Blogmas : The Christmas Song Tag

Hello!

So, I’ve had this post in my drafts for basically a year and when I saw it I thought I had won the jackpot until I opened it and there was absolutely nothing written in it besides the title… A part of me felt like a fool but then again I thought I could use it to my advantage. I looked through other blogs that include holiday tags and I ended up finding the actual link that I was going to use in the original post so I get to do what I should have done last year or whatever.

There weren’t any rules to the actual tag, other than add some friends and letting them know about it, but let’s face it, nobody does that anymore. If you do, you’re a godsend! Anyways, I’m tagging anybody but if you want to do this on your blog or Facebook (because that would be cool and different!) save the questions for safekeeping and title it so hopefully you’ll remember better than I! I am leaving the original link that will send you to Hailey in Bookland’s YouTube channel.


“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”
Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

My first thought was Constantine from The Bratva’s Heir by Jen Henry and Sophie Lark, because I was really iffy about him in the beginning and honestly the scene in the sex club still has me bothered to say the least. However, there was Kage from Ruthless Creatures by J.T. Geissinger and between these two dudes, I was honestly more fearful of Kage. These mafia boys can be really intense and draw out all kinds of emotions and hotness… but that’s not what you’re asking though!

“All I Want for Christmas is You”
Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

Oh god…. now this is a question because I hope there quite a bit of books under our Christmas tree but if we’re talking about my own tree, I would say, the Celtic Blood series by Melanie Karsak. This was the second series I’ve ever finished and I really hope Santa can get the four books so I can stack them up on my bookshelf next to my bed as a reminder of the accomplishment like I did with Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. I also hope I can talk my sister into bringing back my print copy of the first book too.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Speaking of the Celtic Blood series, Cerridwen overcomes a LOT especially from the beginning of Highland Blood and really doesn’t end when the books stop–although I do want to point out that she is allowed to relish in many, many things through the entire series, but nothing really affects her badly until the start of book two and she becomes somebody different, and I’m not talking about the raven either! She grows from the young girl to a stronger person after what she’s been through in a quick ascend.

The second character has to be Dahlia in What Passes As Love by Trisha R Thomas. She is the daughter of a slave owner but lives in his house with her paternal grandmother and half sisters, they all treat her like a slave but is very loved amongst the family. However, it’s the fact that she’s forced to balance both affects of herself, things take one heck of a day out, where she meets the Ross brothers and everything takes a turn for the worst.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty/Nice list?

As I’ve said above with the first question, with all of the mafia books I’ve read in the last few months, I think it’s fair to say they might be pretty high on Santa’s naughty list but that’s just my opinion. I can’t choose just one for the top spot though!

For the nice list, we have Lady Madelaine of the Celtic Blood series as she has a very sad story in Highland Raven and she’s such a fragile character throughout but whenever she’s around Cerridwen, Tavish and the ladies of the coven, she flourishes into this friendly person and you hope something good comes her way.

“Frosty the Snowman”
Which book just melts your heart.

The first book that came to me was Kennedy Fox’s This Is War about Viola and Travis. I really fell in love with the enemies to lovers type of story. It was cute and very sexy, but I wouldn’t say it “melted” my heart.

I have to say that belongs to Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar. This may seem strange for anyone on here, because I didn’t share the actual review on my blog, but I did post it on my Facebook and Instagram. Anyways, it’s a story about a woman who’s life goes upside down when she, her husband and their children are sent to Auschwitz II in 1943. The book is heartbreaking but it does show how the Nazis treated the gypsy families in and around Germany. They were prosecuted just as much as the Jewish communities. You don’t hear much (or I didn’t at least!) about the Romani camps, and one thing I thought was even more interesting was, the youngest child Adelia is said to be around three years old and I thought this was somewhat strange as the Nazis would send the elderly and babies into the gas chambers if they thought they wouldn’t be able to do any work, so how is it she survived the selection process?

“Feliz Navidad”
Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

All of the five books I read written by Melanie Karsak takes place in and around Scotland. The Celtic Blood series is centered in Scotland hence the “highland” part of each title but as much as I adored Cerridwen in the CB series, Boudica felt so much different for me. I never knew anything about the real ladies that lead to the inspiration of these books–Cerridwen is actually Lady Gruoch of Scotland and she married to Gillacoemgain of Moray, which produced a son Lulach, and after the death of her husband, she ended up marrying Macbeth and later became his Queen.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

I actually haven’t read any holiday themed books as of yet. I do have two on my Kindle though; they are: Finding Love At The Christmas Market by Jo Thomas and Christmas In The Scottish Highlands by Donna Ashcroft. These are both contemporary fiction whereas the book I am currently waiting on is Riding His Sleigh by Cameron Hart and I am pretty sure this is just straight up erotica, at least I hope it is! I found it on Instagram as a preview and by the time this post goes up, I should be able to finally get my toes on it.

“Sleigh Ride”
Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

The first character that popped out at me was Boudica’s sister Princess Brenna as it is mentioned in the book, Queen Of Oak that she loves Yule (which is the pagan equivalent to Christmas!) and I found that whole chapter very interesting. Honestly, I thought all of their big holidays like Beltane, Litha, Lughasadh, and Samhain were all fascinating! It was another element in the CB series that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about too. I love learning more about how different cultures both past and present celebrate the changing of the seasons!

“Baby it’s Cold Outside”
Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Honestly I think that’s a little harsh!

I only had two books (so far) that I have absolutely hated and they are: Highland Queen by Melanie Karsak and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I know, I’m still shocked by both of these books since I adore their series, but they each had elements that never sat well with me. For example, Highland Queen never quite ended, for the last of the series, it seemed like a bad cliffhanger, but sadly there were more things like the meeting with the goddess Scotia in the beginning was never resolved and the conversation between Sidhe and Cerridwen about the reason about given the Seelie gloves was left out entirely too.

Now with Glass Sword, I think the main reason why I did not enjoy it was because the events of collecting other reds just dragged on with each page/ The middle of it was massive and so boring! It also had the opposite effect to Highland Queen as the end of it was very exciting and thrilling, but I also feared how I would think about Winter’s Cage later on too.

This is a late addition, because I literally forgot all about it! I had a chance to listen to the audible version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland a couple of months ago and I just couldn’t enjoy it as much as I tried to, and it still drives me crazy! I hope this doesn’t happen to every classic I decide to read later on in the future.

Do you hear what I hear”
Which book do you think everyone should read?

I will be doing a Top 7 of the books I read this year towards the end of December, but I think this book should be on every royalist bookshelf or e-reader in the future.

For anyone who has thoughts about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s choice to step away of being senior members of the royal house and be a “normal” family, should look into Before Wallis: Edward VIII’s Other Women by Rachel Trethewey. It will give you an insight into the mind of a royal, despite the different times, as they find their spouse and what they will do for love. The former king was an enigma of sorts, and it was so interesting to see how dealt with life as a senior royal in the 20th Century.


All right, well I think that is everything! I actually had a lot of fun coming up with my answers for this tag, and I apologize if you were hoping I would talk about other books than the ones I read this year. I tend to do it this way every time and it helps me make the decision of what I truly loved the most or hated in some cases. I hope you enjoyed what I had to say in this post.

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

Hello!

Originally, I had another post I was going to do today but I couldn’t motivate myself to finish it for this month, so it’ll (hopefully) go out in July, along with some other interesting things too! I did this tag last year and really enjoyed it, but I didn’t post it at the right time of the year so I was determined to do this one along with everyone else, because it is huge with other book bloggers and YouTubers too. If you would like to see what I had mentioned in the first post, click here. If you end up doing the tag on your blog or YT channel, I would love to see your answers too, so please leave a link down in the comments section for me to check out later.

I do want to mention before I officially start; I am only going to talk about the books I’ve finished already so that it goes into the reviews that I will be publishing later this week and possibly next week too. I am also including the reviews to each book that is mentioned below.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

This question is always so difficult to answer, especially so early in the year, but for the sake of the tag itself, I think it is a three way tie between A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St Clair, This Is War by Kennedy Fox, and Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak, What I find interesting about all three books is that they are all in different genres and for once I have a book focused on two characters but found the male character more compelling! Honestly, Viola really drove me crazy, which in a way worked out great for the banter between she and Travis, but I found it absolutely annoying!

ATOD and HR mean a lot for me, mainly because they were the start of their series I didn’t expect I would fall in love with earlier in the year but I’m forever thankful I found them! The myth behind both Persephone and Lady Macbeth generally perceive these ladies as weak and despite the fact I have only heard of little things about these characters in the past, I really believe the authors are giving them a voice to their stories. It is focused on them where most of historical knowledge is focused on their counterparts instead. However, in the defense of the God of the Underworld Hades, Scarlett has made him out to be as ruthless as you’d expect anyways but full of compassion and very loving towards Persephone!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021?

I’ve read 14 books in the last six months and the only one I can say for certain that I think was the best sequel is, Highland Blood by Melanie Karsak. At first, I had written out “Highland Vengeance” but honestly, the second book was WAYY better!

This book really took me on a ride just as much as it did was our main character Corbie! It was full of twists and turns but I truly loved the bond between Corbie and Gillacoemgain. I didn’t really know I loved that relationship until I got to the third book and I started noticing that everytime she would bring him up, I had tears in my eyes. It totally threw me for a loop but nevertheless I don’t regret my decision on continuing the series.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

For some odd reason, I have yet to actually start reading A Touch of Malice which came out in late May. It is the third book of the series and I’ve done a really good job of staying away from various spoilers, so I feel pretty good about that but I am hoping that once I finish my current books I will make the switch because I desperately want to know what the hell has happened to Hades and Persephone.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I guess this post is mostly about Scarlett St. Clair and Melanie Karsak because they each have a book coming out after the summer. Scarlett is up first with the second book of the events that happened in both A Touch of Ruin and A Touch of Malice. The title is A Game of Retribution and I’m not exactly thrilled that both of these books will be in one storyline because that means it’ll either be well over 400+ or some things will be left out of the whole thing; honestly the only thing that is keeping me excited is we get to hear Hades say “fucking fates” again…

As for Melanie, she is releasing a historical fiction about the warrior Queen Boudicca in “Queen of Oak” and since I am nearing the end of the Celtic Blood series, which discusses Boudicca quite a bit in the first and three books, I am very ready to see the spark I enjoyed so much in Corbie again. Trust me, I will be very happy to read this book after I’m done with her story! I’m going to need something to help get me through the grief but I am slightly troubled because I would also like to read a historical biography about Boudicca as well, and I had planned on reading it once I finished with Highland Queen but I don’t know if I should wait until I have read QOO first. I don’t think I would do a lot of comparisons between them but I am sort of torn on what to do now…

Biggest disappointment

To be perfectly honest, I’ve had some good luck lately but there was one book that I was very excited to get into at first but I was so irritated about what the hell I was seeing on my Kindle that I ended up being in a tiny slump for a few weeks. The book in question was Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. I knew it was about King Henry VIII and his court but that was about it, I wasn’t familiar with the other stuff going down on the sidelines and I think this was my issue. I wanted to hear a story about a courtier at Hampton Court either during the end of Catherine of Aragon or start of Anne Boleyn’s days.

Biggest surprise

Truthfully, I didn’t expect how much I would end up enjoy reading Twilight at the beginning of the year. I was really into the movies early on but I had made my choice when they started becoming more and more popular with my family and friends, because I was knee deep in love with The Vampire Diaries, I didn’t want to basically guide me away from my favorite characters and show overall. So, being able to read it with fresh eyes as an adult was interesting! I was able to enjoy Bella a lot more than I ever did with the films. Bella isn’t as dull and quiet toward the Cullens or friends in general and I think that was made it enjoyable for me!

Favorite new author (Debut or new for you)

If you have never read any of my reviews, you might find it curious that I rarely read about what the book is actually about, and no book has ever made me do a double take in the middle of the chapter, as Rough” by Renee Rose and Vanessa Vale did. As you might have seen this spring and last year, I have become a fan of Vanessa Vale’s books, but before finding this one, I had never heard, much less read anything by Renee Rose.

The series itself is called Wolf Ranch, and my first thought was, “this sounds cool, let’s go!: and then I began to read it and Boyd had explained that when he saw Audrey for the first time, his “wolf” caught sight of her and wanted her. I thought this was his nickname for his junk. It never dawned on me he was a shapeshifter, because Vanessa normally doesn’t write about them in her books, just mostly gorgeous cowboys and sex! So, once I started putting two and two together I made the assumption that this must be part of Renee’s influence and in the end, I was right. She has written several paranormal books in the past.

Newest fictional crush

Ooooooh boy.

This one always gets me because I tend to fall for the majority of the characters, but there are at least two that I just cannot stop thinking about and the first is the Lord of Moray, Gillacoemgain. It’s always the ones who you think are going to be the worst of the bunch that you basically fall over heels in love with, and then by the end of the story, that person is gone. I am still grieving over him because he just made me so happy.

I’ve just finished reading the first book of the Badd Brothers series by Jasinda Wilder, and I am in love with Sebastian! Bad boys who can’t express their feelings are usually not my thing but he threw me for a loop and I kind of liked it. No pun intended of course!

Newest favorite character

I am really torn between Lulach, who is the son of Corbie from Highland Blood. You get a glimpse of him at the end of that book, but he doesn’t start to have a bigger role for everyone in the series until Highland Vengeance–he goes from being a newborn to around five or six years old from start to finish so everything that comes across Corbie’s way, she’s not doing it for herself, she’s doing it for him.

And since this question is asking for newest favorite character, I think I should probably add Sebastian Badd to the mix! I’m actually shocked that I like Bast more than Baxter, since I read out of order of the Badd Brothers series. I don’t know why but I prefer Bast at the moment. He seems like a really good guy, but not saying Baxter didn’t. I just find him a little more attractive while reading Badd Motherf*cker by Jasinda Wilder.

Book that made you cry

Now I know I may not have the review out yet but since the film continues to make me cry, I knew it happen again while reading the book too. I just didn’t think it would affect me that much, but you know it happens. Oh, and the book I’m talking about is Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire.

Book that made you happy

I’ve basically talked about all of the books I’ve read so far except for me and I have to say, I am not adding it here because of this reason, but because it did make me happy in the beginning: Before Wallis: Edward VIII’s Other Women by Rachel Trethewey. I love reading historical nonfiction and if it’s about royalty I will probably be drawn to it, and I think King Edward VIII before he met Wallis Simpson was totally different than what he became later on, and it allows you to understand a tiny bit of why Prince Harry would want a normal life away from the royal family.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year

Heh, funnily enough, I really haven’t bought a book since December–well except for that one series Mafia Brides by Measha Stone, but in my defense, I swore I was clicking for the Kindle Unlimited but I ended up purchasing a trilogy series and as much as I am not loving it, I feel like I have to complete the series because they were not cheap, as they were $15.99! So, if you are a Kindle Unlimited looking for a series to get into, please watch what you’re clicking or you’ll feel so guilty that you force yourself to read it anyways!

However, the ‘most beautiful’ book cover would have to be A Touch of Darkness. Honestly, the first three books have gorgeous covers, but the fourth cover is a bit different compared to the others as it has roses and vines instead of that iron design.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Apparently the Lost Pharaoh Chronicles by Lauren Lee Merewether is pretty long; the final book will be coming out soon but I would like to at least three more from that series before the end of the year. I would also like to do the same for the Twilight series, but we’ll really have to see what happens with those books.

I still have a lot of different books on my Kindle that I could knock out before the start of 2022 and here is on my to-do list as of now.

  • Still Me by JoJo Moyes (3%)
  • One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (15%)
  • After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blakemore (22%)
  • Roping The Cowboy by Kennedy Fox (4%)
  • Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning (38%)
  • Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • Elizabeth Woodeville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower by David Baldwin (20%)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (4%)
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

The main reason why everybody is so low is because I have a real problem with staying away from KU and looking for freebie gems! Like with my Harry Potter books, I am also casually reading Gone Girl. I will get through it eventually, as I will with all of these books too.

So, what do you think of my answers? Are there any books you think you would like to read listed above? If so, which ones are calling out to you and why?

Blogmas | 12 Days Of Christmas Book Tag

Hello!

So, apparently I did not have a post ready for today when we started the week. Luckily for you, I have been sort of hoarding a few different tags in the past few months and thought I would give the only Christmas tag a go!

This tag was created by Lizzie Loves Books on her YouTube channel a few years ago. She didn’t have any rules that I thought I would share with you, so looks like we can just move on to the questions because personally, I don’t like tagging others, especially in the middle of the month where a good chunk of bloggers have probably finished their blogmas posts. If you do want to do the challenge, please link me to your post because I do like to read everybody’s answers.

A Partridge In A Pear Tree | What is your favorite stand-alone book?

It was really hard to chose my favorite; mainly because I don’t want to pick just one, but I did it anyways.

One of the first books I read after I graduated from high school ten years ago, was The Secret Diary of A Princess by Melanie Clegg. The reason why I brought up school is, I used to read so many historical fiction books in my teens. This one is about Marie Antoinette while she is making her way to France from her homeland Austria. It is very interesting to think about how these people were thinking at the time, and I tend to be drawn to them because I like thinking some parts could be exactly what they were doing while they were alive. This was my first book about Marie Antoinette and I was purely inspired by the film that came out in 2006, it is definitely one of my favorites ever, so this just added fuel to the fire basically.

Two Turtle Doves | Who is your favorite book ship?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, boy!

This one was kind of easy, although I had the same issue with the previous on which one to choose, so I just ended up picking both of them because I loved both of them.

Okay, the first couple that came to me was Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinisky. I’m still not happy about how the third book went but that’s just my opinion. Anyways, they were the perfect couple set in high school. I think the real reason why I was so for them is because I still love the notion of high school sweethearts and the fact it is basically out of style now really hurts me internally.

The other bookship is a little awkward because in the review for it, I wasn’t for it in the beginning but now I can’t stop thinking about it. The book is The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham. It is set during the mist of WWII and the main character Anke is a midwife who is helping all women bring their babies into the world, this means Jewish and the offspring of Adolf Hitler. I’m just going to leave that there for now.


Three French Hens | What about your favorite trilogy?

Well, since I’ve only finished one so far, it would have to be All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. There is one other series that I am loving but I’m not done with it yet. I’m hoping in the new year, I can add the final book to my reading challenge. The series is Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. It has really surprised how much I am loving these books but honestly I am such a fan of Louisa though and I think I’m just plain nosey to find out what happens next to her story!


Four Calling Birds | What is your favorite beast and/or creature?

I still think reading Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets was the worst idea ever, because like Ron, I am also scared of spiders and was a nice warning to what you would experience in the next book, dealing with the Dementors. The thing is, my favorite creature(s) were featured in Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.


Five Golden Rings | Show us five golden books!

From left to right: The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham, Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone, After You by JoJo Moyes, To All Of The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han & Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Six Geese a Laying | What is your least favorite book?

The only book that comes to mind for this question is, The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. It was just pure awful! Too many characters for me to follow at one time.


Seven Swans a Swimming | Show us a book with water on the cover

This is sort of embarrassing but you asked…

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The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister


Eight Maids a Milking | What fictional food do you wish you could taste?

Okay, for me, it is unlikely I would ever get to travel to Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, especially if this COVID mess continues but I would love to try butterbeer and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. Despite the fear of getting a jelly bean flavored as tripe sounds disgusting, I’d still like to get one to snack on and the other to basically sit as a souvenir.


Nine Ladies Dancing | What is your favorite dancing couples?

I feel like the only book I’ve ever read that has dancing mentioned was the Stefan’s Diaries series. Since the first book takes place before he and Damon are turned into a vampire by Katherine, and is set in the 1800’s, I do believe there is some form of dancing involved in it.


Ten Lords a Leaping | What is your favorite book-to-movie adaption?

If you haven’t been following me for very long, this might shock you, because my favorite is Me Before You. I thought it was as close as you can get to mentioning everything that happens in the book. I still laughed and cried in the same places and I just felt they were one. While I read the second book in January, I still kept having the image of Emilia Clark as Louisa, Jenna Coleman as her sister Trina and Janet McTeer as Will’s mother,


Eleven Pipers Piping | What about your favorite book-to-film soundtrack too?

I know this might be a little bias but the soundtrack I made for Alias: Sister Spy by Laura Peyton Roberts is my favorite, and before anybody asks, no, you can’t hear it because I made it for a final in my freshman English class in 2007. It’s bad enough I still remember when my teacher played it in class.

I had a software for our computer that allowed me to create beats with pre-recorded sounds of various instruments for Christmas the year before. At the time, we couldn’t afford internet so I had found the app as we would call them now, as my lifeline that whole summer going into my high school years. I want to say I did a 20 song collection that was inspired by the book too, and what is really interesting is that, I wasn’t into rock music during this time but I had strong rock and heavy metal sounds within the score.

Twelve Drummers Drumming | What was your favorite ending?

Out of all the questions, this was the one I’ve been thinking about the most and I don’t know the answer…

The safest one would have to be Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. It’s the final book of the series and I really felt it when I read it, and I totally wanted to cry because I just thought it was the most perfect end to this story.

Before I leave, I have to say, I really tried to pick books that I hadn’t read this year but I couldn’t help it. These are the books that still live on in my brain at the moment, so trying to push them out of the way seemed like a bad idea but I was proud of myself for going back to see all of the 100+ books I’ve read since 2006! Of course, there are a few missing but that’s still a HUGE number for one person I think!

If you would like to follow my journey next year, click here to be directed to my Goodreads account.

snowflake

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello!

After doing the little free write story I did last month, I was really itching to do something different with my blog schedule for July. Thankfully, I saw this all over YouTube and I thought this was perfect for me!

If this is your first time on here and don’t know the reading challenge I am doing this year. I had made the decision at the beginning of the year to read 20 books for 2020! This was a big decision for me to make after only reading three times in 2019, none in 2018, and five books in 2017! I love to read but I have never had enough time in the day to pick up a book and read for more than an hour. However, while I made up my mind on the year challenge, I also made the decision to only blog two weeks each month so I could have a break of blogging but also have more than enough time to read all the books I wanted to! Spoiler alert: I’ll be back next week for a special occasion!

By the time this post is go up, I should be nearing the end of the challenge.

I have thought about upping the amount once I pass it but I’m stuck in between going to 40 as my dad suggested to me or the 50 that I have been thinking about making since the end of March. What do you think?

Anyways, let’s get into the tag now!


Even though everyone on BookTube has been doing this tag, I watched one of my favorites: Catriona of Little Owl Book and I just basically copied the questions she had listed in the description box below. She had included the two people who came up with the tag, and they are Chami and Ely, so please go check out their channels after finishing with this.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

The best book I’ve read this year was Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone. In second and third are: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han and Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

There are two reasons why it’s the best in my opinion. The first is, I don’t normally like reading suspense/thriller books, but I am wanting anything that will not scare the living daylights out of me! Ever since mom told me I should watch the film, What Lies Beneath, it has changed me for the better I think. The other reason is because I enjoyed seeing the main character Jane’s mind work. I just love it! Everytime I have had a chance to recommend books to someone, including family members, this is the first book I mention to them.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

I’ve read four sequels so far and that in general is crazy, but my favorite has been After You by JoJo Moyes. This was the first book to start up the challenge in January, and I still think about it every night.

As someone with a physical disability, I am still enjoying the series! Lou is such a great character and I love reading about her. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really need to look into the series sometime. You’ll feel so many emotions, but I think end up loving it in the end too!

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

I rarely keep track of new book releases, especially since COVID-19 made its appearance earlier this year, but I have seen a few here and there. I would love to check out Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. The cover looks absolutely beautiful but I really think I’d love to get to know Noemi and the rest of characters in the story!

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Again, this is another one that I was a bit unsure on how to answer, but I have one book that I’ve seen all over the internet so I’ve been very curious about it, and it is Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. According to some people it is “a combination of Moulin Rouge and The Phantom Of The Opera” and that was all I had to hear and I was sold to the concept.

Biggest disappointment

Honestly, I haven’t given any of the books I’ve read a “bad” rating or review, but there is one book that I was loving up until the last chapter and that was Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I basically became furious of the situation, but mostly felt it was just predictable and this really drove me crazy!

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Biggest surprise

The biggest surprise of the challenge has been the fact that I actually hitting two goals this year. I have never finished a book series before in my life. As I’ve gotten older, I have always wanted to cross it off my bucket list but I have never really had a chance to do it.

I always thought the series I would finish first would be The Sinners On Tour series by Olivia Cunning. I started reading the first book Backstage Pass after I finished Fifty Shades Of Grey by E.L. James in 2012. I never loved Christian Grey so I gave up on the rest of the series. Fast forward, I am still on the “final” book by Olivia, but I haven’t read it since probably February.

Since 2014, I have always wanted to read Jenny Han’s series To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before but I never expected to enjoy it as much as I have and continue my journey to finish the books. I will probably be done with Always and Forever, Lara Jean and have scheduled the review to go up next week, but I think I will really be sad once I am finished reading Lara Jean’s story. However, I will feel really good for myself too, because I really didn’t think I’d even get here!

Favorite new author (Debut or new for you)

I started a lot of series this year. but there has been one that I found all on my own. Helen Susan Swift wrote a book about Women Of Scotland: A Journey Through History and the main reason why I decided to check it out is because we finally got the DNA results of my dad’s ancestry–we knew about the Welsh/Scottish but we didn’t know how much we were–and I thought this book would help me feel better about being descended through these incredible strong women!

By the way, if anyone knows of a similar book about Wales, let me know because that is also on my list!

Newest fictional crush

The two books that seem to flash at me are: Chaol from Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Prince Maxon of Kiera Cass royal series The Selection. These characters are complete opposites but I have fallen in love with them for a reason. They both show in the later chapters that they care and are obviously protective of the main characters.

As much as I am still mad at myself for seeing King Joffrey from Game Of Thrones in my head for Chaol, I really enjoyed seeing the friendship between him and Celaena blossom as the story goes on. I actually approved of these two characters getting together instead of the prince and Celaena.

Newest favorite character

While I was reading P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, I became really obsessed with Stormy. Everything about the character made me think of my own nana and I’s relationship. The only difference is that my nana doesn’t drink and has a thing for Adam Lambert…

Book that made you cry

I had five books that made me cry, but for most I knew it was going to happen! I made a point to read my disability related books at the start of the year so I could get the tears out of the way, but I didn’t plan the other two books to make me cry in the process!

Book that made you happy

The two books that made me really happy were I Am Malala by Malala Youszafai and Patricia McCormick and The Broken Circle by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller. They are nonfiction and I really enjoyed getting to know these strong women.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year

While I was writing out the questions, the first and honestly answer that belongs here is Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott. It’s odd that since the outbreak of COVID-19 and hearing everyone has to stand five feet apart at all times makes me instantly of the book and movie too! This is truly a beautiful book and yes, it works out for the two previous questions but it fits here better.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Well, it all depends on whether or not I continue doing a reading challenge once I finish the 20 books. I doubt I’ll gave myself a reading break because I do have other books on my tablet and in my bookshelf. I might get the chance to read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott but I really don’t know yet.

If you decide to do this tag on your blog or YouTube channel, please tag me so I can see your answers! Oh, and if you are not following me on Goodreads, you should come check out the other books I’ve read this year too. Click here to become a friend of mine on there.

What have you been reading this year? 

snowflake

The Baby Name Tag – Round 3!

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Howdy!

It feels kind of weird to be writing a blog post that isn’t 100% disability, not to mention have it go up on a Monday too! I actually told my mom, “what the heck am I going to do now?” because I got used to having something for that day, so for it to be completely empty is a bit scary for me.

One thing I knew I could publish on here to start off our week is with a tag of some sort, and you know a brand new baby name tag is right up my ally! SJ Sturm is a mother of three and she has a YouTube channel and every Monday, she releases a new video talking about various baby names. She came up with another tag last month and I thought it was time to answer those questions on here for you!

1. What names do you love but are too scared to use?

I love a lot of different names. and most of my family kind of respects this to an extend, but I do believe there are certain types of names that would cause them to be judgmental I guess. The past year I have been falling for both unisex and word names. I think some word names are enchanting but quirky at the same times and I have been thinking that a lot of names can be for the opposite sex too. Here are some examples:

Story – Onyx – Equinox – Storm – Cherish – Promise
Drew – Jocelyn – River – Ariel – Hazel – Rhiannon

2. Favorite name from your family tree/ancestry?

Back in 2018, I found out my great-grandmother that I never knew or met, was named Iman. I’m not too sure if this was a first or last name, but I actually like it anyways. Recently I had discovered a wide range of beautiful Arabic names and this ultimately made it onto my girl names list.

My other favorite is Olive. My great-great-grandmother on my mom’s side of the family had the pleasure of having this little beauty. At first, I thought it was too vintage–and I’m addicted to classic and vintages, so figure that one out for me!–but now that I’ve given it some thought on what kind of middle name I’d pair it with, I started to enjoy it. Oh, and I like it as Olive Theodora. A little Greek flare never hurt anybody!

3. What unpopular name do you think should be make a comeback?

In 2019, there were a lot of names that replaced some of my favorites like, Sylvia, Jupiter, and Genevieve with Sylvie, Juniper, and Guinevere. I know they don’t really go together but they are spelled in a similar way, so I am hoping a few can make a comeback in the future.

4. What name did you love growing up?

I grew up in the 1990’s, so I was exposed to a lot of various movies and TV shows throughout my childhood, but there were only two names that I have generally always enjoyed and they are: Cynthia and Naomi.

If you couldn’t tell, I was really into Rugrats as a child and the only name I liked from the entire show was Angelica’s doll “Cynthia”! What still gets me is that it is such a dated name for me, but as a kid I didn’t know anything about that, I just embraced it. For Naomi though, I was purely inspired by my mom’s love of Mama’s Family. We would watch it after coming home from school. This is a name that I still consider using in some way one day, because I still adore it!

5. Favorite one syllable name & four syllable name or longer?

I have always had issues with figuring out how many syllables in a normal word, but discovering syllable one name(s) has become a new hobby for me lately. I’m not sure to feel sorry about creating a longer list to the four or more syllable names. I was on a name website and couldn’t stop!

One Syllable Names:

Anne – Brynn – Joan – Mae – Noor – Plum – Rogue

Beau – Dean – Lane – Lief – Poe – Seth – Trace

Four Or Longer Syllable Names:

Alessandra – Anastasia – Annemieke – Catharina – Donatella – Elizabeth – Emilia – Evangeline – Federica – Felicity – Giovanna – Georgia – Henrietta – Isabella – Josefina – Nefertiti – Olivia – Olympia – Ophelia – Penelope – Philomena – Seraphina – Theodora – Valentina – Victoria – Wilhelmina – Xiomara

Alexander – Amadeus – Bartholomew – Emmanuel – Giovanni – Jeremiah – Leonardo – Napoleon – Nathaniel – Salvatore – Santiago – Sebastian – Valentino – Xavier – Zachariah

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6. Which of your friends/celebrity has a name combination that gives you most envy?

While one of my sister’s friends was pregnant, she and her husband were going through various “J” names. They ultimately decided on Jenson as his first name, but they were thinking about using Jennings instead and since I’ve seen Jenson everywhere, I wasn’t into it at first, but now I think it fits him perfectly! However, since they didn’t use Jennings, I ended up putting it on my boy list because I fell in love with it!

7. Favorite name based on your favorite season?

Seasonal names are so difficult for me, mostly because I’m always wondering if people want to know which season they’d use for a name or anything about the season instead. The only way I can really answer this, is by talking about a present I got for Christmas. So, get comfortable because it is story time!

My little nephew picked out this cute brown stuffed French Bulldog for me. I spent the whole day figuring out what I was going to call him and since Nolan is too little to help, it was mainly my mom and I figuring out the perfect name for him.

Since he is a French Bulldog, I thought it would be awesome to give him a French inspired name. I started throwing out different ones to my mom and we decided on Jacques for the first but I went online to find other ones, and typed out a list a list for my mom and she chose Leopold. Back to the question though, his final middle name is Emmanuel for when he was given to me, so his full name is: Jacques Leopold Emmanuel.

8. Favorite name from your favorite movie?

Again, this is hard to answer! The first name that came to mind is Eilish. Now, you might know it because of Billie Eilish, but I came across it after watching the film Brooklyn. It is one of my favorites and it brought me to appreciate Irish names like Eilish and the actress who plays her, Saoirse Ronan. I’ve even put Saoirse onto my list of girl names too!

The next one was inspired by the question below; as it reminded me of my love of Where The Heart Is. When I first started watching it, I really loved Novalee and Americus a lot, but unfortunately I have fallen out of love with Novalee over the years, but Americus is still okay though. It’s not on my list but it is impressive!

And finally, I love the film The White Oleander. I have never been interested in Astrid, but I did like Ingrid and still do to this day! However, I do enjoy using them as a sibling set or mother-daughter duo like this. I also love Oleander too, but don’t know if I’d ever want to use it anywhere.

9. A name connected with your favorite food

When I saw this question, I immediately thought of Ashley Judd’s character in Where The Heart Is and when she explains how she named her kids. I still think Praline is cute! Brownie is cute, but I think it fits more on a pet than a human child. No offense to anybody out there, it’s just my preference!

10. A name associated with your hometown

Oh, now this is a bit easier weirdly enough. I live in Indiana, and I have always loved it as a name in general. However, as most people associate it with “adventure” and apparently that just screams like a male name, but I disagree. I think it looks and sounds pretty for a girl. If she turns out to be a daredevil as she gets older, it’ll definitely be a perfect fit too!

I hope you have enjoyed the first post of the new year! Before I go, if you are curious to check out my other baby name tags, here are the links for them.

The Baby Names Tag – Extended | Baby Names Tag – Round 2

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