Category Archives: Blog Hop

Blog Tour/Review – Treasured by Thursday – Catherine Bybee

Treasured 400x600Treasured by Thursday
Author: Catherine Bybee
Series: #7 in the Weekday Brides
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by NetGalley

Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?

Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.

Ok, I’ll admit there might have been literal jumping up and down from excitement when I got the email from Catherine Bybee’s assistant wanting to know if I would participate in the upcoming blog tour for her newest book. I’ve been blogging for a while now and still get excited when authors (and their assistants) ask me if i’m interested in reviewing their books, because it lets me know that people do actually read my reviews/blog ;). Double bonus for this one was that I have been working my way through the series in the last couple of months – but I have been trying to savor the books, knowing that one day it would all end (and unfortunately, that day seems to be now (sad panda).

One of the things I like the most about this series was that I didn’t necessarily have to read the books in order (I mean my OCD makes me want to…but you don’t have to)…in fact, I jumped from reading books 1-3, to reading book 7 for the blog tour and while you see the HEA’s for some of the later couples in the series, there was nothing that occurred in those books that caused me to be confused in reading (which is always good, since i tend to get confused very easily at times!) But at the same time, I loved seeing the couples from the first 3 books (that I had read) and how they were still so much in love with each other (considering the fact that the books are all based on a marriage of convenience premise).

I will admit that now that i’ve finished Treasured by Thursday, I have a hard time picking which book (of the 4 I’ve read) feature my favorite couple. Up until yesterday, I would have said the first book, because I was a total Blake/Sam sucker (and love the fact that they renew their wedding vows every year) – but now, I think Gabriella and Hunter might try to push them out of the running (but it could be an interesting battle, that is for sure). Honestly, its hard to describe what i love about Catherine’s writing…she just seems to nail the emotion perfectly and I can rave all day about her (in fact, she is one of my go-to authors for contemporary romance recommendations). I also know that when I sit down to read one of her books that I need to block out at least several hours, because I find it really hard to stop once I start (nothing wrong with that right?)

But on to Hunter and Gabriella – I will admit that I don’t remember Gabriella from previous books, her name doesn’t ring a bell (it could be that she was there, but a minor character, or she could not have been introduced yet – i guess, I’ll find out when i jump back to book 4 in a little while). But when she was introduced and her horrible driving record was brought into the storyline I just laughed (I will admit mine isn’t as bad as hers, but i’ve had a few issues in my time, including a run-in with a deer) – so it was like we were made to be book friends. And as for Hunter, well, i couldn’t help but like him, i mean how many people are honest enough to say they don’t have a lot of close friends (I don’t know many)…

I will admit that i liked how the romance between Hunter and Gabriella was relatively slow to build – they had their ups and their downs and times when as a reader, i wanted to slap both of them upside the head (a la gibbs)…but i think for me that is why i like these books – they show how marriage (be it true love or one of convenience) isn’t necessarily going to the a smooth path, like many romances out there – makes them more believable (for lack of a better word) and shows the individuality that each person brings to the relationship.

It was bittersweet reading the last book in the series (or is it, since she is out of weekdays), knowing that there won’t be any more (as of right now), but i can always hope/dream that maybe a spin-off will occur because i would love to read more (and I’ll be going back to pick up the other 3 books in the series that I haven’t read yet)…Treasured by Thursday got 4 stars from me and I highly recommend it to someone who is looking for a contemporary romance that is sweet and yet sexy at the same time. Fans of Kimberly Kincaid and Tracy Brogan would enjoy.

Bybee PhotoAbout Catherine:
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her two teenage sons in Southern California.


Amazon: Treasured by Thursday
B&N: Treasured by Thursday
BAM: Treasured by Thursday
BOOK DEPOSITORY: Treasured by Thursday


Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Blog Hop, Book Review


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Blog Tour PROMO – A Shot in the Dark – Jennifer Burrows

A Shot in the Dark

A Shot in the Dark
Jennifer Burrows

Most of the patients that are brought to the trauma bay in the ER remain nameless, and for the most part, faceless. For Laney Pearson and the rest of the staff, this makes it easier to move past the senseless death and destruction that they see on an almost daily basis. But all of that changes for Laney when she finds herself trying to pump the life back into a young motorcycle rider who arrives by helicopter more dead than alive.

Skyler Smith has all the makings of the next great motocross rider, right up until he crashes while trying to perform the trick that will secure his future. From the time his motionless body is lifted off the track, the question becomes not when his next race takes place, but whether he will live to see another day. And now there is mounting evidence that the tragedy was no accident

Laney can never envision this boy’s crash and the ensuing investigation will have such an impact on her own life, but in the days that follow, she discovers a life within her she never knew existed. While the police sort through the mounting evidence from the crash, Laney has to sort through her own feelings for the handsome trauma surgeon that she previously never gave a second thought. Is he really as charming as he seems, or is there another reality hiding beneath the surface? And just how long has he been watching her?

Laney stared at the television on the wall noting the ESPN announcers talking about the day’s football games highlights. She barely noticed the man that slipped in the barstool beside her. She probably would have ignored him all together except the wonderful smell of his cologne made her tune in to the fact that there was someone sitting next to her. It was the same smell that permeates the Abercrombie and Fitch stores. Oh God I love that smell. She felt a warming sensation between her legs and was startled out of her thoughts when he turned towards her.
“You should probably eat something if you are going to drink like that.”
Laney turned her head towards the voice of the wonderfully smelling man and was shocked to see Dr. Stone sitting next to her. She instantly turned bright red, embarrassed by the thoughts that had crossed her mind just a few seconds before.
“What. are.?”
“Laney, it’s never good to drink on an empty stomach.”
Annoyed, Laney responded. “I didn’t realize that I asked for your professional opinion”.
Dr. Stone looked a bit taken back by her sharp tongue. Laney instantly regretted what she said and the inclination of her voice.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean it like that. It’s was a really rough day.”
The bartender appeared with the Grey Goose and soda. Taylor looked at Dr. Stone admiring him as though she could have him for dinner. Laney looked at Taylor checking out Dr. Stone and then looked at his reaction. He didn’t even seem to notice that she had been checking him out. I can see why everyone is hot for this guy. He is pretty hot…. in an asshole sort of way.
“And what can I get for you?” Taylor nearly crawled over the bar as she was getting Dr. Stone’s order.
“I’ll have what she is having”.
“Do you have a name?”
Now looking a little caught off guard, he turned his attention away from Laney and replied, “Josh. My name is Josh.”
Taylor redirected her attention towards Laney. “Laney, is the good looking man your date for the evening?”
Laney looked at Dr. Stone and then back at Taylor and retorted. “Absolutely not.”
“What a shame. A good looking guy like this will be snatched up quickly. So Josh, one Greygoose and soda coming up. Will there be anything else? Maybe a menu or maybe my number?”
Laney looked up stunned by the directness of the Taylor. She had never actually seen Taylor act this way towards any of the patrons. How rude! What if he were mine? Okay Laney, cool down. You did say that emphatically that he was not yours. She took a look at Josh who seemed to not even have noticed how easily the waitress asked for his number. As the shock wore off, Laney noticed how handsome he really was and felt a pang of jealousy begin to develop. His deep blue eyes were the color of the Caribbean and utterly electrifying. His dark brown hair was short and perfectly manicured. His olive colored face had perfectly chiseled features and his lips… so darn kissable. He was out of his scrubs and dressed in jeans and a tight fitting black silk t-shirt that accentuated his large biceps and unbelievable pecs. How have I missed this for so long?
“Ah, I’m good for right now,” he stated without even batting an eye. It’s as if getting asked for his number was part of an everyday conversation for him. Maybe it is. Laney thought to herself.
“Let me get you some dinner” he offered.
“No, thank you. I am not hungry. And no offense, but I prefer to be alone after a rough day at work.”
She took a large sip of her drink and looked up at Josh. His big blue eyes piercing right through her made her catch her breath. What am I thinking? I have this gorgeous guy next to me, and all I can think about is being alone and drowning my sorrows into this glass. What is my problem? Laney, you know he’s a jerk. Well maybe that is just the way he is at work.
Laney discontinued the conversation she was having with herself in her head and decided to get back to the conversation she washaving with Dr. Stone.
“I’m sorry, Dr. Stone. I am being selfish. Your day wasn’t any better.” He flashed a million dollar smile at her that would have swept any woman off her feet. She however was not willing to give in that easily. She was not ready to let go of her already formed opinion of him.
“No problem Laney. If you want to be alone I completely understand. I hope that you will decide otherwise. And please, call me Josh. We aren’t at work.”
Just then, Taylor walked up with Josh’s Greygoose and soda. Laney took a sip of her drink and began stirring it with the little cocktail straw in the glass. She squeezed the lime to produce a couple more drops in her drink in an effort to distract her from the fact that Dr. Stone just told her to call him Josh. It didn’t feel quite right. She had always known him as Dr. Stone.
“For what it’s worth, Laney, you did a great job in there today.”
“Thanks. You, too. You saved his life!”
“I would say that we both saved his life. He wouldn’t be here without you pounding on his chest keeping his heart going. And I really like that move where you had straddled Skyler on the gurney doing CPR while rolling into the OR. If the situation weren’t so horrible, it might have been slightly comical.”
Laney’s cheeks flushed. She wasn’t used to taking complements especially not from someone she found so attractive. Laney downed the rest of her drink, threw down some money on the bar and stepped out of her chair. Laney knew that she shouldn’t drive after having a couple of drinks. But, her judgment had become slightly clouded and, she knew that if she stayed there much longer, she might get herself into some trouble.
“Thanks for the company. I have to go. I have to work tomorrow.”
Josh stood up from his chair and grabbed Laney’s arm just as she turned to walk away.
“Laney. You just had two very strong drinks in the course of just a few minutes. And, you didn’t have anything to eat. You shouldn’t be driving. You of all people should know better.”
“Excuse me, Dr. Stone, but I think I am very aware of my limits,and I don’t need you to act like my dad!” Laney pulled her arm away and started to turn back around.
“Laney, at least let me get you some dinner or an appetizer. It won’t take that long and you’ll be back home and in your bed before you know it.”
“I appreciate your concern. But, I am ok. I’ll hit a drive thru and grab something to eat.” She continued to head out the door. She looked back over shoulder to find him with a shocked expression on his face. She continued out the door and unlocked her BMW with the controller, got in and started her car. Just as she was starting to pull away from the curb, Josh knocked on the window. Laney pressed the button to roll it down.
“Laney, how about I drive you?”
“I told you, I have to work tomorrow. I don’t have any way of getting my car to get to work.”
“I could pick you up in the morning to get your car.”
“Don’t be absurd!”
“Laney, really.”
“Good night, Dr. Stone.”
“Laney, please drive carefully.”

jenburrowsAbout Jennifer:
Jennifer is a Registered Nurse, and she holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration. She has 15 years of experience working in the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit of a major trauma center. While she is equally adept at all facets of patient care, Emergency room nursing is her passion, and is the inspiration for this story. Currently, she resides in Southern California with her husband and their three amazing boys. This is her first published novel, with the sequel expected soon.

Jennifer in Social Media

Twitter: @jenburrows234

Links to Buy:

Amazon (paperback): A Shot in the Dark
Amazon (kindle): A Shot in the Dark (Dark Series)
Barnes and Noble: A Shot in the Dark

1 Comment

Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Blog Hop


Strangers on a Train Blog Tour – Serena Bell


Hi Everyone!
Today, I am lucky enough to have Serena Bell, one of the contributing authors from Samhain’s Strangers on a Train Anthology joining me as part of the blog tour. I’m excited to have her and she wrote an awesome post (below) about how the anthology came about, and then kindly answered some questions for me. So I hope you all enjoy and pick up her book (Ticket Home), as well as Ruthie Knox, Meg Maguire, Donna Cummings and Samantha Hunter.


Strangers on a Train – a brief synopsis
Romancing the rails…

Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter
Reid isn’t happy about the mix-up that saddles him with a claustrophobic roommate on his New York train tour. Then his weekend with Brenna progresses to a weekend fling, and so much more.

Ticket Home by Serena Bell
Encountering her workaholic ex on her commuter train is the surprise of Amy’s life. Especially since Jeff seems hell-bent on winning her back.

Thank You for Riding by Meg Maguire
At the end of Caitlin’s commute, her extended flirtation with a handsome stranger finds them facing a frigid winter night locked in an unheated subway station.

Back on Track by Donna Cummings
A wine tour isn’t enough to take Matt’s mind off his baseball slump—until sexy, funny Allie plops into the adjacent seat and tells him three things about herself. One of them, she says, is a lie. Then Allie lets slip one truth too many…

Big Boy by Ruthie Knox
Mandy doesn’t want romance, but monthly role-playing dates with her stranger on a train—each to a different time period—become the erotic escape she desperately needs. And a soul connection she never expected.

Purchase Links
Barnes and Noble

strangers no a train

Guest Post by Serena Bell:
I’m thrilled to be visiting Dee’s Book Blog this morning to talk about Strangers on Train, a series of five stories about railroad encounters of the very hot kind, including my novella, Ticket Home. Thanks for having me, Dee!

The Origins of the Anthology
People love to hear the story of how Strangers on a Train got started, and I love to tell it. Ruthie Knox (Big Boy) spotted a tweet about a Tumblr called Hot Guys on the Train, a mouth-watering collection of unsuspecting men photographed in transit. She and Samantha Hunter (Tight Quarters) started riffing on the vast number of excellent stories that could come out of such a scenario, I joined in, we recruited Meg Maguire (Thank You for Riding) and Donna Cummings (Back on Track), and before too long, Strangers on a Train was a thing.

Once we knew we wanted to do a series, the first step was staking our claim to train settings. Meg grabbed the Boston T, Ruthie wanted to write about a train museum, and the rest of us gradually fell in line. Then we ran story ideas and brief synopses past each other. The one thing I can’t emphasize enough is how insanely supportive all these authors have been of me and each other through this whole process—no ego, no infighting, no territorial disputes. I love these women.

Q&A with Serena
1. If we were to get a peek at your nightstand (or wherever you keep books you are currently reading), what books/authors would we see?
Oh, whatever you do, don’t look at my nightstand, or at any other part of the upstairs of my house, which is the last place I ever get to with the vacuum or feather duster. But if you did breach my defenses, you would find Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Call Me Irresistible, which I’m enjoying partly because the heroine is so very un-heroine like—broke, stranded, and generally a mess. I love unconventional heroes and heroines.

Then, on my Kindle, in addition to the mammoth collection of Warriors books courtesy of my kids, you’d discover another kind of total disorder—multiple books at once, which is pretty rare for me. I think it’s the effect of my own release week overstimulation on my brain!

In addition to reading many (terrific) manuscripts for my critique partners, I read a lot of books by people I’ve met online or in the real world, so right now, I’m in the middle of books by Charlene Teglia, who just became my neighbor, and Violet Duke, who released her debut the same week I did. I’ve just finished Charlotte Stein’s Addicted, which like pretty much all of Charlotte’s books had me in a total trance, and am about to start Hot Island Nights from the backlist of Sarah Mayberry, who (along with Charlotte) is one of my auto-buys.

I’m also reading Catherine the Great (a biography) by Robert K. Massie, for my book club. I’m at fifty-three percent and … well, let’s just say, as interesting as I’m finding it, it’s not the thing I always want to pick up at the end of a long, frying day. Romance wins out.

2. What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring writer?
Finish. Finish your WIP, start another WIP, finish that one. It’s too easy to get bogged down, put other priorities ahead of the writing, or set something aside when you get discouraged by criticism. I believe that for most writers, mastery comes around the time you finish your fifth or sixth novel. Which isn’t to say the first five will end up in drawers. As you finish subsequent books, you can go back and apply what you’ve learned to revising earlier books, and if you’re lucky, by the time you find yourself a editor who’s an advocate for your voice and style, you’ll have several books ready to go. And for some people, it doesn’t take that long—but having a finished book is the pre-requisite for making a career!

3. Are you a planner or a pant-ser when it comes to your writing?
Mostly a pantser. I do some limited planning—I write a synopsis, lay out the main characters’ goals/motivations/conflicts (both internal and external), and do free-writing and character interviews to develop the characters. But then I just write and let what happens happen. I’m very willing to toss out a synopsis that isn’t working for me, and I often find that the characters’ GMCs change in the course of the writing. If I don’t stay flexible, I’ll eventually write myself into a corner and stall out. If I let the characters take me where they want to go, things work much better.

4. Do you have any superstitions when it comes to writing? (same times, same place, certain habits?)
I’m pretty disciplined. I write in a little garret office next to an octagonal window, and I’m at my desk pretty much every moment the kids are in school. If anything, my problem is that I’m terrible about taking breaks—and I’ve paid the price for that with repetitive motion issues, so I advise other people not to do as I do. I don’t have any superstitions, but I do have this one quirk—if I’m getting blocked, I chew large amounts of Trident bubble gum. I’m not sure why it works—maybe because it distracts part of my brain from getting panicky about how the words aren’t coming—but it always does.

5. If you could be any Disney character, who would it be and why?
Love it! Well, I’m not sure who I aspire to be, but if you want to know who I am, it’s Marlin from Finding Nemo. There’s a part of my brain that tends to fuss and worry and naysay, but I’ve found that if I channel Dory, and very kindly and gently remind my Marlin-side to “just keep swimming,” I can make the whole journey and be tremendously proud of what I’ve accomplished. Um, so I guess you could say I’m Marlin and Dory, and then you could call the men in the white coats …

6. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?
My father’s mother. She died when I was fourteen, too soon for me to get to know her as a person and a woman. She had “acromegaly,” a type of gigantism that made her wide and ungainly, and an assortment of other health issues—she had to have all her thyroid and parathyroid glands removed, was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, etc. Plus my father and aunt strongly suspect her husband was cheating on her—before his untimely death when she was still a very young woman.

Despite all that, she went to college as a single mom, at a time when very few women went at all, and went on to educate blind and deaf children. Speaking of “just keep swimming!” I know she wasn’t always happy, but she lived a great life and I would love to know more about it from an adult perspective, not just the bits of her I saw as a kid—buttered corn muffins for breakfast and cribbage games and lots of presents every time we went to visit.

Since the theme of this Q&A has somehow become “just keep swimming,” here’s an excerpt from Ticket Home, in which the hero declares that he will not give up until he brings the heroine home with him:

“No more games.”

It was a command. It was a growl. She felt it, everywhere.

“Do you know what I spent my morning doing?”

She shook her head. From behind her, someone said, “Excuse me,” and Jeff sat abruptly in an empty seat and tugged her down to sit beside him. A group of passengers went by and distributed themselves into the seats beyond.

She tried to get up, but he held her firm.

“You’re hurting me.”

He released her instantly, and she rubbed the place where his fingers had dug into her.
“Your little stunt this morning with the conductor got me detained by the transit police for questioning. Apparently they take ‘See something, say something’ very seriously in the year of the tenth anniversary of September Eleventh.”

“Oh God.”

“It’s okay. It turns out I don’t have a police record or obvious links with terrorist organizations, and I haven’t traveled out of the country in the last couple of years.”

“Jeff, I’m so sorry.”

“Yeah, well. You can make it up to me by not running away. Okay? Just talk to me.”

She shouldn’t have sicced the MTA police on him, but that didn’t mean she wanted to be trapped here with him. It didn’t mean she wanted to rehash bits of their relationship better left behind. And it definitely didn’t mean she wanted his body a few inches from hers, tension rolling off him like fog off the early-morning Pacific Ocean. If she let her eyes flicker sideways, she could see that his thigh was tensed, the muscle straining the wool of his dress slacks.

“I’m not playing games,” she said. “I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to fix things up. I want you to get off the train and leave me alone. It’s over.”

“And I want you to come home with me.”

He said it so simply, it stopped her dead. She eyed his soft, wavy hair, the lean strength in his neck, the rough line of his shoulder under his dress shirt, and she couldn’t move.

The train began to pull out of the station, gathering speed in the dark tunnel. Her own mind started moving with it.

It was too late to put him off the train. He was going to ride with her now, and no matter where she ran, she wouldn’t be able to get away from him.

I want you to come home with me. Of course he did. He’d said as much this morning. But there was something about having it spelled out for her that made it more real.

“I’m not coming home. There is no home. There was, but there isn’t anymore.”

He turned his body more fully toward hers, his knees almost touching her thigh. His expression was earnest. “I had a lot of time to think today. And I decided something.”

For a brief, giddy moment, she imagined he was going to say what she’d always dreamed he would. I want to spend more time with you. I’ve been spending too much time on work stuff. I’m turning over a new leaf.

“I’m not going home without you.”

And if you managed to get this far into the tour (since I know it is a doozy of a post), Serena is giving away a copy of Ticket Home to a lucky commenter. So leave her (and me some love) and try your hand at answering one of the questions from her Q&A (Tell us about what Disney character you’d be, who (dead or alive) you’d like to have dinner with, or a time when you made yourself “just keep swimming.”) and I’ll warm-up the randomizer on the 22nd and pick a winner 😉

I hope you guys enjoyed Serena’s post and have some questions for her (otherwise, I might have to wrack my brain for some more and that might not be pretty…)


Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Blog Hop


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Feature & Follow (6)

Q: What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?

This question is actually a hard one for me to answer, because I tend to stay away from the really hyped up books until a while after they are released to ensure that my experience isn’t tainted by them being hyped…that being said, for me, one of these books was Dark Horse – Kate Sherwood. I had heard it mentioned multiple times in various Goodreads groups about how it was a tear-jerker and just the best thing ever. So when it was finally recommended for me in a challenge I picked it up expecting to be blown away. However, no one had made mention of the fact that it was written in this really weird, second person, future tense writing style (I think is what you would call it)…and so it was completely jarring. I made it about 20% of the way through before I gave up because it was giving me a headache with the writing style. Even when I mentioned this to people in the group, it didn’t seem to bother them. So I guess I am just one of the few. Thankfully, none of her other books are written in that style.

Two other hyped up books that people either seemed to love or hate, but that I was unable to finish were: The Paris Wife (Paula McLain) and Sing You Home (Jodi Picoult). I had never read anything by Paula McLain before, and don’t know if I am missing much by not reading her other stuff. On the other hand, I used to love Jodi Picoult and read her books as soon as they came out, but the last few, have just been doing downhill and after Sing You Home, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up anything of hers in the near future.


Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Blog Hop, Feature & Follow


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Celebrating Bloggers Blog Hop – September 10-13 – Why I Blog…

Celebrating Bloggers blog hop

I’ll be the first to admit, that I signed up for this blog hop about a month ago and then promptly forgot about it, until I got the reminder email last week. So while I normally would have had time to formulate some awesome words of wisdom (snort…giggle), this is going to be more like some random musings on why I blog/review.

When I first started my blog, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew what that someone had mentioned to me as a way to get free books to read and review (and seriously, what reader is going to turn down free books) and that they recommended if you wanted to have the best luck at getting approved for these books, then a blog was the way to go. So I found blogger and started playing, but soon figured that wordpress was more to my liking and I switched by blog over to that site. And then I prompted forgot about it. For about a 6 month period, I didn’t post anything to my blog and wondering if maybe I should just call it quits, but now I am glad that I didn’t.

Over the last year, there has been a myriad of author-reviewer issues that have arisen but for the most part I have managed to avoid being part of those. But one of the consequences of those issues was that there were several bloggers who stopped blogging. This to me is a major issue and is part of the reason why I decided that I was going to maintain my blog. I don’t focus on a specific genre or writing style, but rather review anything that I read, from romance to young-adult, to mystery to audiobooks. This gives my blog, in my opinion, a diversity that doesn’t seem to be the norm. While a lot of the reviews that I do are for traditionally published books (since many times audiobooks are only available for those), I try to temper my other reviews with books for more non-traditionally published authors, or authors whose books might not have many reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. One of the books I am currently reading has a sum total of 1 review on Goodreads and 0 reviews on Amazon. But it is a book in a niche genre (Southern African fiction with it being set in Swaziland), so I can only hope that maybe my review will encourage someone to pick it up.

It is that encouragement to pick up a book that they normally might not, that is what encourages me to keep blogging. And it is the reason why I continue to support authors who give us these wonderful books that keep me distracted from writing my dissertation (just kidding).

In celebration of this blog hop, Terri Giuilano Long is hosting a giveaway, click on the following link for your chance to enter (and may the odds be ever in your favor – whoops, I mean, good luck!)
A Rafflecopter Giveaway


Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Blog Hop


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Deja Vu Review (3)

The Deja Vu Review is a weekly meme hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. Its an opportunity to revisit old books you might have read before you launched your blog, but that you think should maybe still be highlighted.

A foreign book/book from another country

Having been working my way around the world reading over the last couple of years, I have been exposed to many books that I normally wouldn’t have read. So it was kind of hard for me to limit my recommendations for the Deja Vu Review this week. But I ended up going with a YA and a series of essays.

This was one of my top YA reads in 2011 and although its set in a country I can’t say I want to visit (Nigeria), it was an interesting look at the experiences of a teenager growing up there. The author really did her research and if I remember correctly, she actually spent several years in the country growing up, which was reflected in her writing. I would recommend this not only to teenagers, but to adults who want to read about life in Africa.

The second book that I would recommend is J. Maarten Troost’s travelogues – this one is about his time in Kiribati (which as point would have it, is actually said Kiribas…) – although unfortunately, he doesn’t really talk about the sex lives of cannibals…but the title did make me pick up a book I normally wouldn’t have listened to. There are two others written by him, although I have only read one of them Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu – in which he actually does get drunk and stoned on a local delicacy, Kava…


Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Blog Hop, Deja Vu Review


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Feature & Follow (5)

Q: What book(s) are you reading right now? What do you think of it?

I’m one of those people who always has multiple books going at once…mostly because I have a really short attention span – so I only read between 10-15% each night (either on my kindle, or doing math in my head to figure out the nearest chapter). Of those multiple books, I normally have a variety of genres, including at least one non-fiction.

Right now, I am reading the following:

So breaking it down…

Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume – this is a series of essays written by current YA authors about how reading Judy Blume affecting them growing up. For me, and I’ve only read 3 of the essay’s so far, it was like a trip down memory lane – I loved JB’s books growing up and for the heck of it, did a re-read of a couple last year and while a bit dated, they still held some of the magic of before.

Weeding the Flowerbeds – Sarah Mkhonza – after I get done with this book and write my review of it, I’ll only be the second person on Goodreads to have done so – which shows you how unknown this one is. I picked it up for my Around the World challenge because it is set in Swaziland (Africa) and sounded interesting. I’m only about half-way through it, and its ok, but the writing is really dense and it needs a good editor – but for the experience within (a female at a boarding school) it is an interesting read.

The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country with the election in T-61 days (I think – although I’m desperately wishing for a time machine to jump me ahead until after it is all said and done)…this book highlights many of the common arguments that show up in politics. I’ve only read 2 chapters so far, and its a little bit dated (Obama was just a new senator) but it is still interesting and fairly well written…I can’t say that it is the most enthralling read – but I’m curious as to where the author is going to go with the arguments.

Every Day, Every Hour – Natasa Dragnic – this is another book that I picked up for my Around the World challenge – set in both Croatia and France (I’m counting it for Croatia). It is a non-traditional romance with soul mates…I’m enjoying the way that the writing flows and it has sucked me in…I actually had to stop myself from reading the other night, or I would have been up all night and that would have been bad juju for work the next day…

Kindred Hearts – Rowan Speedwell – I’m really liking this m/m romance with a historical perspective, and if it hadn’t show up in a category for our weekly bingo challenge I might never have read it…I love the writing style and pretty sure it may end up a tear-jerker by the end (her other books have had me crying previously…)

Burning Alive – Sharon K. Butcher – I’d been hearing about this series for a while so I figured I would finally pick it up. I like the writing style, but (and I did check this out) – it feels like I’m missing a prequel or something…not much of the world has been developed and I’m a bit confused…I hope it all starts to clear up soon (since I only have about 30% to go).

So that’s it…what i’m currently reading and my thoughts…what about everyone else?


Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Blog Hop, Feature & Follow


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