Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 Update

This has been a brilliant month. Maybe not so much the reading but my holiday to the Yukon river in Canada. We have taken the picture above ourselves when we came upon a bear when we rounded a corner of the river.
I did have time to read on this holiday and I have read all in all 23 books, none of them long books but it still totals 6551 pages.
I am not a poetry person but I still enjoyed some of Robert Service's Lake LeBarge and Yukon poetry while actually being there.

All posts for July are HERE.

List of books:
  1. Drip Drop Teardrop by Samantha Young
  2. The Spell of the Yukon and Other Poems by Robert Service 
  3. After the Storm by M. Stratton
  4. Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk
  5. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
  6. Cart Before the Horse by Bernadette Marie
  7. The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison
  8. The Tiger Princess by Sarah Renee
  9. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
  10. If the Shoe Fits by Laurie LeClair
  11. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 
  12. Your Guardian Angel by Skyla Madi 
  13. Legions by Karice Bolton 
  14. The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver 
  15. Untouched by Robert J. Crane
  16. Champagne and Lemon Drops by Jean Oram
  17. Every Woman For Herself by Trisha Ashley 
  18. A Croft in the Hills by Katharine Stewart
  19. Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance by Penny Reid 
  20. Reckless Nights in Rome by C.C. MacKenzie
  21. One Sweet Summer by Cali MacKay
  22. Texas Secrets: The Gallaghers of Morning Star by Jean Brashear
  23. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crazy Challenge Connection - Let's Play Jeopardy!

 Let's Play Jeopardy! hosted by Crazy Challenge Connection on Goodreads.

LET'S PLAY JEOPARDY!
Timeframe: 8/1/14 to 3/1/15

As with the TV game, we will divide our challenge into Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy, with tasks to complete for each section. Each portion of the game has a specific set of task options. When you have completed the game, you will have read 22 books. You can play the game as many times as you wish.

You must roll all categories for the game before beginning the challenge!

JEOPARDY ROUND (Categories)

* For the Jeopardy round, set the random # here from 1-25 and choose 6 numbers. Match those #'s to the proper category in the Jeopardy section, and those are your 1st 6 topics. Read a book for 1 of the options in each topic.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

* The Jeopardy round contains one Daily Double. To complete the DD, you must read 1 extra book in any of the topics you chose, using one of the other task options for that category.
1.


When you have completed the Jeopardy round, move on to Double Jeopardy.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY (categories)

* For Double Jeopardy, set the random # again here from 1-25 and choose 6 more numbers, this time from the Double Jeopardy section. Now you must read 2 books per category/task. Each of the two books must be from a different task option within the category. These 12 books must be finished before moving on to Final Jeopardy.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

* The Double Jeopardy round contains two Daily Doubles. To complete these DD, you must read 2 more books, choosing any of the categories listed below as Double Jeopardy tasks.
1.
2.


FINAL JEOPARDY

* For Final Jeopardy, set the random # here from 1-50 and choose a category, but this should not be one of the categories you used for either of the previous two rounds. Then complete one task from that category.
1.

Congratulations--you're a champion! 


I have joined another challenge. A challenge set up as the Jeopardy game and with a lot of different tasks to do.

This is the tasks I have to do according to my random roll.

Jeopardy: Read 1 book from each task + 1 extra from one of them for Daily Double

J-19: Ships – Read a book with a boat or ship on the cover OR a book that is set, at least partially, on a ship OR a book with a title that is only 4 letters.
Dragonsblood by Todd J. McCaffrey 

J-10:Fashion – Read a book set in New York City or Paris OR with a character who is fashion-conscious OR a book published in 2013 or 2014.
Macaron Murder by Harper Lin 

J-11: Feathered Friends – Read a book with feathers on the cover OR book with a type of bird in the title OR where the author’s first AND last initials are found in FEATHEREDFRIENDS.
Casino Royale: James Bond 007 by Ian Fleming 

J-16: The Plant Kingdom – Read a book with a title that starts with a letter in PLANT OR with a green cover OR a book that is set wholly in one location.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

J-6: Colleges & Universities – Read a book set in a high school or college OR with a character who is a teacher OR a book with a highly intelligent character OR with a cover that shows a color representing your alma mater. (Tell us the school and the school colors. It can be college, high school, or elementary school.)
Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

J-14: Languages – Read a book that has been translated from another language into English OR a book with some sort of foreign word in the title OR includes some sort of communication format (email, diary, letter, text).
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Daily Double: The book fits 2 jeopardy tasks: J-19: Ships – a book with a title that is only 4 letters + J-10:Fashion – a character who is fashion-conscious
Kept by Elle Field

Double Jeopardy: Read 2 books from each task + 1 extra from two of them for Daily Double

DJ-21:Table Manners – Read a book with any place setting item on the cover (fork, spoon, knife, plate, cup, napkin) OR with a character or author with the name Amy or Vanderbilt or Emily or Post (No other names will be accepted.) OR a book where the characters eat a meal together.
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (meal together)
Monsters by C. Gockel (Main character is Amy)

DJ-19: Sports – Read a book with a character who plays a sport OR a non-fiction book about sports OR a book with at least 3 people on the cover.
A Dangerous Witch by Debora Geary (at least 3 people on cover)
Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (book about baseball players)

DJ-7: The Civil War – Read a book set in the 1800’s OR a book with “War” on the main genre page OR a book with a hat on the cover. (Daily Double)
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein  (war)
Dracula by Bram Stoker  (1800)

DJ-20: Storms – Read a book with a natural disaster OR with the word STORM (or some other precipitation word) in the title OR with a storm of some kind that occurs in the story.
Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl (storm while they sail)
quiet storm by Romanus Gabriel  (Storm in title)

DJ-8: Constellations – Read a book with a star or any geometric shape on the cover OR with “Astronomy” or “Science” on the main genre page OR a book where the author’s first AND last initial can be found in CONSTELLATION.
The Marriage Bargain by Sandra Edwards
The Magician by Michael Scott (geometric shapes on cover)

DJ-9: Crime & Punishment – Read a book marked “True Crime” on the main genre page (Daily Double) OR with an author whose last initial is C or P OR any type of weapon on the cover.
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
The Sorceress by Michael Scott 

Daily Double
1. True of Blood by Bonnie Lamer
2. PARENTS WHO KILLED THEIR CHILDREN: FILICIDE by R.J. Parker

Final Jeopardy:

43 (=DJ18):
Shakespeare – Read a book set in England OR read a play (must be 150 pages long) OR read a book with a celebrity or well-known figure involved in the story.
The House At Riverton by Kate Morton 

Books Jeopardy:
  1. Macaron Murder by Harper Lin 
  2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 
  3. Casino Royale: James Bond 007 by Ian Fleming 
  4. Dragonsblood by Todd J. McCaffrey  
  5. Kept by Elle Field
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky   
  7. Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
  8. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy 
  9. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein 
  10. A Dangerous Witch by Debora Geary 
  11. Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl 
  12. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  13. Monsters by C. Gockel
  14. The Marriage Bargain by Sandra Edwards
  15. Dracula by Bram Stoker 
  16. True of Blood by Bonnie Lamer
  17. Quiet storm by Romanus Gabriel 
  18. The Magician by Michael Scott
  19. The Sorceress by Michael Scott 
  20. PARENTS WHO KILLED THEIR CHILDREN: FILICIDE by R.J. Parker 
  21. Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella  
  22. The House At Riverton by Kate Morton 

    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly roll # 24

    Monopoly hosted by Crazy Challenge Connection on Goodreads.

    Roll #24






    GO - Everyone starts here.
    If you land on Go, you can either treat it as a free space and count any book you'd like, or just roll again and move on :)


    Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter 

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. From Goodreads.





    I have had this book on my TBR list for a while but felt I had to be in the right mood to read it. Well I don't know if I was in the right mood but as I am going to the cinema to see the film in two days time and there was no way I was going to go without having read it first, I just had to read it.

    This is a beautiful book. It is a YA book about teenagers living with and dying of cancer. There is no happy ending to this book. It is of course incredibly emotional as it is about loss but also being able to love at deaths door.
    The characters around Hazel and Augustus are also very interesting and I liked that to some of them there was more to them than what it seemed liked in the beginning.
    This book had me crying but also smiling when the young people were using morbid humour.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Sub-Genre Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (L-quail)
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - 50 States Challenge
    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly
    Crazy Challenge Connection Scrabble, anyone?
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon
    Nothing but Reading Challenges Wheel-A-Thon

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    High Summer Read-a-Thon July 21-27 Finished

    High Summer Read-a-Thon hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict.

    This was a different Read-a-thon for me. The first three days were spent travelling from Canada to Denmark after an absolutely brilliant canoe trip on the Yukon River.
    After this I was more tired than I thought and it didn't help that our check-in baggage, which we could see had stayed behind in Heathrow when we flew to Hamburg, was delivered at 4 am Saturday morning.

    I still reached my goal of 4 books, admittedly not very long books and easy reads, but still 4 books + 1 chapter of a fifth.

    Thank you Michelle for continuing to host these lovely challenges.

    List of books:
    1. A Croft in the Hills by Katharine Stewart 
    2. Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance by Penny Reid
    3. Reckless Nights in Rome by C.C. MacKenzie
    4. One Sweet Summer by Cali MacKay
    5. Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter 

    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly roll # 23

    Monopoly hosted by Crazy Challenge Connection on Goodreads.

    Roll #23






    CHANCE #3: Read a book with a Goodreads rating higher than 3.0.

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green(rating 4,46)

    Texas Secrets: The Gallaghers of Morning Star by Jean Brashear

    Up-and-coming chef Maddie Collins finds out that her father’s life was a lie when she is bequeathed a family homeplace she never knew existed–by the husband of the only woman her father ever loved.
    Rugged horseman Boone Gallagher arrives back in Texas to discover that the father who drove him away has struck one last blow. The only place he’s ever thought of as home now belongs to a woman who doesn’t want it, and he must keep her there for thirty days–or it will be lost to them both
    .
    From Goodreads.





    I enjoyed this more than I expected. I really liked Maddie. It was a quick, easy, predictable read.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection Chinese New Year Challenge
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Sub-Genre Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (M-umbrellabird)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly
    Nothing but Reading Challenges Wheel-A-Thon

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    One Sweet Summer by Cali MacKay

    Riley Carter’s never found anyone who could live up to her first love, Thorsen Black. So imagine her surprise when, twelve years later, he shows up at the unique and quirky inn she manages on Mermaid Isle, off the coast of Maine. The sweet, gangly teen has matured into a sexy and handsome man, leaving her heart desperate to pick up where they left off.
    It’s impossible for her to ignore the way her body instantly reacts to his touch and he's just the distraction she needs when she finds out the owners of the Siren Song Inn are selling it to Holt Enterprises. Holt only has eyes on the bottom line and Riley knows they’ll strip the inn of everything that makes it special, ruining not only the Siren, but devastating the island economy.
    While fighting to save her beloved inn, Riley falls in love with Thorsen all over again. But when she’s faced with the real reason Thorsen’s on the island and his unbearable betrayal, will she be able to save the inn and her chance at true happiness?
    From Goodreads.

    I have read Cali MacKay's Highland Heart series and this new series is kind of a continuation of that as Thorsen was part of that last book.
    This was okay, still predictable but with a bit of suspense.
    I liked her Highland Heart series slightly more than this first book in the Mermaid Isle Romance series.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (O-leopard)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon
    Nothing but Reading Challenges Wheel-A-Thon
    High Summer Read-a-Thon 2014

    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Reckless Nights in Rome by C.C. MacKenzie

    Though the name of her celebration and wedding cake business is up in lights, Bronte Ludlow doesn't care for the trappings of success. All that matters to her is her company, her independence and her heritage,The Dower House. Home to her ancestors since the seventeenth century, no way will she part with it to ‘a man with too much money and no soul’.
    Nico Ferranti’s only passions are money and power... He's a man who stopped believing in romance long ago and Bronte's a romantic, yet the attraction sparking between them like fireworks over the Piazza del Popolo stuns Nico.
    When Bronte's brother is badly hurt in a car accident in Rome, Nico whisks Bronte to the Eternal City. He wants her and he wants The Dower House and Nico Ferranti always gets what he wants.
    But Bronte’s heart has already been broken by one ruthless charmer and although tempted she isn’t about to give up either her heart or her home to the charismatic Italian without a fight!
    From Goodreads.

    This was an okay romance. Nico has been trying to buy Bronte's home and now they finally meet. They both have secrets and she also have an awful ex-fiancée wanting revenge. It of course all ends happily and I might read more books from C.C. MacKenzie.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (L-polarbear)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon
    Nothing but Reading Challenges Wheel-A-Thon
    High Summer Read-a-Thon 2014

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Nothing but Reading Challenges Wheel-A-Thon Team Challenge

    Wheel-A-Thon Team Challenge hosted by Nothing but Reading Challenges on Goodreads.

    About this Challenge
    ◈ Starts on 13th July, 2014
    ◈ The first team to reach 2000 points wins (If more than one team reaches 1000 points in the same week, then the team with the highest points is the winner)
    ◈ Each week the mods will "spin the wheel" and assign each team a genre name
    ◈ The team's task is to read books to spell out the genre name for 10 points per letter
    ◈ The team will get an extra 15 bonus points if all the letters in the genre name are part of their spell-it-out
    ◈ The team will get an additional 20 bonus points if at least one person in the group reads a book of that genre (the book must be "shelved" by at least 10 users on Goodreads for that genre)
    ◈ Once teams have read their genre name for the week they can "re-read" the genre name to gain more points (10 points per letter, but no bonus points)
    ◈ Books must be more than 160 pages in length and Children's books and Graphic Novels can not be used unless by word count they can be verified as more than 160 pages

    How a "spell it out" works
    Spell out the word(s) using the first letter in the book's title, the first letter in the author's first or last name, the first letter in the series name, or the first letter of a character's first, last, or nick-name. As always, if the first letter of a title starts with an indefinite or definite article ('A', 'An', 'The', etc.), you may use the first letter of the second word in the title to spell out your chosen word. If your book starts with a number (e.g. 24 Bones) use the number to determine the first letter (in this example, it would be T)

    Challenge requirements

    To be a part of this challenge you need to be able to:
    ◈ Read at least one book per week
    ◈ Create a special shelf for the challenge for the books you are reading
    ◈ Check-in on your team's discussion thread at least once per week
    ◈ Have fun!


    This challenge started the 13th of July and at this point I was canoeing on The Yukon river in Canada. When I came to Dawson City the 20th of July I signed up as an extra and I was really happy to be accepted for Team Hook on the 24th of July.

    Books for this challenge:

    Week 1: Horror:
    I was not part of the challenge yet

    Week 2: Horror:
    A Croft in the Hills by Katharine Stewart ( H for character Helen)
    Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance by Penny Reid  (R for author)
    Reckless Nights in Rome by C.C. MacKenzie (R for title)
    One Sweet Summer by Cali MacKay (O for title)

    Week 3: Chick lit:
    Texas Secrets: The Gallaghers of Morning Star by Jean Brashear (C for character Maddie Collins)
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (H for character Hazel)
    Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter (I for title)

    Week 4: Crime
    Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer (I for title)
    Macaron Murder by Harper Lin (M for title)
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (I for author)
    Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Kerry Barrett (E for character Esme)
    Casino Royale: James Bond 007 by Ian Fleming (I for author) (also used as genre of the week book)
    Winter's End by Clarissa Cartharn (C for author)
    Hot Summer by Judy Powell (M for character Lance Monroe)

    Week 5: Contemporary
    Gnome on the Range by Jennifer Zane (T for character Ty Strickland)
    Blessings by Anna Quindlen  (A for author)
    Dragonsblood by Todd J. McCaffrey (T for author)
    Forliset Og Andre Skrøner by Jørn Riel  (R for author)

    Week 6: Suspence
    Unruly Magic by Camilla Chafer (U for title)
    Kept by Elle Field (E for author)
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky  (P for title)
    The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (E for character Elrond)

    Week 7: Dystopian
    The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (Y for title)

    High Summer Read-a-Thon July 21-27 - Update

    High Summer Read-a-Thon hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict.

    The start of this read-a-thon coincided with me travelling home from my holiday.

    Monday: Started A Croft in the Hills by Katharine Stewart.
    I had hoped to read on the plane travelling from Dawson City to Whitehorse but but unfortunately I got hit by airsickness the minute we took off.

    Tuesday: Finished A Croft in the Hills by Katharine Stewart . Started Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid.
    Started from Whitehorse via Vancouver to Hamburg.

    Wednesday: Finished Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. Meant to sleep a bit on the plane from Vancouver to Hamburg but didn't succeed, instead finished the book. Got home late evening.

    Thursday: I haven't read anything today as I have been working on adding some of the books I have read in my holiday to my blog.

    Friday: Still sorting all the books I have read on my blog but I have read a short easy romance. Reckless Nights in Rome by C.C. MacKenzie

    Saturday: Went to bed at 2am last night and then got woken up at 4.10am by some people who were bringing my lost luggage. Unfortunately I couldn't sleep after this, so I have been tired all day. Still managed to read One Sweet Summer by Cali MacKay. Another short and easy to read romance.

    Sunday: Started Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter  but only got around to reading one chapter.

    List of books read:
    1. A Croft in the Hills by Katharine Stewart
    2. Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid
    3. Reckless Nights in Rome by C.C. MacKenzie 
    4. One Sweet Summer by Cali MacKay 
    5. Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter 

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance by Penny Reid

    There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.
    After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.
    From Goodreads.






    This was quite a funny read. Janie is a cute, very smart but weird girl. I enjoyed it and found the TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information) funny. I like Janie and also Quinn and the girls from the knitting club. I might read the next books in the series to see how they get their happy endings.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Sub-Genre Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (N-raven)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon
    Nothing but Reading Challenges Wheel-A-Thon
    High Summer Read-a-Thon 2014

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    A Croft in the Hills by Katharine Stewart

    A real classic among Highland books, A Croft in the Hills captures, in simple, moving descriptions, what it was really like trying to make a living out of a hill croft fifty years ago. A couple and their young daughter, fresh from city life, immerse themselves in the practicalities of looking after sheep, cattle and hens, mending fences, baking bread and surviving the worst that Scottish winters can throw at them. From Goodreads.





    I have been looking at this book for a while. This book was quite interesting as I have visited a few crofts in Scotland over the years, mostly uninhabited. This book takes place in the 1950's and shows that even that many years ago it was very difficult to live of a small plot of land. I am full of admiration for the hard work they had to put into it. Katharine Stewart has written more books from the Inverness and Highland area and I might try to get hold of them.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    Read Scotland 2014
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    CCC-Read your age
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon
    Nothing but Reading Challenges Wheel-A-Thon
    High Summer Read-a-Thon 2014

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    High Summer Read-a-Thon July 21-27 - Goals

    High Summer Read-a-Thon Magician Michelle @ The True Book Addict.

    It is nearly time to start and for once I am actually close to the same timezone as Michelle. As I am travelling the first two days of this read-a-thon and then might be jetlagged I will set my goal to 4 books. I am not sure which books I will read but as usual I have a list of books that I might or might not read.

    1. The Magician by Michael Scott
    2. Reckless by Cornelia Funke
    3. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
    4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
    5. Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid 
    6. Mother Nature's Man by Mary Jo Burke 

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

    Crazy Challenge Connection - Let's Build a House! - Finished

    Let's Build a House! hosted by Crazy Challenge Connection on Goodreads.

    I have now finished this challenge, it has been fun building a house with books.

    All posts for this challenge are HERE.

    My Goodreads post.

    1. SITE PREP: The first step in building a new house is to grade and prepare the site. The site-preparation crew typically arrives on the site with a backhoe and/or bulldozer. The crew's job is to clear the site of any trees, rocks and debris, level the site if necessary and dig as necessary for the foundation being built.   Read book #1 in a series OR a book in which a character has to clear away debris of some sort OR a book with an arid desert on the cover. (Post the book cover!)
     Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)

    2. FOUNDATION: No house will last without a good foundation! Slabs, basements and crawl spaces are the three main foundation systems used on houses. In wet and coastal areas, it is sometimes common to put houses up on posts as well.
    Read a book with a swamp or bog on the cover (post the book cover!) OR
    book #2 in a series OR an author’s first published book: 

    A Highland Home by Cali MacKay (Contemporary Highland Romance #2)

    3. FRAMING: Framing makes it start to look like a house. The framing crew is the next group of people on the site. They start by building the floor. The framing crew next starts on the walls. Walls are assembled on the floor and then raised into place.
    Read a book in which a character works in a “blue-collar” job OR
    book #3 in a series OR a book by an author whose first OR last initial can be found in the word FRAMING: 

     A Highland Heist by Cali MacKay (Contemporary Highland Romance #3)

    4. WINDOWS & DOORS: Installation of windows and doors comes next, and the last step to completely enclose the structure is the roof. Most houses use standard asphalt shingles for the roof. The first step is to cover the roof with building paper, commonly called tar paper, then the shingles then go on very quickly.
    Read a book with a window or door on the cover (post the book cover!) OR
    a book that is more than 150 but less than 200 pages long OR book #4 in a series:  

    Baehrly Breathing by Elizabeth A. Reeves (157 pages)


    5. SIDING: Siding goes on next. When this step is complete, the house is "dried in," meaning that it is completely protected from rain. Now interior work can begin.
    Read a book with some form of weather in the title or on the cover (post the book cover!) OR book #5 in a series OR
    a book whose primary cover is a pastel color (post the book cover!):  

    It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet by James Herriot

     


     

    6. ROUGH ELECTRICAL/PLUMBING: The first work done on the interior of the house is rough electrical and rough plumbing work. The electrician first places all of the boxes for electrical outlets, lights and switches. Then he ran wires from the fuse box to each box and between boxes. Rough plumbing involves installing all of the water lines, sewer lines and bathtubs.
    Read a book with some sort of light source on the cover (post the book cover!) OR a book with a lot of explosions OR
    book #6 in a series: 

     My Sweet Valentine by Jill Sanders (The Pride #6)

    7. INSULATION: The walls are then insulated, drywall is hung and underlayment is installed on the floors to provide a solid, level surface for carpet or vinyl floors. For tile floors, a rigid concrete wonder board may be installed.
    Read a book with a character who is level-headed, even in a crisis OR book #7 in a series OR
    a book in which the first letter of every word in the title (ALL words count!) can be found in WONDERBOARD (minimum two-word title):
     
    Ever After by Kim Harrison

    8. COUNTERS & CABINETS: Bathroom and kitchen counters & cabinets go in next. They are aligned on the wall and screwed into the wall studs, then countertops are screwed on top of the cabinets.
    Read book #8 in a series OR a book with a “stud” in the story or on the cover (post the book cover!) OR
    a book in which a character works in the food industry:  

    Cart Before the Horse by Bernadette Marie (Gabe owns a bar/restaurant)

    9. PLUMBERS & ELECTRICIANS: Now the plumbers and electricians come back to finish their work. Sinks, toilet and faucets are installed, as well as the water heater, if that’s not already been done. Light fixtures, wall outlets, switches and cover plates are also installed. HVAC is also finished at this time, including heating and air conditioning unit, the vents and all duct work. Read a book set in the summer months (tell us when the book is set) OR the last (or most recent) book published by an author OR book #9 in a series: 

    The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver (starts as the roses bloom, finishes later in the summer)

    10. INTERIOR DOORS & TRIM: Interior doors, and trim around the doors, windows and baseboards go in at this time, and the interior walls are painted before the flooring – carpet or tile – is installed.
    Read a book whose cover is at least 50% your favorite color (post the book cover!) OR book #10 in a series OR
    an e-book or hard cover book: 

    Untouched by Robert J. Crane

    11. WATER/SEWER LINES: Depending on where the house is located, it will either have a private well and septic system or it will hook up to municipal water and sewer lines. If a private well and septic tank are needed, the contractor will bring in a well-drilling subcontractor and a septic-tank subcontractor. Otherwise, the contractor will call either the municipality or a subcontractor to extend the municipal lines to the house. The plumber will hook up the water and sewer lines.
    Read a book with a body of water on the cover (post the book cover!) OR
    a book set in a small town OR book #11 in a series.  

    Champagne and Lemon Drops by Jean Oram (Blueberry Spring is called a small town in the blurb)

     
    12. PUNCH LIST: Last of all, a “punch list” is created. The builder, sometimes accompanied by the buyer, inspects the house, noting any problems. All problems are tabulated on a punch list, which is then used as a checklist of things to be done before the house is complete.
    Read the last book in a series OR
    a book with a house/cabin/apartment (must be a permanent, personal residence) on the cover (post the book cover!) OR a book in which a character must attend to picky little details.  

    Every Woman For Herself by Trisha Ashley
     
     



    List of books: 
    1. Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews 
    2. A Highland Home by Cali MacKay 
    3. A Highland Heist by Cali MacKay
    4. Baehrly Breathing by Elizabeth A. Reeves
    5. It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet by James Herriot  
    6. My Sweet Valentine by Jill Sanders
    7. Ever After by Kim Harrison 
    8. Cart Before the Horse by Bernadette Marie 
    9. The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver 
    10. Untouched by Robert J. Crane
    11. Champagne and Lemon Drops by Jean Oram
    12. Every Woman For Herself by Trisha Ashley

    Every Woman For Herself by Trisha Ashley

    Every Woman for Herself is a hilarious account of divorce and dating from Sunday Times besteller Trisha Ashley. Perfect for fans of Katie Fforde and Carole Matthews.
    When Charlie’s husband Matt tells her that he wants a divorce she has to start from scratch. Suddenly single, broke and approaching 40 she is forced to return to her childhood home in the Yorkshire moors. 
    Living with her father and eccentric siblings could be considered a challenge but soon Charlie finds her new life somewhat refreshing. Now that she’s single she’s got no need to dye her roots nor to be the perfect wife and she can return to her first love- painting.
    But just as she begins to feel settled, handsome, bad-tempered actor Mace North moves in down the road and starts mixing things up for Charlie in more ways than one …From Goodreads.





    I really like Trisha Ashley's books. They are contemporary romances but with a whole lot of interesting side characters. In this one it is the elderly brother and sister in particular who have always been helping around the house that are interesting. It is of course pretty predictable but it is also very cosy.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Full House Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Let's Build a House
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (E-polarbear)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Scrabble, anyone?
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Champagne and Lemon Drops by Jean Oram

    One woman. Two men. One meddling small town.
    Raised by her older sister in the small town of Blueberry Springs, all Beth Wilkinson wants is to create a family so big she’ll never be alone. Things are going great until her accountant fiancé, Oz, experiences a family trauma, forcing him to rethink everything from his own career to their nuptial plans—leaving Beth alone.
    As Beth works to rediscover her former bold and independent self in hopes of reattracting Oz, she catches the eye of the charming new city doctor, Nash. Not only does he see her as she’d like to be seen, but he knows exactly what he wants from life—and that includes Beth.
    Torn between the two men, as well as two versions of herself, Beth discovers that love and dreams are much more complicated than they seem.
    From Goodreads.





    Pretty bad. I didn't like any of the main characters. Beth and Oz are engaged and Oz decides he needs them to have a break so he can find out who he is. Enter Dr. Nash who knows she is on the rebound but still ends up asking her to marry him. I will probably not read any more books by this author.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    Color Coded Reading Challenge 2014
    2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Let's Build a House
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (O-gecko)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Untouched by Robert J. Crane

    Still haunted by her last encounter with Wolfe and searching for her mother, Sienna Nealon must put aside her personal struggles when a new threat emerges – Aleksandr Gavrikov, a metahuman so powerful, he could destroy entire cities – and he's focused on bringing the Directorate to its knees. From Goodreads.





    Another book that has been on my TBR list ever since I read the first book in this series.
    Sienna Nealon, a metahuman and succubus is at the end of this book finally growing up and coming to terms with who she is and what she can do. There is a twist at the end of the book and I am looking forward to see how that continues in the next book that I already have.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Let's Build a House
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (U-toucan)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Scrabble, anyone?
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

    The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver

    A Vera Wang dress, the reception at a sophisticated London venue, and a guest list that reads like a society gossip column are all the ingredients of Anna Whitehall’s perfect wedding that never was…
    Spending the summer uncovering hidden treasures in a vintage shop, Anna can still vividly remember both her childhood dreams; the first was that she’d become a Prima Ballerina, and dance on stage resplendent in a jewel-encrusted tutu. The second was that at her wedding she would walk down the aisle wearing a collective-gasp-from-the-congregation dress.
    Years ago Anna pirouetted out of her cosy hometown village in a whirl of ambition…but when both of those fairy-tale dreams came crashing down around her ballet shoes, she and fiancée Seb find themselves back in Nettleton, their wedding and careers postponed indefinitely…
    Don’t they say that you can never go home again? Sometimes they don’t get it right… This one summer is showing Anna that your dreams have to grow up with you. And sometimes what you think you wanted is just the opposite of what makes you happy… From Goodreads.

    Okay romance. I liked Anna and her fiancé Seb. Anna has problems being back home in the village Nettleton when her dreams were something completely different. I might read more by this author.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    CCC A-Z Authors 2014
    CCC A-Z Book Titles 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Let's Build a House
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (V-raven)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Legions by Karice Bolton

    As the magical holiday season is disrupted with an afternoon of horror, it becomes apparent that the Legions have begun their uprising around the globe, and Ana does her best to stay strong even though her world has been shattered. It is up to Ana to find the strength within and not fall prey to the dark side as she begins her chase to reclaim what’s rightfully hers.
    Realizing that Ana’s visions alone are not enough to protect them, her family begins her training immediately before she is targeted once more. The Legions will not quit until they get what they want, and they have made it clear that mortals will not be spared, leaving Ana little time to figure out what it is the demons are after.
    As Ana balances her time between chasing after her destiny and spending her time relearning how to fight demons, she learns something about her past that could change why she’s fighting for anything at all. Clues continue to unfold in the form of yellowed letters she finds from Athen buried within an old Tudor home; and her future is signaled in a lone, white rose left for only her to see giving her the strength to persevere. She is determined to not give up faith that she will have it all once more.
    From Goodreads.

    This is the second book of a trilogy. As it is quite a while since I read the first book it took me a few chapters to catch up. Ana a fallen angel, fallen angels are the good guys in this trilogy, is still searching for her mate Athen. She gets visions of fights with demons and they have to win, unfortunately not all visions happen exactly as expected. The book finishes on a cliffhanger. I have the last book and will try to read it soon.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Sub-Genre Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (L-owl)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Your Guardian Angel by Skyla Madi

    For Ruby Moore life is far more complicated than that of your average teen, for she is in no way average. Ruby is a vampire and her life as a vampire is far from traditional.
    It has been one year since her normal life was brutally taken from her. Still adjusting to the shock of the change from mortal to immortal, her world is rocked again and she is taken under the wings of a guardian angel back to Sage Sanctum- a school beyond reach from the vampires that are determined to destroy her.
    There, she is freed from her vampiric chains and her normal needs and urges return. However a new urge arises… Lust. A forbidden lust toward her savior, her guardian angel.
    Attempting to control these desires is difficult, very difficult and when things couldn't possibly get any worse, her situation becomes life or death as someone, somewhere in the school is aiding those who want her dead.
    From Goodreads.


    An interesting concept with Gods and Goddesses hunted by vampires but guarded by guardian angels. Ruby, daughter of a goddess, has been bitten by a vampire and then turned back again. It is not an easy life for a teenager, former vampire, in a goddess high school. It will be interesting to read the next book in this series.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    CCC A-Z Book Titles 2014
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Sub-Genre Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (Y-dragonfly)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly roll # 22

    Monopoly hosted by Crazy Challenge Connection on Goodreads.

    Roll #22






    SHORT LINE RAILROAD: Read the shortest book on your TBR list (or the shortest you can obtain) OR a book with the word “SHORT” or “LINE” in the title OR a book with a line on the cover (just a plain, straight line). 

    Texas Secrets: The Gallaghers of Morning Star by Jean Brashear 166 pages: This according to my To Read shelf is the shortest book over 150 pages on my list - I have not checked other editions or word count.

    The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

    Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding -- is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her? From Goodreads.





    Another book I have had on my TBR pile for a while. I have always loved fairy tales and this seems to be a retelling of an old Russian one which I think I will have to find and read.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge
    CCC A-Z Authors 2014
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (E-leopard)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly
    Crazy Challenge Connection Scrabble, anyone?
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    If the Shoe Fits by Laurie LeClair

    What happens when a modern day Cinderella's dreams don't involve getting married?
    Romance? Love? In this Once Upon A Romance Series Book 1 romantic comedy, Charlotte (Charlie) King doesn't have time for either one. All she wants is her late father's dream to come true by making his beloved King's Department Store thrive again. However, her stepmother has other ideas. Charlie agrees to help her stepmother find grooms for her sheltered stepsisters. In exchange, the stepmother will release her stronghold on the store's budget. After all, one good deed deserves another, right? But, Charlie has no idea what her heart's in for when...
    Alexander (Alex) Royale, dubbed by society newspapers as Prince Charming, arrives for dinner to meet the all-female King family. His ailing grandparents yearn for his marriage and then the baby carriage. Well, that and running the family company. Having unsuccessfully searched for months, Alex doesn't hold out any hope in finding his future bride among the King sisters. However, all his expectations, including his idea of a business-like marriage of convenience, vanish the moment Charlie crashes into him.
    When Alex sets out out to win over Charlotte, he has no idea he has to bargain with the stepmother, secretly buy the store, court Charlotte after the wedding, and, oh yeah, be featured in Charlie's new fairy tale ad campaign, The Charmings, based on them. Can a guy ever get a break?
    The couple never factored in falling in love with each other. Now, faced with losing all their families ever wanted, Charlie and Alex must choose: Do they live their families' dreams or do they finally live their own?
    From Goodreads.


    Okay story, modern retelling of Cinderella. Charlie who is under the thumb of her evil stepmother gets married of to Alex who has to marry because of his grandparents. I might read more of Laurie LeClair's books but only if they are free or very cheap.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Sub-Genre Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (L-narwhal)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Scrabble, anyone?
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

    Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 1330. Nearly seven hundred years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty and Nicholas Flamel lives. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects - the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time. From Goodreads.




    Really good fantasy. I enjoyed this so much I bought the next two books in this series two minutes after finishing this book. As with a lot of fantasy books it is about saving the world from a greater evil, in this book it is Nicholas Flamel and the twins Sophie and Josh.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Romance Readers Reading Challenges: Yahtzee Challenge
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection - Sub-Genre Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (A-toucan)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly roll # 21

    Monopoly hosted by Crazy Challenge Connection on Goodreads.

    Roll #21






    COMMUNITY CHEST #3: Read any book from the CCC Bookshelf (found at the bottom of the group’s main page).

    The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 

    The Tiger Princess by Sarah Renee

    Ten years ago, a devastating fire took the lives of Queen Karenisha and King Makero, leaving a young Saderia orphaned. Nobody knows how the fire was started but it ignited quickly. Too quickly. In ten years the truth has never been discovered...
    Saderia is a curious 10 year old tiger Princess who feels things deeply. Her Aunt Cia and Uncle Jash have taken over the duties of Queen and King and raising Saderia since her parents died in the fire. Her aunt and uncle don't understand Saderia, which she resents.
    But Saderia starts having dreams about the past; dark, disturbing dreams. She has to know the truth. Could her parents have been murdered? Then she finds herself surrounded by more secrets when she discovers a dangerous, ancient royal secret relating to her ancestors.
    At the same time, strange things start happening in the usually peaceful forest. Hard times and disappearances create fear and desperation. Out of the shadows comes a dark, mysterious lion named Dastarius to offer his services and play the hero. But his past is just as shadowed and uncertain as the King and Queen's sudden fiery death.
    Saderia doesn't know who or what to trust but she is desperate to find the truth about the past. She's willing to do anything to get it.
    From Goodreads.

    This was a cute read, very much good versus evil. The tiger princess has to show both courage and bravery and all ends well. Read this as the middle grade book it is and it is very good.

    This book qualifies for:
    2014 Ebook challenge
    2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge
    You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2014
    Crazy Challenge Connection Chinese New Year Challenge
    Crazy Challenge Connection: 1000 Member Celebration!
    Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014
    Nothing but Reading Challenges - Spell it Out - Animal Alphabet (R-raven)
    Crazy Challenge Connection Monopoly
    Crazy Challenge Connection Scrabble, anyone?
    Crazy Challenge Connection Bard of Avon