One Month Down & Still Trying To Get It Together

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Written while binge-watching MasterChef.

Gordon Ramsay intimidates the hell out of me.


music monday

I discovered Florence + The Machine in 2010. It was a few months after I graduated from college and when I was volunteering in Italy at a pre-school run by nuns. Yup, you read that sentence correctly. Clearly I didn’t really stick to that path as I now write romance novels.

During those months, I was living with only one other person who spoke English (and it was not their first language...or even their second), so communication was limited and it was more than a little bit isolating. Let's just say there were long afternoon walks through the Italian countryside, admiring everything blooming in spring, and listening to music...and there was A LOT of listening to Florence + The Machine. I can't hear a song by them now and not think of that time. 

So their music was recently in not one but two shows that I watch. "Kiss with a Fist" was in an episode of The Good Doctor, and "Dog Days Are Over" (which is without a doubt my favorite song by them and the very first song that I heard) was in A Million Little Things. So needless to say, I've been listening to a lot of Florence lately.


talk to me tuesday

The first encounter I had with Stephanie Laurens was through the available audiobooks that my library offers. I listened to all of the Bastion Club series a couple of years ago and am currently doing another listen through. I'm on the third book of the series, A Lady of His Own, and am enjoying it almost as much as the first time I listened to it.

There is nothing like taking a deep dive into another time and getting lost in the world. I love this series and I think that Ms. Laurens is a masterful writer.

"The seven members of the Bastion Club have served loyally in the perilous service of the Crown. Now they’ve banded together to support one another through their most dangerous mission of all: getting married."



Read it Wednesday

So the first four books in my 2019 Reading Challenge are the following:

Something Old- Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan. The Crazy Rich Asians trilogy has been at the top of my TBR list for almost a year and I've been slowly working through them (slowly because of my own reading issues, and not because I don't love these books, because I SO DO!). This is the book that I'm currently reading. 

"When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside—but he’s not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune."

Something New- Lone Star Lovers by Jessica Lemmon. Jessica is one of my very best friends and she just sent me a stack of her pretty, pretty books. So they of course got bumped up on my TBR list.

"Penelope Brand’s hookup with billionaire Zach Ferguson was casual. Until he announces her as his fake fiancée to avoid scandal—and she discovers she’s pregnant."

Something Borrowed- The Bucket List by Georgia Clark. I'm an avid reader of The Skimm (I start my day with it) and this book was one of their suggestions. So I bought it. Clearly they know their audience.

"A deeply funny and thoughtful tale of a young woman who, after discovering she has the breast cancer gene, embarks on an unforgettable bucket list adventure."

Something Blue- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy KalingI absolutely love Mindy Kaling (HUGE Mindy Project fan here). I listened to Why Not Me?on audio a couple of years ago and LOVED it. So I figure I should read her first book too.

"Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: comedienne, actress, obedient child of immigrant professionals and, now, writer. With a blend of witty confessions and unscientific observations, Mindy writes about everything from being a timid young chubster afraid of her own bike to living the Hollywood life, dating, friendships and planning her own funeral” all executed with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls."

Also, are you on Bookbub? And if so, are you following me?

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Have you read the book that started off the whole James family sage? All three of the James siblings find love at the family cabin, and the first one up is Logan in Undressed...


“Truth: when was the last time you had sex?”

Abby Fields stared across the table at Logan James, trying to figure out how anything that was happening was even possible. This was the most bizarre Valentine’s Day of her life. She was stranded in a log cabin in the middle of Tennessee, with a gorgeous man, playing a drinking game.

This couldn’t be right. He didn’t even like her.

To say that they didn’t exactly get along would be an understatement. She was pretty sure it had been his mission to make her job as complicated as possible.

It had been three months since Abby had accepted the position with the Jacksonville Stampede’s public relations department. Three months since she’d left her job in Washington, D.C., and headed south to Florida for a better paycheck—and there was the added perk of being closer to her best friend. But if she’d thought for one second that she was leaving the ego stroking and stress behind her, she’d been wrong.

Hockey players were no better than politicians.

Though to be fair, not all of the guys were bad. It was about a fifty-fifty split. Some were cooperative and helpful, willing to listen, offer a friendly smile, could carry on a conversation without scowling at her.

Logan was not one of those guys.

Yet here she was, sitting across from him and debating her next move.

Strip? Well, she was already down to her skirt and camisole. The next thing she took off was going to reveal red lace. That was all she needed, for Logan James to see her panties…because chances were, they would be hitting the floor, too.

Shoot? More alcohol wasn’t looking like a good choice. She’d already had four shots of the whiskey, but her inhibitions hadn’t been lowered that much to have influenced the disappearance of her clothes. That had been a decision she’d made all on her own.

Truth? He already thought she was uptight and repressed; all she needed was to confirm it with the fact that she hadn’t had sex in over a year…and even that hadn’t been very satisfying.

“Pick one, Red, that’s how the game goes.”


Freebie Friday

This month's #GetABookGiveABook giveaway has Undressed up for grabs. I figure what better way to spend Valentine's Day than reading a book that starts on February 14th? 

How can you win it? Just comment on any of the following posts and tag the person who you'd like to win a copy too.

*Contest Rules*

1.) eBook giveaway for U.S. and Canada winners.

2.) Winners picked at random and will be announced on Wednesday.


Silverscreen Saturday

I love Disney movies! And I was super bummed when I didn't get a chance to see The Incredibles 2  in theaters.

But I finally got to watch it last night, and with a glass of wine in hand and with my snuggle buddy by my side. So really, it wasn't a bad to thing to wait for. And yes, yes I did watch a cartoon movie about superheroes instead of watching the Super Bowl. And no, I do not have any regrets on my choice.

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Small Screen Sunday

I finished watching ALL of the seasons of Survivor this month ( a journey I started on last August) and I needed another reality TV show to watch. As the newest season of Top Chef (which is my FAVORITE reality TV show of ever) is currently airing, I've been all about watching cooking shows.

So I binged Last Tableon Netflix, which I very much enjoyed watching. But there was only one season of that, so I needed something else to watch, and preferably with multiple seasons. MasterChef had been recommended to me before, and as it's streaming on Hulu, I went with that. I'm very much enjoying it, but like I said at the beginning of this newsletter, Gordon Ramsay is scary. He's up there with Simon Cowell on levels of intimidation. I definitely wouldn't be able to crack it in his kitchen, so I will just continue to watch from the safety of my living room.

As always, I'd love to hear from you on Social Media. So stop by and let me know what you're up to, enter the current giveaway going on, or just say hi! 


Shannon RichardComment