Thursday, January 29, 2015

Big Bad Wolf by Christine Warren


The Others #2
Graham is tired of the dating game. He finally noticed Missy at Dmitri and Regina's post wedding engagement party. Missy has lusted after him for months. Ava wants to fix Missy up again but Missy does not want to play Ava's sex fixes anymore. She sees her and as she flees the party she bumps into Graham, then runs off. He chases her and catches her. Graham says he wants her and Missy says yes. He throws her over his shoulder and runs to his place.
He thinks she smells so good and they have wild sex. He wants her again right away, then realizes that she is his mate. He convinces her to stay the weekend, which stretches into a  week because she doesn't have to teach because of Spring break.
But some things have come up with his pack. Graham's a werewolf and the pack Alpha. His idiot cousin wants control and is plotting against him. Missy gets tangled up in the struggle - although Graham can more than handle his cousin. Will the pack business keep Missy and Graham apart? Can Missy let herself believe that Graham really wants her?

I got sucked into this story right away and finished the book in a couple of hours. Loved it!!


From the author:
Graham Winters is a werewolf with a problem. His idiot cousin Curtis wants to take over as Alpha of the Silverback Clan because of an archaic Lupine tradition that says an unmated Lupine can't lead a pack. So what is Graham supposed to do? Pull a mate out of his hat? Where else will he find the perfect woman for him in time to thwart Curtis’s plans?

As it turns out, the answer is right under his nose.

Six months of unrequited lust for a playboy werewolf have gotten Missy Roper no closer to fulfilling her fantasy of becoming the love of Graham Winters’s life. But when her four best friends decide to dress her up for a blind date the night of Reggie and Misha’s engagement party, everything changes. Suddenly Graham is declaring his undying lust, the members of his pack are calling her Luna, and his cousin and rival are trying to kill her. Clearly, a little adventure can go a long way.
Now the question is whether Missy is willing to risk her heart and her life for a chance at finding out whether werewolves really do mate for life...


Excerpt:
Graham saw the object of his unexpected lust spin around and race toward him as if the fires of hell licked at her heels. Clearly, he must have done something very good to earn this kind of reward. He couldn’t think what it might be, but he didn’t care. When Miss Sexy Ass flung herself headlong into his arms, he offered up a quick prayer of thanks and decided to worry about the particulars later.

He initially wrapped his arms around her to keep her from falling, but he pressed her closer and held on for a slightly less noble cause. She smelled amazing—sweet, and rich and edible—and she felt luscious pressed up against him, all soft and warm and deliciously rounded. The breasts flattened against his shirt, were surprisingly delicate compared to the generous rear he’d already drooled over, but their nipples beaded on contact, nudging his chest, and he reminded himself that size didn’t really matter. Not when he compared it to the importance of her killer ass, her mouthwatering scent, and the soft curve of her belly, which was currently pressed tight against his very appreciative groin. For all that, he could forgo the pleasures of a huge pair of tits and still consider himself a very lucky man.

He took a deep breath and felt the fit of his trousers tighten. God, no woman’s scent had ever gone to his head like this. He appreciated a female’s fragrance as much as the next Lupine, but normally, human women couldn’t grab his attention with a pair of pliers. They tended to smell like artificial chemicals and sterile soaps to his kind. Even when it wasn’t offensive, it wasn’t exactly compelling either. But this woman had him panting with nothing more than her luscious scent and her equally luscious curves.

“Well, well, well,” he murmured, and he could hear the lust vibrating in his tone. He hoped she wouldn’t be intimidated by it, because he doubted there was any way on earth he could have concealed it. “Where do you think you’re going in such a hurry, gorgeous? I was hoping you might decide to stay awhile. With me.”

He watched her head jerk up at his words and found himself looking into a pair of meltingly brown eyes the size and shape of china saucers. A man would have to be very careful not to get sucked down by the undertow he saw in those things. He ignored the vague sense of recognition he felt when he looked at her, because he felt certain they’d never met before. Graham was not the sort of man who forgot a figure like this woman sported. He’d been bored, not blind, but if he had his way, this woman would be relieving that boredom. At least for the night.

He smiled his most seductive smile, the one that made women melt and pant and compare him to a fallen angel, and loosened his grip enough to lean back. He looked down at her and patiently waited for her to respond to his pass. When she did respond, though, it wasn’t precisely what he’d expected.

“Um, excuse me,” she muttered, tearing her chocolaty gaze from his, ducking beneath his unsuspecting arms and darting behind him to let herself out the French doors.

“What the hell?” He scowled. No woman had ever turned down that kind of invitation from him.
Beside him, Logan laughed. “Never thought I’d see the day.” The other Lupine grinned. “The amazing Graham just struck out with a woman. And a human woman at that.”

Graham scowled, both at Logan’s taunting words and at the reminder that he’d gotten all tied up in knots over a woman from another species, no matter how good she smelled. What the hell was wrong with him?

He wasted about half a millisecond wondering about it before his instincts kicked him in the ass. He didn’t care if this woman was from another planet. He still wanted inside her. Badly.
Shooting Logan a sharp glare, he caught the door before it could swing closed behind Miss No-Time-to-Chat.

“That was only the first pitch,” he said. “Next one goes over the fence.”

Ignoring his friend’s snort, he disappeared through the doors and into the night, intent on pursuit and capture.


Read more here.

Pages: 312
Published: 2009

The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

The Hollows #13
Rachel is being set up. She has to let Ivy die and become an evil vampire or somehow save her soul. But that's impossible - or is it? Rachel lets Trent talk her into getting a curse from Landon. Rach doesn't trust him and with good reason. She binds Vampire Felix's soul to his undead body and it kicks off a huge reaction that almost devastates Cincinnati and starts a war between the Elves and everyone else. Will everyone come out of this alive and intact?

I loved this book.  It is the end of the Hollows series. What a fabulous run!

From the author:
Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.
But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now.
To save Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.


Excerpt:
Chapter One

     Neck craned, I squinted up between the shadowed apartments. High in the sun, dragonflylike wings threw back the glow with the transparent sheen of glittery tissue paper. The sporadic traffic at the end of the alley was enough to cover the sound of Jenks’s wings, but I could hear them in my memory as the pixy hovered before a pollution-grimed window.
      The moist-dirt smell of damp pavement was a hint under the light but growing scent of frightened vampire coming from near my elbow. I doubted Marsha was having second thoughts, but disobeying your master vampire could have lethal consequences.
      Still watching Jenks, I surreptitiously edged away from Marsha’s tense, middle-class office professionalism. Her heels were this year’s style, but she wouldn’t be able to run in them. Her hair was a luscious handful that spilled over her shoulders in an ebony wave—again, it made her an easy target in a close fight. A curvaceous figure sealed the deal that she was beautiful. But as a living vampire, it went without saying that her looks had been selected for over the last two generations, and not for Luke’s benefit, the man she’d unfortunately fallen in love with. But she knew she was vulnerable. That’s why Ivy, Jenks, and I were here.
      My neck was getting a crick, and I dropped my gaze to the passing cars, confident that distance and recycling bins would hide us from casual sight. A tight hum jerked my attention back in time to see Jenks dart from a winged shadow. A blue jay squawked, and the tips of five feathers spiraled down between the buildings. Flapping wildly, the sheared bird managed to get across the street before thumping to the sidewalk.
      Having already dismissed the bird, Jenks cupped his hands around his face and peered through the window. His skintight, thief-black tights and knit shirt helped him blend into the shadows, and the red cap was to tell rival pixies that he wasn’t there poaching, a real issue this close to Eden Park. So far, no one had bothered him, but birds were a constant threat.
     “I shouldn’t have to do this,” the woman at my elbow complained, oblivious that a third of the team here to keep her alive had just had a narrow miss. “It’s my apartment!”
      I took a slow breath when Jenks lifted the flap to the bathroom vent and vanished inside. “You want to risk running into Luke?” I said, and she made a sound of frustration. Yes, she did, but to do so would mean her death.
      A lingering sensation that something was off dogged me, despite—or perhaps because of—the ease of the run so far. Restless, I resettled my shoulder bag. I wasn’t a slouch when it came to looks, but next to this woman’s structured beauty, my frizzy red hair and low-heel boots fell flat.
      Ivy’s confident steps against the hush of the side-street traffic tightened my gut. The vampire next to me stiffened at my increased pulse, and I gave Marsha a look to pull herself together. “Stay here,” I said, not liking that Jenks was still inside. “Jenks will tell you when you can come in.” Hiking my shoulder bag higher, I headed for the sidewalk.
      “The hell I will,” Marsha said then stepped as if to follow.
      Spinning, I shoved her shoulder, sending her thumping back against the wall. Shocked, the woman stared, not a hint of anger thanks to a lifetime of conditioning. “The hell you will,” I said. “Stay here until Jenks says you can move, or we turn around and walk. Right here. Right now.”


Read more here.

Pages: 462
Published: 2014

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins


Callie has her heart set on Mark, but he's really a crappy guy. And he's her boss.... He gives her a 30th birthday gift and then tells her that he is seeing a woman connected with the advertising agency. Her heart is broken! She says she needs to renew her driver's license and runs out.
At the DMV, she is in tears. The man behind her in line is not feeling her pain, although he does give her a handkerchief to dry her tears. He is a hottie.
At her birthday party, her friends tell her to find someone new. She finds out there is a new vet in town. Callie worked for the old vet when she was a teen. She makes a fake appointment for her dog and goes in. the waiting room is filled with single women. Guess who is the new vet? The hottie from the DMV, but Ian McFarland is not any friendlier. He and Callie keep running into each other. She likes him but does he like her?

At first, I had a hard time getting into this book. But once Callie set her sights on Ian it picked up for me. Her family was hilarious especially Noah, her grandfather. I wish there would have been a bit more romance between Ian and Callie.

From the author:
One happily-ever-after rocking chair…
    And no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol’ Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track, because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company’s new Miss Perfect. If that isn’t bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a 3-0 birthday bash in the family funeral home.
    Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a relationship with the town’s most eligible — yet not so warm and fuzzy — veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark’s attention. So Ian’s more comfortable with animals… So he’s formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it’s time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But, dang — if he doesn’t shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont’s unlikeliest eligible bachelor…


Excerpt:
CHAPTER 1

  As the man I loved approached my office, the image of a deer being hit by a truck came to mind. I was the deer, metaphorically speaking, and Mark Rousseau was the pickup truck of doom.

 But here's the thing. The deer always freezes, as we all know, hence the expression like a deer caught in the headlights. The deer and I (Callie Grey, age thirty as of 9:34 this very morning) are well aware that the pickup truck is going to hit us. But we just stand there, waiting for the inevitable, whether it's a pickup truck or a man walking athletically toward me, perpetual smile in place, his brown hair carelessly curling, those gorgeous, dancing dark eyes. I waited, doe-eyed. It was all really too bad, because outside of Mark's influence, I was not at all a deer about to be run down. I was much more of an adorable, perky hedgehog or something.

"Hey," Mark grinned.

Bam! We have impact. The sunlight streamed through the windows of the old brick office building in which Mark and I worked, illuminating him so that he looked like something painted by Michelangelo. To make him even more appealing, he was wearing an old sweater vest his mom knitted for him years ago, shapeless and faded but something he just couldn't part with. A good son and a sex god.

It was as if there were two Callies…the smarter, more sensible self (I pictured her as Michelle Obama), and the dopey, in love part…Betty Boop. Would that Michelle could detach right about now and administer Betty Boop a brisk slap, followed by some vigorous shaking. Alas, Betty just sat there, enthralled, as the First Lady, not usually prone to violence, snorted in disgust.

"Hi," I said, feeling my face warm. You'd think that four years of seeing him almost daily would have built up some tolerance in me, but no. My chest prickled with longing and love, my throat turned Saharan, my feet and fingers tingled. My expression was probably somewhere around Pathetic Adoration, though I was trying hard for Intelligent Coworker.

Mark leaned against my desk, which meant his crotch was, oh, let's see, about a foot and a half from my face, since I was seated. Not that I noticed, of course. "Happy birthday," he said, making it sound like the most intimate, most suggestive phrase in the world.

Face: nuclear. Heart: racing. Callie: half inch from orgasm. "Thanks."

 "I got you a present, of course," he murmured in that voice…God, that voice. Low and soft and velvety…the same voice he used in the bedroom, as I well knew Yes, Mark and I had been together. For five weeks. Five wonderful weeks. Almost five and a half, if you really analyzed it. Which I had.
From his back pocket, he withdrew a small, rectangular package. My heart flopped as my brain raced with contradictory thoughts. Jewelry? Betty squealed. That means something. That's romantic. So romantic! Oh! My! God! On the other hand, Michelle advised caution. Calm down, Callie. Let's just see how this plays out.

"Oh, Mark! Thank you! You didn't have to," I said, my voice breathy.

On the other side of the glass-bricked wall that separated our offices, Fleur Eames slammed a drawer. The wall only went up ten feet; the ceilings were twelve, perfect for eavesdropping, and I guessed she was trying to snap me out of my daze. Fleur, a copywriter here at the firm, knew about my crush. I guess everyone did.

Read more here.

ebook318 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Harlequin Books (first published July 1st 2010)

February 2015 Word Search

From WACKY READING CHALLENGES on goodreads

February 2015 Word Search
02/01/15 - 02/28/15

Below is a list of words to find. They can only be found in the book - no covers, titles or authors, please. For each work you find, provide the book title, page or location, and the sentence containing the word. 

You can use one book to find all the words, or as many as you like.

***If you don't find all the words this month, you are welcome to carry them over to next month's word search challenge.***


Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, include the author's name, and the date you finished reading the book

To add a book title link: Clik the "add book/author" link located above the message box. Type in the name of your book, click 'search', then click 'add' next to the title you would like to add.

List of Words

1. Valentine
2. Love
3. Romance/Romantic
4. Candy
5. Conversation
6. Heart
7. Red
8. Chocolate
9. Date
10. Kiss
11. Hug
12. Friend
13. Cute
14. Secret 
15. Admirer 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Favorite Album - Glass Houses

From WACKY READING CHALLENGES on Goodreads

FAVORITE ALBUM - GLASS HOUSES
DATE: 02/01/15 - 03/31/15

description

Levels of Participation
Disc One = 1 to 3 Tasks
Disc Two = 4 to 6 Tasks
Disc Three = 7+ Tasks

Choose a level of participation and complete the required number of tasks. Tasks can be mixed. For example, if you choose to do the Disc One Level (1 to 3 tasks), you may choose to complete a task for numbers 1, 2 and 3, OR you may choose to do a task for numbers 2, 5, and 9.

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, mention the author's name, and post the date you finished reading the book.

This favorite album challenge will focus on Glass Houses by Billy Joel, and was recommended by Barb. Thanks for the recommendation, Barb!

1. Glass Houses: Glass Houses was the 7th studio album by Billy Joel
♬ Read a book by an author whose first and last initials can be found in GLASSHOUSES, OR a Series/TBR #7.

2. It's Still Rock and Roll to Me: This single released from the album became Billy Joel's first song to peak at #1 on Billboard's Pop Singles Chart. It spend 11 weeks in the Top 10, but was #1 from July 19 - August 1, 1980. 
♬ Read a book originally published in July or August, OR a Series/TBR #1

3. Album Cover: The album cover features Joel posed with a rock in hand, facing the front of his home.
♬ Read a book with some type of glass on the cover or with the "glass" in the title, OR a Series/TBR #2

4. Producer: The album was produced by Phil Ramone and was the third collaboration between he and Joel. 
♬ Form a word from the letters - PHILRAMONE, and read a book with that word found in the title, OR read a Series/TBR #10

5. Grammy Award: Glass Houses won a Grammy Award in 1981 for Best Rock Vocal Performance - Male.
♬ Read a book by a male author, OR a Series/TBR #5

6. American Music Awards: Glass Houses won the AMA Favorite Pop/Rock Album award in 1981.
♬ Read a book that has won an award, OR a Series/TBR #6.

7. Length: The album runs 35 minutes, 6 seconds.
♬ Read a book in a position on your TBR that contains the number '3', '5' or '6', OR a Series #3.

8. Release Date: The album was recorded in 1979 and released on March 10, 1980. It ranked #4 on Billboard's 1980 year-end album chart.
♬ Read a book originally published in 1980, OR a Series/TBR #4

9. Genre: Glass Houses is classified as Rock, New Wave. Interestingly, Joel references New Wave in the song "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me".
♬ Read a book in a new-to-you genre, OR a Series/TBR #9.

10. Billy Joel: According to some sources, Billy Joel is the 6th best-selling recording artist in the US.
♬ Read a in which the first letter of every word in the title can be found in BILLYJOEL, OR a Series/TBR #8. 

Eating Our Way Around the USA!

From Crazy Challenge Connection on Goodreads

Eating Our Way Around the USA!
Duration: February 1 - July 31, 2015


I love to travel, and I love food! I like to try the local specialties whenever I can. So, if you'd like to join me in trekking across the USA, let's see what kind of good eats await us!

1. In Boston, make sure to have some of the thick and creamy “chowdah” filled with potatoes and plump clams. Wash it down with a Samuel Adams beer. There was a real Samuel Adams who owned a brewery in the 1870’s, but it was the Koch family who brought the beer into prominence. Dessert, of course, is Boston Cream Pie, which isn’t really a pie, but cake filled with a creamy custard. American-French chef M. Sanzian created this confection for the Parker House Hotel in Boston. 
★Read a book with a cream-colored cover OR read a book with an author or character named “Samuel,” “Adams,” or “Koch” OR read a book that takes place in Boston.

2. Buffalo Hot Wings: These spicy and tangy chicken wings were created in Buffalo, New York at the Anchor Bar and Restaurant in 1964. Today, these wings’ sauce can range from sweet honey BBQ to atomic suicidal hot! Traditionally served with celery and blue cheese dressing. 
★Read a book with an anchor on the cover OR a book that takes place anywhere in New York OR read a book whose total page count contains “64.”

3. New York City is THE place to get a great bagel, a great pizza, or great deli food. Visit Katz’s Deli and you’ll be at the scene of Meg Ryan’s faked orgasm from “When Harry met Sally.” From the famous Waldorf Hotel comes the Waldorf salad: apples, celery, and walnuts dressed in mayonnaise and put atop a bed of greens. 
★Read a book with a circular object on the cover OR read a book that takes place in NYC OR read a book with a “steamy” scene.

4. Yo! Get your Philly Cheesesteak sandwich in Rocky’s home town. The cheesesteak is made of thinly sliced beef and melted cheese on a long bun. Competition among sandwich shops is fierce with the top two competitors being situated across the street from each other – Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks. ★Read a book with at least two characters who are rivals or competitors OR read a book with an author named Geno or Pat (no variations) OR a book that takes place anywhere in Pennsylvania.

5. If you haven’t had Maryland crab cakes, you haven’t really had crab cakes. This waterfront city on the Chesapeake Bay loves a good crab dish. What makes a good crab cake is a topic of heated debate. Jumbo lump crab mixed with a bit of mayo is a given, but each recipe is different with its seasonings. 
★Read a book with a crab on its cover OR read a book with a red cover OR read a book that takes place in Maryland.

6. Famous in Washington, D.C., the half-smoke might appear to be a simple hot dog. Instead, it’s a half-pork, half-beef jumbo dog, smoked to perfection and served with herbs, onions and chili sauce. Even President Obama has been known to take time out of his busy schedule to visit the best half-smoke joints in the city. 
★Read a book cover which shows only half of anything OR read a book about politics OR read a book that takes place in Washington, D.C.

7. Chicago is my kind of town! Make sure to buy some of the famous creamy, chocolately Frango Mints sold since 1918 at Marshall Field’s department store (Now Macy’s). Another must have is the Chicago-style dog: all-beef franks in a poppy seed bun with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, tomato wedges, dill-pickle spear, pickled sport-peppers and celery salt. Absolutely NO ketchup! I know you’re full, but you still have to try the original “deep-dish” pizza at Pizzeria Uno. Butter and cornmeal make the delicious crust that can support the 2-inch high stack of ingredients. 
★Read a book with a mint green cover OR a book whose cover shows any item piled high with stuff OR read a book that takes place in Chicago. 

8. You say casserole, I say hotdish! Minneapolis denizens love their hotdishes, which usually contain a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable; everything is held together with canned soup. The ultimate, hands down favorite “hotdish” is the Tater Tot hot dish. 
★Read a book with “HOT” or “DISH” in the title (words should be distinct words) OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Minnesota OR read a book whose author’s first and last initials can be found in TATER TOT.

9. A pasty (rhymes with nasty) is a small meat pie originally common to Cornwall and the British Isles. When the Cornish came to the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they brought with them a lot of mining knowledge as well as their pasties. As other nationalities settled the UP, pasty rivalry occurred with each group contributing something in the way of seasoning and other ingredients. All groups agreed that pasties must contain two things, potatoes and onions. 
★Read a book with any type of pie on the cover OR read a book you find comforting OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Michigan.

10. Wisconsinites love their cheese and Milwaukee’s fried cheese curds are a testament to how far they’ll go to consume cheese at every possible opportunity. The curds are a byproduct of the cheese-making process and they are considered a local delicacy. Deep-fried cheese curds are often found at carnivals and fairs, local restaurants and bars, as well as a few chain restaurants of local origin, such as Culver's. 
★Read a book in which a carnival or fair takes place OR read a book with a yellow or orange cover OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Wisconsin.

11. Skyline Chili: A Cincinnati must have! Founded in 1949 by Greek immigrant Nicholas Lambrinides, Skyline Chili is named for the view of Cincinnati's skyline that Lambrinides could see from his first restaurant. Skyline chili is a very “thin” chili that is poured over spaghetti noodles. You can choose to have a 3-way (Chili, spaghetti, and cheese), a 4-way (add beans or onions) or a 5-way (everything!). Whether you grew up in Cincinnati, or are an out of town convert, this is a “love it / hate it” kind of food. 
★Read a book that is the 3rd, 4th, or 5th book in a series OR read a book whose cover shows a city skyline OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Ohio.

12. Kentucky Hot Brown: A KHB is an open-faced turkey sandwich on Texas toast with bacon, tomatoes, and a cream sauce. Developed in the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky for a late night snack, it remains a staple menu item. 
★Read a book that takes place primarily in a hotel, inn, B&B, etc. OR read a book with a brown cover OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Kentucky.

13. Few places scream “barbecue” quite like Memphis, where citizens take pride in having the best recipes for Southern favorites like ribs or barbecued chicken. Barbecuing refers to a technique of cooking that involves cooking meat for long periods of time at low temperatures with smoke from a wood fire. Memphis barbecue is one of the oldest styles for preparing barbecue and relies on pork ribs or pork shoulder. 
★Read a book whose title starts with “B” or “Q” (exclude a, an, the) OR read a book with smoke on its cover OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Tennessee.

14. Asheville, North Carolina has become a hot spot for updated Southern favorites and fusion eats that combine Carolina seafood with Spanish and/or North African flair. Have the bluefish and rice croquettes with charred tomato mojo sauce. Or, have the western Carolina-style BBQ which is pulled pork-shoulder served in a thick tomato sauce. 
★Read a book with a fusion of genres (a book you could classify with at least two genres) OR a book with a tomato red cover OR a book that takes place anywhere in North Carolina.

15. If you’re in Miami, besides delicious seafood, check out the Cuban eats in “Little Havana.” The vaca frita is a shredded beef dish or try the traditional Cuban sandwich of sweet ham, roast pork, and swiss cheese. Top off dinner with a Cuban coffee – a very strong espresso with LOTS of sugar. 
★Read a book that takes place along an ocean coastline OR read a book with a character whose first name starts with a letter in VACA FRITA OR read a book with a very strong or very sweet character. 

16. New Orleans is a veritable smorgasboard of great food. Stop by the Café du Monde for beignets and chicory coffee, and then stroll into the French Market for a huge selection of hot sauces, Cajun spices, and sweet treats such as pecan-studded praline candies. Cajun cooking begins with the “holy trinity” of green pepper, onion, and celery and then mixes French cooking with bayou ingredients. Try the gumbo or the crawfish ettouffe. 
★Read a book whose cover shows any kind of sweet treat or hot beverage OR read the third book in a series OR read a book that takes place in New Orleans.

17. Tacos have long been a staple of Mexican cuisine, and thanks to their proximity to the border, those culinary delights have made their way north, in a big way. Austin’s taco craze is fueled by more than just the food itself: Food trucks have become a way of life there, servicing students, tourists and the late-late-night dining crowd. If you thought a meal on wheels couldn’t compete with normal restaurant fare, try an Austin taco. 
★Read a book with a food cart, food truck or diner on its cover OR read a book with any type of wheel on its cover OR read a book that takes place in Texas.

18. Although it’s possible that toasted ravioli has its roots in Sicily, it is most popularly believed to have been invented in “The Hill,” an Italian neighborhood in St. Louis. Legend has it that a chef accidentally dropped ravioli into a deep-fryer. It is generally served with marinara sauce and cheese sprinkled lightly on top, and may or may not contain meat. 
★Read a book whose setting is an ethnic neighborhood OR read a book with an Italian character OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Missouri.

19. Chislic, named from the Russian “shashlik,” meaning simply “cubed meat,” has been a staple dish in Sioux Falls, S.D. since the 1870s. The preparation is simple: cubes of meat (beef, mutton or venison) are cooked in a deep fryer, seasoned with garlic and then served for consumption with toothpicks instead of cutlery. 
★Read a book with any square object on the cover OR read a book that takes place in the 1800’s OR read a book that takes place anywhere in South Dakota.

20. The Rat Pack had several hang outs in Las Vegas and made this the city of big steaks and cocktails. The original pack was Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Along with your 2”-high steak try the Mango Bellini served at the Belagio hotel or perhaps you’d rather try a Tiki Bandit from Frankie’s Tiki Hut. 
★Read a book with any type of alcoholic beverage on the cover OR read a book with a character named Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter or Joey (reasonable variations accepted) OR read a book that takes place in Vegas.

21. The humble Denver Omelet is known across America with ingredients of diced ham, onions and green bell peppers, topped with cheese and served with hash browns. Its exact origin is in dispute; some claim it was initially a sandwich invented by Western pioneers, with its bread removed once it became more popular in Denver as a breakfast meal than a sandwich, while others claim its origin is French. 
★Read a book with a French character OR read a book that takes place in pioneering days OR read a book that takes place anywhere in Colorado.

22. San Francisco started America’s Fresh Food Movement. Walk along the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building Market to find some of the region’s best producers: Acme Bread, Cowgirl Creamery Cheeses, Hog Island Oysters, Frog Hollow Farm Preserves, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Recchiuti Chocolates. Don’t leave the city without having a “Mission-Style” burrito, which contains Spanish rice, beans, salsa, avocado, cheese, sour cream and grilled chicken or beef or BBQ pork wrapped in a large flour tortilla. 
★Read a book where the first letter of every word in the title (exclude a, an, the – 3 word minimum) can be found in one of the market producers (tell us who you chose) OR read a book with a “fresh” plot or idea OR read a book that takes place in San Francisco.

23. If you have a sweet tooth, head to Portland, Oregon. This city is seriously crazy about donuts! Voodoo Donuts offers maple bacon and Cap’n Crunch donuts. Their signature donut is the voodoo doll donut filled with a blood-red raspberry jelly, complete with a pretzel-stick stake. The city also hosts 50 craft beer breweries and is famous for its pinot noirs from grapes harvested in the Willamette Valley. 
★Read a book with any type of donut-shaped item on the cover OR read a book with a “5” or a “0” in the original publication date OR a book that takes place anywhere in Oregon.

24. Seattle offers a Pacific bounty of fresh seafood. Try the sockeye-salmon crostini with oysters, clams, or crab. A visit to the Pike Place Market is a must for farm fresh, locally sourced, artisanal and specialty foods. Oh yeah, there’s a little coffee company that started here – Starbucks! 
★Read a book that takes place along the western coastline of the United States OR read a book featuring a seafood business of some kind (restaurant, fishing company, cannery) OR read a book that takes place in Seattle.

25. For the freshest pineapple and tropical fruits, visit the Saturday Farmers Market in Honolulu. Afterwards have the “Hawaiian” plate lunch consisting of rice, macaroni salad, and some kind of protein. The tiki bar is classic Honolulu and not to be missed! Have a Mai Tai (they are VERY stiff) with fresh fish and shrimp. 
★Read a book whose title contains T I K I in its title (the letters do not have to be together, nor do they have to be in order) OR read a book with a yellow cover OR read a book that takes place in Hawaii.

CHALLENGE RULES

♣ When you sign up for the challenge, please post a challenge template so we have a post to which to link your name; post #2 will list participant links which can then be used for making challenge updates.

♣ For each book you read, please indicate the title, the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, please make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item on the cover, include a link to the book cover.* If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task. 

♣ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long.

♣ Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged!

♣ If you choose any of the spelling options, you may use the first letter of the first word in the book’s title (excluding A, An and The) or the author’s first or last initial (middle names or initials can NOT be used). 

♣ If you want the challenge moderator to check your progress as you make updates, please copy/paste your update into a new message . We don't have time to scroll back through the entire thread looking for "message #15," or to follow links back to an original post. 

♣ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you've read. If you don't repost your list, you won't be included in the list of those who have completed the challenge.

*If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title or cover, see the instructions here: Link Instructions 

One in a Million by Jill Shalvis

Lucky Harbor #12
Callie had a huge crush on Tanner in high school but she was just the smart girl that did the football players homework. Her parents loved each other deeply but they just never paid much attention to her. Her grandma Lucille was the only one that ever saw who she was. Then she fell in love with the boy across the street but he left her at the altar. She left Lucky Harbor and moved to San Francisco.
Now she's back to take care of her grandma. Tanner moved back awhile ago. His ex-wife and son came back to town recently.
One morning, Callie was having coffee and doughnuts at Leah's bakery. Tanner came in and asked to sit with her. She started crushing on him again. This became a regular thing - them meeting at the bakery until she ran into her ex and humiliated herself. She hid out for a bit and Tanner brought her breakfast. He kissed her and wow what a kiss it was. This eventually led to more but Callie held herself back, telling Tanner that she wanted benefits without being friends. He accepted it.
But she fell in love with his 15 year old son Troy. Troy would talk to her about things he did not tell his dad. They never spent much time together because Tanner was in the Navy when Troy was born and then when he got out he worked in the Gulf on oil rigs. Troy's mother divorced tanner shortly after Troy was born
Both Tanner and Callie have feelings for each other but are afraid to spill it.  Will they and be happy forever?

I loved this book. Only one story to go and this series will be finished!

From the author:
As the brains behind wedding site TyingTheKnot.com, Callie sees it all: from the ring to the dress, the smiles . . . to the tears. It’s that last part that keeps her single and not looking. Getting left at the altar will do that to a girl. But when Callie returns to her old hometown, she finds that her sweet high school crush is sexier than ever. And he makes it hard to remember why she’s sworn off love . . .
Tanner is a deep-sea diver with a wild, adrenaline-junkie past-and now his teenage son is back in his life. How can Tanner be a role model when he’s still paying for his own mistakes? It’s hard enough that gorgeous Callie has appeared in town like a beautiful dream, challenging his best-laid plans to keep his heart on lockdown. Though there’s something about being around her again that makes him feel like he can be the man she-and his son-deserve. Little Lucky Harbor holds their past; can it hold a beautiful new future?

Excerpt:

“I’m off men, you know.”
“Yeah. I know.” Tanner pulled Callie in, hard against his body.
She took two handfuls of his shirt. For balance, she told herself. But the truth was, she wanted to put her hands on him. He looked down on her face for another second, his brown eyes soft but full of intent as he slowly lowered his head.
“W-wait!”
He paused, eyes on hers.
She had her hands over his heart and could feel the beating beneath her palms. Slow. Steady.
The opposite of hers, of course.
“I…can’t remember what I was going to say.”
His eyes were smiling into hers. “So I can continue?”
She cleared her throat and nodded. “Carry on,” she whispered.
He started with a brush of his lips against one corner of her mouth, a butterfly touch. And then the other corner.
She heard a soft sound, an almost whimper, and realized it was her. He slowly sank his fingers into her hair, and she melted. No other word for it, her bones just melted clean away. And then he proceeded to kiss the living daylights out of her…

Pages: 312
Published: 2014