Sunday, May 3, 2015

April Reads 2015

I tried book blogging didn't work out. I ramble too much. Then last year I decided to post once a month with a small blurb about each book I read that month. It works better for me. So much so that I'm going to continue this year. You can click on any picture and it'll take you to the Goodreads page.

Finished 11 books this month. Brings by total to 38 for the year. Almost halfway to my goal.
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Can I give this book 10 stars? Everyone keeps saying you will love this book! Well, I'm sitting here thinking "I love this book" with tears in my eyes. So amazing. Sky is such a badass MC. Mainly because she's so real. She's not perfect and doesn't always think things through but has such a big heart. And Josh, sweet, broken Josh. I just want to hug him. A must read for all.
 More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs

I am loving this series! I thought More Than Music was good but More Than Comics was even better!! You get the best of both worlds...a musician who is a comic book geek/ we get to see concerts and backstage plus a little comic con and cosplay! And Hector and Tara were so much fun to watch as they struggled with their in person relationship. Can't wait to read the rest of the stories!
 Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

This was my first Courtney Summers book and I have to say I was hooked on her writing after the first few pages. I'm glad Katy Upperman insisted I read her books. I love that Parker is a complex main character. And that she's not perfect. At least not anymore. We know she went from being cheer captain to class drinker, but we don't know why. And in some ways I'm not sure she does either. We get glimpses here and there about what happened to make her change her ways until finally she opens up.
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

After reading All Cracked Up I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Some Girls Are. I really really enjoyed All Cracked Up so I thought it doesn't happen often the next book is just as good. But it was! In some ways better. Some Girls Are shows the worst parts of high school and doesn't sugar coat them. I was fortunate to go to a school that didn't have issues like the ones in this book. Sure, there was jealousy and cliques and such, but nothing to the extreme of these books. But that doesn't mean I don't think stuff like this went on. Still goes on. And in some ways worse. I love that these books take difficult issues and they don't sugar coat it. These are the types of books that can make someone say hey, this isn't right or I went through this. Things like that. These are why YA saves.

Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar

I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. It wasn't's just....different. It's hard to describe.
Unchanged by Jessica Brody

This is by far one of my favorite series ever. Jessica Brody did such an incredible job bringing us to the future and back. There was a split second where I almost freaked out, but I held it in. Incredible story well told.
 Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

I was anxious to read this novel knowing how many people loved it. Though it's not my favorite of hers, I really enjoyed it.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I read this book when it first came out but had to do a reread because it's been so long and I wanted to finish the series.

 I Was Here by Gayle Forman

In many of the reviews I've read for this book the reader says they aren't sure how they feel about it or can't decide. And I get why. It's such a touchy subject that you don't want to rave and gush about it, yet the book was beautifully written so you can't put it down. Cody was such a strong main character. Sure, we saw her grieve and break down and basically almost give up. But in the end that's what makes us strong, letting people see the real us, not matter how bad it is. I applaud Gayle for taking a taboo topic and putting it out there in such a tactful way.
 The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I am really loving books with twisty plots that I don't see coming! This one is no exception. The only thing I had issue with was keeping up with the dates. Remembering if I was reading current or past. Other than that I enjoyed it. Couldn't put it down, read it in a day.
 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

My favorite so far!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Reads 2015

I tried book blogging didn't work out. I ramble too much. Then last year I decided to post once a month with a small blurb about each book I read that month. It works better for me. So much so that I'm going to continue this year. You can click on any picture and it'll take you to the Goodreads page.

I don't know what it is but I struggled with books in the beginning of the month. They'd take me forever to read. Not because the book was bad, I just couldn't focus. Of the 12 I read this month, 7 were read the week of spring break (last week of the month).

Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold (Broken Hearts & Revenge #2)

I have the best sister-in-law who gets the best ARCS and shares them!!!
And oh my word. I did NOT see that coming. Or THAT coming! The antics in this book have totally been amped up. The length that these girls go to to get each other back are down right insane! And I loved every minute of it. Also, am I the only one who thinks Ford and Gemma should be a thing? I'm just not feeling Josh or Teddy. I want book 3 RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) byRob Thomas, Jennifer Graham

This was a reread for me but well worth it. I wanted to start the second book in the series as soon as it came out but after re-watching the movie I felt I wasn’t remembering a lot from the book. So, reread it was. I can’t say enough how much I love the world of Neptune and Veronica Mars. There needs to be more. TV, movie, book…I’ll take whatever. I’m glad Rob Thomas decided to continue the series. If you loved the show you’ll love the books. They feel so true to the story.

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)

Took me a bit to get into this book but wow...once I did, I was hooked. And the ending?! So many emotions all rolled into one. Incredible book to end a great series. One thing...but I'm not sure why so many people like The Darkling…I never once did. I honestly found Sturmhond much more appealing than Mal or The Darkling.

Unremembered (Unremembered #1) and Unforgotten (Unremembered #2)

Amazing!! Love seeing Sera discover the world and following along with her and Zen trying to help her. I adore Zen. Jessica did a great job weaving in back story and hints through the entire first book. So many things that now seem obvious slowly made sense as I made my way through the book. Book 2 was just as good, if not better. Seeing them finally in 1609 was neat. And then the introduction of a new character, Kaelen, made for some interesting scenes. Though I'm not sure about him, if I like him or not. He's made to be the way he is...but part of me hopes he'll break away from that. Either way, he's no Zen. And with that ending...I can't wait to read book 3.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I went back and forth with Red Queen, loved it, wasn't sure, liked it, not sure, loved it. It started out really strong, seemed to drag a little but them BAM, 180. The REDS and SILVERS have a bit of a Greasers and Socs feel, but with powers. The Silvers have powers, unbelievable powers, and the reds do no and are thought of as lower class. They're the grunt workers. Until Mare. We find out how different she is and what lengths the kind and his queen will go to to stop people from finding out. And what happens, and who's on what side, will really blow your mind! 

Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #1) byRob ThomasJennifer Graham

Another Veronica Mars novel and it did not disappoint. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling.

First time reading Harry Potter. I know, I know! Late to the party. I actually listened to the audio book, which really helped with learning the names of the characters. Enjoyed the first two and can't wait for book 3.

Surf & Surrender by Riley Edgewood

Oh my word I loved this book by Riley. She does an excellent job of character building and plot twisting. And the hotness?! Plenty of it!! Quinn and Sawyer are a fun but complicated couple with such distinct voices. A must read! Perfect to get you in the mood for summer.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Second favorite Dessen book for sure! What's not to love about beach, bikes and second chance?! Auden was an exceptional main character. Never annoying, even when she didn't know what she wanted. And the scenery...I want to live in Colby!

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahhill

I really enjoyed this book. It's not one of my favorites, I didn't connect much with the main character, Joss. But I adored her friend Matt. Overall it was a good read.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday?! In Which I Make A Comeback!

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk as a way for writers to keep in touch by sharing what they've been up to. Be sure to link up on their site if you want to join in on the fun. 

What I'm Reading

I finished up the Shadow and Bone series early this week. It was a good series but the last book, Ruin and Rising, was amazing! I recently started Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and the audio book of Unremembered by Jessica Brody. So far I'm really into both.

What I'm Writing

I finally have WHEN THE WIND BLOWS in the query stage. EEP. So I'm slooowwwwllllyyyy starting to draft FALLING SLOWLY. I have the first chapter written and am feeling out how I want the next few to go. It'll be difficult since it's a back and forth of present and past. I'm toying with past tense which is very new to me so it's proving to be a challenge.

What Works For Me

Writing whenever I have an idea or scene in my head. If it's opening up an email at work or on my phone, grabbing my laptop or iPad or even scribbling it down in a note book.

What Else Is New

So much. Especially since it's been forever since I've posted. I'm hoping to make it a regular thing! It's one of my goals this year but I've been slacking. Time to stop that. 

Two weekends ago kiddo and I went to Pensacon (a small, local comic con type thing). It's only the second year it's been around but has grown so much. We had a blast! Kiddo went as Star-Lord and, after I was told a Captain America shirt wasn't enough, I went as Batman.

This past weekend I got to cross off the first thing on my Twenty-Five under Thirty-Five list (post here). I participated in and FINISHED a Tough Mudder run. If you don't know what that is, it's a 10-12 mile (the one here was 11.7 miles) course full of mud, muck and 20 obstacles. And it was a BLAST! I crawled through mud, slide into a tank of ice water, climbed walls, ran across them sideways, crawled through tunnels, ran through a gas tent and electrical wires. And I can't wait to do it all again! Fingers are crossed that the Tough Mudder comes back to this area next year.

Friday, February 27, 2015

February Reads 2015

I tried book blogging didn't work out. I ramble too much. Then last year I decided to post once a month with a small blurb about each book I read that month. It works better for me. So much so that I'm going to continue this year. You can click on any picture and it'll take you to the Goodreads page.

This month was a little slow, only six books. It's at least a book a week, which isn't bad.
Siege and Storm was every bit as good as Shadow and Bone. I was very excited to get back to the world of the Sun Summoner. Leigh paints such a vivid image of the world surrounding these characters.
I have a soft spot for all things Australian, including authors. And Raw Blue by Kristy Eagar did not disappoint. Carly is one of the most true-to-self main characters I've ever read.She's surly and snappy and kind of a downer, but you can forgive her that. She makes no excuses for her attitude. You either take her or leave her. And her story is amazing. Maybe not one of a kind, but different enough to keep you enthralled.
Wow. Just wow. I am in awe of this book. Written completely in letters, emails, and IMs, it's a story of lost love and new beginnings and so much more. If your a fan of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks then I think you'll really enjoy this book. Rosie is cute and young and completely insane at times. And Alex? Sometimes I can't figure out what he's thinking. But I'm not sure it would work out any other way than how the story goes.
Not sure what to say about this book. It wasn't bad by any means, it just wasn't a "me" book. It was well written and researched and interesting, but it isn't the type of book I normally read.
I enjoyed Dahlia's Behind The Scenes (her first YA book), but I LOVE LOVE LOVED Last Will and Testament (her first NA book). I think this will be one of my favorite books of 2015!! Lizzie is fierce! I would love to have her confidence and I-don't-give-a-shit attitude. I love a MC who can hold her head up no matter what. And Connor, swoon!!! Why are there not more guys out there that are caring and endearing? What happened to chivalry? He's totally my new book boyfriend. I can't wait to see where this series goes.
Another awesome book. I'm on a roll with contemporary, they've all been amazing this month! I absolutely adored this book. A tough, sarcastic MC and a tall, dark and handsome LI mixed with baseball? What's not to love? 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Twenty-Five by Thirty-Five

Once again I'm borrowing an idea from Katy Upperman. She did a list of thirty things she wanted to accomplish by thirty-five (see her post here) and I loved the idea. But I'm changing it up a little and doing twenty-five by thirty-five.

I decided to do the list as a way to accept growing older. Though it's inevitable, it's still hard. For a while I just said "I'm twenty-nine and I'm not growing older". Worked for Peter Pan...not so much for me. But now I have something to look forward to. Here's the list below.

1. Compete in a Tough Mudder race
2. Train for a half-marathon
3. Complete a half-marathon
4. Run at least four 5Ks a year
5. Run a color run/vibe
6. Complete two-three novels
7. Get a book agent
8. Get a book published
9. Read the Harry Potter series
10. Watch all the Harry Potter movies
11. Go to Potter World!
12. Go back to school
14.Swim with Dolphins
15.Get two (or more) more tattoos
16.Go to a book event
17. Read at least 50 books a year
18. Complete 1000 piece Lego set
19. Learn to knit
20.Visit New Orleans and get a beignet
21. Complete two DIY projects a year
22.Go to a concert, or two
23.Have purple hair (even if just a streak)
24.Try Roller Derby (or at least get back on my skates)
25.Go on a trip by myself!(meaning...not the boys, just me or me and the girls)

As you can see this is a pretty crazy, insane, jumbled up list. But it's something to strive for and look forward to. And I can't wait to start crossing items off.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Reads 2015

I tried book blogging didn't work out. I ramble too much. Then last year I decided to post once a month with a small blurb about each book I read that month. It works better for me. So much so that I'm going to continue this year. You can click on any picture and it'll take you to the Goodreads page.

January wasn't a bad month (though I only read half as many books as last January minus one).
 I was very fortunate to receive an eArc of Kalahari by Jessica Khoury. I've read her two others books but this is by far my favorite in the Corpus series.  It was full of action with enough humor to keep the intensity down and real. Jessica did a great job painting a picture of the semi-desert and the animals that reside there.

I FINALLY broke down and read (okay, listened, these were audible audio books) to The Selection Series (The Selection, The Elite, The One) by Kiera Cass. And I am SO glad I did. I'm not one to watch The Bachelor but boy did I love these books. I'm not 100% sure what it is about them but they kept me guessing on the edge of my seat. They also kept me wanting to throw my phone because the characters at times drove me crazy. A good crazy, but crazy nonetheless.

I wanted to love Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid...but I didn't. Everyone else that I know who has read it loves it. I want to be one of those people. Sometimes I wonder if the hype of a book is so big that I don't fully fall into it. Great story overall, just wasn't one I loved.

Another one I wanted to just love was Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas. It was great, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't as good as Dangerous Girls. I think I hyped this one up on my own. But it did what it was supposed to: creep me out, make me wonder what the characters were thinking and then do a 180 when you realize what's going on. She has a way of giving you whiplash in the best way possible.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is as good as everyone says, though I'm glad I wanted to read this one because I'm afraid the hype might have killed it. (what is it with me and hype this month, I swear it affects me)
Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir. My oh my this book will stick you right in the gut. Christa has such a way of bringing these stories to life that all you want to do is hold the characters and tell them it'll be all right, even if it won't be. It's not a happily ever after by any means but it's the type of book that you need out there because life is always a happy ending.

I was in the need of some light reading after my last book so I picked up The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols. It's the perfect winter time read. You can never go wrong with an Jen Echols book.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Reading and Writing and Blogging OH MY

2014 wasn't a bad year but wasn't a great year either. It was just one of those years that was. I completed a lot of goals while starting others. Kiddo finished kindergarten and started first grade while playing t-ball, soccer and basket ball. We went on our first cruise with my husbands family and made it back safely (though sick). But now 2015 is here!


I wanted to read 60 books and I did. Plus some. I ended the year with 137 books read (not counting the ones that aren't published yet). In 2015 I'm aiming for 80 books and if I reach that early I'll adjust my goal.


I put my last complete novel (One More Summer) on the shelf after a round of querying. I got a few partial and full requests but nothing came of those. I started and completed my third novel (When The Wind Blows). I'm debating on waiting for more notes or reading it again myself and going from there. I love this book and want to see it succeed but I also don't want to put it out in the world before its ready. My goal for this year is to start and finish my fourth novel (Falling Slowly) and, if I complete it, start another (What If I Was Nothing).

My critique partner, Jessica Leake, and I have made goals for ourselves. I want to complete Falling Slowly by March 20th (before kiddo’s spring break) which means I need to write 780 words a day to finish on time.


I really slacked on blogging this year. The most I did was Ready? Set. Write! and my monthly book updates. This year I want to do more weekly blogging by sticking with What's Up Wednesday? as well as keep up my monthly reading wrap-ups.