Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Five from Christi...


Let's be honest...I suck at the whole blogging thing.

BUT...
we're on the cusp of a new year...
and I'm going to try to do better.

I'm going to try to do a post every Friday. 
And I need you all to hold me accountable. 
If I don't post it...bug me about it. 
YES, NAG ME!

I'll admit it. 
I need accountability. 

So...every Friday, I'll try to post a top 5 list.
Top 5 of what?
No idea...hehe.
Just probably my top 5 thoughts of the week. 
It sounds riveting, doesn't it?
No, seriously...I'll be talking books, maybe coffee, and just life in general.

(although, I can tell you right now that next week's post will NOT follow that format. It will all be about a recap of 2016...reading, writing, and what 2017 holds in store...)

But for this week, here's the Top 5 list of the week...

My oldest is 21 and it's been a long time since he's been home for more than 24 hours. He's about to go to Air Force boot camp, so right now we have him home for a couple of months. The 9 year old is over the moon. There's 12 years between them, but they're pretty much inseparable right now and it makes me happy every time I sit back and just watch them together.

So, yeah...mom sighs right here...

 
******


Reading...
You all know I'm a reader. 
I have a book review blog and today I'm just going to share my post from there about this book. 

In next week's post, I'll share my top reads of the year, but for now, I'll share my top holiday read this year...
Title: Wrapped Together
Author: Annabeth Albert
My Rating: A+

Genre: Holiday Romance (m/m)
Series: Portland Heat #5
Main Characters: Hollis and  Sawyer
Release Date: December 2016
Publisher:  Lyrical Shine
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Story Overview:
In the bustling restaurants, shops, and caf├ęs of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .


My Review:
I've loved this entire series, but hands down this has been my favorite book in the group. I loved getting to know Hollis and Sawyer and watching their story unfold.

The thing that made it so good was that they've known one another for a long time. They are both twins and grew up being pretty infamous for that. They were always thrown together, but have never had anything in common besides being gay. Sawyer is outgoing and gregarious and Hollis...is not. Hollis is actually pretty much a curmudgeon. He likes things a certain way and prefers his own company...it's just easier that way. But Sawyer sees beyond that facade that Hollis puts up to everyone and has decided that this holiday season he's going to infuse Hollis with some holiday magic and cheer. Hollis is pretty sure that's impossible. So they place a bet...

This entire book is told from Hollis's point of view, and I kind of loved him. He owns a paper shop and is fanatical about his papers, planners, and pens. I loved that so much about him, and I'd really, really love to visit his store. I really enjoyed how opposite the guys are from one another, but they've been thrown together for so long, they pretty much know everything about one another. I loved how Hollis simply can't see this working out between them no matter how good it is now. He knows Sawyer. Sawyer gets enthusiastic about something, but then loses interest when he sees something else shiny. Hollis expects the next shiny thing to come along at any moment, leaving him heartbroken and broken...so he's trying so hard not to get attached. But Sawyer is pretty stubborn about making the two of them work. He's waited for this long enough. He's not going to let Hollis say no anymore.

It was all so, so good. I loved it...the romance, the sexy times (that had a touch of BDSM if you need warnings about those things...but it's VERY, very light), and all the paper shop porn (and that was not a real warning...there's no real porn happening here), but the pure adulation for the paper and ink goods hit all those happy office supply obsessive genes that I have (just me?...LOL, I know it's a sickness). But anyway, I digress. The whole tale was simply good. I loved the magical aspects of Christmas and watching Hollis find his way to happy during this holiday season. It hit ALL my happy buttons.

I definitely recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.


What I'm writing on right now...

Right now, I'm kind of switching back and forth between two projects. 
ONE is Found at the Bookstore. Yes, this is Ryder and Stig's story. 
I foresee it coming out in February.

The other is a little paranormal/shifter m/m novella I plan to release next Christmas. (You all know I'm a sucker for holiday stories, right?) I always like to write one this time of the year. 

Here's a tiny sneak peek....

Yummy, right?
And yes, it's a male/male romance. A follow-up to a novella releasing in Sept/Oct...and then this one will release in Nov/Dec timeframe.
*****

Once upon a time (before I became a writer), I was a professional papercrafter. I wrote articles for magazines and did work for craft companies (mainly stamp companies). Since I started spending all my time in front of my computer writing, my crafting had fallen by the wayside. Well, this past summer, I got the itch to create again and started playing with my planner. 

(Yes, I'm one of those girls...take me to an office supply store and you'll see me again when I'm significantly more broke.)

But I digress.

Now, my morning begins with me sitting at my crafting desk for one hour (and only one hour because any longer than that and the Little will be late to school). I spend that time decorating my planner page for the day (i.e. this is my version of adult coloring). 

Most weeks in my top 5, I'll share my favorite planner page from the last week. For this week, this is my favorite. 

BTW, you can see all my planner pages each day on my Instagram feed.
*****



Happy holidays, everyone! 
I hope you are staying warm by the fire and someone as scrumptious of Santa up there keeping you warm as you read some great romance. 

I'll be back next week with 2016 recaps and news for 2017!!


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