Monday, January 26, 2015

Discussion Post #3 - Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Happy Monday darlings! Sorry for the delay, our server was down on Saturday and then I just forgot on Sunday. Lol. Let's get started on our new discussion, shall we?


Chapters: Chapter 8 to Chapter 11

1. Let's start with Selma. We get a lot more background into her life, and how she became who she is today. What's your opinion of her now? Has it changed since the beginning of the story?

2. There's a definite sense that Eby might not want to let go of Lost Lake. What do you think is keeping her there? Do you think the party will change her mind?

3. Sarah Addison Allen's stories always bring a magical quality to an otherwise normal place. In this case, there's some magic involved in bringing Kate and Wes together. What did you think of Devin and her alligator?

4. Give us your predictions for the ending. Will Eby travel? Will she sell? Will Kate stay? Lay them out!



Okay, so I'm a little biased in starting with Selma because these chapters blew me away! I've been intrigued by her character since she first appeared, and I kept wondering what had made her so detached. Learning about her childhood, and the woman who gave her the charms, made me feel so much more for Selma. I think she's just a lonely woman looking for love, and she's afraid that she's pushed everyone too far away to find it. I'm hoping for a happy ending for her too!

Now Eby, well I don't think she wants to sell. I hope so much that Kate is going to take over for her, but more I hope that she does what makes her happy. I think that Lost Lake is a big part of her, but her need to travel also tugs at her. Hopefully she can have both? I'd miss Lost Lake, and I have a strong feeling that the citizens of the town are beginning to realize that they would too. After all, this party has gotten a little out of hand in terms of size.

Ah, the alligator. It's the thing I love about SAA's books. There's this magical undertone that only adds, but doesn't take away. I love the fact that it's supposedly Billy in the alligator. That he finally was able to escape, and is now trying to communicate to Wes that he's happy and okay. I also absolutely adore that Wes and Kate are slowly moving closer. I truly believe that, wherever that letter is, it says they're meant to be together. I think that too!

So, the ending. I know it's going to be bittersweet, because SAA's endings generally are. I'm predicting that Kate stays, and Wes helps her at Lost Lake. That they'll get their own happy endings. I'm also thinking that Eby will actually leave to travel, because it's what she wants. OH! And I almost forgot about Lisette! I think she's finally found love. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

It's Swap Time!

Are you ready for another swap my bookish friends? I sure am! There's nothing better than receiving a box full of amazing goodies, except maybe curating a box for someone else!

To start, please make sure you read the General Guidelines post. If you get to the end of the document and still have a burning question, email me or comment here! I'm always happy to help.



This swap is Valentine's Day themed, or all about that bookish love! Channel all things hearts, flowers, and chocolate while you make your box. The theme is, of course, open to interpretation!

The following items are required in your package:

* One book of your choice. 
We're shooting for romance here, but it's up to you what level you want to take that to! Are you thinking steamy? Sweet? Or maybe paranormal? All fair game!

Something sinfully delicious. 
You know what goes wonderfully with a romance novel? A sinfully delicious snack. This is totally open to interpretation, as it doesn't have to be sweet, but you'll get definite points for presentation!

A Valentine's Day note to your lovely swap partner.
Have some fun with this one! Make it, buy it, scrawl it in calligraphy. It's your choice.

Money Limit: 
Your box must contain items that add up to at least $15. Anything beyond that is your own personal choice, if you'd like to add extras. You may also add items that are not on the theme list if you so choose!
        * Some helpful hints:
                 - Check out dollar stores. You can get lots of fantastic and fun items there!
                 - Shop the dollar spot at local stores like Target or Walmart.
                 - Go thrift store hunting. This is perfectly okay! Just make sure the item is in good condition.
                    (A good rule of thumb is to think, "Would I want to receive this?")
                 - Re-gift something of yours (in good condition of course) that you think fits the box.
                 - Make something. It's cool to include something handmade. Again, just make sure it's something     
                    you'd like to receive yourself.

Shipping Information:
This swap is open to all our members, but please make sure to include if you are not located in the U.S. or, if you are in the U.S., whether you're willing to ship internationally. All delivery confirmation numbers must be in no later than February 10th. This also means your box should be shipped no later than this date. You must procure a delivery confirmation number when sending your package, and include it in the form located here. No delivery confirmation means you won't be eligible for future swaps.


Ready to join in?

Fill out THIS FORM completely to sign up. 

I'll match you with a swapping buddy and send out information as to who you will be mailing to. Please know I try to keep this a surprise, so you won't know who is mailing to you unless you specifically ask.

***Sign ups will be open until February 1st***

Late sign ups will not be accepted. I need that time to match people up and still give you ample time to go and do some shopping!

If you sign up, your are promising to send a package. Please make sure you can follow through! I'll give you one pass, but after that you may not be eligible for future swaps.

Monday, January 19, 2015

February Novella Picks

Well lovely bookworms, you've voted and here are your choices for February!

Below each book is a link where you can snag it, and the week that we'll be reading it. The official reading schedule will be sent out in a newsletter next week, so this is your monthly reminder to make sure you're signed up for that! You wouldn't want to miss you, would you? :)

February 1st

FREE on:
Amazon | B&N

February 8th

$2.99 on Amazon
$3.99 on B&N

February 15th

$0.99 on Amazon
$0.99 on B&N

February 22nd

$1.99 on Amazon
Not available B&N

Get those books ready! Also don't forget to stop by the two discussion posts that are up now for Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen! We'd love to chat with you!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Discussion Post #2 - Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Happy Saturday ladies and gents! It's time for another magical discussion post of Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen. Heads up, I actually missed a piece of the book on my breakdown! If you finished at the end of chapter 8, keep going until you see the page that says "Part 2". Trust me, you'll want to! It's another flashback!

Moving on, discussion time!


Chapters: Chapter 4 - beginning of Part 2

1. In this series of chapters we see more of Lost Lake, and the people who frequent it. How are you liking the setting? Do you feel like it's a character in its own right?

2. Cricket's true motives come to light. How has your opinion of her changed? Has it? Do you see Kate in a different light now?

3. How do you predict that Wes will fit into the picture?

4. We've been given another glimpse into Eby and George's younger days. How did you feel about the new information that came out about Eby and her family?



Let me tell you, I'm in love with Lost Lake. I keep thinking how much I'd love to go there, especially once Eby described it as "a haven for misfits". It's the kind of place where magic happens. Where imagination is allowed to bloom, and people fall in love. I'm not going to lie, I'm hardcore swooning over it. If there's one thing that SAA does well, it's create places that come alive.

After reading these chapters, and finding out more about Cricket, I can't say I like her at all. I think she's important though. Without her motives, without her want to completely take over Kate's life, things wouldn't be moving forward. Cricket is opening Kate's eyes to how much she wants her own life back. Kate is realizing that she's ready to move forward and I think Eby sees it too. I'm hoping with all my heart that she takes over Lost Lake!

Ah, Wes. Such a tragic backstory, but such a sweet chance meeting with Kate. I'm not sure whether I would happier if they rekindle what they might of just had, or if they just help one another get over their mutual losses. I know we haven't seen a whole lot of Wes, but he seems like a perfect match for Kate. Both dreamers, both lost. Maybe they can find one another? I hope so.

As I said above, I totally missed the little piece at the end of chapter 7, which if you haven't read stop right here and go read before you read this!

I loved having another glimpse into Eby and George's younger days. They were so wild, and free-spirited. This particular flashback also broke my heart though. Now I understand why Eby was always so distant from her family. Why she and George gave up all their money in favor of happiness for the two of them. Marilee and Eby's mother are the type of characters that I love to hate. I see their necessity, but it doesn't make me like them. So selfish, so frustrating.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Novella Voting!

Ready to pick your novellas for next month? Here are the choices, as submitted by your fellow book club members! Pick your favorite four, and scroll to the bottom to vote! Whichever books get the most votes by Saturday night are the books we'll be reading next month.

Delilah Morrissey has always wanted to be a mother, but when she becomes a young widow, that dream now seems farther away than ever. Unable to continue to live alone in Chicago, her only option is to accept her sister's offer to move in with her family back in West Virginia. Will Delilah have the faith to pursue a new dream--even if it means giving up the old?

In this charming novella, debut novelist Sarah Loudin Thomas introduces readers to Wise, West Virginia--a small town nestled in an Appalachian valley where the everyday miracles of life and faith play out in stories of healing, hope, and love.

Cami Pressman is a yoga instructor with a lifelong secret love of junk food. Not even an irresistible man can replace the mouthwatering wickedness of her favorite foods.

Until, that is, Paul Hammond signs up for her class. He’s a gourmet chef looking to score some fitness tips, and a date with Cami. Suddenly Cami’s lust for junk food isn’t the only thing making her tingle.

When this sinful chef and hot yoga teacher eat, play, and lust together, they just might bring their obsession to a new level.

Certain individuals might consider Lady Amelia Pembroke a managing sort of female, but truly, most people would be lost without her help. Why, the latest on-dit is that rakish Viscount Sheffield is canceling the fete of the year because he hasn't time for silly soirees. He doesn't need time--he needs her!

When a flash of lightning destroys the venue for his family's annual Christmas ball, Lord Benedict Sheffield intends to enjoy a relaxing holiday for once. But after twelve days of beguiling Lady Amelia's guerrilla tactics, he's up to his cravat with tinsel... and tumbling head over heels in love.

At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded up rest stop on a highway in Maine. It's a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It's the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who's supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play "paratroopers over the side." Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his tenth birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.

Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn't been any rain in New England for over a week) veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says "closed, no services." The driver's door opens but nobody gets out.

Doug Clayton, an insurance man from Bangor, is driving his Prius to a conference in Portland. On the backseat are his briefcase and suitcase and in the passenger bucket is a King James Bible, what Doug calls "the ultimate insurance manual," but it isn't going to save Doug when he decides to be the Good Samaritan and help the guy in the broken down wagon. He pulls up behind it, puts on his four-ways, and then notices that the wagon has no plates.

Ten minutes later, Julianne Vernon, pulling a horse trailer, spots the Prius and the wagon, and pulls over. Julianne finds Doug Clayton's cracked cell phone near the wagon door — and gets too close herself. By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are a half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. Two kids — Rachel and Blake Lussier — and one horse named Deedee are the only living left. Unless you maybe count the wagon.

A researcher studying memory in elephants, Alice is fascinated by the bonds between mother and calf—the mother’s powerful protective instincts and her newborn’s unwavering loyalty. Living on a game reserve in Botswana, Alice is able to view the animals in their natural habitat—while following an important rule: She must only observe and never interfere. Then she finds an orphaned young elephant in the bush and cannot bear to leave the helpless baby behind. Thinking back on her own childhood, and on her shifting relationship with her mother, Alice risks her career to care for the calf. Yet what she comes to understand is the depth of a parent’s love.

On the surface, Claire Saunders has it all. She has a rewarding career in fashion and a talented concert pianist daughter. Her loving husband is one of the country’s most trusted diplomats.

She thinks she’s hidden her secret from her best friends, but they know her too well.

Can her friends get her out of harm’s way and protect her from a man who is as ruthless as he is charming and powerful? And along the way, can Claire learn to stop protecting the wrong people?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Discussion Post #1 - Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Are you ready for our first discussion post of the year? I sure am! I just know this is going to be an amazing year of reading, and hopefully of discussions as well. Remember, next month is novella month! Don't forget to fill up our community bookshelf with lots of novellas that you'd like to read!

For those of you who are new to discussion posts, here's the skinny:

* They stay open all month, and we chat on them all week. So don't worry if you don't come in until a few days after this goes up. People will still respond to you!

* This is an ongoing discussion post. You can add things whenever you want, even if new posts have gone up!

* Have fun, and be honest! Everyone is entitled to their opinions and we promise to play nice.


Chapters: Prologue - Chapter 3

1. Let's start simple. Is this your first Sarah Addison Allen book? If so, how do you feel about her writing style? If not, how does this stack up to what you've already read in terms of atmosphere?

2. Eby and George are only hinted at in the prologue. How do you feel that their story is going to factor into the rest of the story?

3. What are your feelings on our main characters. Do you feel for Kate, or feel like she's weak? What do you think about her parenting style regarding Devin?

4. What do you predict Lost Lake will bring to Kate's life?



Being completely fair, this is the first Sarah Addison Allen book I've read in a very long time. I was introduced to Garden Spells by the lovely Keri, and fell in love with the way that Allen writes. There's something magical about her stories. I'm sure we'll see that even more as the story progresses, but I can already see it in the haunting losses that are portrayed for each member of this family. Lessons are coming. I can feel it.

Eby and George were a wonderful prologue couple. They made me fall in love with the romance that Paris afforded them, and I would have loved nothing more than to continue to follow them. I'm especially intrigued by the way they discovered Lisette. I adore her, and I think that her and Eby are going to be a guiding force in the way that Kate is waking up now.

Which, as you can probably tell, means that I don't dislike Kate at all. I feel like she's handled her loss the way a lot of us out there would. Hiding inside yourself is kind of necessary when you can't handle what's outside. What I love is how strong and original Devin is. I adore how much Kate is proud of her free-spirited daughter, and how she nurtures her in that respect. Devin is wonderfully independent.

I predict that Lost Lake is going to bring out the Kate that existed before she lost her husband. I'm hoping to see more flashbacks, but I also think this is going to be about fixing Kate's broken heart and making her whole again. I'm already in love with this setting and I can't wait for more!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Updates: Post #2

Well, happy 2015 to all of you amazing bookish people out there! No matter how 2014 treated you, here's hoping that 2015 is better. Also, that it's filled to the brim with amazing reads. I'll be happy to help you with that ;).

Ready for announcements? This isn't all of them. There's one more post coming! It's a new year, and I'm aiming to do it right.

#4 - New Look!

As you can see, I've revamped our site. As much as I loved our old header, the darkness of this page just wasn't doing it for me. I feel like this is cleaner, crisper, and easier to find everything on :). Best of all, it's more organized two!

Let's walk through our new navbar:

*Past Reads - With every new book that we finish, this shelf will update. This gives new members an opportunity to see the types of books we've already read, and allows everyone to make sure we don't repeat when submitting book picks.

*Bookshelf - Looking to add a new book suggestion? Want to see what others have already submitted? You'll find both of those on this new tab. Each time one of you submits a new book pick, I'll add it to this shelf. Remember, I pull them based on the monthly themes. So this month be on the lookout for novellas! (I also made the form easier!)

*Discussions - This tab, which won't take you anywhere just yet, will link you to all the discussion posts for the current book we're reading. Don't worry, it'll work just as soon as we start Lost Lake!

*Calendar - This page is linked to a master calendar on Google. From now on anytime we have anything coming up, you'll find it here. The 1st of every month has a reminder of what the theme is for that month! You'll also see discussion post dates, future swaps, giveaways, and more.

*New Members - I'm still in the edits for this tab, but if you're a new member (or if you want to add someone by sending them here) this will be a treasure trove of information for you!

#5 - More Interaction

One of the things I love most about running this book club is having a running commentary with people while we're reading. I know it's not always easy to stick to the reading schedule, that sometimes you'll binge read 8 chapters to catch up right before the discussion post, but I want to give people a chance to talk in between those posts. So, I'm implementing some new posts to foster more interaction.

You already know that the discussion questions go up every Friday. Now they'll be a post each Sunday with a reminder of what chapters we're reading and "Things to Think About This Week", where you can have a discussion while you're waiting for the formal discussion post. Also, periodically, I'll be posting fun mini giveaways/challenge questions for you! 

Basically what I'm saying is this: MAKE SURE YOU'RE FOLLOWING THIS BLOG!

As much as I love cross posting things to Facebook, if you're following here you'll get a jump on everyone else ;).

More announcements tomorrow!

Including: A New Way to Win Monthly Prizes AND A New Spotlight Program!

Can you find the spelling error in this post? First person to comment correctly wins a surprise Kindle book!