My Experience with Being Black. A Reader & Online.

The online book community can be so stressful at times. Every time you look up it feels like there is some sort of drama. Amidst the pettiness and downright stupidity that tends to surface here and there, there are also important discussions at times that definitely provide necessary tools and room for growth.

Recently an article was posted which interviewed four black women Booktubers and I couldn’t have been more happy that, finally! Finally someone was giving a voice to a select few who can share the experiences felt by so many in a community that is constantly preaching diversity and acceptance and everyone is welcome here. You can click here to check the article out for yourself. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.

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In the beginning, there were a lot of things I simply didn’t pay attention to. I can also be naive when it comes to certain things as well. When I first discovered the online book community it was through a woman of color. The R&B singer, Amerie. I created a twitter account and due to her being one of my favorite artists, she was one of the first people I followed and I noticed she posted a link to her Youtube channel. Confession: this was also my gateway into Youtube in general. Up to this point, in mid 2014, I had never watched Youtube. So I subscribed to her channel and began getting the Booktube Welcome Package thrown in my face of all the huge book tubers. I didn’t know any better so I just subscribed left and right.

Fast forward to 2 years and me starting my own channel and finding my groove. I fell into a lot of the traps that are easy to fall into on book tube. There were some months I hauled 20+ books just to have a big stack of books for a book haul. Some months I had two haul videos.  I was checking all the boxes, trying to keep up with everyone else but my channel wasn’t really going anywhere. Eventually two bigger booktubers, Jen and Katie shouted my channel out and I saw a significant spike but even that only got me so far. This is when I started paying attention.

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Here we are now and though I’m no longer doing Youtube, I am still very much part of the online book community. I have my blog, still chat on Twitter and am an avid Instagram user. I don’t always like to look at all of my platforms as a hustle, but it feels that way. As a black reader who is also putting herself out there in this community, it feels like I have to hustle 10% harder than my white counterparts. This community is big on aesthetic. Call it what you want, but if a person doesn’t look a certain way or their photos don’t look a certain way, people are more than likely going to keep scrolling. Not even give them the chance to hear or see what it is they have to say. This goes for people of color and white people as well. I have white friends who are in the same boat. Because they aren’t acting obnoxious *no shade, but whatever*, reading YA heavy or look a certain way, they aren’t seeing the growth they deserve.

To be real, it’s exhausting. Sometimes I question if that is what is wanted. Maybe she’ll just give up one day. I’ll use Instagram for example. I could 100% duplicate a photo of someone else’s who has 3K likes on it and mine will barely get 200. I know there are other factors to be considered such as the algorithm but I refuse to allow that to be the excuse every single time. As a woman of color I can’t not question how much my lack of growth has to do with the fact that I’m a woman of color. 

Opportunities have slowly, very slowly, began to present themselves. There are a few, very few, publishers I work with and am very grateful for. The really huge ones though? I don’t even waste my Time. Jasmine Guillory’s new romance is releasing soon *will probably be out by the time this posts* and I have yet to see a woman of color in my feed with an arc. I understand wanting to send early copies to people with the numbers but again, I don’t need to get into how hard it is for people of color to even get those numbers..but not seeing anyone who looks like the author with the book, reading it early, feels like a missed opportunity.

I love what I do. Blogging and Instagramming gets me out of the house. I get to enjoy a bit of alone time and put my content out into the world, raving about what I’ve been reading but it is also work. We all put so much work into our platforms. For me though, as a black woman..it feels like if I go too long without a blog post coming out or a photo on IG being posted, I may come back and have lost 3 or 4 followers. It’s like you always have to be on your game. There’s no coming up for air. There are no breaks and it is exhausting. It’s not fair. I think we have become so accustomed to having to work so hard for what we have though, that it just is what it is to us at this point. We go through it with a smile and keep it moving, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it sucks to be putting in just as much work as the next person and not getting the same recognition or opportunities.

Going forward to the young black girl at home right now trying to decide if this is for her or not: don’t let anyone persuade you that it isn’t. It is not going to be easy, but nothing ever is. If reading is your passion and you want to share that passion with the world, 100% go for it and know there are others like you out there. Find your tribe of people. The friends you make totally make up for all the crap that is probably going on around you. Support them and they’ll support you. You may have to work a bit harder and it may take way more time than someone else, but keep going. Things will come. I just posted my first article to my favorite website thanks to them reaching out to me..and I’ve been trying to figure this all out since 2014. Go for it, be passionate, authentic and in love with what you do..regardless.

xo.

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#Bookstagram

Hey hey friends! Today I want to chat about the bookish corner of Instagram that we call Bookstagram. 

Back when I decided to really take blogging seriously, I did a little studying which consisted of youtube videos and really paying attention to the content I subscribed to and I came to the conclusion I needed to utilize Instagram. In my opinion, regardless of your platform-whether you’re a blogger, YouTuber, podcaster..you have to utilize another forum to interact with your audience and boost your content. For me, I decided to give Bookstagram a try.

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For me personally, I have a couple reasons why I love doing Bookstagram.

  • It gets me out of the house and forces me to spend time alone. As a Mom it is so easy to put everyone’s needs ahead of my own and not make alone time a priority. With wanting to continue to create content for my Bookstagram, I have to get up and get out to do so to stick with the theme of my feed.
  • With the theme of my feed being what I’m reading and the latte I’m drinking, I hit a point where I realized I needed to switch it up. I had found a coffee shop that I loved but I needed to seek more. I am lucky that my city has tons. Wanting to switch it up for my feed gave me the encouragement to go explore more coffee shops and cafes which has lead to meeting really cool baristas and just different vibes from place to place.

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Now I am by no means an expert and I don’t have a super huge following but I still wanted to share a few things I’ve learned and figured out along the way in the time I’ve had my account.

  • First things first: do your research and learn what you can about Instagram’s algorithm. I watched video on top of video discussions about this and read a few articles on it. Do your research so you understand how it works. It is this system that dictates the relevancy of your post. Followers may or may not even know you posted because of it.
  • Interact with your followers and people you follow. Interaction plays a part into the algorithm. The more you’ve interacted with someone, the more likely they are to see your post on their feed.
  • Visibility is important. This is part of the engagement factor. Especially with the accounts that are bigger than yours–it’s so easy to assume  an account with 65K followers won’t see your comment or interact with you, but this isn’t necessarily true. As soon as you see their post, comment and engage with them. The earlier your comment is posted, the better your chances of it being seen. You want to get your name out there.
  • Use hashtags! Some popular ones are #Bookstagram #Bookstagrammer #Bibliophile #WhatImReadingNow When people search these hashtags, there is the possibility they will come across your post!

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To end off, I want to share a few more tips/pieces of advice that I really think are helpful..a bit typical and cliche but do actually make a difference:

  • Natural Lighting is the MVP..I remember getting to the coffee shop when it first opened and it’d still be dark outside. Taking photos was so frustrating and even more frustrating when I’d try and edit them. I learned quickly how much of a life saver natural lighting is.
  • Find your theme and make it work. Don’t be afraid to switch it up though. I think a lot of people feel like “all of my photos have to look like it’s autumn all year.” If that’s not what you want to do, then Don’t do it! I rarely change up the theme of my content. For the most part it is always a book and coffee.. sometimes a book and a smoothie, but how I edit has been switched up. There are times when I want my photos to be a bit warmer and times when I want them to be brighter. I’m okay with switching it up and haven’t had any backlash from doing so. Does this cause me to be summoned to the bottom of the list by the algorithm gods..maybe, but I post what I’m happy with and at the end of the day, that’s what matters to me.
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself. It is so easy to get caught up in the feeling of having to stay relevant. Don’t post just to post. Post when you have something to say, when you have a photo you love and want to share with the world. I love when a friend will comment on a photo telling me they know when I post, it’s going to be something thoughtful. That’s what I want to be known for. Saying what I mean, sharing pieces of real life and relatable stuff.
  • Utilize the Stories feature. Especially on days where I’m not actually posting on my feed, the stories is so useful. I will highlight a passage from what I’m reading and loved. If I have book mail, I’ll use stories to do an unboxing. I also use it for behind the bookstagrammer like when I’m at the coffee shop..just taking photos of my surroundings, my coffee when I first get it..a look into what is going on prior to or after the photo that eventually shows up on my feed.
  • Lastly, have fun with it! don’t be afraid to take breaks if needed. Instagram/Bookstagram is a cool way to engage with other people who love reading, but let’s be real..this is 2019 and everything can feel like a competition. Don’t let it feel that way and if it does..it’s okay to take a step back and re-evaluate why you’re doing it in the first place.

 

Hope this is some helpful input. I would love to see some tips from other Bookstagrammers! If you’re a Bookstagrammer, share with me one of your biggest pieces of advice.

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I asked Friends for Book Recommendations.

Hello Friends! I recently went on Twitter and asked friends what the last book they read that made them happy was, or their last five star read. Life is tough. You never know what demons someone is battling. The smallest thing can easily change the course of someone’s day. As someone diagnosed with chronic depression, I am constantly seeking ways to brighten my day and reading has never let me down. I hope this post reaches someone who needs it. I screenshot the actual message from everyone so you can see who it came from and give them a follow if it appears you read the same kind of books. They are all absolutely wonderful people and I am so grateful for their responses.

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Sunday Coffee

Hello Friend, how are you this morning? How was your week? I have had quite a bit on my mind this week. I’ve been gradually reevaluating some things, and just want to share some of my thoughts with you. I hope you have a nice cup of coffee or tea, let’s chat.

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I have been thinking about the online book community and specifically my place in it a lot lately. When it comes to my small presence I question what am I doing it for? Am I satisfied with what I am putting into this community? Am I satisfied with what I am getting out of it? These are some of the main questions I have been meditating on.

I discovered the online book community back in 2014 when I first moved to Texas. I remember setting up a new twitter account and following the R&B singer, Amerie, and she shared a link to a Youtube video. Up to that point, I had not been one to watch Youtube but I loved her and her music so I clicked the link which took me to a channel she created. I was shocked when I saw that on this channel, she was discussing books. I watched the book side of Youtube for about two years before getting the guts to start my own channel which I have had now for over three years.

I remember how excited I was when I created my channel. I loved hauling books and sharing them with followers. I looked forward to discussing all the books I read during the month as the month came to a close. I enjoyed the different tags that were created as a different way to inspire you to talk about books.  I was such a fan of the community I had become part of.  So, I guess another question I have been pondering on is, do I still have that excitement that I felt when I first joined the online book community?

The good thing about the online book community, is how many different platforms there are. You can do Youtube, you can blog, you can create a podcast and/or you can create an Instagram dedicated to book content. If you want to share your love of reading online, there are ways to do it.  Joining Youtube, in the beginning was the route that I chose. At this moment, if I had to answer the question in regards to if the excitement is still there or not, I’d have to say No.

Life has changed for me in the matter of just a few months and in reality, I don’t have the time to dedicate to creating the content that I want. At first I was okay with filming when I could film, but eventually it started to feel like a job or a chore. I have had to make peace with not allowing Youtube to be yet another thing that stresses me out. It is hard though. You see other creators and how often they post and how big their channels are getting and how quickly they’re growing. Paying attention to stuff like that can really take a toll if you let it. So for a while, even though it felt like a job, I continued putting content out there, because I felt like I needed to keep up. I think I have held on too because I have built some amazing friendships with other content creators and subscribers–but I’ve realized, those friendships are going to be there regardless of if I am making vides or not.  Sometimes the hardest part of walking away from something, is taking those first few steps, but I told myself in the beginning, when it is no longer fun, I’ll be done. And at this moment, it is no longer fun.

I am happy I discovered the blogging world and right now it feels good with the way my life is going. I also am really enjoying putting more focus into Instagram and sharing books I am excited about through that platform. Reading is something I have always done for fun. It is basically a lifelong companion. It has been there through the darkest moments and the brightest days. I never want to turn my love for it into something that turns long it into anything negative. I want to be reading for fun, I want to be reading because I love doing it, and not because I found a community and feel like I need to keep up with what everyone else is doing.

I am a big advocate of being kind to yourself and I need to practice more of what I preach. I think part of being kinder to myself is not beating myself up about having to cut the cord with things that once upon a time meant the world to me. Things change and there comes a time when you have to move on. I’m so excited to root for my friends still creating and cheering them on..but as just a viewer. I am ticking this off of my list of stressors. It is definitely time for me to move on from creating content on Youtube and focus on sharing my love for reading on the other platforms I’ve discovered I love.

Whew! That was a lot, and I appreciate you hearing me out. Share with me what has been going on with you and please be kind to yourself today. Until our next chat, take care of yourself. xoxo

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Reading As A Busy Mom

Hello Friends! One question I get asked often is how I juggle reading with working full time and being a Mom of three.  My husband and I are both active duty military in a career field that doesn’t work your typical Monday through Friday 8-5.  There are a lot of 12-14 hour days and long work weekends.  Add on having three young kids who demand quite a bit of attention, wanting to blog, wanting to take photos and post to Instagram and Youtube, I can understand the question of, “How do you juggle it all?” So I wanted to share some of my tips, or things I do to squeeze reading into my already busy life.

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  1. I posted the above photo because it was around the time that I read The Wedding Date, that I became serious about the advice I’ve heard from so many online friends to, “Always have a book with you.” I have found this piece of advice very helpful. If I know I have a doctors appointment or will be somewhere with some down time..even if as a family we are driving somewhere, I always have a book with me for those moments I’m able to read a few pages.
  2. Continuing on with always having a book with me, I highly recommend downloading the Kindle App to your phone if you are a Kindle user. I have the app on my Ipad and IPhone. Having the app on your phone is so convenient.  For those days when I can’t bring a physical book with me, I still have all my ebooks on my phone thanks to the Kindle app which comes in handy for those few moments throughout the day I am able to squeeze in some reading.
  3. One word: Audiobooks. I know there are still a lot of people who don’t really vibe with audiobooks. I thought for the longest that I was one of those people. I think what helped me was before I read my first audiobook, I had already spent about a year listening to Podcasts. So I was already used to listening to people talk. I have friends who read 6,7,8 books a week sometimes thanks to audiobooks. I usually listen to mine on 2x speed and depending on what I have going on, can usually finish one in 2 to 3 days. Now, where do I listen to them? My commute to work is only about 10 minutes. Regardless though, I listen while driving to and from work. Depending on what I’m doing at the gym, I occasionally listen while there. I listen while prepping and cooking meals. I have a speaker I purchased from Walmart so  I’m able to listen while taking a shower or sitting in the bath. While putting awa laundry I’m listening, while cleaning the house, I’m listening. I pretty much listen whenever and wherever I can.
  4. I find ways to keep myself excited about reading. I find the more I keep myself excited about reading, the more I stay motivated to incorporate it as much as I can into my day to day. To keep myself excited, I’ll read blog posts by friends to see what they’re excited about. I may listen to one of the bookish Podcasts I listen to or watch one of my favorite Youtubers who talk about books. I think excitement and happiness can be contagious. Seeing someone else excited about something they read definitely inspires me to continue reading and find the next thing that excites me.
  5. Try reading more than one book at a time. I used to be a one book at a time kind of girl. I admire people who can focus on one book at a time, but I have grown into one who reads multiple books at once. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood for the one book you may have set aside to read. If you’re not in the mood for it, but still want to read, pick up something else. I have found in a strange way, this keeps me interested in everything I am reading and has upped the amount of books I have been able to read a year.
  6. Do buddy reads. If you’re already part of a real life book club, that’s great and pretty much the same thing but if not, find a friend and let them know you’re interested in reading something with them. All of the buddy reads I have done have been with online friends and we share our thoughts via the Voxer App. I love buddy reads. Even though you’re reading the same book, everyone interprets things differently. It is always cool to see how someone else viewed a situation. Buddy reads have really helped me read books that I probably would have not finished or maybe not even started had I went at it alone. Usually with buddy reads you set a page count or chapter count for the day and to keep up it kind of forces you to make time to read so you can share your thoughts with everyone. And they are just so much fun, especially if you’re reading a really fun book or one that causes a lot of discussion.

 

I hope these little pieces of advice help. They are just some of the main things I have done to help balance being a full time working mom of three with my love of reading. When it all comes down to it, incorporate reading any way you can into your everyday life. Whether listening to an audiobook while cooking dinner or having a book in your bag to read while waiting for your doctor’s appointment to start, make the time to read what you can when you find the moments to do so.

Until next time Friends, take care of yourselves. xoxo.signature

Sunday Coffee

Hello Friends and Happy Sunday! I’d like to catch up and just chat over a cup of coffee about what’s been going on, what I’ve been thinking about, reading, listening to, watching..whatever is on my mind.  I hope you have a cup of whatever you tend to drink in the morning. Let’s catch up!

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Recently my work schedule changed. It’s not too bad, because I have a lot of time off, but every other weekend I work 12 hour shifts Friday through Sunday. Not trying to sound crazy, but I feel like I’m getting too old for long shifts! I’m not 19 anymore when I used to be able to pull it off with no problems. The change though really makes me appreciate my down time.

These past few days have been amazing and relaxing. I finished a Debbie Macomber novel, The Inn At Rose Harbor and loved it. I checked out the audiobooks for the first 3 books in the Rose Harbor Inn Series, so I immediately jumped into book two. Once upon a time I would’ve told you I’m not a series person, but I am learning how, if written well, it is so easy to fall in love with one. You are fascinated by the setting, fall in love with the characters and something in you just isn’t ready to let go yet.

My little family and I got out of the house a bit this weekend. First we visited this local site called the Japanese Tea Garden.

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It’s ridiculous how I have lived in San Antonio for over four years now and am still finding cool places to visit. The Tea Garden was so beautiful, so peaceful. There were different little ponds with beautiful fish, a waterfall and pretty flowers. We walked the trails that take you around it before the heat became too much and really enjoyed ourselves. And you know the best part of it? It was free.

That wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to explore some more, so we literally went on google and found other outdoor sites near us and drove an hour to a town called Bandera down in the Texas Hill Country.

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When entering Bandera, Texas the population sign states there are 978 people. Coming from constantly growing San Antonio, I immediately fell in love with the small town vibe. Not only is Bandera what you imagine when you think of a small town, but it’s “downtown,” area literally looks like a place trapped somewhere in time. It has all of these little shops with cool names. You see people walking up and down the sidewalk. The smell from the local steakhouse fills the air, and if you roll your window down you can hear the river flowing in the background.

We made our way another 11 miles outside of Bandera and were surrounded by some of the Texas Hills.  I always wondered what in the world people were talking about when they mentioned this place, and was mesmerized when I saw it for myself. It was unexplainable and it’s hard to believe something so unique and almost magical is only an hours drive from home.  All throughout the hills are ranches sprawled out amongst the land. Big gates with family names on the front of them and these big mansion looking homes in the back, some built up on the hills themselves. It felt like a whole other world.

So for today, I plan to catch up on the rest of my Christmas in July Hallmark movies on DVR and later we are going to a friend’s for dinner. Usually on my days off I am totally all about sitting on the couch and not moving but I am glad these past few days have consisted of getting out of the house and seeing new things, creating new memories.

So, what’s new with you? When was the last time you tried something new?

 

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3 Reasons Why Reading Romance is Good for my Mental Health

I believe that everything happens for a reason. I’ve shared my story of how and why I decided to give romance a try but I’ve never discussed how in just a few short months after I picked up my first romance, my mental health began to plummet.  I have depression and anxiety due to PTSD. Until March of 2018, I was great at ducking and dodging my triggers, but around the second week of March, I wasn’t able to anymore. It honestly felt like all the ghosts I tried to keep locked away were escaping the closets I locked them in and were free.

No shade thrown on the mental health system but the beginning of my process to get help was not the best. In the beginning on one of my darkest days, I went to the hospital only to leave within 20 minutes of basically waiting and being given an appointment a full two weeks away!

A Life Counselor at my job called a local mental health facility and asked if I could attend their outpatient group therapy. I did that for two weeks before starting a four week group therapy with the military.

I still have a long road ahead of me, but I feel I’ve definitely made some progress. Reading romance has made such an impact on my journey to getting better. Romance novels were what I carried in my bag with snacks back and forth to group, to read if we didn’t start on time or had a break. They’re what I listen to in the car on my way to appointments.

There are so many wonderful things about the romance genre, so many reasons I love it, but I want to share 3 reasons why I feel it is good for my mental health.

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  1. Escapism: Now I have always been one who reads for the escape but I feel this was heightened once my mental health started to shift.  When I started reading romance I was mostly reading authors like Debbie Macomber and Raeanne Thayne. These women authors write stories that take place somewhere that quickly feels like home for me, with characters who feel like such real people with real problems. Reading their novels, I instantly become sucked into the story and forgot about what I have going on. When you’re in a constant battle with your own mind and thoughts, it is refreshing to focus on something else–to get so lost in the story that for those few pages, few hours of reading, you weren’t in your own head.
  2. Perspective: One thing I enjoyed about attending group therapy is that I got to spend a few hours around other people who were also going through something. Our stories weren’t the same, our symptoms weren’t the same but we had the fact that we were in the same place for a reason in common. One thing I’ve really loved about the romance novels I’ve read is how there is always a big underlying element of hope in the background amongst the angst and characters whose lives aren’t perfect. Reading romance has helped put into perspective for me that everyone is battling, has battled or will battle something and because of that, I never have to tackle this thing alone.
  3. The Happy Ever After: Last weekend I re-watched a childhood favorite movie with my daughter, called “Now and Then,” and in the movie one of the girls tells her friend who just found out her parents were divorcing, “It’s normal for things to be shitty.” That is what I started believing during my darkest days and then I really started paying attention to the romances I was reading. The character’s have to put in work to grow through their issues and eventually make it to their happy ever after. There is nothing wrong with wanting that and reading romance has been a big motivating factor for me to continue getting better because I deserve, like everyone does, my own happily ever after.

 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, Friends!  I was a little hesitant to type this post but I want to be as honest and as transparent as I can with you. If you have any recommendations to send my way, I’m always looking for those. Until next time, take care of yourselves!

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Romance Bingo First 5 Wrap Up

Hey Friends! I hope you had a wonderful week and are enjoying your weekend. I wanted to check in and quickly recap my first five completed reads for the Summer Romance Bingo I’m participating in.

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  • My pick for a historical romance was Katherine by Anya Seton which I gave 3/5 stars. This is the fictionalize depiction of Katherine Swynford and John Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster’s love affair. Their love affair changed history. My first Anya Seton novel was Dragonwyck and it completely blew me away but the two I have read since have just been okayKatherine is over 500 pages and to be honest the first 200 were very slow. Had I not been reading this as a buddy read, I probably would’ve DNF’d it.

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  • I read Redemption Bay by Raeanne Thayne for the challenge of “reading a novel with someone in the medical field.” This is book three in the Haven Point series and I gave it 4/5 stars. Redemption Bay follows Mayor McKenzie Shaw whose sister Devin is a doctor. I loved this story, so much.

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  • For the challenge of “read a paranormal romance,”  I read The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark.  I gave this one 3/5 stars. It had so many things in it that I am a complete sucker for but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. Somewhere along the line, I started losing interest and had no idea what was going on. It had the creepy old house, a town full of witches, demons, vampires and faeries. It had old manuscripts from a romance author who lived in the creepy old house before passing away. I seriously wanted to love the hell out of this book, but I didn’t.

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  • For the challenge of “read a book with a cowboy in the story,” I read the next book in the Haven Point series, Evergreen Springs.  This is Devin’s love story with single dad, cowboy,  Cole Barrett. I gave this one 4/5 stars. Raeanne Thayne does such a fantastic job at truly capturing human emotions. Her characters are very real people with baggage, ghosts in their closets and self-doubt. I loved it.

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  • Lastly, for the “small town romance,” challenge, I read Riverbend Road which is book four in Raeanne Thayne’s Haven Point series. If you can’t tell, I was totally sucked into the town of Haven Point. I literally couldn’t get enough of them so I finished one and immediately jumped into the next and lucky for me, they fit into a few challenges.  Riverbend Road is the love story between Police Officer Wyn Bailey and the Chief of Police, Cade Emmett. These two have pretty much grown up together–Cade’s mentor was Wyn’s Father who was a police officer until his death, and he was best friends with Wyn’s brother.  Raeanne Thayne does such a good job in this novel of capturing that internal conflict we tend to have when we don’t think we are good enough for someone. That was definitely the case for Cade. True enough he worked himself up to Chief of Police but he saw Wyn’s family structure and never thought he was good enough for her because of how his was set up. I gave this one 4/5 stars!

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Let me know if you are participating in any summer reading challenges or if there are any read-a-thons coming up you’re excited for! Until next time, take care of yourself!

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Romance Chat With Friends.

phonto (11)Hey Friends, I hope all is well with you. An idea I have had for my blog and really wanted to do was the occasional bookish chat with different friends from the book community. My first two friends I chatted with are both romance readers and have been reading the genre for years now. I chatted with Britt who is a big contemporary romance reader and blogger. And Sarah who shows a lot of love to Harlequin romances and has a booktube channel. I will post these ladies information and I highly recommend you go follow and show love. They are both so sweet and super passionate about the books they read and their individual ways of sharing what they’re reading with the rest of us!

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3 Romances I need film adaptations of ASAP.

Hello Friends. It is currently Sunday evening which is the time I usually spend watching a romantic comedy I’ve rented from Amazon or have saved on my DVR. Tonight though, I wanted to switch it up and browse titles on Netflix. I’m not much of a Netflix watcher but my husband logged on and created a profile for me so I could browse their Romantic movies. I was really shocked and a little disappointed because their selection wasn’t what I expected. This got me thinking about some of the romances I’ve read that I secretly wish had their own film adaptation.

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Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton is a story I haven’t been able to get off my mind since reading it. This is the story of both Marisol and her Grandmother Elisa who has recently passed away. It was Elisa’s wish to be cremated and for Marisol to take her ashes back to Cuba where their lineage is from. Elisa and her family left Cuba during the Cuban Revolution. It is while there that Marisol learns of her Grandmother’s secret first love and finds a possible new love of her own.

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If Next Year In Havana became a film I’d be at the theater the day it premiered! I would love to see more stories that focus on the part of history this book deals with. Until reading this book I didn’t know much about Cuban history and this book was very eye opening.  I’m also such a fan of reading two women who are connected in some way but their stories are years apart. Obviously this is Marisol and her Grandmother’s story but while In Cuba, Marisol feels at times that she didn’t know her Grandmother at all because there are plenty of secrets she begins to unearth. Lastly, I find the story line of two people who love each other and are meant to be together but don’t end up together, SO romantic. This book had me in tears because Chanel Cleeton did a fabulous job of building this relationship between two people who you root for and want to see together but things happen that keep them a part. This book needs to be a movie like five minutes ago. It is so good!

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