The Book Blogger Get To Know Me Book Tag

I saw the lovely Jazmen do this tag yesterday so I decided to join in...


1. I read magazines back to front.

2. When adjusting the volume on the car stereo, it has to be 
on an even number or a multiple of 5. 

3. I was born without a sweet tooth. Not only does chocolate do nothing 
for me, but I can live without cookies, candy, ice cream, cakes, etc. 

4. I planned my elopement to Las Vegas and wouldn't change a thing. ♥

5. I don't watch TV so I am waaay out of the loop when people 
discuss their favorite shows.


September 18


Oh geez, I don't have one favorite memory. But this is one of them.
Years ago when the movie Something's Gotta Give came out, the main character had a birthday cake with sparklers instead of candles. I made a comment to my sister that one day I wanted a cake with sparklers. Years later, at a birthday dinner with my sisters, a slice of cake came to the table... with sparklers. My sister remembered that for years and made it happen for me. I'll always remember that. :)


Oh boy, I don't if you all can handle the excitement but here it is anyway. I get up at roughly 5:15 every day (yes, weekends, too). I wish I could say my day consisted of wine, wine and more wine like Jazmen (LOL) but sadly, no. Instead, from 8:00 til 5:00 I'm at the office. I'm the executive assistant to the Board of Directors for a company that provides training services to the Dept of Defense. The evenings consist of me and The Husband debating about where to go out for dinner, some reading when we're back at home, and by 9:00 I'm headed to bed. Total party girl, amiright? What can I say, it's how I roll.


Not sure whether to go with my faves right now or my favorite songs ever (which would all be throwbacks to the 80's). I'll stick with the old stuff - I like it best. :)

1. Romeo's Tune - Steve Forbert (1980)
2. Lessons In Love - Level 42 (1987)
3. Burning Flame - Vitamin Z (1985)
4. Kissing a Fool - George Michael (1988)
5. Don't Leave Me This Way - The Communards (1986)

Bonus: Just for grins, I'm going to throw in a couple songs that annoy me to no end and have me changing the station immediately anytime they come on: 7 Years (Lukas Graham), Stressed Out (Twenty One Pilots), Hello (Adele)


Loaded baked potatoes. Or pizza.


Complainers. And lizards. (And complaining lizards are the worst.)


Winter! Winter! Winter!
I'm a native Floridian that can't handle the heat, people.


Tough one. Maybe London? I loved it there and could totally see myself living there.

Or just someplace with actual seasons. Although to be honest I don't know how I would handle a *real* winter.


1. Peter's Friends
2. Love Actually
3. Notting Hill
4. Steel Magnolias
5. Some Kind of Wonderful


Um, remember the part where I said I had no sweet tooth... ?

(I like Jazmen's take on this: "Whoever came up with this question must be an apprentice to Satan.")

1. The Bronze Horseman - Paullina Simons
2. The Addicted series - Krista & Becca Ritchie
3. Ugly Love - Colleen Hoover
4. Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah
5. I'll Meet You There - Heather Demetrios


Sweet iced tea (it's the house wine of the South)


Teddy bears ♥ *wink*

I'm not tagging anyone but if you do the tag I'd love to see your answers!

That's What *He* Said Thursday #19

That's What He Said Thursday is a weekly meme created 
and hosted bChapter Break. It's a fun way to share a quote 
from a favorite book boyfriend (aka male protagonist) to his girl.
For more info, visit Chapter Break here.

It just occurred to me that I haven't participated in That's What He Said Thursday in ages (January, I think?) and I miss it. So I'm jumping back in today with a quote from Noah Hutchins - the super-hot, black leather jacket wearing guy that's head over heels in love with Echo. As evidenced by this swoony quote...

Have you read Breaking the Rules - or anything by Katie McGarry?

The Sunday Post #15

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 things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

I can't tell you how good it feels to be back doing a Sunday Post. My last one was right as I was going on vacation on May 1st (which was simply wonderful and nothing but total relaxation) but then I returned home and promptly got sick. Like, the very day we got home. There was much foot-stomping and declarations of the unfairness of it all. So I was down for the count for another week and even though I'm better it seems to be taking forever to get any kind of strength or stamina back. Hence the near silence on the blog (other than a couple pre-scheduled posts). I've been visiting blogs and commenting up a storm - but actually creating a post of my own has seemed too tiring and overwhelming for the last couple weeks. Methinks I've turned the corner, though, so we'll see how long it takes me to get through a Sunday Post and if it's still actually Sunday by the time it goes up. Ha!

A few random pics from vacay - aka time spent laying by the pool (in the shade) with a book in hand.


Tuesday, May 17: On Tuesday I was part of the release week blitz for Jennifer Armentrout's latest, The Problem with Forever.  This one is getting incredible reviews and I am so excited to start it. Hint: I think there's still a few hours left to get in on the giveaway!

Friday, May 20: The #ShelfLove Challenge topic for May focused on literary vacations. While I imagine many others were running for Platform 9-3/4 and heading to Hogwarts, I made a beeline for Philadelphia and hung with the Addicted gang. Big surprise, no? :)

FinishedOne True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I flew through this ARC in two days (unheard of for me) and was blown away. This will easily be one of my favorites of 2016. 

After We Fall by Marquita Valentine
This was an ARC that I had for review and I'm about a month late in reading it. Oops. It's the third book in a contemporary romance companion series and it was... okay. I'll have a review up at some point. 

Current: Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie
It's time. I'm finally doing it. I've put off continuing with the Addicted series for a couple reasons: 1) I enjoy the anticipation too much and 2) I don't want the series to end. If I finish the books, the story is over. The longer I wait the more I get to enjoy what is to come. But with the final book being released a couple days ago (*cue tears*) I guess it's time to suck it up and realize that it really is over. 


I returned home from vacation to some of the best book mail ever. Not one, not two, but THREE packages were waiting for me. Swoon! Two were from Amazon: my pre-orders of A Court of Mist and Fury and The Problem with Forever. Sweet! And then my awesome friend Brittany sent me a copy of Kindred Spirits. Thanks Brittany - you're the best! 


These aren't all from the last week but more like the last three weeks, since my last Sunday Post.


The Game Plan - Kristen Callihan

Tight - Alessandra Torre

More Than This - Jay McLean

Lawless - T.M. Frazier

Some Kind of Perfect - Krista & Becca Ritchie

This is 100% me and explains a lot about why my most anticipated books still remain on my TBR. :)

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
Fill me in... I'd love to hear!

May #ShelfLove Discussion: Literary Vacations

May topic: It's almost time for summer vacation. Plan your dream literary trip. You can go someplace real or fictional. 

At first I was going to go on about my trip to London several years ago and all the sights I saw that I had previously only read about in books. It wasn't meant as a literary vacation but it certainly could have qualified as one. But you know what? I just decided to take a little detour...

What comes to mind for a perfect literary vacation right now would be a visit to Philadelphia to hang with all the characters in the Addicted series world. If you've been around here any length of time at all you know that I adore the Addicted series by Krista and Becca Ritchie and it's my favorite contemporary series ever. What started as a novel about a sex addict and an alcoholic has turned into a series that features an amazing group of characters that I have come to know and love. And I feel as if I went to Philadelphia I would almost certainly run into them there. As you do with fictional characters. And naturally we would click immediately, become BFFs and I would be part of the group. Along with my husband of course since everyone's all couply (and he's reading the series so he'd fit right in).

Photo edit credit: Jennifer N.

So what would a literary vacation with the Addicted gang consist of? So glad you asked. Obviously some time would be spent at Superheroes & Scones where Lily would attempt to school me all things Marvel and I would nod blankly because I've never read a comic book and don't know one superhero from another. After giving up on my comic book education, we would head over to Lucky's for subs where we would be joined by Lo and Ryke and Daisy. Shenanigans ensue.

After that a quick stop at Rose's boutique and then we all head back to the house and wait for Connor to get home so we can share a big family-style dinner. When it's time to go home they all promise to come visit me in Florida soon (in the corporate jet, of course), I give everyone hugs and kisses, and Lily promises to text me daily. 

#ShelfLove Progress:
The goal I set back in January was to read 31-40 books from my personal library this year (library books do not count). I've read 14 books so far that qualify so I'm right on track for the year.

 How about you - where would you go for your literary vacation
Someplace "real" or are you headed straight for Hogwarts? :)

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Excerpt + Giveaway!


THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER has been one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 and I am thrilled to have my pre-ordered copy in my hands! I'm so ready to jump right into this one because Jennifer is an author whose writing never lets me down. And there's still time to register your pre-order! Just fill out the form using the link below and you'll receive some awesome swag. Enjoy the excerpt below... and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - a young adult title about friendship, survival, and finding your voice. This incredible book is available today! Read more about this stunning new novel below and be sure to order your copy today to receive an amazing FREE fan pack while supplies last!


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Indiebound


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.

For some people, silence is a weapon.

For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield.

Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

Register your preorder of THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by May 20th to receive a FREE fan pack! Includes inspirational wall art, a colorful poster, and flag-as-you-read stickers. You will also get immediate access to an extended excerpt from the book.




Dusty, empty shoe boxes, stacked taller and wider than her slim body, wobbled as she pressed her back against them, tucking her bony knees into her chest.

Breathe. Just Breathe. Breathe.

Wedged in the back of the dingy closet, she didn’t dare make a sound as she sucked her lower lip between her teeth. Focusing on forcing every grimy breath into her lungs, she felt tears well in her eyes.

Oh gosh, she’d made such a big mistake, and Miss Becky was right. She was a bad girl.

She’d reached for the dirty and stained cookie jar earlier, the one shaped like a teddy bear that hid cookies that tasted funny. She wasn’t supposed to get cookies or any food by herself, but she’d just been so hungry that her tummy hurt, and Miss Becky was sick again, napping on the couch. She hadn’t meant to knock the ashtray off the counter, shattering it into tiny pieces. Some were shaped like icicles that clung to the roof during the winter. Others were no bigger than chips.

All she’d wanted was a cookie.

Her slender shoulders jerked at the sound of the all cracking on the other side of the closet. She bit down harder on her lip. A metallic taste burst into her mouth. Tomorrow there would be a hold the size of Mr. Henry’s big hand in the plaster, and Miss Becky would cry and she’d get sick again.

The soft creak of the closet door was like a crack of thunder to her ears.

Oh no, no, no…

He wasn’t supposed to find her in here. This was her safe place whenever Mr. Henry was angry or when he—

She tensed, eyes peeling wide as a body taller and broader than hers slipped inside and then knelt in front of her. In the dark, she couldn’t make out much of his features, but she knew in her belly and her chest who it was.

“I’m sorry,” she gasped.

“I know.” A hand settled on her shoulder, the weight reassuring. He was the only person she felt okay with when he touched her. “I need you to stay in here, ‘kay?”

Miss Becky had said once that he was only six months older than her six years, but he always seemed so much bigger, older than her, because in her eyes, he took up her entire world.

She nodded.

“Don’t come out,” he said, and then he pressed into her hands the redheaded doll she’d dropped in the kitchen after she broke the ashtray and rushed into the closet. Too frightened to retrieve her, she’d left Velvet where she had fallen, and she’d been so upset because the doll had been a gift from him many, many months before. She had no idea how he’d gotten Velvet, but one day he’d simply shown up with her, and she was hers, only hers.

“You stay in here. No matter what.”

Holding the doll close, clenched between her knees and chest, she nodded again.

He shifted, stiffening as an angry shout rattled the walls around them. It was her name that dripped ice down her spine; her name that was shouted so furiously.

A small whimper parted her lips and she whispered, “I just wanted a cookie.”

“It’s okay. Remember? I promised I’d keep you safe forever. Just don’t make a sound.” He squeezed her shoulder. “Just stay quiet, and when I…when I get back, I’ll read to you, ‘kay? All about the stupid rabbit.”

All she could do was nod again, because there had been times when she hadn’t stayed quiet and she’d never forgotten those consequences. But if she stayed quiet, she knew what was coming. He wouldn’t be able to read to her tonight. Tomorrow he would miss school and he wouldn’t be okay even though he would tell her he was.

He lingered for a moment and then he eased out of the closet. The bedroom door shut with a smack, and she lifted the doll, pressing her tearstained face into it. A button on Velvet’s chest poked at her cheek.

Don’t make a sound.

Mr. Henry started to yell.

Don’t make a sound.

Footsteps punched down the hall.

Don’t make a sound.

Flesh smacked. Something hit the floor, and Miss Becky must have been feeling better, because she was suddenly shouting, but in the closet the only sound that mattered was the fleshy whack that came over and over. She opened her mouth, screaming silently into the doll.

Don’t make a sound.


“The intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling… romance aficionados [will] lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.” –Kirkus

“Armentrout’s effort to gradually coax her protagonist from her shell via a supportive, loving community succeeds, and readers looking for an inspirational comeback story will find Mallory’s to be satisfying and hopeful” –Publishers Weekly

About Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.  

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads | THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER Goodreads


Review: Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry

Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry

Series: Pushing the Limits #1.5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: December 8, 2014

Format: Kindle

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

My Thoughts

I adore Katie McGarry. I think I say this every time I review one of her books but it bears repeating. She is one of those rarified authors that has never once let me down, writes stories and characters that have me completely invested every single time, and is on my super-short auto-buy list. With Breaking the Rules, a revisit with one of my favorite couples from the Pushing the Limits series, Katie McGarry delivered an emotional story that saw so much growth for Echo and Noah.

While Pushing the Limits ended on a hopeful note, it's not as if all their issues were magically resolved. Echo and Noah are still struggling - both individually and within their relationship. These are characters that I came to love in Pushing the Limits so it was impossible not to feel their pain and hurt for their struggles.

A summer road trip meant as a getaway before starting college becomes a landmine filled with insecurities, triggers and fears. They're at a turning point and they both feel it. Noah learns of relatives he never knew about and must decide whether to seek them out or accept that there was a reason his mother kept him from them. And a face from his past wreaks havoc with his own insecurities and has him making decisions that could have lasting consequences.

Echo. My brothers. The entire damned life I've attempted to create - all 
of it gone with one bad choice. By chasing the wrong person. - Noah

Echo continues to battle her insecurities and tries to come to terms with her troubled relationship with her mother. Determined to stand on her own as an artist, she is inevitably faced with gossip, rumors and comparisons as she visits art galleries on the trip. When a gallery owner takes interest in her work and wants to show it at an event where her mother will be in attendance, Echo is forced to make tough decisions. Echo wonders, "Is having bad family better than having no family?" Through it all, Noah is by her side - loving her unconditionally, providing support, and being the one sure thing she can count on.

There are moments when your heart breaks and melts at the same time. 
When there's so much love flooding your soul that you're drowning in the tide.
This is that moment with Noah. - Echo  

Katie McGarry has an amazing gift of writing male protagonists that I love. Noah has always been an incredible example of that. All through Pushing the Limits, and now here, Noah fights hard to be the man Echo deserves. This is a young man who has known incredible loss, who has fought for the family he has and was strong enough to do what was right for them even as it broke his heart. Noah adores Echo and I'm always moved by his devotion to her.

Hands down, this girl owns me. I gave up caring 
how fucked I am because of it. - Noah 

Katie's writing is simply irresistible and I love the dual POV she employs. Breaking the Rules was incredibly emotional and it had me tearful more times than any book I've read in quite a while. I loved these characters and having them struggle so much for a sense of peace was hurting my heart. I even turned to Twitter and received a little encouragement from Katie:

Echo and Noah make some difficult discoveries over the course of the summer. There is so much growth for both of them over the course of the novel. They remain one of my favorite fictional characters and I can only hope this isn't the last I'll see of them. 

4.5/5 Stars 
Which book/series/characters do you love so much 
that you would keep reading as long as the author kept writing?