September|| 2016 read my books challenge.

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Hi!

I’ve been taking part in Maren’s (The Worn Bookmark) read my books challenge over on her blog, where I read the books that I already own versus only new books. I made a TBR jar of all the books I own (NOT including books I bought and will buy in 2016). My goal is to read 30 of my already owned books from that TBR jar aside from recent purchases.

Challenge Stats:

# Books read in September: 1
# Books read year to date: 14/30

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Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I only read one book toward my Read My Books challenge this month. I was hoping I could read a lot more for this challenge, but I failed. I blame this reading slump I’ve been stuck in! I’ll have my recap post coming soon of the other books that I read this month. I am hoping to have my September book haul posted tomorrow. I also want to try to have my Halloweenie TBR posted really soon as well. The end of the month seriously snuck up on me and I haven’t gotten around to taking my haul pictures or making my Halloweenie TBR list. UGHHH! Hopefully I can get all of that done tonight!

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| A Bitter Pill to Swallow.
Monthly Subscriptions.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| A Bitter Pill to Swallow.

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A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar
4 OUT OF 5 STARS

“The thing we seem to forget about labels is that they can come off.”

Goodreads Description: On the edge of the Chicago medical district, the Harrison School for Exceptional Youth looks like a castle in a snow globe. Janina has been there since she was ten years old, and now she’s fourteen. She feels so safe inside its walls that she’s afraid to leave. Devante’s parents bring him there after a tragedy leaves him depressed and suicidal. Even though he’s in a different place, he can’t escape the memories that come flooding back when he least expects them. Dr. Gail Thomas comes to work there after quitting her medical residency. Frustrated and on the verge of giving up on her dreams, she sees becoming a counselor as her last chance to put her skills to the test. When he founded the school, Dr. Lutkin designed its unique environment to be a place that would change the students’ lives. He works hard as the keeper of other people’s secrets, though he never shares any of his own. But everything changes late in the winter of 1994 when these four characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways. None of them will ever be the same.


I was sent a copy of A Bitter Pill to Swallow by the author Tiffany Gholar in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Tiffany!

This book was a bit of a slow start for me, but it ended up picking up and I really enjoyed it. It’s set in Chicago in 1994. It follows for characters (Janina, Devante, Dr. Gail, and Dr. Lutkin) and their stories intertwine. It deals mental illness, which I think is very important for readers to read about. It gives you an insight into mental illness and how it was treated back then and even further into the past. I’m not going to lie, reading about the way mental illness was treated in the past was pretty scary to think about! We have definitely come a long way since then.

At first I found it a little hard to connect with the characters, but that changed once I got further into the story. They are all struggling with their own issues throughout the book. Janina and Devante really grew on me and they grew as characters throughout the story. It was sad reading about them and what they had to go through, but I continued to root for them and hoped for the best. I loved that Dr. Lutkin cared so much about his patients and genuinely wanted them to get better. Gail played a pretty important role in this book and I really liked her.

Overall, I enjoyed this book so much. I liked the characters and I love that their stories intertwined in the end. It was easy to read and even with a slow start, it still kept you wanting to read more and to find out what was happening. I laughed and I even teared up a bit! I would recommended reading this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but I feel like it’s a really important read. I am so glad I given the opportunity to read this book! A Bitter Pill to Swallow is out now, so go check it out!🙂

In case you missed it;
Monthly Subscriptions.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleypurple

Renegade Red Cover Reveal.

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*Want to look closer? Check out the large-size cover graphics at the end of this post.

RENEGADE RED REVEALED!

RENEGADE RED, the sequel to the award-winning novel SHATTERED BLUE will be available in THREE special edition covers, in both Hardcover and Paperback, in March 2017! Distribution from online sites and into bookstores will be random, so you have a chance to collect them all— the POET EDITION, the WARRIOR EDITION, and the very exclusive TRAVELER EDITION. Happy hunting, and learn more at LaurenBirdHorowitz.com!

Featured in USA TODAY!
http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2016/09/22/renegade-red-covers-reveal-lauren-bird-horowitz/

Join Lauren and Zoe Cope, the designer of all three covers, for a live Twitter chat at 10am PST/1pm EST Thursday 9/22
https://twitter.com/birdaileen

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Reckless, desperate, and distraught, Noa Sullivan leaps into a collapsing Portal in the explosive finale of Shattered Blue— the jaw-dropping, award-winning first installment in The Light Trilogy— in wild hope of rescuing her little sister Sasha. Now Noa and the Fae brothers who love her—Callum and Judah Forsythe—must find a way to survive not only across worlds but between them, in places so treacherous and deceptive their own minds are twisted against them. As the three fight to survive their passage, they battle not only enemies but themselves, and their darkest, most difficult secrets.

Surviving, however, is only the beginning: Noa needs to find Sasha. That means becoming a warrior herself, one just as fierce as the magical brothers battling for her love. Across broken cities, underground labyrinths, rushing floods and endless skies; in the face of legions of armies, horrifying tyrants, and the most deceitful of friends, can Mortal Noa rescue her sister—and understand her own heart—in time to escape the most deadly of magic realms?

Add to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26136468-renegade-red

Request an ARC now:
http://laurenbirdhorowitz.com/arc-request/

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Silver Medalist
INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING BOOK AWARDS BEST YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Finalist
USA BOOK AWARD BEST NEW FICTION 2015
USA BOOK AWARD BEST FANTASY 2015
INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD BEST FANTASY 2015
NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARD BEST YOUNG ADULT FICTION 2015

“Must-read romances of 2015… I guarantee you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting the next book in the series”
–USA TODAY

“Anyone who’s ever fantasized about kissing a Fae will enjoy Noa and Callum’s first sexy kiss…Romantic sparks ignite…fast-moving…hip…lyrically concise”
Kirkus Reviews

“A fantastical tale of love and betrayal…colorful world-building…more than enough emotion and angst to keep any romance-loving teenager glued to the pages, and the promise of a trilogy will keep them eagerly anticipating the next book…VERDICT Librarians with a large fantasy readership should invest in the print version of this title.” – School Library Journal

“A book to fall for”
–BUZZFEED

“Not your average fairy tale… will have you clamoring for more of a story that you didn’t see coming…new and surprising.”
–HYPABLE

“Magic, action and a really, really attractive love interest… what more could you want?”
–GLITTER MAGAZINE

“A love story you won’t soon forget… A story of of protection sacrifice and love”
–SHE KNOWS.COM

A “Book To Lean On When The Going Gets Tough”
–BUSTLE

A “Book for All Ages”
–MARIA SHRIVER.COM

connectrr

Blog:
http://laurenbirdhorowitz.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Lauren-Birdaileen-Horowitz-510367105794154/?fref=nf

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/birdaileen

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/birdaileen/

Sign up for The Light Letter here:
http://laurenbirdhorowitz.com/light-letter-signup/

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For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.

But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?

Amazon:
http://amzn.to/1Ln5dMe

Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shattered-blue-lauren-bird-horowitz/1122473000?ean=9781503949973

Add to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25953603-shattered-blue?ac=1&from_search=1

abouttheauthorsb

laurenbirdhorowitz

Lauren Bird Horowitz, screenwriter and novelist, has won an enthusiastic following for her innovative, lyrical poetic voice. Her debut novel Shattered Blue: Book One of The Light Trilogy, won the 2016 Independent Publishers’ (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy. It was also listed as one of USA Today’s top romances of 2015, and selected as a notable book by BuzzFeed, Popsugar, Hypable, San Francisco Book Review, Glitter, The Culturalist, Teen Reads, Maria Shriver.com, Bustle and others.

Bird studied writing at Harvard University with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, where she won several prizes including the Edward Eager Memorial Prize for fiction and Winthrop-Sargent Prize for writing. She’s a proud member of the Writers Guild of America. Bird lives in Kauai and Los Angeles.

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Monthly Subscriptions.

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Hey!

First off I would like to thank you all for following me and liking my posts! I reached 700 followers and I am stoked! It hasn’t been my best year for blogging with getting into a ton of slumps and also wedding planning taking up a lot of time. You all stick by me though and I appreciate it! Once things settle down, I want to host a giveaway on my blog, so be on the look out in the coming months. You guys are the best and my blog wouldn’t be the same without you!

Now onto this post! I usually save these for my end of the month book haul posts, but since I haven’t been updating that often and the last time I posted was Friday, I decided to share now. I’ve tried a bunch of different subscription boxes and there are SO many more that I would like to try. This month I received my Nerdy Post and my Craftedvan Read Happy Plan. These are the two that I am actively signed up with right now.

Nerdy Post:

Nerdy Post is a fandom based subscription service that sends out hand lettering art and other goodies (bookmarks, pins, magnets, stickers, notepads, posters, etc.) with quotes from the monthly themed fandom.

Instagram: @nerdy.post

THEME: Supernatural

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I was really happy with my Doctor Who Nerdy Post last month and I couldn’t turn down getting the Supernatural box. I am a huge Supernatural fan, so I had to get it. I can’t wait until my boys are back next month! Until then, these Supernatural goodies will hopefully hold me over! Inside my box were:

Magnet – quote from Dean
Art Print – quote from Castiel
Drink Koozie – quote from Crowley
Bookmark – quote from Sam
Sticker (Sam & Dean on the bike)
Postcard you can color
Notepad
Temporary Tattoos

I am pretty happy with everything. I think my favorite would be the magnet, the sticker, and the art print. I can’t wait to find a frame for it, so I can hang it up on my wall! If you’re interested, next month’s theme is going to be OUTLANDER. I decided to skip next month’s package since I haven’t read or watched Outlander yet.


Craftedvan Read Happy Plan:

Craftedvan makes and sells magnetic bookmarks on Etsy and they came up with a new subscription service called the Read Happy Plan and every month you get a set of bookmarks and an art print.

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I have been really happy with these Craftedvan monthly bookmark packages! This was the second month and I am loving the bright yellow bookmarks! Last month was red bookmarks with a sea creature theme. This month there are lots of YELLOW! Coffee, Bees, and flowers as well! I love the “buzz off I’m reading” bookmark the best. The little honey pot and bee is cute. I love everything about this and I am stoked to see what the next package will be! I am crossing my fingers it’s a holiday themed one since Halloween is coming up!

That’s all for this post! I am crossing my fingers I am able to finish at least two more books before the month ends. Next week I’ll have my October book haul and my October wrap up posted. I am still coming up with ideas for a Halloweenie TBR like I did last year and can’t wait to share it with you guys! I love Halloween so much.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Friday Finds #58.

fridayfinds

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased). Hosted by Babs at Babs Book Bistro.


Hey!

I have been slumping so badly, but I did borrow Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover from the library the other day and I read everything except 40 pages in one day! It’s always so easy to read CoHo books and they are always so hard to put down. I plan to finish it today! I hate that I am in this reading slump. I have no idea what I want to read, I have all of your suggestions in a bag that I planned to pull out at random. I did use it and got A Thousand Pieces of You. I hope to read it at some point this month.

Anyway, this post is about books that I added to my TBR recently. Here are the books that I added to my Goodread TBR shelf. You can see more of my TBR over on my Goodreads account over here and feel free to add me as a friend!

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
American Girls by Alison Umminger
The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack
Beast by Brie Spangler

I was also emailed by an author to review her book on my blog and I said yes to that, so she sent me an e-book copy! I plan to read this book after Point of Retreat, so hopefully I’ll have a review up next week for it. I haven’t done a review in awhile.😦 Here is the book that I was sent:

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A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar

It sounds really interesting and like something I would enjoy reading, so I am excited to dive in and maybe it’ll get me out of my reading slump! Here is the Goodreads description below:

“On the edge of the Chicago medical district, the Harrison School for Exceptional Youth looks like a castle in a snow globe. Janina has been there since she was ten years old, and now she’s fourteen. She feels so safe inside its walls that she’s afraid to leave.
Devante’s parents bring him there after a tragedy leaves him depressed and suicidal. Even though he’s in a different place, he can’t escape the memories that come flooding back when he least expects them.
Dr. Gail Thomas comes to work there after quitting her medical residency. Frustrated and on the verge of giving up on her dreams, she sees becoming a counselor as her last chance to put her skills to the test.
When he founded the school, Dr. Lutkin designed its unique environment to be a place that would change the students’ lives. He works hard as the keeper of other people’s secrets, though he never shares any of his own.
But everything changes late in the winter of 1994 when these four characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways. None of them will ever be the same.”

Have you added any new books to your TBR? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one or leave a comment letting me know what new books you added to your TBR. 🙂

In case you  missed it;
Random|| Books, Furbabies, & Halloween.
Tag|| Reader Confessions.

I hope you have a great Friday and weekend!

ashleybluegray

Random|| Books, Furbabies, & Halloween.

Hey!

I hope you all had a great weekend. I’m here with another random update about things going on in my life and to share some pictures with you. I’ve had my mind preoccupied a lot lately with wedding stuff (and holiday stuff…because I am sucker for this time of the year). I have to get a move on with everything for my wedding! I feel like I am finally making progress though, so I am excited about that.

I haven’t been reading a whole lot lately, especially this month. It’s been hard to update my blog, because I haven’t had a lot to say and I haven’t been reading anything and so no reviews. I actually finished my first book in 12 days today, finally! I finished Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I probably won’t do a full review on it, but I’ll talk a little bit about what I thought. I gave it a 3.5 out 5 stars. I really liked it, but it didn’t blow me away. It was a bit boring at times and I skimmed a few pages here and there. Overall, it was pretty good and it was cute. I liked the characters, especially Lincoln. I’m glad I finally read it!

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On Saturday it was ColbyJack’s third birthday! I can’t believe he is three already, lol. I bought him some toys and treats. I also bought him this birthday hat, which he hated and he wanted to murder me. You can see all the hate in his eyes. I had another hat I bought a couple years ago for him and Dax for their birthdays, but last year CJ tore it apart…I wonder why.😛

I am dogsitting my cousin’s dog Bella (doxie) again. Here’s a picture of her and Dax (shih tzu) going on a walk. The next picture is of my kitten October. She doesn’t always show that she love me, but sometimes she does and I have to take what I can get. She’s more of a free spirit and likes to do whatever she wants and she doesn’t care about anything, unless you’re the dog (Dax). She loves Dax. Everyone loves Dax.

It’s almost October and Fall (not that seasons matter in Florida, blehhh). I am a huge Halloween fan (I named my kitten October, because she looks Halloweenie) and I love Pumpkins…and I might have a slight addiction. I stocked up on Pumpkin scented body care products and candy!

I’ve also been buying Halloween decorations and decorating my house already, because…HALLOWEEN! Look at my Halloween tree! I’m pretty excited about it. I am still working on the outside of my house, but I found this skeleton for only $5! Speaking of Halloween stuff, my cousin is having a Halloween themed Engagement party for the fiance and I. I AM SO STOKED! HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN.

Now for all the random pictures. Pictured below is a moth that I saw landing on some flowers. I love taking pictures of bugs, but I really HATE bugs. Mosquito infested land in the second picture. The fiance and I were Pokemon hunting. We have to brave the mosquitoes if we want to catch’em all!

Speaking of Pokemon…I went to Target, because I practically live there. If you didn’t know, Target has these red ball statue things outside of their stores. WELL…at my Target they had some painted like Pokeballs! It was pretty amazing and I was sad there were no Pokemon near it! And here is just a random picture of me hanging by the pool. Summer is almost over…except I can still be swimming in my pool come December/January while everyone is building snowmen. This depresses me more than you know! I want to build a snowman! I can build a sandman, but that’s not as cool.

I found these tiny succulent and cacti plants on Amazon. They are really tiny and they are alive and you can water them and take care of them. I wanted to buy them all, but I settled on one for now. LOOK HOW TINY IT IS!! I’m obsessed with the thing, but I watered mine and it got taller LOL. I don’t know if it’s supposed to do that or not. The below is a picture of it before I watered it. Maybe it shrinks again when it needs more water or something.

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Here are some random pictures from my bookstagram account. I’ve been doing the September photo a day challenge. These are a few of the pictures I’ve taken for that challenge. The first picture with the mockingjay pin was for the topic “book (s) that got you into reading” and the second picture is for the topic “character you want to swap lives with”.

The topic for the first picture was “book + stuffed animal” and the second picture topic was “red/white/blue books”.

Living with cats is tough, especially when you want to take pictures for your bookstagram. I would say that ColbyJack is the worst with the photobombing. As soon as he sees my white sheet, he comes running. October doesn’t do it as much (like I said before, she doesn’t care about things), but she will once in awhile. They make it so hard to take pictures. CJ just flat out sprawled on my sheet as soon as I laid it out. LOL!

That’s all for this update! I hope you enjoyed all my random pictures. You can see more of my pictures by following me on Instagram. I have two accounts and I’ll link them below!

heyyitsashley – personal Instagram account
foreverbookish_ – book Instagram account

I hope you have a great Monday and hopefully I can get back into the swing of things on my blog. I think the rest of the year I might be a little busier with all the wedding stuff I need to get finished and then holiday stuff. I will still try to make it a point to update as much as I can and still keep caught up with all of you guys though! This basically explains why I am not on here as much (and reading as much) as I would like to. Love you all though and thanks for sticking by me!

ashleypink

Tag|| Reader Confessions.

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Hi!

I was tagged by Alex from Young at Heart to do the Reader Confessions tag. I’ve been so busy the past few weeks, so I haven’t been updating as much. I haven’t even finished a single book yet this month and it’s driving me crazy! It’s been a bit since I’ve done a tag post and I do have tons to catch up on. Thanks again for tagging me, Alex!😀

QUESTIONS:

Have you ever damaged a book? 

I probably have, but not intentionally. I would never intentionally damage a book. I am actually struggling with this right now for my wedding LOL! I want to have a lot of bookish things incorporated, but I don’t want to damage books in the process haha. I had to order book pages online, so I wouldn’t have to destroy books myself.

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

I don’t borrow books very often and I don’t think I have ever damaged a borrowed book. If I had, then again it wouldn’t have been intentionally.

How long does it take you to read a book? 

Sometimes it can take me a week or longer to finish a book. Depending on my mood and if I am enjoying the book. I can also read a book in a day or two as well. It all just depends on how I am feeling about the book and my mood. I tend to get into a lot of reading slumps.

Books that you haven’t finished? 

I’ve started to DNF a lot of books over the last year and a half, but the ones that come to mind off the top of my head are:

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Paper Towns by John Green
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Paper Towns was annoying. I didn’t like the characters and it wasn’t that exciting. Never Always Sometimes was giving me the Paper Towns vibe and I just could not do it. Nevernight had so many things wrong with it for me, but I still want to give it another chance one day. I had an eARC of the book and the footnotes were at the end of the chapter, which was annoying to have to switch back and forth on an e-reader/Kindle. It was a really slow start where I found myself bored to death and I was also REALLY confused with everything going on. When I would stop reading for the day and pick it up the next day, I couldn’t remember anything that happened because I was just not at all invested in it. The footnotes and excessive descriptions of things made it hard to enjoy.

Hyped popular books that you don’t like?

Sometimes I struggle with hyped books. It’s hard for me to get past all the hype and actually enjoy the book. There have been tons of books where I’m just like “why do people love this so much?”.

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff/Amie Kaufman
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

We Were Liars was just plain boring. Nothing exciting happened. The characters were flat. The ending was kind of lame. Illuminae had a cool concept and the layout was interesting, but the story itself was not that great. There were a lot of things I found annoying with the Wrath and the Dawn and the book itself was just confusing, especially with all the characters having so many names and it being so hard to pronounce a lot of the names. I spent more time trying to remember names and pronunciations than actually being able to enjoy the book. I found it to be pretty boring as well. I also didn’t really enjoy the the Lunar Chronicles that much. Some books were okay and others were pretty boring. It was also SO hard for me to get through Throne of Glass, because it was so boring and not a lot happened. Everyone swears the series gets better, so I will probably read the second book and see.

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

Nope, I don’t think so. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed about what books they read or loved.

How many books do you own? 

As of right now I own a little over 600 books. That’s with Kindle and physical books. I actually have a page on my blog that shows you all the books that I own. 331 physical books and 282 Kindle books, lol! I’m drowning in books.

Are you a fast reader or a slow reader? 

I am definitely a slow reader. It’s kind of annoying at times, because I have so many books that I own that I would love to read.

Do you like to buddy read?

Yes! Buddy reading is a lot of fun. I haven’t done a buddy read in awhile though!

Do you read better in your head or out loud? 

Definitely read better in my head. I don’t think I ever read out loud. I might if there is a lot of background noise and I am finding it hard to concentrate.

If you were only allowed to own one book what one and why? 

Nooooooooooo! This is the worst question in the history of bookish questions! I guess I’ll go with my favorite book and that is Psycho by Robert Bloch. I love that book so much and it’s so entertaining.


I TAG:

Maren @ The Worn Bookmark
Jesse @ Books at Dawn
Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts
Kayla @ Booked Solid
Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks
Brandie @ Brandie is a Book Junkie

Sorry if you have already done this tag! I’ve been kind of MIA from the blogosphere lately, so I haven’t been keeping track of all the tags floating around. If I didn’t tag you and you would like to do the tag, then please feel free to do it too and send me your links, so I can check out your answers!😀

I hope you have a great day!

ashleybluegray