, which is part of Book 2, The Sleeper Wakes.  The background is that Book 2 examines the flip side of Book 1, which dwelt on the tragic events that eventuated when Elizabeth rejects Darcy in such a fiery manner and then Darcy and Elizabeth fail to meet at Pemberley and renew their romance.  Thus, Darcy has no way of knowing of Lydia’s elopement and is thus unable to find Wickham and force him to marry Elizabeth’s sister.  Book 2 thus looks at what might happen if Elizabeth had accepted Darcy’s first offer of marriage, and this chapter focuses on the discussion between Elizabeth and Charlotte after Elizabeth failed to reject Darcy and instead asked for time to think on it.  During this discussion, Elizabeth explains her reasons for unwillingly coming to the decision to accept his offer of marriage.


Chapter 16

“You must learn to face the fact, always, that you choose to do what you do, and that everything you do affects not only you but others.”
—Holly Lisle, American author

Thursday, April 9, 1812
     It was rather late before Charlotte was able to complete her duties for the next day and seek out her friend. She had not seen Elizabeth since she and her husband returned from Rosings, but she spied Mr. Darcy from the carriage on their return. His path was such that he likely was returning from the Parsonage, and she was most anxious to talk to Elizabeth. She had been unable to determine his demeanour from the quick glance she had from the carriage, but she could only hope it meant what she had surmised.
    As she approached Elizabeth’s room, she could see a faint gleam of light under the door, so she probably was not asleep. Her soft knock was quickly answered by Elizabeth’s invitation to enter.
Charlotte did not see Elizabeth at first since her sight was drawn to a lit candle on the nightstand, but Elizabeth was not in the bed. Rather, she was sitting by the open window, staring out into the night. She wore a robe, and she had taken one of the quilts from the bed for additional warmth against the cool night air. Elizabeth’s expression, as she turned away from the window toward Charlotte, was one of pensive reflection.
    As Charlotte pulled the other chair in the room over to the window, Elizabeth turned back toward the night. “You were completely right, Charlotte,” she said, staring out into the dark. “Mr. Darcy called soon after you left for tea, and he wasted no time in proposing marriage.”
     “Truly?” exclaimed Charlotte delightedly. “I saw him walking as we were returning in Lady Catherine’s carriage, and he looked to be coming from the direction of the Parsonage, but I had many tasks to complete before I could come to see you, so I hope you are not unhappy with me for delaying so.”
     “No, Charlotte,” answered Elizabeth emotionlessly, “I am not unhappy since there seems to be precious little happiness in the event, even though your insight was so much clearer than my own.”
     “No happiness? Elizabeth Bennet, it is the most brilliant match one could ever imagine! All of Hertfordshire will be mad with envy when your engagement is announced.”
     “I did not give him an answer, Charlotte. His proposal was definitely not at all romantic or even amiable. He said he had long been attracted to me, to be sure, but then he continued by relating all of the obstacles that prevented him from declaring himself. He appears to have liked me against his will, against his reason, and even against his character. He could not have been more discourteous had he set out with the clear design of offending and insulting me.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ March 12, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I am just beginning Consequences by C.P. Odom. This Pride and Prejudice variation sounds interesting! From what I hear, the first half is a heart-wrenching account of when Elizabeth turns down Mr. Darcy's proposal at Rosings, and the second half shows the flip side, what would happen if she were to say yes. Stop by tomorrow and read an excerpt of Consequences! You can also enter to win a copy of the book!

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Cress (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer. LOVED. LOVED. LOVED this book! The whole series is fantastic! I think each book is better than the last, and I have loved them all! I can't wait for Winter, the next book in the series, to come out!  

I also finished reading A Lasting Love Affair: Darcy and Elizabeth (A Pride and Prejudice Variation) by P.O. Dixon. It was a quick read. I should have a review up soon!

What do I think I'll read next?  I'm not sure. I have a TON of books on my TBR pile. I might read Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2) by Veronica Roth. We'll see! 

Click on the titles to read more about them. (links to Amazon)

What are you reading?

Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I haven't joined any challenges yet this year, well except for the goodreads challenge. But I've found this fantastic challenge that goes right along with my plans for this year! I'm not accepting as many books for review so I can tackle my TBR pile. So, see! This is perfect! I also love this banner and the button on my sidebar!  You can click on the banner, or button (on my sidebar) to go read the rules and sign up.

I'm going to sign up for the "A Friendly Hug" level, which means I have to read 11 to 20 from my TBR pile. 

I just finished Cinder and Scarlet of The Lunar Chronicles (end of Feb/beginning of March) These had been part of my personal TBR challenge before I knew about this one. 

Here is my list for the rest of the year:

Insurgent by Veronica Roth ~ finished
Allegiant by       "           "    ~ finished

The Maze Runner by James Dashner ~ finished
The Scorch Trials by     "           "   ~ finished
The Death Cure     "      "           "    ~ finished  Loved this series

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ~ finished
Catching Fire           "       "            " ~ finished
MockingJay              "       "             "  (and, yes, I haven't read the Hunger Games series yet!!) ~ finished!!! LOVED

Aberrant by Ruth Silver    (I see a dystopian theme going on here. I need to find a Dystopian Challenge! Anyone know of one?)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Crash into You by Katie McGarry ~ finished

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
The Statistical Probability of LOVE at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith ~ finished
Finding It by Cora Carmack
The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally ~ finished
Let It Be Me by Kate Noble
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson 
A Pair of Dancing Brown Eyes by Melanie Schertz
If Only In His Dreams               "       "          "
The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy by Regina Jeffers
Honor and Hope        by                           "          "
Harry Potter by J. K Rowling ALL of them...I think I'm the only one who hasn't read them! 

Some of my TBR pile

I'm going to stop now. I have so, so many more! These are all paperbacks, and I have a TON more on my kindle!

If you would like to join this challenge, please click here and sign up! You don't have to have a blog to participate! 

What's on your TBR pile? 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ March 5, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I am currently reading A Lasting Love Affair: Darcy and Elizabeth (A Pride and Prejudice Variation) by P.O. Dixon. I am not very far into this, but I usually love Dixon's stories, so I'm sure it will be good!  

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer, and let me tell you how much I loved this book! I LOVED IT! Scarlet is searching for her grandmother and Wolf is helping her, but we don't know if Wolf is a good guy or a bad guy. And Cinder is on the run from Queen Levana (the Lunar Queen). They team up to try to stop the Queen from waging war on the earth. I would be reading Cress right now, but I had to order it. Which leads me to...

What do I think I'll read next? Cress (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer! Of course!! I'm super excited to start this! This series is fantastic! I had no idea I would love it so much. Although, I'm a big Star Wars fan, and this does have a Star Wars-y feel to it.  So, it makes sense.  

Btw, I love the covers to The Lunar Chronicles too! 

Click on the titles to read more about them. (links to Amazon)

What are you reading?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sugar Spun Sister by Anna Garner ~ My Review

Sugar Spun Sister by Anna Garner 

Publication Date: December 2013 
Pages: 264 
Received: e-copy from author for my honest review.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Blurb:
Life isn’t exactly sweet for Cricket Whittier. Her boss hates her, her work is soul-destroying, and the sexy guy she’s hooking up with doesn’t want to date her. But this girl is far from hopeless. When Cricket’s in the kitchen with her ice cream maker and a few choice ingredients, her troubles slip away as she becomes a delectable dessert-designing powerhouse. She loves it so much, she dreams of opening her own ice cream shop one day.

As it turns out, “one day” just might be closer than she thinks. Propelled by the help and encouragement of her best friends, Lindsay and Nora, Cricket starts making plans to set up shop. Which is easier said than done what with the internal squabbling, the sky-high costs, her parents forecasting failure and her increasingly complicated love life. Despite all these hurdles, will Cricket be able to make her sweet dreams come true?
Sugar Spun Sister by Anna Garner (who also writes under the name Libby Mercer) is a fun, quirky story with a New Agey feel to it. 

Cricket Whittier is totally frustrated at work. Her boss doesn’t like her and is determined to make her life miserable. As her rage builds during the day, Cricket finds peace when she gets home by making ice cream, and she dreams of one day opening her own ice cream shop. Her friends, Nora and Lindsay, encourage her to follow her dreams and make someday into something much Nora scouts out store shops and finds the perfect space for Cricket to rent. As much as Cricket would love to make her dreams come true, she just doesn’t have the funds to open an ice cream shop. She soon finds out Nora, and Lindsay want in on the deal. Can three friends become partners and remain friends?

I enjoyed this story with its cast of colorful characters! Nora, one of Cricket’s best friends, is rich and bored with her life. There is trouble brewing in Nora's marriage, but she’s not talking about it. Cricket’s parents are a couple of old hippies who are “wary of society’s institutions.” They were against Cricket going into business for herself. (That was something I didn’t really understand. They didn’t want her to succeed.) Her brother Sage is there to help, along with his surfer friend Bax. Then there is Jimmy, Cricket’s ex-boyfriend who is now a "friends-with-benefits" friend. Let’s not forget her horrid boss, Oscar! Together, with a few others, make up an interesting group of people! 

Sugar Spun Sister is a cute story. Although, I enjoyed reading it, it didn’t grab a hold of me. Other than finding the courage to follow her dreams there wasn’t much conflict. This is the first of a three book series called Sweet Dreams, and maybe this was just the set up for something bigger. I look forward to finding out!

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of the book for my honest review.

Buy: Sugar Spun Sister (Sweet Dreams)

Add to goodreads.

Connect with Anna Garner

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!
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