September 25, 2013


I was listening to a friend of mine recently talk about hot wheels. You know, those little cars and trucks? He's collected and sold them for years. Now I know next to nothing about toy cars. But him? He loves them! As I listened to him talk about this and that and everything in between when it comes to hot wheels, I realized exactly what I was listening to.


Regardless if I can understand it (not really), he absolutely loves the little things! He knows all kinds of types and names and dates they first came out and how much they'll sell for, etc, etc. You get the picture, right? My point is, he's excited and happy about it because he likes it! Sound familiar?

(You know where I'm going with this, right?)

YES! It sounds like me when I get to talking about books and reading and all the things that I'm interested in that make me happy. Just like my friend, when I get started talking about my happy place (reading a great book), I can talk for hours and hours. In fact, I have done and probably will do. I'm sure I've bored my real life friends with it.

My point? We all have things we like. Things that make us happy. Things that, maybe, no one else we know may understand or even know anything about at all. And that's okay. In fact? It's pretty awesome!!!

To have something (whatever your something may be) that you're passionate about...that you know all about...that you love to talk about...that you get excited over.... Now really. Isn't that pretty spectacularly awesome when you think about it?! Of course it is! :)

The world needs more happy people!

Now, this is not some lead in to where I introduce some big new thing that I'm excited about and just dying to share with you. Nope. It's simply my chance to give a shout out to being happy! To whatever you think is cool. Whatever you think is awesome. Whatever you love to do and spend time on.

For me? That's books and reading (and a few other things too......currently I'm pretty excited about The Autobiography of Jane Eyre (Who me? Obsessively reading what other people think and analyze about the show? Never!)......also counting down the days until Oct 7th when EMMA APPROVED BEGINS.......but that's neither here nor there).

So here's to all the happiness you have for whatever you love. I hope you find someone to share it with. But if not, then just enjoy it anyway! Because you love it. That's good enough for me. :)

Oh hey. I guess that was a lead in to something else. A special shout out to all my blogging/twitter friends! (You know who you are.) Thanks for being awesome people. Thanks for making me smile. And lastly, thanks for giving me someone to share my love of reading with. Y'all are some of my favoritest people in the world! :D

Review: The Icing on the Cake by Janice Thompson

The Icing on the Cake (Weddings by Design #2)
Goodreads :: Amazon

Scarlet Lindsey is busy making her dreams come true. She's moved her bakery to a prime spot on Galveston's most popular street, she's planning an extravagant cake for her best friend's wedding, and she has a great relationship with Bella Neeley, the island's most popular wedding coordinator. Business is booming and Scarlet is enjoying the ride.

But when Bella's dangerously handsome brother Armando breezes into her life, Scarlet is faced with a sticky situation. Should she stay with the safe, sweet guy who's been a fixture in her life for years? Or will this brash Italian hunk melt her guarded heart?

Aaahhh. Ms. Thompson's books are comfort reading for me! I love each visit back to Galveston and the crazy lives of its residents. I had been counting down to the release of this book ever since finishing book one several months ago. I'm very pleased to say that this one did not disappoint. There's just something about this Italian family that makes me happy. Not to mention all the Splendora crew as well! Life is never dull with any of them around. :D

Scarlet is pretty reminiscent of Ms. Thompson's other protagonists. She dithers about and has quirky family members and is simply a really nice girl. Although I could have done without her many references to "sticky buns". I got a little tired of it after the first couple times. Still, she's a great baker, she just needs a little more confidence in herself. And Armando? Is just the man to help her learn that! My my my, he was quite a hunk. ;) It was wonderful to get a little more background on him after the small bits we've gotten in previous books. And he and Scarlet had great chemistry. Plus they help one another become a better version of themselves. I can get behind a couple who supports each other and helps the other to learn and grow. It makes their relationship feel more real to me. They're just good together! And I have to admit that I'm a fan of the swoonworthy moments between them as well. I mean, what girl wouldn't want a handsome and suave Italian wooing them? ;)

There's nothing new in this story, but that doesn't matter when it comes to the Rossi's and the Neeley's! They add so much humor and spice and made me giggle again and again. That's what keeps me coming back to these stories. Ms. Thompson knows her humor! I laugh my way through and close the cover with a happy sigh. A feel good story that will draw you in and make you wish Bella and DJ's families were people in real life! If you've loved her other stories, then I'm pretty certain you'll love this one as well. And if you haven't read any of her others, then you should definitely remedy that! :)

"Nothing like the smell of sugar to get a girl excited," Jolene added. She ambled over, her wide hips swaying this way and that.
"Yes, I feel like I've died and gone to the sweetest room heaven has to offer." Twila giggled. "If I have, this certainly answers any lingering questions about whether or not they have sweets in heaven."
This got a chuckle out of Jolene, who seemed overly giggly today.
The trio took several steps closer to the glass cases and peered inside. "Ooo, I'll have three of those." Bonnie Sue pointed to my sticky buns. The ones inside the case, of course.
"And five of those." Twila pointed to a tray of M&M cookies.
"I'm trying to cut back on calories and carbs." Jolene's nose wrinkled. "So I guess I'll take three of those brownies. They're low in carbs, right?"

September 18, 2013

Little Letters Ninth Edition

Dear Friends Reading This, yes, I'm still here! I haven't totally forgotten about this little corner in case you were worried. With all the busyness of life as of late, blogging has been one of the things to go by the wayside for a little. But the end is in sight! Have no fear, I am definitely planning a return to normal. (Whatever that is!) :D

Dear Rainbow Rowell, how have you managed to write another book that I love?! Fangirl was just as wonderful as Attachments. You have seriously great talent at writing characters who I connect with immediately. Something about Cath just resonated. Her story is wonderful! Thank you for sharing her with the world.

Dear Bunco Girls, I am going to miss you terribly! I have so much fun with all of you and my life will be very sad without my monthly dose of conversation and laughter. Please don't forget me.

Dear Boxes and Tape, you and I have gotten much closer recently. But be warned that it's a limited friendship. There will be an end to it someday! (At least there better be!)

Dear Books, it's so sad to see you get shut up in boxes. I will be much happier when I can take you out and display you again. Not to mention that I keep wanting to reread certain ones and can't because I've already boxed them up! *sigh*

Dear Time, do you realize how very, very fast you are moving?! I still have much to do and you just keep racing on. Not waiting for me at all! That's sort of rude, you know. Where's my magical little time fairy when I need her?

Dear Reviews Yet To Be Written, life is getting in the way. But you'll get written, don't worry. Not sure when yet, but it'll definitely happen.

Dear Crazy Life of Mine, let's think positive, alright? Things will slow down. Eventually. They have to, right? Sure they do. *nods head hopefully* I can at least dream!

September 6, 2013

10 Booksh Questions For Me.........

Hello! Yes, I'm still alive! Just currently swamped with boxes and mess everywhere. *sigh* Only for a little while, Kara. Only for a little while. Yes, I'm talking to myself.


I've been tagged and awarded in the last week or so by two lovely ladies. So needless to say, that means I was given a LOT of questions to answer! I could do as I did before and pull a few questions from each gal, but I decided to pick only one this week. I'm going with Rel's questions, because I feel like answering bookish stuff today. Perhaps another day I will answer Hamlette's elegant questions. (An elegant blogger? Who? Me? Wow. I don't know that I've ever been called elegant before. Thanks Hamlette! :)

Now then, onward to be amazed by all the cool things you're about to learn about me!

1. What is the name of the most recent book you have finished and loved?

The Icing on the Cake by Janice Thompson (Now if only I could get that review written!)

2. What is the 17th line on the 125th page of the book you are currently reading?

 "A shaft of sunlight beat down through the clouds, but its warmth wasn't causing the moisture on her brow." (Anybody know which book that's from? Anybody? :)

3. When did you realize you were a true book lover?

I've always loved to read and I don't know that there was ever one moment where I actually thought about it in those terms. But if I have to choose, I'll go with when I reached adulthood and still loved to read as many books as I could get my hands on. That's when I decided that books just made me happy, whether I've read them or not. I love to be surrounded by books!

4. What is your genre of choice? Why?

Romantic Comedy - because I'm a sucker for a good romance and I love to laugh.

5. What is the name of your ‘comfort reading book’? (one you will pull out and read when you want something familiar)

Are you saying that I should only have one comfort-reading-book? Impossible! I have bunches! :D An old favorite is Splitting Harriet by Tamera Leigh. This summer I found a new favorite, which is Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter.

6. Who has encouraged you the most in your reading pursuits?

Probably my mom. She's a book lover as well and she and I made many a trek to the bookstores together when I was young! We'd come home with a bag each and then proceed to go through the other's bag and share the books back and forth. We tend to like similar books. :)

7. Your most memorable hero, and why?

 There have been several I'm sure, but I'm going to go with the first guy that entered my mind when I read the question. Captain Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen. Try as he might, he could not forget Anne and once he accepted that, oh my! Even in the midst of his anger in the beginning, he still couldn't help but be affected by her. And once he gives in to his heart and decides to tell her? Then we get that beautiful and swoonworthy letter! Let's just say he knows how to be romantic. :D

8. If you had to swap lives with a character, who would it be and why?

I'd love to try out Allie O'Connor's life! (From Moon Over Tokyo by Siri Mitchell) Firstly, she's a writer. Secondly, she's living in Tokyo without knowing the language, and is still able to live a normal life. Plus she has awesome friends and a pretty swoonworthy hero by her side! Sounds like fun. :)

9. Do you alphabetize your books by author or title, on your bookshelves?

Well, right now, my shelves are pretty much cleaned off (except for the bunch that I can't pack yet because what if I really, really want to reread one of them before I move?), but they were alphabetized by author last name, then by title. I plan to do the same thing once I get to reshelve them.

10. Why do you read?

 Honestly? I'm not really sure. I have always loved to read stories as far back as I can remember. I love to be swept away for a few hours. I love the worlds that authors create. I love to meet the awesome characters. I love to forget my real life stuff and visit amazing places where anything can happen! Books, to put it simply, are comforting in and of themselves. There's just a certain feeling I get whenever I enter a bookstore. I could go on, but I'm not sure I'm even making any sense at all. I just love stories!

I decided not to take the time to nominate anybody else. But if you'd like to answer Rel's questions yourself, then leave me the link in a comment so I can hop over and read them! :)

Review: The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

The Breath of Dawn (A Rush of Wings #3)
Goodreads :: Amazon

Morgan Spencer has had just about all he can take of life. Following the tragic death of his wife, Jill, he retreats to his brother's Rocky Mountain ranch to heal and focus on the care of his infant daughter, Olivia. Two years later, Morgan begins to make plans to return to his home in Santa Barbara to pick up the pieces of his life and career.

Quinn Riley has been avoiding her past for four years. Standing up for the truth has forced her into a life of fear and isolation. After a "chance" first meeting and a Thanksgiving snowstorm, Quinn is drawn into the Spencer family's warm and loving world, and she begins to believe she might find freedom in their friendship.

The man Quinn helped put behind bars has recently been released, however, and she fears her past will endanger the entire Spencer family. As the danger heightens, she determines to leave town for the sake of the people who have come to mean so much to her.

Fixing problems is what Morgan Spencer does best, and he is not willing to let Quinn run away, possibly into the clutches of a man bent on revenge. But Morgan's solution sends him and Quinn on an unexpected path, with repercussions neither could have anticipated.

Oh! Oh oh oh! I absolutely loved this story! It had been highly recommended to me and I was so happy that it lived up to my high expectations. No, actually it exceeded them! :) I knew I liked Ms. Heitzmann's writing prior to reading this and this book has solidified my love for her stories completely. I am not ashamed to say that I am officially a fan of Kristen Heitzmann! I will wear my fangirl hat for everyone to see! :D But you say you want an actual review and not just a million exclamation points? Well, I'm sorry my friends, but if you're tired of the exclamation points already, you'd better just stop reading right now. Because there's many more to come! See?!! ;)

I'm not really sure I can be coherent enough to make much sense beyond "It's awesome! Go read it right now! You won't be disappointed!". But I'll try. I'll start by saying that it's much more than just a typical love story. There's a little mystery and heartache and suspense too. I have to confess though, the love story is what I was swept up into from the beginning, and by the last page I declare I was swooning! Morgan and Quinn are flawed and human, yes. They make mistakes, yes. They make a decision at one point that seems a little rushed and perhaps they should have thought a little bit more about it, yes. But you know what? They have chemistry like you wouldn't believe! And watching them fall in love? Is a beautiful, beautiful thing. They take care of one another. They acknowledge their mistakes to one another. They support one another. They get snarky and sarcastic with one another. They made me laugh and swoon and sigh and go back to reread all my favorites scenes between them again. They are, simply put, awesome characters!

Now, as I said before, there is much more to this story. There's lots of moments where things happened that I wasn't expecting. There's a villain and his actions bring about much intrigue. Ms. Heitzmann hasn't written just a fluffy little romance, lest my exclaiming above makes you think that. But the romance is where she hooked me and kept me flipping pages as fast as I could. There were moments where I was flipping ahead to find out what happened, but then I'd have to backtrack to finish where I had been, and back and forth I went. You know it's a good story when that happens! :D

So. It's awesome! Go read it right now! You won't be disappointed!
Going back outside as the sun sent scarlet flame across the rosy sky, Morgan raised his head. "Hear that?"
She said, "Elk." The screeching bugle was unmistakable.
"Someone's proud of himself."
"That noise would make me run."
His mouth pulled sideways, "Good thing you're not a lady elk."
She cast him a glance. "Thanks for not calling me a cow."
The corners of his eyes crinkled as he pulled the truck door open.


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