Friday, November 28, 2014

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Friday Finds #61

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Here are my eBooks finds for the week:

Coral & Bone by Tiffany Duane
Playing Santa by H. Y. Hanna
Killer Christmas by Harper Lin
The St. Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre by Elisabeth Crabtree
Delicate Freakn' Flower by Eve Langlais
Smoke in Your Eyes by Jennifer D'Angelo

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Here's to Decorating Your Christmas Tree Book Lover Style!!

Happy holidays to all!! I don't know when you put up your Christmas tree... But, if you're a book lover like me, then perhaps making a tree from stacked books is the way to go this year!

I like the look of the above book themed Christmas trees and may try to make something similar this year to decorate our home.

What do you think? Will you be making a Christmas tree from books? When do you put up and decorate your Christmas tree?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Loss of a Family Member of the Furry Persuasion

We lost a furry, four legged family member earlier this week. Our beloved pet dog, a Pomeranian named Roxy, passed away unexpectedly. So, it's been a difficult week for all of us grieving for the loss of our beloved family pet.

We had Roxy since she was a puppy and she enriched our loves in numerous ways. I personally have so many happy, fond memories to remember Roxy by, that I'm trying to focus on the good times, while still going through and honoring the grieving process.

Roxy always had a zest and love for life. She was so smart and learned things quickly. Roxy was also a good companion dog, very loving, and very loyal. We took her nearly everywhere with us as she was truly a member of the family. Roxy most certainly will be missed and remain forever in our hearts. We love you, Roxy!!

Roxy as a puppy asleep next to my hubby!!

The entire notion of pet loss has me wondering if anyone knows of any good books on pet loss that they could recommend?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Friday Finds #60

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Here are my finds for the week:

1. Night Machines by Kia Heavey

2. Misletoe In Manhattan by Talli Roland

3. Winter's Magic by Cynthia Gail

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Happy International Men's Day!!!

Happy International Men's Day to all the men out there who Rock the World!!! 

Since my blog is primarily about books, I'm including my list of favorite books I've read this year that were written by men as follows:

1. The Soloist by Steve Lopez
2. The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester
3. The Playground by Ray Bradbury
4. Loser by Jerry Spinelli
5. The Pluto Files by Neil deGrasse Tyson
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
7. Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee
8. True Believer by Nicholas Sparks

9. The Asylum by John Harwood
10. Blockade Billy by Stephen King

Celebrate International Men's Day!! Share with me your favorite books by men that you've enjoyed reading this year! 

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Books About Cambodia!!

Looking to read books about Cambodia?? I discovered an article through The Guardian titled Top Ten Books About Cambodia by Peter Fröberg Idling. In the article, Peter Fröberg Idling writes the following:

One of my very first memories was the public celebration in Stockholm of the "liberation" of Cambodia in 1975. I was two years old and had been born into the anti-Vietnam war movement. I was seven when Pol Pot was toppled a few years later, and the ghastly images of the killing fields made a strong impression on me. But it was not until I moved toCambodia in 2001 that the country turned into something of an obsession. To me this intriguing little kingdom became a way to understand the world: through the Cambodian lens many things became clearer. 
My first book about Cambodia, Pol Pot's Smile, deals with the Khmer Rouge's devastating revolution and follows in the tracks of a Swedish delegation who travelled through the genocide without seeing anything alarming. My new book, Song for an Approaching Storm, is set in the 50s, two decades before the catastrophe. The two have enabled me to spend years in Cambodia, both in the past and the present.
One might look at my following selection and ask where the contemporary Cambodian novels are. The answer, sadly, is that the authors in Cambodia are marginalised and struggling – there aren't even any publishing houses. Very little of their work is translated into English. Thus, there are many foreign authors in the following list. But good literature knows no nationality or borders.
Click on the top link to see which books made the list!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen

eBook Novella
Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen is a 92 page novella that I downloaded for free from Amazon to my Kindle. Below is my unbiased review of Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen.

I can't say as I loved or even enjoyed Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen all that much. I felt like the characters (in general) were fairly stereotypical in Blonde Date... The main character, Katie, is a sorority girl and she's blonde, beautiful, easy, sleeps around with jocks/fraternity boys... My impression while reading this novella was that sorority girls are objects of beauty to be desired and coveted... While fraternity boys drink beer, have no respect for women, and use them as sex toys. It just made reading this novella difficult to trudge through as who wants stereotypes with a predictable story?? Sure we all want the fairy tale... You know the perfect romance, but it's also unrealistic.

After being the butt of a prank by her fraternity boyfriend, Katie goes on a date with Andy, a basketball player, who isn't a fraternity boy and is an all around nice guy. They end up hitting it off big time. They're interactions/relationship becomes way too perfect in my opinion!! Things don't work out like that in real life. 

The following is a synopsis of Blonde Date from author, Sarina Bowen's website:
A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could possibly go wrong? 
As a Tri Psi pledge, there are commandments that Katie Vickery must live by. One: thou shalt not show up for the party without a date. Two: the guy shall be an athlete, preferably an upperclassman. 
Unfortunately, Katie just broke up with her jerkface football player boyfriend. Even worse, her last encounter with him resulted in utter humiliation. She’d rather hide under the bed than attend a party where seeing him was inevitable. 
Yet staying home would mean letting him win.
Enjoying herself tonight is out of the question. She can only hope to get through the evening without her blind date noticing that he's spending several hours with a crazy person.
A Harkness basketball player, Andy Baschnagel is living proof that nice guys don’t finish first. He’s had his eye on Katie since the moment her long legs waltzed into his art history class. So when her roommate sets Andy up to be Katie’s date, he’d be crazy to say no. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of practice with either girls or parties. Yet. 
BLONDE DATE is a 24,000 word novella. Standalone, no cliffhanger.
I'm giving Blind Date a rating of 3 stars out of 10 stars. Until my next post happy reading!! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Novels Featuring Famous Authors as Characters!

I came across an article on the Flavorwire websited titled 50 Novels Featuring Famous Authors as Characters by Sarah Seltzer. I was intrigued by the the title of this article as I think famous authors make for good characters in novels. 

I've read a couple of the book titles mentioned in the article and heard of several other titles... And even found many new titles, that sound like ones I'd like to read in the future.

Click on the link about to learn more!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Towne Center Books in Pleasanton, California!!

Towne Center Books Storefront
I had the pleasure of visiting an independent bookstore in downtown Pleasanton, California called Towne Center Books earlier this month with my hubby

I enjoyed my brief visit to Towne Center Books. It's a cozy, indie bookstore with an interesting layout and nice selection of books for all age groups and interests!

While I was there, I purchased a copy of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender, which is a young adult book that I'm looking forward to reading.

On the Towne Center Books' website, I learned the following information about the bookstore itself:
Towne Center Books is a locally owned general bookstore, conveniently located on Main Street in Downtown Pleasanton. We stock the books you need and want. Some of our most popular sections include Fiction, Mystery, Personal Growth, and Children's Books. Our store is an excellent community gathering place as we offer book clubs, author luncheons, and writing workshops.
All in all, I enjoyed my experience at the Towne Center Books bookstore and look forward to making future visits there. The sales associate on duty was pleasant and helpful... I believe her name was Genevieve. Gotta love, helpful sales staff!

The Playground by Ray Bradbury

Unabridged Audio Version From Audible
I listened to the unabridged audio version of a short story titled The Playground by Ray Bradbury and read by Jonathan Davis. Playing time for this short story is approximately 44 minutes in length.

I was able to download the audio version of The Playground for free from Audible!! Below is my unbiased review of The Playground by Ray Bradbury.

Believe it or not, The Playground is the first written work of Ray Bradbury's I can recall ever reading... I'm sort of stunned myself that I've never read or listened to anything written by Ray Bradbury until now.

I really liked the storyline in The Playground!! I was hooked from the start... The suspense was really well done as well in this story too. Additionally, I also thought Jonathan Davis did an awesome job narrating this short story, which only enhanced my listening experience. I like the characters in this short story too. I also liked how this story ended... All in all, this was a really good read!

I think there were a few things that weren't perfect about this story, that you had to piece together by deduction, but all in all it was a good read.

Publisher's summary from Audible as follows:
"The Playground" was part of the first hardcover edition of Ray Bradbury's legendary work Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. In the story, Charles Underhill is a widower who will do anything to protect his young son Jim from the horrors of the playground - a playground which he and the boy pass by daily and the tumult of which, the activity, brings back to Charles the anguish of his own childhood. The playground, like childhood itself, is a nightmare of torment and vulnerability; Charles fears his sensitive son will be destroyed there just as he almost was so many years ago.
Underhill's sister, Carol, who has moved in to help raise the young boy after his mother passed away, feels differently. The playground, she believes, is preparation for life, Jim will survive the experience she feels, and he will be the better for it and more equipped to deal with the rigor and obligation of adult existence.
Underhill is caught between his own fear and his sister's invocation of reason and feels paralyzed. A mysterious boy calls out to him from the playground, and seems to know all too well why Underhill is there and what the source of his agony really is. A mysterious Manager also lurks and to whom the strange boy directs Underhill. An agreement can be made perhaps - this is what the boy tells Underhill. Perhaps Jim can be spared the playground, but of course, a substitute must be found.
I'm giving The Playground a rating of 8 stars out of 10 stars. Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Roadside Crosses by Jeffrey Deaver

Abridged Audio Version
I purchased the abridged audio version of Roadside Crosses by Jeffrey Deaver and read by Michele Pawk at Tuesday Morning.

I like reading or listening to thriller/suspense novels and Roadside Crosses is a good one for sure. It's also well read by Michele Pawk. As far as abridgments go, I felt that this one was a good abridgment. Playing time for this novel is approximately 6 hours, 22 minutes.

One of the perks of this read was that it takes place on the Monterey Peninsula, which was another draw for me in purchasing this novel... I live not too far away from the Monterey Peninsula and have visited the area on vacation before. It's an area that is fun to visit, so enjoyed a novel with its setting in this region.

I also enjoyed the plot twists and turns of Roadside Crosses as well!!

Checkout the following summary/overview of Roadside Crosses from the Barnes & Noble website:

The Monterey Peninsula is rocked when a killer begins to leave roadside crosses beside local highways—not in memoriam, but as announcements of his intention to kill. And to kill in particularly horrific and efficient ways: using the personal details about the victims that they’ve carelessly posted in blogs and on social networking websites. 
The case lands on the desk of Kathryn Dance, the California Bureau of Investigations foremost body language expert. She and Deputy Michael O’Neil follow the leads to Travis Brigham, a troubled teenager whose role in a fatal car accident has inspired vicious attacks against him on a popular blog, The Chilton Report. As the investigation progresses, Travis vanishes. Using techniques he learned as a brilliant participant in multiplayer online role-playing games, he easily eludes his pursuers and continues to track his victims. Among the obstacles Kathryn must hurdle are politicians from Sacramento, paranoid parents, and the blogger himself, James Chilton, whose belief in the importance of blogging and the new media threatens to derail the case and potentially Dance’s career. It is this threat that causes Dance to take desperate and risky measures...
In signature Jeffery Deaver style, Roadside Crosses is filled with dozens of plot twists, cliff-hangers, and heartrending personal subplots. It is also a searing look at the accountability of blogging and life in the online world. Roadside Crosses is the third in Deaver’s bestselling High-Tech Thriller Trilogy, along with The Blue Nowhere and The Broken Window.
I am giving Roadside Crosses a rating of 8 stars out of 10 stars. Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Finds #59

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This past weekend, my hubby and I visited downtown Pleasanton, California for the first time. While we were perusing the main drag, we visited an indie bookstore! While we were there, I purchased a copy of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender. I can't remember where I first heard about this novel, but it sounds intriguing!! Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a young adult novel and I like the book cover, title and the plot summary.

Here's a blurb for Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer from the Goodreads site:
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots. 
But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. 
Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . . 
Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.
Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bad Sex Award in Fiction?

Really?? There's actually a literary award given to 'bad sex scenes' in a work of fiction?? My first thought was, is this for real or is it a hoax? Apparently not! 

In an article in The Guardian titled, Bad Sex Award 2014: Who Should Win?, ten works of fiction have been shortlisted for this award. Check out which books were shortlisted by clicking on the link above!

7 Top Books For CEOs to Read!!

I came across an article on the Huffington Post titled The Top 7 Books Every CEO Must Read by Mike Harden. In the article, Hardenwrote the following:
I am often asked what books I recommend for CEOs, and executives who aspire to become CEOs. There are so many to choose from. Over 250,000 business books are in print. Laid on top of each other, that's nearly four miles high. Obviously, narrowing it down to a select few is no easy task. However, regardless of the number, I do have a library of required reading for CEOs. Here are my top seven must read books for CEOs.
Click on the above link to see which  books every CEO must read!!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon Wrap Up Post!!

The Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon has officially come to a close. Let me just say here and now how much fun I had participating in this read-a-thon for the second year in a row!! I'm really looking forward to participating in the 2015 Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon. So, I am sending out a B-I-G thank you to the hosts of the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon Caffeinated Book Reviewer & The Book Shelfery!!

I was able to complete all the reading goals that I had set for myself for the 2014 Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon, which was awesome! I'd selected seven titles to read during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon and I honestly wasn't sure if I'd be able to read them before the read-a-thon ended! But, hooray, I did!!

Here's what I read during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon:

1. The Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland
2. Home For Christmas by Patricia Kay
3. Christmas Diamond by Hallee Bridgeman
4. Sara In Montana by Morris Fenris
5. The Christmas Catch by Ginny Baird
6. Big Girls Do It On Christmas by Jasinda Wilder
7. The Night Collection: Silent Night & All Through The Night by Carol Higgins Clark

My favorite holiday reads during the six day Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon were Home For Christmas by Patricia Kay, Sara in Montana by Morris Fenris, and The Night Collection: Silent Night & All Through The Night by Carol Higgins Clark.

If you participated in the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon, what were your favorite read or reads??

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Home For Christmas by Patricia Kay

eBook Novella
The last title I read during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon was Home For Christmas by Patricia Kay, which is a novella approximately 185 pages in length.

 As a side note, I was able to download a free copy of Home For Christmas from Amazon to my Kindle, but this in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review as follows below. 

I enjoyed reading Home For Christmas, even if it had a predictably happy ending! It has a lot going on within its pages from start to finish. I enjoyed the storyline and its development. The characters were fun for the most part even though the main characters of Quinn & Peter were a tad exasperating at times!

The following is a plot summary for Home For Christmas via the Amazon website:

Quinn Riordan hasn't been home for Christmas in more than ten years -- ten long years since she's seen her family and Chagrin Falls, the town where she grew up. It's been that long since the sister she once adored had stolen the man Quinn loved. But when Quinn's beloved Aunt Fiona has a bad fall and breaks her leg, Quinn can't stay away any longer. In order to help her aunt, she has to go home and face her past. But along with her past, the trip home brings her an even more difficult challenge in the form of her aunt's boarder, Peter Kimball.

Peter has been curious about Fiona's niece ever since he first saw her framed photo in Fiona's living room. He hasn't been able to understand how someone Fiona speaks of so glowingly could so selfishly stay away for so long. He's prepared to dislike Quinn and is stunned to very quickly realize he doesn't. On the contrary, he's attracted to Quinn and wants nothing more than to get to know her better. But Quinn isn't the only one who has been running from her past. Peter has avoided confronting his demons by staying away from the place where he lost everything he held most dear.

Can these two troubled people overcome the problems that have haunted them for so long? Will they be brave enough to forget and forgive and move forward into a future that promises to be filled with more happiness and love than they ever imagined? In the capable hands of best-selling author Patricia Kay, this heartwarming story will be the perfect accompaniment to your own holiday season.
I'm giving Home For Christmas by Patricia Kay a rating of 7.5 stars out of 10 stars. Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sara in Montana by Morris Fenris

eBook Novella
I read Sara In Montana by Morris Fenris during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon as it is another holiday themed novella approximately 124 pages in length! I was able to download a free copy of Sara In Montana from Amazon to my Kindle, but this in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review as follows. 

Wow, what a fabulous holiday read!! I enjoyed reading Sara In Montana because it had a bit more depth to it than some of the other titles I've read so far the past few days. Sure, Sara In Montana is an easy breezy read with a predictably happy/perfect ending, but I still enjoyed reading this novella overall. I also felt that a few of the events/scenarios seemed far fetched in this novella... Or at the very least, these scenes/events seemed way too convenient to have happened in real life. I did like the storyline and the nice mix of characters in Sara In Montana.

The following is a book summary for Sara In Montana from Amazon:
What happens when a California girl meets a Montana guy in the middle of a crisis?

Sara wished for a husband for Christmas this year and then married her boss. Now she is running for her life from him with a warrant out for her arrest, doesn’t want to be married anymore, and really needs a miracle to save her. To top off her week - she finds herself in the middle of a Montana snowstorm and sicker than she’s ever been.

Trent quit the FBI to return home and became a sheriff. As the most eligible bachelor in Castle Peaks, he’s had his share of women chase him, but has been disinterested; until now. He has a sworn duty to protect the town’s citizens and assist other agencies in doing the same. When faced with a suspect in a criminal case, will he make the arrest or lead with his heart?

Join Sara Brownell as she runs for her life, straight into the waiting arms of local sheriff Trent Harding. Throw in a life-size nativity and plenty of snow and watch the magic of Christmas come to life.

See how "Sara in Montana" forever changes the lives of Sara and Trent as well as those around them.
I'm giving Sara In Montana a rating of 7 stars out of 10 stars. Until my next post, happy, reading!! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Night Collection: Silent Night & All Through the Night by Mary Higgins Clark

Abridged Audio Version
I love listening to audiobooks and happened to recently discover that Tuesday Morning sells audiobooks at discount prices!! I listened to the abridged audio version of The Night Collection: Silent Night & All Through the Night by Mary Higgins Clark on compact disc and read by Jennifer Beals & Carol Higgins Clark during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon. I enjoyed that this audiobook contained two books for the price of one!!

So far, this has been my favorite holiday themed read (or listen in this case) since the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon began on November 6th. The abridgment for both books was well done, but the narration for both books was just okay... I think better narrators for both books could have been used instead of using Jennifer Beals & Carol Higgins Clark.

The storylines were flushed out pretty well and centered around Christmas. I liked that both stories contained some element of suspense to them. And I enjoyed most of the characters for the most part. Of course, the endings to both books were predictably happy ones! But I guess that's what one would expect for a holiday themed read, right?

The following is a book summary from the Barnes & Noble website:

SILENT NIGHT read by Jennifer Beals

Written with warmth, yet set against a background of menacing suspense, Silent Night sings with the spirit of the season, celebrating the mysteries of faith renewed and faith rewarded that we honor every holiday season. 
ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT read by Carol Higgins Clark

A desperate mother. Her missing child. A stolen chalice. Two of Mary Higgins Clark's most beloved characters, Alvirah, the lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, and her husband, Willy, are caught up in a Christmas mystery that calls on all of Alvirahs' deductive powers -- as well as Willy's world class common sense.
I'm giving The Night Collection: Silent Night & All Through the Night by Mary Higgins Clark a rating of 7 stars out of 10 stars!! Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Christmas Diamond -- A Novella by Hallee Bridgeman

eBook Novella
I downloaded a free copy of the Christmas Diamond by Hallee Bridgeman from Amazon to my Kindle -- This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review as follows below. 

The Christmas Diamond is a short, Christmas romance novella with a very predictable happy ending!! The Christmas Diamond is approximately 117 pages in length.

I wasn't overly impressed with The Christmas Diamond... Like all the other holiday reads I've read the past few days, this story was big on romance and predictability. The story and characters were captivating enough to read  about and I guess in some regards it is nice to have an easy breezy fun and fast read for the holidays... But do all Christmas themed have to be such predictable/feel good reads that lack any depth to them??? 

The following is the book summary of the Christmas Diamond, which I found on Amazon:
Inspired by the Jewel Series and Virtues and Valor series. 
Faith Green spends her career as a pilot honoring her grandmother's heroic efforts during World War II. When she's invited to participate in a Christmas time air show in the Florida Keys, she thinks it will be exciting to fly somewhere warm and sunny instead of her cold and wintery London home. But on her first day, she encounters a lifeless body washed up onto the beach. 
TJ Viscolli is the eldest child and only son of a wealthy and powerful corporate mogul but instead of modern business his interests lie in history. Months away from a Ph.D., he has an accident windsurfing at his Key West home. When he is resuscitated by a beautiful women, at first he thinks that a Christmas angel has come to save him.
 The couple share the common bond of a love of history and romance blossoms. But an accident during the Christmas Eve air show threatens their hope of a life spent together. Will God provide a Christmas miracle, or will the future look cold and dark like a winter night?
I'm giving the Christmas Diamond a rating of 6.5 stars out of 10 stars. Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland

eBook Novella
I read another holiday themed novella for the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon titled The Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland. I was able to download a free copy of The Christmas Lamp from Amazon to my Kindle, but this in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review as follows. 

The Christmas Lamp novella is another somewhat predictable holiday romance read, which made for an easy, breezy quick reading for the holiday season. The characters and storyline are so-so in this novella... I wish Christmas novels/novellas like this one (and so many others) weren't so predictable. 

Below is a book summary for The Christmas Lamp from Amazon's website:
Nativity, Missouri, is in trouble.

When the small town is bypassed by the newly constructed highway, it loses its much-needed holiday traffic—threatening not only the town’s financial survival, but its very heart and soul.
Outside consultant Jake Brisco threatens everything the community loves about Christmas with his budget-slashing solutions. Nothing is sacred—not even the traditional town Christmas tree. Long-time resident Roni Elliot knows some sacrifices have to be made, but can’t let go of the customs and traditions that have marked her holidays since childhood. The decorations and customary activities have always generated vitality and joy throughout the whole season in Nativity.

Though their priorities and methods clash, Roni and Jake want the same thing—prosperity for the town. As the two get to know each other and become close, each begins to gain a new perspective on what the real wealth of Nativity—and the season—might be.

The Christmas Lamp takes an honest look into the issues and concerns we all face and sheds light on the real origins of Christmas spirit.
I'm giving The Christmas Lamp a rating of 6 stars out of 10 stars. Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Friday Finds #58

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

The following are my book finds for this week:

1. Streetlights Like Fireworks by David Pandolfe

2. Sketch of a Murder by Aya Walksafar

3. The Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen

4. Unbreakable Bond by Gemma Halliday & Jennifer Fischetto

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Christmas Catch by Ginny Baird

eBook Novella
I managed to finish reading a holiday novella today along with a short story I've already reviewed earlier! I read The Christmas Catch by Ginny BairdThe Christmas Catch is approximately 104 pages in length and the first book in the Holiday Brides Series. 

As a side note, I was able to download a free copy of The Christmas Catch from Amazon to my Kindle, but this in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review as follows below. 

Okay, The Christmas Catch is predictable as far as holiday romance reads go... A nice, tidy, romance novella with a very happy ending! The story is good clean fun with well developed characters and a decent storyline. Overall, I enjoyed this easy, breezy fun holiday read despite it being so predictable. My favorite characters were Tyler and Mason the dog!

Book/story description per Amazon's website:
Sometimes the best gifts are unexpected...

Since the death of her military husband two years ago, single mom Christine White has struggled to get by. By throwing herself into her work as a Chicago copywriter, she's managed to keep food on the table but has gradually lost sight of what really matters, like building a bond with her four-year-old son. When Christine's best friend insists she spend Christmas in Vermont so she can get her life in order, Christine initially resists. Little does she know she's in for a memorable holiday that will reignite her faith and reawaken her heart.

Bachelor professor John Steadman has given up on finding the right one. Spending time with his friends while keeping up with his job seems satisfying enough. Then one day close to Christmas, a beautiful woman from Chicago nearly runs him off the road during a snowstorm. What's more, she's got a kid in her car. It's only natural that John and his trusty golden retriever want to help drag them out of a ditch and steer them toward their destination. What John doesn't expect is that soon he'll be hoping Christine and her son will be staying in Vermont - for more than just a little while.
I'm giving The Christmas Catch a rating of 6.5 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Big Girls Do It On Christmas by Jasinda Wilder

Erotica Short Story
Today is the first day of the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon, a holiday themed read-a-thon, that I had fun participating in last year!! I'm so glad this holiday themed read-a-thon is back again this year!! 

To kick off the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon, I chose to start reading a Christmas themed short story from the 'Big Girls Do It' series this morning titled Big Girls Do It On Christmas by Jasinda Wilder at midnight!! I just couldn't wait to start participating!! 

Big Girls Do It On Christmas is an erotica short story approximately 14 pages in length. I finished reading it in about 25 minutes!  As a side note, I was able to download a free copy of Big Girls Do It On Christmas from Amazon to my Kindle, but this in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review as follows below. 

I enjoyed reading Big Girls Do It On Christmas quite a bit. Since it is a short story, I hate to give away any spoilers... So, suffice it to say, Big Girls Do It On Christmas deals with Christmas and sex!! I only wish the story was a little bit longer length. 

I'm giving Big Girls Do It On Christmas a rating of 6.5 stars out of 10 stars. 

Yay, one Christmas themed read and review done!! Hopefully, I'll read another five to six more holiday themed reads before this read-a-thon is complete!! 

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Literary Potluck -- Checkout These Dishes!!!

I came across an article on Mental Floss titled The Dishes 16 Writers Would Bring to a Literary Potluck by Erin McCarthy. Curious about the title, I clicked on the link to see which authors and the dishes they enjoyed made the list! I found what each author enjoyed eating to be enlightening. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday --Top Ten Books I Want To Reread

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Here are my picks for the week:

1. The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
2. The Are of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
3. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
4. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
5. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
6. Forty Fathom Bank by Les Galloway
7. The Soloist by Steve Lopez
8. The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester
9. Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin M.D.
10. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Share with me your list of books that you'd like to reread!!