Friday, August 30, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
-Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
-Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
-If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This week's question: 

If you could only have ONE - one book - for the rest of your life.. don't cheat... what would it be? 

Oh wow... This is such a hard question to answer! The first book that came to mind was Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

[Book Review] Envy by Sandra Brown

Envy by Sandra Brown
Publisher: Warner Books
Publishing Date: First, July 29, 2002
Format: Netgalley


When New York publisher Maris Mathery Reed receives a tantalizing manuscript from someone identified only as P.M.E., its blockbuster potential - and perhaps something else - compels her to meet its author. On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation on a remote Georgia island she finds Parker Evans, a man concealing his identity and his past. Maris is drawn into his tale of two young friends and a deadly betrayal... and to Parker himself. But there's something especially chilling about this novel, its possible connection to Maris's own life, and the real-life character who uses her, or anyone, to get what he wants.

My Review 

So, I've been in a book slump for a little while, and couldn't get out of it. I started reading this book and it still didn't help. Well, I decided to push forward and keep reading this book, and I'm so glad that I did! I love everything about Sandra Brown's writing style, her descriptions, and the way she makes her characters come alive. My favorite character is definitely Parker. Unfortunately, its difficult for me to describe why without spoilers! But it comes down to him being a really great guy at heart. Yes, he's stubborn and irritating, but super sweet deep down. (:

I think this book is really well written. And I loved that it felt like I was reading two books at the same time. Usually that would probably bother me, but I knew this was somehow intertwined, so it made the story much better! I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a little romance and mystery. Great read! I think this book snapped me out of my funk!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're early anticipating. My pick this week is:

             The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks


Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one year old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage. 

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward - even life and death - loom in large everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans - a future that Luke has the power to rewrite... if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first. 

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

*I can't wait to get a copy of this book! I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, and read everything he has out! Scheduled to be released on September 17, 2013 :) 

Monday, August 26, 2013

HELP! I'm in a Book Slump :(

I hate when this happens! I haven't been in the mood for any of the books I've grabbed off my shelf lately. That's probably why I have 4 currently going....

I start one book, Angels in the Fire, and its just not grabbing my attention, though it has a lot of promise. So I though maybe it was just not the time to read it, and I started another - Pride and Prejudice. I've wanted to read this book for so long, but never got into it. When I started it this time, it went much better, and I'm about 60 pages into it. However, I just found myself wanting something else. So then... book number 3 comes along: Envy by Sandra Brown. I love, love, love her books, and I can usually count on them sucking me in! No surprise here, it didn't do the job. So I moved on to book number 4... The Light Between Oceans. This has also been on my TBR list forever, but as I was reading it in the car yesterday, I found myself distracted and thinking about other stuff.

Lately, instead of reading, I find myself wanting to do something different (gasp!), like watch a TV show. this has happened to me a couple times before. My only thought is that my brain needs a little break to do something mindless - like watch TV :) I just started watching Private Practice from the beginning on Netflix because I've only seen a handful of episodes since it began.

Any ideas how to get out of this funk?! Who else has experienced this?
I hope I'm not alone! My initial thought was just to take a break from reading for a week or two, and then get back into it. But I have so many review books (and personal books) waiting to be read that it makes me feel guilty! HELP!

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog!

Well, this week I went a little crazy buying books :) But some I received for free and other's I received as review copies! I haven't listed every book on here because I'm at work right now (shhh) and don't remember my whole list. I'll post the ones I missed next week.

The Country of Origin by Don Lee

What first made me take a second look at this book was that it's set in another country. I always like learning about different cultures and customs through reading a story. So, I knew it was a good fit for me! Hopefully it's as good as I'm hoping!

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I have been waiting for this book for so long! I couldn't find it at my local used book store, so I gave in and went to Barnes and Nobles, and they had it on sale! So excited :)

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Supposed to be really good! Plus its a classic and it was only $2!

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Again, I've heard great things and the synopsis on the back sounds good!

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Read some pretty good reviews about this!

Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

I received this as a review copy, and can't wait to start reading it! I like that the story takes place in Africa - I haven't read anything set there, so I look forward to learning a bit (:

Noah's Rainy Day by Sandra Brannan

I received this book as a review copy. I haven't read anything by this author before, but the synopsis sounds so good; I couldn't pass it up!

The Scent of Rain and Lightening by Nancy Pickard

This was a free book I picked up from the library. Sounds interesting, but I guess if it's not, at least it was free! :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chasing Heartbeats by Kaitlyn Felt

Chasing Heartbeats by Kaitlyn Felt
200 Pages
Series: Chasing Heartbeats Trilogy
Review Copy


What would you do if you discovered an ancient book written about your entire life by a complete stranger?

Growing up in the invisible and sparsely populated village of Livingston, Michigan, Fiona Kent used to despise her life. Every single summer had always turned out to be the same: along with babysitting her younger brothers, Logan and Tommy, the days always turned out to be long, extremely hot, and utterly boring. Just as Fiona was beginning to drown in the tiny sea that she called her world, though, lymphatic lymphoma whisked Tommy away, shoving her parents in a sheer panic and leaving Logan to lose himself in a deep depression. Shocked by her little brother's quick and unexpected passing, Fiona suddenly feels grateful for the tall walls that separate her and her little town from the rest of the world and embraces what little innocence and naivety she has left...

Three years pass and only one photograph of Tommy can be found in Fiona Kent's house. Though their small minded neighbors had eventually stopped gossiping about her brother's death, Fiona was well aware that the rest of her family had made little process. Logan was still caught up in the dark, deathly winds of his depression and her parents acted as if Tommy had never been born at all. All of that changes, though, when Fiona discovers jaw dropping letters written to Tommy by an ancient, nineteenth century prodigy known by the name of Sophia Grant. Determined to prove Sophia's wild and accusatory predictions about her precious, deceased brother wrong, Fiona snaps Logan out of his depression, brings the mysterious book to the attention of her two best friends, and begins the unforgettable journey of a lifetime.

My Review

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. It was something new and completely different than I've read before. Ms. Kent did a wonderful job on her first novel. I wish the book was longer because I wanted to find out what happened! But I guess that's the good thing of having a sequel :) I also wish the book went into a little more detail with everything that was going on, but still really enjoyed it! I also loved the view points going back and forth between Fiona and Kyle. Gave a different perspective of what was going on. Well done!

Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Getting Married!

Ahhhh! It finally happened! My boyfriend proposed this weekend!! :) Way too excited! However, this means that my blog might slack a little, because I'm already only thinking about wedding stuff and its barely been two days! (:

Anyways, since I'm a huge nerd, and my fiance kind of is too, I want to incorporate books at my wedding...without being super cheesy. So this is kind of what I was thinking:

So what I need from my fellow bloggers..... literary couples! I'm sure I can think of a good handful, but I want most of them to be famous literary couples that most people would recognize, like this, or Harry and Ginny, Romeo/Juliet, Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth, etc. Not sure how many I would need yet, so the more the better! So please, please, please help me!! :) 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone
Publishing Date: 2005
390 Pages


"I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known...and I will be Queen of England."

This, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces us to one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed off her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the world has forgotten: the enchanting princess that all England loved. First married to Henry VIII's older brother, Arthur, Katherine's passion turns their arranged marriage into a love match. But when Arthur dies, the merciless English court and her ambitious parents - the crusading King and Queen of Spain - have to find a new role for the widow. Ultimately, it is Katherine herself who takes control of her own life by telling the most audacious lie in English history, leading her to the very pinnacle of power in England.

Set in the beauty of Moorish Spain and the glamour of the Tudor court, The Constant Princess presents a woman whose constancy helps her endure betrayal, poverty, and despair, until the inevitable moment when she steps into the role she has rehearsed all her life: Henry VIII's Queen, Regent, and commander of the English army in their greatest victory against Scotland.

My Review

Once again, Philippa Gregory sucks me into the Tudor court and doesn't let me go. I love her stories; part fact, part fiction. Reading The Other Boleyn Girl first, I knew what eventually happened to Queen Katherine. But it was still really interesting to read and learn about her life before she became Queen. She had so many struggles, and lost the love of her life. She then had to lie about their life together, basically saying it didn't mean very much. I can't wait to read the third book in the series! I will have to refresh my memory about what happens in TOBG though, because I read it quite a while ago. Highly recommend if you enjoy learning about the Tudor court! :)

Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
-Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
-Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
-If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This week's question: 
Back to school. Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you'll be teaching this semester. 

Hmm, that's a tough one. I guess I would like to have books that teach the students about real life issues. Which sounds silly, because doesn't every book kind of do this? But there were times we would read a book in school, and when I was done, I thought to myself, "what was the point of reading that?"

I could see this book not going over too well with parents because it's about a school shooting, but I really think it has some good lessons about what is going through a kid's mind when he is bullied so much. 

This one doesn't necessarily have important life lessons, though you could definitely find some, but I just adored this book. The writing was amazing and the story so magical. I would love students to read this and watch their imaginations run wild. 

Well, this should come as no surprise since I love everything about Harry Potter. Watching the friendships form and teaching the kids in the book about responsibilities is a great learning tool. Plus I want books that will make students actually enjoy reading. If they're forced to read classics, they might never pick up a book again. 

I loved this book and thought it had so many intelligent things to teach people about time. What I got out of it was that keeping track of time isn't really that important; it's what you do in that time that counts. I know there are tons of quotes about life, but this one from the book really caught my attention, and I think it's a great lesson, regardless of whether you believe in a higher power. 

"There's a reason God limits our days."
"To make each one precious."

ARC August!

ARC August is hosted by Octavia @ Read Sleep Repeat. The challenge is to read and review as many ARCs as you can, and clean up that review copy pile! I haven't been requesting a lot of review copies lately, but I still have a bunch from the last couple months. That being said, I need to start reading them!


These are the books I'm hoping to read and review this month (in no order)! I hope I'm not forgetting any :) 

Chasing Heartbeats by Kaitlyn Felt
Angels in the Fire by Dan Stadler
Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin
Deadline by Sandra Brown
Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell
Envy by Sandra Brown
A Serpentine Affair by Tina Seskis
Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

I just started Chasing Heartbeats by Kaitlyn Felt, and hope to finish it this weekend. Not sure what I'll read next, but I'll keep you all posted! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted by Dani @ Pen to Paper where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves :)

A Light Between Oceans
by M.L. Stedman


After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a "gift from God," and against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.


This is author M.L. Stedman's first novel, and it sounds amazing. Something about this book caught my attention immediately. It was probably the cover; I love the look of lighthouses :) But after reading the synopsis, I was hooked. I really, really want to get this off my wishlist and onto my shelves! I didn't buy any books for the month of July because I was trying to catch up with others that have been sitting on my shelf forever, but now that it's a new month, I think I'll be going to get a copy of this book (:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site. 

This week's topic: Top ten books I wish had sequels!

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - Ok, so I don't care too much if it's the same characters (though I really did love them). Basically, it doesn't need to be a sequel - I just really want to read another book by this author that was as magical and amazing as this was! 

2. Harry Potter - That's obvious. I love the world created in Rowling's story, and I can never get enough Harry Potter! :) 

3. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay - I really want to know what happens next! It had a wonderful ending and the story was amazing. But I still want to know how her life turns out! 

4. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - I adored this book. It was so beautifully written than I would love him to finish the stories. I read it so long ago that I don't really remember the ending, but it is still one of my favorites so I would love to learn more about the characters. 

5. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - What I would really love to know is how Kate dealt with everything at the end. I won't give away the ending, but I'd like to see what happened to the family after