Discussion Post: My Fear of Discussion Posts

Confession time:
In 3+ years of blogging, I have never written a dedicated discussion post.

Let that sink in a minute. In over three and a half years there has been not one single discussion post on this blog. Sure there have been countless Top Ten Tuesdays when I might have briefly chatted about that week's theme. But to come up with a topic on my own and generate a post delving into my own thoughts and feelings about a particular subject? Nope, never happened.

So that naturally leads to the question: Why?

Glad you asked. And there's a simple answer.
It's because I fear the discussion post!

And we're not talking a mild nervousness. Or a slight skittishness.
No ma'am. We're talking outright fear.
*insert further synonyms at will*

So why this reaction to the mere thought of a discussion post? I have reasons. 
So... let's discuss shall we? (yeah, I went there)

Okay, this one is bogus on two accounts. Because one, I see bloggers discuss new and interesting topics all the time. Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books is great at this! Whether it's a broad subject or a very specific thing, she often posts interesting discussions that are unique and generate discussion in the comments.

And secondly, just because a topic has been covered doesn't mean there's nothing more to say. Or that I might not have my own perspective or opinion. Goodness knows no one I know, including me, has a shortage of opinions. :)

Alright, another lame excuse that I can easily shoot down. Thinking I might not have anything of value to add kind of goes hand in hand with the aforementioned "everything's been covered and there's nothing left to say" b.s. 

And no one agreeing with my opinion? Well, for starters that's highly unlikely. It's not like I'm that controversial or extreme. And secondly, who cares if they don't? I mean, seriously - it's my blog, my opinion, and my right to throw out my little thoughts and feelings into the void. If no one agree with me... okay. *shrugs* At the end of the day does it really matter? And do I really care? (Answer: not really, no.)

Oh puhleeze. I'm rolling my eyes even as I type it. I've told myself this so many times but the fact is that I often find myself wondering if others do the same thing (like picking a bookmark based on the book), experience the same thing (wondering what fictional characters are doing when I'm not reading the book), etc. There are ideas all around, just in day to day life, so having nothing to talk about is pretty ridiculous.

So it would seem that none of my excuses reasons are all that valid. And that maybe I should get over myself and just do it. I mean, hey, I just proved that I can write a discussion post... even if it's about my fear of discussion posts. That counts, right? :)

So how about you?
Do you enjoy discussion posts? Fear them like me?
Do you struggle with topics?
Let's chat it up!

WWW Wednesday #32 | November 28, 2018

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Just answer three questions and share what you're reading.

So tell me if this ever happens to you: Last night I was browsing through my Kindle for a new book to read. Page after page, book after book... and nothing appealed to me. So I wandered into the library and started perusing all the book on my shelves. And still, nothing was piquing my interest. Young adult? No. Paranormal? Nah. Sci-fi, mystery, historical? Nope. Not even a romance... seriously? By then I was all pouty that I couldn't find a book I wanted to read and I called it a night. 

Do you ever decide that nothing looks or sounds interesting? Not even your favorite genre? Normally I would say that meant I was a bit slumpy and needed a break. But no, I really wanted something to read. Thankfully by this morning one by Taylor Jenkins Reid jumped out at me as I was browsing Overdrive. Crisis averted!
Forever, Interrupted - Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid hasn't disappointed me yet so my fingers are crossed that this one is another hit! 

The Truth About Us (The Truth Duet #2) - Aly Martinez

As ridiculous and over the top as the first book was, I just had to know how it was going to end. So here I am listening to the second book in the duet. I think it's safe to say that the writing just isn't for me (sorry Aly Martinez) but I'm actually having fun listening to all the crazy drama, the mile-wide plot holes and doing much eye rolling. LOL

Bountiful (True North #4) - Sarina Bowen
My love affair with Sarina Bowen continues! And this True North series is just so good. I loved Zara and Dave's story and enjoyed the inclusion of Grif and Audrey and even a little snippet with Zach. But I sure missed Sophie and Jude. :(

I'm on a total Sarina Bowen roll so continuing on with the True North series (with Speakeasy) is a strong possibility. And The One You Fight For is also on my list since I have an arc and the release date is just a month away.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: I Like You, But I Don't Like You-Like You

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

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Platonic Relationships: The Friend Zone Edition
For those twosomes who are the best of pals and nothing more.

Juliette + Kenji
Shatter Me series 
These two were the ultimate friends-only duo.

Meg + Henry / Meg + Vlad
The Others series
I loved the friendships that developed between Meg and some of the residents within the Lakeside Courtyard.

Ben + Dylan
What If It's Us
These two were total friend goals!

Wesmie + Blake
Us (and Good Boy)
The easy acceptance between these guys was heartwarming.

Feyre + Cassian + Mor + Azriel
Their camaraderie and utter trust in one another was amazing.

Dec + Rev
Letters to the Lost
These were true blue friends who were so there for one another. There was nothing they wouldn't do for each other.

Ivy + Tink
The Wicked trilogy
Despite his shenanigans, Tink always had Ivy's back. 

Simon + Leah
Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
I loved the bond these two lifelong friends had.

Ryan + Gabby
Top Ten
Despite a brief foray into something more, these two were amazing friends.

Elise + Ryan
The Impossibility of Us
They became fast friends quickly and were so supportive of one another.

Have you read any of these books? 

The Sunday Post #130

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:

What a week! It was an insanely busy time at the office, trying to compress an inordinate amount of work into a shortened week. Our biggest trade show of the year always takes place the week after Thanksgiving so preparing for that is quite exhausting. Somehow it always get done, but a side effect was a severe lack of posts on the blog. Between work and Thanksgiving preparation, there just wasn't time for blogging. *sad face*

For those that celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hosted this year and it was exciting to have everyone over at the new house. A few family members hadn't been over since moving day so things certainly looked different to them! :) My step-daughter and her family came from out of state so it made it even more special to have them with us. There was plenty of food, the kids (and a few adults) played football outside, lots of talking and laughing and just generally enjoying everyone's company. All in all, a truly wonderful day.

I pretty much hibernated on Black Friday - 'tis my tradition. No crazy crowds (or crazy traffic) for me. It was more fun to cozy up at home and give away a book. :) In case you missed it, I'm taking part in the Black Friday Book Bonanza giveaway. You could win a book of your choice so be sure to enter... and hit up all the other participating blogs for a chance to win books and other bookish goodies!

Are you sick of pumpkin pie? Or *gasp!* don't like pumpkin pie? Bustle shared their picks of desserts for those who hate pumpkin. I actually never had any of the desserts on Thanksgiving (what can I say, no sweet tooth) but I have to admit some of these sound pretty amazing. Gingerbread House ice cream, anyone?


What He Always Knew (What He Doesn't Know #2) *audiobook* - Kandi Steiner
I finished listening to this duet and it was super angtsy, but not in a bad way. LOL Steiner had a way of actually making the characters both believable and (usually) likable so it was easy to feel connected to the story.

Still reading Bountiful. I really am enjoying it... there was just so little reading time this past week.

The Truth About Us (The Truth Duet #2) - Aly Martinez
I'm listening to the second book in this duet because, as over the top and downright ridiculous as the first book could sometimes be, I still have to know what happens. LOL

Not a thing!

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

Giveaway! 8th Annual Black Friday Book Bonanza

The event is hosted by Marlene @ Reading Reality and Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.

If you're in the U.S., I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration yesterday, filled with family and friends. And if you're not... well, I hope you had an awesome Thursday. :) 

Whether you were hitting the stores at the stroke of midnight (though I can't imagine why LOL), cyber shopping while in your pj's, or just going about your usual Friday, it's always a good time for a book giveaway. So I'm excited to be taking part in the 8th Annual Black Friday Book Bonanza! 

I'm gifting one winner a book of her/his choice up to $15 USD. 
The giveaway is open internationally as long as Book Depository delivers to your country (you can check where they deliver here). If you live in the U.S., it is likely your book will be sent from Amazon for faster delivery. Also for U.S. entries, if you prefer an ebook, I'm happy to gift an Amazon Kindle book of your choice (up to $15). Giveaway ends Monday, 11/26 at 11:59 pm and winner will be notified within 48 hours.

How do you plan to spend Black Friday... are you braving the crowds? At work? Cuddled up with a good book at home? I'll be at home, hopefully reading, but probably taking advantage of some online sales, too. :)

For more bookish prizes, visit the other blogs taking part in the Black Friday Book Bonanza. Good luck!

The Sunday Post #129

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:

It's been a busy week but a good one. At work we're gearing up for our biggest trade show of the year which takes place the week after Thanksgiving. With next week being a short week, that means this week was plenty hectic with preparations. Yesterday The Husband was in St. Petersburg for a car show (and won Best in Show in his class) while I ran a bunch of errands and had an impromptu hair appointment (I called on a whim and my stylist had a last minute opening - score!). Today I'll be headed to the grocery store with a long list for the Thanksgiving menu. I plan to be there when they open the doors because I just know it's going to be packed today. (Crowds... ugh!) 

BookBub had a fun article this week on 10 Binge-Worthy Books to Read Over Thanksgiving Break. So whether you have some time off, of will be spending hours in a car or plane traveling to your turkey day destination, you can check out their picks.

I've been having way too much fun watching these 5 Seconds Rule clips from Ellen's show. :)

Tuesday, November 13
Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Merchandise

Wednesday, November 14
WWW Wednesday #31

Friday, November 16



I DNF'd this at 190 pages. You can find out why in my ranty review.

What He Doesn't Know (What He Doesn't Know #1) *audiobook* - Kandi Steiner
This was my first by Kandi Steiner and she definitely has a way of telling an emotional story that pulls you in.

The Sarina Bowen binge continues! 

What He Always Knew (What He Doesn't Know Duet #2) - Kandi Steiner
I've gotta see how this ends. The first book ended with not one but two twists. Gah!


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

Short Take Reviews: The Ranty Edition

Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy #1)
Ilona Andrews
Publication date: October 28, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.
Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world. 

This book has crazy high rating on GoodReads (4.35). And I was excited to read it. Find a new urban fantasy series to get into. But that didn't happen. To be fair, I don't think it's really the story. I lay 90% of the blame on the narration. It was BAD. And I really, REALLY disliked it. And basically, it ruined the book for me.

This was the first time I encountered Renee Raudman's narration and I've gotta say: not a fan. To start, there's the twangy country accents. Yes, the story is set in Texas but it's in metropolitan Houston, not hillbilly central. Then there was the voice for the main character's grandmother - an active woman who was maybe sixty and yet sounded like a frail little grandma at age 101. It was just such a cliched "little old lady" voice that it was like something out of a cartoon. In fact, most of the characters sounded years beyond their stated age - including Rogan, who sounded like a crusty old cowboy instead of a 30 year old badass.

The story was okay but a mostly unsatisfying. Nevada tried to bring in a fugitive while verbally sparring with Rogan. In one sentence she was referring to him as a psychopath, in the next she was drooling over his abs. *eye roll* But it was the narration that made Nevada unlikable, every character sound decades older than they were, and as if every Texan was a country bumpkin. Ugh. I could switch to the books instead of the audio and continue on, but I'm afraid the bad experience with this one has pretty much ruined the series for me.


This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story
Kheryn Callender
Publication date: October 30, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings.

Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life.

Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hern├índez, his childhood best friend.
After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after?  

Oh, the high hopes I had for this one! It's contemporary, it's YA, it had a synopsis that hooked me, my trusted book buddy gave it 4 stars. But no, I have no love for this set of miserable characters.

Main character Nate was thoroughly unlikable. He was moody and taciturn. He was standoffish and treated his friends poorly, often to the point of being intentionally hurtful. Worse, he knew what he was doing and did it anyway. Yes, he was dealing with a recent break-up (and losing his father as a child) but I couldn't see how any of it excused his behavior.

He "best friend" (ha, some friend!) and ex-girlfriend Flo was horrible. She cheated on him when they were together and then had the audacity to insist he be friends with her new girlfriend. WT-actual-F? And when he showed any emotion about her cheating, she copped an attitude. When he showed interest in Ollie, she got mad and quit speaking to him. Note to Nate: this person is not your friend!

The only one I actually liked was poor Ollie. And I felt like telling him to run-don't-walk back to Santa Fe and ditch these toxic people.

They argued, they gave each other the silent treatment, they made up. Rinse and repeat. I'd had enough.

DNF @ 192 pages