Contemporary Romance Challenge: January Link-Up

1st Jan 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Contemporary Romance Challenge: January Link-Up

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!

Today is our first challenge link-up of the year! If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge, be sure to do so first HERE. If not, your entries will not count toward the giveaway. I know, right. Mean mom!

Monthly Link-Up and Giveaway Details:

  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Topics:

  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
  • Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.

This month’s topic:

Ten Most Anticipated Romances for First Half of 2016

1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

2. What You Always Wanted by Kristin Rae

3. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Various Authors (Edited by Stephanie Perkins)

4. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen

5. Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy

6. Loud is How I Love You by Mercy Brown

7. Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill

8. Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis

9. Dating the Guy Next Door by Amanda Ashby

10. Best of My Love by Susan Mallery

If you have any questions, please email Jess ([email protected]) or Danielle ([email protected]). Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@gonewiththeword & @loveatfirstpage) for challenge updates and reminders! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContRom2016 to follow everyone’s challenge updates on Twitter!

Link up!

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Jess’s 2015 End of Year Survey!

29th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, End of Year

Jess’s 2015 End of Year Survey!

The End of Year Survey is hosted by Jamie The Perpetual Page-Turner. Visit her blog to join in the fun!

2015 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 56
Number of Re-Reads: 12
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary Romance (duh. lol)

 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Here are my Top 3

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo  The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines – Promises were made (Friday Night Lights comparison) and broken. Totally left me underwhelmed.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

 The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller – This was a GOOD surprise from Trish Doller. I didn’t know she had such a suspenseful story in her, but she did and totally delivered.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase – I don’t know how many people actually did read this because of my love for it, besides Ginger (GReads!), but I did push it A TON.

5. Best series you started in 2015? THE GRISHA. Hands down.
Best Sequel of 2015? After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes
Best Series Ender of 2015? Anything for You (Blue Heron #5) by Kristan Higgins

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Heather Demetrios – I’m really looking forward to reading more of her books.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t have one. I didn’t venture this year. :/

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – AMIRITE?!

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

A Court of Thorns and Roses AND The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

The Darkling

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Thought-Provoking: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (My Thoughts)

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

I’d say The Grisha books, but also, SCARLET. Y’ALL. SO GOOD.

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“I use to think that somewhere along the line, I’d find the key to that perfect life…and that once I had it, every day would be golden and easy and everything would fit. But life isn’t like that. There are only perfect glowing moments…and then there are everyday moments that weave them together into a shimmering path that can always be seen, even in the dark.”Kristan Higgins, If You Only Knew

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Shortest: The Hidden Prince (The Orphan Queen 0.1) by Jodi Meadows – 58 pages
Longest: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth – 531 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

All I gotta say is:

“Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”

NO! WHAT? NO!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing, if you aren’t familiar)

Scarlet and Will! Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Art by: flybeautiful.tumblr.com

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Paige and her girls. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins – Nothing like reading a Kristan Higgins book.

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartoloGinger (GReads!) not only recommended this to me, she BOUGHT it for me. THANK YOU, GINGER!

How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Max Watson! From my review of The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord: “Max Watson is what nerdy dreams are made of. He’s incredibly intelligent, funny, and so freaking adorable.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Young Adult: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Adult: The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan – This was a reread, but I listened to the audiobook and totally found things I missed when I read the book last year. I loved it even more this time around!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne – DUDE! I was so sentimental while reading this. Emotional scenes with dads always make me cry though. lol

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne – Yes! Again!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – I liked the book! But there’s characters in it that really pissed me off. Grrr.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Bring My Books, ran by the lovely Lindsey! – Lindsey’s posts are always very thoughtful. I discovered her blog through my co-blogger Morgan, who is really good friends with her. And now another friend of Lindsey’s also blogs here: Ashley! We’re one big happy family. haha Be sure to check out her blog!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Any Top Ten Tuesday post is always a hit.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Helloooooo! BEA was THE highlight. The amount of friends I got to meet IRL, y’all! It was heaven. I loved it. Check out my recap post!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Again, meeting so many friends IRL after attending BEA.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Either Bitsy Words post for Last Will And Testament By Dahlia Adler ORRRR How To Kill A Rock Star By Tiffanie DeBartolo

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I don’t have any this year… :(

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I participated in a few! Though I didn’t complete my Goodreads Challenge, I feel like I did well on the others, except Retellings. Ugh…

challenge-2015-audiobook ‎(21)
challenge-2015-contemporary-romance ‎(26)
challenge-2015-fairytale-retelling ‎(3)
challenge-2015-flights-of-fantasy ‎(9)
challenge-2015-reread ‎(12)

 

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – So I can finally binge read the rest of the series!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Really just read more. Read more and write reviews. Be better in touch with the community is another thing. :)

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

None! I haven’t read one yet.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

19th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

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This week I added 4 books to my collection. From my secret sister I received LegendProdigy and Champion by Marie Lu. I’ve had my sites set on this series for a long time and I’m excited to finally get to dive in.

From my Uppercase Box, I received Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom. I’m pretty pumped to read it as well. Looks like I’ll have plenty to read with my time off for Christmas!

 

gwtw-heading-morgan

I’ve gotten some awesome books the past two weeks!! Tis the season.

From the library/Christmas ebooks won from Lauren’s twitter giveaway:

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale
Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale

Thank you Lauren!

Gifted:

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Mediator by Meg Cabot

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale
Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, et al
Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

Thank you so much to my amazing #otspsecretsister Lisa, my #TBTBSanta JeNee, and my Holiday Cookie/Book Exchange gifter Bekka! <3

From NetGalley:

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

Thank you Simon Pulse and Algonquin Young Readers!

 

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The order I placed for Black Friday on BookOutlet.com finally arrived this week! Here are the 14 beauties I picked up. :D

Because of Low – Abbi Glines
Just for Now – Abbi Glines
Sometimes it Lasts – Abbi Glines
Shutter – Courtney Alameda
Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Laini Taylor
Fire with Fire – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Ashes to Ashes – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Emerald Green – Kerstin Gier
Fever 1793 – Laurie Halse Anderson
Simple Perfection – Abbi Glines
Rush Too Far – Abbi Glines
Ten Tiny Breaths – K.A. Tucker
Five Ways to Fall – K.A. Tucker
Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. – Judy Blume

 

gwtw-heading-jess

Purchased

I looooove the spines and covers of these paperback Cassandra Clare sets. I just HAD to buy them. Also, Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite childhood books so I needed to own a hardback copy of it.

Gifted

From my #OTSPSecretSister, Jaime (Fiction Fare):

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

From my co-blogger, Rubi:

Playing For Her Heart (Gamers #2) by Megan Erickson
Changing His Game (Gamers #1) by Megan Erickson
Caged in Winter (Reluctant Hearts #1) by Brighton Walsh

From Edelweiss – Thanks, HarperCollins!

The Hunt (The Cage #2) by Megan Shepherd
Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman
Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi
Wanderlost by Jen Malone
The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott
The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen
Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Ruined by Amy Tintera

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Thursday Tracks: Winter In My Heart | The Avett Brothers

17th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Thursday Tracks

Thursday Tracks: Winter In My Heart | The Avett Brothers

Ok, so I know I haven’t been feature FUN Christmas songs. They’ve all been sad Winter songs, and today’s is no exception. In fact, this song is about depression. But it’s really beautiful! And The Avett Brothers is one of my most favorite bands ever. Here’s a video of them talking about this song…

 

 

Here’s a live version of the song. I was actually at this concert and it’s probably the most moving concert I’ve been to in a while. They’re voices are just magic!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books We Read In 2015

14th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books We Read In 2015

gwtw-heading-jess

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins – This book hit me right in the heart. I read it at a time in my life where I was struggling, and it spoke to me. Also, it’s Kristan Higgins. She makes my favorites list every year. :)

How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo – DUDE! This book just killed me, it’s SO good. It was the most perfect Contemporary Romance. I just.. AH I LOVED IT.

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios – This is another book that I really connected with. I just felt like they were people I know, therefore it’s close to my heart.

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase – Another amazing Contemporary Romance with so much depth. This one was fun and sexy and at times really moving.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Whoa. The only non-contemporary on the list! I loved this one so much. It was sexy and intense and just SO GOOD.

 

gwtw-heading-morgan

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – SO delightful and funny, I was laughing on page 5! Simon was just the best and I wanted to be his friend and hang out with his friends. I loved watching Simon and Blue fall for each other while discovering who they were (literally and figuratively). And it was refreshing to read a diverse book that managed to be nuanced, important, and CUTE all at the same time!

Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison – Grounded is incredibly well written, funny, and exciting- Morrison’s Rapunzel reminded me of a mix of Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled and Cress from The Lunar Chronicles, but with more attitude. I also adored the whimsically detailed worldbuilding and sense of history, the humor, and the complex characters. The world feels BIG but you never feel lost in it as a reader. I wanted to explore it all! And it’s absolutely filled with fairy tale magic.

Every Word by Ellie Marney – a truly excellent, tightly plotted, heart pounding sequel! It’s emotional, action-packed, super intense, and super hot. Plus a London setting! I continue to ship Mycroft and Rachel with the fire of a thousand suns. Wattscroft forevaaaa. I couldn’t put the book down, read it in a day!

The Deal by Elle Kennedy – I super loved this book!! It was hot and funny and had just the right amount of drama. I TOTALLY loved Graham (oh my god) and Hannah, they communicated like adults and had the most amazing chemistry! Plus it encompassed all of my favorite romantic tropes.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Absolutely striking. The writing is exquisite and brought to life these magnificent doomed characters. Miller humanizes Achilles and makes him a compelling hero worth following, while she raises Patroclus to new heights. The relationship between Patroclus and Achilles is everything you could wish for in a tragic romance. The emotions are overwhelming and burrowed into my soul while the language is evocative and the action is fierce. Historical fiction fans must read this!!!

Also loved: The Start of Me and You, Uprooted, First & Then, Queen of Shadows, The Scorpio Races

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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35 Years Young Giveaway!

14th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Giveaways, Newsletter

35 Years Young Giveaway!

It’s hard to believe I started this blog days after turning 30 years old and now here I am, five years later. Not only have I changed as a person, but my reading tastes have also changed in those five years.

I feel like I’m more myself now, and definitely less apologetic for it. I’ve found my voice in these last five years and because of that my friendships have also shifted and/or changed. I have the right people in my life, surrounding me with positivity and love and encouragement, and I really have to credit books, blogging, and the book blogging community. I don’t know that I’d be the person I am today if it weren’t for those things.

In January we will be having another post to celebrate the blog’s 5th anniversary and there I’ll talk more about how my reading has changed. So for now, let me celebrate ME by giving YOU some books!

Here are some of my favorite books from 2015:

(Click here to find out more about them!)

Two lucky readers will each win one book from my 2015 faves! Here are the details:

  • One winner will be from the US, and another will be INT (as long as The Book Depository ships to you).
  • Entrants must be at least 13 years old.
  • Giveaway ends 12/26/15.
  • Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply or another winner will be drawn.
  • Prize must be from the selection of books above. No substitutions will be made.

 

Birthday Giveaway

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

13th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Stacking the Shelves, but we’re hoping to bring them back!

 

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I’ve picked some of my most recent egalley approvals from the last month or so.

Egalleys

(Check out my shelf on Goodreads for details on each book!)

 

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From my TBTB Secret Santa

My Secret Santa package arrived today and I couldn’t be more excited about the books that came with it! Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of those books that have been on on TBR list for what seems like forever. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorites but I’ve never owned the finished copy until now! Avelynn by Marissa Campbell is new to me but it’s gotten great reviews and has been compared to Outland by Diana Gabaldon whom is one of my favorite authors!

From NetGalley-THANK YOU!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Wandering Star by Romina Russell | Blog Tour

11th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Blog Tours, Guest Posts, Reviews

Wandering Star by Romina Russell | Blog Tour

Wandering Star by Romina Russell | Blog TourWandering Star by Romina Russell
Series: Zodiac #2
Published by Razorbill
Pub Date: December 8th 2015
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Orphaned, disgraced, and stripped of her title, Rho is ready to live life quietly, as an aid worker in the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn.

But news has spread that the Marad--an unbalanced terrorist group determined to overturn harmony in the Galaxy--could strike any House at any moment.

Then, unwelcome nightmare that he is, Ochus appears to Rho, bearing a cryptic message that leaves her with no choice but to fight.

Now Rho must embark on a high-stakes journey through an all-new set of Houses, where she discovers that there's much more to her Galaxy--and to herself--than she could have ever imagined.

LEO

#5: HOUSE LEO, passion

Lionhearts fight with the Swath: a sword with an ornate handle covered in microscopic mirrors that traps rays from the sun. The Swath harvests and stores the sunlight so that, when activated, it produces a steady, focused beam of solar energy that burns so hot it consumes whatever it passes through—or anything unfortunate enough to try and pass through it. A skilled Lionheart never wastes the energy stored in the Swath, and instead uses its burning blade for just the few seconds it takes to strike down an enemy or object. It’s said that on a dark night, and in the right hands, a Swath blade in motion resembles a firefly’s furious dance.  

 

DATES: July 23 – August 22
HOUSE: 5
WORD FOR GUARDIAN: Holy Leader
WORD FOR ZODAI: Lionheart
COLOR: Royal Purple
ELEMENT: Fire
STRENGTH: Passion

THE CONSTELLATION
The Lion constellation has one planet, Leo, two moons, Lion and Leon, and a small sun that’s close enough to the planet to play a recreational weekend sport called Sun Sailing. Leo’s citizens don protective suits with wings and dive off Mount Luz—the planet’s highest peak—during the sun’s strongest hours and try to catch a powerful ray and ride its energy wave for a few seconds, until they fall to a net waiting below.

The planet has few sources of fresh water, so Leos must import from their neighbor Cancer. Most of the land is covered in harsh terrain—mountain ridges, jungles, marsh, etc—offering ample opportunities for adventure and discovery. Even Leo’s moons have strange topographies—Lion has forests and a lake that is the House’s largest store of water, and Leon is a vast glacier with mountains made from crystal.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY
House Leo represents Passion. Its people are larger than life, magnetic, proud, decisive, honorable, and can be self-absorbed, pushy, and vain. As represented by the House symbol of the Lion, Leos consider themselves to be the kings and queens of their universe. They are natural leaders who chase their fears instead of hiding from them.

THE PEOPLE, PHYSICALLY
The people of Leo have broad faces and toothy smiles. Thanks to such constant exposure to the sun, their complexion is every shade of tan, and they’re usually covered in tattoos, piercings, and scars. Men often dye their facial hair in colorful stripes, and women rarely keep their eyebrows symmetrical—they often vary in shape and shade.

THE TECHNOLOGY
Leos don’t like to be tethered down, and they don’t like to dull their senses. They believe technology more often distracts us from the world instead of connecting us to it. Like every House in the Zodiac, they have a specific device they carry with them, but Leos will often damage it from reveling or adventuring too enthusiastically. The device is called a Lighter, and when flicked on, a flame-like holographic menu blazes into the air.

THE GOVERNMENT
On House Leo, everyone has a voice—and everyone uses it. The planet is divided into Nine Prides, each of which prizes a different Leo value: Courage, Honor, Leadership, Candor, Adventure, Artistry, Competition, Sensuality, and Power. Restless Leos spend part of their lives in each Pride, trying on identities and shedding them, until they find the one that fits. The people in each Pride elect twelve Pride Leaders to govern them and represent their interests in planetary legislation. The Guardian acts as advisor to the elected representatives and as spiritual leader to all Prides.

THE GUARDIAN
Holy Leader Aurelius Maschester—He was the Zodiac’s biggest film celebrity before the stars chose him to be House Leo’s next Guardian, and though now much older, he retains his movie star good looks and still has fans across the universe.

Learn about the rest of the Zodiac Houses by checking out the other tour stops:

7-Dec – Two Chicks on Books – Aries
8-Dec – The Hardcover Lover – Taurus
9-Dec – Fiction Fare – Gemini
10-Dec – Addicted Readers – Cancer
11-Dec – Gone with the Words – Leo
14-Dec – The Book Bratz – Virgo
15-Dec – A Perfection Called Books – Libra
16-Dec – Oh The Book Feels – Pisces
17-Dec – Dana Square – Sagittarius
18-Dec – Swoony Boys Podcast – Capricorn
21-Dec – Book Briefs – Aquarius
22-Dec – Please Feed the Bookworm – Scorpio

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Thursday Tracks: Winter Song | Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

10th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Thursday Tracks

Thursday Tracks: Winter Song | Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

Last week I posted one Winter Song and everyone thought it was THIS Winter Song, so I thought I’d now post it. haha I love this song SO much. Even if it’s sad, it’s so beautiful. Sara and Ingrid’s voices are just gorgeous.

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

4th Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Tunes for Books

Bitsy Words: Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

Bitsy Words: Until We Meet Again by Renee CollinsUntil We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: November 3rd 2015
Pages: 336
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence's life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.

Until We Meet Again wasn’t a typical time travel book, and I really enjoyed that about it. The main characters met on a beach, and that was the only place they could see each other. Lawrence lived in 1925 and Cassandra in 2015. How will they live happily ever after?! Admittedly I thought I knew what would happen in the end but I was pleasantly surprised! Another thing I didn’t expect was to have this be more of a mystery. I enjoyed the suspense of it all though!

I thought Lawrence was really sweet and romantic. He was also a bit more mature than Cassandra, even though he was only a year older. I’m sure it also has to do with them having to grow up way faster back then. Cassandra got under my skin at times. She was really sulky and bratty at first, but by the end she’d matured some. I loved that she had a family that cared about her well being and didn’t take any of her crap. Way to go, mom! And her stepdad was really sweet.

So while I was reading this I kept hearing Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams in my head. The video implies the song is about being involved with a bad guy and even though Lawrence was from that, there’s other aspects from the story that fit it well. So that’s why I’m making it my song for Until We Meet Again!

 

 

About Renee Collins

Renee Collins

I’m a YA writer who loves historical settings, magic, and semi-tragic romance. I’m represented by the amazing Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Sign Up: Contemporary Romance 2016 Reading Challenge!

1st Dec 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Sign Up: Contemporary Romance 2016 Reading Challenge!

Hello friends! So, SURPRISE! We are so excited to announce that the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge will now be hosted by me and Danielle of Love at First Page! I could not think of a better blogger to be hosting this with.

The Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge was originally created and hosted by Pearl’s World of Romance, passed on to Fatin at Romance Book Maven, then passed on to Brianna at The Book Vixen, and is now hosted by Gone with the Words and Love at First Page.

Grab the Button:

 

Ok, so here are the challenge details and rules….

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016 (books read prior to 1/1/2016 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime you want, though the sign up linky will close Nov. 15, 2016. Sign up at Gone with the Words or Love at First Page.
  • The goal is to read as many Contemporary Romance books as you’d like. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down. Remember, the idea is to challenge yourself.
  • Books that qualify for this challenge can be young adult, new adult, or adult. Books can be M/F, M/M, or F/F. Books must be a work of fiction (sorry, nonfiction does not qualify for this challenge).
  • Romances with the following elements do not qualify for this reading challenge: paranormal, historical, time-travel, fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/suspense/thriller.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are 100 pages in length (give or take), as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Use the hashtag #ContRom2016 when posting your reviews/updates/re-caps/monthly topics on social media.
  • To join this challenge, grab the 2016 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge button below and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. This will be your “update post” when doing the monthly link up.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2016 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge (your designated “update post” for the monthly link up) and your profile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.

Levels:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books

Monthly Link-Up and Giveaway Details:

  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Topics:

  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
  • Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.

If you have any questions, please email Jess ([email protected]) or Danielle ([email protected]). Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@gonewiththeword & @loveatfirstpage) for challenge updates and reminders! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContRom2016 to follow everyone’s challenge updates on Twitter!

Sign Up:

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Debuts Novels I’m Looking Forward To

30th Nov 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Debuts Novels I’m Looking Forward To

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
After the Woods by Kim Savage
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas
Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

 

Are any of these 2016 debuts ones you’re looking forward to as well?

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Ten Random Things with Jackie Lea Sommers | Truest Blog Tour + Giveaway!

24th Nov 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Guest Posts

Ten Random Things with Jackie Lea Sommers | Truest Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Ten Random Things with Jackie Lea Sommers | Truest Blog Tour + Giveaway!Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Pub Date: September 1st 2015
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.

PRAISE FOR TRUEST

Truest is one of those books that will destroy you in the best way possible. Truest is more than a book: it’s a window, a conversation.” -- Ashley Brooks, Brooks Editorial

“If love and pain are two sides of the same coin, Truest is the mint.” -- Sam, Goodreads

1. I am more scared of the slow ride to the top of the rollercoaster than of the rapid plummet down.

2. I have had OCD for most of my life and am the communications director for OCD Twin Cities, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation.

3. My strengths themes are learner, input, achiever, strategy, and ideation.

4. I’m quite claustrophobic. My nightmares often involve tight, closed spaces. I can barely stand the idea of being underwater or in space.

5. I love names and their meanings.

6. I’m an outgoing introvert—in fact, I’m so outgoing that most people are convinced I’m an extrovert, but I get my energy from being alone.

7. I don’t drink coffee. At all. In any form. Alcohol either. And not because I don’t think I wouldn’t like either—but because I think I would like them too much.

8. I scored higher on my math ACT subscores than in my English subscores. I was a straight-A math student all the way through college calculus II, where I stopped. (My next novel is about a math prodigy.)

9. I’m wild about wind turbines. I even managed to include a wind farm in Truest.

10. I’m the editor of Crux Literary Journal, an online arts project.

GIVEAWAY

One Winner will get an annotated copy of TRUEST filled with thoughts written by the author throughout the book, little behind-the-scenes stories and details of the writing of the novel

Ships in US Only | Must be 13+ To Enter
Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are ineligible. See Terms & Conditions for more info

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SCHEDULE

WEEK ONE
November 23rd Fictitious Delicious REVIEW
November 24th Gone With The Words 10 RANDOM THINGS
November 25th Ex Libris REVIEW
November 26th Swoony Boys Podcast REVIEW
November 27th The Book Dragon REVIEW

WEEK TWO
November 30th The Cover Contessa AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 1st Here’s To Happy Endings REVIEW
December 2nd Such A Novel Idea REVIEW
December 3rd Strung Out On Books REVIEW
December 4th Literary Meanderings EXCERPT

BOOK LINKS

GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook DepositoryBooks A Million
FishpondIndieBoundKobo | Powell’sHarperCollins

About Jackie Lea Sommers

Jackie Lea Sommers lives and loves and writes in Minnesota, where the people are nice and the O’s are long. She is the 2013 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Writing. Truest is her first novel.

 

About Jackie Lea Sommers

Jackie Lea Sommers lives and loves and writes in Minnesota, where the people are nice and the O’s are long. She is the 2013 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Writing. Truest is her first novel.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’re Thankful For

23rd Nov 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’re Thankful For

gwtw-heading-jess

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer – This book rekindled my love for reading. I’ll always be thankful for that. ALWAYS. And it introduced me into the Young Adult genre overall. AND TO BLOGGERS! So many thanks, Stephenie Meyer.

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward – I liked Paranormal YA books, so I picked this up because I was HEAVILY into Paranormal, and man, I never knew I’d enjoy a smexy book as much as I did. I was hooked! I made Paranormal Romance and Adult Urban Fantasy books my bitches. Thank you, JR Ward!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I remember seeing the simple blue cover on Amazon and thinking, “Sure, why not!” I don’t even think I knew what it was about, lol. Oh, my GAH! I loved it so much. Thank you for taking me on this grand adventure, Diana Gabaldon.

The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen – I already loved YA, but nothing would prepare me for how much in love I’d fall with Contemporary YA, all thanks to this book. And Wes. hehe I wasn’t prepared for how much my heart would feel. THIS is why people really read YA. So, thank you, Sarah Dessen.

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery – Contemporary YA would eventually lead me to one of my true loves: Contemporary ROMANCE. This book was romantic and sweet and fun and I ATE IT UP. Thanks for that, Susan Mallery.

 

gwtw-heading-morgan

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling – Harry Potter, the series of my heart. The funniest thing is when I first saw Sorcerer’s Stone in 7th grade, I thought it looked goofy. But I gave it a chance and it honestly changed my life. I got every book after that on release day and fell deep into the Potter fandom. I’m so thankful for every amazing character, the feelings of comfort the books gave me when I reread them, and the friends I’ve made because of them. JK Rowling’s quote sums it up perfectly: “The stories we love best live in us forever. Whether you come back by the big screen or by page, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – This was my favorite book in the world before I read Harry Potter. I grew up loving Disney movies (still do) and Ever After and fairy tales in any incarnation. Ella was such a wonderful character- strong, brave, believable- and Char’s letters still make me swoon. It’s such a great book and holds up really well. I reread it this year and fell even more in love; books like that will always make me thankful.

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill – I’m SO thankful for MTB because this book got me into YA contemporary! I had always stayed away before, thinking it was all trauma and drama, but then I read Christina’s review and it sounded so cute, like a romantic comedy I would love to watch! I also couldn’t resist that London cover. Needless to say I read it in a day and found out how much I loved fluffy, bantery, feelsy YA. And I’ve never looked back :)

Redwall by Brian Jacques – I read a ton of Nancy Drew books as a young kid but this was the first series that I really binge read, without knowing what binge reading was! I read the first 13 books back to back, racing to get the next one as soon as I was finished. I’m thankful for Redwall because it showed me that I could read and enjoy really long books (300-400 pages as a 7th grader is a lot!). They also showed me how much I could enjoy fantasy novels with rich detail, world building, and characters. Plus the series gave me an entire summer of enjoyment!

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – I’m so thankful I finally gave in and picked up this book because The Forgotten Garden introduced me to my favorite author and my favorite historical subgenre, the dual timeline novel. I fell in love with Kate Morton’s prose and storytelling abilities, the way she weaves mystery, love, and tragedy so beautifully. I’ve read all her published novels and immediately went in search of read-a-likes. I can’t resist a pitch with old houses, secrets, and a troubled past that somehow ties in with the modern day heroine. I’m ALSO thankful for Kate Morton books because it’s how I met Lindsey on twitter in 2012, who has become one of my best friends :)

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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