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Showing posts from April, 2015

Z: Zihuatanejo, Mexico!

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  I did it! Welcome to the last day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's "Z" location is a place called: Zihuatanejo, Mexico! http://www.zihuatanejo-ixtapa.com/ Zihuatanejo is on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and looks absolutely fantastic! It's located on a bay, so it's a popular area for boat owners. There are dozens of resorts and vacation rentals in the area and is a popular tourist location. It's the third most visited area in Mexico, after Cancun and Puerto Vallarta and a popular spot for fishermen. I'd love to just relax on the beach, swim in the ocean, drink some yummy drinks, have a spa day....doesn't this just look gorgeous?? Google Images Anyone have a "Z" place they'd like to visit? Congrats to all A to Z Challenge participants for completing the blogging challenge!  

Review: Forget Me Not

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Title: Forget Me Not Author: Megan Tayte 338 pages, published February 2015 Genre: YA Paranormal Romance Note: I received this book from the author to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own. From Goodreads: Death is stalking Scarlett Blake. As if the encroaching darkness in her head wasn’t enough, she’s become disturbingly accident prone. Falling off a cliff isn’t ideal when all you want is as much time as possible to live, to love. Her fate is horrifying. Unbearable. And inescapable. No one can save Scarlett from The End that’s looming. Not Jude, the Cerulean who is intent on Claiming her. Not Luke, the boy who is intent on loving her. The clock is ticking, louder with every heartbeat. Now Scarlett must decide how best to protect the people she loves. Will she trust in Jude and the life-after-death he promises? Will she stand against the Fallen, who have her sister captive? Will she carry the burden of her death alone –

Y: Yachats, OR

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Welcome to the "Y" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  Today's location is a place called: Yachats, OR! Photo of Yachats out the car window during a drive on the coast (didn't get a chance to spend time there!) I absolutely LOVE the Oregon Coast. It's not really ever super warm, or warm enough to go swimming in the ocean, and rarely warm enough to wear a swimsuit. But it's absolutely gorgeous.  The beautiful ocean of course, but also the trees, cliffs, rocks, and wildlife are what make the Oregon Coast so unique. The town of Yachats is located on the central coast, and is a tiny town with lots of vacation rentals to enjoy the quiet space. I'd love to have a reading weekend there! Anyone else love the Oregon Coast as much as I do? Or have nay other fun "Y" locations to visit? 

X: Xanthi, Greece

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Welcome to the challenging "X" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  I did manage to find a place I'd like to visit, a place called: Xanthi, Greece! Xanthi, Greece Image source: Google Xanthi is in northeastern Greece, and is known for the Archaeological Museum of Abdera and the Greek Folk Art Museum.  It also is famous throughout Greece for its spring carnival, where over 40 cultural associations in Greece participate. There are concerts, theatre, music and dance, a bicycling event, games, and other fun activities. Xanthi is also known as very multicultural city. Wouldn't it be fun to visit during that festival?? Love this photo below! So pretty! Anyone else want to visit Greece? Or have any fun "X" places?

Bout of Books 13!

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It's that time again!! Bout of Books 13 is just around the corner--May 11-17! It's my favorite readathon and reading challenge, and I can't wait to participate in my fourth Bout of Books! Here's a little info about Bout of Books: The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the  Bout of Books  blog.  - From the Bout of Books team I don't have any goals in mind yet--but I know that I'm going to keep it low key and low pressure like I did for Bout of Books 12. Keeping it low pressure helped me be even more successful! You can read about my Bout of Books 12 progress he

W: West Egg

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Welcome to the "W" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  Today, a place called: West Egg! Normally I don't get into classics too much but I do love The Great Gatsby. West Egg is where Nick Carraway lives in his little bungalow, next door to Jay Gatsby's mansion. I'm normally an introvert and not one for big parties, but since we're in the fictional realm anyway, part of me would LOVE to attend one of Jay Gatsby's famous parties and experience "The Roaring Twenties" firsthand! The Great Gatsby is one of those books that  I didn't like when I read it in high school, but re-read it again as an adult (in my case, before the new movie came out) and ended up loving it! Are there any books that you read when you were younger and have since re-read and enjoyed? Or, any other "W" locations you'd like to visi

V: Vows

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Welcome to the "V" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today is a fictional place called: Vows! Confession time: I love Nora Roberts' books. One of my favorite series is her Bridal Quartet .  The books are about a group of four friends who live at one of the women (Parker)'s estate. Her parents had recently passed away, leaving her and her brother the large home and acres of land. Parker and her three best friends Mackenzie, Emma, and Laurel have been playing "wedding" since they were little girls--and as adults decided to make a business out of it--called Vows. Vows is an all inclusive, on location wedding event venue where you get the complete package--Parker is the event coordinator, Mackenzie is the photographer, Emma is the florist, and Laurel bakes. Each book in the quartet focuses on one of the girls and their aspect of Vows

U: Ut'ah's Bryce Canyon!

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Welcome to the "U" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  Today's location is a place called: Utah's Bryce Canyon! Source: google I've been fortunate to get to travel through much of the western United States, and through many parts of Utah, but still have yet to make it to Bryce Canyon! Located in southwestern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is actually a collection of giant natural "amphitheaters". Bryce Canyon's elevation ranges from 8,000 to 9.000 feet. There are so many viewpoints, hiking trails and camping spots throughout the park. It's also ideal for stargazing! This looks like a fun summer vacation destination! Anyone been to Bryce Canyon National Park? Or have any fun "U" destinations?

T: Tuscany!

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Welcome to the "T" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  I did manage to find a place I'd like to visit, a place called: Tuscany! Really, I'd love to visit all of Italy, but I picked Tuscany since I needed a "T" location :) Tuscany is a region  in central Italy, and its regional capital is Florence. In addition to all the beautiful scenery and historical sites to see in Tuscany, a main reason I really want to visit is for the food! I absolutely love Italian food, and recently took a cooking class at Carl's Cuisine in Salem, OR that centered around Tuscan cuisine. Carl, the instructor, has taken several trips to Tuscany and knows the cuisine well. For the class we made focaccia bread with arugula and sun-dried tomatoes, pasta with herbed grilled shrimp, and baked fennel. So delicious! I'd just love to travel through Tuscan

S: the Shire!

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Welcome to the "S" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  I did manage to find a place I'd like to visit, a place called: the Shire! Image source: google I couldn't resist throwing a Lord of the Rings location in my A to Z list--it's such a fantastic series.  Though there are all sorts of magical and wonderful locations to choose from, the Shire is my favorite.  Perhaps it's because I'm short and I can relate to the hobbits! I love the little houses with the round doors, and the cute little gardens and landscape.  What are some "S" places you'd like to visit?

TLC Book Tour Review: Running Fire

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Title: Running Fire Author: Lindsay McKenna 384 pages, publication date April 28, 2015 Genre: Military Romance Note: I received this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own. From Goodreads: Temporarily assigned to the Shadow Squadron in a troubled region of Afghanistan, Chief Warrant Officer and pilot Leah Mackenzie is no stranger to conflict—even if most of her physical and emotional scars are courtesy of her vicious ex. Still, she's got a bad feeling about picking up a team of stranded SEALs. A feeling that's all too justified once enemy fire hits their helicopter and all hell breaks loose… SEAL Kell Ballard's goal was to get the injured pilot out of harm's way and find shelter deep in the labyrinth of caves. It's a place of dark intimacy, where Leah finds unexpected safety in a man's arms. Where prohibited attraction burns brightly. And where they'll hide until t

R: Raleigh, NC

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Welcome to the "R" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  I did manage to find a place I'd like to visit, a place called: Raleigh, NC! I've spent very little time on the East Coast, and zero time in the Southeastern part of the US, so that's what lead me to choosing Raleigh for today's post! I have some colleagues through work that live there and have heard from others that it's a pretty awesome city, so I thought it would be a great pick for the A to Z challenge. As the capital city of North Carolina, the Raleigh area is home to several major universities (NC State, Duke (in nearby Durham) and UNC at Chapel Hill. Founded as North Carolina's capital city in 1788 and incorporated in 1792, Raleigh is rich in history as well as several cultural arts centers. image source: Google Anyone been to Raleigh, or North Carolina? Wou

Q: Quartz Mountain!

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Welcome to the ever difficult "Q" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here .  I did manage to find a place I'd like to visit, a place called" Quartz Mountain! I love exploring my beautiful home state of Oregon, and I'm ashamed to say I didn't know Quartz Mountain existed until I was researching for this challenge! It's located in Lakeview, OR in the southern part of the state, east of the larger city of Roseburg. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I'd love to take a road trip there someday!  At 5,200 feet in elevation, Quartz Mountain has a large deposit of high purity silica, commonly known as quartz, hence the name. My husband is an earth science nerd, so I'm sure he'd love to explore this area as well! Any fellow Oregonians been to Quartz Mountain? Or know of any other great "Q" locations to visit?

P: Pacific Crest Trail

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Welcome to the "P" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a place called: Pacific Crest Trail! South Sister, in Oregon Despite growing up in Oregon my entire life, I wasn't familiar with the Pacific Crest Trail until I read Cheryl Strayed's book, " Wild ." Spanning 2,663 miles, the PCT runs along the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains of the United States Pacific Coast. It runs from the Mexican border all the way up to the Canadian border.  Naturally, like so many others, reading the book made me want to hike the trail--though I know the length of trip Cheryl did would never happen for me! Perhaps a 2-3 day trip through parts of Oregon would work better for me! Central Oregon is one of my favorite places in the world, and I would love to explore this part of the PCT! Have any of you readers hik

O: Orlando, Florida

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Welcome to the "O" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a place called: Orlando, Florida!  Image source: google I've never been to the southeastern part of the country at all, and I'd love to visit! Orlando looks like so much fun, of course because of Disney World and Universal Orlando.  That in itself is a reason to want to visit! Orlando also has lots of beaches, shopping, spas, and other opportunities to relax.  I think Orlando would be a fun place to start exploring the southeast. Also--anyone seen Book of Mormon? I can't help singing "Orldandooooooo.." every time I think of it! More proof I'm a nerd. Anyway, sunny Orlando is definitely on my list of places to visit! What are some "O" locations you'd like to visit?

N: Narnia!

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Welcome to the "N" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a fictional place called: Narnia! Of course "N" has to be Narnia--I absolutely loved the Chronicles of Narnia series when I was younger! Narnia is a fictional fantasy world full of magic, mythical creatures, and talking animals (you can see why I like it!).  The series spans seven books, the series was originally published back in the 1950's.  My husband loves the books too, and we've talked about re-reading them together! Perhaps a fun summer project in the making? Anyone else love this series and would love to visit Narnia? Or any other "N" locations? Runner up for "N": Nantucket! I'm a big fan of Elin Hilderbrand 's books, most of which are set in Nantucket.  I love coastal areas and the beach, and I've never been to

Review: Dog Crazy

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Title: Dog Crazy Author: Meg Donahue 288 pages, published March 2015 Genre: Women's Fiction Source: Library From Goodreads: As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization. Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love. Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, Dog Crazy is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain o

M: Molokai, Hawaii

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Welcome to the "M" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a place called: Molokai, Hawaii! I know I JUST used a Hawaii location on Monday, but perhaps using Hawaii again for "M" today will help you understand just how much I love Hawaii :) I read Molokai by Alan Brennert a few years ago (here's my review ) absolutely LOVED the book. Naturally, it made me so interested in the island's history, and made me want to visit the island. Located northwest of the island of Maui, Molokai is known for Kalaupapa National Historic Park and acres of untouched beautiful landscape. Molokai is 38 miles long and 10 miles wide at its widest point, and most of its population are native Hawaiians, approximately 8,000 residents. I'd love to visit this beautiful island! If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading the b

L: Luna!

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Welcome to the "L" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a fictional place called: Luna! I recently read Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress from the Lunar Chronicles series. These books are fantastic--fairytale re-tellings (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel) in which the characters exist in a futuristic time when Earth is in a struggle with evil Queen Levana of the planet Luna. The first three books leave you curious as to what Luna is like, and that's why it made my A to Z Challenge list! The fourth book, Winter , is set to come out this November, and I'm itching to read it and find out what happens next in the series, and more about Luna! If you haven't read the Lunar Chronicles yet...I highly recommend them!  Any real or fictional "L" places you'd like to visit?

K: Kona, Hawaii

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Welcome to the "K" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a place called: Kona, Hawaii! So if you know me personally, or if you follow my blog at all, you know I have a slight (well, HUGE) love affair with Hawaii. I've been to Maui twice and fallen in love! I love how relaxing it is there--the Aloha spirit and easygoing lifestyle is wonderful. Not to mention the gorgeous scenery, ocean, beaches, palm trees, mountains...love it!  Now that I've been to Maui a couple times, I'd love to explore other islands--and the next one I want to explore is the Big Island! More specifically, to go with this post, Kona, Hawaii. There's so much to do on the Big Island, and in addition to snorkeling and soaking up some sun, I'd love to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park! When I traveled to Maui, several friends recommended th

J: Jackson Hole, WY

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Welcome to the "J" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a place called: Jackson Hole, WY!  Image source: http://www.jacksonholechamber.com/ The main reason I want to visit here (beside the fact I've never been and that it looks gorgeous) is that a couple of my mom's cousins live here! They're super fun to spend time with, and I've only gotten to when they come to visit us, or when we go to another area for a family event (like my cousin's wedding last year in Santa Monica).  I'd love to take a road trip and see where they're from! There are so many recreational activities to do there among the beautiful scenery of the Teton Mountains. Lots of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and skating in the winter, and hiking, camping, rafting (and more!) in the summer. Perhaps I need to go twice to experienc

Book Beginnings: Forget Me Not

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Book Beginnings Fridays is a weekly event hosted by fellow Oregon blogger Gilion at Rose City Reader.   The purpose is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name. One of the things I've really loved about writing this book blog is discovering new authors! Awhile back an author named Megan Tayte contacted me to read and review her books in her Ceruleans series. I read Death Wish and absolutely loved it (here's my review ). Next up in the series is Forget Me Not, and it starts like this: "Beneath the very bluest of heavens, a sea of black, broken only by velvety green grass and the greying granite of grave markers. On the sweet September air, beyond the distant rhythm of waves meeting beach, the rustle of a tissue, the swish of a suit jacket and the m

I: Island Books

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Welcome to the "I" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a fictional place called: Island Books! I read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry last year and absolutely loved it. it's a perfect book for book lovers! Set on Alice Island, AJ Fikry owns Island Books. I absolutely love visiting new bookstores, and the one in this fictional story sounds perfect! AJ always knows the perfect book to recommend to his customers. One of my Bookish Bucket List goals is to visit new bookstores, and although this is fictional, it's still on my list :) I definitely recommend this book--you can read my full review of it here . Any bookstores on your bucket list, friends? Or other "I" locations you'd like to visit? Side note: I came THISCLOSE to using Italy for my "I" post....but I'll be covering that in my "T&

H: Hogwarts!

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Welcome to the "H" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a fictional place called: Hogwarts!  Image source: Google How could I use this theme for the challenge and NOT use Hogwarts for H?!  I read the Harry Potter series for the first time last year. I was one of those people who thought the series was overrated , and boy, was I WRONG. I absolutely fell in love with the series and everything Harry Potter. It's such a well written, fantastic series.  Of course I'd love to visit Hogwarts! Hermione is my favorite HP character, and if I could spend the day hanging out with her, that would be awesome! Now the important question: what house would I be sorted into? Only the Sorting Hat could tell me for sure, but I like to think of myself as a Ravenclaw--they value intelligence, creativity, learning and wit. Though I'

Review: Crossing the Ice

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Title: Crossing the Ice Author: Jennifer Comeaux 308 pages, published August 2014 Genre: Contemporary Romance Source: Kindle Unlimited From Goodreads: Falling hard never felt so good. Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team. The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though… The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross? My review:  I was so excited to discover this author!! I LOVE figure skating--I took lessons for years when I was younger. So I was thrilled to find multiple novels centered around the skating world.  This was the first one I read and I absolutely loved it. As a forme

G: Guana Island

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Welcome to the "G" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a real place called: Guana Island! Image source: Coastal Living magazine One of my dreams someday is to have a beach house. Somewhere tropical would be awesome, but my "realistic" dream and goal is to have a beach house here in Oregon. I live 45 minutes away from the beach and would love to be able to pop over there for the weekend! Because of my love of the beach, I subscribe to Coastal Living magazine, and came across this article awhile back about Guana Island, a privately owned island in the British Virgin Islands. They do have a tourism website where you can plan your visit, book accommodations, discover fun activities to do there, etc.  There are lots of great places to dine, hike, explore, and relax. All the photos of the island I've seen are just

F: France!

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Welcome to the "F" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a real place, a place called:  Lavender fields in Provence France!  I've been fortunate enough to travel to Europe, back when I was 15, and did have the opportunity to visit parts of France, including Paris, the Loire Valley, and Normandy. However, there's still so much more I'd like to explore! In addition, since I was 15, I couldn't partake in fun things like wine tasting in the Loire Valley! I'd also love to explore the south of France, in Provence. I took two years of French in high school and another two years in college, and still remember enough to feel comfortable traveling in France. Since this is a book blog, I can't help but give a book recommendation along with this post. What generally inspires my desire to travel are books

Review: Still The One

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Title: Still the One Author: Jill Shalvis Release Date:  April 7, 2015 Genre: Women's Fiction, Romance Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own. From Goodreads: Darcy Stone is game for anything — except sexy Navy veteran and physical therapist A.J. Colten, the guy who'd rejected her when she'd needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately, Darcy can't refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers. A.J. admits it — Darcy is irresistible. But he's already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he's not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they'd ever imagined possible

E: Emerald City

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Welcome to the "E" day of the A-Z Blogging challenge !  If you need a recap on my theme, "Places I Want To Visit: Real or Fictional"  you can read more about it here . Today's place is a fictional place, a place called: Emerald City!  Image source: Google Though I'm not a huge Wizard of Oz fan, I couldn't help but add the Emerald City in for my "E" post since it's such a classic! The Emerald City is located in the center of the Land of Oz, at the end of the Yellow Brick Road.  Really, who wouldn't want to spend a day in this magical land? As long as I had Dorothy's adorable red shoes so I could click my heels and go home afterwards!

Comnig to Rosemont: Promo Blitz + Giveaway!

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ON SALE for $.99 March 29th - April 5th Contemporary / Women's Fiction / Romantic Suspense Date Published: February 18, 2013 Forensic accountant Maggie Martin survives the sudden death of her husband, the charismatic President of Windsor College, only to uncover the secrets of his carefully-concealed double life. Dealing with the financial and emotional wreckage left in Paul's wake, she is stunned to learn he inherited an estate known as Rosemont in the seemingly-serene Midwestern town of Westbury. Why had he never told her? Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a