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Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

Post your favorite holiday-themed animated gif. One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]


Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

What is your must-see holiday movie? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]


Without a doubt, Home Alone is the one holiday movie that I always feel up to watching every year. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is also great, but as with most movies, the first is usually the best.

I love the hi-jinks and comedy of it. It also makes you come around to appreciate family even when you're not always happy with them, which is something I think we all take for granted soemtimes.

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

What is on your holiday wish list this year? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]


I don't really have a huge list. I haven't thought much about it, but there are a few things I'd like. Some are reasonable and others are just wishful thinking.


  • Amazon gift card (so I can buy ebooks for my Kindle)

  • 1 TB external hard drive (even a 500 GB would do)

  • Movies: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1 & 2

  • Books: Where She Went by Gayle Forman, The Wolves of Mercy Falls Box Set by Maggie Stiefvater, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost, The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins, Along For the Ride and What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

  • Maurice's gift card

  • New headphones/ear buds

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

Which December holidays do you celebrate, and why? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]


My family always celebrates Christmas. We usually get together on Christmas Eve, due to logistics. We have a pitch in for food, and we usually just eat snacks instead of an actual meal. We exchange gifts, though we mostly only get for the youngest kids in the family because it's pretty expensive to buy for everyone. I've started the tradition of making everyone their own gift bag of cookies to take home.

We usually drag out the home videos from years past for nostalgia. There are plenty of good laughs to be had as we mock each other's horrible sense of fashion or silly actions, but it's all in good fun.

While the kids play with their new toys, the adults usually get together at the kitchen table and play games - Rummikub, Phase 10, Uno and sad attempts at Trivial Pursuit are usually involved. We cheat horribly at Trivial Pursuit, and usually have several laughs at failed attempts to help each other out with the answers. I bought Monopoly to add to the mix this year.

We don't really focus too much on the gift giving, but just have a good time hanging out together. Even though we live in the same general area, we don't really get together as a family too often, so Christmas is a good opportunity to catch up and hang out and enjoy each other's company.

As for the rest of the month, we have several birthdays to celebrate. My brother's birthday is on New Year's Eve and my nephew's birthday is on New Years, so we are usually together on those days. Because their are so many other birthdays throughout the month, we tend to celebrate some of them together because, believe it or not, we're usually sick of cake and ice cream if we celebrate each individual birthday.

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry #3) by Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry #3) by Simone Elkeles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary

Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill.

Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules.

Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?

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Originally published at Bitter Shade. You can comment here or there.

Book Review: Wake by Abria Mattina

Wake by Abria Mattina

Wake by Abria Mattina

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary

Eighteen isn’t too young to run your life into the ground, but it’s not too old to fix it, either. The desire for change drives Willa Kirk from St. John’s, Newfoundland back to her hometown of Smiths Falls, Ontario, away from her mistakes and the place where her sister died. She’s looking for a place to settle and rebuild, but Jem Harper just wants to get out of town, back to the life he knew before cancer. By letting the tragedies in their lives define them, they are both dying a little more every day. Welcome to the wake.

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Originally published at Bitter Shade. You can comment here or there.

Book Review: Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary

FOR RENT: Top two floors of beautifully renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker’s fee.

Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment.

Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it’s too good to pass up.

Big mistake. Susan soon discovers that her new home is crawling with bedbugs . . . or is it? She awakens every morning with fresh bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a single welt. An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing. The landlady insists her building is clean. Susan fears she’s going mad—until a more sinister explanation presents itself: she may literally be confronting the bedbug problem from Hell.(

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Originally published at Bitter Shade. You can comment here or there.

Real Men Will (Donovan Brothers Brewery #3) by Victoria Dahl

Real Men Will (Donovan Brothers Brewery #3) by Victoria Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary

It was meant to be a one-night stand. One night of passion. Scorching hot. Then Beth Cantrell and Eric Donovan were supposed to go their separate ways. That’s the only reason he lied about his name, telling her he was really his wild younger brother. Hiding his own identity as the conservative Donovan. The “good” one.

But passion has its own logic, and Eric finds he cannot forget the sable-haired beauty with whom he shared one night of passion. When Beth discovers that Eric has lied, however, she knows he cannot be trusted. Her mind tells her to forget the blue-eyed charmer. If only every fiber of her being did not burn to call him back.

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Originally published at Bitter Shade. You can comment here or there.

Recommend A Book!

Book Recommendations For 2012

After a very successful year of reading, I’ve decided that I want to give myself a few smaller challenges for next year. One of them is reading recommendations from friends. That’s where you come in.

I have tons and tons of books on my to-read shelf at GoodReads, but I’m looking for your recommendations. I don’t have a set number of recs I aim to read at this point, but I’ll probably narrow it down as 2012 grows nearer.

So, please tell me which books you think I should read. It can be something new that you’ve recently read or an older book that’s a favorite to reread. I read a little bit of everything, so it can be any genre.

Please no more than 5 books!

If you’d like to see what I’ve already read, you can find those books here!

Tumblr users can leave their recs in my ask, or leave a comment here!

Originally published at Bitter Shade. You can comment here or there.

Book Review: Only Us by Susan Mallery

Only Us: A Fool's Gold Holiday (Fool's Gold #6.5) by Susan Mallery

Only Us: A Fool’s Gold Holiday (Fool’s Gold, #6.5) by Susan Mallery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary

Pet groomer Carina Fiore wants nothing more than to confess her feelings to the man she loves. She’s drawn to veterinarian Cameron McKenzie’s good looks, caring nature and especially his devotion to his young daughter. But he’s also her boss and a good friend. Putting her heart on the line could cost Rina both her job and their friendship forever.

Since his divorce, Cameron hasn’t been willing to trust his heart—or his daughter—with anyone else. For months he’s pushed away all thoughts of taking Rina in his arms and kissing her, unwilling to risk their friendship for a single night of pleasure. But when a kiss under the mistletoe unlocks the simmering passion between them, Rina and Cameron may just find love for the holidays after all…

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Originally published at Bitter Shade. You can comment here or there.

The Girl

Brittney. Brit. 20s. Libra. Single. Indiana. Shy. High Strung. Ravenclaw. Graphic Designer. Book Worm. Music Fanatic. TV Junkie. Movie Lover. ♫ Hanson. Trapt. Eisley. Tegan & Sara. Maria Mena. Marit Larsen. Train. Taylor Swift ♥ Edward Cullen. Draco Malfoy. Robert Pattinson. Castle. Criminal Minds. Twilight. Supernatural. coffee. chocolate. sleeping. morning

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