#BookLook || The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett || Let’s Get Spooky

the last harvest

the last harvest by nobentspines featuring a long chain necklace

My Two Cents
Those boots are what I never knew I needed until I saw them. 
You know, this actually happens a whole bunch with shoes. Maybe I have an issue….
If you could grab one thing from the look, which would you snag?
About The Book
“I plead the blood.”

Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad’s throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.

Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma slaughter, the whole town’s looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won’t leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.

Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity…or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.


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What’s New in the Writing World?

Hey there, 

So many things are happening right now. My twitter feed is going crazy over one thing or another every day of the week. This short little post is a quick update for the readers, bloggers, generally fabulous humans who want to stay informed, and the random squirrel with the ability to read.

First off, we’ve got the most well-known bookish marketing, meeting and greeting event setting a limit on the number of bloggers able to attend. BEA–also known as Book Expo America–is setting the limit to 6,000. While this may seem like quite a few, the book expo is know to have a blogger attendance of around 10,000.

So, yeah. 4,000 less people. That’s a whole freaking bunch.

Another thing that’s got a whole lot of the blogger community worked up is Harper Collins not sending out ARCs to bloggers anymore in the future. There has been speculation as to whether they’ll be sending them out to boostagrammers and youtubers. I haven’t heard anything straight from the horses’s mouth, but I have to say that I’m not super surprised.

I’m not throwing anyone under the metaphorical bus, but after many Cons this past year, certain attendees are abusing their privileges as bloggers, readers, and consumers of books. Deception of publishers and other bloggers is not okay, and I think this is the beginning to the back-lash of those actions.

To end this post, let’s talk about the harassment that author Chelsea Cain is facing over her kick ass feminist cover for this gorgeous looking comic book. Thank you menists (or however the heck you spell it), for saying that comic books are the place that you go to escape all the people in the world telling you that you can’t do something, and that you’d rather not see women stroll around in the industry like they own the place, like breaking through isn’t their right as a human being. Thanks for being idiots.

Let’s be honest, y’all, the amount of implied inferiority that white heterosexual males are encountered with is on the hella low end of the power imbalance and equality spectrum. Let’s not pretend like women are dominating every other industry out there. I’ll tell you straight up, we aren’t.

There’s a freaking article telling me not to be easily offended–which yes, I’m kind of offended by–in order to excel in a male-dominated work place. Sometimes, I’m going to be offended. Chances are that I have a reason to be. When I’m offended, I’m not going to let that affect how well I do my work, how fantastically I’m going to succeed in what I do, and I’m sure as hell not going to let anyone treat me like I am less of a human being than they are, especially because I have a vagina and not a penis. (Though, I do appreciate the emphasis on sexual harassment never being okay–hell no it is not.)  I’m going to drop this link of the 2014 most powerful women in politics to make me feel better.

That’s a wrap folks. What are some things that push your buttons? Some things that are going on in the publishing world that is new and weird and exciting?

All of the Yummy Foods Ever {SMP Holiday Blitz}

I don’t know about y’all, but when it comes to the holiday season, there are a few foods that I have to have or I sort of consider it an unsuccessful holiday. Food wise, anyways.

For me, I want pecan pralines and Thanksgiving dressing–chicken livers and all. Smells nasty when it’s being cooked, but all together *swooooons* It’s divine. Also pecan pie. Pretty sure I was put on this earth to just eat all the food. All of the food that I’ve listed originates from my Granny’s kitchen back in East Texas. I’ll be frequenting there this break since my family {mom and sister and dad and darling pets} are up in Seattle pursing the next beautiful, bold adventure.

I’ve got some world conquering of my own to do, but these favorite holiday foods from the authors on this blitz are going to have to hold me over for a little bit.

Check out the books that these ladies wrote here!

T H E – F O O D S 

Ruth Logan Herne

We’ve got a great eggnog pie recipe, it’s positively decadent! Here’s the link to our cooking with the authors website “The Yankee Belle Cafe”. 

Donna Alward

Savory or sweet? There’s a Chocolate Chip Cheeseball recipe I got from Debbie Macomber’s site that I’ve modified that I love (plus: cookies!), and for savory, I make sausage-stuffed mushrooms that are easy and so tasty!

Laura Trentham

Broccoli SaladMy go-to potluck take-along…plus I make it every holiday. Basically whenever I can get away with it, because it is SO good.

2 bunches of broccoli, chopped
1/2 lbs cooked bacon, crumbled (I use the pouches of bacon bit to avoid the mess of cooking bacon)
1/2 med red onion, diced
1/2 cup golden or brown raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup Mayo (Duke’s, of course:)
2T white vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup white sugar

Mix together broccoli, onion, raisins, sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, and sugar and pour over salad. Mix gently. Chill for several hours or overnight to blend flavors. (This isn’t mandatory, but does improve the taste). Just before serving, add bacon and cheese.

Nancy Naigle

I did these videos last year while watching the Hallmark Movie~THE NOTE. Kelsey Browning and I co-author a fun southern cozy series called The Granny Series.   There is a clip of her and then one of me in each of these fine uncut – unedited raw videos. The recipe for FaLaLa-LaLa-La Bon Bons is available as a PDF on my website http://www.NancyNaigle.com.  I also have two recipe cards printed up for cookies from my book, CHRISTMAS JOY.  I can send those to you if you’d like! I’ll be posting them on my website as a free download after the book releases.

Margaret Brownley

Our Christmas dinner is five star dining at its best. That’s because my son-in-law is an executive chef and he treats us every year to prime rib with all the trimmings.  I never ask for recipes because then I might be tempted to try them. 

Tara Wyatt

My mom’s shortbread. Hands down. It tastes like Christmas and home the way nothing else does.

Opal Carew

Turkey (dark meat) and stuffing. Mmm. Unfortunately, now that I’m following the Paleo diet, making a stuffing I can eat is a challenge!


Emily March

I find a new favorite every year in the recipe exchange cookbook I put together from recipes sent in by my readers. Watch my Facebook page or join my mailing list for info on how to get your copy!

Melissa Cutler

My grandmother makes the best fruit cake from scratch, and that’s no joke. I would share the recipe, but when I make it, it never turns out like Grandma’s, because she must put some secret ingredients in hers.

Mandy Baxter

My all time favorite holiday food is stuffing at Thanksgiving. Carbs be damned!


I N – T H E – E N D
So, dear reader, what are some of the holiday foods that just make your day? Can’t live with out? Are a total must have now


 

Calling Authors! All These Love Letters Need a YA Book.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you, but I’m totally and completely infatuated with love letters. And poetry. And romance. However, all of that lovely stuff being said, I’m also a realist. (I like to think I’m half romantic and half realist) Basically all boundaries are broken with Anais Nin and Henry Miller. These two had an off and on again affair while she was in Paris (1931-1934ish) and THIS IS SORT OF WHERE HER WRITING BECOMES LEGIT TO THE WORLD.
What does this mean?
Well, I am so glad you asked! All these young, art-driven, passionate folk were broke beyond belief. I mean, writing and artists struggle to make good money today in the time of social media and a totally connected world. Imagine how hard this would all be in the 30s. Anyways, they, along with a few more friends, published erotic novels to earn money. And it works better than they thought.
“I want to do things so wild with you that I don’t know how to say them,” (Goodreads)
Or, I mean, maybe they knew this was a super great idea and were just like “yup, we rock.” Either way they were able to earn money through their writing (however, it’s a bit disputed as to whether Henry actually doing any writing) and while they were (maybe sort-of kinda) in love. Or at least having sex.
AND. They were writing super sweet and hella hot love letters to each other. There are books with the letters published now. I’ve yet to read them. I just wander around Pinterest until I find pretty words. This is how I found the love letters between these two folks.
It’s also how I found the love letters between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Over the thirty years of friendship and more than friendship between these two ground-breaking ladies, they exchanged more than 4,000 letters. I don’t know about you, but I think that is a whole heck of a bunch of words. Lorena was a reporter and didn’t do coverage of president’s wife, and didn’t until Eleanor. Still, that was after the world was beginning to see that she was so much more than First Lady.
“How good it was to hear your voice…. Jimmy was near & I couldn’t say “je t’aime et je t’adore” as I longed to do but always remember I am saying it & that I go to sleep thinking of you.” (NYBooks)
From there, Eleanor basically became besties with Lorena (cooking steaks, talking for hours, loads of gift-buying, the works) and from that BFF status, they became, well, something more. Like Anais and Henry’s relationship, life eventually happens and the love affair ended. However, the letters are still around.
I think written words are capable of keeping romance alive. Both of these cases lead me to think this even more true.

So, babes, you know of any good love letters from history? Please tell me there’s a box of letters written to Cleopatra SOMEWHERE. I think those would slay.

#ARC Review || The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia || R+J with Car Racing

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
ARC via Andye @ Reading Teen
Published: October 4, 2016
Goodreads || Amazon

I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

Some books leave me ridiculously happy in an almost stir-crazy kind of way. The Lovely Reckless is one of those books. This kind of joy is the best, most addicting kind. The notion of addicting joy is incredibly true when your (okay, I) had a mood plummet of sorts just before I started the book. As a matter of fact, that’s why I picked up the book. Why I so often pick up books. It’s like a hug from the universe and instant friends and compatriots who sort of just really get you and your struggles.
Not that I share the struggles of Marco or Frankie, or pretty much any one else in the book for that matter, but the whole being human, and being unseen, and picking yourself up by the bootstraps—that’s something everyone can relate to.
The Lovely Reckless is a modern and oh-so-sexy Romeo and Juliet with car chases, tragic back stories, and a cast of lovers that will have you grinning into your book pages. I give it the Jackie stamp of approval.
So let’s talk characters since I’ve basically given you a pretty vague outline of the plot (mwahahaha).
First off, we’ll talk friendship. I’m going to be blunt here: Frankie was a pretty horrible friend after her boyfriend was brutally murdered in front of her. This, as you might imagine, left the girl traumatized. Understandably, all she wanted to do was not think about it. Whenever she saw her best friend, Lexie, all she could think about was her dead boyfriend. Lexie stuck with her through this as she tried to re-align herself with the world. She’s a good friend. I like her (most of the time). There’s also Cruz, who I may actually be in love with. She’s an amazing racer girl who’s struggling with life a bit (GIVE HER A STORY!) and I like her. She helps Frankie find herself a bit in her new school.
We’ve also got the hella hot street racer Marco. With the two of them, it’s kind of insta-you’re-super-intriguing and then yup-it’s-love in a hot second. I didn’t have a problem with this for some odd reason. It probably has something to do with plot twists and bad people and the whole R+J aspect which I am hard-core digging. Love.
At this point you’re probably thinking that I had no issues with this book what-so-ever, and to be straight with you, I don’t. That being said, I do with I got to read a bit more street racing. It seemed that is supposed to be a huge part of Marco’s life, and Cruz’s for that matter, and I just wish I got to see that side of them more. There were maybe two or three scenes with all that jazz, but it wasn’t super fleshed out. There are a few books out in the world that do an AWESOME job with street racing depictions. Tweet me if you want to hear them!
I also wish that I got to see the rough-and-tough part of Marco along with the sugary sweet, total swoon-worthy man that I’m head over heels for. People seemed to fear him a bit, and I’m just over here with my head propped on my hand drooling as he does all sort of things to make my knees go wobbly. WHY DO YOU FEAR HIM, PEASANTS?

Anyways, I love it. There were things I would add, but nothing that I would change. Overall, I recommend this book from the bottom of my heart. You want swoons? This book will give them in spades. You want to see a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare with all the heartache and sorrow of a girl in the modern world? This book has it. It broke my heart and built it up again. Give me more. I want mooooooooore.

This Queen Need a Book..or Maybe Her Successor Does

I adore history. I’m not super sure if you are very well aware of the matter. Have you heard of Mackenzi Lee? No? Well go check out her Friday fun days and you’ll get obsessed too. She’s a badass woman who talks about badass women.

I adore the sum of it. So freaking much.

I’m also just beginning this whole college thing. Already changing my major! Wheeeeee! This Parts of History shingdig is me trying to figure myself out while trying to make sense of the past. Not that that is at all possible. But it suuuuure is fun.

For my first one of this series I’ll be talking about the last Queen of Hawaii.

I’ll just begin with you can check out all this information on these websites: PBS, HISTORY.

As you just read, Lili’nokalani was the final queen of the kingdom of Hawaii. After having the throne passed down to her by her brother when she was in for 40s, she worked to restore Hawaii to it’s old ways. Those old ways being a monarchy instead of run by rich sugar plantation owners. As you may have been able to guess, these rich plantation owners were none too happy about her personal mission and went to the USA government to try to fight for their survival.

They wanted annexation, but Lili stood her ground. She, as demonstrated by Hawaii being a part of the USA today, was unable to win her battle. This was made particularly difficult where her niece (who she made her only heir since she and her American-born ship captain husband never had any children of their own) died of poor health at the young as heck age of 24 in 1899.

Whoops, forgot to mention that this queen lived from 1838 until her death in 1917.

This fun fact is important because women in positions of power is something virtually unheard of for the era.

(another fun fact, way wAY back, the Huns had no issue with female authority. In fact, women were warriors along side men. Read more about female warriors in history here.)

That’s about all I’ve got on this human. There will be more fun historical happenings in future posts. Stay tuned!

What are some of your favorite lesser-known people in history?

#ARC Review || Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco || Guts and Blood and Romance

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
ARC via Andye @ Reading Teen
Published September 20, 2016
Amazon || Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

“I was determined to be both pretty and fierce, as Mother had said I could be. Just because I was interested in a man’s job didn’t mean I had to give up being girly. Who defined those roles anyhow?” 

I adore gore. I like my Halloween (all of October, bring on the ghouls and vampires and werewolves) reads to be feisty and bloody and filled with feminist power. Stalking Jack the Ripper was a slam dunk for all of these criteria. When were adding a darling Victorian backdrop, a cold case, and an equally snarky and swoony main guy? I am so here for all of it.

When our darling Audrey Rose loses her mother, she begins to develop a fascination with the dead. With her Uncle as a mentor, her father desperately trying to shield her, and her brother trying to keep her happy, she’s struggling to find her balance between the work she loved (dissection) and the life she’s being shoved into living. When she runs in to her Uncle’s super dashing and super angsty apprentice, Thomas, he makes it known that he’s along for the ride that is her own personal quest to solve the case of Jack the Ripper.

In this she puts together the puzzle pieces, pulls apart bodies, and is betrayed just as often as she trusts.

SQUEEEEEE.

I’m so sorry. I just had to. This book deserves squealing and skipping and swooning. Talk about a good book. People lurking in the dark, ladies up to their elbows in guts and blood, and a twist in the classic real life mystery: Jack the Ripper. This is one of my favorite murders to read about. It’s so gruesome—showing some of the darkest parts of the human psyche. It’s so interesting—I mean, how could a person rip open another human’s body so brutally and steal their organs? What possesses someone to do that? Are they in their right mind? Can someone be in their right mind if they are able to commit such a horrific act of violence?

These are the thoughts that Audrey Rose is bound to have during her investigation. 
The characters, mainly Audrey Rose and Thomas (but I do so adore her fierce cousin too, a true lion wearing sheep skin), are incredibly well fleshed out. I felt like I knew them both. Their fears and hopes and confusion were mine. This, I believe, is one of the most important things in a book. You’ve got to be able to root for something. Why else are you reading the book? 

#BookLook || We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

we are okay

we are okay by nobentspines featuring wide brim hats

My Two Cents
Not only in this book cover my actual favorite EVER, it goes mighty fine with those boots.
Which are now on my gotta have list.
What’s your fav part of this look? 
About This Book
From the award-winning author of Hold Still comes an achingly beautiful novel about grief and the enduring power of friendship. 
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left California with only her cell phone, wallet, and a plane ticket. No one knows the truth of those final weeks of summer, when everything changed. Not even her best friend Mabel, whom Marin has completely shut out. But even from thousands of miles away, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now that winter break is upon her, and the campus has emptied, Mabel is coming to visit. Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid for months and finally confront the loneliness that made a home in her heart years ago. 
Gorgeously written and achingly honest, Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay is a tale of friendship, love, and transformation in wake of tragedy.

#ARC Review || Only You by Denise Grover Swank

Only You by Denise Grover Swank
Published October 25, 2016
Amazon || Goodreads
ARC via Publisher + NetGalley

Never say never . . .

Romance isn’t an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor . . . 


Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead, he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world’s craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor. 

After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn’t play by the rules . . . 


Way back in May, I made the decision to read this ARC instead of the ARC I was currently reading that was being published at an earlier date. In short, I regret nothing. ONLY YOU was incredibly sweet, believable, and I can relate to the main character. That last plus is something I’ve had a bit of trouble doing lately. Whether this be because I’m getting pickier, or the stress of new beginnings is finally sinking in, I’m not really sure. What I do know is that this book hit the spot. I was laughing, cringing, and cheering on Holly and Kevin. 

Thank y’all for acting your age. (this is where I’m offering all the stars) I’m not super sure what it is with 25-30 year olds acting like high-school students but it makes me annoyed. Annoyed to the point of no return. I would love to say I’m super forgiving on this aspect of personalities, but that would be a lie. Holly and Kevin were presented with obstacles in their relationship (this should read Kevin’s mother, who happened to be Holly’s boss and ticket into being a big-time wedding planner) and they dealt with them beautifully. The will-they won’t-they was the driving tension through the book and I LOVE IT. The writing of it in all caps should properly display my enthusiasm. 

I liked them a whole bunch. They were genuinely good humans. I haven’t grown wearing of the less-savory characters (no, that never going to happen) at all, but I really liked getting to know nice people as opposed to idiots who can’t seem to get their head screwed on straight. Or make the right choice until the end of the book…ever. ONLY YOU is a good change of pace from that. 

Now that I’ve ranted about the characters for a bit, let’s chat about the plot. This book basically follows the two characters struggling with their want to be together, their jobs (more-so his than hers), and his mom. That sounds weird; his mom prevented them from being together. But she did! Holly is working weddings this entire book, and we’re just following her around for the ride. She’s a fantastic planner, and is trying to make a name for herself so that she can start her own business. Holly is struggling to balance her personal and her professional life. I really liked seeing how to handled everything (the man, the crazy brides). 


Overall, I really liked this book. The characters were fantastic, which is why I like the book so much. They were funny, relatable, and easy understand. They made decisions that made sense and really were just nice folks. ONLY YOU was an easy read. It’s a nice break from the heavier stuff. 

Want a book that goes with you costume?

AHHH. BOO.

Hehehe.

Did I scare you? Oh, I so totally scared you.

I love this time of year because it has the best books, and there’s bowls of chocolate in my teacher’s rooms instead of jolly ranchers. Not that I have anything against those candies, but chocolate is just so much better.

I made a chocolate sandwich the other day. Oh, yes.

Looks amazing, right? 
Anyways. We’re not here about chocolate. No. (sad face) We are here about costumes. AND I WILL HELP YOU. Or I’ll show you where to go. Because I’m awesome like that. 
PenguinTeen put together this awesome little quiz. And I kind of love it. It has all their #WickedReads lovelies as well as others. Of course I made a book look for one of them. BUT YOU SHOULD TAKE THE QUIZ, YOU SPOOKY HUMAN, YOU. 
Here is the link. Comment what you get if you choose to take it.