Monday, December 31

Goals for 2019

Image result for happy 2019

A new year! New goals! A challenge indeed. 

Reading Goals: 
I am going to challenge myself this year with some reading challenges. Last year I just did the Goodreads challenge. This year I'm going to be doing three plus the Goodreads challenge.  Woo. 

I'm also planning on listening to audiobooks still. I ended up doing WAYYYY better than the 2 I wanted to last year (I was in the 30s). 

- Audiobooks
30. My secret goal is 40.

- Goodreads
140 Books. My secret goal is 150, buuuuut we shall see. 

- Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

I'll be doing the DETECTIVE level. 16-25 books

Blodeuedd and I are also "hosting" two challenges as well. 

-One is a Historical Romance Reading Challenge 
It is a bingo style. My goal is to try and read as many as possible! 

-The other is a Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
It is a bingo style. My goal is to try and read as many as possible! 

Blog Goals: 
Like last year, I will try to post at least 6 days a week. I did a good job last year, so I am going to try and maintain this. In a perfect world, I want to do 7 days a week but I know there will be times I just don't have anything or forget. 

I'm also signing up for the Blog All About It again. Super fun! Here are the monthly prompts this year.

Jan- First
Feb- Pink
Mar- Luck
April- Sweet
May- Bloom
June- Risk
July- Heat
Aug- Sky
Sept- Crunch
Oct- Shiver
Nov- Thankful
Dec- Twinkle

Personal Life Goals: 
My biggest goal is getting healthier. We got an elliptical in December so I plan to use that. I want to work out a minimum of 30 minutes a day. I need to get back into yoga. I fell off the rails in 2018 for yoga. Yoga is amazing. I need to do it once a week. It always makes me feel so much better. 

I'm also loving to paint. I didn't do much in December because of all the holidays and events. However, I will be getting back on track. I like to paint either Wednesday or Thursday before logging into work. 

Sunday, December 30

1st Ever BC Awards for 2018 with Bloduedd and Carole

Welcome to the BC Awards!!! Carole and I will be sharing some of our favorites of the year! We decided to shake it up a bit with some extra categories! 

(edit: Yes I wanted to mention a few books so I had to create some categories for them ;) These are my 10 best of the year + a special mention. Hearstrikers count as one cos I just can not choose which was best..perhaps book 3?)

First, Blodeuedd will give my bests of the year!

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

When Dimple Met Rishi

Summers at Castle Auburn

Horror: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

The Dead House

Kin (Helga Finnsdottir #1)

Contemporary romance: Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne 

Runaway Groom (I Do, I Don't, #2)

A Wolf Apart (The Legend of All Wolves, #2)

Through the Fire (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit, #4)

Shout out to Paranormal romance: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston (I never thought that would work for me again and it did!)
Hot and Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles, #1)

And Last The Best Book of the year Award! I could not choose so I am doing a best Audio and best Print

Best Audio of the year  Heartstrikers series 2-5

One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)  No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers, #3) A Dragon of a Different Color (Heartstrikers, #4) Last Dragon Standing (Heartstrikers, #5)

Best Print of the year and Fantasy: Priest of Bones by Peter McLean

Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne #1)

Now, me!

 When Dimple Met Rishi

Dragon Mage (Tarragon, #2)


The Romanov Empress

Contemporary romance: Cowboy Bold by Carolyn Brown

Cowboy Bold (Longhorn Canyon #1)

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2)

Historical Romance : The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan  

(This was a tough one...there were SOOOO many good ones this year. But the cover made this a touch better hehe)

The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4)

The English Wife

Best cover: Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland

(This cover was just so pretty. I had to give a BC award to this one)

Mistress Firebrand (Renegades of the American Revolution)

Best Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody  (2018)

(Soooo good. No movie was even close to as good as this year)

Bohemian Rhapsody Poster

The Tercentennial Baron

Best Print/ebook of the year: The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

And that is the end of the BC Awards. I am excited to see what 2019 has in store for us!!

Thursday, December 27

***2018 Goals Updates***

Image result for Goals

Happy near the end of the year! I just wanted to share my goals that I accomplished this year!

- Reading Goals

- Blog Goals

This year I wanted to be better at posting. My goal was to post 6 days a week. I feel like I did well. I posted either 6 or 7 days a week. There were a couple of weeks I dropped the ball, but overall I did pretty well. 

- Audiobook Goals

I blew past this goal! I wanted to listen to 2 audios and managed to listen to...39 audiobooks!

-Personal Life Goals

Lost a couple of pounds but nothing crazy. I have done well with working out. Either by walking or by using our elliptical that we just built a few days ago. I've also been SUPER artsy this year. Loads of painting and making some crafts. 

Wednesday, December 26

Audiobook Review: Christmas at the Cove by Victoria Connelly

Christmas at the Cove (Christmas at ... #1)Author: Victoria Connelly
Narrator: Jan Cramer
Title: Christmas at the Cove
(Christmas at #1)
Genre: Romance, short stories
Pages: Audiobook
Published:  02-24-15
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

When Millie Venning escapes to her aunt's cottage on the windswept Devon coast for Christmas, she isn't looking for romance. So, when she finds a handsome stranger already at the cottage, she's baffled. Has her aunt double-booked the cottage by mistake or is she up to her match-making tricks once again? 

A random find for sure. It is super short and a romance set during xmas. Why not? 

Due to Millie's aunts double-booking her cottage, Millie and the doctor (oh my...what was his name?) are both at the cottage for the xmas week. Millie is there to be alone and escape from the world. The doctor and his son are there to have a quiet holiday. Things happen. They decide to all stay and get to know each other. 

This was very sweet indeed. I liked Millie and I liked the doctor. They were both very sweet and they both deserved to find love. Especially the doctor. He lost his wife tragically a couple years back. The son needs a mom to love him too. So tragic. 

Niall! Niall is the name. It just didn't fit him so I forgot. 

But anyways, yes, this was quick and sweet. It was very Hallmark-y so it was a fast romance and a hair cheesy. 

I did hate the should've been a prologue. I was a little peeved. I wanted to see how these two's future would look like.

The narrator was excellent. I wouldn't mind listening more to her. I loved her accent.  

Overall, this was a good xmas romance. I wanted more. The epilogue annoyed me. But yes, a good quick listen. I'll give it 3 stars. 

Monday, December 24

B's Monday Review: How Darcy Saved Christmas by Rose Fairbanks

Kindle Edition, 118 pages
Published December 4th 2018
Pride and Prejudice variation

My Thoughts
This was a short novella and I honestly can not tell you a lot cos then I will spoil everything.

I wanted something for xmas and what is better than PP!

Ok so in this timeline they meet a few years later at Xmas. Darcy is all brooding and does not like xmas. And Lizzy is all xmas is wonderful! Yay that I get to be in Lambton.

They meet. There is pride and prejudice.

There is Wickham, he was a big surprise.

And then they lived happily ever after.

A nice little xmas tale

On a much-needed holiday with her favorite relations, Elizabeth Bennet is in search of Christmas cheer. Instead, she meets The Great Curmudgeon, or as the locals call him, Mr. Darcy. 

Darcy hates any display of Christmas happiness. He didn't always feel that way but is certain he will never welcome it again. In defiance of Pemberley tradition for being the life-force behind the holiday in the area, he shuns it after a family tragedy. 

Despite their first perceptions of each other, Darcy and Elizabeth cannot resist the pull of their hearts. Old and new friendships, however, collide to weave an insurmountable obstacle between the fledgling lovers. Will Darcy be able to see past his pain or will he forever miss out on the joy of true love? 

This Christmas season, treat yourself to a story of forgiveness, the search for true joy and lasting peace, and a love that can eclipse bitterness and pain. Buy How Darcy Saved Christmas today!

Sunday, December 23

Book Review: A Murder By Any Name by Suzanne M Wolfe

A Murder By Any Name (An Elizabethan Spy Mystery #1)Author: Suzanne M. Wolfe
Title: A Murder By Any Name
(An Elizabethan Spy Mystery #1)
Genre: Historical Mystery
Pages: ebook
Published: October 9th, 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

When a brutal murder threatens the sanctity of the Elizabethan court, it’s up to a hot-tempered spy to save the day.

The court of Elizabeth I is no stranger to plotting and intrigue, but the royal retinue is thrown into chaos when the Queen’s youngest and sweetest lady-in-waiting is murdered, her body left on the high altar of the Chapel Royal in Whitehall Palace. Solving the murder will require the cunning and savvy possessed by only one man. Enter Nicholas Holt, younger brother of the Earl of Blackwell—spy, rake, and owner of the infamous Black Sheep tavern in the seedy district of Bankside. Nick quickly learns that working for the Queen is a mixed blessing. Elizabeth—salty-tongued, vain, and fiercely intelligent—can, with a glance, either reward Nick with a purse of gold or have his head forcibly removed.

When a second lady-in-waiting is slain at Whitehall, the court once again reels with shock and dismay. On the trail of a diabolical killer, Nick and his faithful sidekick—an enormous Irish Wolfhound named Hector—are treading on treacherous ground, and only the killer’s head on a platter can keep them in the Queen’s good graces. 

Historical mysteries are always a blast. Plus that cover is so pretty! I could not deny it. 

The story follows Nick who is a spy, rake, and owner of the tavern. He is put on the assignment to find the murderer of two ladies who serve the Queen. The Queen demands he finds this murderer before the Christmas festivities and before the court freaks out. 

I liked Nick even though he is a rake. Hector was cute. I honestly liked how Nick wasn't a super genius like so many of these detectives are. He needed help and even got some assistance from the Queen. He listened to her advice and thoughts to help find the murderer. 

The story was fun and I enjoyed seeing everything come to fruition. I was really unsure who the murderer was. I had my theories but I was completely wrong. Kuddos to the author! I was in awe when the truth came out! So good, so unexpected. The ending was good. I loved the scene with Nick and the Queen at the end. It was done well. 

There were some more modern terms used that bugged me a little bit, but overall, this was well written. I was hooked from page one and got this done within a couple of sittings (darn work getting in the way). 

In the end, I really enjoyed this story. The story was written well even with a few more modern terms and words used. The characters were intriguing and the mystery was done well! I want to read more by this author. I hope there will be more books in this series. I liked Nick and Hector. I'll give this 4 stars. 

Saturday, December 22

2-in-1 Saturday Movie Night - Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe & Christmas at Pemberley Manor

Hello everyone! This month Blodeuedd and I are reviewing two Hallmark movies! A little 2-in-1 deal here.  First, we will review Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe. Next, we will review Christmas at Pemberley Manor. 

Blodeuedd is in red and I am in green.

Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe PosterTitle: Pride, Prejudice, & Mistletoe
Genre: Romance
Running Time: 1h 22 min 
Rating: TV - PG
Released: 2018

Darcy is a career woman who hasn't found love, but her life turns upside down when she returns home to help her mother plan a charity event.

Christmas at Pemberley Manor PosterTitle: Christmas at Pemberley Manor
Genre: Romance
Running Time: 1h 24 min 
Rating: TV - G
Released: 2018

As Christmas approaches, an event planner is sent to a small town to organize a festival but finds a billionaire in the process of selling the estate she hoped to use as a venue. Before long, the unlikely pair begins falling for each other.

Let us be merry and share some Christmas joy!

Yayy! Xmas Joy! Xmas Spirit! Xmas cheese!

SHall we start with Pride and Prejudice and mistletoe

Sounds like a plan!

Ok, where to start? Did you feel it was any Pride and Prejudice like at all?

Just in names. Like there was a Darcy and Jane. I liked that they did some gender reverse. But I was annoyed the “Elizabeth” was named “Luke”....why not “Edward” or “Elijah”? But other than the name thing and Darcy/Luke dislike….there was nothing else P&P

Yes, I felt there was nothing. Sure she was named Darcy and there was Pemberley, but yes that was it. I had no PP feelings at all. Why even call it that?

Maybe because she was too “prideful” to work for her dad even though it was obvious how bad her co-workers are to her. I could tell from the first second we seen her “partner” that they were going to turn on her the moment she was gone. The “prejudice” was Luke assuming Darcy had it easy and Darcy thought the same about Luke. The mistletoe...well...because of the mistletoe debate they had.

Lol, on the mistletoe. Sure I can see the pride, the prejudice, but not like it was in Pride and Prejudice. It really felt like they just wanted to cash in on Pride and Prejudice and delivered nothing of the sort. I was rather disappointed in this one, it was not even cheesy! Maybe I just do not like the actress. 

Oooo for sure. They wanted the easy cash because they knew people like you and me who adore the original would be wanting to watch it. And didn’t have that classic Hallmark cheese.

It is based on this book by Melissa de la Cruz and I am reading the blurb right now, it sounds much better than this movie! But it has a terrible rating so I guess it sucks too.

Super bummer. I was thinking on checking in Goodreads, but if it sucks too...well...there is no hope for this.

They call it cringeworthy and tweeny. So, yes no on that one too. But sure for a cheesy Hallmark movie you can enjoy it for a night. But do not think Pride and P.

Yes. It was not HORRIBLE, but disappointing. Do not go in with expectations. The ending was annoying though. Like really Luke?????? Gah. And James was ugly. He was supposed to be the male Jane...but ew. LOL.

Who is James? Srsly, I can not even remember?

Luke’s brother who got with Darcy’s friend (I’m blanking on her name).

Right, they were hugging at this time and was all we are looking for him..ehh, you two are just standing there. Real effort guys, ;)

LOLLL right? “We’ll help look!” AKA let’s make-out and I’ll try calling ONCE. What a fantastic brother. >_<

Haha, do you want to say anything more or should we just move on to the next one?

I’m good! LOL Not much to comment on this one.To the manor!

To Pemberley Manor! Omg this one made me cringe so hard! But, it was better than the other one.

Yess it 100% better. More cheese and more P&P. Perfection. LOLLL

I actually got that he was Darcy here, and cute! And yes she was Lizzy….well more like Jane at times too, like a mix of them too. She was always so cheerful you know, while Lizzy should be like constantly sarcastic ;) And there was even a real Jane and Bingley, so I liked that. But again, Bingley was not really a Bingley

Oh my...Darcy is super duper cute. I would love for him to play the real Darcy. He was fun. Ugh I did not care for Lizzy. She was too Jane. The only time the real Lizzy moment was when she told Darcy off in the car, but she was still missing the real Lizzy bite there. Not the right actress for the role. Too sweet. Caroline was perfect. I wanted to hit her.

Yes finally a Caroline! I mean hello, sure you can have Darcy and Lizzy. But omg they are nothing without everyone else. You at least need a Wickham or a Caroline! The only moment I felt Lizzy was when she was an idiot and told him what cos of his assistant. I was all omg woman! You could get that poor man fired you stupid idiot!

Yess that was the scene I was hinting at. Like dude!!!!! Good thing Darcy took it in stride and just laughed it off. I think the real Darcy would’ve been a bit more grumpy about it. I was hoping for a Wickham too in this one since the mayor was named George. LOL But alas….only a Caroline which she was sassy enough.

Was “Wickham” her ex or had they just been friends? I can not remember. I was expecting some drama and nothing! Just like with the previous movie were I guess her ex was Caroline? And it was like nothing at all. Just an ex. Booooo

Yea the mayor, George, was a college friend who went on ONE date with Lizzy. Maybe the Wickham of the story was her ex that we didn’t see. Who knows. I wish I could be a writer on one of these movies. We needed some more drama. We got a touch when Caroline came to town taking over the event. But alas...even that ended rather quickly and nicely.

Oh right, yes the one date. But I do feel he was Wickham in spirit, but not in the actual story. He was like a Wickham ghost they did nothing with. Cos Xmas is not drama *eyeroll* But Wickham is some one you love to hate!

I wanted that mayor to have a HEA. He was sooooo sweet. Poor guy.

One more thing, why was she so you have to do this! It is his house, back off woman! Or was that just me. It was like he owed the town something. Like there was not anywhere else in that whole town?

I was confused about that too. He doesn’t have to do shit lady. Leave Darcy alone. xD I’m sure there a million places to have it.

He was too nice. Aww I really liked him ;) So yes this one was better, cheesy, a bit of drama and people falling in love too fast.

Darcy was the best in that movie. He was adorable and grumpy. I do think this was the better of the two movies. This really was a Hallmark take on the book for sure. Loads of cringy cheese and I loved it. Especially the singing bit. Hahahaha that was so cheesy I was hoping it would end soon.

If you have to watch one then go for this one instead of that other one :) But hey there are a MILLION other ones out there. OMG so many Cheesy Xmas movies these days

Agreed. I was watching another one last night while I fell asleep. It had an Elizabeth who likes to read. I could tell that they were going for a P&P, but it was boring and I zonked out. LOL Oh well. I can’t even remember the name. But yes, if you watch ONE Hallmark Xmas this one.

Merry Xmas then! I hope that you all get lots of books ;)

Merry Xmas to you and everyone! Eat lots of cookies!