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text 2017-06-25 04:29
Read-a-thon: 24 in 48! July 2017 | Ani's Plans!

So here is the basic gist of this read-a-thon as copied from the 24 in 48 Readathon site:


Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period.  You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.

After checking my weekend rotation schedule, it looks like I will be off the weekend that this July 2017 24in48 Readathon is to take place!  The thon will be July 22nd and 23rd, and well, look at that!  We're still cruising along with Booklikes-opoly as well!

I'm not entirely sure what books I will be reading for the thon, as, for some reason, I decided to do an early announcement this time.  The past two thons I had always forgotten about them until about a week or two prior to the readathon weekend, so I usually had an idea of what I'd like to read.

But being that BLopoly is sort of dictating my reads for the most part, I'm just going to wing it this time and just create a simple goal to at least finish one and a half to two books.  Why such a funky goal?  Because I typically only end up finishing two books, if the past two 24in48s I participated in are any indication... but usually at least one of those books I had already started reading prior to the thon.

And to top it off, I will also usually start read at least one or two more books... for whatever reason.

Though, I will admit that lately, I haven't really been reading too many books simultaneously.


If I were to make a list of all the books I hope to read, or a list of possible books I would like to be able to read, it would look a little like this:


It's pretty much wide open, my possible choices, and those aren't even all the books I glanced over within the past week and thought: "Hmm, I want to read this next."  So... I think I probably shouldn't speculate on what I'm planning on reading...  Because I want to read ALL THE BOOKS!  But I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen in 48 hours of time, barring time loops and time freezes, or magical speed reading glasses...

Ooh, or time turners!


How many times are we turning this thing, Hermione?  I need at least six or seven (hundred) of these 48 hour thon weekends to complete ALL THE BOOKS.  And remember, NO ONE is sleeping until we're done!

Let's go!




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/06/read-thon-24-in-48-july-2017-anis-plans.html
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text 2017-06-25 03:02
Booklikes-opoly | Roll #21!
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform


Between my Roll #20 on 6/22 and Free Friday #2 on 6/23, I've kept busy with reading.  Although, truthfully, no one is as surprised as I am at how quickly I finished reading all of these books.  I had expected at least another day before I could roll again.  Though to be fair, the two Harlequin books, while not really that enjoyable, were bite-sized and easy to read.

Also, it didn't truly sink in until I started reading The Substitute Sister that I chose two Harlequin Intrigues that have twins in the main role.  I mean, I knew both books involved the MC being a twin sister, but I had a strange flash of surprise reading the first few pages of The Substitute Sister with a "Oh, this book is about twins, too!" moment... even though I already knew that.  -_-

Reviews will be forthcoming soon within the next few days.

For now, here are my activities from the most recent roll:


  • Roll #20.1:  Rolled a double 5 = 10, and landed on Luxury Tax.
    • Read The Mysterious Twin for 256 pages = $6.00, increasing bank to $103.00.
    • The Mysterious Twin has a character who is a millionaire/billionaire.




  • Roll #20.2:  Rolled a 9 and landed on Water Works.
    • Read The Substitute Sister for 240 pages = $6.00, increasing bank to $109.00.
    • The Substitute Sister's book cover has water in the illustration.


In addition to the two books from my twentieth BLopoly roll, I had chosen It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis for my Free Friday Book on 6/23--chosen and started on Friday... and finished on the exact same day because it was fabulous, and addictive, and fun, and... also I don't seem to have much respect for how necessary sleep seems to be.  I finished my Free Friday Read and brought my Bank Balance to $97.00 before making myself proceed into the two books for my 20th BLopoly turn.

With the completion of these three books, my Bank Balance comes to a whopping $109.00!

Now onto the next roll!  Roll #21:


From Water Works, I moved 7 spaces and landed on The Monorail.


Magnetic Monkey: "Did somebody say MORE CARTWHEELS!"

Peek-a-Boo Penni: "Yay!"


I landed on The Monorail sometime at the beginning of the game, and to be honest, the only squares I dread, maybe as equally as the Tomorrowland square, would be the railway station ones.  Because, once again, I've got close to nothing sorted out for these squares, especially the Tomorrowland Station which wants a book about time travel.  Yikes!

Still, of the four railway station squares, The Monorail really is the one with the most possible books listed from my TBR... so far.  I finally got tired of listing book possibilities when I got to these four.

Long story short, some books are just a little hard to determine whether there is travel by air, or what city the book takes place in so I can run a Google search on whether or not said city has a subway system.  And I even toyed with the idea of buying an extra roll and moving onto a more ideal square...

Fortunately, turns out I've got a great book option, which will also double to help me finish up a book series!


The Manhattan Encounter by Addison Fox, is the fourth and final installment in the House of Steele series that I started reading this year in 2017.  At first, I'd been saving this book to read for the Electric Company square, because the heroine is a scientist.  But after convincing myself that there are plenty of other books I've got chosen for Electric Company anyway, I decided that I'd be more productive, and enjoy myself more, if I just finished this book series and moved onto the next one.

After all, I've got a pretty big goal this year, and those books aren't going to read themselves!

The Manhattan Encounter, as the title states, takes place in Manhattan, NY, and apparently has several subway stations that are part of the New York City Subway!  The book is 283 pages, which will be worth $6.00, bringing my Bank Balance to $115.00 upon finished reading.

Current Bank:   $109.00



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/06/booklikes-opoly-roll-21.html
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review 2017-06-23 07:56
Very Brief Thoughts: To the Rescue
To the Rescue - Jean Barrett

To the Rescue
by Jean Barrett



With a Mystery Mounting, A Medieval Fantasy was Fast Becoming All Too Real for an Unlikely Pair

Leo McKenzie was an American investigator tracking a hard-to-find woman through the English countryside.  But trailing antiques agent Jennifer Rowan through an impassable blizzard only amounted to a concussion and a developing cold crush.

After finding haven for the detective in a centuries-old monastery, Jenny sought a silent monk who had the answer to recovering the priceless Warley Madonna.  But when someone else got him to spill his guts first - literally - everyone stranded in the castle became a suspect.  The two reckless Americans made an imperfect match - and with eyes the color of whiskey, the headstrong P.I. was dangerously close to intoxicating Jennifer.  But with only each other to trust, the two strangers in an even stranger land would have to stop a killer who stalked the frozen hallways if they hoped to weather the storm.

As I had stated in my BLopoly update post for Roll #20, To the Rescue was enjoyable as a mystery, but the romance left much to be desired.  The writing was extremely heavy on the romance, which, no surprise there as this is a Harlequin romance and so, what did I expect, right?  But in another sense, the writing was also smooth and progressive, easy to read.  The mystery was a typical outline of a locked room murder mystery, though the killer wasn't a surprise upon reveal at the end.

Nevertheless, if I could change anything about this book, it would be the development of the romance.  Honestly, our main couple is trapped in a big, creepy monastery with strangers who are also trapped, and an entire order of monks.  There has been two murders, two attempts on our MCs lives, a stolen historical relic is part of the equation... and all Leo or Jennifer can think of is how attractive each other is, and continue to lust after each other non-stop.

There is a time and place for groping and sexy times.  While an unknown killer is running amok of a trapped, isolated castle is probably not the time to be constantly thinking about being touchy feely.

And then the insta-love kind of sprung up out of nowhere as well.

Everything else about this murder mystery was enjoyable, maybe with a few flaws here and there.  Really, it was just the romance that didn't do it for me.  And truthfully, neither of the main characters were that interesting either.  Nor were the side characters.




Roll #19:
Book is set in England.

Page Count:  292
Cash Award:  +$6.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $91.00












Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/06/very-brief-thoughts-to-rescue.html
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text 2017-06-23 05:58
Booklikes-opoly | Roll #20! and Free Friday #2!
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform


With the Big Game Shake Up (see link above), my Bank Balance is going to be getting a nice little boost!  It helps that the books were great as well.

But moving along...  My last roll was on 6/18, and while I'd been hoping to finish my book early enough that my next BLopoly roll wouldn't overlap with the next Free Friday too closely... that didn't happen.  So now I'm going to start this next book... and then turn around and pick up another book for Free Friday in less than twenty-four hours (another post to come soon see end of post).

Anyway, my Roll #19 landed me on Fantasyland 6 where Teddy Bear game piece can't seem to stay magnetized to the board, and has thus slid all the way down the board to the bottom, landing his butt on my desk top.  No photos, he's embarrassed enough as it is, poor guy...

Reading-wise, I chose To the Rescue by Jean Barrett, which is set in Yorkshire, England, which satisfies the game square criteria, as the UK is part of Western Europe.  The book is 292 pages, which, according to the new Shake Up doubled rewards rules, is worth $6.00, bringing my lovely Bank Balance to $91.00!


To the point, To the Rescue was engaging as a mystery, but the romance could have used a bit less insta-lust/insta-love.  It got a bit frustrating to me that this silly couple were continually thinking about touching each other or getting laid, while there's a killer running amok in the big creepy monastery that has been isolated by heavy blizzards in the middle of the English countryside.

Priorities, guys!

At least the writing style was easy to read and the progression was good.

Onto Roll #20... which turned into #20.1 with a doubles rolled:


I ended up rolling a Double 5 = 10, which took me from Fantasyland 6 to Luxury Tax: "Read a book where someone gets married, with jewelry on the cover, or where any character is a millionaire/billionaire!"


Monkey's back!  Hi!  **waves**  He looks really comfortable just hanging there!

I rolled again for my doubles and got, for Roll #20.1:


Moving 9 spaces from Luxury Tax, I ended up on another utilities space, Water Works: "Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event."

Monkey is meditating, Teddy is hanging...  Uh oh, where did Peek-a-Boo Penni go?  Probably time to go back home.  Maybe she'll be back next time for another visit!

After some shuffling of books and some hemming and hawing, and had finally decided on books for each square.


Looks like I'm going to continue on with Harlequin romances, which, to be honest, it's kind of easy to find books from Harlequin that fit some of these categories.  You've got small towns, millionairs/billionaires or weddings, romantic suspense with characters who are police detectives or who known how to handle guns; there are historicals, overseas travels, mysteries... Both books above also take place on an island, if anyone is interested, and, Oh Looky!  Water on the cover!  And trees!

Also, I think The Substitute Sister could be considered Gothic as well.

Anyway, I will be reading The Mysterious Twin by Leona Karr for the Luxury Tax square.  The criteria only requires "any character" to be a millionaire/billionaire.  From what I surmised from the summary and the first 5% of the book I skimmed, our MC will be staying as a nanny at a southern mansion owned by a man named Hugo Vandenburg... if there ever was a name that sounded like money...  It states that the mansion is Vandenburg's summer home, which tells me he's got more homes elsewhere, and I doubt they're quaint two-bedroom ranches in a school neighborhood, considering there's also mention of him owning a baseball team or something like that.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this guy's a millionaire and probably also comes from old money.  I might be wrong.  If I am, I will honorably skip this square and NOT collect my reward.

The Mysterious Twin is 256 pages, which will be worth $6.00.

The Substitute Sister by Lisa Childs, as we can see, has water on the cover, satisfying the Water Works criteria.  It is 240 pages, which will also be worth $6.00.

Free Friday Read #2:

I was going to create a separate post for my second Free Friday book, but as I am writing this post, my time shows that I have about twenty minutes until midnight, which will bring us into 6/23, Friday.  So I decided to just go ahead and insert my chosen Free Friday read for this Friday into this post.  I promise I won't start reading it until after the clock strikes midnight.


I have checked out this book from the library twice already, hoping to get a chance to read it.  The first time, because of all the other book obligations I got caught up in, I renewed the book twice, didn't get around to reading it, then had to give it back.  A couple weeks later, while I was at the library for other books, I decided to check it out again.  This time, I'm hoping to be able to get to it, so decided to declare it my second Free Friday Read for BLopoly!

It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis is 327 pages.  And also, it'll help me along in another challenge I'm participating in.

Altogether, I will be hitting $109.00 when I finish all three of these books.  And I'm going to try my best to read in order, for my own strange anal retentiveness...  Though it is entirely possible I'll start reading It Had to Be You after midnight and end up rolling right through it.

Oh well!



Current Bank:   $91.00



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/06/booklikes-opoly-roll-20-and-free-friday.html
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review 2017-06-22 16:33
Lord of the Far Island / Victoria Holt
Lord of the Far Island - Victoria Holt

Ellen Kellaway, orphaned at age five, was raised by wealthy cousins, but was never allowed to forget that her every advantage was owed to the charity of others. However, when the son of a powerful London family asks for her hand in marriage, her world is opened up to untold wealth and social position. She never imagined that such an unlikely dream would come true.

Despite these wonderful new developments in her life, Ellen continues to be wracked b the bad dreams that have haunted her since childhood. What is the meaning of the lifelong nightmare—the image of an unfamiliar room, a door opening and behind it a dreadful presence? Perhaps it is a message urging her to uncover the secrets of her long-lost family—the secrets of the ancient home of the Kellaways on the Far Island, off the wild coast of Cornwall.


***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

I think this may have been the very first romance novel that I ever read in my life, at around age 11 or 12. I remember how much I loved the book at that age and that is probably influencing my rating today.

Talk about Gothic! A heroine who is an orphan, living with distant family members as a Poor Relation? Check! Beautiful & spunky? Check! Mysterious goings-on? Check! Subtly threatening handsome man with secrets who arrives in the nick of time to save her from the horrid fate of governessing? Check! New family members who maybe aren’t as into her as she is into them? Check and double check! A second handsome and more straightforward man as a foil for the intense, dark one? Checkeroo!

I believe it was my mother who introduced me to Victoria Holt and she & I read our way through many of Holt’s novels. This was very much a nostalgia read—it reminded me of my teenage reading years and reading with Mom. I can definitely see where works like this one set my tastes in romantic fiction, leading to my current affection for paranormal romance.

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