Thursday, June 30, 2016

Unique Format Book Challenge July + Giveaway

We are finally to July! I can't believe half the year has ended already. June kind of got away from me, so I'm going to include my giveaway for this month!

1. To enter, you must link up at least ONE book review from July back to January. I have a page on the top of my blog with the previous month's link-ups if you want to see those for any reason!

2. The prize will be $10 to The Book Depository (so if the site ships to you, you can enter!!) You can choose whatever you want - it doesn't have to be a unique format book.

3. I'll go through all the month's links and find a winner from them all, so the more you linked up in the past or the more you link up in July, the more chances you have to win!

REMEMBER: If you didn't link up yet, but you have older reviews (posted from January 2016 and on) that count as unique format, link them up in the month of July and you're good!

And up below any new reviews you have! The winner will be chosen in the beginning of August!

Beyond Reading with The Broke Book Bank

Welcome back to Beyond Reading!! Today I have Brooke Banks from the blog, The Broke Book Bank.


Nonbookish Habits Guest Post: Where I Rave About Fav Video Games

When first asked about guest posts about non-bookish habits, I honestly didn't think of gaming as one. Not only is almost everyone a gamer these days, whether it's console, PC, apps, or browser, but there's no doubt books reign supreme for me. 

My tastes in games come from my love of stories, which all began with books as a child. My favorite games growing up were Sega's Lion King and Jungle Book. On the computer, it was Majesty all day every day. I still have all of Paradox's Majesty related games on Steam. I've lost days to them.

I love books for how I can become absorbed and become part of the story. The games I play have all that in common. 

Skyrim: Needs no introduction. I basically stole my roommates PS3 I played it so much. Good thing he was cool with it. I read all the books. I collected them. Abandoning books because I was overloaded made me feel so wrong. I HATED when my books didn't line up or look right. I loved the main story and all the side quests. I became a hero and at the end of the day went home to a kickass library I can only dream of. Plus, of course, DRAGONS!! And Shadowmere! **wistful sigh** I may need to break this out again...

Torchlight 1 & 2: Another one I lost days to playing. If you want an Action RPG, you can't go wrong with this series. 

Guild Wars 2 Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn: My latest and greatest MMORPG loves. The only reason I stopped playing A Realm Reborn is because of the monthly subscription. I'd go back in a heartbeat if i could but...Guild Wars 2 doesn't have that problem and my friends play it. So torn. MMORPGs are big different because while I still demand a good story, I get way involved with crafting, hobbies, and PVPing. It's so fun to become un-sober and slaughter some fools with friends. :D

Alice: Madness Returns: Gory, creepy, violent fantastic adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. The ending? OMFG. Plus, there's replay value. Not only for badges/trophies, but I loved seeing stuff I missed the first time. That's something I've never been able to do with books (I get bored re-reading.)

Never Alone is amazing. It does everything right. My only problem is sucking at platformers. 
Never Alone is an atmospheric puzzle platformer developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people, drawn from a traditional story that has been shared across the generations.
You'll explore awe-inspiring environments, perform heroic deeds and meet legendary characters from Iñupiaq stories — all narrated by a master storyteller in the spoken Iñupiaq language.

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! Awesome app game I first found in a Humble Bundle. I've never had the opportunity to play a tabletop RPG and the barrier for entry is impassable for me now, but Sorcery! brings all the staples with a fantasy story in a single player campaign. I've drained my phone playing this and will tons of replay value. Bonus: no mess or set up, which is huge when you've got a kid and four cats to destroy everything.  

Desktop Dungeons has much of the same going but my lord, is it hard! Or maybe I just suck. But I love building my town and killing monsters...even if I don't always clear the dungeon. 

Gems of War is another app, but this a collectible puzzle battler. I've been playing for over a year, never had to buy gems to get my cards or level them up, and I'm level 230. I can go on slaughtering sprees and am pretty awesome at PVP if I don't say so myself. 

There's also Adventure Time's Puzzle Quest and The 8th Gate as similar app games I play occasionally. 

I'm also a huge fan of the very fun murder mystery puzzle games, Blue Toad Murder Files. I have The Enigma Express hidden objects app and played the episodic game on PS3 and PC. 

Hidden Object Games: I love these. They're ultimately simple with great puzzles and stories. It's not a time sink and an easy way to relax. My favorites are the Drawn series, Grim Legends, Grim Tales, Midnight Mysteries, Dark Tales, get the idea. 

The few times I've played first person shooters (FPS) it's will friends while drinking. And I'm terrible at it. It's hilarious. At least until they're tired of carrying me, then it's time to call it a night. 

Books do take up a lot of time and reviewing more so. When I've played more time intensive games like WOW or Guild Wars 2, that's all I did. Ultimately, I burnt myself out. My depression/manic depression means I roll in waves. There are times I do nothing but one thing. Like for months I'll eat the same food. Then all of a sudden, I don't want it. It'll be months/years later before I pick it up again. 

Before I'd say "except for books" but really, it's stories I'm always after. It's nice to know there's at least one constant. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Review by Lauren

source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryReasons to Stay Alive is about making the most of your time on earth. In the western world the suicide rate is highest amongst men under the age of 35. Matt Haig could have added to that statistic when, aged 24, he found himself staring at a cliff-edge about to jump off. This is the story of why he didn't, how he recovered and learned to live with anxiety and depression. It's also an upbeat, joyous and very funny exploration of how live better, love better, read better and feel more.

Review: Matt Haig is a bestselling author and his latest release is a nonfiction book about depression and anxiety. These are two things that I suffer from as well, but not in the same way that Mr. Haig did. Regardless, I could understand a lot of what he was saying. When Haig was 24, he had essentially a breakdown where he wanted to kill himself. Fortunately, he did not and he went on to fight his depression. His girlfriend at the time - and now wife - Andrea, was obviously a huge help for him. She was there when he needed it, but she also willing to be a 'pusher' (my word) because she knew that he could get better and she cheered for him every step of the way.

What I loved about Reasons to Stay Alive is that it's a mix of things. Yes, it's an account of Mr. Haig's deep depression and how he got through that, and how he handles his depression and anxiety now. However, it's also a love letter to life. It's a list of things that Mr. Haig loves or loses himself in when he can't face the hardships of life. It's information about depression and how it affects so many people. It's a push to get help and talk about your problems, especially for men, who commit suicide in larger numbers than women.

Reasons to Stay Alive is great for a lot of people - those who suffer from mental illness, to know they aren't alone, to find new coping mechanisms, to understand things a bit better. It's also for those that don't suffer but want to empathize more, especially if they know people in their lives that do have depression, anxiety, or some other mental illness. Being there is enough. Being there is sometimes just what they need. I really appreciated how Mr. Haig notes that many people have a stigma toward mental illness and he gives examples of things that people feel fine telling someone with depression but they would never do it if the person had cancer or some other physically notable disease.

Depression can't be seen, but it's there. Educate yourself.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Without Trace by Simon Booker

First off, Happy Birthday to my sister, Kari!!!

Without Trace by Simon Booker

Review by Lauren

source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryFor four long years, journalist Morgan Vine has campaigned for the release of her childhood sweetheart Danny Kilcannon - convicted, on dubious evidence, of murdering his 14 year-old stepdaughter.

When a key witness recants, Danny is released from prison. With nowhere else to go, he relies on single mum Morgan and her teenage daughter, Lissa.

But then Lissa goes missing.

With her own child now at risk, Morgan must re-think all she knows about her old flame - 'the one that got away'. As the media storm around the mysterious disappearance intensifies and shocking revelations emerge, she is forced to confront the ultimate question: who can we trust...?

Review: This is one fantastic mystery and only the first in a new series that will focus on Morgan Vine. I'm so excited that we'll get more books featuring Morgan, though Without Trace is a full fledged novel that doesn't leave anything left open at the end.

Morgan was in love with Danny as a child and when he is put in prison years later for murdering his stepdaughter, Morgan doesn't believe it. She makes a website and fights tirelessly to help Danny be released from prison. That day has finally happened and Morgan is quick to tell all the naysayers in her life that yes, she does trust Danny. He's not a killer. This is all before Morgan's own daughter, Lissa, goes missing, and as more and more information and clues come out, Morgan isn't sure if she actually can trust Danny after all.

One of the things that I loved about this book is that it keeps you reading. You finish a chapter and you go "one more...just one more..." until you've finished the book. It's a tightly wound mystery that will leave you wondering and guessing new culprits left and right. Danny is an interesting character, but details are slowly revealed about him and his past that make you wonder. The same is true for a lot of other characters in the book. Who can Morgan trust? That's the big question!

There is more going on in the book than just Lissa being missing and as all the pieces come together in the end, I was truly shocked by the picture is revealed! A must read!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rekindled Flame by Andrew Grey

Rekindled Flame by Andrew Grey

publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Review by Lauren

source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryFirefighter Morgan has worked hard to build a home for himself after a nomadic childhood. When Morgan is called to a fire, he finds the family out front, but their tenant still inside. He rescues Richard Smalley, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in years and the one person he regretted leaving behind.

Richard has had a hard life. He served in the military, where he lost the use of his legs, and has been struggling to make his way since coming home. Now that he no longer has a place to live, Morgan takes him in, but when someone attempts to set fire to Morgan’s house, they both become suspicious and wonder what’s going on.

Years ago Morgan was gutted when he moved away, leaving Richard behind, so he’s happy to pick things up where they left off. But now that Richard seems to be the target of an arsonist, he may not be the safest person to be around.

Review: I love the friend to lover trope in romance books, and that's exactly what we have here! When Morgan and Richard were younger, they were the best of friends, until Morgan's dad moves them away. Now the two are all grown up and thrown back into each other's lives after Morgan saves Richard from a house fire. Richard had been in the military but he can no longer use his legs, leaving him in a wheelchair. Due to his past military experiences -and obvious PTSD - as well as his injuries, Richard doesn't feel like anyone could or should love him and want to take care of him.

Morgan does though. He might not have been in the military, but he's a firefighter and he has his own sad stories and nightmares. It's obvious to the reader that these two are meant to be together, but Richard definitely needs some persuasion. It doesn't help that the cops and firefighters start to believe that the arson who attacked Richard's house, where he lived with friends, was specifically after him and not just a random victim or the other family. This definitely turned Rekindled Flame into a suspenseful read in a number of reads. I kept reading, desperate for these two to be together, but also t be safe from whoever is out there attacking Richard.

Overall, this was a really good read! I'd definitely check out more by the author.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beyond Reading with Ali from the bandar (b)log

My first ever Beyond Reading post and today, I am sharing what Ali from The Bandar (B)Log does besides read and share books on her blog!

Ali from the bandar b(log)
My name is Ali, and I am a brand-spanking-new book blogger over at I must admit that talking about my hobbies outside of blogging feels backwards to me – I’m used to talking about my hobbies outside of work. What is work, you say? I’m a veterinarian (also brand-spanking-new! I graduated from vet school one year ago.), so my days revolve around cats and dogs and doing whatever I can to make them and their people feel better. In addition to the standard medicine a veterinarian practices, I also perform acupuncture and rehabilitation (aka physical therapy) on dogs and cats. How fun is that?! I love working with people and their pets. I smile one thousand times a day, and you can’t beat that.

When I’m not working (or book blogging), I’m singing in the shower, my kitchen, at my piano, or in my city’s community choir. I joined the community choir after vet school in order to do something un-sciencey (little did I know I could have just started a blog about the books I was reading)! Back when I took voice lessons, my singing instructor used to tell me that every time you sing you become 10% happier. The number may have been total hogwash, but singing definitely makes me happy.

If animals make you smile, think about volunteering at your local shelter to help love on dogs and cats. Any modicum of positive attention an animal receives makes them so much happier in a shelter setting. Perhaps you like singing, but have terrible stage fright like me? Do a quick Google search to see if your town has a local community choir! You get to have all the joys of singing with none of the stress of performing (because you perform with a ton of other people)!

It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you love it. As you can tell, I have no special skills or accolades I can offer as to why I should be a book blogger. I just love it, and at the end of the day, that’s what is most important.


Thanks so much, Ali! Please leave your thoughts/questions for Ali in the comments. If you want to take part in Beyond Reading, get in touch!
the bandar (b)log

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Blog Tour Review: Saving Montgomery Sole

Thank you so much to Fierce Reads for allowing me to take part in the blog tour for Saving Montgomery Sole in honor of Pride Month!! You can visit this link to find the full blog schedule!

Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki

Review by Lauren 

Source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official Summary:

In sight not see
black light not be

This is the curious instruction that comes with the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet that Montgomery Sole buys online for $5.99. It’s also the next topic of discussion at Mystery Club (members: Monty and her two best friends, Thomas and Naoki), dedicated to the exploration of the strange and unexplained.

When Monty wears the Eye of Know, strange things happen, all targeted at people she despises. Maybe it will help Monty take down her newest enemy, a preacher who has come to save her town from so-called sinners—sinners like Monty’s moms. Or will its mysterious powers mean the end of the friendships Monty cherishes most?

Review: This book is suitable for pride month because Monty has two moms and a gay best friend named Thomas. Not only do these characters appear full-fledged in the book, but Monty has to deal with the idea that other people don't think being gay is alright. There is a new Reverend in town who is putting up posters about the true way to be a family and every time Monty sees one, she gets so angry and starts tearing them down. I appreciated Monty's loyalty to those she loves, but she also has to learn a lot herself about not judging others, as well as talking out her problems instead of trying to rely on things like the Eye of Know.

The Eye of Know was interesting! Monty wears it and bad things happen to people that she doesn't like, but is it coincidence or the actual Eye? Regardless, if Monty believes it's real, she shouldn't be wearing it at all unless she truly wants to hurt people. Along with the Eye of Known, Monty and her two best friends have a Mystery Club they created at school where they look into things like hypnotism and other "mysteries." I thought this was cool, and I liked that she had a couple people in her life that were interested in the same things she was!

I think Monty is a good person, but the book is definitely a growth for her. She does things you wouldn't necessarily agree with, but she's coming into her own and learning what is right and wrong. Sure, she understands that being gay doesn't mean something is wrong with you, but she has her own ideas and prejudices about people that she needs to overcome. I appreciated that though!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Torn (Wicked #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout Cover Reveal

Alicia here, with the cover for the second book in Jennifer L. Armentrout's paranormal New Adult series.




The highly anticipated second book in #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout's Wicked Trilogy has a cover! The amazing TORN cover was created by Sarah Hansen from Okay Creations with photography by Kelsey Kukal-Keeton from K Keeton designs. Check it out below! 

TORN is set to release July 19th. 

Be sure to grab the first book in the series, WICKED, which is on sale for $.99 for a limited time!

    TORN - cover

TORN Synopsis:

Torn between duty and survival, nothing can be the same.

Everything Ivy Morgan thought she knew has been turned on its head. After being betrayed and then nearly killed by the Prince of the Fae, she’s left bruised and devastated—and with an earth-shattering secret that she must keep at all costs. And if the Order finds out her secret, they’ll kill her.

Then there’s Ren Owens, the sexy, tattooed Elite member of the Order who has been sharing Ivy’s bed and claiming her heart. Their chemistry is smoking hot, but Ivy knows that Ren has always valued his duty to the Order above all else—he could never touch her if he knew the truth. That is, if he let her live at all. Yet how can she live with herself if she lies to him?

But as the Fae Prince begins to close in on Ivy, intent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld, Ivy is running out of options. If she doesn’t figure out who she can trust—and fast—it’s not only her heart that will be torn apart, but civilization itself.


Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans…

Don’t miss the first title in the series, WICKED, now just $.99 for a limited time only!

WICKED - cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo

Author Photo--JLA_J. Lynn    About Jennifer L. Armentrout: 

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.  

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads


Monday, June 20, 2016

Guest Post: Difficulties Writing Authentic Autistic People + Book Giveaway

A Bouquet for Adam: Difficulties Writing Authentic Autistic People

By K.T. Spence

In "A Bouquet for Adam," my co-author, A. J. Marcus and I dove into the deep end when it came to writing a person with autism. For me, this had both simple and complex attributes.

My nine-year old daughter, N, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when she was 5. For two years prior to that, she spent time in occupational and speech therapy including hippotherapy (therapy on horseback) and a play-based therapy called Floortime. 

I felt well-versed in autism. At least, enough to write this character, Adam.

However, the longer A. J. and I wrote, the more I began to question the authenticity of the character. After all, I only have a nine-year old and I was trying to expand what I knew about autism from her behaviors into a thirty-year old male. 

TO BE CONTINUED ON...Let's Get Beyond Tolerance!!!

I wanted to share a little bit of this guest post here, but instead of cross-posting, please continue on to my LGBT+ blog to read the rest AND enter the giveaway. All comments over there are treated like comments here; which means I will do my best to visit your blog if you visit/comment on mine! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas Cover Reveal

Alicia here, with the second cover Penelope Douglas.



Title: Punk 57
Genre: New Adult
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: September 20, 2016


"We were perfect together. Until we met."


I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.


He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should've gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

About The Author:

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and shops at Target almost daily.

Her books include the Fall Away Series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame), as well as, Corrupt and Misconduct. Please look for Punk 57, coming September 2016 and Next to Never (A Fall Away Novella), coming January 2017.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

Follow Her Here:

Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hideaway (Devil's Night #2) by Penelope Douglas Cover Reveal

Alicia here, with the first cover reveal for Penelope Douglas. The second will be posted later. 



Title: Hideaway
Series: Devil's Night Series
Genre: Erotic Suspense
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: TBD - 2017


COMING in 2017, HIDEAWAY is the second installment in the Devil's Night Series! If you've read CORRUPT, this is Kai's story.


You don’t even see me, do you, Kai Mori? No one does.

I’m the kid in the back, the one everyone dismisses, the no-life street punk with dirty finger nails and ripped jeans.

But I’m quiet, and I do my job. I can hang tough and no one does me any favors. I’ve always been on my own.

But then I see you...

Your perfect black suits. Your clean hands. The way you charge into the room, not afraid of the man I work for, and all of a sudden, I feel different.

Like maybe I want to know what you’re like with a woman.

As quickly as the urge comes, though, it disappears. You see, my boss has an agenda. He’s decided to put me in your path, but what he doesn’t realize is, I have plans of my own. A score to settle.

And you won’t know who I really am until it’s too late.

So sit tight. I’m coming to you.


You’re wrong. I’ve seen you before.

You’re the girl who looks like a fourteen year old boy and pretends everyone around her is public enemy #1. Yeah, I remember you.

Thunder Bay. Devil’s Night. Four years ago.

But the thing was…when your hat fell off that night, you looked nothing like a boy. And when I put my hands on you, you didn’t feel like one, either.

Now, after all this time, you’re in Meridian City, and while I don’t know who you are or want you want, I can’t wait to find out.

So come on. Door’s unlocked.

Just be warned, though…Devil’s Night is coming again, and I’m not alone this time.

My friends like to play, too.

Note from the Author: HIDEAWAY still has no definite release date. Erotic suspense takes longer for me to write, and while I hate to keep anyone waiting, I know you'd rather have a good book than a quick one. Bear with me. Getting this book to you is a priority. xoxo.

Buy Corrupt, Book 1

Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / Kobo / Barnes and Noble / IBooks

About The Author:

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and shops at Target almost daily.

Her books include the Fall Away Series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame), as well as, Corrupt and Misconduct. Please look for Punk 57, coming September 2016 and Next to Never (A Fall Away Novella), coming January 2017.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

Follow Her Here:

Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bunbury Music Festival 2016: Part 1

X Ambassadors
I attended the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnat, Ohio over the June 3-5 weekend. I'm so sorry it's taken me awhile to really share my feedback, but I had a great time. My sister and I were given media passes to attend the festival, but any and all feedback is our own!

Friday night I knew I needed to see X Ambassadors. This was the third time I'd seen them live and they are absolutely amazing. If you want to see a band that sounds AS good live as they do on the album, then this is the band for you! I've talked about them before as they played at Bunbury a couple years ago. They have gotten even bigger since then, but I was excited to see that Bunbury brought them back!

X Ambassadors
I just used a regular digital camera to take my photos, so I'm sorry if they aren't the best quality! The stage X Ambassadors played on wasn't the main stage, but I loved the location because there is still a lot of room to hang out.

X Ambassdors
Before we saw them play, the people I was with all got dinner at the Montgomery Inn booth. We all grabbed a pulled pork sandwich and it was really good! I'm pretty sure this was the first year Montgomery Inn (a local place) was at Bunbury, so it was nice to see something different!

Of course, there are some classic food options that come every year, like Island Noodles. People line up for a long time to grab those. I got some on Sunday when the line wasn't very long, so it worked out well!

Island Noodles
I grabbed the noodles with chicken because I find it more filling than just noodles/vegetables. However, it's hard to eat hot food when it's warm out, so I was only able to eat about half of this. Again, tons of people were eating these though, so the warmth doesn't really stop most people.

Of course, there WERE some nice cold options besides a drink! For example, there were two locations where you could get Street Pops which are these awesome popsicles.

I got the one on the left, which was a lemon flavor, and my sister got an orange creamsicle. Hers was nice but I REALLY loved the lemon. Just enough of a tart taste. This was actually the second popsicle I got over the weekend. The first one was on Friday night and I forget the exact flavor, but it was a strawberry. Also very good.  Like I said before, I love that there are some cold options available because warm food and hot weather really don't make me feel that well.

A new cold option this year was Fronana, which was an ice cream made with bananas, so it's healthier. They had one flavor without bananas and that was a mango type of blend. I chose a small cup of that to try and it was okay. It left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth after eating, so I didn't finish it. I am still a bit curious what some of the other flavors might have tasted like. Regardless, it was a nice addition and fun to try!

Now, I don't want these posts to go on too long, so be on the lookout for one or two more posts about my time at Bunbury!!

Any questions? I'll answer in the next post!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New Feature: Beyond Reading...

I mentioned last month that I was collecting guest posts from other book bloggers sharing what hobbies or interests they had beyond reading. Well, the first half of June has been a bit hectic and I have yet to schedule any of these posts - though I have a few of them!

Don't worry though! The ones I have now should all be posted sometime in the month of June. However, I would love to continue this feature, which I have dubbed Beyond Reading, so if you have something you want to share, please get in touch!

As for what I classify as a book blogger - any one that semi-regularly posts book reviews, so it doesn't have to be the only thing you do on your blog (I know I don't!)

Feel free to send me an email -lauren51990 AT aol DOT com - or just get in touch however you wish. Since this will be an ongoing feature, you can do it whenever and I'll try and post them soon after you give them to me in the future!

The Debt by Karina Halle Cover Reveal

Alicia here, with another cover reveal for today! This one is for Karina Halle's newest, which I am dying to read! I just loooove her books.



We are very thrilled to bring to you the cover for THE DEBT by Karina Halle releasing on August 29.  

  The Debt AMAZON    

Her life changed in an instant. 

And he's the only one who could have prevented it. 

Jessica Charles shouldn't have even been in London when the unthinkable happened. 

She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, preparing the baby shower for her sister, or teaching her yoga classes. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always. 

But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica's world changed forever. 

 Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes. 

That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again. 

Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you've got pretty much the perfect Scotsman. 

Except Keir is anything but perfect. He's got a past he's running away from and a guilty conscience he can't seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.

And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart. 

He may have been a stranger to her. 

But she’s never been a stranger to him.  




Halle Headshot Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books. 

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK. 

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


Stealing Home by Nicole Williams Cover Reveal

Alicia here, with the cover reveal for Nicole William's newest book, Stealing Home. I've loved the books by her that I've read, so I can't wait to read this one.



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Being the only woman working for a professional baseball team isn’t easy. As the San Diego Shock’s newest athletic trainer, Allie knows all about long hours, endless travel, and warding off players’ advances. Given she’s already the subject of a handful of rumors about how “lucky” she was to have earned such a coveted position, she can’t so much as flutter an eyelash a player’s way if she wants to be taken seriously.

But number eleven is doing more than fluttering eyelashes Allie’s way. Far more. Luke Archer is at the top of his game and doesn’t let the fear of striking out keep him from swinging. This is a motto he applies both on and off the field, but Allie appears immune, seeming to view Luke as nothing more than caution tape on legs.

He’s a player, and in Allie’s experience, they’re all the same. She won’t risk her job or her heart to another one, no matter how different this one claims to be. But as Allie gets to know him, she discovers the number eleven the public thinks they know is very different from the real Luke Archer. He seems too good to be true.

And maybe he is.

Allie will have to confront the stories attached to a player of Luke Archer’s stature and decide who she’ll put her faith in—The man she’s falling for? Or the rumors?

Coming July 10th

Pre-order exclusively on iBooks HERE

Add to your Goodreads shelf now.


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“Hey.” Archer slid next to me on the bench after jogging into the dugout.
           “Hey,” I replied, trying to ignore that same mix of sweat and man closing in around me when he slid closer. Along with it came the hint of grass and leather. It should have been offensive, but it was the opposite. I loved this sport and everything that came with it—the scents included.
           “So how do you like playing football?” I asked, keeping a straight face.
           “Please, football players have it easy with all that padding and protection. I’m going to look like I got tuned up by a tire iron tomorrow.” He turned his forearms over, and I could already make out a few bruises breaking to the surface.
           “You want something for the pain?” I reached down for my duffel bag.
           “Do I ever want something for the pain?”
           “Fine.” I tucked the bag back under the bench. The bruises weren’t bad—he’d survive.
           “But I wouldn’t mind a nice deep-tissue massage later. Let’s say ten o’clock. My room. Clothing optional.” He kept his voice quiet, smirking at the field as the Rays threw a few warm-up balls.
           “No pressure,” I said under my breath.
           His smirk grew. “No pressure.”
           When Coach paced down the dugout past us, Archer casually shifted farther down the bench from me, his smirk fading.
           “I want to steal home.” Archer scooted back closer to me once Coach’s and the other players’ attention was on Hernandez stepping up to the plate.
“No one steals home anymore.”
“Doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”
His arm was brushing against mine, messing with my head. “Doesn’t mean it should be done either.”
“We need a run. We need a big play.” He sucked in a breath when Hernandez swung at the pitch . . . and missed. Strike one. “If Hernandez and Garfield can get on base and I hit a double or a triple, we’ll be in good shape.”
“Or you could just hit one of those homerun things you’re setting records for. That could work.” I glanced at him from the corners of my eyes.
He shook his head at me.
“Stealing home plate?” I repeated, realizing he was serious. “It’s like a one-in-a-thousand shot you’ll pull it off.”
“Never tell me the odds. It only makes me want to do it more.” His jaw ground when Hernandez chalked up another swing and a miss.
“Play it safe. I know you’re favoring your right leg.” My gaze dropped to his leg running down the length of mine. “I don’t know what you did to it, but I know it’s hurting. Don’t risk injuring it any more.” When his jaw set a little, I sighed. “Am I going to have to tell Coach?”
“I just twisted it weird. It’s fine. A little ice and rest and I’ll be good.”
“Is this when you tell me you’re going to walk it off?”
It wasn’t affecting his performance much, but he’d need speed and luck to steal home. With the way he was favoring his leg, speed was not in his corner tonight.
“No. This is when I show you I’m going to walk it off. Right after I add another point to our side of the scoreboard when I steal home.”
When Shepherd glanced down the bench, I reached into my duffel so it looked like I had a reason to be having a conversation with the star player. Instead of the real reason we were having a conversation.
“Don’t steal home,” I said once Shepherd’s attention went back to the game. When Archer sighed, I added, “Not as in not ever. Just wait until the time’s right. When you know you’ll be successful.”
He looked ready to argue when pitch number three sailed at Hernandez and he connected with the ball, sending a whizzing line-drive into left field. Hernandez turned on the jets and hauled to first base, making it right before the ball smacked into the first baseman’s glove.
The dugout let loose with a round of whistles and cheers.
“I’m on deck.”
“Good luck.” I nudged his leg with mine as he stood.
“Hey, I’ve got my lucky shirt on. I’m all set.” He slid off his ball cap and sailed it into my lap.
“Yeah, but it’s been washed a few times since I was in it. Not sure how much luck’s left in it.”
           “I’m feeling pretty damn lucky.” He pinched at the shirt before slipping a batting helmet onto his head. “But don’t worry. I fully plan on having my jersey draped around your body again soon.”
My eyes wandered down the dugout. No one was watching—they were too busy holding their breaths as Garfield sauntered up to the plate.
“Don’t steal home.”
“Make me a better offer, and I’ll consider it.” He paused for a heartbeat, challenging me with his eyes. When my lips stayed sealed, he climbed the steps out of the dugout. “Home plate it is.”

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.