Guest Blog: Carolyn LaRoche (All She Never Wanted)

Today I welcome Carolyn LaRoche, author of All She Never Wanted.  She’s here to tell you about writing the book and her inspiration.  I plan on having a review of the book soon because I am very excited to read it.  For now, please welcome Carolyn and enjoy her guest post.

Thank you so much for letting me visit with your readers today. I’m very excited about my newest book All She Never Wanted. It is such a different kind of story for me to write and definitely holds a piece of my heart. As a long time police officer’s wife, I’ve often contemplated how I would end up if something tragic happened to my husband. When I wrote the beginning of the book, I was in one of those moods and decided to explore the emotions I expected would accompany such a tragedy. It turned out to be one of the most intense pieces I have ever written and even now, two years later, when I read it again I feel it all. The fear, the sadness, the anger. Evie deserved and needed a happy ending more than any character I’ve ever written. I just hated that she had to work so hard for it and was never quite sure she’d get it.

Landon is a completely different kind of hero for me as well. I’ve mostly written the alpha cop. Hot guys who know how to handle a big gun have been my favourite for obvious reasons…if you ask my husband, I’m a total badge bunny! So, writing what I love has always been easy. Landon challenged me. I had to make him hateable and likeable. His personality is completely alpha before his accident and becomes angry, defeatist after. Evie has no interest in his attitude, she only wants to do her job and move on with her life. Landon challenges her but she handles everything he tosses at her with city girl attitude and healthy doses of snark. They are completely different yet absolutely perfect for each other. They just have to figure it out.

In my Secret Lives series, the romance sort of takes a supporting role to the mysteries and crimes. My Defenders of Love series is based on the James family—lawmen working in every branch of law enforcement. They save the day and get the girl. Falling in love is a given. Evie and Landon have to work so hard for their happy ending and there are so many question as to whether or not they will get there. They carry tons of personal emotional baggage—I wasn’t sure they could get through it all.

Writing a story that makes the reader feel what Evie and Landon are feeling, both individually and in their budding relationship, has been my greatest writing challenge so far. I’ve fallen totally and completely in love with Evie and Landon in the process. I hope that you will too.

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/9/17

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

What I finished last week:

Day 21 by Kass Morgan (audiobook – Scribd)

The Woman Next Door by Cass Green (purchased)

The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (purchased)

What I’m Currently Reading:

His Ballerina Bride by Teri Wilson (review)

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig (purchased)

The Crown by Kiera Cass (audiobook – Scribd)

What’s Next?

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre (library)

Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt (review)

The List by Tawna Fenske (review)

Blogger Shame Review Challenge

Blogger Shame 2016
Yes. We’re hanging our heads in some blogger-girl shame. lol
The Blogger Shame challenge is a cheeky way to admit our guilt…and go about fixing it. Tackling those review books that have slipped through the cracks over the years. Any review book over 4 months past due is game!

Head over to The Herd Presents blog for more information and to sign up.

I have too many books that have languished and have not been read and reviewed. I hope to at least get a few done over the next year.  I’ll post here and link to the review when I do them.  I know there are some treasures in there that I really meant to get to, so it’s time to remove the guilt and get it done!

Audiobook Challenge 2017

audiobook-challenge-2017

Join Hot Listens and Caffeinated Book Reviewer for the 5th year of great audio books.

Audiobooks are great for those times you want to read but can’t for some reason like driving, doing chores, working out, or if you’re one of the lucky ones like me, listen to them at work. I hope to see old and new faces for The 2017 Audiobook Challenge.  I cannot wait to see what you listen to and how often you listen.Thanks to the continued popularity of Audiobooks just about everything is being published on audio…YAY!

We will hold two updates with giveaways. The first update will be June 30th, 2017 and the final update will be Dec 15, 2017. There has never been a better time for reading with our ears. So grab your earbuds and join in the fun!

Head over to the host websites for more details and how to join.

I’m joining at the Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) level which is 15-20 audiobooks.

  1. Day 21 (The 100) by Kass Morgan

2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

2017-alphabet-soup-button

The 2017 Alphabet Soup challenge is hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book. Below are the basic details but head to her blog for all the details and to sign up.

The challenge is to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet.

You can drop the A’s and The’s from the book titles as shown below.

The First Main Word Needs To Be The Letter You Are Counting

Except For those pesky Q, X AND Z titles the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.
So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.

A – How I plan to do it: Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

OR

B – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. For example: A – Assault and Beret by Jenn McKinlay B- Bookman Dead Style by Paige Shelton C – Cold Pressed Murder by Kelly Lane D – Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle etc.

Books can be read in any order and all formats – print – e-book – audio – are acceptable for this challenge!

I’m going with option A and will list books below as I finish them and link to them if I review them.

A –
B –
C –
D – Day 21 (The 100) by Kass Morgan
E –
F –
G –
H –
I – If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
J –
K –
L –
M –
N –
O –
P –
Q –
R – The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel
S –
T –
U –
V –
W –
X –
Y –
Z –

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading 12/26

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

What I finished last week:

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass (Scribd)

Disclaimer by Renee Knight (purchased)

What I’m Currently Reading:

Day 21 by Kass Morgan (audiobook)

The Woman Next Door by Cass Green (purchased)

His Ballerina Bride by Teri Wilson (review)

What’s Next?

Since I’m currently enjoying my vacation, I’m hoping I’m getting a bunch of reading time.  Have a wonderful reading week!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

darkmatter

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Rating: 5 Stars
Publisher: Crown
Pub. Date: July 26, 2016
Hardcover, 342 pages

Obtained from: my local library 

My Review:

First, I have loved Blake Crouch since I was introduced to him with the book, Desert Places and then Locked Doors.  Last year I read his Wayward Pines series and was reminded of how much I loved his books.  So when I saw he had a new one out and the library had it, I grabbed it.

I loved this book, as in I read it in two sittings, which is kind of impossible with two kids, one a tween and one a teen, both in sports, along with being a wife, cook, and working 40 hours a week.  But I. Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down.  Seriously.

The writing reminded me of some of the great science fiction writing from Michael Crichton.  Sphere, Congo, Timeline, Airframe and many others.  Crouch explores the space/time continuum in a way that I felt was crazy yet believable.

I loved the premise and the execution was great. Sometimes I was just a little bogged down, but on a whole this was amazing.  I loved the characters, especially Jason and his wife.  I loved the ideas explored such as the path not taken. What would you do if you could change one decision in your life, a small or large one.  What effects would it have.  This book questions all of this and gives you a relate-able character to follow through the book.

I don’t want to give anything away, but if you enjoy true science fiction, this is a great book.  The science is interesting and presented in a way that a reader can easily understand.  The characters are intriguing and the premise and plot are amazing.

So run, don’t walk and use your Christmas money to get this one.  Or your everyday money.  Or find it at the library.  It’s good, and if it’s your first Blake Crouch and you love it, definitely go through his backlist.  I’m going to work on that in the new year.

About the Book:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

Buy from Amazon (affiliate link):

2017 Reading Assignment Challenge

Because Reading is better than real life

What a fun challenge, hosted by Berls at

You can find all the rules by clicking on the links.  But it’s pretty simple. Sign up for a number of books you will read per month in 2017 (anywhere from 1-4 books/month) and then list the books you will read.  Nothing after January 1, 2017 and they have to be over 100 pages long.  There will be quarterly “report card” posts and giveaways so go check it out.
This challenge is perfect with me wanting to read books I have, so I can’t wait.
I’m going for the 2/month option (24 books in 2017) and here is my list:
  1. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  2. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  4. Memory in Death by J.D. Robb
  5. Born in Death by J.D. Robb
  6. Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
  7. True North by Liora Blake
  8. Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley
  9. Inspire by Cara Carmack
  10. Stay with Me by J. Lynn
  11. Fall with Me by J. Lynn
  12. Wicked by Jennifer Armentrout
  13. Sweet Nothing by Jamie Mcguire and Teresa Mummert
  14. Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep
  15. Elude by Rachel van Dyken
  16. Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
  17. The Cabin by Natasha Preston
  18. Dangerous by Shannon Hale
  19. Stranger Things by Erin Healy
  20. Pawn by Amee Carter
  21. A Perfect Mess by Zoe Dawson
  22. Faking It by Cara Carmack
  23. Finding It by Cara Carmack
  24. Unspoken by Jen Frederick

My Reading Habits and how they are changing

I thought it was a good way to restart my blog by talking about my reading habits and thoughts I have on changing them.

In the past, with a few exceptions I do not re-read books.  However I’m thinking of revising this.  In the years of book blogging in the past I was caught up in many different series. Some I was able to keep up with, others I didn’t. Not for lack of liking the series, but because I just devoted my time to other things and slowly went from reading almost 200 books/year to the last two years I have read under 100.  Still impressive numbers I know, but no longer did my life revolve around reading and blogging.

I don’t plan to go back to 150+ books/year but I plan on blogging again. And I plan on going back to some of those series I started.  And yes, I will re-read the books in the series so I refresh my memory about the characters and the series.  One series I started was the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa.  I plan on revisiting this. I also plan on reading the The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.  And there are several others.

Part of this motivation is to read books I have on my Kindle.  Older review books, books I have purchased, freebies.  Books I already have.  I still plan to review new books and I am sure I will purchase new ones, but I want to focus on getting books read.

This doesn’t mean I won’t read new books.  I will continue to rely on my library and book bargains for my Kindle.

In the past I have had a Scribd or Kindle Unlimited subscription.  I am unsure what I will do here.  Usually when I have these, I try to use them to make the most of my money, but with wanting to focus on books I own, this might get in the way.  Instead I may put the money I would spend on a subscription towards books I really want to buy each month.

And it’s very possible I will have a book budget, I’m just not sure what it will be yet.  I think I will get into specifics in a New Year’s post.

And coming later this week I will also unveil my book challenges I will be joining in 2017. Hopefully I will keep up in the coming year.

All this was to say, I am coming back to reading, I am coming back to blogging. I will still sew, I will still knit and because of some review coloring books sent to me, I may also try coloring.  I will find a balance in my life and just enjoy each day without any conditions on what I must do.  I will find a blog schedule that will work with this philosophy.  I will review books I have read this year, I will post memes, I will post new reviews, I will have fun. And I will re-read books.

What are your reading habits like? Do you re-read? If you blog do you adhere to a tight schedule?  And do you get bogged down from time-to-time?  What other hobbies do you have? What is your favorite book from 2016.  Talk to me, tell me about what you do. I’m interested and find it buoys me to continue what I do and excites me about the world of reading around me.

Entangled Summer Carnival: Balloon Pop (Entangled Teen)


Welcome to the Entangled TEEN Balloon Pop Booth! Entangled TEEN is all about the excitement of first love, so we are talking about all of the reasons a summer carnival makes a good date! Pintip Dunn, Vivi Barnes, Heidi R. Kling, and Gloria Craw are here to share their reasons and we would love to hear some of your carnival date stories. So be sure to leave a comment and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!


OMG, I think one of my first dates ever was at a summer carnival! Why does it make a good date? Because it is fun, thrilling, playful, giddy, and romantic! You get to be a kid again as you scream on rides that smash you up against your date. Feel that rush of excitement when your hoop lands on the bottle and you win a gigantic stuffed animal. Taste the sticky sweetness of cotton candy on your date’s lips. Best of all, you form memories that you still remember fondly 20 years later!
 
 
No other date can measure up to the excitement and… opportunities…of a carnival. Where else can you legitimately be smashed up against the cute guy without having to apologize for being in his space? Or be lifted a couple hundred feet in the air for a few peaceful minutes of conversation with zero possibilities of someone butting in? Or be given the opportunity to win a huge stuffed monkey that you know you must have, whether or not you really do. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll receive that special kiss you’ll remember far longer than that ugly orange monkey.
 
 
Hot. Summer, Night. Well, that’s enough right there for romance to spark, but add some sticky cotton candy, popcorn, rides that push you into your partner instead of further apart, and if you’re lucky? A moonlit kiss on a Ferris Wheel. Only thing missing from Paige and Jake’s summer in Jackson Hole was the town carnival. Why didn’t I think of that? Maybe in the sequel.
 
 
Carnivals are all about roller-coasters, so we can get some quality handholding-time in as we scream on the way down. Our guy might show off his man-skills and win a stuffed animal, and the food can be amazing. The best thing about a carnival date, though, is we’re going to get windblown hair, he might choose the scary, stuffed clown prize, and there’s a chance someone will spill Slurpee on their jeans. I think when the fun gets chaotic, we let our guard down and that’s when we really get to know someone.


GIVEAWAY




Don’t forgot to check out all the authors books below.


Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
 
Find it online:
 
 
Author Info:
 
 
Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes, on sale for just 99¢!
 
Find it online:
 
 
Author Info:
 

 

Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling, on sale for just 99¢!
 
Find it online:
 
 
Author Info:
 
 
Atlantis Rising by Gloria Craw
 
Find it online:
 
 
Author Info:
 
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter


The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller, on sale for just 99¢!
 
Find it online:
 
 
Author Info:
 

 

 

Find it online:



Author Info:


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



And be sure to stop by the other carnival booths for more fun and giveaways and each day stop by the Facebook event page to chat with the authors.