Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway! *CLOSED - Winner Chosen*

Happy Friday, friends! For those that celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful, safe holiday with family and friends. And now that your turkey coma is over, you know what that means: Black Friday. 

Are you a Black Friday shopper? Are you up at the crack of dawn hitting the earliest sales? Maybe even shopped on Thanksgiving Day? Or are you like me, and avoid the whole spectacle? Because the fact is there is absolutely nothing I want or need badly enough to deal with the traffic, the parking, and the crowds (OMG the crowds *shudder*). No thank you. I would rather pay full price and stay at home away than deal with the madness. 😉

No matter what your plans are today - shopping, hibernating, or working (for your sake, I hope it's not in retail!) - a new book makes any day better! So I am giving away ONE BOOK OF THE WINNER'S CHOICE UP TO $15 (USD). This is open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. (If in the U.S., your book will likely come from Amazon in order to expedite shipping.)


This week has been insanely busy and I didn't have time to set up a Rafflecopter giveaway. So we're going old school and keeping this super simple. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. You can share what book you might want. You can tweet about the giveaway and leave the link in your comment. You can tell me about your Thanksgiving or just say hi. A winner will be chosen from the comments using Giveaway runs from 12:01 am on November 29 until 12:01 am on December 2.

And be sure to visit the other blogs participating in the giveaway!

Black Friday Giveaway Hop Participants
1. Reading Reality (INT)
2. Caffeinated Reviewer (INT)
3. Angel's Guilty Pleasures (INT)
4. Read Your Writes Book Reviews (US)
5. Samantha The Book Disciple
6. Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books (INT)
7. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
8. Gretl@ Goldilox and the Three Weres (US)
9. Ilovebooksandstuffblog
10. Beauty Info Zone (US/Can)
11. The Mommy Island
12. Dashing Bling Read
13. The Attic Girl
14. Maureen @ Maureen's Books
15. Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know
16. Suzie Olsen (US)
17. Tabatha @Broken Soul Reviews
18. Carol's Notebook (Int)
19. The Kids Did It
20. Readeropolis (US)

WWW Wednesday #70 | November 27, 2019

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

Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm at home today getting prepared for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Making a grocery run for the last few items, setting the tables, making a few dishes in advance (deviled eggs and artichoke dip), pulling out serving pieces, etc. It's actually a truly bad time to take a day off from work (our biggest event of the year is next week so this week is crunch time), but I promised myself this year that I would do better at taking more time off, finding a better work/personal life balance, and recognizing when I need to step away. And today is most definitely that day. 

Whether you're at home, at work/school, or traveling, I hope you're having a wonderful day. Take care of yourself.


I'm not reading anything at all right now. I finished up Coming Home for Christmas this morning and have been mulling over what to read next ever since. I've realized that I've been in a low-key sort of reading slump for a couple months now. Books that I thought I would love have left me wanting. I find myself easily frustrated with certain characters and tropes. I have no idea what to do about it. Take a break? Grab something at random? Re-read an old favorite? All I do know is that I am burned out on drama and angst and characters who do stupid things. LOL Maybe I need to pick up a few light and fluffy books as a palate cleanser. 


I finished Coming Home for Christmas this morning and it was super sweet. It took place in a small town, was low-drama and low-angst, and had a lovely HEA. Just what I needed. 

Speaking of drama and angst... Grip about did me in at times. Kennedy Ryan does love to put her characters through hell. And put her readers though the emotional wringer. Bristol drove me crazy at times but the slow evolution and her and Grip's relationship kept me hooked. And I love Jakobi Diem's narration. He also narrated Ryan's Hook Shot and I love his voice and performance.



Good question... and I have no answer. I'm basically considering every single book in my library right now. LOL I do know I want to read a physical book so at least that eliminates everything on the Kindle. I'm considering What to Say Next because it's Julie Buxbaum. I'm considering one of the two other holiday romances that I picked up on a total whim. Or maybe I'll re-read something. Anything goes, people! :)

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful Edition

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

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
(Bookish) Thankful Edition

This week is a Thankful Freebie so I'm sharing the bookishness (that's totally a word, right?) in my life that I am thankful for. Oh, and I know it's a list of 8 things and not 10, but just play along, okay?

I love having my library at home. A place for all the books I love... and the ones I've yet to experience. I don't often read in the library (I prefer my corner of the sofa, or a comfy recliner for that), but I'm so thankful for the room to have all my books. I love going in there and browsing, rearranging and just generally indulging in all the bookishness.

I'm not one of those readers who has a strong preference for only one reading platform. I appreciate them all for what they have to offer and my Kindle is one of them. I love the convenience and the portability and it makes reading on the go a breeze. I'm on my third Kindle and the one I'm using now was actually a gift from Jennifer Armentrout! :)

GoodReads isn't without its issues (I still rail against the wonky search engine that is one of the least intuitive I've ever encountered), but I still love it and use it almost daily. According to my profile, I started using GoodReads in 2007 and it was a game-changer. I use it to keep track of my TBR, reviews, my reading progress and much more. 

I can't imagine being married to a non-reader. Someone who doesn't understand the power of reading for enjoyment. While The Husband and I don't often read the same things (he love British nautical historical fiction) he still almost always has a book in progress and we both read most every evening. And sometimes we do read the same book and it's fantastic to be able to discuss it together.

I'm so thankful for the authors who write stories that engage my imagination and my emotions. For sharing stories and characters that have made me laugh, made me cry, made me think. They have provided me with hours of entertainment, stories that will stay with me forever, provided connections to other readers, and so much more.

I have become such a fan of audiobooks over the past several years and they've become a mainstay in my reading life. Whether I'm purchasing them through Audible or borrowing from Overdrive and Hoopla, I love the option of another reading platform and the experience of listening to a story told by a gifted narrator.

I've never met a list I didn't like. And all the best-of end of year lists make me deliriously happy. I obsessively inhale them all like candy. (Wait, I don't even like candy. What would I inhale obsessively? Potatoes, for sure. But inhaling something like potatoes doesn't have the same ring to it. But I digress... ) I get jazzed every year when I start seeing the end of year lists popping up all over the blogosphere. I'm thankful for every person that posts one. And special thanks to Sophie for hosting her Best of 2019 Blogmas! ♥

I've made so many friends in the book community. Through blogging, through GoodReads, through BookTube... it's amazing to be able to share a common love of reading (and all that it entails) with people on the other side of the country or even the other side of the world. And that includes you. So whether we've been friends for years, or we've interacted in the comments, or you're an occasional visitor... I am thankful for YOU.

What bookish thing are you thankful for?

The Sunday Post #183

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 was a killer week at the office and by Friday I was DONE. It's this way every year around this time. There's about a three week period where I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread. And I happen to be right at the start of it this week. Hopefully after it's all done I can schedule some time off!
  • Yesterday I stayed home for most of the day. I was a little hermit and it was fabulous. We ventured out in the evening to run an errand and grab some dinner at Red Robin. (Red Robin... yummm! Every time I think of Red Robin I have to say the jingle. LOL)
  • I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house again this year so I've been busy finalizing the menu, shopping, pulling out serving pieces and table linens. It's a lot of time and preparation but I enjoy it. If you're in the U.S., what are your Thanksgiving plans? Hosting a dinner, traveling to see family, taking part in a Friendsgiving, skipping it altogether? :)
  • And now for this week's 80's music fix: Queen has long been one of my favorite bands and Who Wants to Live Forever is probably my favorite of all their songs. Freddie Mercury had an amazing voice and was such a brilliant performer.


I stayed up late Friday night to finish Blitzed and ended up so ragey about it that I took my ranting to Twitter. LOL I'll have my review up shortly but spoiler alert: the main character did something that made absolutely NO sense, left me fuming, and practically ruined the book for me. So there's that. *throws book down and stomps off in a huff*


I started Coming Home for Christmas yesterday and I'm about 90 pages in. One of the main characters left her husband and two small children seven years ago without a word and the husband just recently learned that she's alive and living by another name in the next state. I'm curious how the author is going to make the woman a sympathetic character. I can't wait to get the rest of the story and find out what happened to her because it's obvious she's been through a lot. 

I have another 2 hours remaining in the audio of Grip and something has happened that has me in knots. I had to quit listening this morning because I was getting all worried about the situation. LOL Kennedy Ryan definitely puts her characters through the wringer... along with my emotions!


Devney Perry is one of the authors I'm determined to try before the end of the year!

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

Review: Trusting Winter by Lora Richardson

Lora Richardson
Publication date: November 6, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Author
4.25 Stars


Note: At the time of this post, Trusting Winter is free on Kindle Unlimited and available for purchase for just $0.99! Grab your copy now and experience this heartwarming story for yourself!


He wants to date her, but she's afraid of being hurt. He's persistent, but she's unwavering. Which one will get what they want?

Once people find out my parents are in prison and I've spent half my life in foster care, they write me off. Moving from one place to another, living with strangers, and making friends only to move away, has worn down my heart. It's easier to keep people at a distance than it is to feel the pain of another good-bye, so that's what I do.

But I've never known anyone like Eddie. He's open and trusting and carefree. So, basically my opposite. He has these blue eyes that see right through me, and he makes me want to spill all my secrets and drop all my walls and let him in.

The problem is, I'm sure it won't be long before I have to leave. Nothing ever lasts for me, and I don't imagine this will, either. My heart can't take leaving behind one more person I love, so I just won't love anyone.

M Y   T H O U G H T S

I say this every time I review a new release from Lora Richardson… but she’s done it again. She’s woven her special brand of writing magic and created another contemporary YA novel that made me smile, touched my heart, and had me feeling better for having read it.

In Trusting Winter, we get to know Reverie, a character previously introduced in Awakening Autumn (note: Trusting Winter is the third in a series but can easily be read as a standalone). Outwardly standoffish and a little prickly, Reverie’s sometimes aloof nature hid a multitude of uncertainties. With both parents in prison, she was raised by a loving grandmother. But when her grandmother died, Reverie lost the only stability she had ever known and went into foster care at the age of ten. Now seventeen and living with an uncle she barely knows, Reverie was determined to bide her time, keeping everyone at arm’s length, until she can graduate and be on her own.

That was the problem with liking people. It made me want to stay, and I had no control over whether or not that happened.

At first glance, Reverie might seem like a difficult character to like. She shared little with her friends, turned down most invitations to be social, and quickly shut down any attempts to get close to her. But it was impossible not to feel for this girl who’d had so much turmoil and upheaval in her life. Who lived with the knowledge that her very existence could be shaken up and changed at any moment. With so little stability in her life, Reverie played it safe and didn’t allow close relationships to form. But luckily for her, she had friends who rarely took no for an answer and were there for her again and again, ignoring her reticence and including her in their group no matter how hard she resisted. Greta and Meredith were friends anyone would be lucky to have and I loved their acceptance of Reverie for who and how she was.

They held my heart in their hands. My broken, scared, lonely heart. And it was too late for me to take it back.

And then there was Eddie. I know I also say this is every review of a Lora Richardson book, but every girl should be so lucky to have one of her male characters as a first boyfriend. And Eddie was no exception. He was upfront with his feelings for Reverie from the very start. And wasn’t deterred one bit by her sometimes prickly exterior. His easygoing nature was the perfect foil for her guarded personality. Eddie was funny and charming but also incredibly devoted and was there for Reverie at every turn. I adored this guy who was so steady and resolute and so obviously smitten and willing to show it.

“I want you to know where I stand,” he said. “What I want. I may like to have fun, But I don’t play games.” 

“You should know where I stand, too, then. I’m not going to date you. I won’t be your girlfriend.” 

His calm expression didn’t change. “Okay, that’s cool. You can keep not wanting to date me, and I’ll keep wanting to date you, and we’ll be best friends.”

Reverie’s relationship with her uncle and, eventually, with her mother packed an emotional punch. This girl was so determined to need nothing, to expect nothing, but yearned for so much. She wanted so badly to be wanted and needed and loved. Something she’d had far too little of it her life. Her choices were understandable but they still broke my heart. She learned hard truths and my heart ached for her when she faced disappointment.

If there’s still any doubt, let me just spell it out: Lora Richardson is a remarkable writer of young adult fiction and Trusting Winter is another stellar example of that. I adore her heartfelt stories, her utterly realistic characters, and the emotion that permeates every story. As long as Richardson keeps writing, I’ll keep coming back for more.

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.



As a child, Lora lived on a pig farm. She spent time swimming in the creek with snakes, playing in the hayloft, and tapping out stories on her mother's typewriter. These days she lives in a small city in Indiana with her high-school-sweetheart-husband and their two children. She spends her time reading, writing, and hanging out with her people. She still has pigs, though now they are of the guinea variety.

You can find Lora here: * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * GOODREADS * INSTAGRAM *

WWW Wednesday #69 | November 20, 2019

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

What a week it's been... and it's only Wednesday.
Monday was insanely busy at the office and by the time I got home I was wiped out. The Husband took us out to dinner since neither of us felt like cooking. Last night we had an after-work meeting to attend, grabbed some dinner after and got home around 8 PM. That made for a long day and, other than watching a few minutes of hockey and then reading maybe five pages of Blitzed, I was done. No plans tonight, though, so hopefully things will be smoother at work and it'll be an easy day. 🤞


I'm only about 20% into Blitzed (neither Monday night nor Tuesday night lent themselves to reading) but I'm enjoying it. Maxwell seems like a sweetheart... other than the whole causing damage at the bar thing. The jury is still out on Brynn. She comes across a little immature at times but I feel like I'm still figuring her out.

At 4.5 hours into Grip I'm still waiting for something to happen between Bristol and Grip. I'm pretty annoyed with Bristol and the way she is letting her parent's messed up marriage and her mother's admonitions that Bristol is "just like her" completely rule her personal life. She's kept Grip at arms length for years and for what? I love how Grip doesn't deny his feelings but I'm starting to wonder how long he's going to keep banging his head against the same wall. Bristol needs to realize she is not her mother and Grip is not her father. Get with the program, girl!


Repeat was enjoyable and it was easy to pull for the main characters to find their way back to each other again. Nothing stellar but a solid read. Flow was a short-ish prequel to Grip and I liked getting the backstory between Grip and Bristol. Ryan did such a great job of making me feel their connection even during their short time together.


Under the Who Even Am I? category, I have a Review Book of a Christmas Story that's part of a Blog Tour coming up. Say what? #1) I've virtually stopped requesting ARCs and my focus is on reading my own books (and reviewing only if I feel like I have something to say). #2) I never read holiday stories so why this one jumped out at me I have no idea. And #3), I haven't done a blog tour in probably a year or more. But, be that as it may, an email from Harlequin popped up with several Christmas/holiday-themed ARCs and I requested Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne. I've never read anything from her before but I guess I'll be changing that shortly. :)

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Contemporary Series

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

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Favorite Contemporary Series

Are we sensing a theme here? I haven't been feeling the TTT topics at all lately so I've been going rogue and doing my own thing for weeks now. And, after looking at the topics for the rest of the year, it's likely to continue for a while.

So this week I'm sharing my favorite contemporary series. I love a good standalone but when it comes to contemporary, and specifically contemporary romance (my genre of choice), it seems that series reign supreme. And I'm (usually) good with that. More to enjoy! So here are my favorites...


I remember reading Ten Tiny Breaths in 2014 and feeling like: please let this author have more books because I want to read them all. I enjoyed the entire series and even the novella, In Her Wake, was wonderful. 


I already knew and loved Jennifer Armentrout (hello, Lux series!) when I picked up Wait for You so I expected I would like it. But what happened was that I loved it. I fell so hard for Avery and Cam's story, both individually and together. And while their story remains my favorite, I still inhaled the rest of the series and have such a soft spot for it.


I read the Stage Dive series on audio when I was looking for something to entertain me during my commute. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much so I was surprised to find myself hooked. While Play was far and away my favorite, the whole series was a lot of fun and I totally enjoyed watching the story progress with each couple.


Despite the cheesy covers, and despite the punny titles, I love this series. I expected lighthearted fun and some swoony/sexy bits, but what I didn't expect was the emotional aspect. There was a pivotal scene in the first book that had me sniffing back tears and made me think, okay, clearly there's more to these books than meets the eye. It helps that Andi Arndt and Shane East narrated the entire series and they are perfection.


Marked Men is another series I started on a whim. Something on audio for the commute. I ended up binge-listening to the entire series. And then I moved on to the spin-off series, Saints of Denver. I grew so attached to this tight-knit group of friends/found-family. There are scenes that bring me to tears (no matter how many times I've listened to them), characters that I love (and one or two that I tolerate LOL), and I love revisiting them again and again.


I loathe the term "guilty pleasure" because I don't feel guilty about anything I choose to read. But Abbi Glines in general, and the Rosemary Beach series in particular, is the closest I come to that. I call them my "brain candy" books. But despite the fact that they're not particularly well-written, and despite the fact that they can be a little over the top and ridiculous, when it comes to this series I eat it all up with a spoon. I was sucked right into the series from the first book and gobbled up each book after that, practically salivating over the wait for the last several books to release. These characters and their lives felt so real that I was positive I could drive across the state to Rosemary Beach (a real place) and find them all hanging out together. :)

Even though there are only two books in this series so far, I'm sold on it. I can even forgive the cover of the first book that is so cheesy it oozes Velveeta. These characters are so realistic and down to earth and they feel like they're people you could know or work with. The plots are just as relatable, nothing crazy or over the top, and it was easy to pull for these characters and truly feel for their stories. I really hope there's more to come in this series.


Sarina Bowen is one of my go-to authors and her True North series is a big reason why. It started with my love of the Shipley clan in book one and grew from there. I get invested in every character and every couple and each story leaves me with a desire to visit Vermont and become friends with them all.


I only came to experience Kennedy Ryan for the first time this year, but that was enough to make me an instant fan. Long Shot was an incredibly powerful story. Ryan made these characters come to life and feel like living, breathing people that I was personally invested in. That led me to binge the other two books in the series and cemented all three as one of my newest favorite series.


And I saved the best for last. :) For the last six years I have laughed and cried with these remarkable characters. Seen them through addictions, mental illness, tragedies and triumphs - both professional and personal, scandals, marriages and children... and loved every second of it. Over the span of ten books these characters became so real and I ached for them when the suffered and cheered for them when they overcame adversity. I cried for their losses and laughed at their antics. The final book, Some Kind of Perfect, was incredibly bittersweet. The Addicted series has been my favorite contemporary series for years and I can't imagine another taking its place.

What is your favorite series - contemporary or otherwise?