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The Sunday Post #223 | September 20, 2020

   

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news: a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books,
 and share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead. 
It's been a month since my last Sunday Post and I've enjoyed the break. I don't know that I'll return to posting every single Sunday. I'm enjoying my new, relaxed blogging style too much to lock myself back in to any kind of definitive schedule. But I still enjoy checking in on everyone else's Sunday Posts and I'll contribute my own when the mood strikes. :)

Spending so much time in my home office over the last six months had me itching to revamp the decor and I completed a couple projects in there this week. I finished the gallery wall that I've been working on for a couple weeks (finding the right art pieces, the right frames, painting the frames, etc.) and I'm in love with how it turned out. I find myself staring at it constantly. And The Husband put in floating shelves on the wall behind my desk. I'm not sure if I'm quite done styling those yet (I keep adding and subtracting and moving things around) but I'm happy with how it's looking so far.

Gallery wall
Floating shelves

I used my library's curbside pick-up service for the first time this week. I've long used Overdrive but this is the first time I wanted a physical copy since the pandemic. I had to reserve a pick-up time, park in a designated spot, put down the back window for them to drop the book in (it really was no-contact). They have a great system in place. The book I got was Dear Emmie Blue and hopefully I'll get to it before it's due back. :)

Feel free to skip ahead if you don't care about hockey. :) But my team is in the Stanley Cup Finals!! The Tampa Bay Lightning are killing it! They beat Columbus in the first round, they beat Boston (bahaha!) in the second round, and they beat the NY Islanders in the conference final. Last night was game one in the Stanley Cup finals (it's Saturday afternoon as I'm typing this and the game is tonight) so hopefully by the time you're reading this the Lightning will have their first win against Dallas already under their belt. Have you been watching the play-offs?

Tampa Lightning after winning the Eastern Conference title on September 17, 2020
 
This week's 80's music fix is It Must Be Love (1981) by Madness. Catchy pop with a reggae twist... I always liked this one.

Wednesday, September 16

WHAT I COMPLETED IN THE LAST WEEK

   

Physical Book:

Audio Book:


WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING

    

Reading:

Listening to:

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share?
I'd love to hear about it!

Cover Reveal: Stay For Me by Corinne Michaels

I have been loving Corinne Michaels' Arrowood Brothers series this year and I've read each one as soon as it released. They are filled with Corinne's trademark heart (and heartbreak), humor and romance. Each book in this fantastic series focuses on one of the four Arrowood brothers. And while they can all stand alone, I certainly recommend reading them all for the full experience. :)

All three of the previous books have had some seriously dreamy (and drool-worthy) covers and Stay For Me is no exception. Feast your eyes on this yummy goodness!


 


Corinne Michaels has revealed the cover for Stay For Me!
 
Releasing: December 8, 2020

Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative

Photographer: Wong Sim

Model: Mitchell Wick

From New York Times Bestselling author Corinne Michaels comes the final poignant love story in the Arrowood Brothers Series.

Hollywood taught me everything I know about relationships—except how to be in one. As an actor, I became an expert at faking it. Faking that I wasn't affected by my childhood. Faking that I was okay. Faking that I knew how to save the day, the girl, the whole damn world.

But I've always known the truth—I’m no one's hero.

Until I’m forced to move back to Sugarloaf for six months, and Brenna Allen offers me a chance to prove otherwise. She’s everything I never knew I wanted, but can't have. Her broken heart, perfect face, and adorable children turn my world upside down. Instead of preparing for my next leading role, I’m directing a middle school play.

All to make her smile.

The more time I spend here, the more I want to stay. Build a life in this town that I swore I’d leave—for her.

But when the world comes crashing down around us, I’m forced to decide if staying for her is the right choice or if leaving is better for the woman I love.

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://geni.us/SFMAmazon

Apple: https://geni.us/SFMApple

Nook: https://geni.us/SFMNook

Kobo: https://geni.us/SFMKobo

Google Play: https://geni.us/SFMGP

Audio Alert: https://geni.us/AudioAlert  

Add to Goodreads: https://geni.us/SFM_GR

Meet Corinne 

Corinne Michaels is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romance novels. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love, and she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak before finding a way to heal them through their struggles.

Corinne is a former Navy wife and happily married to the man of her dreams. She began her writing career after spending months away from her husband while he was deployed--reading and writing were her escapes from the loneliness. Corinne now lives in Virginia with her husband and is the emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children.

Connect with Corinne

Website: http://corinnemichaels.com

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2N1H2Gb

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NVZmhv

Facebook: https://bit.ly/1iwLh6y

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/corinnemichaelsbooks/

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2L1Vzo6

Twitter: https://bit.ly/2Jcp29z

Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2yc6rss

Pinterest: https://bit.ly/2m7MkEL

Book+Main: https://bit.ly/2EibEEn


WWW Wednesday #102 | September 16, 2020

 

 

It's been a full month since my last WWW Wednesday post. I've been examining how and why I blog, tossing out all self-imposed expectations of how often I need to post, and only posting when I feel like it. And lately that's been few and far between. :) But it also means I've been happier and reading more. Win!

I hope those in the path of Hurricane Sally have fared okay. We'll get a good drenching this afternoon through tomorrow but otherwise we're far enough removed not to experience anything more than that.

How is your week going? What are you reading? Let's chat about it! :)

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

   


Currently reading: I remember reading reviews for Wild at Heart when it released earlier this year and seeing several people mention that this book wasn't really necessary. That not a lot happened. Being just past the halfway point, I can attest to the fact that not a lot has happened. Now ask me if I care? :) Because the answer is no. I'm perfectly content being back in Alaska with Calla and Jonah and experiencing their day to day life and the ebb and flow of their relationship as they settle into a new life together. Funnily enough, the day after I started this one I saw Sam share that Tucker will be releasing a third book about Calla and Jonah in December. Yes! *fist pump*
Current progress: page 248/443 (55%)

Currently listening: I'm actually pretty on the fence about this trilogy. There's a lot that bugs me about it and I am so over all the angst. But I also need to know how things are going to play out. So I'm sticking with it. I'm just over 8 hours into the 16 hour audio book so there's an end in sight. There is some crazy stuff happening right now that is worthy of any soap opera. 
Current progress: 55%

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

   


Read: Lies & Lullabies. Loved it. Absolutely loved it. Sarina Bowen has long been a favorite so I knew going in that it would probably be a hit for me. And I was right. It was so easy to slip right into Jonas and Kira's story. I was hooked from the start and completely invested. I flew through this one because I just didn't want to put it down. I wanted to soak up every scene with Kira and Jonas (and Kira's amazing brother - loved him!). 

Listened to: Maureen's book club pick for September is The One for Me which worked out perfectly for me. I had pre-ordered the audio version and was ready to dive in as soon as it appeared on my phone. While the conflict felt a little forced at times (the only thing keeping the couple apart was them), Corinne Michaels still did her magic and had me all kinds of wrapped up in Sean and Devney's story. There was a twist I did not see coming (cue the tears) and it added an emotional element that really kicked the story up a notch.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL READ NEXT?

 



After loving Lies & Lullabies I'm ready to dive back into the Hush Note world. The arc for Rifts & Refrains just arrived yesterday so it's ready and waiting. for me. Plus, my library hold for the audio of The Lies That Bind just came in so I have that to look forward to next. 

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :)

Discussion: The Blogging Conundrum


In the past two weeks I've shared exactly two blog posts. Was I too busy to post? No. Was I on vacation? No. Was I trapped under something heavy and couldn't reach the computer? Nice guess, but again, no.

The simple answer is: I haven't felt like blogging.

The more complicated answer is... well, a little more complicated.


The real answer is what I have come to think of as The Blogging Conundrum

I started blogging for the same reason as most book bloggers: I wanted to have an outlet to share my love of books and reading with others. A way to discuss all things bookish. Easy enough, right?

But blogging is a time-consuming beast. There's drafting the post, proofing the post, finding or creating graphics, formatting, creating hyperlinks, replying to comments. And on it goes. 


Of course it doesn't stop there. Naturally, I want to visit my book blogger friends and read their posts and see what they're up to. And all the reading and commenting takes a lot of time.

But whether I'm blogging on my own blog, or blog-hopping and commenting on other blogs, I'm not reading

And I miss it.


So I can spend my time reading (and maybe even *gasp!* write a review now and then). Or I can spend my time blogging. There are several elements involved here: reading, reviewing, creating blog posts, replying to comments, and visiting/commenting on other blogs. I can do one of those things... I can even do two... but I simply can't keep all of it going all the time. 

So what to do?


I've managed to keep up a (semi) consistent schedule of posting for the last five years. But over the last couple weeks I just didn't worry about it. I shared a review last week of a lovely book (Broken Rebel by Lora Richardson) but otherwise all the time I would have spent blogging has been spent reading. I've read three books in the first week of September and I'm in the middle of two others. That's a lot for me. And I've loved it.  


Do I actually have a point? *shrugs* I'm not looking for advice on how to balance it all. Frankly, I'm tired of trying to balance it all. Blogging has always been a hobby (it's not like any of us are getting paid for this, right?), but if I'm spending the majority of my time blogging instead of reading, then what am I even blogging about? 

If there is a point, it's this: I miss reading. I miss picking up whatever book captures my attention and reading it without giving a single thought to getting a post up. I miss not having to make the choice between reading and blogging. 

So for now, I'm going back to what I love and miss: reading. And I'll post when I feel like posting. That may still be 2-3 times a week, it may be once a week, or maybe another two weeks will go by before I feel like writing a post. But the end result is that I want to be intentional about how I spend my time.

Have you ever faced The Blogging Conundrum? Do you find it easy to fit it all in - blogging and commenting and reading and visiting other blogs? Do you have a schedule, set aside a certain amount of time each day for things, or just fly by the seat of your pants? :) Let's chat in the comments... I'd love to hear about your own experience.

Review: Broken Rebel by Lora Richardson #NewRelease #YAContemporary

 

August was not the best reading month for me and everything I was reading felt pretty mediocre. The result was that I was starting to feel slumpish. Enter just the right book at the right time. Lora Richardson and her latest YA contemporary to the rescue! Once I started Broken Rebel I read it in just two or three sittings (something I never do) but that's what happens when you fall into a story that is just so completely readable. (Is readable even a word? It is now.) Richardson pulled me right out of that slump and gave me what I'd been missing all month: characters I loved, who were kind, decent people, and who were imminently easy to pull for. I got all that and more in Broken Rebel. Now, read on while I gush some more and tell you why you need to pick up Broken Rebel, too.



BROKEN REBEL
Lora Richardson
Publication date: September 3, 2020
Series: Sparrow Sisters Book 2
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Author
4 Stars


S Y N O P S I S
 
He’s a reformed bad boy who wants the good girl. Lucky for him, she craves excitement.

Audrey Sparrow lives her life the way other people want her to. She dates the boy her parents like, she studies hard, and she never gets into trouble. Scared of the secret desires deep within her, she pretends she’s happy with the way things are. Then one day, a boy on a motorcycle drives up and asks her if she wants a ride.

Johnny Bright can’t outrun his reputation. No matter what he does, people in this town will always judge him based on his reckless past. He’s been enchanted by Audrey for as long as he can remember, but there’s no way she’d be seen with a guy like him.

Both misunderstood, both searching for something, Johnny and Audrey are drawn to each other. Can they make it work even though the entire town is against them?


TOP 5 REASONS YOU NEED TO READ BROKEN REBEL

#1 - A Totally Relatable and Likable Main Character
Audrey was a sweet girl and so easy to like. I felt such a kinship with her. As a teenager I, too, kept the peace and made decisions based on others' expectations. I loved seeing her slowly exercise her own voice and make her own choices even when they weren't understood or accepted by some people in her life. 

#2 - A Sweet and Swoony Misunderstood Boy
Every girl should be so lucky to have Johnny Bright as their first love. There were plenty of people in town who were determined to keep Johnny pegged as a troublemaker even though that was in his past. He actually had a heart of gold and was determined to be worthy of Audrey.

#3 - A Setting That Makes Me Want to Move to a Small Town
I'm a lifelong city girl girl, but Lora Richardson's portrayal of small town life has me ready to chuck it all and start a simpler life in a little hamlet like Alden, Indiana. Her descriptions of the small town made it feel like another character in the story. Audrey's family home with the wide front porch, the Meadowlark Creamery where Audrey served up ice cream treats, Gladiola Park where the residents gathered for a 4th of July picnic... they all painted a picture of a place I want to see.

#4 - A Cast of Secondary Characters That I want to Be My Neighbors
I enjoyed getting to know more of the residents of Alden. Audrey's sisters Cat (whose story was told in Broken Hollywood) and Valerie, her loving parents, her friend Ruby, her Aunt Glory, Johnny's hard-working mother... they all made for a richer story.

#5 - A Soft Romance That Melted My Heart
Audrey + Johnny gave me total heart eyes. It's as simple as that. They were so good together - and so good for each other. Johnny didn't want Audrey to be anything other than what she was and encouraged her to speak her mind and make her own choices. And Audrey never judged Johnny for his past and pushed him to see his own worth. I loved how Johnny viewed Audrey as something special and the careful way he handled her heart.

All that's left to say is this: if you're looking for a sweet, YA contemporary, look no further than Lora Richardson's Broken Rebel. You won't be disappointed.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.