Thursday, July 28, 2011

When Projects Attack! How DIY Home Projects Are Ruining My Reading Time!

A little over a year ago the Hubby and I moved into a house we love - it's perfect for us and we were excited about all the "little" DIY projects we would do to make it our own. And yes, I dared to call those pojects "little" every single time we started one. The joke is most definately on me.

We did the basics right when we moved in - repainting the entire interior and exterior of the house. EVERY SINGLE ROOM IN THE HOUSE.

Likewise, I did small projects like adding a shelf in the laundry room, fixing plaster cracks, paiting baseboards white, etc. The hubby has been tackling painting all our ugly yellow-brown raw wood doors to a lovely bright white. Poor thing - that's an insane job. Both sides, 3-4 coats each. He's so tired of painting I might never again get his help with anything.

A few months ago we tackled remodeling our kitchen all by ourselves on the cheap. I think we did AWESOME! Those are the before and after pics I've included of just one part of the kitchen. Excuse the mess in the before pic! :)

So why am I mentioning all this on a book blog? Well, all these projects have cut into my reading time and it's starting to effect how happy I am. I can always tell when I start getting cranky it's because I haven't taken time for myself and read a good book. That also means I haven't had time to write reviews to post here. I HATE THAT!

Last weekend I gutted the only room we haven't laid a finger on - the Florida room (Sun room). We've never spent a second out there becuase it was HORRID. Bright Neon yellow walls and ceiling, indoor-outdoor carpet that had been obviously well-loved by the past owners pets. (Yes, I do mean THAT when I say well-loved).

I ripped out carpet and padding, tore up wood carpet strips, patched concrete from the nails, painted primer over all that crazy yellow and then painted the ceiling white and the walls a lovely shade of blue-grey. The hubby came out and replaced the 80's brass gaslights on the sides of the sliding doors to these amazingly modern brushed nickel ones with frosted glass (A STEAL at only $26 for a pair!).

Then, I cleaned and cleaned the concerete floor and painted it this luscious dark chocloate brown oil-based paint color. I'm waiting for that to dry and then I can move all the furniture back in and decorate!

So why all the rush on getting all these projects done now after a year? We invited the Hubby's family to stay with us in August. We thought "how awesome...this will give us a good deadline for tackling all those "small" projects." So, here we are now, racing against time to get as much as possible done before the 2nd weekend in August.

And all I want to be doing is reading a book!

Do you feel "withdrawls" when you get busy and don't have time to read? How do you keep your mind off it, or if you can't, do you make a big deal out of the first book you get to read when you have free time again?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Comment Is All It Takes - Help Blogger Limecello Raise $$$ For Charity

Awesome Blogger Limecello is holding her 2011 Social Good Drive, a humanitarian charity drive, to raise funds for Save The Children which is helping with the current drought and famine around the Horn of Africa. Today and all you have to do to help is to leave a comment. ANY COMMENT!

Just saying "Thank you" is enough to help raise money for those in need. You don't have to contribute anything more than just a minute of your time. Less, you can raise money in less than a minute.

AND you could win prizes. Authors are donating books to be given away to commentors who help raise $$$ simply by commenting.

Seriously people - JUST COMMENT! It's so easy. And yet, that $1 can feed a human being starving to death. Just for spending less than a minute leaving a comment on a blog.

I feel pretty strongly about how doing something so simple should be a no-brainer for all of us. So, join the romance community in helping make this the most successful campaign yet. Leave a comment - share the link with others asking them to comment. That's it.

Here's the link to the post by Limecello where you can read more and leave your comment to raise money.

THANK YOU!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Borders Stores Will Close - Liquidations Coming Soon

It's with an incredibly sad heart that I write about the demise of my FAVORITE bookstore Borders. If you haven't been following the news, they've been having financial problems for the past few years and the hole just got bigger and bigger. Buyers fell through and Borders is now officially closing all it's store, laying off 11,000 employees, and liquidating all their inventory.

If you want the full details, check out this link to the Wall Street Journal articles.

Personally, Borders is where I buy all my books. I happen to work across the street from a store, and write this blog in the Cafe there on my lunch break most days. I don't know where I can go now for a break from my desk and to play in Romancelandia online.

I noticed that today on Twitter the #hashtag ThankUBorders has popped up and readers and authors are sending their appreciation and best wishes to the stores and employees. If you are on Twitter - please add your thoughts to the mix by using #ThankUBorders in your tweet.

Did you shop at Borders? Or did you shop somewhere else? Where do you buy most of your books? Lastley, what do you think the close of Borders means for readers in the future?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Romance Book Review: It's In His Kiss by Caitie Quinn

Romance Book Review: It's in His Kiss By Caitie Quinn
5 Heart Review

Jenna’s been letting life pass her by as she works on her career. But, when she needs to do some research of this kissing kind, things may get a little more heated than she expected.

Research has never been so fun.

WARNING: This 10k short has no vampires, shape shifter or scorching sex, but it might make you snort your diet Coke out your nose.

A good friend of mine sent me this lovely little story and told me I'd enjoy it. She was right! Although it's only 10k long, this story really is a satisfying and complete read that had a voice exactly like I love to read - cute, witty, sarcastic and just plain fun. Throw in emotional depth and you've got a winner!

This is pure sweet sass and delivers to the reader one of my favorite parts of any romance - the meet cute. I loved it and it's sweetness.

I know some will be worried about the short length, but I thought it worked perfectly and at the end of the story I knew that this couple would have their HEA. It was almost sweeter to get to have the fun of thinking up their future together in your own imagination.

That's the thing with short stories, not everyone can leave you feeling like you got enough of the story. This story left me totally satisfied and smiling. Enough so that I've read it at least 3 times now.

So, if you like sassy, cute, emotional and witty sweet romances I would highly recommend this story to you. Even better? It's only $.99 for your Kindle at Amazon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Double Dose of Desire: 2 Harlequin Desire Book Reviews

Double the Desire Book Reviews: The Sarantos Secret Baby by Olivia Gates - 2 Heart Review
Claimed: The Pregnant Heiress by Day LeClaire - 3 Heart Review

I thought I would do short reviews of 2 Harlequin Desire books I read and just never had time to write up my thoughts. Since they are past the month they are available in stores, but still available online in print and ebook format, I thought I should still tell you a little about them.
 
Claimed: The Pregnant Heiress by Day Leclaire – January 2011

“I'm having you baby.”

With those words Emma Worth changed Chase Larson's life forever. Having been bron on the wrong side of the marriage bed, the millionaire vowed no baby of his would be so cruelly labeled. There was just one thing that might keep him from making Emma his wife: their feuding families.

She'd never dreamed one night with Chase would bind them forever. The pregnant heiress desperately wanted to raise their child together, but only if Chase could forget they were enemies...

A complex and emotional story, I really enjoyed seeing Chase and Emma grow together. Particularly with Emma helping Chase heal some wounds with his father and past. I'd give this a solid 3 Heart Review and say you would enjoy this book and it would be a fast read.


The Sarantos Secret Baby by Olivia Gates – April 2011

Forbidden Lover...Hidden Heir

He was as tall and dark as the devil...and was her family's hated adversary. But that didn't stop Selene Louvardis from wanting Aris Sarantos with her every breath. Or grabbing her one chance for a forbidden night with him.

He was never supposed to learn she'd borne his child. But when Aris stormed back into Selene's life and discovered the truth, nothing would stop the ruthless billionaire from claiming his own. Not her family, not the billion-dollar contract at stake and certainly not something as inconvenient as love.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but as I read it just didn't keep my attention. Small things in the story bothered me, even though the story itself was fine – there was nothing I can pin-point as being wrong, it just didn't feel right for me. Some of the love scenes seemed over the top for me, but I think they were supposed to be. All in all this wasn't a bad book, but it just wasn't one for me. I'd give it a 2 Heart Review.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Long Series: When There Are 5+ Books Already Out, Are You Game?

So last night on Twitter I chatted about how if there is a series I didn't manage to read a book of yet and that series gets past 5 books, then I'm out. It's overwhelming to me to think of 5 sometimes 10-20 books to read in a series to catch up.

Now, this makes me sad. And yes, it means that if I loved book #1 I would have a entire gaggle of books to read and love - BUT...BUT...maybe it's the fact that I review books that I feel the need to "catch up". Not really to read and enjoy, but literally to hurry up and read these damn books before the next one comes out. Again, maybe becuase I feel the pressure to be able to review that "Hot" book when it comes out. Maybe. Although readers of this blog know I'm not always about the latest and greatest book.

Twitter also chimed in with the series they believed I just HAVE to read no matter how many books back I'll need to catch up on. So I decided to take a leap. I asked for any and all suggestions of longer series - meaning 5+ books already out - and that I would pick a series today to try out.

So, here were the suggested series from my Twitter peeps last night. I've actually read a few, but I wanted to list all the suggestions:

The Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by JR Ward
The Guardians Series by Meljean Brooks
Tairen Souls Series by C.L. Wilson
The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost
The Trixie Beldon Series by Julie Campbell Tatham
Riley Jensen Series by Keri Arthur
The Otherwold Series by Kelley Armstrong
The Kitty Norville Series by Carrie Vaughn
The Chelsea Cain Series of books
The Dave Robicheaux Series by James Lee Burke
The Hornblower Series by C.F. Forester
The Chronicles of the Warlands Series by Elizabeth A. Vaughan
The Chesapeake Bay Series by Nora Roberts
The Carsington Series by Loretta Chase
The Dresden Files Series by Jim Butcher
The Dragonriders of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

So which series I've never tried before have I decided to tackle book #1 of?

I'm going to go with The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I've heard so much about these books and although I know they aren't typical romances, I feel like they might be the best fit for me. (Also, I was horrified to realize that I've met and chatted with Ms. Gabaldon before and had NO IDEA who she was. GASP! Um yeah. So next time I'd like to at least have read 1 book!)

Which series have you read and loved even though it was 5+ books? Do you start a new-to-you series even if you are behind by 5+ books? Which series would you have picked to read book #1 of?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday Morning Cuteness - Cause Monday I Was Hung Over!

Not really! But I was traveling with family and forgot to schedule this to post at the right time. So, I present Monday Morning's Cuteness on Tuesday and it asks a most very important question for today:
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

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