AnnAlysis: The Chase

the chaseFrom Goodreads:
Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line. Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals. Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills f their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad. A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare. From the Hardcover edition.

My Thoughts:
This is the second book in this series. I downloaded it the second I saw it on NetGalley because I love Janet Evanovich, but had to buy the first book in the series first. I’m super OCD about reading books in order.

I absolutely loved the first book. But this one I didn’t love as much. I still loved the characters and the premise of the series, but I didn’t love this story as much. It was still action packed and the pair travels across the world doing secret little dirty work, but it just fell flat for me.

However, it didn’t fall enough that it will keep me from picking up the rest of the series. I love having a series on hand to read whenever I need a pick me up and I really want to see where the relationship between Nick and Kate goes.

I give The Chase  3 out of 5 bookmarks.

Amazon B&N Goodreads
Released: February 2014
Author Website

Other books in this series:
The Heist

A Little Love for Bookbub

Dear booklovers, I have a wonderful Sunday secret for you. It’s called Bookbub. My cousin and I ran across this site a while back and it has been a booklovers dream. Its quick, it’s easy and it’s amazing!!!

bookbub

So what is this wonderful website I’m bringing you? Well you make an account and choose the types of books you like to read. You can choose as many or as few as you would like. Then you will get a daily email with books that are free, $0.99, $1.99, or $2.99. The books may be available on Amazon, Apple, B&N, Google, KOBO, or even a Christian book sale website. And those are just the ones I’ve seen for the books that I am interested in.

Find a book you like? Just click on the site you’d like to get it from and there you go. If you’ve been reading my blog long, you know I’m a habitual downloader. I’ve downloaded hundreds of books from Amazon and B&N thanks to this site. I must admit that I’ve never read any books yet that I’ve downloaded from the sites, but they are all there in case one day I need something new or decide to stop blogging and need to dig into my TBR.

Are you on Bookbub? If so, do you love it as much as I do??

If you’re not on there, sign up. I promise it’ll change your life.

AnnAlysis: The Heist

the heistFrom Goodreads:
FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.

Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.

My Thoughts:
1. Janet Evanovich
2. Female FBI Agent

Need I really say more? I don’t really believe so, but you don’t just come to me for a summary and a picture of a book cover, huh?

I happened to run across this series on NetGalley. I am a sucker for Evanovich, so I immediately downloaded the second book, The Chase, and then had to buy this one. Oh boy and I am glad that I did.

Kate O’Hare is an awesome female character. Much like Stephanie Plum, but a little better with a gun, and a little more controlled, she’s funny, witty, and one you want to get to know better.

Then, there’s Nick Fox. He’s an international criminal, but a Casanova at the same time. Kate has had her sights set on Fox for years, and knows him better than anyone else in the world, but is still drawn to him like a moth to the light.

And when they get stuck working together? I. LOVED. IT.

This is kind of like Blacklist on NBC, but with a little comedy thrown in the mix. This book kept me on my toes from start to finish, with fantastic characters from the main characters to the supporting case and the action is great.

I give The Heist 5 out of 5 bookmarks. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to pick up The Chase (which I will have up for review soon).

Amazon B&N Goodreads
Released: June 2013
Author Website

AnnAlysis: The House We Grew Up In

the house we grew up inFrom Goodreads:
Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in — and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

My Thoughts:
The House We Grew Up In is one of the SheReads.org Books of Fall. Instead of choosing one monthly book, they have changed it up a bit, now choosing a few books that you can pick from and read through each season. While a couple of the other choices may have been more up my alley, the reason I love being part of this online book club is expanding my horizons. I normally opt for crime and thriller books, so when I can read a little more women’s literature, I am always on board. Oh and this one is set in England, so I narrated the whole thing in a British accent, which is always a plus.

This book, wow! It follows the Bird family, past and present. While Meg is the main character in the book, all of the family members play a lead role at some point or another, sharing the story from their perspective. And boy do they have a story to tell!

The Bird family is seemingly all put together, but “seems” is the key word. One Easter, the holiday of all holidays in the household, tragedy takes a toll, and it’s a toll they struggle with their entire lives. As I read this book, my heart broke, several times over. Even if you haven’t suffered the tragedy that the Bird family did, Jewell puts you right in the middle of it and tugs on your heartstrings like they’ve never been tugged on before. And if the tragedy wasn’t enough, the dysfunction of this family pulls at you even more. It’s sad and tragic and raw. And it will make you want to call your family and thank them.

This book really touches on a lot of family dynamics. From secrets, to tragedy, to relationships, to death, to lies, and mental illness. And it’s all in one family.

Jewell knocked this one out of the park. I give The House We Grew Up In 5 out of 5 bookmarks.

Amazon B&N Goodreads
SheReads.org
Released: August 2014
Author Website

Keeping Bloggy Organized

Dear bloggers, How do you keep all of your books and blogging organized?

Me, I’m super OCD. I have lists upon lists, calendars, websites. I do it all and probably spend too much time organizing and not enough time reading and blogging.

Goodreads:
For the past few years, I’ve kept track of what books I’ve read on Goodreads.com. I like that I can go back and see how long it took me to read a book, and exactly when I read it, if by some chance I have missed a review. It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then, it slips through the cracks.

Blog Posts:
I have a couple of calendars…yes, multiple ones. I have a May Designs Calendar that my cousin got me that I hand write in. I was really good at keeping up with this until my vacation in June, then it kind of fell by the wayside. Now it is used for work schedule and blog posts only. I also keep track of these on my phone calendar/Gmail calendar. I have them linked so I can add them online or on my phone when I need to.

Books to Read:
If you use Netgalley you know that you only have so long with a book. The way I use Netgalley, I’ll go through every week or so and find books that I want to read. I’ll request them and wait. I’ll go through my approval list and see when books are being archived. Unless it’s something I absolutely have to read immediately, I wait until it is about to be archived and I download it. Then I keep a list of when I have to have those books read. I just keep a list of this on the “Notes” section of my phone. I like a combo of paper and technology notes. But I love handwriting things.

I’ve always been a planner girl. It started in 6th grade when one of my teachers bought the whole class planners. I absolutely loved it and kept some form of one through high school and college and even into adult life. However, my interest and time and them comes and goes. When I start them, I am on top of it. I write down everything, color code my work activities, blogging and working out. Then, after a few months, I leave it at home a day, or go on vacation and get behind and have a hard time getting back into it. Sometimes I buy a notebook and make my own planner, other times I get an already-made one.

My dad has a planner that he uses for his work calendar. I’m not the only one in my family who likes a hard copy. He recently went on vacation and brought me home this:

lilly pulitzer 1

Yay! My very first Lilly Pulitzer. I’ve had my eye on one of these beauties for years, but never splurged on one. If you’ve ever wanted one of these, now is the time to get it. It runs August 2014-December 2015. I did a little research for my cousin, who is also a planner buddy, and you can get this one on Amazon for $17. It’s an awesome price for all it has in it!

What does it have you ask?
*Pocket folder
*Sticker sheet
*2015-2016 side-by-side 24-month small calendar
*August 2014-December 2015 month by month calendar
*Dates to celebrate
*Reasons for a party and Party Planner Notes pages
*Zodiac signs page
*Notes section
*Calendar section – this has a month calendar at the beginning, following my a weekly calendar

2015 calendar

And this is less than an inch thick!

It was hard to not dive in immediately and start transferring things over from my other hand-written calendar and from my digital calendar, but I wanted to make sure that I was using it just right.

I decided to make a whole section just for blogging. I’m using the monthly calendars in the front as blogging calendars. I’ll use it to keep track of when I’m posting (and as I’ve noticed so far, the lack thereof. I need to post more – Sorry) and the To-Do section for each month to let me know when I need to read books by.

blog calendar 1

blog calendar 2

It’s the small things, right? Hopefully with physically seeing my posts on the calendar, and having a full month in front of me, I’ll be able to see when I need to sit down and do some work.

So, how do you keep track of all of your blogging?