Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone is enjoying time off from work, eating a Christmas meal, and/or spending time with family. Many families have traditions that they stick to every year, so I thought it would be fun to share two of my favorite holiday traditions.

#1 - Opening One Present On Christmas Eve

Growing up, both my husband and I were given the choice to open one present. The fun thing my parents liked to do was let us pick any present from under the tree we wanted to open. My husband's mom gave him two presents to choose from. What they both did though, was try to trick us with the way the wrapped each present. Each year they would get more creative, especially when we would try and shake them to figure out what was in them. It is a tradition that we still keep today.

#2 - Reading " 'Twas The Night Before Christmas" On Christmas Eve

Yes, even as an adult I read this story every Christmas Eve before we go to bed. I think it helps me go to sleep dreaming about Santa landing on our roof and jumping down our non-existing chimney to pepper our living room with amazing presents. 

What are some of you favorite holiday traditions? I really do hope that everyone is celebrating this holiday with family, friends, and pets too. Holidays have this amazing ability to bring together families that do not normally see each other and while our family may be overwhelming at times they are worth every minute we get to spend with them. 

Merry Christmas!


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Monday, December 12, 2011

Loveswept - Holiday Hop! 12/12 - 1/8/2012

Happy Holidays To Everyone - 

Romance At Random is celebrating their Loveswept line with a random e-book Giveaway to 25 winners plus an opportunity to win one Grand Prize from

Enter here to be included in the FREE random e-book drawing (25 winners will pick up their FREE book from Net Galley) and then stop on by and comment to enter the drawing to be the "ONE" Grand Prize winner, to win a selection of great books!

Good Luck & Happy Holidays to all!

INCREASE your chances to win by visiting all the participating 'Loveswept - Holiday Hop' sites (See Linky below)! Winners will be contacted after 1/10/12.

Happy Entering!


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Sunday, December 11, 2011


Hello Everyone! I am here to share some exciting news with you - I am going on my honeymoon! For those who do not know, I got married June 11th in North Carolina (where I am from originally). We made the decision to have a delayed honeymoon and boy am I glad we did because it took a lot of pressure off of having to plan a vacation on top of a wedding. Well, it only took five months to decide on a location and dates, but now we have them. What this means for the blog is that I will not be here from Dec. 28 - Jan. 10, 2012.

We will be spending our first New Year's Eve in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, followed by a few days in the Port Douglas and Palm Cove are of Queensland. I would love to give you more details, but we just booked all the flights and hotel locations. We will probably plan the activities as we go, but if you have been to these locations or are living there currently please give me ideas of what I must do and see.

Another thing I have seen other book bloggers do, which I thought would be fun to do, was to plan out my honeymoon reads. I have a few review books that are already on my list and now I need to add a few fun reads. So, I need your help by voting on what I should read.


Never Let Me Go by Kazua Ishiguro

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

So those are the choices and now it is up to you to help me pick. If you have one that you read on your honeymoon or one that you read on your beach vacation please feel free to suggest one that is not listed. 

Happy Reading!


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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Winners

Welcome to the Announcement of the Winners for the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I have heard a lot of good answers to the question: What are you wishing for most for Christmas?


"I'm wishing to get through the holidays with my sanity intact." - Leslie

"But what I really want is snow on Christmas. It makes it so much more fun when there is snow on Christmas morning." - Rae M.

"I am hoping for lots and lots of books!" - Tiffany

"I am wishing for a cool pair of boots and a ferret anatomy poster." - Ash L


Prize #1: Signed Copy of Must Love Lycans by Michele Bardsley along with Michele Bardsley swag.


Prize #2: Signed Copy of Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells and swag.


Prize #3: Poison Diaries Tote Bag, Pens, and your choice of a copy of The Poison Diaries or Poison Diaries: Nightshade.


Prize #4: Mystery Prize Packet. It is a pretty awesome prize packet!


Congratulations to all the winners! I will email you shortly, please respond within 72 hours. Also, I would like to thank everyone who entered and a big thank you to those that decided to follow.

Happy Reading!


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Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. This will be a short and sweet giveaway, only running from Dec. 2nd to Dec. 6th with winners announced on Dec. 7th. There is the chance for four winners, so enter now!

The idea of this "hop" is simple, a whole bunch of bloggers got together and decided to giveaway different things on their blogs, then they linked up together on one post. I have a few great things to giveaway thanks to Felicia - The Geeky Book Blogger and the lovely ladies with DFW Tea Readers
Prize #1: Signed Copy of Must Love Lycans by Michele Bardsley along with Michele Bardsley swag.

Prize #2: Signed Copy of Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells and swag.

Prize #3: Poison Diaries Tote Bag, Pens, and your choice of a copy of The Poison Diaries or Poison Diaries: Nightshade.

Prize #4: Mystery Prize Packet. It is a pretty awesome prize packet!

Simple as always:

  1. Name you want announced when you win.
  2. Your email address OR twitter handle. (So I can contact you when you win)
  3. Answer to the following question: What are you wishing for most for Christmas?
Contest ends 12/6/2011. Winner announced 12/7/2011. US Only.

Happy Reading!


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Thursday, December 1, 2011

REVIEW: Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt

What happens when you fall for the perfect one day? Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she's back in the States, she's determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance. What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once. (Taken from Goodreads)

Title: Double Clutch
Author: Liz Reinhardt (Check out her blog)
Publisher: CreateSpace 
Pages: 466
"She had a mom's neurosis about the internet, basically seeing it as a huge pool where pedophiles swam and lured unsuspecting children in their little floaties to the scary deep end." - pg. 104

"Every word he said, every action he made would be to trip me up, keep me on my toes. And I was positive he would get happiness from it, perverse or real." - pg. 135

"I don't know what made me angrier; his arrogance or the fact that I'd done exactly what he expected." - pg. 157

My Review: 
Double Clutch is the perfect title for a teen love triangle novel. Two guys in, but only one gets the girl. Reinhardt has this beautiful way of telling the story of Brenna Blixen, a girl who has the looks, the smarts, and the boys, but none of the "I've got it all" attitude. Brenna has this easy going way about her and a loving family so you are just waiting for the ball to drop, but Reinhardt does not take the easy way out. She shows you just what it would be like to have this close relationship with your parents and struggle with how to talk to them when you are trying to become an adult yourself. Just when you are in love with how she develops Brenna, then you are introduced to the boys of the story - Saxon McClean and Jake Kelly. Saxon is your typical intimidating guy who is good looking, has a nice car, a great athlete, and really smart, but that does not want others to know it. Jake on the other hand is this sweet gentleman, who works hard, is a little country and thinks he is stupid even though he really is not. It does not take you long to start forming your boy lines. Just so we are clear, I am totally on Team Saxon so if we could get a little more steamy Saxon action in the next book that would be great. He is pushy, but I feel like there is a refinement about him waiting to be discovered and I have always had a thing for tall, dark, and handsome. Jake on the other hand is more of a project and the project guy can be exhausting after a while. If you want to know who Brenna ends up with you will have to pick up Double Clutch for yourself. You will not be disappointed.  

Things I Loved:
Great first chapter! You know those moments when you just are on a conversation roll and you have no idea who is talking, whether it is you or your alter ego, well that is Double Clutch chapter one for me. I found myself relating to Brenna in so many ways. I have been to every variety of school: homeschool, public, private, technical and even online. A lot of what she experienced I have felt too, just in my own way. It is an amazing feeling when you connect with a character like that as a reader. Another thing I really enjoyed was that Reinhardt created characters that read. I think it is a great way to lead readers to other authors/books. I also loved how she captured the teen girl emotional roller coaster.   Obviously not every girl gets all high and low on you, but a lot do. Reinhardt's favorite candy is Raisinettes, which happens to be Brenna's favorite candy too. I thought it was a cool way of putting a bit of herself into the character. Finally, I loved that Brenna made an effort to reach out to those others would otherwise not notice (Devon). I think that is a powerful message to teens who would read this book.  

Warning: This is definitely an older YA read because there are some physical scenes that younger readers may not be ready for just yet.  

My Rating: 4 Stars

Keep your eye out for the next book in this series, Junk Miles, which is available now at Amazon.

Disclosure: Double Clutch was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Just so you know there is still an opportunity to win a copy of this book. This giveaway is part of the Double Clutch Tour hosted by Missy's Reads & Reviews. I want to make it easier for people to enter, so if you have entered on the Interview Post you cannot enter here but comments are always welcomed. 

Rules are simple:

  1. Name you want announced when you win.
  2. Your email address or twitter handle. (So I can contact you when you win)
  3. Answer to one of the following questions: Who inspired you to read? OR Which author made you love reading again?
Contest ends 12/11/2011. Winner announced 12/12/2011. International Giveaway.

Happy Reading!


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blog Tour: Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt - Interview & Giveaway

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen! This is stop #11 (my favorite number) on Liz Reinhardt's DOUBLE CLUTCH Blog Tour, hosted by Missy's Reads & Reviews. This blog tour runs from November 13 - December 4 and includes Reviews, Interviews, Giveaways and even Guest Posts from Liz herself. If you have not been following the tour well now is your chance to catch up, just click here

This is an exciting day at O'Boyled Books because you are about to read my very first author interview post, plus a bonus for you - she is giving away a copy of Double Clutch. I think I scared my puppies when I got the email then screamed like a little girl with happiness. Later I found out that not only do I get to learn more about Liz herself, but she generously shared her book with me as well. You will have to come back though for my review later this week because this post is all about Liz. Alright, I think I have sufficently pumped up you for the interview so let's get this show on the road. 

What happens when you fall for the perfect one day?

Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she's back in the States, she's determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance.

What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once. (From Goodreads)


Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget that exist right alongside an intense longing for the bagels and fast-talking foul mouths of her youth. She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren't really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter's incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway.

What is your interesting writing quirk?

Since I have to write with little kids running around at my feet, I am pretty addicted to music. I need it to drown out episodes of Max and Ruby and repeat viewings of Alice in Wonderland! I keep Pandora running constantly, and when I find a song I really, really love, I search it on Youtube and make a huge mix. When payday comes, I buy the songs and load them on my iPod. I have the longest, craziest playlists for every one of my books!

My Side Note: I know what it is like to have to drown out Alice in Wonderland, I know my sister is probably reading this, but she ruined the movie for me. Anytime it was her turn to pick the movie we just had to watch that one like the world depended on it for survival.

Did this book come naturally (from personal experience) or was it a struggle at times?

More than any other book, Double Clutch just poured out of me, no problems, no issues! I even found myself falling asleep over the keyboard because I had so much more to write and say! And this book really felt like the characters just took over and decided what to do and when and how. So if there's anything you don't agree with, I swear it's not my fault! You can totally blame Brenna, Saxon, and Jake though ;)!

My Side Note: I am always happy to hear when authors have to keep their characters in line because it is so cool to be able to channel so many different personalities. 

What does your family think of your writing?

Any time I ever have my laptop out, my daughter is like, "Oh, are you working hard? Are you writing a book?" That makes me feel so bad if I'm fooling around on Facebook! My husband is very proud, but always paranoid that I'm writing about him and making him look bad. My sister and sister-in-law read all my stuff and are my best cheerleaders. My parents think it's brilliant that I've self-published, and they brag to everyone and give me lots of strange advice about what I should be doing, even though they don't know all that much about self-publishing. So, all in all, I have a really awesome, supportive family!!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I know this is really weird for a YA author, but I would choose Maurice Sendak, who wrote Where the Wild Things Are among other amazing books. He had a passion and a vision, and he went with his gut, even when people complained that his work pushed the boundaries for what kids should be exposed to. But he didn't push boundaries just to do it; he had amazing respect for the children he wrote for. As a writer, anyone can pick up your work and judge it. People can say really hurtful things about what you pour your heart into. I hope I can be like Sendak; focus on the art, on the readers who I know will love what I do, and ignore the naysayers.

What is the message you hope your readers grasp from reading Double Clutch?

I hope they come away with the idea that these three (Brenna, Saxon, and Jake) are so crazily complex and still growing. I hope that they see that teenage years are a time for exploring yourself and your interests, and also a time when you're going to make mistakes and face situations that feel impossible. It's only by facing those kinds of situations that you find your true strength and build your character.


A big thank you to Liz Reinhardt!! I threw a few tough questions at her today, but she answered them all with grace and style points for choosing Maurice Sendak who is also a personal favorite of mine. I think Liz is well on way to being remembered for her art of writing like Sendak, especially by me since she my first author interview post and no one else can take that honor away from Liz. :-) The fact that her family sounds wonderfully supportive always makes me smile. It is always easier to achieve your dreams when you have people cheering you on. 

If you would like to learn more about Liz, then you should check out the very funny interview done by Liz's sister over at Team Unpubbed. You can tell that interview was done with love. In addition, don't forget that there are more stops on this wonderful blog tour! Up tomorrow is a Special Guest Post by Liz over at Vicky's Books, Biscuits, & Tea. Also be ready for my review of Double Clutch coming soon! 


I do hope you will go out and pick up a copy of this great contemporary YA romance, Double Clutch. It is currently available at Amazon as an ebook. Although, you could just be lucky enough to win a copy.

Rules are simple:

  1. Name you want announced when you win.
  2. Your email address or twitter handle. (So I can contact you when you win)
  3. Answer to one of the following questions: Who inspired you to read? OR Which author made you love reading again?
Contest ends 12/11/2011. Winner announced 12/12/2011. International Giveaway.

Thank you again to Liz for joining us today. It was lovely to have you!

Happy Reading,


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Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Release Day to Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

There are so many books out there to choose from, but for some reason there are a few authors that you wait and wait for another book to devour.  For me, Jay Asher is the bee's knees!! This book was featured on a Waiting on Wednesday post back in September. I am so happy that I can finally say -- HAPPY RELEASE DAY to Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler!!! 

Book Blurb
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have every used the internet. Emma just got her first computer and an American Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on-and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out. (From Goodreads)

Title: The Future of Us
Authors: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Published By: Razorbill
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 356 (Hardcover)

I hope you too made time to go out and pick up this book, because I know I am pretty excited to crack the spine. 

Happy Reading!


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Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

Today I thought we would have a special post to honor those who serve our country so we can enjoy our freedom to do things like book blogging. There are many country that face war on a daily basis. When they wake up in the morning they are trying to survive, find food and shelter, but here in America we are so blessed. The historian in me thought it would be good to share a little information about Veterans Day and how it came to be. I found this great article by Ker Than over at National Geographic that I thought put together exactly what I wanted to know well so here it is for your enjoyment. 

Veterans Day 2011: Why It's Today, How It's Changed, More (Full Article)

At Veterans Day events across the country, people in the United States gathered today to honor the millions of men and women who have served or are serving in the nation's armed forces.

But why was November 11 set aside for the holiday, and how has its meaning changed over time?
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, and the date was chosen for its symbolic significance, John Raughter, communications director for the American Legion, an organization of veterans helping other veterans, said in 2010.
"November 11 was intended to observe the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which marked the armistice of World War I," Raughter said.
The first Armistice Day in the U.S. occurred on November 11, 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson declared that "to us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory. ... "
Armistice Day was declared a legal holiday by Congress nearly 20 years later. In 1954 the name was changed to Veterans Day, following a national campaign to have the day honor all veterans, not just those who served in World War I.

Why Poppies for Armistice Day?
Veterans Day is still celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, including the United Kingdom and other past and present nations of the British Commonwealth.
World War I veterans are remembered by the wearing of real and artificial red poppies, like those found in Belgium, in reference to "In Flanders Fields," the name of a popular World War I poem eulogizing fallen soldiers. Armistice Day is also marked with two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m.
For honoring service members in general, the U.K. has its own Veterans Day—renamed Armed Forces Day in 2009—which falls in June of each year.

How Veterans Day Stands Apart
In the U.S., Veterans Day was moved, by a 1968 act of Congress, to the fourth Monday in October.
This shift of Veterans Day—as well as similar moves for Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, and Columbus Day—started in 1971 and was designed to create a three-day weekend for government employees.
The Veterans Day long weekend, though, was resisted by many states, localities, and veteran's groups. By 1978 Veterans Day was again rescheduled for annual observance on November 11.
Veterans Day remains a related but unique holiday from Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May each year.
"Veterans Day is to honor and observe the sacrifices made by all veterans, whereas Memorial Day is to honor the fallen—those who have given their lives for the defense of this country," said Raughter, who served in the Marine Corps from 1983 to 1990.

There is more to this article if you want to learn more, but I hope for those who were curious like me that this answered some of your questions. I know I have family and friends serving and I miss them every day they are deployed. Make sure you salute those men and women who serve our great country. 

How are you spending your Veterans Day? Are you doing anything special, like going to a Veterans Day Parade?

Happy Veterans Day!!


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Poison Diaries Competition - Signed Copy of Nightshade Giveaway

A dark, gothic tale of romance... and murder. The latest book in the grippingly dark series, The Poison Diaries.

Our heroine, Jessamine, has lost her faith in the men she loved, and her innocence as well. She turns to the dark side and plots to kill her father, using his own poisons, before becoming an assassin, a poisoner for hire. Can she recover from her heartache and reunite with her true love, Weed? Find out in this thrilling story where poisons, darkness and horror are a part of everyday life, and love is the only cure. (From Goodreads)

You can read my Review of Nightshade and you should check out the book trailer, because they are both very good.

Now on to the competition details...

Thanks to Leanne with the Poison Diaries and Harper Collins we have the great opportunity to have a chance to win a signed copy of Nightshade by Maryrose Wood. Here is what you need to do:

1. Head over to the Poison Diaries Website ( Enter the Poison Garden and find the plant - Arum Maculatum, then add it to your poison diaries book.


2. Like The Poison Diaries page on Facebook. It would be great if you left them a thank you about the giveaway and mention you heard about it at O'Boyled Books.

3. Add/Follow Poison Diaries on Twitter and tweet: @poisondiaries I found Arum Maculatum with the help of @OBoyledBooks and want to win a signed copy of Nightshade!

The contest will run from today (November 8th) through November 15, so get going for your chance to win. Remember that if you want more great giveaways in the future make sure you let them know you found out about the contest from O'Boyled Books.

Can't wait to see if you win a copy, well you can also purchase Poison Diaries: Nightshade now at these great sites:

Good Luck and Happy Reading!


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