5 Things I'm Grateful For This Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  We consider Thanksgiving to be a day to give the ultimate thanks for everything that we have.  At the end of the day we put complaints to side and reflect on all of our blessings and to connect with family that we don't get to see in person often.  Here are five things I'm giving thanks for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today I'm taking time out to reflect on all that I have to be grateful for this year.

31 Books And Bookish Gifts I Want For My 31st Birthday

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Sagittarius season is finally here!  I'm super excited because that means that my birthday is coming up.  My 31st birthday to be exact will be here in less than 30 days.  I feel like it wasn't that long ago that I was celebrating my big 3-0.  Anyways, I thought a good way to celebrate my upcoming birthday here on the blog would be to share some of the books and bookish items on my birthday wishlist.   Let's get into it!

My birthday is coming up! Here's a brief look at some of the books and bookish items on my birthday wishlist this year.

Sunday Post #2

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Happy Sunday y'all!  Who else is as excited as I am about the holiday season finally being here?  If you watched my last video, then you know that we already have our Christmas tree up.  It's our family tradition to put up the tree after Halloween.  It's early for some, but perfect timing for us.  I've even started putting presents underneath.

Happy Sunday! Thanks for joining me for another Sunday Post. Drop by the blog and let's catchup!

Speaking of holidays, this year's Thanksgiving is bittersweet because it will be our last in the city.  We're moving next year!  It's exciting and feels great to be moving back to my hometown and closer to my family, but I'm going to miss all of my different library branches, being able to go to Target everyday if I want to and some of the blogging friends I've made here.  The plus sides of being back home though is that I'll have a better support system, they'll be a new segment and guest coming to the vlog early next Fall and my mom will be my librarian!  Yep, I'm the daughter of a librarian.

On The Blog Last Week

I'm so happy to be back writing on this blog.  I had put it on the back burner a while back because I wanted to really get a sense of what my plans were for this space.  Not to mention, life was throwing me and my family some major curve balls behind the scene and my depression flared up.  However, I'm not one to stay down long.  So, here's what you've missed if this is your first time here:

On The Blog This Week

My editorial calendar for next week is full.  I've been trying to write in batches and schedule what I can.   Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin so that you won't miss out on any posts.  Or you could sign up here to get all of my posts delivered to your inbox weekly.  Anyways, here's what you can expect to see on the blog this week:

Around The Internet

Here are a few of my favorite posts and videos on the net right now:

Currently Reading

ARCs of the Week

What's new in your world?  Any special plans for Thanksgiving?  Let me know in the comments!

Sunday Post is a weekly meme created by Caffeinated Book Review.

What I'm Reading For #AVeryMerryReadathon

The holidays are upon us and I couldn't be more excited.  Seriously!  From New Year's to Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I absolutely LOVE celebrating all of our different US traditions and Christian observances.  I'm thrilled to see these celebrations and festivities spilling over into the Booktube world in the form of themed readathons.  With Christmas almost here, Tiny Book Dragon, The Owlery Books, A Cup of Wonderland, Bookaflix Taylor, and The Bookish Babbler have joined forces to bring us the #AVeryMerryReadathon reading challenge plus a giveaway.

Happy Holidays, #AVeryMerryReadathon is coming up! Here's a look at all the books I'll be reading.

Challenge Themes

Participants in this readathon are asked to complete the following challenges:

  1. Read a book that takes place during the holiday season.

  2. Read a book with Christmas colors on the cover (red, green, silver, gold, and/or white).

  3. Read a book just because you want to.

My #AVeryMerryReadathon TBR

Before we get into the books I will reading, I want to disclose that while this post NOT sponsored by FaithWords or Hachette Book Group, the books mentioned and featured below were sent to me by FaithWords.  Now that we've got that out of the way let's jump into my TBR.

I love Christmas movies and I love the Hallmark Channel.  They're two of my biggest guilty pleasures.  That being said all of the books on my #AVeryMerryReadathon TBR have been adapted into Hallmark Channel television movies.  Also, all of the books below are written by Robin Jones Gunn.

First up is Finding Father Christmas.  This book is about Miranda Carson, who decides to search for her birth father.  Her search leads her to London where she falls in love with her family who doesn't even know she exists.  Thus, she is faced with the challenging choice of whether to reveal her identity and risk causing some drama or does she just keep her identity a secret.

Next up is book two of the Father Christmas series, Engaging Father Christmas.  Miranda is headed back across the pond to England, but this time she's going to spend the holidays with her boyfriend, Ian.  A rumor that Ian is thinking about popping the Big Question is leaked and now Miranda is hoping to make her stay permanent, but of course some drama breaks out and her happily ever after ends up hanging in the balance.

Lastly I'm reading Kissing Father Christmas, the third book in this series.   And you guessed it, Robin Gunn takes us back to England, Carlton Heath to be exact.  In this story we will meet Anna, Miranda's cousin.  Anna is visiting with Miranda and her family for the Christmas holiday as well as hoping to possibly to rekindle a romance with Peter, a groomsmen she met and kissed at Miranda's wedding.  However, once she arrives and meets up with Peter, it seems that whatever feelings had for her at the wedding have dried up.

Again I loved these books as movies and have not doubt that I will enjoy them in their written form as well.  These books are short will make for very quick reads.

Something Extra

Because picks above are so short and won't last the entire six days of the #AVeryMerryReadathon, I have a few backup/extra books to eat up the rest of the days.

Part of Pat Simmon's Anderson Brothers series, A Christian Christmas is a novella about a single woman, Joy Knight, raising four children and struggling to make ends meet.  She meets Christian Anderson in a checkout line and sparks fly.  However, Joy isn't sure if she's ready to put her heart on the line again.  Plus, she has her hands full with four kids and trying to find a way to keep a roof over their heads.  I can't wait to see if she will give Christian a chance and if he'll be able to handle all of the challenges in her life.

Written by Kate Hewitt, A Yorkshire Christmas is the second book of the Christmas Around the World series.  Claire Lindell is fresh off the heels of a "disastrous romantic decision."  She leaves NYC escaping to her godmother's cottage in Yorkshire to clear her mind and recoup.  A car accident brings her face to face with Noah Bradford, a farmer, and she's smitten at first sight.  I love the cover illustration of this book and that it's set in Yorkshire.  I can't wait to see if Noah will reciprocate Claire's affections.

Are you participating in #AVeryMerryReadathon?  If so, what are you reading?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VQ4fN-18Y&w=560&h=315]


What I Read For #BorrowAThon

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Happy Monday!  I hope that you had a great weekend.  For the past week I've been participating in my third readathon of the year, BorrowAThon.  Started by Riley of FivEleveNinety, BorrowAThon is a reading challenge in which you have to read books that have been borrowed.  The books can be borrowed from the library, a friend, a family member, etc.  This readathon/reading challenge started on Monday, November 7th and is ending tonight Monday, November 14th.

I recently participated in #Borrowathon.  Here's a look at all of the books I read.


This was the perfect readathon for me since I'm currently on a self-imposed book buying ban.  Over this last year, my library card has gotten so much usage.  My librarians see me and my kids a minimum of twice a week during the school year and up to four or more times a week during the summer.  What can I say, we love books!  Anyways, back to BorrowAThon.

My Original BorrowAThon TBR List


Stealing Snow | After months of seeing everybody and their mama on BookTube rave about this Snow White retelling by Danielle Paige, I was super excited to finally get my hands on a copy of this book from my local library.  I adore Danielle Paige and I love fairy tale retellings.  Plus, Snow White was the first book I learned how to read by myself when I was three.  My mom would read it to me every night until I could read back to her word for word.

Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight | Ever since reading A Court of Thorns &  (Beauty & and the Beast retelling) and A Court of Mist & Fury, I've been obsessed with Sarah J. Maas.  She has the way of writing a story that will just suck in and make you want to weep or scream once the story is over.  When I discovered she had another and much longer series, I knew I had to get all of the books and read them.  These books are part of her Throne of Glass series that follows a kick-ass female assassin named Celaena Sardothien and her journey as the King of Adarlan's Champion/personal hit woman.  I really appreciated the fact that the female lead in this series wasn't going to be some helpless maiden in distress.

Nevernight | I have never read anything by Jay Kristoff, but after hearing some many raving reviews about this book, I had to check it out.  Plus, this book was also about an assassin, Mia Corvere, and the cover was totally giving me a V for Vendetta meets The Crow vibe.  Again the female lead being strong, determined and able to take care of herself was a strong selling point for me.  I'm a thriller

What I Actually Read

Make Way For Dyamonde Daniel | I'm almost certain that I stumbled across this book on a book roundup post over at Here Wee Read.  Growing Nikki Grimes was one of my favorite authors.  She wrote some of the few books that actually featured main characters of color during my childhood.  Now that I'm an adult, I've discovered that I'm still a fan of her work.  I enjoyed reading about Dyamonde (pronounced like Diamond) Daniel and how she helped her new neighbor Free to get a fresh perspective on life.

Like many kids in today's society, Dyamonde's parents are divorced and Free's parents are struggling with unemployment issues.  When Free's family has to move in with his grandma, who lives in Dyamonde's neighborhood, he's mad at the world.  Of course, nobody knows at the time why he's so mad, but Dyamonde decides to find out what his problem is and a friendship starts to blossom.  This book was a really quick read and I loved the overall theme of turning lemons into lemonade and looking on the bright side during difficult life seasons.  I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

The Assassin's Blade and Throne of Glass | I had originally stopped reading The Assassin's Blade which a bind-up of all the Throne of Glass novellas because I was more sucked into reading Throne of Glass.  My mission was to read all of the main books first and then go back to read the novellas, but then I started wondering about what happened to Sam and how Celaena ended up in Endovier and decided to shelf Crown of Midnight.  While I did finish Throne of Glass first, I'm glad I went back and finished reading the novellas.

Both books lived up to the hype and my Sarah J Maas expectations.  After reading the novellas, I really wanted to strangle Arobynn and kill Farran.  My heart hurt for Celaena once I found out what happened to Sam.  However, if I'm being honest, a part of me was a little glad that Sam was out of the way because of the relationships that form in Throne of Glass wouldn't have happened if he was still in the picture.  Speaking of TOG, I really wanted to kill Cane, the King of Adarlan and all of Celaena's other haters.  Put these on your TBR if you haven't read them.

The Maple Festival and Winter's No Time to Sleep | I'm completely obsessed with middle grade fiction.  They have the cutest book series.  I can't remember books series being this cute when I was my daughter's age.  So, I'm enjoying reading them now.  The Maple Festival was the perfect short fall read.  Sophie steps up to the plate to help her mom make treats for the Maple Festival after her assistant goes out of town and it proves to be a great mother-daughter bonding experience and a lesson in responsibility for Sophie.

Winter's No Time to Sleep is all about making new friends and the joy of watching/helping them experience new things.  I can't wait to finish reading the rest of the books in The Adventures of Sophie Mouse series.  Poppy Green and her illustrator, Jennifer Bell make a great combo.

Despite NOT sticking to my original TBR list 100%, I'm happy with the books that I did read for BorrowAThon.  It was nice to read every evening after a day of homeschooling, homework, cleaning and other mom/house duties.  I can't wait until the next BorrowAThon.  I'm hoping Sarah J Maas will have a new book series out by then.  If you want to stay updated on the next round of BorrowAThon follow the official BorrowAThon Twitter account.

Did you participate in BorrowAThon?  If so, what did you read?

My 2016 Nonfiction November TBR List

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Because I love a challenge, while I compete in NaNoWriMo I will also be participating in the Nonfiction November reading challenge.  This challenge is being hosted by booktubers  ABookOlive and Non Fic Books.  This reading challenge is designed to ultimately encourage readers to read more nonfiction books.  I do enjoy reading nonfiction and am excited to be taking part.

#NonfictionNovember is here! Find out what the challenges are and what I'm reading.

Participants in this challenge can choose to simply read as many nonfiction books as they can for the month of November or they can take part in themed challenges.   I would love to do both, but for now I'm only going to commit 100% to doing the themed challenges.  Keep reading to find out what the challenges are and what books I'll be reading for each challenge.

Challenge Themes

  • NEW | Read a book that has been recently released or is simply new to you.

For this challenge I will be reading The Full Tank Life: Fuel Your Dreams, Ignite Your Destiny by Ben Tankard.  Some of you may recognize Ben from his hit reality show on Bravo, Thicker Than Water.  He's also a Grammy award winning Christian jazz musician and a pastor.  I was recently sent this book by FaithWords, an imprint of Hachette Books.  This book is all about owning your God-given purpose and stepping into your destiny.

What I'm enjoying about this book already is that it's easy to read and doesn't come off as preachy.  The tone is conversational and I can definitely hear Ben's voice in my head as I read.  At the end of each chapter there are a list questions that Ben classifies as either "Your DESTINY Diary" or "Discovering Your DESTINY."  This is a short book that can easily be read a couple of hours unless you're like me and you just want to take your time and really mediate on Ben's message or fully flesh out your answers for the questionnaires.

  • FASCINATING | Read a book about a person, topic or written by an author that you find fascinating.

Lisa Sugar is the genius and founder of the POPSUGAR brand.  Power Your Happy: Word Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life is book in which Lisa will share about her journey to building her media company while managing life as a wife and mom.  This book is supposed to be filled with tips, advice and words of motivation from her professional and personal life experiences.    I had a chance to try out and review the October Must Have Box by POPSUGAR and this was added as a special extra.

As a mom and a wife trying to build my own brands, I'm always fascinated about how other female brand owners/creators worked their way to the top.  I can't wait to pick up some tips and gems from this book.  This is another short read that can be read in a day or spaced out to two days.

  • Important | Read a book about a topic or person that you feel is important to yourself or society in general.

I don't consider myself a history buff by any means, but I do like reading books that pertain my history as a Black person.  I received an ARC of this book on Netgalley and haven't had a chance to read it until now.   The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life & Treacherous World of Alessandro de' Medici is about Prince Alessandro de' Medici, who was the heir of Lorenzo the Magnificent.  Alessandro came into reign at the age of 19 and ruled until he was assassinated at age 26 in plot arranged by his cousins.

It's definitely important to me to learn about this piece of Black history because we don't often hear about or seen mention of Black royalty/rulers outside of Africa and of course President Barack Obama.  It's imperative that more stories like Alessandro be told and researched for the world to read and see.  I can't wait to find out what kind of ruler was and why his cousins had him murdered.  The logical answer to that latter question is that they had him killed because he was Black, but I feel like there maybe other factors that contributed to his assassination as well.

  • Controversial | Read a book that is about a controversial person or topic or has a controversial title.

When it comes to controversial, I feel like sex is one of the most controversial topics besides homosexuality when it comes Christianity.  It's not talked about a lot from a standpoint of how to have it, but more from a standpoint of don't do it until marriage.  I am definitely an advocate for waiting until marriage, but I feel like there needs to be more open dialog and in-depth discussion about the act itself in the Christian community.  I will be honest say that a lot of what I learned about sex was more from the clinic/health professional side of it in my Sex Ed class in junior high, from reading Cosmopolitan Magazine and romance novels.

Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God's Design is a book that will talk about topics that most Christian women have about sex but may have felt uncomfortable asking for more clarity from their church clergy.  For example, this book will explore oral sex, how to deal with a husband who isn't in the mood as frequently as you would like, sexual fantasies and more.  I definitely wish a book like this would have been available before I became sexually active as an adult.  I'm looking forward to reading what Parker has to say and hope to stumble across many gems that I can tuck up to share with my children when they are older as well as to share with some of my friends when we talk about sex.  I'm Christian, but I refuse to be ashamed to talk about and learn about sex and it seems like Parker feels the same and wants to help make sex less of a taboo/controversial topic.

Something Extra

In the event that I knock out all of my Nonfiction November reads before the end of the month, I also want to get Daddy King: An Autobiography by Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.  The book falls in both the Important and Fascinating challenge themes for me.  We know so much about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but not a whole about his parents.  This book was originally published in 1980, but is being republished in January 2017 by Beacon Press.

I can't wait to find out more about the man who raised one of our greatest Civil Rights activist and who was also a great Civil Rights activist himself.

What is the best nonfiction that you have ever read?