February Wrap Up & March TBR

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February has come and gone and I have no idea when the days flew by. Granted, I spent 90% of my time at the office and I am not happy about it at all. I did my best to read something, but I was so tired and so consumed by my job that I just couldn’t focus on it. I am so disappointed because I let my job consume me again and I allowed my free time to be taken away so easily.

I cannot even remember which books I read this month, but I will do my best to list them here. Sadly, I did not manage to review any of them yet, but I spent today writing my articles and scheduling (yes, I am scheduling!) Them. So here they are:

  • Mine to Five by Tara September
  • An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham
  • One Night With His Rival by
  • The Boy Next Door by Ella James
  • A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I failed the readathon I was participating in during February and, even if 6 books read are still 6 books, I had a big TBR to go through. Statistically speaking, I have one review up, out of 6. Good news: the next days will be full of book talks!

March has started and look at me being on time with my TBR. Again, I have ambitious plans which I must accomplish:

  1. Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow
  2. The Atlantis Bloodline by C.A. Gray
  3. Sting by Cindy R. Wilson
  4. Malice by Pintip Dunn
  5. The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis
  6. Sam’s Folly (Midnight Sons Book 1) by Carmen DeSousa
  7. Unleash You by Diana A. Hicks
  8. Flawless Foundations by Lauren Helms
  9. The Rebound by Lynn Stevens
  10. The Water’s Edge by Martin Morton
  11. The Waking of Ghosts by Liliana Rose
  12. A Country Dilemma by Sasha Morgan
  13. Love Under Protection by Aubree Valentine
  14. Starting Over At Acorn Cottage by Kate Forster
  15. Highland Sword by May McGoldrick
  16. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

 

16 books mentioned, but I do want to recover as much as possible from the February and January books. I have started an Excel spreadsheet where I am tracking all the titles on my TBR, so that I won’t lose count, so I am well aware of how many I leave behind every month.

With all this being said, I intend to bring back the balance to my life and stop giving my free time away so easily. Monday will be a challenge! Until next time, happy reading!

Why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day

Here I am, 2 days after Valentine’s has passed and I thought about confessing why I am not into this celebration. While I do appreciate seeing couples show their love on this special day, or during this special month, I can’t shake the guilty feeling of not enjoying this period as much as it’s due. Keep in mind that my reasons are my own and I hope I won’t get too judged about them:

1. I am a Romance reader. Love is what I read about and with every book I read, with every couple I discover, I feel the passion 10 times intensified. Evey book is a love letter that an author has written for me, the reader. So I feel loved with every chapter, every day I read.

2. Too many cheesy gifts out there. Yes, I do own a heart shaped pillow (a gift from mom) and I may buy another one at some point, but all the glowy stuff, all the plush teddy bears holding hearts or Mikey and Minnie kissing or I don’t know what else are making my eyes feel tired.

3. I am overwhelmed by the amount of flower shops that pop out in this period. Guys, if you want to buy flowers to impress, do it many more times throughout the year, not on special occasions.

4. I want to feel loved every day, I want to show my love every single day, every hour or tinny moment. Life is short and we better fill it with beautiful fillings. The entire life, not one day per year.

5. I have so many book boyfriends, I wouldn’t know which one to pick for such a day. Yes, this statement may put me in a bad position, but I have a big heart and I am willing to share it with many book boyfriends (and it’s not my fault authors create these very lovable men!)

But the main reason is that I am always happy. Regardless if I cry sometimes, if I feel angry or  exhausted, I am lucky I have my other half there by my side. I thank him and the Powers Above for this amazing gift of love and I cherish it with every breath.

So love until the end of your days. Give love unconditional, because love returns to the giver ten folds. Be happy you have been blessed with the ability to love, regardless if you have a lover or not. Love is everywhere and in everything. Enjoy it!

Weekly Quote #8

New week, new books and many books!

Hello there, how did you start your week? I had a great start, reading great books, crocheting and spending time with my other half 🙂 And I also went to work 🙂

My favorite quote from last week is from “An Everyday Hero” by Laura Trentham. I love this book so much and I am close to finishing it. I read from the same series “The Military Wife” but never got to review it. I was in awe of her writing and how well she managed to capture each emotion. The same happens in “An Everyday Hero”, but with a little more fun. I cannot wait to share my review with you guys, but until then, enjoy this fun quote:

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January Wrap Up & February TBR

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As I was mentioning in a previous article, January was mostly about organizing my activities, developing a schedule of sorts and making sure I find comfort and time (especially TIME) to focus on everything. Between scheduling articles, crocheting and going through my fabric stash, I did find a balance.

But back to reading. I had 15 books to read during January (TBR here) and unfortunately I did not manage to complete them all. However, I did finish more than I expected:

  1. Real Miracle by Susan Saxx
  2. It Started With a Candy Cane by Susan Saxx
  3. Real Temptation/ Special Delivery by Susan Saxx
  4. Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake
  5. Shadowed by Michelle Areaux
  6. Mister Hollywood by Mika Lane
  7. Scot Under The Covers by Suzanne Enoch
  8. Lace and Lies by Melanie Munton
  9. Unconditional by Lexxie Couper

I am planning on keeping the remaining books from January on my TBR for February, although I will not list them below. I don’t want to end 2020 with 100 books not read, from my monthly commitments.

February is already a busy month. 2 days in and I am running between books, articles and projects. I have 4 challenges I am participating in during the year and in January I have not read one single book for them. Also, I am participating in Bookweb vaLITines Readathon that is happening this month – more about it and my TBR here. As for my TBR, it’s quite challenging to say the least. Here are my reading plans:

  1. An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham
  2. Mine to Five by Tara September
  3. Am I Ugly by Siobhan Hill
  4. The Sea in Me. by A Kelly
  5. Special by Chino Chakanga
  6. Ubiety by Grzegorz Kunowski
  7. Hunted by the Dragon by Addison Carmichael
  8. Cherokee Summer by Susan Antony
  9. Grown Enough For Love by Chelsea Falin
  10. Tucker by Emily March
  11. A Country Dilemma by Sasha Morgan
  12. My Pulse by Hanna Dale
  13. Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor
  14. A Circle of Firelight by Curtis Edmonds
  15. Dangerous by Sara Cate
  16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  17. Killer Domes and the Chosen One by Gibbo Gibbs
  18. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  19. A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot
  20. The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
  21. Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter
  22. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  23. One book from Nora Robers – not having it with me at the moment

23 books in 29 days….  Doesn’t look reasonable at first, but some of them are not so long and I can go through at least 2 in one day so there’s that.  This will be an incredible month!

Tell me about your plans for February J looking forward to reading about them in the comments below. Until next time, Happy Reading!

 

Bookweb vaLITine Readathon – TBR

Hey Guys,

I’m coming a little late with my TBR for the Bookweb vaLITine Readathon happening throughout the month of February. For those of you that you don’t know what this is about, I’m linking here the announcement video from chaptercviii. There are a lot of challenges, there are a lot of books you can read, but you can also double up on them. The challenges marked with an * there is no book, just bookish activities. So here is my TBR, where books are needed:

  1. OLD LOVE: read an old favorite or a book that brings back fond memories

Here I’m considering Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. It was one of the first books I read and analyzed. Never dared to review it officially though.

  1. BLACK HISTORY MONTH: read a book written by a Black author

Special by Chino Chakanga – it was sent to me by the author and I cannot wait to discover the story

3*. LOVE NOTE: spend at least 30 minutes (over the course of the month) leaving comments on videos, Instagram posts, blog posts, etc. of creators that you appreciate

This is already happening 🙂

  1. THAT’S MY TYPE: read a book either recommended to you or extremely IN your comfort zone (your favorite genre, author, tropes, etc.)

Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor – Historical Romance. I seem to be reading a lot of it lately and loving it! 

  1. FIRST DATE: read an author’s debut

Killer Domes and the Chosen One by Gibbo Gibbs – I have a copy of this book since December. Now it’s time I give it the proper attention!

6*. SHOW AND TELL: talk about a favorite book on your social media platform of choice and show it off with a picture

Will do! Probably it will be my favorite book from January.

  1. SKINNY LOVE: read a book under 200 pages

The Sea in Me by A Kelly – 149 pages 🙂

  1. LOVE TRIANGLE: read a book that is part of a trilogy

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – I am buddy reading this one with Astrid, over at Book Lover Book Reviews and I am already behind since today I haven’t read one single page of it!

  1. SHARING IS CARING: replace this challenge with any challenge from another readathon taking place in February (one I would recommend is #Blackathon )

Well, I may be cheating here, because I am using this challenge to start my Romanceopoly board (more about Romanceopoly in the following days). So I am using the Sun Challenge of Sleuth Street:  Read a mystery where the title of the book includes any words associated with death. For example: death, grave, bones etc. And my choice is A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot

10*. BUBBLE BATH: read in a bubble bath (this can be replaced with another comfort activity if you’re not one for baths)

Oh, yes!

  1. LIBRARY LOVER’S MONTH: read a book from the library

Hmm…  not sure what to choose here, because I may not have time to reach the library. But give me a sec!

  1. ONE MAN’S TRASH: read a book that you’ve seen someone HATE or UNHAUL

This one is easy – The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh. I love this series, but unfortunately, Jess from Peace Love Books (one of my favorite booktubers) does not like it L

13*. Simply tag the readathon on twitter or instagram using @readvalitines and use the tag #vaLITines on any social media platform ♥

Done that already and I’m gonna keep on doing it

  1. SET UP: read a book recommended to you by someone in your life

Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter – My other half recommended this book to me and I intend to read it!

  1. LONG TIME CRUSH: read a book that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, but SOMETHING always gets in the way

BingoBoard

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I started reading it so many times before and, while I loved the part I did get to read, I never actually finished it (and I have all the books in the series bought!)

  1. THE NEWLY WEDS: read one of the most recent books added to your TBR

Doubling with challenge 7The Sea in Me by A Kelly

  1. MORE TO LOVE: read a book over 400 pages

Doubling with challenge 8 A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. NOT MY TYPE: read a book out of your comfort zone or read a book through a medium out of your comfort zone (audio books, e-book, graphic novel)

Doubling with challenge 14 – Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter

19*. TUNE IN: make a short playlist for your favorite book

Hmm…. I may have to come back to this one again. I’m not sure which book to pick.

  1. TOKEN OF AFFECTION: read a book that you received as a gift

I was gifted many of the books mentioned before in exchange for a review – I hope this counts. I’m choosing the same book as challenge 4 Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

  1. COMMITMENT ISSUES: start or continue a book series

Definitely Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

22*. LIFT THEM UP: share at least five creators that you love on the platform of your choosing (we encourage diversity in your recommendation and for you to share creators that are outside your immediate social circle)

I’ll get back on that as well…

  1. YOU SEE ME: read a book that you feel represents you in some way

This is a though one… rain check for now?

  1. SHALLOW: read a book that you definitely bought for the cover

There’s one book by Nora Roberts (it’s quite big) that I bought from an airport (in Warsaw I think) but I don’t have it right now with me (visiting my parents at the moment).

  1. PICTURE PERFECT: read a comic book, graphic novel, or picture book

Am I Ugly? by Siobhan Hill – this sounds like such a fun read! And the author is amazingly friendly!

 

Oh, there are a lot of books to read! I don’t want to fail it and I do want to keep up with the blogger challenges too. More on that in the following days.

This was exhausting to put together, but fun nonetheless. I will be hosting Twitter sprints on the official

bookweb ♥ vaLITines (@readvaLITines) channel, so be sure to follow and join the fun!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Weekly Quote #7

Hey All,

I hop you’ve started the week in good spirit and that you have enjoyed your weekend! In my case, I have no idea when last week ended. I had a lot to do for my “day job” and lost count of weekend hours. But it’s fine, I did manage to sneak in some good reading.

Today I am coming with a quote from “Unconditional” by Lexxie Couper, a book I have reviewed yesterday on my blog – here. This book is about a girl that comes to Australia on a scholarship and has her entire routine turned upside down. Her Parkinson’s Disease does not allow for much (in her opinion), but things change when she meets a very handsome (and famous) guy in the Australian Airport. Many things happen, some funny, some that would make you think. An interesting and intense book. Check it out!

I am always nervous when starting a new book. I have my expectations and I am afraid that those expectations will not be met. So for me it’s important how a book opens up, how well I am included in the story ever since the beginning. I did not have this issue with “Unconditional”. The tone used is so friendly and clean. I feel as if the main character would pause her life from time to time just to tell me bits and pieces.

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I have selected this quote not only because it describes perfectly our main character. Maci is so strong and refuses to bend to her illness. She fights it, to the best of her abilities and does not want to pose as a victim. But we also have the best sample of the writing. Just a simple phrase can speak a lot to the type of writing and story that we have here. This is what made me open up even more to “Unconditional”. It made me feel good, despite the serious aspects that are discussed here. Beautiful!

Well, that’s it for now. Come back tomorrow to check my thoughts on another absolutely fantastic story, by the lovely Olivia Drake. Until next time, happy reading !

Goodreads Choice Awards 2019

Ever since I discovered Goodreads I have enjoyed reading about the Choice Awards. It gives me a list of titles to add to my TBR for the next year. I must admit that is difficult to cast a proper vote, with so many books out there. Well, anyway here are the results to the categories I am mostly interested in.

  1. FICTION: The Testament by Margaret AtwoodThe Testament by Margaret Atwood

The winner is no surprise, taking into account that The Handmaid’s Tale has stirred a lot of discussions. I listened to half of it on Scribd, since actually reading it was a bit difficult to follow. The writing feels heavy somehow. Once I’ll have completed it, I’ll move to The Testament for sure.

  1. FANTASY: Ninth House by Leigh BardugoNinth House by Leigh Bardugo

It won with almost 20,000 votes more. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgensten had 35,351 votes while Ninth House had 53,430. Great Result! Sadly, my book of choice for this section, The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty, received 5,588 votes. I confess, I have not read it yet, but I own a physical copy and it’s on my list. I love the series so much!

  1. ROMANCE: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistonRed, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This was not such a complete surprise. 2018 and 2019have been the years of diversity. Most of the popular books have either an LGBT relationship or a different type of diverse character. But this book had 40,000 votes more than Verity by Colleen Hoover, which occupies second place. Wow! It also won the best Debut Novel.

  1. YOUNG ADULT FICTION: Five Feet Apart by Rachael LippincottFive Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Also my choice, it was expected. What surprises me here is the number of votes. I was expecting to see 50,000 or 70,000. The winner gathered 36,232. Looks life there are more romance readers out there 🙂

 

 

  1. YOUNG ADULT FANTASY: The Wicked King by Holly BlackThe Wicked King by Holly Black

I’ve heard mixed opinions about this one, but I am happy it won. My vote went to it as well, even if I did not read it yet.

 

 

  1. MIDDLE GRADE & CHILDREN’S: The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick RiordanThe Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

As expected. Lately, when one wants to buy a book for a kid, Rick Riordan is the best choice (I’m speaking from experience here).

 

 

What do you think? Do you agree with the choices? Which one of these books have you read? Did you cast a vote? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, happy reading!