February was the first month of round 6 of #OTSPSecretSister Project – my second round of participation. I patiently waited for my first package from my new secret sister. She sent a few cards before the package unexpectedly arrived a day earlier than I was told. I was beyond excited. I learned from the round to actually be patient and don’t rush because it would definitely be worth the wait. I also knew things happen, as I am sure both my current and past sisters who receive from are well aware of.
Boy was this such a great package. My sister took a lot of time and effort putting together such a great package. The theme?
A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #3
on February 28th 2017
Reading Challenges: Bookopoly 2017
From the bestselling author of The Girls of Mischief Bay, The Friends We Keep comes a twisty tale of family dynamics that explores what can go terribly, hysterically wrong when the line between friendship and family blurs.
Zoe Saldivar is more than just single-she's ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it's up to her to stop living in isolation.
Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated-her first new friend is Jen's widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen's brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe's own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam's flustered, Jen's annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think "alone" doesn't sound so bad, after all.
Friendship isn't just one thing-it's a million little things, and no one writes them with more heart and humor than book club sensation Susan Mallery!
I have been waiting on this release since I finished the last book by Susan Mallery. (I have mentioned that I love her book right?)
I can admit that I was not let down at all. It was such a good read.
Baring Witness: 36 Mormon Women Talk Candidly about Love, Sex, and Marriage by Holly Welker
Reading Challenges: Bookopoly 2017, COYER Blackout: Winter Storm, Single Ladies Reading Challenge
In Baring Witness , Welker and 36 Mormon women write about devotion and love and luck, about the wonder of discovery, and about the journeys, both thorny and magical, to humor, grace, and contentment. They speak to a diversity of life experiences: what happens when one partner rejects Church teachings; marrying outside one's faith; the pain of divorce and widowhood; the horrors of spousal abuse; the hard journey from visions of an idealized marriage to the everyday truth; sexuality within Mormon marriage; how the pressure to find a husband shapes young women's actions and sense of self; and the ways Mormon belief and culture can influence second marriages and same-sex unions. The result is an unflinching look at the earthly realities of an institution central to Mormon life.
This was an interesting book. I was raised in the Mormon religion. My mom was raised to be Mormon, but always felt different. I was no exception. My left religion and the Mormon religion up to me and for me to choose. I was baptized when I was 12, if I remember correctly. I practiced the religion for several years before deciding this was not the religion for me. With that said, it doesn’t mean that I will let others criticize and mock it. This means that because I understand it and have many family members who are devout Mormons, that I will correct you if you are wrong. There are quite a few things that I don’t agree with in this religion but I do not care to delve into those at the moment.
I digressed to explain about myself and my interest in this book.
In Over Her Head: Hannah Smart by Melody Fitzpatrick
Series: Hannah Smart
on September 17th 2016
Reading Challenges: Bookopoly 2017, COYER Blackout: Winter Storm
Being totally scared of the ocean is no big deal when it means being on TV with the boy of your dreams — right?
Hannah Smart is the happiest she’s ever been. She’s doing great in school, she’s got her own spot on the Friday evening news, and she’s desperately in love with the boy next door.But when Hannah’s boss asks her to be part of a treasure-hunting reality show for teens, she instantly feels ill. For most kids, a high-seas adventure searching for treasure would sound amazing, but for Hannah, who suffers horribly from seasickness, it’s a total nightmare. When she finds out that her crush and “the more perfect than perfect” Piper Steele will both be there, she has no choice, and agrees to the trip. In true Hannah fashion, she comes up with a plan to overcome her fears once and for all.What she doesn’t know is that Piper has a cunning plan as well, which means stormy seas for Hannah Smart.
Apparently there are two other books in this series, and eventually I will read them, because this book was a cute and fun read.
Hannah Smart was very relatable to me as my teenage self, except that I was not a teenage newswoman nor was I as personable as she is.
Like most books that feature a teenage bully – they don’t mean to be the be and that’s the case with Piper.
DAY SIX: Random Acts of Kindness Day
What a fitting day for the last day of GUOTS. Talk about the kindness you’ve seen in the blogging world, the positives and the things that are uplifting. Talk about the good, and the good that can be done, too.
I blogged sever years ago, but I was not very consistent and I mainly blogged about the Backstreet Boys and NASCAR. I mainly posted of when I updated my stories and that was it. I gave it up for a few years. One day early last year I stumbled upon a reading challenge that made me want to start blogging again, but this time I didn’t want to blog about NASCAR or the Backstreet Boys. Instead I wanted to blog about books and join the book blogging community.
I did not know how much I had missed out in the book blogging community. And I did not know how wonderful and welcoming it was.
Beaches II: I'll Be There by Iris Rainer Dart
Reading Challenges: Bookopoly 2017, Literary Escape
In this, the sequel to Beaches, Cee Cee Bloom, the famous singer and movie star, has been entrusted with the eight-year-old daughter of her friend Bertie, after the latter's tragic death. Then, with a devastating discovery, Cee Cee is forced to come to terms with the depth of her commitment.
As I previously state in my review of Beaches, I was not aware that the movie was based on a book, which also means I was not aware that there was also a sequel to the book. So, I of course had to read it as soon as I was finished with the first book. And read it I did.
DAY FIVE: Kittens + Books
Last year I [Rachel] did Puppies + Books and oh my gosh, it was so fun. I loved it so much that I’m bringing it back, but with kittens! All you have to do is match book covers with kittens! (I recommend using Pinterest, or something of the like. I’d scroll around until I found a picture that reminded me of a book cover, then pair the two together.)
I did not know which of the two choices to pick for today, however, I thought it would be interesting to try to see if I could accomplish this one. I think I did good considering…
Beaches by Iris Rainer Dart
on June 1st 1985
Reading Challenges: Bookopoly 2017, Literary Escape
Loudmouthed, redheaded Cee Cee Bloom has her sights set on Hollywood. Bertie White, quiet and conservative, dreams of getting married and having children. In 1951, their childhood worlds collide in Atlantic City. Keeping in touch as pen pals, they reunite over the years ... always near the ocean.
Powerful and moving, this novel follows Cee Cee and Bertie's extraordinary friendship over the course of thirty years as they transform from adolescents into adults. A bestselling novel that became a hugely successful film, Beaches is funny, heartbreaking, and a tale that should be a part of every woman's library.
I will admit that I read this book mainly because I have always loved the movie Beaches. And when Lifetime did the remake I was excited. (I have not watched it yet, but it is on the DVR and I am waiting for the right moment.) I never knew the movie was based on a book and so when I found out I instantly reserved from the library. I was not disappointed, not that I thought I would be.
DAY FOUR: Get A Different Name Day
Have you ever wanted a different name? Maybe something along the lines of Princess Consuela Banana Hammock? Well then, today is just for you! Create a list of characters who’d names you’d very much like to steal. Piece of cake!
With a name like Penni I have always disliked my name mainly because I would keep being called quarter, nickel, dime…you get the picture. It always seemed so plain and even if I don’t stick out, I am not plain.
I always wished for a different name or I’d come up with creative, yet not so plain names for future children or characters in the many stories I would create or want to create. I do not wish to share all those because what if it’s a name someone see for the first time and then decides they like it? It’s my name and I’m stingy! Just kidding! LOL.
Here are a like of names that I currently like and would like to name a child or character…
DAY THREE: Umbrella Day
It is, in fact, Umbrella Day. (Don’t ask me who comes up with these things.) And what does an umbrella do? Shield you from rain–and tears. So today is all about sad books, the ones that made you cry, eat a bowl of chocolate-drenched ice cream, and watch all the fluffy movies. Or you can interpret it another way! I just figured umbrellas equal rain equals sad books. Just be careful of spoilers!
So I decided to go a different route with this topic and list characters that can shield you (like an umbrella) from harm, pain, saddness, etc…