Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. I have mentioned some honorable mentions to meet ten because as I've mentioned below. I'm really not good about keeping up with new releases. Hopefully, I'll mention some you haven't heard about as much.






1. Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano

I have yet to read anything by her.

Summary from Good Reads.

From the RITA Award-winning author of Five Days in Skye comes a sweet, romantic treat that will leave you hungry for more.

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can't deny that she's stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it's a sign that her luck is finally turning around.

Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he's looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he's already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country--an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-cafe in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she's faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she's come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.



2. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I don't feel like I've read a lot. I've read about five. I know that seems like a lot, but with the amount there are published, that's just a drop in the bucket. I want to read a lot more. I feel like I'll be seeing this one a bit. I hope it's great!

Summary from Good Reads.

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


3. Match Me if You Can by Tiana Smith

I love contemporary books and books about matchmaking. I love the premise of this book. Sounds like fun.

Summary from Good Reads.

Mia's best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn's matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her. 

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn't count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince - the guy she knows is right for her - and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn't find out that Mia's been matchmaking behind her back. 

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?



4. Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

This book is being pitched as a retelling of Les Miserables in space. I've never read it but have seen the movie with Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, etc, and remember enjoying it. I love the title. This might be more of an honorable mention, but I'll leave it here.

Summary from Good Reads.

A thief. An officer. A guardian.

Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .


When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…

Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spy on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.

Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. In training to take command of the military, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when his father dies and leaves behind a cryptic message that only one person can read: a girl named Alouette.

Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.

All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables. 


5. In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Towers

I found out about this on someone's blog. I love Regency books and this definitely sounds like a cool one.

Summary from Good Reads.

From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.

Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.

An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man's charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.



6. Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner

This one just sounds so charming. I didn't read the other book by this author, but I'm more interested in this one I believe.

Summary from Good Reads.

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn't love her in the "forever" way she loves him, Cadie believes it's time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie's favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It's a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.



Honorable Mentions

I really don't keep up with new releases well, so I wanted to mention ones I'm interested in as well.



7. The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

I've never read a book by Katherine Reay because I usually am only interested to parts of her synopsis, but it's usually not enough for me to want to pick up her books. This book kind of suffers with that for me, but it does center around a book shop, so I'll just have to wait for some good, critical reviews for this one.

Summary from Good Reads.

Amid literature and lattes, three women come together and find that sharing one's journey with best friends makes life richer.

When attorney Madeline Carter inherits her aunt's bookstore in a small town north of Chicago, she plans to sell it and add the proceeds to her nonexistent "investment portfolio." But plans change when Madeline discovers the store isn't making money and she gets passed over for promotion at her firm. She quits in protest, takes the train north, and decides to work at the store to prep it for sale. Madeline soon finds herself at odds with employees Jessica and Courtney; when she also finds herself attracted to an affianced man, it only confuses the entire situation.

After blowing up her marriage two years earlier, Jessica has found solace working at the bookstore and a kindred spirit within its owner, Maddie Cullen. But when Maddie dies and her niece, Madeline, barges in like a bulldozer, Jessica pushes at the new owner in every way--until she trips over common ground. Soon the women are delving into online dating and fashion makeovers, and Jessica feels the pull to rediscover her art, a love she thought long behind her.

After a night of bad decisions leaves the store in peril, Courtney arrives and tries to save the day. While she, too, found sanctuary in the little bookstore, she knows it's under-insured, in the red, and will never survive. When she discovers her teenage daughter has played a part in vandalizing the store, Courtney taps into strength she didn't know existed--or had long forgotten. The quietest of the three, she steps up and finds a way to save her family, the store, and the precious friendships that have grown within it.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is the story of friends who find each other--and themselves--in a place none of them ever expected.




8. Fame, Fate, and The First Kiss by Kasie West

I do love Kasie West books, but I'm looking forward to Maybe This Time, her book that releases in the last half, much more than this one. I'll still read this one. I just need the other one. :)

Summary from Good Reads.

Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.

As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script.
 


9. Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

My desire to read this book may have waned some, but when I first found out about this one last year, I was looking forward to it quite a bit.

Summary from Good Reads.

Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .



10. Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale

This is a UK author, so I'm hoping it releases at the time Good Reads is saying for the US as well. I have seen The Geek Girl series by her when I surf online and am interested in that series. I thought this one sounds like it could be cute.

Introducing The Valentines. Fame – It Runs in the Family!
Sisters Hope, Faith and Mercy have everything: fame, success, money and beauty. But what Hope wants most of all is love, and it doesn’t matter how far she has to go to find it.

Except real-life isn't like the movies. Even if you're a Valentine . . .

Happy Girl Lucky is the first hilarious, heart-warming book in The Valentines series. From the internationally bestselling author of Geek Girl, Holly Smale.



Which book are you anticipating the most? Please leave your links for me to visit! 

Monday, January 7, 2019

2018 End of the Year Bookish Survey

I'm doing the End of the Year Survey created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. I didn't do her second set of questions because I didn't really want to answer questions about blogging. I might try to tackle them later this year when I've blogger longer. There are also some questions I didn't want to answer that she had. 

There are a couple of questions I took out from the first and last section, but I didn't renumber the questions.  Feel free to let me know any of your answers to the questions.




Number Of Books You Read: 47

Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: I guess clean adult fiction


1. Best Book You Read In 2018?


 Cinderella and the Colonel by KM Shea

I adore fairy tale retellings, and I absolutely adored this one. I highly recommend for you to read K.M. Shea's if you love young adult retellings.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  


Murder Simply Brewed by Vanetta Chapman

This was surprising in a good way. I've always assumed I wouldn't like Amish books, but I really enjoyed this one. This is the first in a series. I believe a trilogy. I don't know if I'll continue, but this was really good. 


 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?


Martha's Patience by Sally Britton

I only pushed this to one person, my mom, but she did read it! This was a novella, but I really enjoyed it.

 5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

I started a couple of series this year, but I feel like picking one would be a cop out because even though I really enjoyed the ones I read, I don't feel like I loved it enough to pick one or gush about. I did finish a series I started this year, but I preferred the first book and wanted the series to turn out differently.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?


Sweet Talk by Niki Turner

I really loved this one. This would be the perfect read for Valentine's Day. This is a sweet and clean contemporary.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?


Murder Simply Brewed by Vanetta Chapman

I'll repeat myself. I didn't expect to like this because it focuses around an Amish community. It's also a mystery. I typically don't read a lot of mystery. I enjoyed Nancy Drew Super Mysteries when I was younger but that is typically my extent of mystery reads besides the occasional Love Inspired Suspense book. If you like mystery, I highly recommend this one.

 9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?


 Cinderella and the Colonel by KM Shea

There are now 13 books in these series now and is complete. I have only read the first one, Beauty and the Beast, and the one above, wish is the third. I want to go and read this from beginning to end. There is also a prequel duology the author recommends people to read. I have read them this past December, but they don't have a lot of romance. I prefer to read books with romance as the focus, and I don't really feel the need or frankly the desire to reread those right now.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?


 The Husband Maker by Karey White

This cover is just funny. Really enjoy all the covers.

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

There's not any that are really jumping out. There are characters I remember, but none I feel that pressed to want to mention.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?


 Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

I read both of Julianne's books last year. This one has an atmospheric style in some of the scenes. I really wasn't sure of an answer, but this is probably the best out of what I read this year.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 



The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

I believe I got this for Christmas 2017, so really I had to wait until then. I chose this book because I really enjoyed it, and I love Kasie West books.


16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?




Shortest book
Timeless Hearts (#0.5) by Kay P. Dawson

I really enjoy Time Travel romances, which this is the prequel to a pretty long series. I don't know if I liked it enough to continue, but it wasn't bad. Just way too short.


Longest book
Significance (#1) by Shelly Crane

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

I can't think of any. I don't think I read anything too shocking. *shrugs*

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

The couple in this, but it's probably because I loved the book so much, too! :)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Hmm, I don't pay attention too much to stuff like this. I may try to in the future.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously


Cinderella & the Colonel by KM Shea

I've read four of her fairy tale retellings by now, but this one is of of my favorites by her.  She writes fantasy books with less romance, but I prefer her Timeless Fairy Tales because they have romance in them.

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:


The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan


This isn't solely a recommendation, but this was big out of my comfort zone. I gave this 4 stars I believe, but it's kind of meh for a 4 stars. It might be closer to a 3.5. People love it a lot more than I do. I don't know if I want to continue with this or not. There is a couple I really enjoy in this one, but I'm not sure if it's enough. The book is just tooooo slow. I don't like slow books.


23. Best 2018 debut you read?

I only read one this year. Even though, I enjoyed it. I don't want to include it since it is the best of one.





27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?


Sweet Talk by Nikki Turner

I won't add much more, but I remember really liking this one. It was a fun and cute read.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?


The Husband Maker by Karey White

This is about a girl who suffers from a serious problem. All of her exes get married with the next girl they go out with! Horrible, I know. Joking. I thought this was really good. This series does not go how I wanted it to go. I liked this book the most. 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?


Love Finds You in Frost, Minnesota by Judy Baer



1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?



Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

I won this book in a Good Reads giveaway. I love this cover and want to read this book. It's a 2018 debut and want to give this author and book some love hopefully!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?


Maybe This Time by Kasie West

I love Kasie West books and don't really know much else that is coming out this year. I'm really bad about keeping up with books anymore.

I love the idea of this book. I really hope this book is as good as I'm hoping.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?
I have not kept up with new series because I'm very cautious about following series anymore because of content that are in YA books. I have no answer.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I would love to be able to finish of K.M. Shea's Timeless Fairy Tale series. I want to reread the two I have read.

For blogging, I want to get consistent. I think it will take me a while though. I need to work on blogging ahead. I feel like that's a tall order for me.  


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Reading Challenges


This challenge is hosted by Michelle and Berls @ Because Challenges Make Reading More Fun.

For this challenge, there are three different courses that you can choose from and pick classes that dictate how many you lock in for each month.

The courses and teachers are Professor AuthorLuv, in which you commit to read a certain amount of an author's work, Professor Genre, in which you pick a genre or theme, and Professor Mix-it-Up, in which you pick books from a specific list of your own making. (Looked at rules to come up with a short summary).

At first, I only planned to maybe do one, but this sounds like a lot of fun, so I'm going to do the Beginner class of all three. 

For Professor AuthorLuv, I'm going to choose K.M. Shea. She writes clean, young adult fantasy. I mostly prefer her fairy tale romance series. I might try to read some of her other fantasy books, but for the most part it will be her fairy tale retellings

For Professor Genre, I'm picking retellings. Most of these probably will be fairy tale retellings. I'll avoid using the books I count for the first course.

For Professor Mix-it-Up, my list is as follows:

1. Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen (a Christian historical romance)
2. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (a contemporary YA)
3. Pippa of Lauramore by Shari Tapscott (YA fantasy romance
4. Heist Society by Ally Carter (YA mystery romance)
5. The Vicar's Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack (clean historical romance

I wasn't sure how long the list was allowed to be. If I see longer lists, I might change it a little to include more options.




I love retellings, so I am going to sign up for Tracy's @ Cornerfold's Retellings Reading Challenge.
I am picking the level Warrior Princess 6-10 books. I see myself reading more than this.

What I plan to read (Maybe?)

1. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
2. Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
3. Beauty and the Beast by KM Shea
4. The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea
5. Entwined by Heather Dixon
6. Wild Swans by KM Shea
7. The Silent Mermaid by Brittany Fichter
8. Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
9. The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
10. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

There is also a Bingo that goes along with it.





Tackle My TBR Challenge is hosted by Kimberly @ KimberlyFaye Reads

The goal is to read x amount of TBR books for a month. I'm choosing the level Safety, which is to read 12 books, one book a month. It can vary hugely on how many books I read in a year, so I want to play it safe.

For some extra fun, there is a theme challenge. I won't follow it every month, but I will try some months. 

What I plan to read

1. Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
2. Wanderlost by Jen Malone
3. Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey
4. My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff
5. The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
6. Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg
7. A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson
8. Unremembered by Jessica Brody
9. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
10. Possibilities by Debra White Smith

I only listed 10 since the Retellings challenge books will count, too.







Saturday, November 24, 2018

My Thoughts on Love Finds You in Frost, Minnesota by Judy Baer






Title:  Love Finds You in Frost, Minnesota
Author: Judy Baer
Publisher: Summerside Press
Published: October 1, 2013
Genres: Christmas, Christian Fiction, Romance
Pages: 320
Series: Love Finds You
Source: own
Format: paperback






Summary from Goodreads

When Jack returns home to Minnesota, he meets the town’s newcomer. She’s bubbly, beautiful . . . and his latest adversary.

Considering that her name is Merry Noel Blake and she was born on Christmas Eve, it’s not surprising that Frost, Minnesota’s newest resident is crazy about the holiday. She has single-handedly convinced the entire town to help her turn Frost into a Christmas destination; there’s a tableau of the stable in Bethlehem, a concert, many events at the church, and Merry’s own holiday boutique.

Jack Frost has always tried to live down his whimsical name—a gift from his playful parents—and he does his best to deter Merry from making what he considers a kitschy mockery of the town and the season. But she believes that below Jack’s frosty exterior is a warm heart—and that she is the one to thaw it.

I haven't read that many in the Love Finds You line, and I'm pretty sure this book was the first book I read by Judy Baer. This book was just okay for me. The main female character in this book was 28, I think. She was really into Christmas to the point I'm not for sure I believed it. She was able to rally a town to play up its namesake for Christmas. I don't think that's very realistic. I would have believed it more if she was more in her mid 30s. Also, I didn't like that it's realistic that around 3 to 4 guys wanted a relationship with her. I was still able to read this book at a normal pace despite my issues with the book. It's not a Christmas book I'd recommend. I've preferred the two Christmas books by Melody Carlson that I have read this year over this. If you're looking for a Christian Christmas romance, I'd definitely read one by Melody.

I've heard some of Judy's other books are funny. I'll still try to give her a chance in the future. I'm not for sure what I would rate this. It's been about a week and a half since I read it. I think this would be around a 3 for me. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Merch I'd Like to Have

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. 

For this week, we are supposed to feature bookish merch. My list has links that go to other websites like Amazon, Etsy, and a company's website, but I'm not an affiliate. The links are just for your frame of reference if you want to see what I'm talking about. I didn't quite make it to ten. I'm really new to the bookish merch scene.



1. Jane Austen and Jane Eyre Book Mug

I love Jane Austen merch. I'm not big into her actually novels yet. I mostly prefer to read retellings. However, I do love Jane Eyre.

2. Lizzy Bennet of Jane Austen Cross Stitch Design from Etsy shop MrsPeggottyArts

I'm not the best at cross stitching and haven't done it a lot, but I do enjoy it. It takes forever though. I don't see this becoming a huge hobby.

3. A Book Sleeve:Belle Book Sleeve with a Button Etsy shop FabricBound

I've watched videos on DIY Book Sleeves and searched for collections. I kind of want to try to make one because most are priced a little steep for me, but FabricBound has some for 20 percent off.

4. Bookmarks

I can never have enough bookmarks. I love quotes and animals, especially the animals.

5. Classics Page Flags by Girl of All Work

I think my sister showed me these at Barnes and Nobles. Foolishly, I didn't buy one. I looked online and they have more classics than I realized. Unfoolishly, they are more expensive than I like.

6. Jane Austen Board Games: Marrying Mr. Darcy and Jane Austen's Matchmaker

I would love to have one of these, but the Matchmaker game needs three people. I think I could get one person to attempt it with me, but I don't know about getting a second person.

7. Book Adaptations- 

I haven't watched a lot, but I do enjoy adaptations and have seen the most of Jane Eyre. I'd like to watch more and finish one for each Jane Austen book. Do you have a favorite book adaptation?

Is there any bookish merchandise from my list you're interested in?