Tag: Books

Monthly Recap: April 2017

Posted May 9, 2017 by Rowena in Family, Features | 4 Comments

April was a really bad month, blogging wise for me. I just couldn’t drum up any enthusiasm to write anything or read anything for that matter. I’m hopeful that May will be better.

What I Did

  • Book Binge Turned 10! My book blog, Book Binge turned 10 last month and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I’ve been blogging for 10 freaking years.
  • I went to San Jose for Brenna’s last Ninja Tournament. Brenna is wrapping up all high school tournaments and April was for her last Asian League tournament ever. I’m not mad about that but I wasn’t supposed to go on this trip. It was a spur of the moment trip that I’m glad I took. It was a relaxing weekend of basketball and I enjoyed myself.
  • Relay for Life. This year was the fifth year that my family participated in our local Relay for Life walk. We walk in remembrance of loved ones that have lost their lives to cancer and we walk in support of my nephew RJ who is a cancer survivor. It was another busy weekend but it was also a very fulfilling weekend. We walked for 24 hours and I walked a lot more this year than any other year and that made me happy.
  • We met Baby Caiden. Chloe and Markus came down for the walk and to introduce their bundle of joy to the California family. I love this little boy so very much. He’s adorable.
  • Jarred’s having a boy! My nephew Jarred and his girlfriend are having a baby boy! His little boy is going to be the cutest little hockey fan ever!

What I Watched on TV

The usual shows that I always watch. I didn’t pick up any new ones.

What Movies I Watched

I didn’t watch any movie in the entire month of April. At least none that I can remember. Yikes.

What I Listened To

For the Lovers Album by Tenelle. This album got a lot of play time in April. I think my kid is tired of hearing this album but it’s a great album. Great island music and I love it.

What I Read

April was an abysmal reading month for me. I just wasn’t in the mood to read anything so I really didn’t. Here’s what I did read though.

1. Corrupt by Penelope Douglas | DNF
2. Dreaming of You by Lisa Klelypas (re-read) | 4.25 out of 5
3. The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan | 4 out of 5
4. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs | 4.25 out of 5
5. An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath | 4 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven | 4 out of 5
Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann (Retro Review) | 4.75 out of 5
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy | 4 out of 5
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas (Joint review w/Holly) | 4.25 out of 5
The Thing about Love by Julie James | 4.25 out of 5
Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5
Broken by Lauren Layne | 3.5 out of 5
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas (Joint review w/Ames) | 4.25 out of 5

What I Bought

Reasonable Doubt: Volume 1 by Whitney G.
Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
Fast Track by Julie Garwood
All Played Out by Cora Carmack
Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood
Heat Wave by Karina Halle
The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan
The Play Mate by Kendall Ryan
The House Mate by Kendall Ryan
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Swinging at Love by Kendra C. Highley
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

What I Got for Review

Wired by Julie Garwood
How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis
Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker
The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

What I Loved

Classic Chicken Salad (with no cheese) from El Pollo Loco

This salad is the bomb and I love the hell out of it.

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Week in Review (56)

Posted May 1, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

Reading Challenges: 2017 TBR Challenge, The Totally Doable 2017 RBLB Reading Challenge

So…have you guys missed me? 🙂 I completely disappeared for the last few weeks and I don’t have an excuse for it either. Sorry guys. I just needed some space from blogging and I think that’s out of my system because I’m energized again and am working on some stuff so fingers crossed that I’m back…for good. How has everyone been?

This week, I was fortunate to hang with my bestie Holly and attend a book event at our coolest place on earth, The Ripped Bodice in Culver City, CA. She drove down to attend the Julie James book signing and that was an amazing time.

Julie mentioned a book that she thinks would be an awesome novella and if she gets the time to write it, she’d like to. It’s a story about a girl who shared season tickets to the Cubs but broke up with the boyfriend that she shared the season tickets with and the ex-boyfriend sold his tickets to one of his friends that the girl hates and she has to sit next to him at all of these games. It’s a hate to love romance and I’ve got my fingers crossed that Julie writes it because dude…that sounds like my kind of romance right there.

Some other highlights from this week:

My nephew Jarred and his girlfriend are expecting and yesterday was the gender reveal and they’re having a baby boy!! Jarred is a die hard L.A. Kings fan so his sister Jenna did a fabulous job of incorporating his love of hockey into the gender reveal (she wrapped a baby Kings jersey and wrapped a baby hockey stick in blue tape). It was a good time and we’re super thrilled for Jarred and Mandi…and also my brother Mel and his wife, Krista.

My niece Meghan’s basketball banquet was this week as well and she impressed the hell out of me. When her coach was talking about her, he listed off her accomplishments and her season and career stats and you guys, Meghan is legit. She is the only female in the history of her school to rank in the top 10 of every single category in her sport, she was a 2 time (back to back) Conference Player of the Year, she ranked 9th in the state for 3 point shooting and just a bunch of other amazing accomplishments for our Meg.

That’s it for my real life updates for this week…now on with the books.

Currently Reading

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

I finished reading Moon Called last week and I really enjoyed so I couldn’t wait to jump into this one. I had planned to read this after reading a couple of review books but I couldn’t stay away for too long. I had to read this one now. I have a girl crush on Mercy and I really, really want more Adam and Samuel so I’m jumping right into this one. I’m not even sorry either. Ha!

What I Read

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs | 4.25 out of 5
An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath | 4 out of 5

Book Boyfriend of the Week


Adam Hauptman from Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Adam is all that and a bag of chips and I dare you to tell me otherwise. Haha.

What I Reviewed

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven | 4 out of 5
Retro Review of Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann | 4.75 out of 5
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy | 4 out of 5
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas (Joint review with Holly) | 4.25 out of 5

What I Posted

Nothing. I sucked.

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Monthly Recap: March 2017

Posted April 4, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

The month of March came and went before I knew what was what. It brought about death and new life and lots and lots of great friends. All in all, it was a mostly good month though my heart goes out to my friend.

What I Did

A picture from my hike in Palos Verdes, CA

Started going on hikes: I started walking with my sisters after dinner each night and hiking with my co workers this month and I’m really liking both. I want to keep up with that even though things are probably going to get a lot busier for me in the coming months with all of Brenna’s senior activity and then graduation coming up. I’m going to be busy making a lot of candy leis too. Gah. Still, walking has become a daily part of my life and I want to keep that up.

Brenna Turned 18: We had a small birthday celebration for my kid turning 18 last month and that was fun. My brother bought dinner, I made a cake and a whole lot of kids showed up so I had to make another cake and we all ate, drank and were merry. In few short months, she will graduate from high school and I’m low key not ready for all of that.

Basketball Ended: The one thing that I was ready for was the end of basketball. I couldn’t stand Bren’s coach, I hated how mad I would get during games, after the games, during the week when Brenna would come home and catch me up on practices, what her coach would say to her and her coach is real brave when talking to minors who are scared of her.

My sister and her Grandson Caiden

Chloe had a baby!: Last year, my niece Chloe got married and her wedding was the most beautiful wedding that I’ve ever been to. My family still gets compliments about her wedding and all of the hard work that we put into it. Well, home girl works fast because she got knocked up not too long after her wedding and she had a beautiful and healthy baby boy named Caiden.

My first Strip Club Outing: I hung out with some old friends that I haven’t seen in a long ass time. The two friends that I used to get in trouble with all the time my freshman year in high school so it was not a surprise to anyone else that they took me to my first strip club. It sure was memorable. My stripper was a black young woman named Mulan and she spun real fast around the pole while completely trashed. That takes some serious skill.

What I Watched on TV

Taken: I glommed the first four episodes of this show and am definitely hooked. I need more episodes of this show pronto. Rollo (from Vikings) has won me over completely in this show.

Big Little Lies: Ames and Greg were talking about this show and they’re really the ones that brought this show to my attention. I watched the first two episodes with Ames and was drawn into the world of crazy Kindergarten parents and just everything. I’m definitely going to be watching more. Reese Witherspoon is the best!

Chicago Justice: I’m a huge fan of all of the Chicago shows and it’s no different with this show. I’m really enjoying the cases and getting to know the characters. I already love the hell out of Peter Stone. I can’t wait for more from these guys.

What Movies I Watched

1. The Edge of Seventeen (2017) | 2.5 out of 5
2. Love by the 10th Date (2017) | 2.5 out of 5
3. Beauty and the Beast (2017) | 5 out of 5
4. Logan (2017) | 4.5 out of 5

What I Read

1. Havoc (Mayhem #4) by Jamie Shaw | 4 out of 5
2. Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross | 3.75 out of 5
3. When the Marquess Falls (Hellions of Havisham #3.5) by Lorraine Heath | 3.75 out of 5
4. Isn’t She Lovely (Redemption #0.5) by Lauren Layne | 4.5 out of 5
5. Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne | 4 out of 5
6. Crushed (Redemption #2) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
7. Cold Hearted Rake (Ravenels #1) by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5
8. Marrying Winterborne (Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas | 3.75 out of 5
9. Devil in Spring (Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas | 4.25 out of 5
10. Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways #5) by Lisa Kleypas (re-read) | 4.5 out of 5
11. How the Duke was Won (Disgraceful Dukes #1) by Lenora Bell | 3.75 out of 5
12. If I Only Had a Duke (Disgraceful Dukes #2) by Lenora Bell | 4.5 out of 5
13. Blame it on the Duke (Disgraceful Dukes #3) by Lenora Bell | 4 out of 5
14. Midnight Target (Killer Instincts #8) by Elle Kennedy | 4 out of 5
15. Walk of Shame (Love Unexpectedly #4) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
16. Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
17. Frisk Me (New York’s Finest #1) by Lauren Layne | DNF
18. Overruled (Legal Briefs #1) by Emma Chase (re-read) | 1 out of 5
19. Appealed (Legal Briefs #3) by Emma Chase (re-read) | 4 out of 5
20. Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling #3) by Megan McCafferty | DNF

What I Reviewed

Sustained by Emma Chase | 5 out of 5
Buddy Review with Holly – Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh | 3.75 out of 5
When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath | 4 out of 5
Havoc by Jamie Shaw | 4 out of 5
Buddy Review with Ames – Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas | 3.75 out of 5
Retro Review: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn | 4 out of 5

What I Bought/Was Gifted


What I Got for Review

What I Loved

Seeing and hanging out with old friends. At my friend Foti’s Dad’s funeral, I ran into so many of my childhood friends and we hung out, laughed the night away and reminisced about the good ol’ days. From ditching Sunday School and walking to 7-11 to having a ditching party at my sister’s house our freshman year in high school (and getting her to buy us pizza without knowing that so many people were going to come over after she went back to work, ha!) and just being little bad ass kids, we had the best childhood. We’re planning to stay in touch and I sincerely hope that we do because I have the best memories with these guys.

There you have it…the month that was March in my life. How was your month of March? Read anything good? Bad? Share with the class!

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