New Year’s Resolution Time–Did you sign up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge yet?

The 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge is over! Did you sign up for 2017 yet?

Here’s a few of the highlights from mine:

You can see my entire year in books page here. Click on the graphic below to sign up for your own 2017 Reading Challenge–the best kind of New Year’s resolution!

This year I’ve toned my goal down a bit–only 265 books right now–to focus on grad school and (after graduation) my own writing. Though I’ve been known to up my goal mid-year before… 😉

Bookish Bingo: Holiday Edition Recap…and Bookish Bingo: 2015 New Year (Because I’m a glutton for punishment)

I just can’t stop myself…

Bookish Bingo Oct-Dec

Well, I covered a bunch of squares but didn’t end up with too many actual bingos, darn it. Obviously I need to read more strategically. Here’s what I read (with review links, if I did a review):

A re-read: ON WRITING by Stephen King (love, love, love this book. Read by the author–bonus!)

A serial killer: FALLEN by Leslie Tentler

Horror: THE SHINING by Stephen King (even creepier than I remembered–and now I’m ready to read DOCTOR SLEEP!)

Red Cover: KILL ME SOFTLY by Sarah Cross (loved the concept, but main character drove me crazy with her idiocy)

Fall/Winter Release: THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel

Romance: LOVE’S LAST CALL by Beth Matthews

Witches: DARK WITCH by Nora Roberts (another main character who was super annoying–I don’t see myself continuing with this series)

Historical: DEATH COMES TO LONDON by Catherine Lloyd

Orange Cover: REPOSSESSION by Rachael Wade

Set During Christmastime: CHRISTMAS WITH YOU by Tracey Alvarez

Creature on Cover: LOKI’S WOLVES by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Snow on Cover: A VERY GREY CHRISTMAS by T.A. Foster

Black Cover: BLAMED by Edie Harris

Set in Autumn: TACKLED BY THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelly

“Ice” in Title: FLIRTING ON ICE by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelly

Green Cover: MISTAKEN BY FATE by Katee Robert

Mystery: DEAD MAN’S CARVE by Kym Roberts

Birds on Cover: HARD TO COME BY by Laura Kaye (because tattoo ones count, right?)

So…I’m counting only TWO bingos here. TWO. Disgraceful. But I’m signing up for the next one anyway, because I’m crazy like that. Without further ado, I bring you–BOOKISH BINGO:2015 NEW YEAR edition!

Bookish Bingo Jan-Mar

I. CAN. DO. THIS.

Ideas so far (and no, not using strategy yet, just matching up categories with what I know I need/want to read in near future):

Over 400 Pages: pretty much anything by Stephen King–DOCTOR SLEEP, maybe?

LGBTQIA: BLUE MOUNTAIN by Cardeno C.

PoC MC: THE FIRST PART LAST by Angela Johnson (it’s used as an example in the NaNoWriMo teacher’s manual, so I’ve been wanting to read it for a while)

Mystery or Thriller: DEADLY FORCE by Misty Evans

2015 Debut: THE MARSHALL by Adrienne Giordano

Romace: hahahahaha…almost everything I’m reading these three months fits this one…I’ll just pick one of them in April that didn’t fit anywhere else 😉

Based on Mythology: THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS by Rick Riordan

Start a Series: RUINED by Marian Cheatham

…and I’m all over the place already. I’ll start strategizing soon, I swear.

Anyone want to join me in the insanity?

The WINTER WARM-UP BLOG HOP (Giveaways galore!) is going on right now!

Who’s in need of a warm-up? Dozens of chances to win–visit them all!

Young couple embracing

Winter’s almost officially here! (Though I swear I can still hear the 60+ inches of snow we got just a few short weeks ago laughing–winter weather waits for no calendar date, obviously.)

My favorite way to avoid shoveling and stay warm in the winter is–or course–staying inside reading a delicious book with a nice warm beverage to keep me company. (Okay, and maybe a teensy piece of chocolate. Or two. Perhaps a cookie as well. But I digress…)

Some books from my TBR pile that I’m especially looking forward to reading soon are:

Mistaken by Fate by Katee Robert (reading right now!)

The Marshall by Adrienne Giordano (LOVE this series!)

Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt (Apollo’s book!)

This Weakness for You by Wendy Sparrow (I love, love, love her writing style–so fun!)

What about you? What book(s) do you hope will keep you warm as the weather turns chilly?

Enter the giveaway and the main hop giveaway below, and then follow the rest of the blog hop HERE. Good luck, and stay warm!

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WINTER WARM-UP BLOG HOP: http://www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com/

New Release Spotlight and Giveaway! MISTAKEN BY FATE by Katee Robert (A Serve novel)

Katee Robert joins the Serve series with her hot new romance, MISTAKEN BY FATE!

When Ridley Ethridge arranges a night in NYC’s premier BDSM club, she doesn’t expect to see the wrong twin when the blindfold comes off but seducing Garrett Reaver might be the best thing that ever happened to her.

 

MISTAKEN BY FATE:

The man she should want, or the man she craves…

Fashion designer Ridley Ethridge thinks she’s found the perfect, stable sort of guy in her childhood friend Will Reaver. With seduction in her sights, she arranges to rock Will’s world at an exclusive club that caters to those with adventurous and erotic appetites. What happens next is both intense and satisfying—until Ridley’s blindfold comes off to reveal Will’s twin brother. The same twin who broke her heart eight years ago.

Former soldier Garrett Reaver hasn’t ever gotten Ridley out of his system. And now that she’s before him in all her submissive glory? He’ll be damned before he lets someone else have her, especially his brother. Because Garrett and Ridley have some seriously unfinished business to take care of, and it starts now. And this time, he’ll show Ridley how exquisite a relationship with him could be…if their past doesn’t catch up to them first.

 

Excerpt:

Garrett picked Ridley up and carried her to the couch. The feeling of her in his arms calmed the part of him that had felt jagged and broken ever since he’d woken up to find her gone. He should have expected her absence, but it had still stung. Hours of prowling the streets hadn’t done a damn thing to get his mind back on track. All he knew was that he needed to see her, and he needed to see her now. So he’d called Will to get her address, and the next thing he knew, he was standing on her doorstep.

Even better, she hadn’t kicked his ass to the curb like he’d expected. No, she’d agreed to renegotiate and then she’d come for him. As if she was truly his.

He was still leaving in less than a week.

He pushed the thought away. He’d figure it out as he went. Right now he had a beautiful, lusty woman that he’d fantasized about for years in his lap. He pulled her dress over her head, then tugged down her bra cups to bare her breasts. Christ, she was fucking perfect. He trailed a hand down her stomach to slip between her legs. “Tell me something, baby.”

“What?”

“How late did you stay this morning?” He’d fallen asleep sometime around one, feeling no more at ease than he had hours beforehand. He couldn’t believe she’d managed to sneak out without waking him. Normally he slept on the verge of startling into motion—too many missions had depended on his being able to shake off sleep as soon as he opened his eyes. But she’d gotten past him.

Fuck, he hadn’t realized how badly he’d wanted to wake up next to her until he rolled over to find her gone.

She gasped as he lifted her and set her down on the couch next to him. Ridley bit her lip, not quite meeting his eyes. That was fine. He was more than content to wait her out, continuing to trace little circles on her inner thigh as he did. She finally gave a whimper and looked at him. “I left at four forty-five.”

Three hours after he fell asleep. He made himself stop touching her and sit back. He could be all about positive reinforcement when the mood suited him. Three rewards for three hours spent wrapped up in each other while they both slept. “Take the bra off.”

She stood and let it drop off her shoulders, leaving her completely naked. He let her wait much the same way she’d made him wait for his answer. “What would you like?”

 

 

Pick up your own copy of MISTAKEN BY FATE at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |  iTunes

See where it all began with Tessa Bailey’s Owned by Fate and Exposed by Fate.

 

About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | GoodReads | Instagram | Tumblr | Youtube

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A Conversation with Sonya Weiss, Author of RESISTING HER RIVAL

Apparently it’s not just Writer Kitteh who has this problem…

writer kitty

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Sonya!

Thanks for having me here!

 

What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and I love to decorate every room in the house. I have an extensive snowman collection that I love to display.
  2. I love movies and television shows—especially the shows on DVD that I can watch without commercial breaks. My two favorite shows of all time are JAG and One Tree Hill.
  3. I’m an artist. I can sketch pretty well and I always wanted to take art classes to learn how to paint, but haven’t yet.
  4. I had a serious accident riding a bicycle when I was eighteen and I’ve never ridden one since then.
  5. I’m addicted to Perugina chocolate, especially the cappuccino bars.

Ooh, TV series on DVD are dangerous! It’s too darn easy to watch just one more…and one more…and just one last one… 😉

 

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Abby Snyder is the oldest of three sisters. She’s the one who had to step in at the young age of seventeen to help raise her siblings after her parents died in a car accident. Abby’s very family oriented and believes she has everything she needs and everything under control. Until Nick Coleman creates havoc in her life. Nick is the opposite of Abby and someone who desperately wants to live down his former reputation. The one thing they’d need to have on a desert isle is each other. : – )

But of course they would!

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

This story is the second in the series and Abby is the sister to the first heroine. I knew that Abby was an extremely responsible person. Someone who always did what she thought was right. I began to wonder what if Abby had a situation where she acted completely out of character and that’s how Resisting Her Rival began.

I’m about ¼ of the way through the book while writing this, and I have to agree—yep, she most certainly DID act out of character, poor girl! (And also—LUCKY girl!)

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I would always make up stories when I was too little to really even write. I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I had teachers who inspired me. One was a drama teacher in high school and the other was a writing teacher. Though I knew that I loved to write I didn’t know I could write until those ladies praised my work and encouraged me to continue.

Hooray for dedicated and inspiring teachers!

 

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

I like that because of writing I’ve been able to meet some very sweet people—readers and authors alike and have made some great friends that way. I like being able to give the characters a story and watch it unfold. The most challenging part is keeping characters on track. So often I’ll create a plot and I know where the characters should go and they just won’t fit into the mental map I’ve drawn for them.

Oh goodness, I know exactly what you mean! I’ve got several memes on my wallpaper bemoaning characters who don’t do what they’re supposed to (example above)…kind of like kids, when they decide to start thinking for themselves, darn them.

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m working on the third story in the series, which is Ann and Eric’s story. Their story as well as one for a different Entangled line should come out next year. I’m also working on a new young adult story.

A book three! Excellent! 🙂

 

What authors and/or books have inspired you?

I have a lot of authors and books that inspired me. Sidney Sheldon. His book Rage of Angels was so stunning, it stuck with me. I remember thinking what an awful choice the heroine had to make and how incredible it was that the author was able to keep the heroine someone that was still easy to root for. Then, there’s Roxanne St. Claire, Shirley Jump, Fern Michaels, Jennifer Probst, Tammara Webber. I loved the classics too. Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Charlotte Bronte, Nathaniel Hawthorne and so many more. I love books, love to read. I remember that I used to blow off schoolwork while I was in class just to sneak in more time to read.

I never went that far (cough, cough) but I might have rushed through my work once or twice to get more reading time…once or twice a day, that is…

 

What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m reading The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson. Or I should say I’m rereading it. The book is a YA and one of my favorites. The story is so stunning. Brilliantly written.

Oh, that does look like a good one. (Adds to already-massive TBR list…)

 

If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Destiny Faraday takes a road trip and ends up finding her lost self.

🙂

 

Keep reading to find out more about Sonya and her latest book, Resisting Her Rival. And stay tuned later in the week for my review!

 

About the author:

Sonya Weiss is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and author. She’s addicted to great books, good movies, and Italian chocolates.

She’s passionate about causes that support abused animals and children. Her parents always supported her bringing stray animals home, although the Great Dane rescue was a surprise.

 

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About the book:

Abby Snyder finally has the opportunity to expand her diner now that the building next door is available. Unfortunately, she must compete with Nick Coleman to get it. Abby—usually über-responsible—shared one night of intense passion with the playboy, and she’s been trying to forget it ever since. But then Nick bets her the building that he can make her fall in love with him in thirty days.

With his reputation ruining his chances at gaining some big clients, Nick needs a way to prove to everyone that he’s reformed. Dating Abby, the most respected girl in town—and the only one he wants—is the perfect solution. Nick’s confident he’ll get Abby to fall for him, so he’ll win the building and the girl he can’t get out of his mind.

But even though Abby can’t lose, resisting Nick is harder than she thought.

Bookish Bingo Wrap-Up–and a New Challenge!

September–and summer (SOB!) are over–so it’s time for the Summer Bookish Bingo reckoning!

summer-bingo

A Stand-aloneAttachments by Rainbow Rowell (reviewed here)

Sky on CoverLove Bites by Ophelia London (reviewed here)

MC is LGBTIAOctober Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepherd by Leasea Newman (listened on audio on September 7–was a free selection from SYNC this summer)

Set During SummerNatural Born Charmer by Susab Elizabeth Phillips (reviewed here)

Pink CoverReady to Wed by Cindi Madsen (reviewed here)

Starts with S, U, M, E, or RSo I Married a Werewolf by Kristin Miller (reviewed here)

A ThrillerCheating Justice by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano (reviewed here)

Set on a boatThe Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne (reviewed here–a boat is part of the setting–for part of the book, anyway)

Asian MC

A Middle-Grade NovelLoki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr (listened to on September 29-30, right down to the wire! So, so good–review to come this weekend)

A Series FinaleHappy Ever After (Bridal Quartet #4) by Nora Roberts (My first ever Nora Roberts! Listened to from September 27-29. Already have books #1-3 loaded onto my iPod awaiting my listening pleasure–thank you, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library!)

A RetellingPhantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard (reviewed here)

“Storm”, “Rain”, or “Thunder” in titleNight Storm by Tracey Devlyn (reviewed here)

“July”, “August”, or “September” in title

Blue CoverStealing His Heart by Diane Alberts (reviewed here)

A Summer ReleaseMade for You by Melissa Marr (reviewed here)

Strong Sibling RelationshipThe Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennett by Bernie Wong and Kate Rorick (reviewed here)

An Animal CompanionDouble Blind by Tiffany Pitts (reviewed here)

Set on an IslandSecrets of Hallstead House by Amy M. Reade (reviewed here)

Music or Dance Themes— Temptation by Robin Covington (reviewed here)

A Road TripLoving Eden by T.A. Foster (reviewed here–starts out with a road trip)

Magical RealismDivine Sanctuary by Cheryl Kate Tardif (reviewed here)

Set in EuropeCan You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella (a re-read–re-listen?–of one of my favorites! July 23-24)

Water on CoverFlirting with Forever by Kim Boykin (reviewed here)

So–I missed two categories. Not too bad, considering. But now that summer is over–it’s time for BOOKISH BINGO HOLIDAY EDITIONLots of fun categories to read in October, November, and December–whooo hooo!

(No rest for the wicked. Or the people who have book review blogs.)

Bookish Bingo Oct-Dec

Hmmm. Picking one for the “romance” category will be kind of like choosing which one would count toward the “summer release” category last time.

There’s still time to get in on the fun–you can enter until October 15!

A Conversation with Abby Niles, Author of WINNING LOVE (Love to the Extreme #3)

I am reading Abby’s newest book RIGHT NOW. (Perhaps literally, depending on when YOU are reading this 😉 )

Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome, Abby! Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today!

Thank you for having me!

What 5 things should readers know about you?

1) I love to laugh and humor naturally finds its way into my writing, even with heavier issues.

2) I recently became a fur-mommy to two adorable pugs named Smeagol and Precious. Anyone know what movie that is from?  😉

3) I love to read, but don’t get to do it as often as I want. I’d really like to take a weekend trip with just me and my books.

4) I repeated, “What have I done?” a lot while writing Winning Love.

5) The first book I ever wrote was a historical…and it was awful!

 I do! I do! Me! Me! (My very mature answer to #2. Picture me waving my hand above my head–just in case you missed the fact that I do know the answer. Have I spent too much time in junior high classrooms, you think?)

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

My hero is Mac “The Snake” Hannon. Mac is a MMA fighter with a traumatic past. He has shut himself off from life, prefers solitude to being around people and is really just existing, not living. He can get snarly and Gayle loves to call him a curmudgeon.

Though she shares a similar traumatic past, my heroine, Gayle Matthews, is the complete opposite of Mac. She embraces life, jumps in head first with whatever she gets into and isn’t afraid of anything.

As for the needed thing:

Hmm. Let’s see. Gayle would be a MP3 player or some other device to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D whenever she wanted to. It’s her centering music.

Mac would need a heavy bag or practice dummy so he could continue to get out all the guilt and anger inside of him.

 I love the word “curmudgeon”. I think I’m going to have to make an effort to use it more often. I like their “needed thing” answers–definitely unique!

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The inspiration for this book came years before I was even a writer and it was the movie, TWISTER. That movie started my fascination with storm chasing and tornadoes. Fast forward almost twenty years later, I was finally ready to write a book about one.

Wracking brain to remember if I actually saw Twister, or just trailers for it. Might have to check it out on Amazon Prime for a refresher. 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I have been writing for ten years. Becoming a stay at home mom to infant twins is what inspired me to start writing. I needed an escape and for the first time reading wasn’t giving me one. I blame mommy fatigue. I was so tired, I had a really hard time focusing on the story in front of me. However, I needed some kind of escape, so I started writing my own stories. It was a mental workout, kept me focused and I found I loved writing. Things naturally progressed from there.

Ah, mommy fatigue. I remember those days–and I only had one infant at a time! Some days I couldn’t remember my name, let alone write coherent words on a page. Impressive!

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

What I like best is the creating and seeing what my mind comes up with next. The most challenging part is writer’s block. I just went through a horrible bout of it. I mean horrible. My creativeness was on complete lockdown. I had nothing. Those times makes my anxiety skyrocket and I become a rather unlikable person. LOL. I finally just stopped thinking about it, moved on to something else that needed my attention and I had my ah-ha! moment while blowing drying my hair a little over a week later. It’s crazy how that works.

Ugh–a week! Funny how mindless tasks can get you back on track…and thank goodness!

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m working on Lance’s book. No title yet. Sorry, guys! He is Mac’s childhood friend in WINNING LOVE. I just signed another three-book deal to continue my Love to the Extreme series. Lance is first and then Brody and the third book is TBD.

Yay!

What authors and/or books have inspired you?

I think every author and book I read inspire me in some way—even the books I didn’t really care for. I can find something in them that helps me grow as a writer or kickstarts my own imagination.

Good answer…kind of a cop out, but good. 😉

What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I have been slammed and haven’t had a chance to read like I would like. However, I was part of Avery Flynn’s release party a few weeks ago for her new Entangled Indulgence ENEMIES ON TAP. I took a day to read that before the party, and let me tell you, I loved that book. It was a humorous, sexy read. I highly recommend it.

I read it too! Very cute; I second the recommendation. (My review is here.)

If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

He’s squared off with countless men, but one outrageous woman becomes his most unpredictable and thrilling opponent.

Oooh, nice job!

Thank you so much for having me today!

Abby

My pleasure! Read on for more about Abby and her latest book, WINNING LOVE 🙂

About the author:

Ever since Abby Niles picked up her first Sweet Valley High book in sixth grade and fell in love with Elizabeth and Todd, she’s been hooked on romance. By the time she reached high school, she was devouring meatier romances with pirates, cowboys and knights. She never imagined that those years of reading would one day lead to her becoming a published author.

In her late twenties, after having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. Next thing she knew, she was actually submitting to publishing houses. And was immediately rejected. That didn’t stop her, though. She found some kickass critique partners, honed her craft, and continued submitting.

And eventually sold. 

Today, she juggles work, being a single mom, and writing. It’s not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?

Abby is the author of the contemporary MMA romance, Extreme Love, the first book in her Love to the Extreme series. Fighting Love is scheduled to release in December of 2013 and Winning Love is scheduled for 2014. She is also the author of the dark paranormal romance series The Awakening: Aidan and the The Awakening: Liam and The Awakening: Britton. Both series are with Entangled Publishing. She also has a geeky romantic comedy, Defying Convention, with Carina Press. 

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About WINNING LOVE:

Mac “The Snake” Hannon has spent years throwing himself into cage fighting as a way to lash back at the natural disaster that destroyed his future. A call for help has Mac returning to the one place he swore never to return: Kansas—in the height of tornado season.

There he meets free-spirited Gayle Andrews. At first he wants nothing to do with the infuriatingly, persistent woman, but the crazy challenges she tosses his way are impossible to resist. As she thaws years of bitterness, bringing back the Mac he believed long gone, he starts to make peace with the past and see the future again. Until he learns she chases his worst nightmare, then he can’t get away fast enough.

Meteorologist and storm chaser, Gayle Andrews is no stranger to being left behind and now believes in living in the moment. She wants to do just that with the handsome extreme fighter with the achingly sad eyes. As she works to replace the sorrow with desire, she finds herself breaking her one rule: have fun, but don’t fall in love. When he suddenly pushes her away and she discovers the horrifying reason why, she issues one more challenge: face his fear and come on a chase with her.

Will squaring off with the past lead to a victory for heartache or love?

Looking for an Excuse to Read More? How About Bookish Bingo, Summer Edition?

Procrastination is a wonderful thing. It helps me find such interesting stuff online…

book dog

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo month, so I should be writing. (But I already wrote 1001 words this afternoon, so I’m more than halfway to today’s goal, so… 😉 )

I’m taking two online writing courses that I’m shamefully behind on.

I’ve got boxes, crates, and bags of books LITERALLY all over my house from my now not-quite-empty-but-closer-than-it’s-ever-been-before classroom that need to go somewhere. Not to mention all the other stuff from my room that needs a home in my home. Seriously. It’s like the labyrinth over here. I should be doing nothing but finding places for this stuff until it’s all got somewhere to go.

I have two metal cabinets that need to be sanded, painted, put on wheels, and put in the house–plus a bookcase to paint and four more to be set up to replace the almost-dead computer desk that needs to be taken down, dismantled, and thrown away. (But hey, it rained most of the day, and I paint on the back porch, so…)

Have I mentioned my TBR?

So, yeah, I’ve got better things to do than surf the web. But if I hadn’t been doing just that, I wouldn’t have found…

Bookish Bingo, Summer Edition!

summer-bingo

The signup and rules can be found here (hurry, because tomorrow, July 14th, is the deadline. See? Even in my procrastinating, I procrastinate. I am very thorough), but in a nutshell, it’s playing bingo by reading books. Read a book that fits the category in the square (but a book can only be used once on the board, so even if a pink-covered book has strong sibling relationships in it, it can only count for one square) and aim to get at least one bingo. Keep track of what you read for bingo in July, August, and September somewhere online (blog, Goodreads, BookLikes, LibraryThing, etc) and return to the Bookish Bingo creator site (Great Imaginations) to link your bingo wrap up in September. It’s a fun challenge, and there’s prizes too! Check it out…you know, if you’re looking for something new to procrastinate with. 😉

Just looking at my blog reading schedule…I’m reading Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard this week, which is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. One block down! Crashing Down by Cathryn Fox is both set in summer and has (a tiny little sliver, but it’s there) water on the cover, so I’ll have to choose which one I need more. Cheating Justice by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano is a thriller, and the now-complete Roman Holiday by Ruthie Knox has been burning a hole in my TBR for a while now–and it’s a road trip. I need to re-read Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella for book club (yay! It’s one of my favorites!) and it takes place in England, which happens to be in Europe, so…

Gah! I’m kind of all over the place on the board. No matter, though–I’ve got tons more to read, and September is ages away!

What could you read to get bingo? Share! (If you’re stumped for ideas, check out the Great Imaginations post on the link. They offer some suggestions for a few of the categories.)

Okay, now I’m going to get back to goofing off work!

FREE Books! iTunes is having a First in a Series Romance Sale and SYNC offers 2 FREE audiobooks a week this summer!

FREE books–my favorite price! 

iTunes

 

iTunes is running a super sale right now–the first book in DOZENS of romance series are free! I haven’t checked all of them, but so far every one I have has also been free on Amazon. Check it out–just click the banner above!

 

Included in the sale is the book I’m going to review this weekend–Erin McCarthy’s You Make Me, first in her Blurred Lines series and a modern remake of Wuthering Heights. I loved it–and you can’t go wrong for the price!

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If you’re an audiobooks fan like I am, you’ll want to hear (ha! pun not intended) about this one–AudioFile sponsers SYNC every summer, bringing two FREE audiobooks to you each week for thirteen weeks. Each week a current YA title is paired with a summer required reading-type title. We’re already in week seven (sorry to be slacking–the end of the school year is sheer craziness), but it’s not too late to pick up the last fourteen titles!

This week’s theme is Finding Strength in Adversity, and the two titles are FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick and OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD by Leslea Newman. This week’s two are not at all romance titles–be warned–but they definitely sound thought-provoking. I’m downloading my copies as I type this.

Here’s the rest of the summer’s offerings:

July 3 – July 9
TORN FROM TROY by Patrick Bowman, Narrated by Gerard Doyle (Post Hypnotic Press)
PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Narrated by Jim Dale (Brilliance Audio)

July 10 – July 16
CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose, Narrated by Channie Waites (Brilliance Audio)
WHILE THE WORLD WATCHED by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George, Narrated by Felicia Bullock (Oasis Audio)

July 17 – July 23
THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Recorded Books)
THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES II by Arthur Conan Doyle, Narrated by David Timson (Naxos AudioBooks)

July 24 – July 30
HEADSTRONG by Patrick Link, Performed by Deidrie Henry, Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and Scott Wolf (L.A. Theatre Works)
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson, Narrated by Scott Brick (Tantor Audio)

July 31 – August 6
DIVIDED WE FALL by Trent Reedy, Narrated by Andrew Eiden (Scholastic Audio)
THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane, Narrated by Frank Muller (Recorded Books)

August 7 – August 13
LIVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS by Ben Lesser, Narrated by Jonathan Silverman and Ben Lesser (Remembrance Publishing)
THE SHAWL by Cynthia Ozick, Narrated by Yelena Shmulenson (HighBridge Audio)

In past years I’ve gotten quite a few classic Shakespeare plays, performed by some impressive casts–so much better than just reading the text in a book. I was super excited to see that JIM DALE is narrating one of next week’s books–he’s practically audiobook royalty. I’d listen to him narrate a cereal box–even something boring with lots of fiber. He’s amazing!

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Anyone else find any good freebies out there? Let us know!

What to read, what to read… (with a flowchart!)

         I found this graphic while procrastinating grading my final exams checking my email yesterday–too cute not to share!
But seriously–no one reading this is going to limit themselves to just ONE romance hero this summer, right? Because that would be so, so wrong….

 

(Clicking on the graphic will take you to the HQN site, where you can read synopses of each book pictured.)

I have already read Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins–loved it; I think it’s my favorite of her Blue Heron series so far. I’ve only held off reading Katie McGarry’s Take Me On because I’m hoping it’s going to come out on audio–I love the two narrator format of her Pushing the Limits series. Fingers crossed that I’m not waiting in vain…

I’ve got to start Jennifer Armentrout’s Dark Elements series too (White Hot Kiss)–I’ve been dying to since we saw her at the Baltimore Book Festival last fall! Surely she’ll do a good job with the dreaded love triangle element, right?

Eternal optimist that I am, I’m undoubtedly going to give the latest trilogy in Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series a try (When We Met is the first one) even though the last few have been rather stale. Hopefully the series got a revamp in the meantime.

Linda Lael Miller and B.J. Daniels are definitely authors on my TBR pile…and the shirtless veterinarian intrigues me (though I’m really glad our veterinarian didn’t come out shirtless the other day. He’s a good 40+ years older than the one on the cover of Vicki Lewis Thompson’s book, and the effect would NOT have been the same, I’m afraid).

 

How about you? Where did the flowchart take you? Anything look good? Anything you’ve already read or are dying to read? Share!