Celebrate Good Times…{Giveaway}

Holy crap! Today is my 6th blogiversary. 6 years of sharing my life and love of books with all of you. Seriously, where does the time go?!?!

Over my past blogiversary posts (minus my 4th year as I was lazy and didn’t do one) I have talked about highlights from the past year and shared some of my favorite reads. While I did have some great highlights, I am going to skip that this year. I am going to focus on my favorite reads and on some bookish things I have coming up/planned for 2019. And make sure you scroll to the end to enter my giveaway.

The Books:

I read 100 books last year. My goal was 125, but I reached 100 which was enough for me.

Out of those 100 books, one of them was 992 pages long so I basically think you can say I read 102 books. 😛

Of course Anna was read again as was A Court of Mist and Fury. Those are my yearly staples.

Some Favorites (click on the cover to purchase on Amazon):

These are just a sampling of my 2018 5 star reads that are already available for purchase.

These are a sample of 5 star reads that will be out in 2019.

Bookish Events Early 2019:

ALA Midwinter 2019

In 2 weeks time I am heading to Seattle for the first time and hitting up ALA for at least one of the days I am there. I’m really excited to see a new city and Seattle has always been on the list of US places to see.

I read all 5 books (three from the Grisha Verse and 2 from Six of Crows series) in the end of 2018 to get ready for this book release and signing. I can’t wait to meet Leigh again on 1/30, and this time I have read her books.

Just a couple of days later I will be moderating the A. C. Gaughen and Brigid Kemmerer signing in Cambridge, MA. I love these two ladies and these two books so I’m super excited about this. I got to blurb Brigid’s book for the ARCs wish was AMAZING! And I think this is like the 4th time I have moderating a signing for A. C. Gaughen so it is becoming our thing. 😛

Image result for apollycon

And rounding out the beginning of the year I will be hitting up ApollyCon for the 2nd year in a row. I look forward to this event for months. I get to see some of my favorite people and I get to visit a city that is becoming one of my favorite places to see.

This giveaway is for an Amazon Fire 7, 7″ display Tablet with Alexa, a book of choice ($15 max) and a $10 Amazon gift card. The giveaway will run from 1/11/19 to 1/27/19 at 11:59PM EST. It is US ONLY. I love you my international readers but shipping is just too much. Giveaway accounts will be disqualified so please don’t enter if you are just a bot looking for free stuff.

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Make sure you stick around and follow Andi’s ABCs this year. I have the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge that I host, my new monthly feature, New to Me, and I am working with some great debut bloggers over the next few month.

Thanks for making 6 years go by in a flash. You are all the best! ♥

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New to You (22): Nicole reviews Altered by Jennifer Rush {giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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For my last New to You of the year we have Nicole from Boundless Bookaholic. She read and reviewed an old favorite of mine, Altered by Jennifer Rush. Let’s see what she had to say about it.

New to You (22): Nicole reviews Altered by Jennifer Rush {giveaway}Altered (Altered, #1) by Jennifer Rush
on January 1, 2013
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three-half-stars

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who has stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Not a bad read, but not a favorite either. This one fell right in the middle of the rating scale for me. I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I’ll be honest…when I started this book, I was not engrossed in the story. I was having a hard time connecting, and the writing style was part of the problem for me. I kept noticing the overly descriptive passages, how there was repetition sometimes, etc. But that being said, the plot was interesting and unique. There were even some twists that surprised me, which doesn’t happen often (i.e. almost never).
I liked Anna’s character quite a bit, and Sam, Cas, Nick, and Trev were super entertaining as well, especially Cas. He might have been my favorite character in this book because of his personality. Anna had a different “relationship” with each boy, but most of the focus was on her and Sam. Without spoiling anything, I will just say that Sam was swoony at moments, but he never lost sight of the important things. He was almost laser-focused, which makes sense considering everything they were dealing with.
This book could easily be read in one sitting; I didn’t want to put it down most days after I finally got hooked by the story. I need to know what happens next, so I’ll be checking out the rest of the series. If you love young adult sci-fi/dystopian books, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

 

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Thanks Nicole for signing up for New to You. Sorry this was middle of the road for you but happy you gave it a chance!

Giveaway is US only and ends on January 4, 2019  at 11:59pm EST.

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New to You (21): April reviews The Lies About Truth by Courtney Stevens {giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is April from Between the Pages. I feel like I have been suggesting books to April for ages so it was great when she signed up and I had two more to choose from to have her read. It was a tough call but in the end I thought The Lies About Truth would be a good fit for her. Let’s see what she thought:

New to You (21): April  reviews The Lies About Truth by Courtney Stevens {giveaway}The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperTeen
on June 6, 2017
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four-stars

This story from Courtney Stevens about hope and courage and the struggle to overcome the pain of loss.

Sadie Kingston is living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can't move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent's brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him. But Max looks at her scars and doesn't shy away. And Max knows about the list she writes in the sand at the beach every night, the list of things that Sadie knows she must accomplish before she can move on from the accident. And while he can help her with number six (kiss someone without flinching), she knows she's on her own with number three (forgive Gina and Gray) and the rest of the seemingly impossible tasks that must be made possible before she can live in the now again.


So this was a book that I was interested in reading, but kept putting off. I’m not sure why I did, but I did. So when I saw Andi’s New To You feature come out, I was intrigued and decided to sign up, knowing whatever book Andi assigned to me was going to be worth reading. Andi has yet to lead me astray when I ask for book recommendations. So I read it, finally, and I’m glad I did.This is the story of Sadie, a teenage girls whose life changed due to a car accident that took the life of one of her friends, and changed the dynamic of the rest of her friendships. This story was very relatable, not because I’ve been through what the characters have, but because the friendships involved changed throughout the story. I feel like this is something that happens in real life as well. I also loved that Sadie had parents that were there for her, and wanted to be there.

Because of the Accident Sadie closes herself off from her friends, not wanting to be around them, then by a chance encounter we start seeing how they sort of become friends again in a different way, maybe not as close as before, but the friendship is there. The story evolves as the characters become different people, and truths are uncovered, truths that could change things in bad ways, but maybe allow the characters to grow in a good way.  By the end of the story each character, at least to me, seems different from the start of the book, but it was great to see them grow and change throughout the story.

I have to admit I struggled with the book while I was reading it, not because of the content of the story but because I was slightly disappointed that parts of the story were one-sided to me. I would have liked to have seen more of Max’s answers to Sadie, then just trying to guess what he wrote based on what she did.

All in all I was glad I finally read this book.

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Thanks April for signing up for New to You. I happy you finally got to read this one. I need a reread. I devoured it when I read it and never got around to my review.

Giveaway is US only and ends on November 27, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

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New to You (20): Jennifer reviews Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson {giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next up for New to You is Jennifer from YABookNerd. When Jennifer signed up I knew Second Chance Summer would be the perfect book for her to read. She told me why she put off reading and believe me I understand, but I also knew she would love it. Let’s see if I was right:

New to You (20): Jennifer reviews Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson {giveaway}Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
on May 7, 2013
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five-stars

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.


The news from Taylor’s Dad changed everything. Instead of the summer they planned, the whole family will be spending the summer at the lake house together. The lake house where they once spent every summer before life got in the way. The lake house where everything for Taylor fell apart – including the relationships both her best friend and her first boyfriend.

Now she’s back and everything’s different and yet the same.She has to face everyone again. Plus she has to face the fact that this is her last summer with her father. As the summer progresses, she must face both her past and her future.

My Thoughts: I adore Morgan Matson, but I put off reading this book because I knew it was going to destroy me. And it did. I made until the last little bit of the book and I bawled like a baby. My puppy grew so concerned that she came over to make sure that I was okay.

But besides the heart wrenching tears, Andi was right, this one is amazing. I loved it. I loved learning about the past and how that influenced the present. I enjoyed the moments at Taylor’s job – working with her ex-best friend and trying to navigate those waters. I liked learning how they both had changed in the years apart. I liked the banter between Taylor and Henry. I loved Henry’s little brother. I loved the dog and who he inserted himself in to the family. 


I have a hard time reading books that I know will make me cry, but I loved this book. I was sad yet hopeful and of course all about second chances. If you haven’t read this one yet, run out to the library and grab it! 


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Thanks Jennifer for signing up for New to You. I’m sorry your puppy was so concerned, but the tears are so worth it.

My review of Second Chance Summer.

Giveaway is US only and ends on November 15, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

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Do you have a book that brings you to tears but you still recommend?

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A Buddy Read – Intercepted by Alexa Martin {+ a giveaway}

A Buddy Read – Intercepted by Alexa Martin {+ a giveaway}Intercepted by Alexa Martin
Published by Berkley Books
on September 11, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

As a fan of football romances this book was on my radar for a while. But when an opportunity was presented to do a buddy read with some of my fantasy football girls it was a no brainer. Seven of us read Intercepted together and we had a lot of fun doing it and being able to discuss it.

Intercepted is the story of Marlee. Marlee has been the perfect girlfriend to NFL wide receiver, Chris Alexander, for the last ten years. She was supposed to be his wife. Instead she discovers her relationship wasn’t want she thought. Suddenly single she swears off NFL players and all the baggage that comes with them. That is until she sees the new QB on the team, a guy she never thought she would see again after their one night together. Marlee soon realizes that giving up NFL players may not Be as easy as she thought. Especially with Gavin Pope underfoot.

Honestly, as fun as the book was to read with my fabulous football ladies, I didn’t love it as much as I hoped. It was good enough, and not a struggle to read, but something was off for me. There were things I was supposed to laugh at, I think, and I ended up being annoyed which made me sad. I did like some of the characters a lot though so that was a bonus. But what I really enjoyed was that the author was able to base the book off her experience from being an actually NFL WAG. That was hands down my favorite part of the story.

All in all it was a good book and I may read the next in the series. But really it was just fun to chat about with my girls. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book club kind of thing and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Review Links:

Amazon || B&N || Kobo || Book Depository

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About Alexa Martin

Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a former NFL player who now coaches at the high school where they met, their four children, and a German Shepherd. When she's not telling her kids to put their shoes on...again, you can find her catching up with her latest book boyfriend or on Pinterest pinning meals she'll probably never make. Her first book, Intercepted, was inspired by the eight years she spent as an NFL wife.

Giveaway: 5 winners will receive a finished paperback of Intercepted. Open to US. Entrants must be 18+. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CDT October 8. Please enter via Rafflecopter below; winner will be chosen at random, and odds are determined by number of entries.

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A Buddy Read – Intercepted by Alexa Martin {+ a giveaway}Fumbled by Alexa Martin
Published by Berkley Books
on April 23, 2019
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A second chance doesn't guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she's built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it's all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he's moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they've suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they'll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

 

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