Bout of Books 21 Update – Day 4

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Thursday did not go well reading wise but was a fun day! I did not meet my reading goal and really I barely read at all, but I had a great time grabbing drinks with my best friend. So my Thursday’s progress is below:

Update

Thursday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 20 minutes
Number of pages I’ve read today: 18 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 518 pages
Books read: Started The Safest Lies
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Thursday

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Friday update, hoping to find lots of time for reading tonight, and lots this weekend as well!!

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Bout of Books 21 Update – Day 3

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Wednesday went well! I was able to find a little time to read during the day and then a little more before bed, so I ended up just meeting my 2 hour goal plus I finished a book. So my Wednesday’s progress is below:

Update

Wednesday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 2 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 177 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 500 pages
Books read: Finished Like Broken China (Review to be posted later today)
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Wednesday

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Thursday update and check back later for my review on Like Broken China!!

Bout of Books 21 Update – Day 1

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Started out strong yesterday for the first day of the read-a-thon! I met my goal of reading 2 hours and I got through a good chunk of reading! I’m trying to balance my work schedule this week so that I can spend more time reading, I have a meeting tonight though so I might be distracted today. So anyways my Monday’s progress is below:

Update

Monday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 3.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 218 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 218 pages (Day one! Ha)
Books read: Finished The Girl in the Tower (see my review here) AND The Crown Prince’s Bride (review to be posted later today)
Challenges: I did the introduce yourself in six words challenge for Monday, posted it on Twitter here

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Tuesday update!!

Bout of Books 21 – Sign Up Post

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So for one of my goals this year to help me focus more on reading and having concentrated time for reading, I am participating in all 3 Bout of Books reading challenges / read-a-thons this year! The first one is next week (luckily its before my busy season at work officially starts).

For those of you who don’t really know much about Bout of Books, it is basically a week-long, no pressure read-a-thon that has been going strong since 2011! Here is a description directly from the Bout of Books blog:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon was created by Amanda @ On a Book Bender on a complete whim in August 2011. It took on a life of its own and was such a hit that Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a somewhat regular occurrence.

  • Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, usually from 12:01am on a Monday through 11:59pm on a Sunday in whatever time zone you are in.
  • It is low pressure, meaning participants are only asked to push themselves to read more than they normally would during any given week. There is no competition between readers.
  • How much time a reader wants, and can commit, to read, tweet, or network with fellow bloggers is left to individual preference. All challenges and giveaways are optional.
  • Networking with fellow bloggers is actively encouraged, though never required.
  • Use Twitter to post updates throughout the read-a-thon. Everyone will be tweeting with the #boutofbooks hashtag.

Since I’m so behind in my reading schedule, this will be a great week to devote to reading and catch up!

Time Devoted to Reading

I plan to read at least 2 hours each day during the week, with hopefully additional hours on Friday. Also the Saturday during Bout of Books I have Goal Day planned but then I have other family plans in the evening so I’m hoping for a good 4 hours of solid reading. And then Sunday I don’t have anything planned other than house work so hopefully a solid 4 hours that day as well.

My Goals

My goals for this read-a-thon are that I’d like to participate in as much as I can: the daily posts plus reading every day.

Books to Read

 

Hopefully I’m actually able to get through all (or at least a few)of those, if so I could at least catch up with one week of books which would be great. I have a long list of backlog books that I have to catch up with still from 2016 and 2017, but hopefully those will happen over the rest of the year. I’m really looking forward to this week-long reading challenge devoted to reading ! If you do want to join make sure to add yourself to the page’s Sign Up Post by Tuesday, January 9th at 11:59pm! Happy reading!

2017 Monthly Status Update: December

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Well I did not exactly finish strong this year. December was a rough month between work, trying to get ready for the holidays and attending all our family functions and parties. I was able to take some time off after Christmas and I read for a day. But other than that I a m pretty delinquent on my schedule. I’ll be posting on this later today but I’m hoping to catch up on my backlog items during the next year (2018!). So below is my progress for December:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 1
# pages read this month: 262
# books read year-to-date: 97
# pages read year-to-date: 28,921

Other Posts this month:

The Duke of Ice BLOG TOUR!!

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – Still have 26 more to go, plus going to have another 30ish from 2017.
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – During May I participated in the Bout of Books challenge and during August I participated in ARC August so this Goal is checked!
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I think I’m doing better at this, next year I’ll be trying something different with this next year too.
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I did a good job this year cultivating some relationships

Next Month TBR List:

I have a few that are on my hit list to definitely get to and then I’ll be filling in the list from my backlog as (or if) I have any additional time:

-The Dry by Jane Harper
-The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
-The Crown Prince’s Bride by Donna Alward
-In a Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green
-The Burial Society by Nina Sadowsky

 

2017 Monthly Status Update: November

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I was NOT a good reader this month. Between working way too many hours and the holidays and trying to actually be a human being sometimes, I fell really behind this month. I don’t have many reviews scheduled for December, and I’m hoping things will calm down at work (although I’ve been saying that for over a month) and I’ll be able to catch up a little. And I can’t wait for CHRISTMAS!!!! So below is my progress for November:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 5
# pages read this month: 1,492
# books read year-to-date: 96
# pages read year-to-date: 28,659

Favorite Books I Read:

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The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers – 4.75 stars (great read!)

Other Posts this month:

Romancing the Scot BLOG TOUR!!

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – Still have 26 more to go, plus going to have another 30ish from 2017. Shouldn’t sign up for any 2018 reviews and should just read my backlog LOL – but looks like its already too late for that
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – During May I participated in the Bout of Books challenge and during August I participated in ARC August so this Goal is checked!
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I think I’m doing better at this, this past month I was able to get out a few shorter ones
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I’m doing it, we’ll see how it goes I guess!

Next Month TBR List:

I only have a few scheduled reviews for December so I’m hoping to use any extra room to catch up on the backlog and also to read some books I’ve borrowed from friends and haven’t read (I am awful at that – don’t lend me books if you want them back). Below is my TBR list for December deadlines only though, I’ll keep it loose on the backlog catch up and see how things go. Make sure to check back regularly for some great reads this month as I catch up on my backlog!

-The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
-The Dry by Jane Harper (I’ll be participating in an online book discussion for this one, read it too so you can join in on the discussion!)

Romancing the Scot BLOG TOUR!!

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Romancing the Scot was released TODAY Tuesday, November 14th, and to celebrate I am participating in a Blog Tour for the book! If you haven’t already seen it, you can find my review of the book under Book Reviews on my site (hopefully within the next day!). See below for more information about the book, a short author bio, and an excerpt! This was a good read and I would recommend checking it out!

SUMMARY

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

May McGoldrick author pic.jpgAuthors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Random House, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much Ado About Highlanders, Taming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands with SMP Swerve.

BUY IT HERE! 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0746MLYFZ
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/romancing-the-scot-may-mcgoldrick/1126839723
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781250166906
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/romancing-the-scot
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=7v8tDwAAQBAJ

EXCERPT

51HC8Rw+H2LExcerpt: Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

Looking the shipping crate over for damage and seeing none, he retrieved an iron crow from a workbench. Jo was standing inside the doors, eyeing the box doubtfully from a safe distance.

“Come closer. It won’t bite.”

“Not a chance. From the smell of that thing, a person would think you’re importing cadavers. Have you also taken up being a Resurrectionist as a hobby?”

He patted the crate affectionately. “This sweet thing has been sitting in the bowels of a ship from Antwerp. You know what the hold of a ship smells like?”

“Actually, I don’t.” She held a handkerchief to her nose and drew closer. “But I think you’re correct with the reference to ‘bowels.’”

Hugh took the first nail out. “Well, stand back, since you’ve become so prissy. Though I recall a younger version of you leading the rest of us through bogs and marshes that smelled no better.”

“Of course! But as I recall, we had frogs and turtles and the occasional dragon that needed hunting,” she replied with a smile. “Very well. Open it and let’s see this treasure of yours.”

Prying off the top took him only a moment. Throwing it to the side, he pulled back the tarp that covered the basket and then stared curiously at the dark green rags bundled at the bottom.

Leaning in, Hugh’s enthusiasm evaporated as a horrid realization settled in. This was no pile of old clothing. A shock of blond hair. A shoe. A hand. The body of a dead woman lay curled up in the gondola.

“Bloody hell.”

“What is it?” Immediately, Jo was at his side. “Good God!”

Hugh climbed in and crouched beside the body. He took her hand. She was cold to the touch. His heart sank. The crate had been shipped from Antwerp. To be trapped for so many days with no water, no food, in the cold and damp of the ship’s hold. He had no idea who this woman was or how she came to be in here.

The thought struck him. Perhaps it wasn’t an inadvertent act. Perhaps she was murdered and her body had been dumped into the crate.

Dismay and alarm clawed at him as he pushed away the matted ringlets of golden hair. She was young. He lifted her chin. The body had none of the stiffness of postmortem. He stared at her lips. He may have imagined it but they seemed to have moved.

“Bright . . .” The whisper was a mere rustle of leaves in a breeze.

The fingers jerked and came to life, clutching at his hand.

“She’s not dead,” he called to Jo, relieved. “Send for the doctor. I’ll take her to the house.”

His sister ran out, calling for help, and he lifted the woman. She emitted a low groan. Her limbs had been locked in the same cramped position for so many days. Hugh propped her over the side of the gondola.

“Stay with me,” he encouraged. “Talk to me.”

Holding the woman in place, he clambered from the basket and then gently lifted her out, cradling her in his arms. She weighed next to nothing.

As they went out into the rain, he feared she was about to die. The exertion of trying to breathe showed on her face. He’d seen this on the battlefield. The final effort before death.

Starting up the path, he stumbled, not realizing the woman’s skirts were dragging on the ground. He staggered but caught himself before they went down. Her head lolled against his chest, her face gray and mask-like. She appeared to be slipping away. It would be a shame that she’d survived the crossing only to perish now.

A dagger point of anger pierced Hugh’s brain as he recalled another dismal day when he’d lifted two other bodies, wrapped in burial shrouds, from a wooden box.

“Talk to me,” he ordered. “Say something.”

As he made his way up the hill toward the house, a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky above Baronsford. Thunder shook the ground and the sky opened, unleashing fierce torrents of rain on them.

His wife. His son. Hugh hadn’t been there for them. They’d died as he and the British army were being chased by the French across Spain. He’d been trying to save his men’s lives, not knowing that those most precious to him were suffering.

“You’ve survived a horrifying ordeal. Give me the chance to save you.”

The woman struggled weakly in Hugh’s arms, and her head tipped back. He watched as her lips parted, welcoming the wetness of the falling rain.

“We’re almost there.”

“Bright . . .” she murmured.

He looked into her face and saw she was trying hard to open her eyes.

“Yes, brighter than that crate,” he said, encouraged by her effort. Any movement, however small, gave him hope. “And you’ve been in there for Lord knows how long.”