Happy New Year!! My top reads of 2013 AND how about a giveaway!!!

Happy New Year to everyone…hope this coming year is full of awesomeness and everything your little heart desires.

So…as I’ve been seeing all these top book lists and author lists and all that other stuff, I was thinking to myself, “Hmmm, which books for me were the best out of all the books I read last year??”

I read A LOT…BUT since I also spent most of 2013 writing/editing my own stuff, I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to. That being said, I tried to narrow my “best of” list to books that were released in 2013 and were my favorites.

So without further ado, here are my picks for BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2013!!! *in no particular order*

Unravel Me (Shatter me #2) by Tahareh Mafi
Destory Me (Shatter Me novella) by Tahareh Mafi
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This is Me by Sarah Ann Walker
The Boss by Abigail Barnette
The Girlfriend by Abigail Barnette
Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
The Artists Trilogy by Karina Halle
Ashes to Ashes by Karina Halle
This Man Confessed by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Tangled by Emma Chase
Blind Obsession by Ella Frank
A Different Blue by Amy Harmon
Block 24 by Evan Tyler
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Unbeautifully by Madeline Sheehan
Lover At Last by JR Ward

Now for your chance to win 3 ebook copies of ANY of the books in my list, please enter the rafflecopter link below!!

RAFFLECOPTER LINK!!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! AND THANK YOU!!!

The next few days are going to be nuts for me, as I’m sure they will be for all of you…so I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who bought Promise Me…whether you liked it or not. I know there are PLENTY of books out there to choose from, so for you to choose mine…well, it means the world to me.

Also, I’d like to give a BIG SHOUT out and THANK YOU to EVERY SINGLE BLOGGER who has shared ANYTHING about Promise Me on their blogs this year. There are too many to name, big, medium and small blogs…the fact that you picked my book to read, promote, whatever…I appreciate it from the very bottom of my heart!!

Looking forward to a great 2014 and hopefully I’ll have more news on the Julia & Alex front sooner than later…wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!!

xoxo
Barbie

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 29

Question/Topic: A book that I wish more people would’ve read
Answer: Block 24 by Evan Tyler

Evan Tyler is a writer that deserves attention period. Anything she writes, I’ll read. Her writing is flawless, exquisite and pitch perfect. I still have no idea how she has not been snatched up by a big publishing house…if anyone like that is reading this post, then run out and check out this book AND A Happy Accident by this author. She is brilliant.

Block 24 is not your conventional story. There are several story lines going on at once. But they all have a common thread. There is the story being told of Adina, an Auschwitz survivor and the horrors she had to go through.
Then there are Julia and Guy and Philip.
But the masterpiece, to me, is Natalie.
God, you hate her and love her all at the same time. And to me, for an author to garner that much emotion out of their words about a single character is the earmark of a great writer.

This is a must read. Again, it is not your conventional novel and you must go into it with an open mind. But it’s so worth it.
I hope a lot more readers pick this one up along with Evan’s other novel because I would love to see her get the attention she so deserves.

Amazon link to purchase Block 24

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 28

Question/Topic: Book that got me into reading
Answer: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

So, I saw the classic film version when I was a little girl and fell in love with one Ms. Scarlett O’Hara. I even wanted to name my daughter Scarlett but it was nixed. Anyway, I ran straight away and got a paperback version of the novel and read it cover to cover pretty quickly. Then as soon as I was done, went right back to the beginning and read it again cover to cover.
I love Scarlett so much and how Mitchell wrote her to be the perfect anti-heroine. She is so flawed and yet you root for her. Or at least I did…and still do every time I watch the film version.
And that ending…I love it. I love it because it’s not your typical happily ever after. It’s the complete opposite. But, it’s left for interpretation as to what Scarlett will do next to get Rhett back. I like to think she would have do anything and been as ruthless as ever to accomplish that…and that’s what I love about her.

*Yes, I know there was a “sequel” written called “Scarlett” that was released and it picks up the story from where GWTW leaves off. And yes, of course as a GWTW junkie I read it and watched the mini-series. Was it satisfying…kind of. But nowhere near as amazing and perfect as GWTW.

Amazon link to purchase Gone With The Wind

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 27

Question/Topic: Book people can’t believe I’ve never read
Answer: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I hang my head in shame and not a day goes by that my daughter, who is a HUGE fan of the books, lets me know that I need to read these.
Here’s the thing, I’ve had them for a long time, just never got around to them. Then the first movie came out and I was hooked. Then the second came out recently and I said to myself that I’d just wait another couple of years to see the third. But now with the third being potentially split into two films, I’m gonna cave and finally read these soon.

Amazon link to purchase The Hunger Games trilogy

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 26

Question/Topic: The longest book I’ve read
Answer: The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

Clocking in at 1456 pages, The Fiery Cross is book #5 in the Outlander series. I can’t lie and say that I loved this book. It was probably my least favorite of the 7 released so far. Probably because it was really, really, really long when I don’t think it needed to be. I still enjoyed it because…I mean, come on…it’s Jamie and Claire and I love them.

Amazon link to purchase The Fiery Cross

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 25

Question/Topic: A book I’ve wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Answer: The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I honestly do not know what these books are about, but I know that I would love them. I think they’re paranormal with romance and somewhat like the Black Dagger Brotherhood books…which I love, by the way. I’ve had quite a few people recommend them to me and I do currently own the first 6 books, but haven’t gotten around to them yet. One day soon though…I promise!

Amazon link to pre-order books 1 thru 3 bundle of Dark Hunter series

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 24

Question/Topic: Favorite book my teacher made me read
Answer: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Mr. Rochester…sigh.
Dark, broody, and romantic.
My very first book boyfriend if you can call it that.
I fell in love with this story after I had to read it in Junior High school and have re-read it a lot over the years. I go out of my way to watch every version that is made. *My current favorite version is the one with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska, but the Orson Welles version is a very close second.

Favorite quotes:

“All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”

“I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”

“I must, then, repeat continually that we are forever sundered - and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.’

“You, Jane, I must have you for my own-entirely my own.”

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

“Reader, I married him.”

Amazon link to purchase Jane Eyre

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 23

Question/Topic: A book that made me laugh out loud
Answer: Seductions and Snacks by Tara Sivec

From all the Heather references to the So I Married an Ax Murderer quotes to the things on Drew’s t-shirts to 4 year old Gavin…this book had me cracking up from beginning to end.
It is hysterical without being forced because it flows naturally from the author. So freaking funny…and highly recommend.

*On a side note, I almost picked Troubles and Treats by Tara Sivec which is part of this series of books. There is one scene specifically that had me laughing harder than ANYTHING I’ve ever read…so if you want to try that one out as well, I’d recommend it too.

Amazon link to purchase Seduction and Snacks

30 Days of Book Love - DAY 22

Question/Topic: A book I’ve read more than once or would like to read more than once.
Answer: Blue-Eyed-Devil by Lisa Kleypas

There are several books I’ve read more than once. Quite a few actually. But this book I’ve read so many times it’s a little ridiculous.
I don’t even know why it is that I love this book so much. Well, that’s partially true.
It probably has a lot to do with one Hardy Cates. Gah!! Just thinking about this character has me all loopy and smiling like an idiot while I write this post. LOL
Technically, this is book 2 in a series/spinoff but you do not have to read the first book to read this one. I read them out of order and was totally fine.

A couple of favorite lines:
“I need you for a lot of things, Hardy. A lifetime’s worth of things.”

“God, it was good. Comforting and stimulating at the same time. Absolute world-class pheromones. I wished I could take his jacket home with me. Not him, just the jacket.”


Amazon link to purchase Blue-Eyed-Devil