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Thursday

Hearts for Home 12/8

Welcome to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop


I am so glad you are joining us!  When you share your posts with us, your post will be displayed across 12 different sites, isn't that wonderful? 

And each week there will be at least one feature to check out from the previous week.  I hope you come back every week. If this is your first week, take a moment and say to me in the comments.  If you sign up for the community newsletter, you will get reminders of the hop, and some random freebies!  YAY!







Just for the Reading List Community

It's been a while since I've shared a special gift for those of you who are part of our little community. If you are already a member, and have received a newsletter at all in November, you already saw this, but I am still giving out monthly (more like bi-monthly) freebies. 

I enjoy creating printables, I just don't have much time to, which makes me sad. But since I've started keeping a Bullet Journal I am trying to create a few more now. So for the month of December, I am including a free link in the newsletter to print out a book tracker for you all for 2017. It will print up to an 8.5x11 sheet, or as small as you want to fit in your own BuJo or binders. Just sign up to be a member of our community above and wait to receive your first newsletter!

Reading List Community Freebie - Book shelf reading tracker for 2017


Once you print out your book tracker you can fill in the empty spines with the title of the books you want to read in 2017. Then once you read it you get to color it in. Hopefully, by the end of 2017, your bookshelf tracker will be full of color! I left space also for you to doodle if you want to embellish your sheet. 

And don't forget, I will be updating and sharing my Blogging Scheduler for you all soon!  It's my most popular freebie, so you want to make sure you are on the mailing list now. 



Most clicked post from last week


Check out Liz's 7 Clutter-Free Gifts for Kids!  













Now for this week’s Hearts for Home Blog Hop!

Share your posts this week, and then take time to discover some new ideas from all the other fabulous posts in this week’s party! Click on the little blue rectangle below to enter your links.

Please visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love receiving a word or two from our visitors, so please consider leaving a comment when you find something that inspires you!

Other nice things you can do:


  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Grab our button and share it on your side bar or link party page.
  • Be sure to visit a few links and share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!

Glad You’ve Joined the Hop!



By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. We are here every Thursday – be sure to stop by next week to see who’s been featured. By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.








Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML













Monday

The Red Pearl {Book Review & Tour}

The Red Pearl

C K Brooke


The Red Pearl by CK Brooke a Book Review on Reading List



There are so many books out there, and the number grows each day. While some of you might just love to read as much as I do, I am sure there are many of you who have no idea what books to pick up and which to avoid, so you just don't read at all. I get it, time is too fleeting to waste it on bad books. But the thing is, each person will be drawn to different stories at different times. So I am sharing today's book with you because I know there are some who will love it, and other who might want to skip it... but reading my quick review and thoughts should help you decide if this one is worth your time.

And if not, hopefully you'll start to trust my reviews, and return to find the next perfect book for you!









Story Overview 


The Red Pearl
by 
C.K. Brooke
Genre: NA Fantasy/Adventure Romance
Release Date: November 2015
48fourteen

Summary from Goodreads:


Treasure lost... passion found? 
Antonia Korelli is on the run from her coven of priestesses. She never desired a life confined to the temple, relegated to chastity and service to the goddess, Azea. Instead, she longs for true love and adventure in the Kingdom of Elat. 
Robin Watkins is a fiery dreamer on a mission of his own, to uncover the legendary lost Red Pearl. Only, he must first regain his treasure map, which was stolen by his former best mate and conniving ex-girlfriend. 
When Antonia becomes unwittingly entangled with Rob, she's more than dismayed to find herself stuck on his harebrained hunt. But somewhere amidst their bickering and banter, their plight for survival through desert and tropics, and the joint pursuit of impossible dreams, Antonia begins to realize that perhaps she might have found the unforgettable adventure – and romance – she was seeking.

*Advisory: Contains some sensual/sexual content
 













Personal Likes

I appreciate the unique character of Antonia. She is certainly a girly-girl looking to find her dream man who will take her on adventures since she has spent her entire life being told how routine her life will be. She is willing to risk her life for a complete stranger, which show serious spunk that I did not quite expect. And still she is surprised herself with some of her willingness for adventure. 

I also enjoyed Dr. Thaddeus Watkins. It's fun to a character's father add a little humor and relief to scenes that could have been boring. And who doesn't love an inventor and slightly odd father in a story?  I read him a bit like Belle's father in the Disney cartoon.

And, just like Brooke's last book I reviewed, this was a quick read!  Let's be honest, there is a lot to be said about being able to pick up a book and experience the whole thing in a weekend.


The Red Pearl by CK Brooke a Book Review on Reading List



Personal Dislikes

I struggled with the world and setting in this book. It clearly is in a time with less technology, yet some of the phrases the characters used in conversation were modern, while others were way outdated. It left me confused and never allowed me to escape into the story. 

Also there is a bit of unnecessary swearing, I did not need. And of course, as mentioned above, intimate scenes. We are not talking mature over the top here, but if this were a movie it would clearly be rated R. And I'm sorry, but I miss the poetic language that made it clear a couple had advanced their relationship, without being so black and white about it. 

Overall, too much of this read like a young YA book, when in reality, I think it belongs in a NA category, as the characters are not in high school, there is a lot of mature interaction between the love interests. 




Reading List Rating

I can only give this book a three heart rating... I just was never pulled in completely, and the world building lost me. And there was too much intimacy between characters that acted like immature young teenagers...






My Suggested Audience

I suggest this book to college aged readers and up. Simply because I do not condone such relationships in high school books... but I know I am a small minority here... Fans of quick fantasy novels - stories of hidden treasures, daring adventures - will most likely enjoy this one. It's quick and fun. 





Wondering Questions to Consider


The YA/NA romance genre is getting flooded with new books all the time as more and more writers self-publish and because of the rise of Indie writers.  As a result more and more young readers are getting their hands on these books, and we should all be aware. This story is a great example because while it doesn't hide the fact there is physical intimacy in the story, it still looks like a book a young teen might get their hands on. 

Parents need to find good and trusted ways to get reviews. It's tricky though, because teens do not want to be told what to do, I mean what person does? And those teen years are when reading can become a chore. So even if your kids pick up books you'd rather they not read, maybe supply them with a review that supports your reasoning. But also let them read it, if they talk to you about the book. Because these topics should be discussed with our kids, even when they are almost ready to leave the nest, and fiction is a wonderful door into the difficult topics. 

This book is great for discussions on physical relationships before marriage; being burned by trusted friends, and just how far we should go to help a stranger... just to name a few... 






About the Author


C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers' Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books - reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There's tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she's up to! Check out her V.I.P. Readers Club (Subscribers get a free eBook!)



Author Links:

 GIVEAWAY:


Subscribe to the author’s newsletter (www.ckbrooke.com/vipclub) and get a free eBook!



What sort of empty future awaited a person without a dream? #TheRedPearl @authorCKBrooke @Reading_List1




Have you ventured into the NA (New Adult) genre yet? What are your thoughts? In fact, what are your thoughts in the expanding genre categories in general- are there too many? Or is the breakdown helpful in finding fiction you like? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!



Marissa @ Reading List






** If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. I promise it won't cost you anything, but it will help me!


*** If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** While I received a copy of this book for the tour, I am not required to give a certain review. All opinions are my own. Blog Tour Organized by:





See where I share my posts!


Saturday

The Red Pearl... A Sneak Peek

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 



Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently





Current book:

The Red Pearl 

C. K. Brooke



The Red Pearl by CK Brooke A Sneak Peek



Goodreads Summary:

Treasure lost... passion found? 

Antonia Korelli is on the run from her coven of priestesses. She never desired a life confined to the temple, relegated to chastity and service to the goddess, Azea. Instead, she longs for true love and adventure in the Kingdom of Elat. 

Robin Watkins is a fiery dreamer on a mission of his own, to uncover the legendary lost Red Pearl. Only, he must first regain his treasure map, which was stolen by his former best mate and conniving ex-girlfriend. 

When Antonia becomes unwittingly entangled with Rob, she's more than dismayed to find herself stuck on his harebrained hunt. But somewhere amidst their bickering and banter, their plight for survival through desert and tropics, and the joint pursuit of impossible dreams, Antonia begins to realize that perhaps she might have found the unforgettable adventure – and romance – she was seeking.



Sneak Peek:

"Why, she wanted to sleep outdoors, she realized, a sense of adventure overtaking her. There was no need to continue sheltering herself."   (location 699 ereader)







Initial Thoughts

This is a tough one... I enjoyed it enough to finish it. I didn't love it. The romance between Antonia and Robin felt odd, and quick. Plus I had a hard time letting myself believe that Antonia would just follow this guy around on such an adventure simply because he told her she owed him.  I wanted to like this more, because I really like CK Brooke... but not everyone is going to love the same story...





Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:


Marissa @ Reading List

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads


Alyssa @ Sunrise Avenue

Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.


Twitter ~~ Google + ~~ Instagram ~~ Pinterest
Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 


Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.






Here are some rules if you decide to join in:



  • Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
  • Open to any page you have already read
  • Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!


  • You can leave your teaser, author, and title in the comments (click over to the web version if you're on the mobile site). Or write up your own post and join us weekly!  Then you can share your link in the comments, and I will stop over and leave you a comment!!!  YAY!






Give us a Sneak Peek of your #CurrentRead and add to your #TBR list all at the same time! @Reading_List1



 






Marissa at Reading List  http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com











Linking up with these fun hops, check them out!

Friday

All Things Books November Collection

All Things Books

November Collection


"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."   Madeleine L'Engle 



All Things Books November Collection




Oh my, where did November go? For that matter, I am still shocked October past us already!  We have been blessed with a longer autumn here in NEO, but that is changing as I type this.  And a part of me is excited for the snow to come... well just a part of me.

Have you been wondering where I've been?  Well... while I'm not ready to talk details... I spent November (and some of October...) writing a novel. It's scary to say. Writing is one of those things that is harder than we give credit for. It takes so much time of appearing to do nothing while the mind and imagination create worlds, characters, and scenes. Here's hoping that by this time next year, you all will be helping me to promote a new book... would you do that?

Even though I've been writing, I've been reading articles all over the internet. And here are some that caught my eye!  Check them out, and let me know what you think.







November's Collection


  1. I'll admit it, I've fallen victim to the monthly subscription boxes... I love to get surprises in the mail, and these are just too fun. Even if they can be a little pricey... Check out Popsugar's quick overview of some of the Subscription boxes other there
  2.  Are you a parent? A grandparent? Aunt or uncle? Check out this great list of 50 Books Every Kid Should Read by 12... Maybe your personal favorite from childhood made the list.
  3. If you haven't guessed, I personally love YA books... they are quick reads, and full of great characters... usually... but they can also be overrun with romance. I love this list of 100 Must-Read YA Books with Little or No Romance - perfect for readers just reaching the YA stage of reading. 
  4. Can you believe 2016 is almost over? There were a ton of great books released this year... here's a list of a few you might have missed, but should consider reading in 2017... 15 Breakthrough Books of 2016 - did you read any of them?
  5. Since I spent the month writing, of course, I was looking for inspiration... Did you know Dr. Seuss almost gave up trying to get his books published??? Can you imagine the world without his books??  Here's the story
  6. Did you notice I hosted my first hand-lettering challenge on Instagram last month? It was Gilmore Girls themed, and what bibliophile doesn't love Rory Gilmore?  Have you seen this list of Books mentioned on the original show?
  7. Legos have opened up the world of building and architecture to my boys, so when I saw this list of Children's Books for Little Architects I had to share it!
  8. As my boys get older, it gets harder to find books they enjoy, and I want them to read. Here's a wonderful resource I used for my oldest (this is a 3rd-grade reading level)



All Things Books November Collection








I hope you found a thing or two from that list that caught your eye, maybe you could reserve a book at your library, or add to your Goodreads to-read list. There are also a few great articles to remind you just how great reading is!   A new year is right around the corner, and that means new challenges for reading goals! I would love to encourage you as you make your goals for the year, please join our group on Goodreads, we'd love to be there as you fall in love with books.    


A book too can be a star a living fire to lighten the darkness leading out into the expanding universe #MadeleineLEngle #AllThingsBooks @Reading_List1


What was your favorite from the round-up?  What would you add?  Is there something you want to see in December's round-up?



Leave me a note about anything to do with your book choices from November!


Marissa @ Reading List



**If you have a great resource for a book, a genre, or anything to do with books, let me know!  You are always welcome to share your posts on Thursdays here, but if you want to point me to a great resource, you will find me on Facebook and Instagram every day -   I love hearing from you!






Check out these great blogs where I'm sharing this!

Wednesday

Hearts for Home 11/30

Welcome to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop


I am so glad you are joining us!  When you share your posts with us, your post will be displayed across 12 different sites, isn't that wonderful? 

And each week there will be at least one feature to check out from the previous week.  I hope you come back every week. If this is your first week, take a moment and say to me in the comments.  If you sign up for the community newsletter, you will get reminders of the hop, and some random freebies!  YAY!




Last Week's Most Clicked Post





Now for this week’s Hearts for Home Blog Hop!

Share your posts this week, and then take time to discover some new ideas from all the other fabulous posts in this week’s party! Click on the little blue rectangle below to enter your links.

Please visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love receiving a word or two from our visitors, so please consider leaving a comment when you find something that inspires you!

Other nice things you can do:


  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Grab our button and share it on your side bar or link party page.
  • Be sure to visit a few links and share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!

Glad You’ve Joined the Hop!



By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. We are here every Thursday – be sure to stop by next week to see who’s been featured. By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.








Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML













Thursday

Hearts for Home 11/24

Welcome to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop


I am so glad you are joining us!  When you share your posts with us, your post will be displayed across 12 different sites, isn't that wonderful? 

And each week there will be at least one feature to check out from the previous week.  I hope you come back every week. If this is your first week, take a moment and say to me in the comments.  If you sign up for the community newsletter, you will get reminders of the hop, and some random freebies!  YAY!



Now for this week’s Hearts for Home Blog Hop!

Share your posts this week, and then take time to discover some new ideas from all the other fabulous posts in this week’s party! Click on the little blue rectangle below to enter your links.

Please visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love receiving a word or two from our visitors, so please consider leaving a comment when you find something that inspires you!

Other nice things you can do:


  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Grab our button and share it on your side bar or link party page.
  • Be sure to visit a few links and share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!

Glad You’ve Joined the Hop!



By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. We are here every Thursday – be sure to stop by next week to see who’s been featured. By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.








Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Please share your family friendly posts with us!













Monday

Letter Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols Lettering Challenge

Letter a line from each song with us on Instagram!


Where you part of the small group of us lettering in November as we geared up for the Gilmore Girls release? Do you want to keep working on your lettering skills?  Well, I do... and I have gained a few more friends on the journey, so yay!

And this time around, I am ready to really soak in the Christmas songs... who's with me?   So here is the plan, until Christmas Eve there will be a song of the day, and you get to pick any line, or even the title, from the song to letter, doodle around, or create your own kind of art for. Then share a quick snapshot on Instagram!

Now, why would you want to do this?

Because there are going to be prizes!!!  YAY!!!

So there will be three winners - one winner will get a pair of adorable button earrings from (Jen's Store), one winner will win one digital print from (Rhiannon's store), and one of you will win $10 Amazon gift card to buy your own new writing gear (or whatever you want). So that means, you need to be over 18 to enter, or have your parents permission, and the winner of the earrings will have to be in the USA.   See below for more of the rules and fine print... cuz it's too boring to all put up here!








As I mentioned, feel free to pick any line, or phrase, or even the title of the song as your lettering/art/doodle.  And this about fun, not about perfection. So if you are new, don't worry.  You are welcome to join in at any time. Just make sure when you post your pick you use the hashtag so we can add you to the giveaway for each of your entries. 



28. O Christmas Tree
29.  It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
30.  Where Are You Christmas?
1. Christmas Shoes
2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
3. White Christmas
4. Your Favorite Christmas Song
5. Believe
6.  Marshmallow World
7.  Jingle Bells
8. Go Tell it on a Mountain
9. The Little Drummer Boy
10. Oh Holy Night

11. Your Favorite from Childhood
12. Silver Bells
13.  Joseph’s Song
14. Mary, Did You Know?
15.  That’s Christmas to Me
16.  Deck the Halls
17.  The Christmas Song
18. Christmas Song You’ll Never be Tired of
19. The 12 Days of Christmas
20. Frosty the Snowman
21. Old Toy Trains
22. Silent Night
23. Joy to the World
24. We Wish You a Merry Christmas



Here are the main details... feel free to join in!

Want to join in?  Click here to see my Instagram details!


Oh, the choices on this were just as hard as the last time... I hope you all have your creative minds working because I am ready to be wowed!

I would love to hear ideas for other challenges...








NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING. 1. Eligibility: This giveaway is open only to those who participate and who are 18 years old as of the date of entry, or with permission from parents/guardians.The giveaway is only open to legal residents of the United States of America and is void where prohibited by law. The giveaway is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited. 2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, You agree to accept the decisions of Marissa Writes as final and binding as it relates to the content of this Giveaway. 3. Giveaway Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on November 28, 2016 and ending December 24, 2016. All online entries must be posted by midnight December 25, 2016 EST4. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the giveaway (the “Winner”) will receive one pair of button earrings, or one digital print, or one Amazon gift card. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Marissa Writes. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. 5. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. 6. Winner Selection and Notification: Winner will be selected by a random drawing under the supervision of Marissa Writes. Winner will be notified by private message within five (5) days following selection of Winner. Marissa Writes shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within five (5) days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT MARISSA WRITES‘S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED. 7. Limitation of Liability: By entering, You agree to release and hold harmless Marissa Writes and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from: (i) such entrant’s participation in the Giveaway and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries. 7. Privacy Policy: All information gathered from winner(s) will be used only for the prices, and no other reasons. Personal information will be destroyed after prize is sent. Prize, once sent, is no longer the responsibility of Marissa Writes. 81. Instagram: The giveaway is hosted by Marissa Writes is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram.




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