Friday, August 30, 2019

Latinx Book Bingo & Latinx-a-Thon

From Sept. 15-October 15, it is Latinx Heritage Month. I wanted to start reading more books written by Latinos so I searched for any book challenges that would encourage me to do so. I encountered the Latinx Book Bingo and their read-a-thon. I know I can do the Bingo. I am going to attempt the readathon since that's the week I return to work.
Blurb about Bingo:

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Ebook Review: Sweets and a Stabbing

Image result for sweets and a stabbingAfter a messy divorce, forty-four-year-old Amelia Harley has taken back her maiden name and decided to sell homemade cupcakes out of a food truck. With the help of her two teenage kids in picking out the name and color of her truck (pink, of course) and using social media to help spread the word, Amelia is ready to roll in Food Truck Alley.

However, a man is found stabbed to death in the dining area, and the young man from the burrito food truck next to Amelia’s is arrested. Matthew is a big, tattooed former gang member, an obvious suspect, but Amelia believes he is innocent.

Can Amelia save an innocent man? Can she make her food truck a success and make her children proud?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Audiobook Review: Forbidden

Image result for forbidden by beverly  audiobook
Read by Kim Staunton
Duration: 9 hours 27 minutes

Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he's always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.

Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won't risk her heart for him. As soon as she's saved enough money from her cooking, she'll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden . . .

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Little Free Library Adventures #8

I went for a drive this weekend and encountered a couple of cute Little Free Libraries (LFL). Here are the two that I found:

La Habra area

Monday, August 26, 2019

His and Hers Review: Kubrick's Game

Danny read this book first and encouraged me to read it. So here's both our reviews:

Image result for kubrick's game
Shawn Hagan, a college film student obsessed with legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, discovers hidden clues in his movies which lead him on a harrowing quest toward a mysterious treasure that Kubrick left behind. Endangered by sinister groups on the same quest, Shawn has no choice but to claim the prize first because in the wrong hands … "It has the power to change the course of history."

Bout of Book 26: Wrap Up!

And that's a wrap!! It was so much fun being able to participate in the Bout of Books Readathon! My goal for this challenge was to be able to read at least 1-2 books and get back into posting on my blog. Well, not only did I accomplish my goals, but I surpassed them!

I read a total of five books: 2 physical books, 1 ebook, and 2 audiobooks. I also published at least 8 different posts this week, which is a lot since I only posted 2 this entire year before. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 7

Bout of BooksChallenges

Stretch Goal

It's the last day of the readathon, so today's challenge is to take a look at the goals you set for the week (if you have them) and decide a) how you can stretch yourself to complete them or b) how you can revise them so you can meet them. Because yes, you can revise your goals! If you didn't set goals for the week, set a small one for yourself today!

My goal for this week is to get back into reading, finish one book, and start writing more blog posts. Guess what? I think I accomplished these goals already. :D In fact, I am reading more now, I finished two books so far, and I've posted a few blog posts. So for my last day of the readathon I'm going to see if I can finish one more book, either audio or physical.

Instagram Photo a Day

For those of you who use Instagram, don't forget to post your daily Bout of Books photo. Find out more on our Bout of Books Instagram page!

Today: Shelfie


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 6


Leave a Review

Did you know? Book reviews help other readers discover new books. For today's challenge, we encourage you to write a review of a book you've read during the readathon (or recently) and publish it where other readers make their purchasing decisions (e.g., Amazon, Goodreads, etc.). Be sure to share it with us.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 5

Bout of BooksChallenges

I Want This Book!

We get excited about books getting adapted into TV shows, movies or plays, but what about media that you want to see as books? Tell us about your favorite story (can be anything - play, TV show, movie, podcast, web series) that you would like to be adapted into a novel!

Thanks for the idea, Ruthsic!

Related image

Thursday, August 22, 2019

My Book Themed Wedding

I got married on June 14th to a wonderful man.

We wanted a simple wedding but our families insisted we put on something a little bigger. Danny and I discussed about this and agreed that it will be bigger but the wedding will depict what WE wanted.

So we decided to have a Literary Themed Wedding, simple but a beautiful one filled with people we loved and of course...books (oh...and belly dancing too. *not pictured in this post*).

Here are some of the book themed items in our wedding:

Bout of Books 26: Day 4

Bout of BooksChallenges

If This, Then That

Put your recommendations hat on, #boutofbooks-ers. For this challenge, pick a book, author, or trope (or whatever!) from your TBR and suggest similar books.

Example 1: If you like Sarah McLean, try Lenora Bell.

Example 2: If you like a modern day, romantic twist on Greek mythology, try Staci Hart's Hearts and Arrows series.

If you like to listen to audiobooks read by more than one reader, then you should try The Magnolia Story by Joanna and Chip Gaines. This production is read by both authors and they read their memoir as if they were telling you stories on a warm summer night while barbecuing. It was fun listening to this book!

Image result for the magnolia story audiobook

You can check out my review of this book here

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 3

Bout of Books Challenges

Recreate Your Favorite Book Cover

Pick your favorite book and recreate it OR reimagine the cover either live (with yourself or a willing participant as the cover art) or drawing, sculpture, crafts, painting, etc.

Thanks for the idea, @vintagevixon94

I have so many favorite books so I decided to challenge myself by picking Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I searched for "Geisha with Fan" (Yes, I know...the book did not have geishas) on Google then used my phone app Photo Lab to create my cover. What do you think? 

His and Hers Review: Ready Player One

Here's another book both Danny & I read. He read the physical copy while I listened to the audiobook.

Image result for ready player one bookIt's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 2

Bout of Books Challenges

Adaptation Aspirations

What book would you like to see adapted for another medium? What would be your preferred format? Movie? TV Show? Broadway musical? Something else? If you want to elaborate even further, who would you cast to play the characters? Who would you want to write the script/screenplay? Write the music? Direct? Are there adaptations that exist that you think could be better? Tell us all about your aspirations for the perfect adaptation!

Thanks for the idea, Emma @ Emma Reads Things

Mine: seems that almost every book is being or already has been adapted to another format. Let's see...I would like to see Lincoln in the Bardo to be turned into a movie.


It was not an easy read for me. So many characters and so much jumping around but you know what...the story was haunting. I'm still thinking about it! And the idea of President Lincoln going to his son's grave and opening it was just heartbreaking. After watching the small 360 video on YouTube, I would like to see how a director would portray the ghosts into a movie.

Book Review: Dream Lake

Image result for dream lake lisa kleypasThey say that opposites attract. But what happens when one has been devastated by betrayal and the other is so jaded that his heart is made of stone? Enter the world of Friday Harbor, an enchanting town in the Pacific Northwest where things are not quite as they seem and where true love might just have a ghost of a chance….

Alex Nolan is as bitter and cynical as they come. One of the three Nolan brothers who call Friday harbor home, he's nothing like Sam or Mark. They actually believe in love; they think the risk of pain is worth the chance of happiness. But Alex battles his demons with the help of a whiskey bottle, and he lives in his own private hell. And then a ghost shows up. Only Alex can see him, Has Alex finally crossed over the threshold to insanity?

Zoë Hoffman is as gentle and romantic as they come. When she meets the startling gorgeous Alex Nolan, all her instincts tell her to run. Even Alex tells her to run. But something in him calls to Zoë, and she forces him to take a look at his life with a clear eye and to open his mind to the possibility that love isn’t for the foolish.

The ghost has been existing in the half-light of this world for decades. He doesn’t know who he is, or why he is stuck in the Nolans’ Victorian house. All he knows is that he loved a girl once. And Alex and Zoë hold the key to unlocking a mystery that keeps him trapped here.

Zoë and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow. But sometimes it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark, and sometimes love can reach beyond time, space, and reason to take hold of hearts that yearn for it…

Monday, August 19, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 1

Bout of BooksChallenges

Introduce Yourself #insixwords

The challenge is simple: introduce yourself on Twitter, Instagram, or on this post using six words, no more, no less. Use the hashtags #boutofbooks and #insixwords so we can learn all about you.

Example: "Needed for survival: books, dogs, coffee."

Mine:  Lover of books who is stubborn.

Instagram Photo a Day

For those of you who use Instagram, don't forget to post your daily Bout of Books photo. Find out more on our Bout of Botoks Instagram page!


Sunday, August 18, 2019

His and Hers Audiobook Review: The Spy

Here's the first book that my hubby and I listened to together. :)
Image result for the spy audiobook by pauloRead by Hillary Huber & Paul Boehmer
Length: 4 hours

In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history's most enigmatic women: Mata Hari.


When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city.

As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men.

But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage.

Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Audiobook Review: The Magnolia Story

Image result for the magnolia story audiobookRead by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Length: 5 hours

Are you ready to see your fixer upper?

These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.

The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.
They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.

In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:

-The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby -Joanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children -When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck -Joanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home -Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple -Memories and photos from Chip and Jo’s wedding -The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do -The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way

And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Bout of Books #26

Bout of Books

Yay! It's that time and I really need to do this. It is pathetic how little have read this year, let alone how little I have written reviews. My goal for this read-a-thon is not only read, but to write my reviews as well. Wish me good luck!

Here's a blurb about the read-a-thon:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th 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 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Want to join, click here.

Can't wait to see what everyone else reading this week!


Surviving (Literally)

Hello Readers,

I know, I know...I sound like a broken record when I say that I was busy and that I'm going to start blogging again. But I promise...So much has happened since my last post. 

First off, I got married. :)
I had a Literature themed wedding so I'll be creating a  separate post showing all the wonderful book themed items in my wedding.