Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Post #86 and Stacking the Shelves April 23rd, 2017

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.   I'm actually working and making a bit of a dent in the books I've finished that need to be reviewed.  I'm nowhere near being caught up, but I can see a little progress.  One thing that is helping is doing multiple mini-reviews in one post whenever I get a chance.  I've also added a second notebook that works kind of like a calendar, but it keeps track of my books and what day I need to read them by as well as a list of what books I've read for the month.  Here is a look at it:

It's numbered to 28 on every page, and then there is room to add a 29 and 30 at the bottom. The only problem is months with 31 days, but as you can see for May in the picture above, I've figured it out.

Here is a close up of the May TBR side of the notebook.  This helps me to look at a straight list of what order I need to read things.  Usually the date that I put them on has to do with when I am part of a blog tour or have promised to read and review it by.

I'm showing a close up of my April's finished page, since it isn't May yet, I don't have anything on this page yet.  But as I read and finish a book, I write it on the list, and then as I post a review, I cross it out.  This could also be helpful for end of the month posts.

Anyway on with the normal parts of this post.

Here's what you might have missed on the blog last week:
So I definitely got in more than the 3 reviews a week that I hope to get this week.  Sure a lot of them were mini-reviews, but that's okay!  Once again I'm trying not to overbook myself, so hopefully in May I'll get my posts cut down to only two a day, if not only one.  Or else a promo post and one personal post like a review, meme, etc.  I was caught up for a few days this week, but now, after this one goes live, I'll have no posts ready to go for the rest of the week. Although I intend to work on some of those later today.  I'm caught up on my Camp NaNoWriMo as I had Friday off, and Saturday, and today!  So lots of time to keep up and get ahead on my writing as well.  And I still have a giveaway going on till the end of the month!

Coming up this week on the blog:
  • Promos:  Royal Mistake by Erin Hayes, Hide From Me by Mary Lindsey, Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O, No Relationship Required by Amelia James, YORK:  The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, Shopping For a CEO's Wife by Julia Kent, Karma by Cynthia Vespia, and Dangerous Interference by B.J. Wang
  • Can't Wait Wednesday
  • Reviews:  Forks, Knives, and Spoons by Leah DeCesare, The Makeup Test by Vanessa M. Knight, Missing by Kelley Armstrong, and Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman
  • Possible Reviews:  Driven series #1-3.5 by K. Bromberg (audiobook), Facade by Nyrae Dawn
 So, I have 4 reviews I have to do for blog tours or publisher and author requests.  Then I'm hoping to get some other past completed books done.  I've also got several ARCs I need to get read before next week!  Gah!  So I've been working on doing lots of reading, a lot of staying up late at night.  Oh well.  There's only like 23 days left of school, so I can make it through those without a lot of sleep, right?  My sister who lives in NYC will be home next weekend for her birthday, so I'll have a KC Royals baseball game to go to Friday night after work, and then Saturday will be her birthday party with family.  And I'll have to work next Sunday too.  Plus, I've got to finish up my 30,000 word goal for Camp NaNoWriMo.  I only work one night this week at the bookstore, so hopefully I'll have lots of time to write.

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected. As usual I have way too many free new e-books to share.  Honestly, I may never share those again at the rate I keep downloading them.  I also had a pretty slow week for physical books as well, although I do still have some to share.

Physical books:

I won these from one of the authors in the YA Spring Scavenger Hunt.  Awesome books!  I've already read The Heir and the Spare, but I didn't have a copy of it, so now I do!

I also bought a copy of the book that the students at the school where I am a librarian put out this year.


 The first one I've already read and will be reviewing in another week.  The last one I will be trying to get read by later this week!

So those are the books I've added to my shelves this week.  What have you added to your shelves? 

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche

Book info:
TitleLast Semester
Author:  Corine Mekaouche
Publication date: April 21st, 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.
I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.
“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”
Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.
“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.
“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.
Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.
Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?
I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.
It’s official.
I killed my roommate.
Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…
Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?
The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.
“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”
Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.
Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!
Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.
“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”
“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.
I’m frozen.

Author Bio:
The geek and a dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Four Romance Mini-Reviews of Books by Three of My Favorite Authors

As I keep mentioning, over and over, I am way behind on reviews.  So whenever I feel that I can, I am combining multiple reviews into one post, and making each book have just a mini-review.  I really hope to soon get back on track with blogging/reviewing a book basically within a day or two of finishing it.  We'll see how that goes.  The books I'm sharing today are all from some of the authors that I will pretty much read anything that has their name on it.  And you'll get to see my picture with them from Apollycon last month!

Riveted (Saints of Denver #3) by Jay Crownover:

My rating:  4 stars

I love Jay Crownover's tattooed bad boys.  This actually is probably the first of her books, well, other than Leveled, that I didn't listen to on audio.  For some reason my library hasn't ever ordered the audiobook of it.  However, at the end of Charged, book 2 in this series, I'm pretty sure that we got to hear the narrator who would be doing the main character Church's voice in this book.  Now, while the voice totally fits what I would think of for Church, I don't know that I could have listened to a whole audiobook, or half an audiobook - his half of the story, read by that deep voice.  It would be kind of like listening to James Earl Jones or Barry White read a book.  Not sure I'd be able to concentrate on the actual words.  And honestly, I think I would get a little annoyed.  But anyway, ENOUGH about the possible narrator of the audiobook since I actually read this one. 

Honestly I probably didn't love this one as much as the other stories by Crownover because so much of it takes place away from the characters that I've come to know and love as the side characters or main characters in the other books.  While it was exciting to have the characters stop in my hometown of Kansas City on their trip, I did not appreciate or like that the author used my city as a place that a racist incident occurred.  While I'm in no way saying that my city doesn't have any of those kinds of issues, I honestly feel we are not like that.  Those kind of incidents have been in the national news on the other side of our state, the city that we consider a rival in a lot of things, but KC is more of a nice place to live and be.  Honestly, I was happiest to get this story going so that I could see how Wheeler might be able to be Poppy's true love in the final book of the series coming out later this year, Salvaged.  I'm glad to see that the way Wheeler and Dixie's sister's relationship ends is one that I can still like Wheeler for, and not think he should be going back to anyone else.  Now, I'm just ready for June, so that I can read Wheeler and Poppy's story, although I'm not ready to say goodbye to my Marked Men and Saints of Denver family. 

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael's life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that's become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she's going hunting for him...even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it's time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.

When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he's all wrong for you.

Here I am with Jay Crownover at Apollycon 2017:

Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #2) by Samantha Young:

My rating:  4.5 stars

 This book was one that when I picked it up, I had so much trouble putting it down.  The characters were good, it is a total enemies to lovers story.  But there was a bit at the end where Bailey was irritating me a little.  In the end I was happy with the way the story worked out.  I don't know that I liked it quite as much as the first book in the series, The One Real Thing, but I still enjoyed it.  I hope for more of these characters, I'm especially eager for hopefully a book for Emery, the shy bookstore owner.  I'd like to know just what is in her background that has made her the way she is, and who will be her HEA.  

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy. 

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.

Here I am with Samantha Young at Apollycon 2017:

Landon Gibson series by Anna Todd:

Now, I read these on Wattpad, unlike the After series that I only got in on after they were in print.  When I picked these up in print form to read, for some reason I had in my head that we hadn't gotten all the answers on Wattpad, and that may still be true.  Overall I enjoyed spending time with Landon, but I guess maybe I would have liked a little bit more with Tessa in the story.  I know that isn't necessarily quite how Todd writes her stories though.  I really would like to get more of Tessa and Hardin from that time period though.  And maybe that is why these were only okay for me, they weren't anything like the original series that had me reading huge over 500 pages books in hours because I couldn't stop.  I did not get these signed at Apollycon though, because of how big her other books were, and that we were only supposed to have five books per author, I decided to wait. Knowing she will be at Apollycon next year in Washington D.C., and that I am going to be a volunteer again, I'll be sure to get them signed then.  I'll do my picture with this author a little different than the top two.  I'll put my picture with her right below this paragraph, then a bonus picture with her at the end after I talk about the two books individually.

Nothing More (Landon Gibson #1):

My rating:  3.5 stars

I did try listening to this one, but the narrator's voice was just to monotone/boring to keep my attention.  This was not a quick read as I said before, but it did leave off in a way that made me glad the next book was published soon afterwards.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

New York's skyscrapers and hectic pace are a far cry from where Landon Gibson grew up, and the transition to New York University has been jarring. But he's getting the hang of things, found a job that pays (some of) the bills, enjoys school, and only occasionally runs into his ex, Dakota. You know, the one he chose NYU for...before she dumped him. 

Luckily, his best friend, Tessa, shares a (terribly small) Brooklyn apartment with him. And given the ups and downs she's had with her own ex, she's a good listener when he finds himself in something of a love triangle—a love knot? Whatever it is, it's a mess. An exciting mess. Maybe an addicting mess, because beautiful girls. 

Being young and finding your way in the world is hard. Landon's always been a positive person. But such a loud, demanding city so far away from home means you only get by with a little help from your friends. And a good pair of headphones. 

Landon's going to be okay...but the journey sure will be fun to watch.

Nothing Less (Landon Gibson #2):

My rating:  4 stars

Actually my rating would probably be closer to 3.5 than 4 stars again.  But I rounded up.  I liked finally getting the answer to who Landon would end up with, who that mysterious wife of his that was mentioned, but not by name, in the After series.  This one was truly better than the first in this series, but overall, just not as addictive as the original series.  There are so many scenes and things I wish that had been included in these.  You should definitely read these if you love the original series though, and everyone should have adored Landon as Tessa's best friend, so it is nice to see him getting his HEA, even with all that he goes through to get it.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Book 2 of a new series featuring After worldwide fan-favorite Landon Gibson as he leaves Washington to navigate love and life in New York City. At the end of the After Ever Happy, Landon got married—but readers everywhere have been wondering who will get to call the nicest boy in the After series their forever love? Read it and find out!

“I'm so excited for everyone to get to know Landon Gibson. Whether you're just hearing about him or already know him from the After series, I know that readers are going to love his story. He's kind and fiercely loyal, and when he falls in love, he loves hard.” (Anna Todd, New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of the After series)

And the bonus picture that I have to share is my tattoo that kind of matches Anna's tattoo.  What was so cool was that right after I finished the series, I knew that I wanted a tattoo to remember it by, like my other tattoo is for another book series that really was a big part of my life.  When I went onto Twitter and asked other fans as well as tagging the author to see if anyone had the little infinity symbol tattoo, it turned out the author was getting ready to go get the tattoo that week after I asked about it!  It was only a few weeks later that I got my infinity symbol tattoo.  So when I met her at Apollycon, I asked if I could take a picture of our tattoos together, and she said yes, so here is that picture.


Pre-Order/Release Blitz and Giveaway: Love Me (A Pleasant Valley Novel) by Anna Brooks

Title: Love Me
Series: A Pleasant Valley Novel
Author: Anna Brooks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2017

Vaughn Morris survives on denial and hope. He spends his days permanently marking other’s skin and his nights trying to forget the scars imbedded in his soul. When he returns back home desperately seeking approval from the mother who left him for dead, the last thing he expects to do is fall in love with a woman who is just as closed off as he is.

Rayne Garner hasn’t truly lived in years. She made a promise to her high school sweetheart, and she refuses to break it. Nobody has made her question her loyalty until Vaughn forces her to face reality, no matter how brutal it may be.
As tempers clash and ugly truths are revealed, a friendship they didn’t need turns into a love neither thought they wanted. But Rayne and Vaughn not only have to fight for each other, they must survive threats from a past they’re both trying to move on from.

“Vaughn, look . . .” I whisper.
“I am. And I really like what I see.”

I knew earlier that he was trouble, but now, with his hands on me and the thoughts I’m having that I know I shouldn’t be . . . I’ve gotta squash this before anything starts. “Listen, I—”

His hair moves freely as he shakes his head. “Don’t blow me off. I know that’s what you’re about to do. Don’t do it.”

“I’m a lesbian,” I blurt out. “I’m flattered, but sorry.” I’ve rehearsed the line so many times I almost believe it myself. Wish I believed it sometimes.

He laughs. It catches me so off guard that I find my jaw open, and I’m staring at the way laughter changes the hard angles of his face to soft ones that make him less intimidating and more beautiful.

“Why are you laughing? You’re the one in a gay bar.”

“I’m here for Kenny and Brad. I’m not gay, darlin’, and if you think that, then I gotta step up my game.”

“I’m not interested in playing games.” I cross my arms defensively. “Besides, I didn’t say that you were gay. I said I was a lesbian.”

He laughs again. Once he catches his breath, he takes another shot. “The way you were moving your hips. Grindin’ on my cock . . . Damn, baby. Got me hard as a fuckin’ rock. You’re not a lesbian.”

“Yes. I am.” This is what I tell people when I get hit on, because the truth is too hard to bear. Sometimes, I just don’t want the reminder that I won’t have anything else.

“You’re not a lesbian.”

“Fine.” I sigh. “Caught me. I’m asexual.”

He huffs. “No, you’re not.”

“Am too.”

“Are not.”

“Am too!” I screech.

He extends his arm and runs a finger around my knee and up to the hem of my very short dress. I try to pretend he doesn’t affect me, but my breath hitches in my throat, and my cheeks heat up. When he traces just beneath the hemline, I shiver. Dammit. Asshole.

“No. You’re not.” He smirks and squeezes my thigh before letting go.

Anna began writing when she thought the world would want to hear her sick lyrics through song. Since then, she's realized her childhood dream wasn't so far-fetched, just misguided. Now she writes romance with real emotions and happy endings. If Anna isn't writing or reading, she can be found by a space heater painting her nails and drinking a ridiculous amount of Diet Dr Pepper. She also likes to hang out with her husband and two boys. If it wasn't for them, she wouldn't ever leave the house. Anna was born in Wisconsin but now lives in the Evergreen State. 

Book giveaway for Love, Me: A Pleasant Valley Novel by Anna Brooks Mar 23-Apr 28, 2017

Enter to win one of 1 free copy available. Giveaway dates from Mar 23-Apr 28, 2017. Enter to win a signed paperback copy of Love, Me, the latest romance ...