Showing posts with label Romance Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romance Books. Show all posts

Welcome Guest Author Ana Blaze & Her Latest Release The Best Man & Enter to Win!!!!

Six smoldering…Beta heroes?
Yup, I’m here to show some love for the good guys. Hi. I’m Ana Blaze and I was lucky enough to get a coveted invite to introduce myself and my new release, The Best Man, here at Cheeky Reads. Thank you, Sabrina and, may I say, that’s a super cute blog name you’re wearing.

I’m not going to say that I don’t love a good Alpha man. I am romance writer after all. Alphas are, by definition, hot and steamy and their testosterone-driven antics can certainly be charming.
But at the end of the day, it’s the Beta boys that stick with me. They shyly and cleverly worm their way deep into my heart, curl up all cute and cuddly and stubbornly refuse to leave. They are the guys every woman really wants to marry.

I’ve narrowed down my favorite beta romantic heroes to a svelte list of Six Sexy Sweeties. They will appear in no particular order because Beta guys just aren’t very competitive.

Edward Ferrars Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Edward. Some of the girls may not think much of shy and often tongue-tied Edward, but he is a good man. He is studious, unfailingly kind and honorable. He is a man who will sacrifice his own happiness to keep a promise. Edward Ferrars might not be as flashy or witty as Mr. Darcy, but he is decent and loving from his first appearance until his last.

Carter Maguire Vision in White by Nora Roberts (Book 1 of the Bride Quartet)
Carter. He’s a quiet, klutzy, tweed-wearing, English teacher, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got any moves. Carter is patient, persistent and has a delightful and often self-deprecating sense of humor. He has a three legged cat! Oh, and when he gets embarrassed, the tips of his ears turn red. Now, tell me you wouldn’t want to kiss this guy…every day for the rest of your life.

Peeta Mellark Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Okay, let’s talk about Peeta. He’s not a wimp. At sixteen he can toss a hundred pound bag of flour with ease. But the boy with the bread is most certainly a Beta. He bakes. He paints. He decorates cakes (with pretty flowers!). He can’t walk quietly through the woods even when his life literally depends upon it. Peeta is a classic good guy. He’s the boy next door that girls overlook during their teen years only to realize he’s a catch later on. He’s too shy to talk to the girl he loves, but he’ll take a beating to help her.  In the face of almost certain death, Peeta Mellark maintains his deep-rooted sense of right and wrong and that, my friends, is sexy.

Ford Sawyer Tribute by Nora Roberts
Ford is living the geek boy dream as a successful graphic novelist. Yup, like comic books but longer. He’s quirky and full of nerdy references. He’s got a dog named Spock. He does not pick up power tools and instead he leaves those and the sledge hammer to the heroine. That’s right. He is absolutely comfortable with himself. He knows his strengths and his weaknesses. His girl doesn’t have to hide her strength to make him feel manly. He wants her to pose with that hammer and be his new superhero. Hot? Oh yeah.

Lucas Cortez Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong (He reappears in several other books in her Otherworld series)
Lucas may be a powerful sorcerer, but he is also a rather nerdy lawyer. He was born into a powerful family (of crime and magic), but chooses to set out on his own and do good. He actively fights against the wrongs committed by his own family. When Lucas first appears, the heroine thinks that the most remarkable thing about him is his utter lack of any remarkable quality. He changes her mind, of course, and is undoubtedly the only sorcerer in the world with enough inner goodness to convince her to ignore the long and hostile history between their races (she’s a witch) and trust him.

Colin Pratt The Best Man by Ana Blaze
I can’t leave without introducing my Colin. He’s shy; if I don’t say something he might spend the whole evening with his handsome face buried in a book. Colin is a British Literature professor who dabbles in a little sci-fi writing on the side. All that time spent reading has given him a sharp wit and a clever tongue but he hasn’t had much luck with women in the past. Losing his fiancĂ©e to his brother didn’t help his confidence; but when he finds the right woman, Colin isn’t too proud to chase her.

The Best Man Blurb: 
Beth Chase is too busy planning perfect weddings to worry about the lack of action in her own love life. But if she was looking for a man, she wouldn’t be looking at Colin Pratt. Her boss swears that Best Man Colin is a quiet scholar and science fiction writer who couldn’t possibly cause a fuss at his own brother’s wedding. He’s clearly never met the man in question. Snarky, sexy and more than a little inebriated, Colin is the final obstacle between Beth and the last perfect wedding she needs to make partner. Of course, when she helps him into a taxi at the end of the night she has no idea that he’s only just begun to poke holes in her professional exterior. Colin might have the skills to seduce a romance professional, but can he convince her that he’s the best man to share her happy ever after?

About Ana: 
Ana lives just outside Washington DC with her very supportive husband and three rather demanding cats. She loves the ocean, Indian food, IKEA, and cooking. Ana admits to watching too much television and she swears that someday she’s going to learn how to play the guitar resting on the bookshelf in her office.

Twitter: @ana_blaze

Thanks Ana! 
One lucky US reader will win The Best Man ebook and a goodie pack to share with the best man or woman in their life. The pack contains candles, Godiva chocolate, Tuscan lavender soap, Sensual Massage Oil from The Body Shop and two lip treatments from The Body Shop. It will come packaged in a pretty photo box - Click Here to Enter to Win! 

I'd love to hear what you think about beta heroes. Have any favorites we should get to know?

WINNERS!!!!!! A Wedding In Springtime and Claim Me Winners Announced:


The winner of A Wedding In Springtime by Amanda Foster is...


The winner of Claim Me by J. Kenner is...


Ladies - drop me an email with your mailing address (if in the US for print copies) at 

Congrats and happy reading! 

Cheeky Girl Sabrina 

FREE Holiday Tale From Kieran Kramer

One of my absolute fav new authors I've discovered this past year is Kieran Kramer. She writes historicals that make me a very, very happy reader. For the Holiday this year, she has released a short Regency Christmas tale for readers and I thought I would share it with you.

Here's the link to her blog where the story is posted. It's not very long and short, fun read!

*Image used from Kieran Kramer's website

Winner Of The Romancing Christmas Giveway Hop!

Thank you to everyone who came and entered to win in the Romancing Christmas Giveaway Hop! I hope you'll continue to come back and check out the blog and chat with us.

The winner of a selection of audio and print books based on the genre she indicated is...

Comment #9 is Shari Jung! Congrats!

Shari - an email is coming your way asking for your mailing information. Happy Reading and thanks again to all the entries!

It's The Loveswept Holiday Hop Giveaway!

Good Luck & Happy Holidays to all!
INCREASE your chances to win by visiting all of the participating 'Loveswept - Holiday Hop' sites! 

Winners will be contacted after 1/10/12. US Only.

Monday Morning Cuteness!

funny pictures - Still a better love story than Twilight
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Awesome New Video - Dangerous Books For Girls...

You might have already seen it, but this is just too awesome not to share for those who might have missed it!

Throwback Book Review: A Perfect Darkness by Jamie Rush

Throwback Book Review: A Perfect Darkness (Book 1 of the Offspring Series)
By: Jamie Rush
Paranormal Romance
Published By: Avon Books
5 Heart Review

Before I posted L.A.'s review of this book I wanted to include part of the email she sent me with it because I thought it added to the great review she did:

Hey Sabrina,
Here is the review for Jaime Rush's A Perfect Darkness.  It get 5 hearts.  OMG I loved this book.  I read it in 4 1/2 hours, one sitting. (Cute right?)

Book Blurb:

They live ordinary lives, but they are extraordinary.  They are the Offspring, children of a mysterious experiment gone awry – and they are in terrible danger.

A sexy stranger awakens Amy Shane in the dead of night.  Lucas Vanderwyck barely has time to whisper a few words before three men burst into her bedroom and drag him away.  But what Lucas reveals shatters Amy’s safe little world forever.

Lucas and Amy share a psychic gift – a fight that could put them in mortal danger.  And as they share night after night of savage passion, as a shadowy government conspiracy tracks their every move, they will fight to save each other.  But only with their powers of second sight can they escape the terror of a perfect darkness.
This book took off from the very first chapter and left me glued to the page until the last word.  It was fast and exciting with just the right amounts of romance and suspense.  I devoured A Perfect Darkness in one sitting, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

The main plot was simple enough to be resolved in one book, but had so many possibilities and open-ended questions that I can see this easily being a hit series.  I was a little taken aback when the action started right away.  Actually I found myself feeling a lot like Amy was at the time, like the world had spun and suddenly I wasn’t sure I knew the truth of anything anymore.

Jaime, the author, achieved what every paranormal writer strives for – believability.  The paranormal aspects of this book have a solid background and believable origins, all set within the world we live in.  That being said, they are also open for growth.  The characters themselves are learning the extent of what they can do, and I have a feeling there’s a lot more to come.

The characters in this book aren’t perfect, and that’s just how I like them.  Most of them have to make hard decisions on what is right and wrong, and they don’t always do the right thing.  I immediately liked Lucas, even though part of me wished he could have played a larger role in general.  Amy was also likable and I loved watching her surprise herself with how strong she really can be.  I was impressed that Petra and Eric got part of their story told in this first book – it isn’t always that way for side characters– and I have a feeling their stories are only going to grow throughout the series.  I also want to see more of Ozzie, Amy’s neighbor.  His role was small in this book, but he has a lot of potential.

I’m super excited to see where this series goes.  I can tell more and more characters are going to be introduced in future books…this is only the beginning.  If you’re looking for a fast paced, original story that keeps you on your metaphorical toes, you can’t go wrong with A Perfect Darkness.

My advice: get real comfortable before you open this one…you may not be getting up again until you’ve read it all.

Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl L.A.

4 Heart Book Review: Enemy Lover By Karin Harlow

Book Review: Enemy Lover
By: Karen Harlow
Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Star
Rating: 4 Hearts

When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T.   Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die…

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T. – one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself.  Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross…eliminate him…then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House.  But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret.  He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life.  His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision.  Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions.  But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice – her death or his.
I was a little skeptical about this book after reading the cover.  The concept of Marcus being a vampire was unexpected, and I wasn’t sure how it would fit into the premise of the story.  On the other hand, I knew this book would be mixing my two favorite types of stories – urban fantasy and secret agent.  I was either going to love it or hate it.  Let’s just say I’m really glad I didn’t miss this one.

From the first chapter, I knew I was going to like Jax.  She is strong, resourceful, and a smart-ass.  However, she isn’t without her vulnerabilities – but that’s what makes her realistic.  The author, Karin Harlow, certainly didn’t pull punches with Jax.  She is a heroine who has had a tough life, and it’s about to get tougher from the moment she sets eyes on Marcus.

Marcus is all kinds of yummy.  He’s controlled, focused, and determined to be on the side of right.  This man has a tighter hold on his emotions than most women keep on their purses.  And yes, he is a vampire…not that he needs the heightened senses or special skill-set that comes with being an undead considering he would be a force to be reckoned with as a plain human.
Watching these two spar words and rough each other up – in more ways than one – was a lot of fun.  Especially since Karin didn’t make this just a book about two enemies falling for each other.  The plot is intricate and fast-paced.  There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing all the way to the end. 

The one thing I wish Karin would have paid more attention to is the vampire aspect.  I didn’t really get to connect with the world that Marcus lives in, because I didn’t really get to see it.  It’s there…but its background noise.  I would have liked a more in-depth look at the paranormal world and the rules that govern those who live in it.  I felt a little taken aback by how rationally everyone seemed to accept there being vampires.  It was so fast and easy for L.O.S.T. to figure out how to handle them – I’ve read a million vampire books, but if I ever ran across one in real life I’m still not sure if my best bet is wood, silver, perhaps a cross and some sunshine. 

I also felt a little sorry for Gage.  He appears to be a central character at first, getting some page time at the beginning, but sort of disappears through a lot of action.  He obviously has a thing for Jax, and if it weren’t for Marcus, I would say they’d make a great pair.  I guess all I can hope for is that Karin will write another L.O.S.T. book and Gage gets to find himself in his own sticky situation.  I’ve definitely got my fingers crossed.
If you like urban fantasy, suspense, and SEAL-like men, you’re going to love Enemy Lover.  It’s like a s’more…all your favorites in one place and hot!  

Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl L.A.

4 Heart Book Review: One Night In Boston By Allie Boniface

Book Review: One Night in Boston
By: Allie Boniface
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Hearts

Book Blurb:
Can anything really change in 24 hours? Can everything? Maggie Doyle is about to lose her home, her business, and her last grip on sanity unless she comes up with fifteen thousand dollars to pay off the bank. Her only option? Forget the pain of one life-altering night, find the stepbrother she hasn't spoken to in years and ask him for help. Everything in Jack Major's life ...moreCan anything really change in 24 hours? Can everything? Maggie Doyle is about to lose her home, her business, and her last grip on sanity unless she comes up with fifteen thousand dollars to pay off the bank. Her only option? Forget the pain of one life-altering night, find the stepbrother she hasn't spoken to in years and ask him for help. Everything in Jack Major's life is going according to plan. He's rich, powerful, and about to marry Boston's most successful attorney. There's just one problem: he can't seem to forget his first love, the one who left him in college after a whirlwind trip to Vegas with a secret she couldn't trust him to keep.

When Maggie and Jack meet up at a high-profile charity ball, past collides with present and the sparks fly. But is it too late for a first love to ignite again? And if Maggie reveals the reason she left Jack all those years ago, will he be able to forgive her?

A single night in Boston takes Maggie and Jack from the glittering lights of the ballroom to the windswept city streets and back through the years to relive old memories. Will morning light bring new hope for their future together? Or are some secrets too deep to ever truly overcome?
I was a little dubious about whether I would enjoy a story set over 24 hours as I’ve never read anything like it before but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Maggie is a very confused and desperate person who has one last chance to contact her step brother to see if he is willing to help her so she doesn’t lose everything. She has had a complicated life that never seems to go right for her.

Jack lost the love of his life when Maggie left him but he picked up the pieces and carried on, burying the heartache and concentrating on his career. He has done well for himself and has convinced himself that he is happy. But when he begins to remember the past he has buried he starts to question his current situation.

Maggie attends the ball in a last ditch effort to try to find her step brother who she hasn’t spoken to for years. When she unexpectedly bumps in to Jack it brings the past and the memories that have been plaguing her to the surface.
The relationship between Maggie and Jack is a complicated one but made me hope that they would find a way to work through their past problems and have their happily ever after.

Maggie used to have a great relationship with her step brother, Dillon. But after one fateful night when they were younger their relationship became strained and eventually Maggie severed all contact.

The anger and pain that Maggie felt made her seem more real to me although I did question the depth and the reasons for this on occasion. I liked the strong friends that surrounded Maggie and provided her the support she so obviously needed. Eden and Neve were fantastic characters and seemed like true friends to Maggie.

I did struggle a bit with all the flashbacks from the different perspectives throughout the story but it did help develop an understanding of how and why the situation that the characters found themselves in at the present had been affected by the past.

Ms Boniface did a fantastic job of keeping this a fast paced story, with all the twists and turns to keep it interesting but still developed the characters so it felt like grew to know them.
I enjoyed this story and felt all the highs and lows right along with the characters. The twists kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next and I couldn’t put the book down. I was kept me guessing all the way through whether Maggie and Jack would get their HEA and also if there was a chance for Maggie to reconcile her relationship with Dillon.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a complicated, angst filled love story.
Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Vicky

BBAW: Blogging Tools & Tips

It's the last day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week and I hope you've enjoyed the posts and hopefully found some new blogs to follow!

Today’s Topic:The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.

Out of all the topics this week, I find this one to be the hardest because I think that different tools and tips work differently for each blog and each book niche. I'll share what works for me and you can give it a try to see if it works for you too!

3 Essential Tried & True Practices:

1. Post Regularly - Yes, I'm horrible at this! BUT, when I do post regularly I see my traffic go up and my readers engage with my posts more.

2. Leave Em With A Question To Answer - Give readers a reason to respond to your post or review. Reviews get some of the lowest comments and it's usually because readers haven't read the book yet to comment on! Instead, come up with questions about the trope, what they like about X storyline or plot point, etc. Give them something that they can actually engage with.

3. Respond to Comments - Again, I'm not always the best with this and we are all busy bloggers, but when I do respond to comments I find that those readers are the ones who typically stop by more often and comment again.

My 3 Tips All Have 1 Thing In Common: ENGAGE YOUR READERS!

Now, for the 3 tools or trends I've found recently:

1. Klout - I'm still learning how to use this little bad boy, and it certainly give me credit for knowing about things I've never discussed, but so far I've been impressed with it's twitter tracking stats. What your true reach is with a tweet, how much you engage others on Twitter, etc.

2. TweetChat - I've known about this one for quite some time, but it's seriously awesome for following a #hashtag  on twitter during an event or conversation. Plus, you'll see everyone in real time who's using that hashtag so you can connect with more people who are into the same topics as you are. Likewise, follow certain hashtags on twitter! I can't tell you how much I learn and how many readers and authors I connect with by doing this.

3. Good Old Fashioned Excel - Seriously, recently creating an organizational system for logging print books, ebooks and audiobooks is completely changing my blogging experience. It always me to not only keep track of what I have and haven't read, but what I've posted, if I've emailed the author/publicist, have I asked for an interview/guest post, etc. I'm still getting this all situated, but I can't stress enough how having a system that treats this like a real business is going to do wonders for your sanity.

Again, my best advice - ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE.

What's yours? If you're a reader, what things do you think are most effective for bloggers to do to engage with you and keep you coming back and commenting?

BBAW: Book Blogging Community: Tips & Concerns

Welcome to day 3 of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Today's topic is a continuation of talking about the blogging community:

The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for–this is the week to connect!

My best tips (and they aren't earth-shattering and are sometimes hard for me to follow!) are:

Twitter - Seriously get thee to Twitter and you will be amazed at how much goes on there and how easily it is to chat with other book bloggers in your book niche.

Follow & Comment On Other Blogs - This one is hard when we are all so busy. So, my tip is to pick your top ten that you check out and comment on maybe 1x a week or so. Then, check out new to you blogs say 1x a month and revise your top ten occassionally.

Start A Meme or Host A Blogger Event - This is something I haven't done yet, but I've seen how well it seems to work for other bloggers on creating a sense of personalization and community. I'm brainstorming ideas now!

Mind Your Manners - Seriously the book blogging community itself might be large, but your blogging niche is a place where if you act like an ass on twitter or constantly complain, etc about blogging, not getting books, etc. other bloggers take notice. And won't be as open to helping you or welcoming you to the community. This is a personal one for me - we should be here to help each other in the name of the love of books, not get catty and create drama. I've unfollowed some blogs and on twitter for feeling like everything that happened was something to rage about. Make sure if you do have a legitimate complaint that you are balancing those posts and tweets with other positive things. No one wants to sit next to negative Nancy.

Now for a few concerns (even those that last tip was also a disguised concern):

Not Every Review Needs To Feature The BIG Releases - Yes, I know this gets more traffic but if you are in it for the love of books then sing the praises of that unknown author or mid-list author who really could use the push. Stretch your reading out to more than just the best-seller list. Otherwise, all the blogs seem to be cookie cutter ads for the same books.

Don't Compete, Be Unique - There are so many books out there that there really is room for all of us and we should showcase each other year-round! I'd love to see bloggers hosting guest posts from other bloggers and Q&A's more than just 1x per year.

FOR PETE'S SAKE DON'T SELL ARCS - Seriously book lover. This is a no. Never. Give these away if you don't want to keep them, but respect what they are: a very special gift you shouldn't try to profit from.

So, if you're a blogger what are your favorite tips or concerns? Readers, what do you wish you saw more of on blogs and in the book blog community?

BBAW: Why I Adore Other Romance Book Bloggers

Hi there and welcome to Cheeky Reads if this is your first time stopping by! It's kick-off day for Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW)! Cheeky Reads is a book blog that focuses on all romance genres with a few cozy mysteries thrown in for good measure. But I have to say, Cheeky Reads wouldn't exist if it wasn't for other book blogs.

A few years ago I stumbled across an awesome blog called Smart Bitches Trashy Books and I fell in love. Here was a community of people talking about romance! Romance, the genre that the world likes to ignore and pretend it's helping to keep book publishers in business.

None of my friends were reading romance and I'd finally found *someone* to talk to about the books I loved. It helped that the reviews were written with such a fun and distinctive voice. :)

The only thing that Smart Bitches was missing was well...the books I was reading around that time. To be honest, I wasn't reading the latest releases or the same authors. So I would search for other blogs that had read and reviewed those books. I found some, but no where near the number of romance blogs that are out there today.

You can guess what happened right? I started Cheeky Reads so that I could talk about the books I was reading. Like my own personal community of friends to tell "Holy cow you will love this hero!" or "That heroine got on my last nerve."

After creating Cheeky Reads I was amazed at how welcoming all the other bloggers were, especially on Twitter. I follow and frequently RT other romance book bloggers that I admire all the time. They are a fantastic group and it's always so interesting to see if we agree/disagree on a book.

So, I thought I would share some of their Twitter names with you so you can follow them and check them out for yourself! In no particular order here are some awesome book bloggers on Twitter I highly recommend:













I hope you find some amazing new book blogs to follow and will stop back by again to talk romance books with me!

Come Chat With Me At Romance@Random!

Today I'm guest blogging over at Romance@Random, the new website launched by Random House for all things Romance!

I hope you'll stop by and say hi and chat with me and check out the new site!

TGIF Giveaway Winners!

Let's get right to it....

The winners from the Cheeky Reads TGIF Giveaway are:

The Perfect Mistress AudioBook goes to Danielle!

The Billionaire's Unexpected Heir goes to PamS!

Touch of Darkness goes to Linda!

Amazon Ink goes to Barbara E!

I'll be emailing all of you soon to get your mailing details. No one selected Feelin The Vibe in the giveway so anyone who wants that just let me know!

Congrats and Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Sabrina

TGIF! Let's Party With Some Book & AudioBook Giveaways!

I haven't done a giveaway in way to long plus I need to clean out some of my guest room, so I thought I'd start putting some books up for lucky readers to win! Some of these are older titles, but the books are in new condition. Look for more giveaways soon.

What's up for grabs this time around? Take a look below and then leave me a comment with which book you'd love to win. I'll pick winners early next week and post.
Feeling The Vibe By Candice Dow
The Billionaire's Unexpected Heir by Kathie Denosky
Amazon Ink by Lori Devoti

Touch of Darkness by CT Adams & Cathy Clamp

AudioBook of The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander (Unopened)

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?

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.


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?

Around The Romance Universe: Cool Links for Readers

So I've come across some awesome links in the land of romance online this morning so I thought I'd do a quick post to share some of them.

Today, Kim Harrison is the guest at the Borders True Romance Blog and is giving away a copy of Pale Demon! I LOVE this series and can't wait until the copy I ordered arrives in the mail. ;)

JoJos Book Corner has 6 contests running right now!

Macmillian launched an awesome new website and community for romance readers called Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lots of awesome blogs by some of the best book bloggers out there!

I'm super excited that Kresley Cole's latest book in the Immortals After Dark series, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, has landed the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list!