Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Free Reads



 
The Handfasters  by Helen Susan Swift
 
 
Scotland, 1811. Coming from the Highlands to Edinburgh in search of a husband, Alison Lamont finds herself in all sorts of trouble.
 
 
Thrown out of a fashionable ball for a stolen kiss, she flees from a riot in the notorious Old Town and ends up staying the night with Willie Kemp, an eccentric boatbuilder. While Alison falls deeply in love with Mr. Kemp, her aunt wishes her to marry the obnoxious but rich John Forres.
Alison takes drastic measures to solve her dilemma, including a long trip through the snow-covered Pentland Hills. But who left the mysterious footprints outside her cottage, and what secret is Mr. Kemp hiding?
 
Watch Me by Cynthia Eden
 
He was hired to protect her
Watching gorgeous Gwen Hawthorne wasn't a hard job--but it certainly was tempting. Chance Valentine had tried to keep his distance from the sexy socialite for years, but when her father hired him to keep watch on her--as a twenty-four, seven bodyguard--Chance knew his control was about to be pushed to the limit.
 
He'd never wanted another woman the way he desired her. Hot. Intense. Consuming. Being so close to Gwen, Chance knew that he wouldn't be able to resist her. So he gave into his need, her need, and he took them both to the edge of a dark and consuming desire.
 
But Chance soon realizes that he isn't the only one watching Gwen. Someone else is out there, a stalker who won't rest until Gwen is destroyed. Every day, every moment...Gwen is in danger. And Chance knows that if he can't unmask the stalker, then he may just lose the only woman he has ever loved.
 
 
Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh
 
Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.
 
A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…
 

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…
 
 
Dark, Witch & Creamy by H.Y. Hanna Free On Amazon
 
When Caitlyn learns that she was found as an abandoned baby and adopted by her American family, her search for answers takes her to the quaint English village of Tillyhenge - where a man has been murdered by witchcraft and a mysterious shop selling enchanted chocolates is home to the "local witch"...
 
Soon Caitlyn finds herself fending off a toothless old vampire, rescuing an adorable kitten and meeting handsome aristocrat Lord James Fitzroy... not to mention discovering that she herself might have magical blood in her veins!
 
When she's dragged into the murder investigation and realises that dark magic is involved, Caitlyn is forced to choose. Can she embrace her witchy powers in time to solve the mystery and save those she loves?
 
 
 
 
Which ones did you pick up? 
 

 
 
 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Something to Stitch About 2018 Goals



So, last year I decided to set a goal to tackle my overflowing embroidery and cross-stitch projects thus Something to Stitch About was born. I have to say it really helped motivate me to finish the projects that I’ve had crammed away and I was surprised by how many projects I finished. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep with it in 2018 and expand it a bit to include some of the sewing projects that I want to get done as well.

Embroidery/Cross Stitch Goals: I’m aiming for 5-10 projects. Some I know that I need to work on, others I’ll probably just end up grabbing out of my stash.

 

For Cross Stitch I want to finish the following

1-    Cornish Folkies Cross Stitch (a.k.a. Poldark cross stitch)

2-    Jane Eyre Cross Stitch

3-    Outlander Cross Stitch sampler

4-    Gift Project 1

5-    Tea Sampler

 

For Embroidery I want to finish the following

1.     Winter table runner (I started this project in 2017 and the thread I need to finish it is on backorder, so hopefully the company will have it in soon)

2.     Frosty Memories lap quilt

 

Sewing Goal: I'm aiming for 5-10 projects.

 

1—Renaissance Outfit—this one is nearly finished. I just need to find the right material for the front panel, sleeves, and bodice. Then finish making minor adjustments to the hem and such.

2—Rag Quilt—so this one is going to be something new for me. I have all the materials need washed, sorted, and waiting to be cut.

3—Outlander quilt panel—so I have no idea what I’m going to do with this one. I’ve been gathering ideas but nothings struck my fancy so we shall see.

4—Small Clutch x 2—so one is going to serve as a catchall in my new Outlander handbag and the other is going to be for my Outlander gloves so I don’t end up losing them when I’m out and about (you wouldn’t believe how many gloves I’ve lost over the last few winters).

5—Sleep masks and aromatherapy heating bags.

6—Mug rugs—because they’re adorable and I have a ton of fat quarters that I’ve been hoarding.  


 
 
What type of crafter are you?

 

 
 
 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Outlander Reading Challenge


 
There was such an amazing response to last year’s Outlander challenge I’ve decided to keep it going.
 
Are you addicted to the television series but haven’t read the books? Or have you had the books sitting on your shelf but haven’t picked them up yet? Maybe you want a chance to re-read the series. Well, here’s your chance! Dust off those copies and join the Outlander Series Reading Challenge.
 
 
 
Here’s what you need to know. 
 
Goal—To read through the Outlander Series and the shorts.
 
What Counts
Ø Re-reads count
Ø All formats (print, digital, or audio) count
 
Who can join? Anyone.
Ø Bloggers, set up a challenge post and link it below.
Ø Not a blogger? It’s okay, just set up an Outlander Series Reading Challenge shelf on GoodReads or just use the Facebook group.
Ø Make sure you join the Facebook group, because fun mini-challenges and giveaways will be posted there. You’ll also have the chance to meet and interact with other Outlander fans who are participating in the challenge.  
 
Check In Posts: Will be the last Friday of each month with the exception of November.
January  26th  | February 23rd  | March 30th | April 27th   | May 25th  | June 29th  | July 27th  | August 31st  | September 28th | October 26th | November 23rd | December 28th  (Final Check In Post of This Year)

Check In Giveaways will be random, so please check the blog every month. There will also be random blog giveaways.

 
Bloggers, grab the button to let others know you’re joining in
 
grab button for 2017 Outlander Reading Challenge
<div class="2017-outlander-reading-challenge-button" style="width: 260px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://simplyangelarenee.blogspot.com/2017/01/sign-up-2017-outlander-series-reading.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="http://i1031.photobucket.com/albums/y373/angelasimmons86/small%20button_zpszgjgwry7.png" alt="2017 Outlander Reading Challenge" width="260" height="200" /> </a> </div>



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sugar Pine Trail by ReaAnne Thayne



Librarian Julia Winston is ready to ditch the quiet existence she's been living. She's made a list of new things to experience, but falling for Jamie Caine, her sexy military pilot neighbor, isn't one of them. Julia's looking to conquer life, not become the heartbreaker's latest conquest. But when two young brothers wind up in Julia's care for the holidays, she'll take any help she can get—even Jamie's.

 

Happy to step in, Jamie reveals a side of himself that's much harder to resist. Not only is he fantastic with kids, he provides the strength Julia needs to tackle her list. She knows their temporary family can't last beyond the holidays, but the closer she gets to Jamie, the more she wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever…

 

Series: Haven Point #7 | Publisher: HQN| Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

This one was one the sweetest Christmas books I’ve read in a long time.
 
When Julia takes two young boys into her care, she knows she’s going to need help and she’s ready and willing to take it from Jamie, the sexy pilot who moved into her upstairs apartment. While Jamie’s eager to lend a hand with the boys and secretly help Julia check the items of her list, he’s not ready to fall for Julia. He wanted a distraction, something to help him to enjoy the holidays, he’s not ready to give his heart away and Julia knows this is just a temporary arrangement…or is it?
 
There was so much going on in both Julia’s and Jamie’s heads it was nice seeing them finally enjoying their selves. So, they both need a bit of healing from things in their pasts and they both need to figure out how to open up and let loose and having the boys their helped them both do that.
 
The romance was definitely slow burn but it was worth it. I really enjoyed watching them figure out what they wanted and go for it. The complimented each other and brought out the best in each other.
 
The two little boys Julie takes in were so sweet and precious my heart truly went out to them. I was slightly disappointed that there wasn’t an update at the end letting me know how they were doing.
 
Overall, this one had all the charm, heart, and spirit of a Christmas romance.
 
 
Haven Point Series
Snow Angel Cove
Redemption Bay
Evergreen Springs
Riverbend Road
Snowfall on Haven Point
Serenity Harbor
Sugar Pine Trail
 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Very Gothic Christmas: Two Novellas



After the Music by Christine Feehan

 

Jessica Fitzpatrick is terrified by mysterious threats. Determined to keep her twin wards safe, she flees to the remote island mansion of their reclusive, widowed father. With Christmas approaching, the spark between him and Jessica might light the future, but there are those whose evil machinations may plunge the family into darkness—unless a Christmas miracle occurs.

 

Lady of the Locket by Melanie George

 

The echoes of history and romance lure Rachel Hudson to Glengarren, the Scottish castle where her parents met many Christmases ago. But it is the portrait of fierce Highlander Duncan MacGregor that sparks a deep desire inside her. On a storm-tossed night, as lightning cracks across the castle’s turrets, Rachel finds herself face-to-face with MacGregor himself, astride a mighty stallion. Now, stepping into Rachel’s time—and her heart—the warrior from the past is pursued by an ancient, evil enemy.

Publisher: Pocket Books |Genre: Gothic Romance | Source: Publisher
After the Music by Christine Feehan Rating: 4 Cups
 
I’m always up for a gothic romance, so when A Very Gothic Christmas showed up for review, I dropped what I was reading and delved in.
 
After the Music had all the gothic romance elements: Fire, ghosts, mysterious happenings, remote island mansion, broody hero, touches of the occult, and a heroine determined to save the hero.
 
This one was the first gothics I’ve read that involved a musician so on top of the gothic atmosphere there’s also that soul of the artist vibe going on adding another layer to the story.
 
The romance between Jessica and Dillion was amazing. There was attraction, chemistry, and this amazing connection yet they both took their time acting on. They’ve both been through some things that’s making them cautious but they know they’re meant to be together.
 
I did figure out the mystery element rather early on and I was okay with that. It was still interesting watching events unfold and watching the characters figure it out.
 
While I absolutely loved this one (seriously, it’s going on my must read Christmas book list), the ghostly encounter at the end was a bit out there. I understand what the author was going for but it could have been handled a bit differently.
 
 
Lady of the Locket by Melanie George Rating: 1.5 Cups
 
 
The echoes of history and romance lure Rachel Hudson to Glengarren, the Scottish castle where her parents met many Christmases ago. But it is the portrait of fierce Highlander Duncan MacGregor that sparks a deep desire inside her. On a storm-tossed night, as lightning cracks across the castle’s turrets, Rachel finds herself face-to-face with MacGregor himself, astride a mighty stallion. Now, stepping into Rachel’s time—and her heart—the warrior from the past is pursued by an ancient, evil enemy.
 
So, this one had a strong and steady start but then things just got weird to the point that I spent weeks trying to get through this bloody novella.
 
I liked the start of this one. It had a bit of an Outlander feel—the hunky Highlander was a Jacobite fighting for Prince Charles Stuart and there’s were magical standing stones—and I needed something to fill the void now that I’m going through Droughlander, but it wasn’t this novella.
 
Both Rachel and Duncan were likable but I felt she sort of weakened toward the middle and never really found her footing. Duncan—aye, he was definitely a hunky Highlander—but for someone from the 1740’s he knew an awful lot about the present, including setting up a Christmas tree, decorating it, and the library. Oh, and he also knew what blue jeans and zippers were. There was also that pesky problem about him calling Prince Charles the ‘young pretender’, no Jacobite would ever refer to him as that.
 
While they had some hot moments and chemistry, the chemistry seemed to dwindle as the book progressed and then it just felt odd.
 
And the end, well…let’s just say it would have been so much better if there had been more to the story. It felt like it ended on a plot twist and rather than a ‘to be continued’, it was just ‘the end’.
 
Overall, read this one for After the Music. Seriously, if you like quick Gothic romances, you’ll enjoy this one. And reminded me that I need to get back to reading more from Christine Feehan.
 
 
Are you a fan of Gothic romance?
 

 
 
 

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge Goal Post


Okay, so I wasn’t going to join anymore reading challenges then…I found this historical fiction challenge. It’s exactly what I need to get back into reading historical fiction. And the best part is, any sub-genre of historical fiction counts. I’m aiming for 10 books but hoping I can manage a few more.

 
Host: Passages to the Past
Goal: Renaissance Reader - 10 books
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Saturday, December 30, 2017

2018 Literary Pickers Challenge Goal Post



I finally decided to give this challenge a go. I can’t wait to dig in and see what I can discover. I’m going to aim for 25 but if I can do 50, that will be grand!

 



Goal: Level Two – Garage Sale Guru- 25 items/ 25 places

 
2018 Literary Pickers Challenge- Scavenger List

 
Around the House
1 Patio Furniture
2 Walk-In Closet
3 Dust or Cobwebs
4 Gaming System
5 Grandmother’s China/any dishes past down
6 Porch light
7 Quilt
8 Area Rug
9 Candle
10 Pots and Pans
11 Fruit Trees/Orchard
12 Keys
13 Rocking Chair
14 Bathroom Mirror
15 Attic
16 Toy Chest/bin
17 Mixing bowl
18 Barn
19 Curtain/Drapes
20 Napkin/serviette
 
Around the World
1 Japan
2 Italy
3 Africa
4 Caribbean
5 New Zealand
 
It Goes Zoom Zoom
1 Motorcycle
2 Navy Ship
3 Raft
4 Roller blades/skateboard
5 Carriage
6 Riding Horse
7 Shuttle/small space ship
8 Classic Car
9 Surfboard
10 RV/Caravan/Camper
 
Elements to Factor
1 Friends to lovers/Bestfriend
2 Love at First Sight
3 Commitophobe
4 Arranged Marriage/Marriage of Convenience
5 Miscommunication
6 Threesome/Love Triangle
7 Gender bender/Role Reversal
8 Office Romance
9 Enemies to Lovers
10 Small Town
11 Rocker Romance
12 A Murder
13 Secret baby/accidental baby
14 Another dimension/fantasy world
15 Kink/BDSM
16 Post-apocalyptic/Dystopian/Futuristic
17 Historical
18 Humor/Comedy
19 First time author/narrator
20 On your TBR stack for more than a Year
 
All Terrain
1 Lake
2 Volcano/Hot Spring
3 Blizzard or Polar Region
4 City streets
5 Castle/Fortress
 
Bon Appetit
1 Pudding/Mousse
2 Vegetarian/Vegan fare
3 Ale
4 Campfire Cooking
5 Saute it (veggie or meat)
6 Fresh Catch (fish/seafood)
7 Waffles
8 Tortilla/flat bread
9 Tropical Fruit
10 Specialty Tea or Coffee
 
Tools of the Trade
1 Fire hose
2 Hammer
3 Gas can/pump
4 Rifle
5 Scuba gear
6 Handcuffs
7 Toolbox
8 Shovel
9 Oven
10 Laptop Computer
 
Clothes                                                                                                            
1 Space suit
2 Uniform   Hammer
3 Costume/Disguise
4 High Heels
5 Engagement Ring
6 Belt
7 Boots
8 Skirt
9 Overalls
10 Trousers
 
Cover Clues
1 A number in the title
2 Mostly Yellow
3 No people
4 A season in the title
5 No face/hidden features
6 Holiday theme
7 A hat
8 Just a guy
9 Just a gal
10 A paranormal or sci-fi element

2018 Bad Boys of Romance Reading Challenge (Delighted Reader) Goal Post



So, I really need to keep better track of this one this year.

 
Challenge: Bad Boys of Romance Reading Challenge
Host: Delighted Reader
Goal: Level Two 10-15 books – Engaged to the Bad Boy
 
Progress:
 
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