Friday, September 14, 2012

My July & August Adventures {in books!}

I fell a little behind with my monthly adventure posts over the summer. I think being away the week July turned into August did me in. I am going to keep the adventures brief because I've already highlighted the most important parts anyway with my vacation and cycling posts. I'll focus on what I read over the summer instead--especially since some people complained that I don't blog about books enough anymore. You know who you are .... this post's for you. ; )

In books: 
Total books read: 6

Young Adult ....... 1
 Romance .............. 5

1. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
2. The Witness by Nora Roberts
3. Danger's Kiss by Sarah McKerrigan
4. Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
5. Hearts of Fire by Kira Brady [novella]
6. Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady

It seems like ages since I read this books, not two months ago! I really enjoyed reading one of Nora Robert's regular romantic suspense novels as opposed to her crime fiction books she writes under J.D. Robb. The Witness was a perfect blend of romance and suspense, with very realistic and likable characters. In the end, I'd have to say I would have liked a little more depth or elaboration to the romance, but overall I really liked it and would definitely read more of her books. Good thing I've got a mess of them on my shelves!

I'm a big fan of Kristan Higgins' contemporary romances. The stories are chock full of quirky characters, charming characters, humor, misunderstandings, relationship blunders, family drama we can all relate to, and a sweet romance. Somebody to Love features Parker Welles, a young single mom, whose filthy rich father is suddenly broke and in prison, even after having spent Parker's trust money. All she has to her name is a decrepit little house in Maine that she inherited from her aunt. Parker heads up to Maine to turn the house around and get some cash into her banking account and who shows up to help her out but her father's young lawyer and right hand man, James Cahill. Of course they fight their love practically every step of the way, but what fun would it be if they didn't, right? While not my favorite Higgins' book, this one didn't disappoint! Good stuff.

Hearts of Fire, the prequel novella to the new Deadglass trilogy by debut author Kira Brady, and the first full length novel in the series, Hearts of Darkness were the last two books I read in July. Well written, fascinating setting, characters and series premise, Hearts of Darkness is a very creative and suspenseful story. If you like romance or urban fantasy do not miss this one!

Total books read: 9

1. Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb
2. Deeper by Megan Hart
3. Gold by Chris Cleave
4. Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan
5. Before the Moon Rises by Catherine Bybee
6. Embracing the Moon by Catherine Bybee
7. No Rest For the Wicked by Kresley Cole [re-read]
8. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole [re-read]
9. Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole [re-read]

My favorite part of the day...
relaxing with a great book.
Deeper by Megan Hart
August 2012
It's always a good reading month when you've read a Megan Hart book. Entertaining, sexy and always thought provoking, Hart is always on the top of her game. I read Deeper in August, which was the perfect summer read from Hart's back list because it takes place in a beach town, but really, read it any time of the year.

Gold by Chris Cleave is a newer release book that captured the competitive spirit of Olympic athletes in training with a strong dose of women's fiction as the two main characters are friends, sometimes enemies and always competitors for the podium in women's track cycling. This book was at times uplifting and at other times, very heart breaking and frustrating. Not frustrating in the writing or story telling, but frustrating in that I wanted things to work out just so and they don't. Which is good actually, because you want a realistic story and real characters, flaws, mistakes and maliciousness and all. Because that's what life is like. Anyway, I highly recommend it.

I downloaded a few quick ebook reads that caught my eye on goodreads and twitter and I wasn't disappointed. Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan and two werewolf romances by Catherine Bybee--Before the Moon Rises and Embracing the Moon. Nothing earth shattering awesome or anything, but seriously fun and sexy reads.

Then as you can see, I indulged in a re-read of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. I read the first five full length books back in 2007-2008 as the books came out, but then I failed to keep up with new releases after that. Back in April, I decided it was time to catch up, so I picked up where I left off, which was the 7th book--Kiss of a Demon King. I got maybe thirty pages into the story when I realized I could use a refresher. The details about the other characters, the world, and all the little subplots were very fuzzy. I probably could have forged on through and done just fine, but since I really love "getting" all the little inside jokes and nuances between characters who know each other through past books, I knew I'd be a lot happier reading books 7 through 12 if I re-familiarized myself with this series. And what better way to do that than to go back to the beginning and re-read the first six books? So that's what I did. I put Kiss of a Demon King down and went back to the beginning, starting with the prequel novella that I never read, The Warlord Wants Forever, which is Myst the Coveted and Nikolai Wroth's story. I had a lot of fun re-reading these stories and have to say reading them in a row one after the other is very cool because these stories all overlap the same timeline so I'm remembering where people are going and what they're doing in other books as it's all mentioned again in subsequent books. It's been really fun!

Do you read the Immortals After Dark series? 
Which book is your favorite so far?

In photography: 
Butterfly in my garden.
July 2012
I had fun participating in a photo-a-day challenge hosted by the Fat Mum Slim blog, or @fatmumslim on twitter. I kept up for all of June, July and August. The fun daily prompts helped me stay on track taking a picture every day and the best part? I made some new friends on Instagram! I decided not to continue with that particular challenge through the fall and instead go back to just doing my own thing for my daily photo. I'm still determined to complete my Project 365! It's been almost 9 1/2 months now. I think I'm going to make it this time!

As always, you can follow my photography challenges on

In the garden: 
My five tomato plants are doing pretty well considering I planted so late. I've been picking red or yellow cherry tomatoes almost every day in the last several weeks. Finally! I still haven't picked a ripe slicing tomato--they're all still green and growing. To encourage the plants to put their energy to fattening up and ripening their fruit instead of generating new plant growth, maybe two weeks ago I pinched off all the growing ends of the plants and any flowers that had not yet set fruit. I think it helped because now the green tomatoes have gotten bigger and just this week, two of the tomatoes have started turning red. I was beginning to think it wasn't going to happen and I'd be stuck eating nothing but fried green tomatoes from my garden! This is what happens when you wait until the 4th of July to get your tomato plants in the ground! Remind me next year to do it in May..

Thanks for reading about my July & August adventures.

Here's wishing you an stupendous September! Even if it is half over already. ;)


  1. That photo a day challenge sounds like something that would be fun to do. Too late to start now, but do you plan on doing it again? I would love to do that.

  2. Hi Amy! :)
    I'm still taking a photo a day because I'm trying to do a Project365 which is a photo a day for a whole year, but I'm just not following the daily prompts from Fat Mum Slim. I have to admit, the prompts are fun and they definitely helped me stay on track and not forget to take a picture every day. I'm not sure if I want to follow the prompts again... it was sort of just my summertime project. Maybe I'll do a photo-a-day December challenge in which all the photos are winter solstice-holiday themed. Hmm...

  3. I haven't read The Immortal series yet but I kind of want to now after hearing that you are rereading them. So many books and just not enough time :) My tomato plants are like a jungle...I have to get bigger cages for them to grow next year :) But this is the first year that I haven't killed them so that is saying something! Sounds like you have had a great two months...hope September goes just as well for you!

  4. The butterfly pic is just beautiful : )

    So far my fave Immortal is #3 Wicked Deeds On A Winters Night. I've taken a bit of an Immortal break and been reading some netgalley things and book club choices : ) I will have to read the pre-quel I haven't read that either.

    I do have the Sushi Club book so when you're in the mood, give a holler and we can read it together : )


  5. samantha.1020: Be warned that there are about a dozen IAD books right now with more on the way. And they are like candy so you will want more once you stick your hand in the jar!

    I didn't cage my tomato plants. I normally tie them with natural jute to bamboo stakes or teepees, but they went crazy while we were away on vacation for nearly 2 weeks and I couldn't tame them when we got back without damaging them so I let them just do their thing. Kinda reminded me that tomato plants are VINES. They like to ramble and tie themselves to whatever's around them.

    Hope September is good for you too! :)

    Paula : I love that butterfly pic too! He/she was so co-operative!

    I am so addicted to reading right through the IAD series right now. Crazy. The prequel novella is very caveman alpha, but the author makes it funny, thank goodness.

    Oh, yes! Thanks for reminder about Sushi Club book! I'll let you know. Do you own it or have it out from library?

  6. I'm been remiss in checking out your posts- Sorry! Glad to see you've had some good reading this month. Your butterfly picture is so pretty! Hope you have a good week!

  7. If you do one for December, let me know. I'll do it with you.


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