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text 2018-12-10 07:10
Book Blitz - Shopping For A Baby’s First Christmas

 

Shopping for a Baby’s First Christmas

By: Julia Kent

(Shopping, #15)

Publication date: December 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

 

My mother wants all her kids and grandkids to spend Christmas Eve at her house and wake up on Christmas morning together.

 

Sounds reasonable, right?

And it would be.

If it weren’t my mother.

 

My husband, Declan, is protesting any involvement, though he’s openly intrigued by the idea of claiming his territory by suggesting we have sex in my childhood bed.

 

And by ‘suggest,’ I mean make a series of really hot offers that make me whimper when I have to say no.

 

Wait – why am I saying no again?

 

Mom has turned her house into a Christmas showcase that makes Frankenmuth look like the picked-over clearance rack at Target on December 26. You know those crazy people on Etsy who make felted gnomes out of belly button lint and use … a certain kind of hair… to make thatched roofs on little decorative elf homes?

 

Those people are saner than my mother.

 

There is no force of nature stronger — and more emotionally volatile — than a fifty-something grandmother determined to create holiday memories.

 

Wait a minute. Maybe there is.

 

My husband.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

/ iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

“Mmmmm,” I hear myself purring as I open my eyes in the big king-size bed at our Victorian B&B here in the Berkshires. A bed that I can stretch out in, because I smell coffee from afar and Dec isn’t between the sheets.

 

Neither is our seven-month-old daughter, Ellie.

 

I have the entire bed to myself. I might be married to a billionaire, but when you’re the mother of a clingy baby, this right here is true luxury.

 

A whiff of cinnamon accompanies that coffee and now I wonder if I’m dreaming. My naked body rolls against the high-thread-count Egyptian cotton and my legs are smooth. As I stretch, I realize my nipples are free. No one is touching me.

 

This must be a dream.

 

In real life, there would be a baby babbling “Da da da da da” in tones that either mean happiness, terror, hunger, or plain old pay-attention-to-me-now-because-I-am-the-center-of-the-universe, you-underling.

 

But not now.

 

In real life, there are always busy fingers exploring my ears and pulling my earrings and poking into my my mouth when I try to talk on the phone.

 

And in real life, little teeth bite down, hard, when my milk runs out.

 

So I must be dreaming, because as I open my eyes, a handsome, hot, endlessly naked man is smiling at me, hair tousled over his forehead as he holds two steaming mugs of coffee and says in a low, happy voice, “You’re up!”

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Gillian has a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering but prefers to spend her time on happily ever after. She writes the kind of stories she loves to read—the hotter the better!

 

When Gillian’s not pounding away on the keyboard, she can be found surfing the couch indulging in her latest reality tv fixation, baking something ridiculously tasty (and horrible for her waist line) or snuggling with her husband.

 

Home is currently in the wilds of Nevada with her amazing husband, ridiculously cute kiddo, and goofy dog.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Bookbub / Amazon

 

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text 2018-12-10 02:40
Greetings from Slumpville.

I have reached rock bottom and denial is no longer working for me.  The rationalisation that life has been so busy!, no matter how true it might be, no longer holds up when you'd rather stare at your fingernails than pick up your book.

 

I'm in the mother of all reading slumps.

 

 

I've been reading a 160-something page book now for over a week.  It's not the author's best effort, but it certainly isn't that bad.  And I can't blame it on the book either.  I am overflowing with literary ennui.  

 

It will pass, as all things do, and I certainly do have more than enough happening in RL at the moment to keep me from fretting over the giant pink book slump in the middle of the room.  I long ago hit my book goals for the year, so there's no pressure to read either.  

 

But it would be nice if that giant pink book slump would haul its carcass out of here sooner rather than later; it's sitting in my favourite chair and hogging all the good light.

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review 2018-12-10 00:16
24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 - Mawlid, Book
Candy Cane Murder - Leslie Meier,Laura Levine,Joanne Fluke,Suzanne Toren

Well, let's just say that none of these three ladies is anywhere near Donna Andrews's league when it comes to cozy mysteries, plotting, character creation, dialogue, and a writer's craft in general.  And if I thought Joanna Fluke's entry was disappointing (mediocre plotting and dialogue, character responses that felt forced / didn't make sense, and one of my no-go TSTL behavior tropes as the "big reveal" cue (though I have to hand it to Fluke, the setting and overall scene of the final confrontation with the murderer was inspired)), I'm sorry to have to say that Leslie Meier's contribution did even less for me -- you could scratch off the Hallmark sugar coating with a shovel, virtually NONE of the characters' actions and responses bore even the slightest semblance of realism,  and she managed to make 1980s rural Maine come across as more backward than it probably was even in the 1940s and 1950s (while also looking more dripping-with-saccharine-style-homely than any Norman Rockwell picture -- and for the record, I like Norman Rockwell.  Or at least I like his Christmas pictures.)

 

Laura Levine's entry fared a bit better (I'd call it the book's highlight if such a term were appropriate for a muted glow in the midst of two seriously dulled lights); at least she took me right back to L.A. inside my head and the plotting was halfway decent.  But her story seriously suffered from an overabundance of quirky characters, not-very-subtle hints at the MC's padded waistline and her resolutions to do something about it (in which she predictably fails on every single occasion -- and yes, I know this actually is an L.A. thing; been there and would have bought the T-shirt, too, if I'd found it funny then, but the last thing I want is to have this sort of fad jammed up my nose with a sledgehammer in a book) -- and an equal overabundance of wannabe hipster slang and coloquialisms ... everything from repeated exclamations like "ugh!", "oh golly!" and "drat!" to "bet my bottom cupcake" (and yes, even there she goes again with the calorie stuff).  Oh, and the MC's conversations with her cat and said cat's female-Garfield act got old pretty soon as well.

 

Oh well.  If nothing else, this has made me appreciate the consistently high quality of Donna Andrews's writing even more -- I'll happily be returning to her for my cozy contemporary Christmas mysteries (I just hope she'll reliably continue to produce them for the foreseeable future).

 

I may try some of the recipes included in this book eventually, though.

 

Since the audiobook I listened to has a green cover, I'll be using this as my book for the Mawlid square.

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review 2018-12-09 19:29
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book One
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze

I read this for one of my summer classes. We had to read and annotate 10 comics/graphic novels. Here's the annotation I wrote for that class:

 

Queen Shuri has vanished, and T’Challa returns home to a people on the edge of revolt and the threat of war from the neighboring country Niganda.

 

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet is not the easiest entry point to T’Challa’s story. Knowledge from the film assuaged some confusion, but there were still moments where I felt I was missing out because of my lack of knowledge. Since this is the first book in an ongoing series, there's a lot of set up but very little resolution.

 

The most striking aspect of the book is that, with the exception of one character, every single character in the book is Black. And the best aspect of the book is those characters. Black Panther is populated with complex characters, including several strong, active, remarkable women. In the book, there are clear protagonists and antagonists but there is a much less clear divide between the “good guys” and “bad guys.” T’Challa is the hero of the story, a story which opens with him assailing his own people. Aneka is removed from the Dora Milaje and punished for breaking a law even though her actions were morally right. These moral ambiguities create tension that drive the story forward.

 

Black Panther is not a book to pick up and read on a whim. It demands readers’ attention and concentration, and rewards it well. When I finished I wished I had Book Two in hand because I need to know what will happen next.

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text 2018-12-09 19:28
Stranded! Book Swap 2018

So nearly a week later, I've found a minute to post my box.  Mallory, thank you so much, I love it!

 

Where to start?  Okay, how cleaver were you to send me a message in a bottle?!  I never thought to do that and was tickled by it.  I adore the wrapping paper and the fact that I got to open a box AND unwrap gifts!  As you can see the hat and gloves are loved and look great on me (orange is so my color.)  Pocky and Ferrero Rocher are total faves!  The lint brush, first aid kit, and hand sanitizer were also very cleaver and will definitely be put to use.  I'm a stationery freak so all of those supplies are in good hands.  I have not crocheted for years, but I've been itching to get back into it as well as learn how to knit, and this just added fuel to the fire, so thank you!  I love tea and peppermint so I cannot wait to try the tea.  I LOVE my sailor scouts (my oldest daughter was so jealous.)  I adore Melissa Joan Hart--especially Clarissa Explains It All--and who didn't love Bob Saget growing up?!  I also enjoy a good (auto)biography, so great choices.  And I got an awesome backpack to carry all of my survival gear in. 

 

Thank you so much, this box was absolutely: 

 

I feel like my box pales in comparison; however I always feel like that, so that's just a me thing.  I cannot wait to see the rest of the boxes; so far they are all looking wonderful (as per usual.)  This group is awesome and I'm so glad I joined.

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