2020 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

Posted December 13, 2019 / Book Challenges, Features / 1 Comment
2020 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

I’ve been doing these resolutions for the past couple of years and found that it’s a really nice way to keep track of some goals for the upcoming year. I’ll be honest when I say that generally “resolutions” or the “clean slate of a new year” isn’t my shtick, but sometimes the marking of a new year just helps when setting new goals. It’s an easy marker of time and that’s about it. You can find 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 resolutions as well. Continue to not feel pressured to read and enjoy other hobbies | As usual, this stays on my list for the next year! I always want to make sure I balance out my days/weeks with reading, audiobooks, podcasts, YouTube, other TV shows, and spending quality time with Chris. My goal of 120 books was super manageable last year because, as usual, I got a little ahead during certain months and it balanced out for later months with less reading. Read 50% or less contemporary novels | Yet again, can I make this one work?! I really hope the challenges below help me read more mysteries and other genres. I got VERY close in 2019 with reading other genres. Curate a monthly TBR with a lot of variety | I’m planning a post for this in the new year as an update to last year’s Anatomy of a TBR Post. I want to do a better job of really adding variety, including backlist titles and other genre requirements, to make my […]

Blog Tour: A Wedding in December

Posted December 11, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour: A Wedding in December

Purchase Links: Harlequin || Indiebound || Amazon || Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million || Target || Walmart || Kobo || iBooks || Google I can’t lie: for the past few years I’ve generally avoided most books about weddings and/or being a bridesmaid. I’ve been in too many weddings recently ($$$) and was genuinely tired of thinking about them! It sucked though, frankly, because I usually would love reading about weddings and wedding/event planners! I’m glad that I have a few less weddings on my plate now… minus the planning of my own… so I was excited to dive into this holiday-centered one! This book is centered around Rosie’s wedding in Aspen, Colorado, and her family flying in from their home country of England. A lot of things could go wrong, as her parents are living separately and on the brink of divorce while her sister Katie thinks Rosie is making a mistake. Meanwhile, Rosie herself is having second thoughts about this whirlwind romance and Christmas Eve wedding. Aspen was such a perfect setting for this story! I was a little sad, like Rosie’s mother was, at the beginning of the novel when she was discussing Christmas in their English cottage. Now THAT sounded like a book I wanted to read! However, like I said, Aspen is such a great snowy setting for a book like this. I’ve always wanted to go there and now I do even more. I had just watched the movie Love the Coopers before I started reading this and was hoping it would have […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #265: Freebie

Posted December 10, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 2 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #265: Freebie

Anticipated Sequels for 2020 Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I know that the “anticipated reads for the first half of 2020” prompt is coming up early next year, so I thought I would use this freebie prompt to talk about the next-books-in-a-series / sequels I’m most excited about for most of 2020 (not just the first half either!). I’m going by the Goodreads release date or year, so apologies if these change or aren’t 100% certain, but that’s what I’m going with for now! “Legit” Sequels This category contains books that are direct sequels to the previous book, for the most part (or from what I can tell!) There may be one somewhat exception to this rule, but these generally continue the plot from the previous book as a sequel and feature the same characters. One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus | I really loved the first book and was surprised to see a sequel get announced! You rarely get that in a murder mystery where things are fully wrapped up by the end of book one. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer | I can’t believe how long this book took me to finally […]

#AllIWantForeverReadALong Kickoff and Miranda Liasson Interview

Posted December 9, 2019 / Book Challenges, Features / 0 Comments
#AllIWantForeverReadALong Kickoff and Miranda Liasson Interview

Welcome to the kickoff for the All I Want For Christmas is You Readalong that I’m co-hosting with Forever Romance! Like last year’s read of Jenny Hale’s Christmassy book, we’ll be reading and sharing thoughts on Twitter and Instagram. I wanted to take a minute to remind you all that we are starting TODAY and hopefully you’d like to join us! Schedule 🎄December 9: Chapter 1-5 🎄December 10: Chapter 6-10 🎄December 11: Chapter 11-15 🎄December 12: Chapter 16-20 🎄December 13: Chapter 21-Epilogue Interview with Miranda Liasson What was your inspiration for the Angel Falls setting? What are some of your favorite restaurants or establishments to write about in the small town? There’s a village about an hour away from where I live in Northeast Ohio called Chagrin Falls. I  got to know it a little better a few years ago when I had to drive my kids there for SAT prep classes. I would drop them off and then take my laptop to the local coffee shop and hang out there while they did their thing. In the process, I got to explore the Main Street, see the pretty old homes, and check out the falls which are in the middle of the downtown. There is a beautiful park next to the river where they hold art shows and other events. It’s probably the prettiest small town I’ve ever seen, and it’s filled with theater, arts, activities, etc.—very vibrant. I was excited that my editor let me locate a small town in […]

Lauren Lately | Nov-Dec 2019

Posted December 7, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 1 Comment
Lauren Lately | Nov-Dec 2019

You can read my monthly Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups to learn about the bookish and blog-related things I’ve accomplished. Lauren Lately was created to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals. What I’ve Been Up To Since my last post in mid-November, I had brunch with Chris’s sister, her husband, and Chris. We were supposed to try this place with bottomless mimosas but they had some weird reason for shutting down. Instead, we went to one of my favorite places and there was an amazing buffet. I drove myself over to An Unlikely Story for the QUEEN OF NOTHING release event (which I’ve already posted about) and took the following day off from work. I had some amazing wings for dinner with my friends, who I’ve been trying to see monthly. Right before Thanksgiving was the Jonas Brothers concert with Chris’s sister and mom! It was so fun despite the issues we had with the people who were sitting near us. The next morning, Jen and I got lunch at our favorite spot… and yes we ordered the exact same meal. Thanksgiving followed shortly after. We did my Nana’s house in the morning with my family and then went over to Chris’s parents’ house in the afternoon. We made it into a comfy/onesie-themed event. I wore a deer onesie, his sister was a koala, brother-in-law was a monkey, and Chris was Snorlax. We […]

Holiday Reviews: The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission and 10 Blind Dates

Posted December 6, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission and 10 Blind Dates

Story I was excited when I got approved for this holiday novella and first “book” in the Boots and Bouquets series. It seems like these books will center around the Bellini family’s winery (Red Moss Vineyard), where the entire family hosts weddings and – obviously – makes some wine! There are a number of siblings and parents who work there, so this novella did a good job of setting the stage for the series and introducing the characters. Aside from that, Alice meets Clay (the rancher next door) when they’re forced to sleep over the vineyard. They have some instant chemistry but she still pushes the idea of utilizing her matchmaking service on him. They end up spending more time together and boy did this get steamy for such a short little book! I love when I can FEEL the chemistry between the characters in such a short book. Very strong instalove here but it is what it is. Some things were too convenient, like how his house was EXACTLY like the house she’d always wanted?? Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The main reason that Alice is stuck at the Bellini vineyard is because of a major unexpected snowstorm, which certainly added to the winter vibes of this one. It takes place in December because her friends’ wedding is an OUTDOOR ceremony then (yikes). Being snowed in with a potential romantic partner is one of my favorite holiday book tropes! There were some good Christmas decor moments and the snowiness […]

Holiday Decor Home Tour

Posted December 5, 2019 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 1 Comment
Holiday Decor Home Tour

I try to share my super basic holiday decor each season, and this year is no exception! It’s very similar to last year but we managed to move a few things around differently. I also added a couple other decor elements after consulting with Chris that we were just missing a little something. He’s very much a “we’ll do Christmas after Thanksgiving” kind of person, while I prefer to start on November 1st, so we usually compromise a bit. I’ll watch my movies and listen to music all throughout November and we decorate our house during Thanksgiving weekend (last year it was riiiiight before Thanksgiving lol). So! Here’s what we did over the previous weekend. I would have put the tree up so much earlier but refrained! Chris and I headed to the local farm we went to last year – Cropley’s – to pick out our tree. We had a lot of success in 2018 because we got a much larger tree for the price, based on the size range for each price range at the farm. We spent a little more this year, which annoyed us, but the tree we got is virtually perfect! We put it in our stand on Saturday after Thanksgiving and then had a million errands (and a birthday party) to attend/do. So, we spent our Sunday morning decorating before football! It actually snowed on December 1st up here too, so having the Christmas tree up with the lights during a snowy football Sunday/end […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #264: Holiday

Posted December 3, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 1 Comment
Top Ten Tuesdays #264: Holiday

Holiday Reads: Favorite Insta Posts Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I decided to be lazy for a TTT a few weeks ago and just went through my Instagram, pulled some favorite “spooky” or fantasy-esque book posts, and added them in. I decided I’d do the same this time around because I do SO many holiday posts around here through November and December – I don’t want to clog up my blog with the same Christmassy recommendation lists I always give! Instead, I’ll share some of my favorite holiday books or just favorite Christmassy Instagram posts!   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lauren • Bookmark Lit (@bookmark_lit) on Dec 24, 2018 at 6:16am PST   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lauren • Bookmark Lit (@bookmark_lit) on Dec 23, 2018 at 6:22am PST   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lauren • Bookmark Lit (@bookmark_lit) on Dec 8, 2018 at 12:04pm PST   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lauren • Bookmark Lit (@bookmark_lit) on Dec 10, 2018 at 7:03pm PST   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lauren • […]

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | November 2019

Posted December 2, 2019 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 1 Comment
Bookmark Lit Bulletin | November 2019

The Bookmark Lit Bulletin wraps up the last month in reading and what was on the blog, as well as what’s coming up next. You can check out my book haul, books read, posts shared, challenge updates, etc. You can read past bulletins here. If you’re looking for more personal updates, you can check out my Lauren Lately feature; it highlights my life events and non-bookish fun from the previous 30 days. Woof, the end of the month totally snuck up on me! I know it had to do with Thanksgiving being so late, but for some reason I was convinced that Monday was the first instead of Sunday. I therefore ended up finishing less books in November than expected. I had hoped to squeeze in two more but my reading was weird throughout the month. Oh well! On to a lot of Christmas books in December!      All of the books from this month: Check out my 2019 challenge sign-up post for more details, goals, etc.! Popsugar Reading Challenge 2 read this month | 38 read total | 95% complete Monthly Motif Challenge 2 read this month | 26 read total This month: Seasons, elements, weather Retellings Reading Challenge 0 read this month | 7 read total | 70% complete Picky Pledge My goal is to work on Alexa and Hannah’s Picky Pledge, reading one book from my shelves per month that fits a category on this TBR idea list. (I may read more each month but I’ll just highlight one book […]

Review Round Up | Finale, Imaginary Friend, and Call Down the Hawk

Posted November 29, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Finale, Imaginary Friend, and Call Down the Hawk

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I had been putting off FINALE for way too long. I looked at the Monthly Motif challenge for October (“tricks and trades”) and thought it would be great for FINALE… but surely I’d read this highly anticipated release ASAP in May, right?! Nope. I don’t know – I got nervous it wouldn’t be as good as I wanted. In some ways, it wasn’t. In many ways, it was a perfect finale (pun intended for sure) to this story. I don’t necessarily think this book NEEDED to exist in a lot of ways, but I can’t fault Garber for writing it. I loved being back inside this world. I feel like Tella was again the lead character, even though this book alternated between her and Scarlett’s perspectives. Scarlett seemed to have way less chapters? Either way, it was nice to see some love triangles get resolved (a bit annoying both sisters had some semblance of them) and wrap everything up. There were some twists I didn’t see coming but didn’t fully love either. I think Garber has a really accessible writing style, especially considering she writes fantasy books. I always struggle with fantasy and can’t just sit down and read one from start to finish usually. With hers, I totally […]