Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Top 10 Reads of 2014

You'd think for someone who reads as much as I do that compiling a top 10 books list would be a piece of cake.  Really, you'd think so.  The reality of it, however, not so much.  This has been hard.  Really, really hard in fact.  Coming up with a top 5 came easily but then adding on to that and picking ones that I not only liked but actually deserved to be on a "top ten" list made it much more difficult.  I think I have finally got my list together and it's done, after weeks of going back and forth, and back and forth again.  Here we go, my top ten list followed by a short synopsis that I copied from Amazon.!

#10  Second Chances  by H.M. Ward & Stacey Mosteller

I'm not a catch, I'm not even certain I'm what they'd call 'mentally stable,' not anymore. Too much has happened too fast and it ripped my soul in half. I'm alone, with a plastic stick in my hand that says the one word we'd been so eager to see. 


Lucky in love once is a miracle, but I lost him, and this baby is all I have left. My life turned to ash in a blink and there's nothing I can do about it. 

Years pass and I'm still here, but it doesn't feel like it, not until the lawn guy, Daniel Clement, checks me out. Me. A yoga-panting, pony tailing, frumpy-butt, frizzy mommy who's covered in whatever the baby tossed on me at lunch. 

Daniel's dark eyes linger too long, as if he likes what he sees. I'm shocked and flattered, but he's too young. The age gap between us is over a decade, but that doesn't stop him. If I sleep with him everyone will think I've lost my mind. Maybe I have, because everyday that I see Daniel's sexy, toned body glistening in the sunlight, I consider feeling him pressed against me, naked. The few times his fingers grazed my skin were heaven, but once the clothes come off--he's a god and I'm... me. 

I've been alone for so long. Surely one kiss won't hurt anything, one taste of his mouth should be harmless. Things don't have to go that far, but I'm wrong. 

Love only comes around once in a lifetime. Only fools think otherwise, and I'm the biggest fool of them all. 

#9  Black Box  by Cassia Leo

Mikki and Crush have crossed paths twice before, but they've never met. Their first encounter changed Mikki's life forever, but their second meeting left them both scarred from a violent attack. 

Three years after the attack, Mikki and Crush both book a flight to Los Angeles to escape the memories of the past and expectations of their families. Crush plans to record a song he wrote for a girl he doesn't even know: Black Box. He's never felt his life had any purpose, until he meets Mikki in Terminal B. 

When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize fate has more in store for them than just another love story.

#8  Stepbrother Dearest  by Penelope Ward

You’re not supposed to want the one who torments you. 

When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be. 

I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here. 
I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room. 
But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him. 

At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. But things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night. 

Then, just as quickly as he’d come into my life, he was gone back to California. 

It had been years since I’d seen Elec. 

When tragedy struck our family, I’d have to face him again. 

And holy hell, the teenager who made me crazy was now a man that drove me insane. 

I had a feeling my heart was about to get broken again. 

#7  Because of Ellison by M.S. Willis

When I was nineteen years old, I lived for sex, drugs and a good party. I had it all - good looks, a fast car and a hot girlfriend. Nothing in life was more important. 

That was, until I met Ellison James…. 

Since the moment I first saw her she was a raging bull; tackling me in the mud and throwing out insults as fast as her tongue could form the sound. 

She was snarky 
She was rude 
And she pissed me off like no other woman could. 

I lived beside her for a summer and in the three months that I walked by her side... 

She opened my eyes 
She changed my life 
And she made me a better man 

#6  Crossing Tinker's Knob  by Inglath Cooper

Becca Miller has lived her life trying to do the right thing, even when its cost has been giving up the boy she loved and wanted to marry. The sacrifice she made for her sister isn’t one she regrets because there was no other choice for her to make. And for eighteen years, she lives this choice with full commitment and as little looking back as she can manage. 

When Matt Griffith returns to Ballard County for the funeral of his grandmother, the path that had seemed so straight begins to loop back and take her across feelings she thought she had put away for good. As it turns out, those roads we’ve traveled do not fade at all. They simply wait to be retraveled, leaving us with the decision to follow them exactly as we did before, or make a different choice and find out where it will lead us. 

#5  Maybe Not  by  Colleen Hoover

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?


Maybe not.

#4  Ugly Love  by  Colleen Hoover

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past. 
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated. 
Promises get broken. 
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

#3  Maybe Someday  by Colleen Hoover

At twenty-two years old, Sydney has a great life: She's in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter's cheating on her--and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there's something about Sydney that Ridge can't ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one...

#2  Letting Go  by Molly McAdams

Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.

It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?

~~~~~aaaaaaand, (drumroll please) now for my # 1 pick of 2014~~~~

Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you ...
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Christmas List

Well, that's pretty much what my Christmas list looks like this year.  How about yours?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rock Her

One not-as-well-known author whom I adore is Inglath Cooper, and she is a superb writer.  I'm really not sure why exactly her books haven't caught on but they seriously should!  She has a beautiful way with words and writes some really humorous, heart-tugging stories.  

I recently finished reading her book, Rock Her.  This is a story about wife and mother, Lizzy, who goes on a much anticipated vacation to Italy by herself because her husband lets her down once again.  While there, she meets Ren Sawyer the rock star.  Ren is dealing with many inner demons while he's there but he falls for Lizzy, even though he knows he shouldn't.  Lizzy develops feelings for Ren too. Both are characters that are hurting and in need of healing. They find strength and hope in each other... but will it last? Lizzy is still married and Ren leads a completely different kind of life from hers.

This was a really sweet story of two lost souls looking to heal themselves and Cooper did a great job writing this story as a light love story without being too graphic or unrealistic.  This is a story that you can really see happening to someone.  I loved that it focused on a real woman too, not some early 20-something who really has never dealt with love but is somehow amazingly wise about it.  Lizzy is a woman with experience and substance.  She experiences real feelings of betrayal, lust, and conflict.

I really enjoyed reading this story.  It was a quick read and light enough that I didn't put it down at the end with a heavy heart.  Cooper is a witty writer and infuses that into her characters, making them quite real and easy to relate to.  This is only the second book/series I've read of hers but I'm very much a fan and was instantly upon reading my first book by her.  I've also had the pleasure of reading her entire Nashville series and thoroughly loved it.  I highly recommend it!  

So if you're looking to discover a new author, give Inglath Cooper a try.  She's a great writer and I think you'll enjoy her too!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Armentrout's Wicked Ways

One of the new releases that I was looking forward to for a long time is Wicked by Jennifer Armentrout and I finally had the chance to read it.  This is the first in what is supposed to be a trilogy, with the next one slated to come out early in 2015.
I have to say that although I love Armentrout's writing, this one started off a bit slow for me.  It was dragging on and I was questioning whether I was going to continue...but only for a little bit.  After I persevered through,  the pace quickly picked up and a lot of action came forth!

This fantasy novel features Ivy, who is not your typical gal.   Along with others in the Order, she fights the fae who threaten human life and feed off of them.  Then there's Ren. Ren is a transfer from Colorado and totally into Ivy from the get-go, but she's a tough cookie at first and really wants nothing to do with him.  Her secrets are what are keeping her from getting too close.

Trouble in brewing in town when the fae are not the only threat and the entire Order must come together to prevent more destruction from happening...but will it destroy Ivy and Ren in the process?

Well, that's really what you're left wondering in this story because as it turns out, Ivy has more secrets (unknown to her) than we even realize initially.  She has more that even she realizes.  How will this affect her relationship with Ren?  How will it affect mankind?

After reading this, I am still left wondering why exactly it's called Wicked.  Ren calls Ivy wicked a couple times, playfully, but it still doesn't quite make sense to me.  I'm hoping with the next couple in the series that it will come together a bit and make more sense though.

I really enjoyed the bantering between the two main characters too.  Ivy has a sharp tongue and certainly doesn't let Ren rile her up too much.   In fact, he seems to like it,  which makes her even more determined to not like him.  There's obviously a good deal of sexual tension going on too.  Both characters are witty and quick with clever retorts, but under all of it are two people hiding and keeping secrets, whether they realize it or not.

Although this one started slow and wasn't a huge page-turner, in my opinion, I still enjoyed it and look forward to the series picking up and finding out what will happen between Ren and Ivy.

Something Beautiful

I get so giddy for new releases and one that's coming out soon- as in January 27th- is Jamie Maguire's newest addition to her Beautiful series, Beautiful Redemption.  This series is all about those amazing Maddox brothers and every girl loves her a Maddox man!

Here's the synopsis of this one:

If A Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever. But what if he didn’t love you, first?
No-nonsense Liis Lindy is an agent of the FBI. Deciding she is married only to her job, she breaks off her engagement and transfers from Chicago to the field office in San Diego. She loves her desk. She is committed to her laptop. She dreams of promotions and shaking hands with the director after cracking an impossible case.
Special Agent in Charge Thomas Maddox is arrogant, unforgiving, and ruthless. He is tasked with putting away some of the world’s toughest criminals, and he is one of the best the Bureau has to offer. Though, as many lives as he’s saved, there is one that is beyond his reach. Younger brother Travis is faced with prison time for his involvement in a basement fire that killed dozens of college students, and the media want a conviction. Travis’s only savior is his unusual tie to the mob. In a deal that will spare his brother, Thomas has agreed to recruit Travis into the FBI.

“Travis is … hard to explain.”
“You think he’ll get violent?”
“I know he will.”
“I’m assuming you don’t want me to shoot him.” Maddox shot me a look. “Can I shoot you?”
He rolled his eyes. “Travis doesn’t do well when he doesn’t have choices. If he thinks he could lose Abby over it, he’ll fight. Losing her for lying, or losing her because he’s in prison aren’t great choices.”
“He loves her that much?”
“I don’t think that’s an adequate word to describe the way he feels about her. Threatening him with losing her is like threatening his life.”
“That’s awfully … dramatic.”
Maddox considered that. “Drama is the nature of their relationship.
If you want to catch up on all things Beautiful, start at the beginning with Jamie, and first read about the Maddox boys from the beginning in Beautiful Disaster, which is the story of Travis Maddox.  You can also check out the novels following that one, including Walking DisasterA Beautiful Wedding, and Beautiful Oblivion.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wish List

Do you have a reading/book wishlist like mine?  It's ever growing and I can never seem to whittle it down because I keep adding more to it.  Ugh, it's a bit overwhelming, especially after I decided to take a little look at it tonight. Oh, Amazon how you suck money from me like a mosquito!  Let's see...what is on MY wishlist currently, shall we?  In no particular order, other than that which I saved them:

1.  Happenstance 3

2.  Confess

3.  Never Never

4.  Unwritten (Beachwood Bay)

5.  Something Reckless (Reckless and Real)

6.  One Night Stand

7.  Owning Violet (The Fowler Sisters)

8.  Rival (Fall Away Novel)

9.  Raveling You (Unraveling You)

10.  Beautiful Redemption (Maddox Brothers Novel)

11.  The Law of Moses

12.  All Of It

13.  Wreck Me (Breaking Nova)

14.  Off the Record (The Record Series)

15.  Here With Me (The Archer Brothers)

16.  Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter (Dixie Series)

17.  Gemini

18.  Finding Eden

19.  Better When He's Bold (Welcome to the Pointe)

20.  What If

21.  Parallel Spirits (Carrier Spirits)

22.  Unbeautiful (Unbeautiful)

23.  Undeniable

24.  Maine

25.  The Wicked Girls

26.  Shine Shine Shine

27.  Red Hill

So between this rather extensive list, and all the wonderful releases that occur throughout the next year, I'm not sure I'll ever get to all of them.  Several I've actually had on my wishlist for a while already.  There are just so many wonderful stories out there and I can't wait to read them!

Thursday Thought

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Hangover

Sometimes you begin a book and aren't really sure what to expect.  The synopsis sounds interesting, even if the cover is bland, but you still have no idea what you're getting into. You know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but you still do.  This cover is boring the pee outta you.  Heck, you've never even heard of the author before now!  You open it up, hoping and praying that it will at least be "good enough" to hold your attention...and suddenly everything has changed.  Every word of the book takes a hold of you in the most amazing way.  It doesn't just grab your attention; it grabs a hold of your heart and changes it.  This book is Bright Side by one of the best up and coming authors out there, Kim Holden.

I actually finished this book about a week ago, but it honestly left me in such a state of flux that I had to let myself settle a bit before I could write my review for it. Quite honestly, I'm still second guessing myself by writing it because I know that I will never be able to express properly the way this book touched me, changed me.  There is true magic within the pages of Kim's book.  She certainly has a way with connecting with her readers via her characters.  Both through her development and through her actual writing, she creates such believable characters.  Characters that are so alive on the page that as a reader, they come alive not only in our head but also in our heart...and that's how Bright Side slays us.  

This book is about a remarkable girl named Kate, who is best friends with a musician that she's known her whole life, Gus.  Kate moves across the country to Minnesota on a mission to complete something on her bucket list and it's there that she meets some amazing friends and the one other male that has ever caught her eye, Keller. Kate's never believed in love.  Keller has a secret. So does Kate.  What happens when they become more than just friends is not only beautiful but heartbreaking.  Que the best friend to enter the scenario and this book left me not just in tears, but bawling. Like gasping for breath sobbing.

I literally got about 60% through the book and was sitting in my car reading while waiting in line to pick up my daughter from school.  It was dark outside, rain was pouring down outside my car windows.  It was a great day to be reading.  Before I even had time to process that I needed to wipe my eyes, tears were falling onto my iPad.  Even though this story required more tissues than I normally prefer for my reading pleasure, I also feel like the real message behind the story is what sticks.  Kate is such a fantastically optimistic, courageous, lovable character and her message is one of taking life by the horns and really living in the now.

I'm not alone in my love for this book, as I quickly discovered after posting on Facebook about my love and sadness over Bright Side.  I discovered there's an amazing Facebook support group for those who have read it too!  It's a fun page to discuss all things related to the book and author, as well as other great book related items.  So many people have had the same response to this book and I think that if a single book can touch so many people, so many lives, then the author has done something truly worthwhile.  She's created something significant by urging a change among the people, merely with her words.  THAT is phenomenal in my opinion.

I highly recommend this book to everyone!  Be prepared with your tissues and make sure you have time to read it in a sitting because you will not want to put it down once you start. Thankfully it's a quick read so you won't have to worry about wanting to put it down.  Kim has one other book out right now, All of It, that I am looking forward to reading very soon and she has a book completely devoted to none other than Kate's BFF, Gus, coming out in early 2015. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Darn You, Colleen!

Ever know someone that you simultaneously wanna punch in the throat and be BFF's with? That's how I'm feeling about Miss Colleen Hoover right now.  I mean, I am still in awe that she is so down to earth and so "normal" with her fans and readers.  She actually communicates with them via Facebook.  HER...not some assistant.  Not some animatronic thingy-majiggy, but the real live in-person person!  It blows me away because as much of a normal person that she probably is, to a reader like me, she's somewhat of a superstar.  To have her comment or respond to something I innocently type on her FB page, puts me on cloud nine.  I promise I'm not actually a weirdo stalker, Colleen, even though I realize everything I am saying probably makes me sound like I am.  I just love to read and I love to write and I have a case of writer envy.  I also admire her so much and would love to one day be able to produce something even half as good as her work.

So, with that being said, I finished Maybe NotHoover's latest "surprise" novella.  Of course I loved it.  How could I not?  I'm pretty sure she could write her grocery list on a restaurant napkin and I'd think it was gold.  This was absolutely NO exception.  My only complaint, of course, would be that it was a novella rather than a full length novel.  I would've loved a little more.  

Maybe Not is a spin-off novella from her other critically acclaimed and widely read, Maybe Someday, released last Spring.  This book, however, follows Ridge's roommates, smart-assed Warren and sharp-tongued, sassy Bridgette. When the two learn that they're to be new roommates, sparks fly...even if one of them doesn't want to admit it. Que major sexual tension between the two!  When those built up walls are finally broken down, they discover that they're actually quite fond of each other.

Bridgette comes across rather rude and angry all the time, much as she did in  Maybe Someday but as we keep reading, we actually begin to understand her a little better and realize that she's not simply a bitch; the girl has her reasons and valid ones at that.  She's guarded and feels like she has to be.  Warren continues to show his playful, flirtatious, humorous side in this new story.  He pranks Bridgette just like he and Ridge always play pranks, thinking he's going to "initiate" her into the apartment...little does he realize that two can definitely play at that game.

This was a cute book, and definitely a good read.  There was loads of sexual tension throughout the book between Warren and Bridgette and after reading Maybe Someday, it was really nice to have a little side story to help understand those other characters a little bit better since the relationship between them seemed so "off."  I really enjoyed reading Maybe Not and am really looking forward to Colleen's next new release...which I am hoping is super soon (get writing lady!).

New from Jennifer Armentrout

Yay, a new book released TODAY by one of my faves, Jennifer Armentrout:  Wicked, the first in what is called the Wicked Trilogy.  Who's happy?  Who's excited?  ME, ME!  This girl right here!

Everything that Armentrout has produced has been great so there's no doubt in my mind that this will be an excellent series as well.  Rumor is that this series is a bit supernatural. Both her Lux series and Dark Elements series deal with elements of the supernatural and are excellent, so I am quite excited for this series to deliver.  From her own website, this new release promises unnatural wickedness to come forth.

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.
Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.
Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.
But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

I've downloaded this one and as soon as I finish what I'm currently reading, I'll be starting this one and then soon reviewing, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Serious Book Hangover

Wow, I am nursing the most serious of book hangovers here.  I don't think there are many who "get" this feeling...and those that do are like my soul mates or something.  While I continue wading around in this sea of sorrow and filter through all of these emotions that Kim Holden has brought forth, I will attempt to tell you how I felt at about 60% through the book. a baby, that how I was!  I haven't sobbed that much in goodness knows how long.

And that folks, is exactly how I was while reading this latest story.  Literally sitting in a Walmart waiting for my layaway junk and tears were falling down my cheeks before I could even realize they were there.  I was sitting in the pick up line at my daughter's school while rain pelted the windows, sounding like the beating of my own heart, and again before I can even think to wipe them away, the tears are pouring our of me and falling onto my shirt.

I think there are books that come along that honestly change us.  This book, I feel, is definitely one of those for me.  I feel like this is one that I MUST convince everyone to read, despite the tears, the emotional wreck it put me through, the heartbreak suffered at it's words.  Because in those words, there is also something beautiful, something wonderfully transforming for the reader if you choose to let it take it's course.  There's something calling out to be better.  Be wiser.  Be epic.  No, do epic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

For the Children...

As a parent I often find myself second guessing myself, questioning whether I made the right decision, and hoping & praying that something won't come back to haunt me in subsequent years (and cost me thousands in therapy bills).  It's natural among parents, or so I hear.  We tend to be harder on ourselves when truly if we manage to keep the kids alive most days, that in itself is a success.   I feel confident in saying that if there's anything I just know that I've done right as a parent though, it's that I've passed along my love for reading to my children.  I don't know that they will always be readers, but for now, while they're still in school and living under my roof, they will read.  

I set a firm foundation for them, beginning when they were very young.  When they were about 2, their father and I would take turns reading to them each night before bed.  With my boys (twin boys) they adored the baby Clifford board books and we read them so frequently that soon they could recite them by memory.  With my daughter, her favorite was always Goodnight Moon.  I think we must've read that book a million times!  

By age 3, one of my sons was reading on his own. He could read small board books and signs.  He'd read labels on food.  Really, the kid would read anything he could see.  It was truly fascinating to behold at such a young age.  His twin brother, wasn't ready to read on his own yet but still loved his night time stories.  My daughter was the same way and couldn't read much until starting Kindergarten.  We continued our night time ritual of reading stories to the kids until they were in school, at which time we allowed them to start reading to themselves.  Once they all mastered reading (which took NO time at all in Kindergarten), they excelled at it, often reading at a much higher level than that of their peers.  Not only did they read well but they comprehended the information quite well too.

They are all wonderful readers and love to read now.  They follow by example and I think I've set a great example of an avid adult reader for them.  They literally see me reading every.  single.  day.  I told them all about my book blog here and about my corresponding Facebook page and they think it's neat.  They see that reading and books are something important to me, something I enjoy and have a passion for.  I know that whether they realize it or not, this is planting tiny seeds in their head.  One day when the wold seems too tough, when they need an outlet, when they need an escape, maybe they'll pick up a book.  Maybe they'll remember me and it will help to make things just a little easier for them.  Maybe my children will find as much comfort in reading as I do.

A great initiative to teach kids to read is being led by no other than acclaimed author, James Patterson.  He not only wants kids to begin reading but wants them to continue reading throughout their lives.  He has his own foundation called Read Kiddo Read  that donates books to poor schools and kids who may otherwise not have access to reading materials.  It also provides lots of educational info on his website for parents and teachers alike.  

What I love about this guy is not only an author but a phenomenal one at that.  He's written close to 100 books. The first one I ever read was called Honeymoon  and I instantly fell in love.  It was my first crime novel and honestly, I never thought I'd like something like that.  Patterson did an amazing job though and turned me on to a whole new genre of books.  He is well known for his adult fiction, mostly thriller novels, however, he has written a handful of romance novels, a couple fiction books, children's books and even a picture book.  His children's books began with his Daniel X series and soon moved to writing several other children's book series, including the wildly popular Middle School series.  

If you've never read anything by Patterson, I would highly recommend trying one of his books.  There's a reason he's consistently on the New York Times' Best Seller list.  Buy one of his children's books this holiday season and gift it to a child, maybe even a child that doesn't have access to having his/her own books.  Remember what a gift reading is and pass it along to someone else.