Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Real Book Challenge

Real Book Challenge on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

I spent a great deal of time reading this month, and I've even written about reading a CHEAP digital series that I fell in love with. I did some re-reading and read a lot of second books in a series that didn't involve the same main characters and while these sometimes fall flat you end up with other series like the Beautiful Bastard Series by Christina Lauren and their story Beautiful Player about Will Sumner that had me swooning even as I read it a second time.

I had to wait until I finished Rogue to finish this post so I could give you conclusive thoughts because sometimes for me the end is the clencher between 4 and 5 stars.

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire****
Mine by Katy Evans*****
Remy by Katy Evans****
Rogue by Katy Evans****
Landline by Rainbow Rowell****
Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber*****
Down London Road by Samantha Young****

July Total - 7

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire is the second in the Maddox series and as second in a series go for me sometimes it didn't live up to the first or the hype. You can read my full review here. ****

Synopsis: The Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.

Fiercely independent Camille "Cami" Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.

As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

In the first installment of the Maddox Brothers books, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again.

Mine by Katy Evans is ANOTHER second in a series, but about the same couple and I loved it. This wasn't just a re-read for a second time because I'm not sure how many times I've read it. Probably only three, hopefully. You can read all about my Remy love here. *****

Synopsis: He's mine, and I'm his. Our love is all-consuming, powerful,
imperfect, and real...

In the international bestseller REAL, the unstoppable bad boy of the Underground fighting circuit finally met his match. Hired to keep him in prime condition, Brooke Dumas unleashed a primal desire in Remington "Riptide" Tate as vital as the air he breathes... and now he can't live without her.

Brooke never imagined she would end up with the man who is every woman's dream, but not all dreams end happily ever after, and just when they need each other the most, she is torn away from his side. Now with distance and darkness between them, the only thing left is to fight for the love of the man she calls MINE.

Remy by Katy Evans is many moments from the Real series in Remy's POV and I loved being in his head! Sure, he's always talking about how she's his and repeating himself but I won't even pretend to have an inkling of how a possessive man would think. You can read all about my Remy love here. ****

Synopsis: Underground fighter Remington Tate is a mystery, even to himself. His mind is dark and light, complex and enlightening. At times his actions and moods are carefully measured, and at others, they spin out of control.

Through it all, there's been one constant: wanting, needing, loving, and protecting Brooke Dumas. This is his story; from the first moment he laid eyes on her and knew, without a doubt, she would be the realest thing he's ever had to fight for.

Rogue by Katy Evans is the fourth book in the Real series and actually about someone besides Brooke and Remy. Melanie, Brooke's best friend is out to find her prince charming and she finds something just right and just wrong for her. I'm not sure how to feel about this. It was very similar to Remy as controlling, posessive and I loved that in Remy but with Greyson I just didn't get sucked in. ****


Brook Dumas found Remington Tate in REAL, and now it’s her best friend Melanie’s turn to find the man who makes her heart sing. After years of searching, one night in the rain, the strong and mysterious Greyson King comes to her rescue. He’s bold, and maybe just the lover, friend, and protector she’s been searching for. When they make love, he says her name like it means something. Like she means something—and that’s everything she’s ever wanted.

He disappears for days without a word, and when he’s around, he says he’ll only hurt her. Buy when he’s away, her heart hurts more.

Then Melanie uncovers the dark world he’d been determined to keep hidden, and suspects that their random first meeting might have not been so random after all.

Caught in a free fall of emotions, Melanie has no one to catch her but the man she should be running from. . .

But what do you do when your Prince Charming has gone Rogue?

Landline by Rainbow Rowell was an interesting look at a back to future'esque older couple story line. I really liked this book, but it wasn't a take-over will read again book for me. ****

Synopsis: Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber is the second book in the Love series, but it's about the same couple so I LOVED it just as much as the first one. *****

Synopsis: There is no rehearsal for true love.

When A-list film actor Ryan Christensen ducked into her pub to escape his screaming fans, never in a million years did Taryn Mitchell think her life was about to change forever. But now, eight months later, after a whirlwind romance, Taryn wakes up in Ryan’s Hollywood hotel room to find a diamond to die for on her left ring finger—and her face splashed across the cover of every gossip magazine.

Ryan’s very public proposal is catnip to the tabloids, his management team is worried, and Taryn must figure out how a small town girl like her fits into his glittering world. What does it take to make a relationship work amidst telephoto lenses, daily on-set temptations, and jealous fans who will stop at nothing to keep you from walking down the aisle with the man of your dreams?

With no script to follow and no chance for a dress rehearsal, Taryn and Ryan will be forced to take the plunge and risk everything to make their love last.

Down London Road by Samantha Young is the second in the On Dublin Street series and while I liked it, it wasn't as good as the first one. I just started the third, Before Jamaica Lane and I'm anxious to see how I like this one. ****

Synopsis: Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control...

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets... even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.

And those are just the REAL books I read this month.

What did you end up reading this month? Any real books?!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Confessions, Lately

Vodka and Soda

I think I have vacation-itis. I mean, I leave in 23 DAYS!!!

I've been on a re-reading kick and I really don't have time to since I have dozens of books I haven't read yet just waiting on me to read them! - My latest re-read is Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren and I forgot how cute Hanna and Will were.

We're building a website from scratch so it is the simplest it can be and I'm so tempted to just invest in something like Genesis Framework but my dad keeps convincing me what we're doing is best for what I want.

Even though I've found cheaper coffee at DD in their iced mocha coffee with cream and sugar, I won't be able to give up my Starbucks...ever I don't think.

I've bitten off too much for my unorganized / lazy life. I think I've mentioned this before but I just felt like I really needed to get it off my chest.

I purchased a rain jacket for my Europe trip, but it's black and I'm thinking about wearing my brown Doc boots so that just doesn't work. Plus I was supposed to lose weight for it to fit better and that obviously didn't happen since I've been letting myself go.

I'm so nervous about standing out as a tourist in Europe and then I Google "tourists in Europe" for a funny meme and come across articles like this. What the actual...this isn't what I need to be reading about!

I'm afraid I'm going to end up living in the semi-ghetto since housing costs for a singleton in the TPA area are astronomical for my standards. I mean, I don't want a roommate and I'd still like to be able to show people my place and feel safe. Is that too much to ask?!

When I have Mondays off I'm always surprised that Wednesday gets here so fast. No complaints it's just always sneaking up on me.

Someone at work hovers over the toilet and splashes URINE. At work...not a public restroom and they can't sit on the toilet seat?! This baffles me! Our office only has 30 people in it and half of those are men, not using the ladies room.

It makes me wonder how long she's been doing it.

The code bloggers have that has something pop up in the middle of your screen and you have to x out of because a. you've already done what you're being prompted to do or b. you aren't going to do it is very annoying. Almost more annoying than No-Reply Comment Bloggers and Captcha!

I think I'm one of the last few adults that still has an iPhone 4S and...wait for it - is not running the updated OS, but I need it to last until Sept/Oct so I can get the next phone or maybe even later so I can save my monies!! Anybody else still holding onto an older phone that's been updated a couple times?

I tried to wave curl my hair the other I need a day with nothing to do so I can practice or someone to come over and teach me!

I'm kind of sad I missed blogging every day in July, so I'll have to keep my eyes open for another challenge like that.

Boomer stole half my chicken quesarito the other day with my mom SITTING RIGHT THERE and he was banished outside for about an hour. We're horrible family members.

Anything you need to get off your chest?!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guest Posting + Google Hangouts + Giveaways

Guest posting - to do it or not to do it is the question.

I've done it in the past for others, here, here and had them post for me as part of a little fun during the A-Z challenge, but I've never really taken a vaca where I wouldn't be able to post. Yes, Europe I'm looking at you and the fact that I won't be taking my laptop which I also haven't done ever since I was in college.

When I post for others I haven't really noticed it's been awesome. Their regular readers seem to take the day off and I don't have many comments to reply to. When I did a guest post on here, it was a pretty good turnout and that could be because the girls I round robin'd with all kind of have the same readers?

At my last Google Hangout with The Rachael Way and her other sponsors, which by the way is a super cool thing to do and ya'll better hope she decides to do it again when/if she comes back from China because I always learn a little somethin' somethin'. So, if anybody ever wants to do one I'd totally be up for it in the evening some time soon'ish.

Anyway, we talked about Guest Posts during our last one and I think I'm going to go ahead and do it again.

I debated whether I should just have a silent week on the blog and then decided I'd ask some of the girls that regularly comment/read that have also done some traveling to Europe like I shall be doing. If I missed you, I'm sorry I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants.

I do have a spot or two open if anybody readinglurking is also interested. This is what I'm telling them - My topic suggestions would be European travel/living, football since I'm headed there for the UCF vs. Penn State game or Summer in general (since you know, Florida girl here). - I think those are pretty wide open and obviously you wouldn't have to traveled to Europe to plan a trip, I mean hello Pinterest! Email me if interested and I'll give you more deets!

This is also the first post I've done without a picture or graphic - let's find a random one, shall we.

So...this could be me drawing a winner!!

I'm also going to be doing a giveaway when I get back of something I bought over there or several somethings I buy over there and I'd love suggestions. I recently won a bag from Christina Lauren and other goodies from France but what would you like me to bring back and giveaway?!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Freakin' Weekend with Reading - Call Series

So Friday my day started with a Facebook post reminding readers that The Call Series Box Set was only on sale for $0.99 for one more day...but luckily for you, at the time of writing this it is still $0.99. That's 2.5 books for pennies!!!

OMG I flew through this series and could. Not. Put it down! Sure, it's about a call girl so if that bothers you, buh bye! If not, I thought it was a very good series, sometimes with too much sex but I absolutely loved the rest of it! I mean, he's a billionaire that knows how to travel! London, Paris, imagine it he's probably planned to take her there and the romance, *swoon*. FIVE freaking stars for sure!

Synopsis: LATE CALL:
She’s a high class call girl. He’s taking over his father’s business.
Seven years ago, they fell in love in Paris.
They walked away at the end of the summer, never imagining they’d meet again.
Now he’s her client.

We fell in love the way you jump from a cliff. Hard and fast with a reckless sense of abandon. The six weeks we spent together changed my life, but at seventeen, I was naive. I was a dreamer. A believer.
Now I’m twenty-four and cynical. I don’t believe in love. There’s no place for such emotions as a high class escort. The only things I’m allowed to feel are physical – and that’s why it’s so damn hard when the client of a last minute job turns out to be the man I left in France seven years ago. When he buys me for six weeks at triple my rate, my agent makes it clear I have no choice but to take the job despite our previous relationship. And my heart makes it very clear I have to stay firmly on top of the cliff this time.
Because for six weeks, I once again belong to Aaron Stone.

We crashed and burned like a falling plane. Hard and fast with an inevitable explosion. Another few weeks together changed my life the way the first did. At twenty-four, I became naïve again. I became a dreamer again. A believer. And walking away hurts just as much as it did seven years ago.

But over doesn’t have to mean over-at least in Aaron Stone’s mind. His pursuit is relentless, his determination unwavering. He’ll go to any lengths to keep me and prove that I belong to him. Unfortunately, love isn’t easy, and whether or not I forgive him is irrelevant to his past catching up with us. Once again, our relationship is haunted by a secret, one that could destroy everything, and the secret is born from the need to protect the other…

But the tables have turned, because the secret is mine.

20,000 words. Ten scenes. Seven you thought you knew. Three you never did...

In this CALL series novella, get inside Aaron Stone's head for the very first time. Experience some of your favorite scenes from both Late Call and Final Call, and enjoy three new bonus scenes.

So, after I read through that at lunch and breaks I ended up going to Frenchy's with friends for dinner and it was delish!! If you're ever in the Clearwater, Frenchy's is a MUST. Then we headed back home when plans changed and we ended up hanging out at a friends house. We played Heads Up! and I may have referred to a dodo bird as a d i l d o. *nods* We also watched Jumanji because that was one of the questions in the 90's category and none of had seen it in years. You too? I also forgot this was the bottle opener we found...classy.

Saturday morning I woke up late since we stayed up late the night before and I ended up dreaming about my commute to work and how it would be if I took the 30 minute trek using public transportation. Except this included me walking half of it and the other half there was some sort of a conveyor belt / box people rode in. Yeah, not going to happen.

The rest of my Saturday was spent trying to finish The Call Series and working on some design stuff before A came over to talk about our Europe trip. I did a lot of pinning to my England-Ireland board, so make sure if that interests you you're following me! We also watched Contagion and it was really good! I loved that you got to see the actual looting and craziness of what can happen since I feel a lot of movies only show you the aftermath and not the shocking reality.

I finally finished Sunday morning after church and then I spent the afternoon in the pool and reading Landline which I'll detail more in my monthly "Real Books" post.

Sunday night we made my grandmother's microwave fudge, that I'm munching on now :) and watched a couple of romantic Christmas movies on Netflix.

Monday I got my mom hooked on Sons of Anarchy *fist pump*

How was your weekend?!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday Favs

Good Morning and OMG Happy Friday!!

1. Fav Song

OMG I have been obsessed with this song. I'm pretty sure I heard it when we went to the Jax Country Fest first.

2. Fav Item

I've been thinking the laptop bag I bought for the trip really should have been a backpack I can wear while we're walking the streets. I found this cute'ish one that you can purchase camera compartments for and it would fit my laptop...I just wish it came in black.

3. Fav Discovery

Ya'll know I'm headed to London as part of my England-Ireland trip at the end of August, right? Well...since I can now say I leave for Europe in LESS THAN a month!!! ~ I thought I this was a very appropriate article! I'm also hoping a trip to Paris / Germany (where I was born) will actually happen next Fall.

4. Fav Read

Instead of sharing just my fav read, I am going to suggest all the "readers" that linked up with the Summer Reads link up yesterday so you have lots of options to find a GREAT read! However, Gone Girl was listed at least twice, so if you haven't read it and it sounds interesting you might want to check it out.

5. Fav Funnies

Someone showed me these pictures of dogs in water yesterday at lunch and they are soooo cute and funny. Do yourself a favor and Google dogs in water photos.

What are some of your favs from this week?!
Linking up for Oh Hey, Friday with these fabulous ladies - September FARM and The Farmer’s Wife.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Reads Link Up

I do a lot of reading, but I feel like the Summer really brings out the reader in not just myself, but others as well. Bringing a book to the beach is a great way to pass the time while you're soaking up the rays or hanging out at the park in the shade.

My problem is I have too many books to read, and even if that's your problem I'm going to hopefully add more to your TBR list. You can check out my TBR list on Goodreads if you want to keep up with my never ending list.

Rachael from The Rachael Way and I are both book enthusiasts and came up with our favorite Summer reads to share with you. After you've looked through our collections make sure to come back and link up your favorite Summer book suggestions for us to check out!! Link up will be up for ONE week :)

Summer Reading Linkup

If you want you can read a book and then see the movie, I think Gone Girlby Gillian Flynn would be a great Summer read for this Summer. It's not a light, funny read but it is captivating and comes out this Fall so you hopefully won't feel pressured to finish it quickly.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was the first book that doesn't fall under my romance genre in a long time that I actually finished. It's one of the 16 books to read before they hit theaters this year and even though I wasn't a fan of the ending, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book. Four stars!

Synopses: Marriage can be a real killer.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

A book with a good vacation during the Summer would be Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren! I mean, a Summer trip to Paris after graduating college is what every girl dreams about, right? Just me? That ship has already sailed and I ended up nowhere close to Europe.

Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren Mia is exactly how I imagine I should have been after college graduation and even throughout college. Daring, vibrant and completely spontaneous. I mean, Vegas for graduation with your girlfriends, waking up next to a swoonworthy hottie with an accent and then *throws confetti* surprise!

Synopsis: One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

My #1 Summer Read would be Rush Too Farwhich I read in May. Almost everything Abbi Glines writes is beachy, so she's a great author to take a look at if you're in the mood to be taken to the shore with hot boys!!
Rush Too Far by Abbi Glines is yes...ANOTHER Abbi Glines book and this actually started a re-read of the whole Rosemary Beach series because I had not read the other Too Far books since last July when I did a speed read and first fell in love with Abbi's writing. These are definitely a favorite and Rush is one of the only boys I actually own a shirt for! *gasp*

Synopsis: Fallen Too Far was Blaire's story. Now it's time for Rush to share his side.

Everyone in Rosemary Beach thinks they know how Rush Finlay and Blaire Wynn fell in love. But Rush is back to tell his side of the story...

Rush has earned every bit of his bad-boy reputation. The three-story beach house, luxury car, and line of girls begging for time between his sheets are the envy of every guy in Rosemary Beach, and Rush handles it all with the laid-back cool of a rock star’s son. All he needs are his best friend, Grant, and his sister, Nan.

Until Blaire Wynn drives into town in her beat-up pickup truck with a pistol under her seat. The Alabama farm girl instantly captures Rush’s attention once he discovers that the angelic beauty is his new stepsister, but he vows to keep his distance. Even if she needs his help. Even if he craves her.

Because Rush knows why Blaire is all alone in the world, forced to ask for help from the father who abandoned her three years ago. And he knows if he gets too close it will destroy Nan, who has a secret connection to Blaire.

He has every reason in the world to stay away from her. Find out why he doesn’t.