BIZARRE HOLIDAYS from Crazy Challenge Connection on goodreads
DURATION: November 1 - October 31, 2015
We all know all the traditional holidays that come around every year, but what about those unusual, wacky or even bizarre holidays like Festivus (December 23)? This year-long challenge will celebrate those funky holidays, but on a monthly basis.
Ten days or so before the first of each month, we will ask each participant to choose numbers that will correspond to specific dates on the calendar for the following month. How many numbers you choose will depend on the level you've chosen for the challenge. You will be given a deadline to choose your numbers/dates. If you want to participate, you MUST post your "dates" BEFORE that deadline. The day after the deadline, we will post a list of all of the bizarre holidays for the following month.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do not post your chosen dates before the deadline, you will have to wait until the next month to participate. NO exceptions will be made.
The tasks you will have to complete will correspond to the dates you’ve chosen for that month. However, since we know that there will be some tasks that don’t suit every reader, you will only be required to complete a minimum number of these tasks, depending on the level you've chosen. If you want to do more, by all means, feel free to do more :) If you post more dates than your level permits, I will assume you're doing a higher level and will treat your challenge accordingly (meaning that you'll have to complete more tasks to be counted as complete for the month).
When you sign up for this year-long challenge, you MUST tell us which level you've chosen.
Party animal - Choose ten numbers each month; you are required to complete SIX tasks.
Social butterfly - Choose only eight numbers each month; you are required to complete FOUR tasks.
Just being polite - Choose only six numbers each month; you are required to complete THREE tasks.
Example: For January, let's say you've chosen the Party Animal level, and you chose the numbers 13, 10, 23, 18, 27, 3, 24, 8, 28 and 21. The tasks associated with these dates might be (don't get excited, these aren't the 'real' holidays or tasks LOL):
January 3 - Fruitcake Toss Day: Read a book that someone else gave away
January 8 - Male Watcher's Day: Read a book with a male character you'd love to meet
January 10 - Houseplant Appreciation Day: Read a book with a plant of some sort on the cover
January 13 - Make Your Dreams Come True Day: Read a book with a happy ending
January 18 - Winnie the Pooh Day: Read a children's chapter book (must be at least 250 pages long)
January 21 - Squirrel Appreciation Day: Read a book with an animal of some sort on the cover or in the title
January 23 - Measure Your Feet Day: Read a book with your shoe size in the total number of pages
January 24 - Compliment Day: Read a book by one of your favorite authors
January 27 - Chocolate Cake Day: Read a book with chocolate or a cake on the cover or in the title
January 28 - National Kazoo Day: Read a book just for fun OR read a book that you consider silly
To complete the challenge for the month at the Party Animal level, you would need to complete AT LEAST SIX of these ten tasks. Which tasks you complete will be your choice! You can choose them ahead of time, or choose as you go.
You may update your original post as the year progresses, to keep your challenge books all in one place, but each month’s completed list MUST be posted as a new message when you finish the tasks. Be sure to include the holiday AND the task/s with your monthly update!
CHALLENGE RULES: :
♦ If you want to participate in this challenge, please sign up by telling us which level you've chosen to do. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses.
♦ Unless otherwise noted, graphic novels and children’s books are NOT allowed for this challenge. All books must be at least 150 pages long, and each book may only be used for one task, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged :) Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not simply skim through it. You must read more than 50% of a book after the 1st of each month in order to count it for that month’s reading.
♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title, and indicate 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 you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task.
* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here:Add a link to the book title, book cover and/or author
♦ You must post each month’s books as a new message at the end of the challenge thread. If you do this while you still have the Edit window open, it will copy all of your formatting, etc. too.
♦ If you use books that are in a language other than English, please translate those titles into English for the purposes of our challenges, unless you plan to use that language for the entire challenge. If you do use another language for the whole challenge, please remember that the translations of exempt words/phrases – for example, A, An and The as the first letter of a book’s title – would be exempt as well.
♦ 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, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge.
We're Celebrating... THAT??
Duration: 11/01/14 - 10/31/15
Level: Social Butterfly 8 numbers complete at least 4 each month
November: 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 22
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I don't care for books that let you determine what everything means.
Dr Noah Close opens his door one dark night to find a woman on fire on his doorstep. She is without name, voice or past. Noah rescues her, heals her broken, burned body and makes her his wife. He calls her Pandora. But was Pandora ever made to live quietly among men? Her disappearance, bloody and mysterious implicates Noah who finds himself on the run and on a journey that takes him far from his clinical, ordered life to a private eye named Venus. Through the hot, dry desert Venus leads him to the lush depravity of Las Vegas, where nothing is what it seems, most particularly Lazarus who presides darkly seductive over the casino. Convinced that Lazarus holds the truth about Pandora, Noah pursues shifting shapes and truths with a reckless passion that endangers all whom he catches up in his search. It is Noah's ultimate fate to be damned and saved by the same truth - He that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow. In combining allegory and odyssey in a dark, bewitching novel, Alice Thompson proves herself to be one of Britain's most exciting new talents.
Pages: 148Published: 1998
Dakota #1. Lindsay needs a change. She has been in a relationship with Monte for two years. He refuses to marry her and she knows she needs to be done with him. Her best friend Maddy has been ordered to take a vacation so Lindsay and Maddy decided to go to Buffalo Valley, SD. Lindsay's family was from there. Buffalo Valley is falling apart. The farmers are going out of business. They desperately need a teacher, so Lindsay decides to take the job for a year partly to get away from Monte. She loves Buffalo Valley and starts changing things. She falls in love with Gage Sinclair but his stubbornness keeps them apart. Will Lindsay stay or go when the year is up?
I liked this book. I will be getting the second in the series, Dakota Home.
From the author:
I liked this book. I will be getting the second in the series, Dakota Home.
From the author:
Buffalo Valley, North Dakota. Like so many small towns, it's dying. Stores are boarded up, sidewalks cracked, houses wanting a coat of paint. But despite it all, there's a spirit of hope here, of defiance. The few people still left in Buffalo Valley are fighting for their town.
Lindsay Snyder is a newcomer. She's an outsider, even though she spent childhood vacations here. Now she returns to see the family house again, to explore family secrets and to reevaluate her life.
To her own amazement she decides to stay. Her decision marks a new beginning for Buffalo Valley—and for Lindsay Snyder, who discovers in this broken little town the love and purpose she's been seeking.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
This is Lucky Harbor #8. Leah is working in her grandmother's bakery. She is only home for awhile. Her grandma hurt her knee and needs time to recuperate. Leah is still fighting her love for Jack. She has loved him since they were children. He lived next door and knew how badly she was treated by her parents, especially her father. He has always protected her when he could. She has been there for him too, especially when his father died.
His mother has cancer. Leah told Dee that she and Jack were a couple, trying to make Dee feel better. But it was a lie. So they were supposed to be in a pretend relationship. But he loves her and she loves him and neither one realize it. When will they just be honest with each other?
One thing I love about this book was the personality of Jack's dog, Kevin. He is a Great Dane but thinks he's is a lapdog!
From the author:
There’s nothing like the real thing.
After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack’s ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib – that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle…
No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine – perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their “just friends” rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?Excerpt:
Another firefighter stepped up to the griddle to relieve Jack who loaded a plate for himself and stepped over to Kevin. He flipped the dog a sausage, which Kevin caught in midair with one snap of his huge jaws. The sausage instantly vanished, and Kevin licked his lips, staring intently at Jack’s plate as if he could make more sausage fly into his mouth by wish alone.
Jack laughed and crouched down to talk to the dog, a movement that had his shirt riding up, revealing low-riding BDUs – his uniform pants – a strip of taut, tantalizing male skin, and just the hint of a perfect ass.
On either side of Leah, both Ali and Aubrey gave lusty sighs. Leah completely understood. She could feel her own lusty sigh catching in her throat but she squelched it. They were in the F-zone, she and Jack. Friends. Friends didn’t do lust, or if they did, they also did the smart, logical thing and ignored it. Still, she felt a smile escape her at the contagious sound of Jack’s laughter. Truth was, he’d been making her smile since the sixth grade, when she’d first moved to Lucky Harbor.
As if sensing her appraisal, Jack lifted his head. His dark mirrored sunglasses hid his eyes, but she knew he was looking right at her because he arched a dark brow.
And on either side of her, Ali and Aubrey sighed again.
“Really?” Leah asked them.
“Well look at him,” Aubrey said unapologetically. “He’s hot, he’s got rhythm, and not just the fake white-boy kind either. He’s also funny as hell. And for a bonus, he’s gainfully employed. It’s just too bad I’m off men forever.”
“Forever’s a long time,” Ali said, and Leah’s gut cramped at the thought of the beautiful, blonde Aubrey going after Jack.
But Jack was still looking at Leah. Those glasses were still in the way but she knew his dark eyes were framed by thick, black lashes and the straight, dark lines of his eyebrows. And the right brow was sliced through by a thin scar, which he’d gotten at age fourteen when he and his cousin Ben had stolen his mom’s car and driven it into a fence.
“Forever,” Aubrey repeated emphatically. “I’m off men forever,” and Leah felt herself relax a little.
Which was silly. Jack could date whomever he wanted, and did. Often.Pages: 339
This is In Death #4. Eve and Roarke are off planet at Roarke's new resort, Olympus Resort. They are in the last week of their honeymoon and are having a fabulous time when an employee comes to their suite to report he found his roommate dead. Eve investigates. The kid hung himself. Weird!
Eve goes back to work and catches a new murder/suicide. It's a lawyer that Eve cannot stand. He killed himself in the bath. But Eve knows that is out of character for him. What is going on? THe ME finds something hinky in his brain scan.
Then Eve is on the scene when another person attempts suicide. Cerise is on the roof and says she will jump. Eve can tell that something isn't right with her. Cerise almost takes Eve off the roof when she jumps. Eve has the ME look at the brain.
Mavis is in the middle of recording a demo. Leonardo and Jess Barrow, the producer/famous musician, want Roarke to throw a party for Mavis to introduce her to the public. They do and something bad happens. Then Eve starts figuring things out. Jess brags about doing things to the music to make people have certain reactions. Is he the killer? Who is messing in peoples' heads and why are they doing it?
They died with smiles on their faces.
Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common — and no obvious reason for killing themselves.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsies revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder? Eve's investigation turned to the provocative world of virtual-reality games—where the same techniques used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of it's own destruction...
The alley was dark and stank of piss and vomit. It was home for quick-footed rats and the bony,
hungry-eyed felines who hunted them. Red eyes glinted in the dark, some of them human, all of them
Eve's heart tripped lightly as she slipped into the fetid, damp-edged shadows. He'd gone in, she was
sure of it. It was her job to follow, to find him, to bring him in. Her weapon was in her hand, and her
hand was steady.
"Hey, sweetcakes, wanna do it with me? Wanna do it?"
Voices out of the dark, harsh with chemicals or cheap brews. Moans of the damned, giggles of the mad. The rats and cats didn't live here alone. The company of the human garbage that lined the sweating brick walls was no comfort.
She swung her weapon, crouched as she sidestepped a battered recycling unit that, from the smell of it, hadn't worked in a decade. The stench of food gone over smeared the humid air and turned it into a
Someone whimpered. She saw a boy, about thirteen, all but naked. The sores on his face were festering; his eyes were slits of fear and hopelessness as he scrabbled like a crab back against the filthy wall.
Pity stirred in her heart. She had been a child once, hurt and terrified, hiding in an alley. "I won't hurt
you." She kept her voice quiet, barely a murmur, kept her eyes on his, maintaining contact as she lowered her weapon.
And that's when he struck.
He came from behind, a roar of motion and sound. Primed to kill, he swung the pipe. The whistle of it stung her ears as she whirled, dodged. There was barely time to curse herself for losing her
concentration, forgetting her primary target as two hundred fifty pounds of muscle and mean sent her
flying to the bricks.
Her weapon flew out of her hand and clattered into the dark.
She saw his eyes, the glint of mayhem heightened by the chemical, Zeus. She watched the pipe raised high, timed it, and rolled seconds before it cracked against brick. With a pump of her legs, she dived head first into his belly. He grunted, staggered, and as he reached for her throat, she brought her fist up hard, smashing it under his jaw. The force of the blow radiated pain and power up her arm.
People were screaming, scrambling for safety in a narrow world where nothing and no one was safe.
She spun, used the impetus of the turn to deliver a roundhouse kick that shattered her adversary's nose. Blood fountained, adding to the sick miasma of odors.
His eyes were wild, but he barely jerked at the blow. Pain was no match for the god of chemicals.
Grinning as blood poured down his face, he smacked the thick pipe on his palm.
"Kill you. Kill you, cop bitch." He circled her, swinging the pipe like a whistling whip. Grinning, grinning as he bled. "Break your head open and eat your brains."
Knowing he meant it pumped her adrenaline to flash point. Live or die. Her breath came in pants, the
sweat pouring like oil down her skin. She dodged the next blow, went down on her knees. Slapping a
hand on her boot, she came up grinning." Eat this instead, you son of a bitch." Her backup weapon was in her hand. She didn't bother with stun. The stun setting would do little more than tickle a two hundred fifty-pound man flying on Zeus. It was set to terminate.
As he lunged toward her, she hit him with full power. His eyes died first. She'd seen it happen before. Eyes that turned to glass like a doll's, even as he charged her. She sidestepped, prepared to fire again, but the pipe slipped from his fingers. His body began that jerky dance as his nervous system overloaded.
He fell at her feet, a mass of ruined humanity who had played god.
"You won't be sacrificing any more virgins, asshole," she muttered, and as that wild energy drained, she rubbed a hand over her face. Her weapon arm dropped.
The faint scrape of leather on concrete alerted her. She started her spin, weapon rising, but arms
clamped her, lifted her to her toes.
"Always watch your back, Lieutenant," the voice whispered just before teeth nipped lightly at her
"Roarke, goddamn it. I nearly zapped you."
"You didn't even come close." With a laugh, he turned her in his arms, and his mouth was on hers, hot, hungry. "I love watching you work," he murmured and his hand, clever hand, slid up her body to cup her breast. "It's... stimulating."
"Cut it out." But her heart was thundering in reaction, and the order was halfhearted. "This is no place for a seduction."
"On the contrary. A honeymoon is a traditional place for a seduction." He drew her back, kept his hands on her shoulders. "I wondered where you'd gone off to. I should have known." He glanced down at the body at their feet. "What did he do?"
To read more, click here.
I got this book for free on amazon, but it is currently $2.99. Maya has been in love with Ryan since she was 8 and he was 18. Now at 21, she decided she needs him to teach her about sex. She did not have a great sex life with her boyfriend. Andrew said she wasn't very good. It is summer vacation and she wants some fun. Ryan agrees but tells her he likes - “I like to play hard, Maya. Whips. Canes. Handcuffs. If you want to play, you play by my rules.” So she agrees.
She likes him and what he does to her, but she has fallen for him, hard. But vacation is over and the fling has ended. He made that clear, he does not do relationships. After a couple of really hard months at work, she gets two weeks off. So she runs to Paris to find Ryan. She has not heard a word from him since the summer. He is stunned to see her. They take up where they left off. He tells her it's only two weeks of fun. Can she really walk away? Can he?
I liked this book. The characters were realistic. The sex scenes were hot.
***The perfect blend of bondage, dominance, submission and tender romance***
Unable to experience arousal or reach orgasm with her first boyfriend, twenty-one year old Maya feels like a freak. In desperation, she hatches a plan to seduce the best-selling author Ryan Clayborn during a two-week vacation, and have him coach her in bed.
Ryan sleeps with many women, but commits to none. He warns Maya that an affair with him would include whips, handcuffs and canes. But Maya is drawn to him as a moth to a flame…
Ryan’s control and dominance takes Maya to new peaks of arousal. But with time ticking on, will this affair end well, or will Maya end up broken all over again?
I had planned my seduction carefully. It was late at night. Ryan was alone at the pool - the rest of the clan had all gone their separate ways for the evening. I put on a bikini that was neither slutty nor unduly modest, but one that was both classy and that showed off my body to its best advantage.
Unlike most women, I had no issues with my body. Unfortunately for me though, I had issues with sex. I didn't know whether my first boyfriend Anthony was a skilled lover or not, but when we made love, I felt nothing. I'd make the right noises, and move the right way, but inside... nothing. I felt like a freak, not knowing if it was him or me, and debating various ways of finding out, all of which involved breaking up with him, and taking another lover.
In the end, we did break up. And it was okay. I was young and resilient, and he had never managed to reach that inner core in me. He was nice, but he wasn't necessary.
However, I didn't take another lover. I couldn't really articulate why. I was young, rich and attractive; it wasn't like there was any shortage of available men. But the lacklustre sex had freaked me out. I didn't want to find out that it was my fault, and that there was indeed something seriously wrong with me. I hemmed and I hawed, and I threw myself into my work.
In the year after I broke up with Anthony, I started hearing the stories. Women would walk up to me and ask if I knew Ryan Clayborn. I heard the giggles, the hushed chatter. Ryan was evidently very, very good in bed. Rumours would swirl about who his latest lover was. The tabloids would speculate, but nobody ever talked. Ryan never had any comment, and neither did his supposed dozens of lovers. Everyone speculated and gossiped, but no one knew.
I don't know at what point I decided that I wanted Ryan to be my lover, and to coach me in bed. Without ever realizing it, I had become more and more anxious about my supposed sexual inadequacy. In my head, Ryan was the magic silver bullet - the lover who would cure my ambivalence towards sex, and make me whole. Post Ryan, I'd be normal, I could restart dating, and all would be well again.
Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Published October 1st 2013
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
This is Merry Gentry #9. I was really disappointed by this book. There was hardly anything new to the storyline except for the birth of the triplets and a death of a major character at the end. It was a rehash of the Fae politics - over and over - but I stuck with it to see what happened. Merry has triplets and they don't know who fathered the babies. The babies are special. I wasn't quite sure who was the father of the third child. It seemed like - ok I have written enough pages - let me quickly wrap it up.
They never even decided if they were going to do the reality show. Just a waste!
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Berkley