Service as Normal

Hi Guys!

I’m back from vacation and the post-holiday blues have well and truly set in. We had such an awesome time in Vegas I can’t believe it is over already 😦 Ah I need to move somewhere warmer.

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Anyways I didn’t read anything new while I was away so reviewing will probably be pretty thin next week but I’m hoping to resume full service by next weekend. I have a few books lined up on my kindle so I’m really looking forward to getting back into reading.

While I’m here I just wanted to give you guys a quick update, so I know I said back in January that I was going to do weekly off-topic posts but I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t been able to do this so I’m going to try and do these monthly instead.

To finish off as promised, some holiday spam for you:

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See ya on the flipside! ✌🏼

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Mini Break

Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to make a short post to let you know that I’m taking a little break for the next 2 weeks while I’m on holiday! I have a couple posts scheduled for this week and one I think for next week, so it won’t be total radio silence.

I don’t tend to do much reading when I’m away so your probably going to get holiday spam when I’m back instead of reviews just while I catch up! 😂

If I have time I might touch in on Twitter and Instagram so if you want I check those out feel free. I think that’s all I needed to say. Hope you’ve all had a great Easter etc.

Until Next Time 🤓

Excerpt​ & Promo: Forgetting You, Remembering Me by Monica James

Cover:

forgetting you remembering me

Blurb:

The stunning conclusion to this epic love story that began with Forgetting You, Forgetting Me from International Bestselling author, Monica James.

The truth sets you free…but what happens when everything you believe in changes in the blink of an eye?

All I ever wanted was for my fiancé, Samuel Stone, to remember me. And now that he does…all I want is for him to forget. Through tragedy, I found myself and who I was destined to become. But more importantly, I found who I was destined to be with.

With a single word, Saxon Stone changed my life forever. He taught me how to live again. But now that Samuel remembers and all secrets have been revealed, I’m left to wonder which life I’m meant to lead.

Divided by my head and my heart, I’m torn between duty and desire. Samuel is my past while Saxon is my forever. The choice should be easy.

But love never is…


Excerpt:

“I’m going to take off the blindfold,” he whispers into my ear. I pause in my tracks, eagerly awaiting the view.

No surprise as Saxon draws out the reveal, torturing me further. I bounce from foot to foot. His husky chuckle tickles me from the inside out. “I thought you didn’t like surprises.”

“I don’t, but maybe you’ll change my mind.”

“Maybe,” he covertly replies before removing the soft fabric over my eyes.

It takes me a moment to adjust to the dim lighting, but after blinking a few times, what I see takes my breath away. “Saxon…oh my god. It’s beautiful.” And it really is.

“You like it?”

“Like it? I love it.” My feet act of their own accord as I float down the steps and spread my arms out wide. My fingertips brush over hundreds of sunflowers arranged in endless tall glass vases as I walk my yard. “When did you do this?”

“Today. You looked like you could do with some color in your day.”

I pause in the middle of my backyard, needing a moment to take it all in. A red and white picnic blanket lays just a few feet away, and to the left is a wicker basket. Bouquets of sunflowers are dotted as far as the eye can see, adding bursts of vibrancy and instantly lightening my mood.

When I turn over my shoulder, the fairy lights fashioned as stars dangle from the porch railings and rafters. They add to this most picturesque scene. However, when I focus on Saxon leaning against a wooden pillar with a lopsided smirk tugging at his full lips, I know he is the picture of perfection.

“I can’t believe you did this. Is this why you’ve been scarce all day? I was starting to think I smelled.”

He laughs, pushing off the post. “You smell amazing. Hungry?” My growling stomach answers for me.

I watch as Saxon saunters down the stairs, takes my hand, and leads us to the blanket. The gentle hue of the lights wraps us in our own private romantic bubble. I fold my legs beneath me as I sit, running my fingers along the sunflower petals next to me. I can’t help but reminisce about the first time I saw these flowers with Saxon—I was on the back of his bike as he saved me from yet another bad day.

Saxon kneels, reaching into the basket. It’s not until now that I realize how hungry I am. Glued to the computer all day, I’ve forgotten to eat or move. This is so thoughtful. So Saxon. “I hope you didn’t go to too much trouble. Well, clearly you did—” I sweep my hand toward the beauty in front of me “—but I hope you weren’t slaving over a hot stove all day.”

He gives me a playful grin, and I discover why when he exposes what’s inside the basket. “Oh my god.” I laugh. “Just when I thought I couldn’t love you any more, you go and do this.” And by this, I mean when he produces an enormous paper bag filled with only the best Mexican in all of Montana. However, the crème de la crème is when he adds a bottle of Dr. Pepper to the mix. “You know the way to my heart.”

“Or stomach,” he quips, passing me the bottle. “Here is your seven-layer burrito, extra onions.” He hands over my mountain of goodness with a grin.

“What did I do to deserve this?” And I’m not only talking about the food.

“Just being you,” he replies, kissing the end of my nose. My heart swells. He spreads his long legs out in front of him, sipping a beer. “How’s work?”

I sigh, unwrapping my burrito. “Not great. I know there will always be conflict in the world, but it just seems that lately no one is getting along.”

Saxon moves his lips from side to side, appearing to be in thought. “I’m glad we are, though.”

Afraid of choking, I chew slowly, needing a minute to process what he just said. “Me too.” Something is bugging him. It’s written all over his face. “About this morning—”

He cuts me off. “It’s okay, Lucy. I just…need to get over this irrational jealousy when it comes to you. I know you love me, but it’s just difficult sometimes.”

“I completely understand.” I reach for his hand, intertwining our fingers. “I’m glad you know that I love you. Because I do. We’re all trying our best to deal with this pretty messed-up situation. Personally, I think we’re doing great.”

He nods, my words appearing to appease him. But something is still stirring behind his eyes. Just when I’m about to ask what’s going on, his phone rings—again. He digs into his pocket, the ‘something’ amplifying tenfold.

“I won’t be a minute.” He stands quickly and walks briskly away, out of earshot.

Sighing, my appetite gets shot to hell, and I place my barely touched burrito back into the paper bag. I watch for any signs of what the secret conversation Saxon is having entails. But he turns his back as if sensing my inquisitive stare.

I hate this unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach. The light at the end of the tunnel with Sam is shining dimly, but it’s suddenly overshadowed with whatever Saxon is hiding. He turns over his shoulder, meeting my eyes, before heading toward the house, which just makes me feel worse.

Unable to sit still, I stand, feeling constraints tug at my heart. Needing to escape, I take flight to the stables. Memories of when I felt similar to how I do now cloud my mind, and I do the only thing that has cleared my head since I learned to ride.

Potter, my horse, neighs when he sees me, sensing my desperation. Without thought, I put on his bridle, then I mount him, bareback, and squeeze my calves around his muscular barrel. I cluck my tongue twice, sending him into a gallop. He knows what I need. We both relish in the need to be free.

Clutching the reins, I lean forward and take a deep breath when he tears out of the stables, nothing but the open vastness greeting us. I work on autopilot as I lead him toward the mountains. We have been here before, and the memories linger on my tongue just as if they were crafted yesterday.

The wind whips through my hair, instantly easing some of the tension within. The terrain is bumpy, but we’ve both learned from experience to navigate this ground with caution. “Easy, boy,” I coo, tugging lightly to slow him down. He does.

I examine my surroundings, the untouched openness giving me the peace I need. We settle to a trot, and although I’ve lived here for years, I still am in awe of how picturesque everything is. But the prettiest thing of all is when my gaze alights on where Saxon and I shared our first kiss. This spot has been imprinted on my mind.

Fingering my lips, I recall the tenderness and uncertainty of his touch. I was so naïve to think that kiss wouldn’t change my life as I knew it. It not only changed my life, but it changed me too. Saxon has shaken up my world, but I would happily dance in the chaos because when I’m with him, I’ve never felt more alive.

Dismounting Potter, I tie him to a tree where he happily munches on the grass. So different from when we were here last. My bare feet sink into the terrain, and I savor the feel of being in touch with mother nature in the purest form.

Wrapping my arms around my middle, I close my eyes and return to the past. I can remember his words as if spoken only yesterday.

“Let’s pretend tomorrow doesn’t exist. Whatever happens now, it’ll just be memories from yesterday.” I could feel the tremble rumble throughout his entire body.

A quiver bubbles to the surface, and I hum. Saxon’s love for me has never wavered. I was just too blind to see. But my eyes, figuratively speaking, are opened now, and I’ll be damned if anything stands in the way of our happily ever after.

“What are you doing out here?” His voice is silk, encasing me in a velvety sphere.

“You kissed me here. Right in this spot. Do you remember?”

“Of course, I do,” he whispers, the nostalgia tethering us together.

With eyes still closed, I tip my face toward the heavens and take a deep breath. “We were fated from that moment forward.”

“We were fated a long time before then.” And he’s right. The first moment we met, touched, my world changed forever. “Is everything all right? You just took off.”

Sighing, I decide no more second-guessing. “Who were you talking to?”

“Just…”

“And don’t tell me just work.”

Silence.

“You’re not telling me something, and I can’t help but feel you’re not telling me this because your secret will change everything.”

I’m hoping he will brush away my insecurities and tell me I’m overreacting, but when he does neither, a sense of dread settles low within my stomach. Unable to stand this a second longer, I open my eyes and turn to face him. The cloud of guilt hangs over his head as he peers down at his scuffed motorcycle boots.

“Just tell me what it is. This is your free pass. Whatever it is, I will deal with it. But please, don’t lie to me or hide the truth because we’ve had enough deceit to last us a lifetime.”

He mulls over my proposition, which has me wondering what exactly he’s done. A cold sweat suddenly coats my skin, and I swallow. “Oh god, Saxon, what’s going on?”

“Nothing, Lucy, nothing. I promise.” I’m in his arms a moment later as he hugs me with all his might. “Everything is all right. Everything will be fine.” I didn’t realize things weren’t already fine.

Breaking our embrace, I shake my head, adamant to find out the truth. “I don’t believe you.” Nothing but regret rolls off him as his shoulders drop. I can’t stand this. I don’t know why, but my gut tells me this involves Cleo. I knew she was trouble from the first moment we met, but I never thought she’d have the power to drive a wedge between us. “Does this have anything to do with… Cleo?” His jaw clenches.

I’m waiting for him to put my mind at ease, but he doesn’t. He simply stands mute, hands dug deep into his pockets. I feel sick. “Saxon, answer me. What…what did you do?”

He hisses, taking a step back. “I didn’t do anything.”

“Then tell me what the hell is going on.”

“Why would you automatically assume Cleo is involved?”

“Because whoever you’re speaking to, you clearly don’t want me to know who it is. So unless you have another girl on the side…”

Another girl?” he spits, angered. “I don’t have any girls but you, Lucy.”

“Then tell me what’s going on!”

An exasperated breath leaves him as he begins to pace. This place once filled with happy memories is now tainted with secrets and doubt. I give him the time he clearly needs because he’ll just clam up if I continue to push.

“Yes, I need to tell you something, but…” He comes to a stop, running both hands through his snarled hair. “But I know when I do, you’ll…” The sentence remains unfinished because the ringing of Saxon’s cell cements my fate for good.


Pre-Order Links

Release: 28th February 2018

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ycdtn4ly
iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/ycs6duxe
Nook: https://tinyurl.com/ybxtkhbf
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/ybnxvmwg
Goodreads: https://tinyurl.com/yacfymsf


About the Author

mjMonica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.

When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt, and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers. Her inspiration comes from everyday life.

She is a bestselling author in the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK.

Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals. She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends.

 

New Posts & Reading Challenges for 2018

New Posts

I’m back!!!!

I really didn’t mean to take this much time away from blogging but I think it’s really helped in terms of rejuvenating my drive to write. Going forward I have decided to retire my 2 weekly posts  (Quotable Tuesday and Lets Talk, these can now be found under the archives tab)  mainly because I was getting a little bored of them. To replace these posts, I’ll be doing one weekly post which is themed “On Topic/Off Topic” and the idea is to use this heading to write about things that either about books (On Topic) or use the Off Topic to write about something completely random that has nothing to do with reading – hence the “Off Topic” name.

I’m also getting rid of the monthly Other Pursuits posts and I’m replacing a monthly roundup of all the books I have read and books that I have added to my tbr.

Other than that I’ll be mainly focusing on reviews, book promos, and no doubt a few tags because who doesn’t like doing those?

Reading Challenges 2018

GoodReads

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As I managed to complete my reading goal last year of 120 books so I’ve up’ed this years challenge to 130. If you want to follow my progress this is my GoodReads Profile – feel free to friend me 🤓

Beat the Backlist

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I came across this challenge in one of the many groups I’m part of on Facebook. The idea behind this reading challenge is to read books off your TBR that have been on there for ages.  The Challenge is hosted by Novel Knights, The challenge will run from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, so you can sign up anytime here.

The really fun thing about this challenge is that you are sorted into teams which you earn points for and each team is competing against the other teams to see you can get the most posts each mouth. One person will be drawn as a winner from the team with the most points to receive a book of their choice.

My team for this challenge is the Story Sorcerers.

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Another reason I’ll be a doing a monthly book roundup is so that I can keep a track of my progress for this challenge on here.


That’s all for now.

More Later! ✌🏼

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Blogging Break Plus Scheduling Changes

Hi lovely followers,

I just wanted to give you a little update. I’ve decided to cut back a bit and take a break from blogging for a little while. I have had a hard time recently in finding my usual drive to write so it just makes sense to take some time and recharge – hence why I haven’t posted so much recently

I won’t be disappearing completely as I’ll still be posting a few reviews here and there but my regular weekly posts will be taking a bit of a back seat.  I’ll also be starting a full-time job in December so I really need to take some time to do some serious planning!

I think that’s all I need to say for now. I’ll post another update when I have made some solid decisions about going forward!

Until Next Time 🤓

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Update! No3?

Ola!

You may have noticed that I have been MIA over the last week, so firstly I want to apologize for that. Work is pretty full on at the moment, this has left me feeling drained and not at all motivated to blog 😦 It’s still going to be intense for the next month or so but I’m it won’t interfere too much with blogging again.

This week I’m hoping to get my reviews of If There’s No Tomorrow and Checkmate: This is War up. Which are the only books I managed to read last week.

I also have a couple of special posts coming up, these include a cover reveal and a teaser for two books one of which is coming out very soon! So keep an eye out for those.

I know it’s Tuesday and I would usually post a quote but as I have been so short on time I don’t have anything prepared this week. So this feature will resume next week.

Schedule Changes.

Just one little change, I’ve decided to change my weekly discussion posts (Let’s Talk) to fortnightly. This is effective from now. My next post for this will be 28th September, this is just to help me catch up from last week.


I think that’s it.

Until Next Time 🤓

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Update & New Post Announcement

Update: A new look for Books & Other Pursuits!

Hi, I hope you are all having a great weekend.

As you may have noticed over the last month or so I have given this blog a brand new look. It’s running a new theme: Toujours. I have designed a brand new header image along with new feature image templates for each post. Basically, all the big things have been replaced. I have also changed the color scheme and fonts that I’m using.

Here are some before and after photos:

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Before
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After

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it has turned out, I think it looks like a proper blog now. I’m hoping this is it in terms of big changes. I’m still working on smaller things like page dividers and add an “add to GoodReads” graphic etc.


New Post Announcement.

When I first decided I wanted to start a blog I knew I wanted it to be mainly focused on books but I also wanted to leave it open so that if I did want to discuss other things I could, hence the name “Books & Other pursuits.” Now that I have a rhythm with the bookish it part of this blog I feel it’s time to expand a little.

So I’m super excited to announce that I will be posting a monthly post called “Other Pursuits” in which I will be giving you a round up of everything else I have been up to during the last month. Things that will feature are; what I’ve been watching on TV, Movies that I’ve enjoyed and anything else I think might be interesting or significant that it needs a mention.

These posts will be scheduled to go live either on the last day or the first day of the month depending on what day it happens to fall on because I don’t want it to interfere too much with the other things I post weekly.


That’s all from me, this should be the last update a do for awhile!

– See you on the flipside! 🤓

Scheduling & Changes

Hey!

I just wanted to give you guys a little update on the plans I have for this site.

Scheduling

In an effort to have some sort of schedule my blog I have decided that every Tuesday I’ll be posting a quote from either a book I’m currently or have read over the course of the week (so Tuesday to Tuesday) These posts will be known as: “Quotable” Tuesdays I’m also hoping to link this up to the Pinterest account I’m setting to go along with this site.

Thursday I’m going to be starting Let’s Talk… on Thursdays, in which I will be picking a topic relating to reading and books discussing certain themes in detail, for example; Things that guarantee I’ll read a book, reader pet peeves Etc. basically, it will be me talking book stuff or anything that may have come up during the week 😊

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I’m keeping free for reviews and the weekends will also feature reviews (depending on how much I’ve read during the week) along with some fun things like book tags and list etc

This schedule will be starting from next week.


Changes

I’m planning on making some design changes over the next month or so it’s going to take me a little while as I’m not sure exactly what direction I want to go I just know that I’m not entirely happy with how the blog is looking at the moment. So if you see any weirdness that’s why.

I think that’s all for now.

Thanks for stopping by! 😊

Cat