Discussion Posts & 2019 Discussion Challenge

I've loved participating in the 2018 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight! I don't think I'd have stuck with blogging as long as I have (and I can't believe I've been doing this for over a year now!) if it hadn't been for this challenge leading me to post more than book reviews and blog tours. It's also the main way I've connected with other bloggers, as linking back to the blogs of people who comment on my discussion posts as well as checking out what other people post in the link-ups are mostly how I visit other blogs. So thanks a million, Nicole and Shannon - I wouldn't be the Book Otter I am today without you guys. ♥

Here are some of my favorite discussion posts I did this year, which you can go check out if you care to:

I'm really excited to sign up for the 2019 Discussion Challenge! My goal for next year is going to be 35 posts, which will put me smack dab in the middle of the Terrifically Talkative range (31-40). I thought about going for the max 41+ range, but want to set myself up for success, sooooo... 

Here are a couple of ideas I have for posts: 
  • Diverse cover models
  • Writing books/NaNoWriMo
  • Fictional worlds you want to visit
  • TV shows based on books
  • Hogwarts houses as elements
  • Least favorite romance tropes
  • Goodreads groups
  • Hobbies outside of reading
  • Jane Austen adaptations
  • Tropes: women disguised as men
  • Plus sized heroines in romance
  • Romance as a "guilty pleasure" (and why I'm not guilty at all)
Also, since July/August I've lost almost 40 lbs since implementing a series of lifestyle changes in response to finding out I have a neurological disorder called Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC, also called IIH, which I basically found out I had because I started having intermittent blindness which is NOT great for reading, let me tell you!) I've switched to a diet that's low carb and very loosely paleo based (I eat way more dairy than I'm supposed to, I think, haha) as well as hitting the gym and that sort of thing. Would lifestyle type posts be welcome, or should I stick with posts that are at least bookish-adjacent? I feel like film and fandom are at least in the same wheelhouse, but for whatever reason talking about mixing my Atkins vanilla shake with 3 shots of espresso as a low carb latte doesn't really belong on a book blog? What do you think?

What do you think of these ideas? Do these sound like things you'd like to read/talk about? Are there other posts you'd like to see? 
If you blog, do you plan to do the 2019 Discussion Challenge?

COVER REVEAL! The Hookup Handbook by Kendall Ryan

My love wand is on a strike. As bad as that blows, pun unintended, it’s ten times worse for me. I’m a male escort, but not just any escort, I’m the escort. The one with a mile-long waiting list and a pristine reputation that’s very well-deserved. Only now, I’m on hiatus. Because after years of pleasing women all over the city, my man missile decides to get finicky. And the only woman he wants? Someone I can never have—my best friend’s younger sister, the nerdy and awkwardly adorable Sienna. She’s working at the agency this summer, keeping me organized, handling paperwork, and most importantly, keeping me on track to finish writing my book about sex and intimacy, which is due to my publisher in thirty days. She thinks I hate her, that I don’t want her here. The truth is much more twisted. I get hard every time she walks into my office. Her wide blue eyes and pouty mouth drive me wild with desire, and if she stays, I’m not sure how much longer I can stay away from her. Little Miss Overachiever says she’s here to help? Fine. I’m going to put her nerdy, curvy tush to work.




A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She's a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she's appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

Blog Tour: The Duke That I Marry by Cathy Maxwell (Excerpt, Giveaway)

Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as “the Spinster Heiresses” . . .
Is it wrong for a woman to want more?
Not if she is a Spinster Heiress. They do not settle. Any young miss would be very lucky to find herself promised to a man like the Duke of Camberly. However, Miss Willa Reverly has watched her friends marry for love. Camberly may be the prize of the season, but she will not be “sold” to any man. She wants his devotion or she wants nothing at all.
When is a Marriage of Convenience inconvenient?
Newly named to the ducal title, Matthew Addison is determined to discover the secrets behind Mayfield, the bankrupt estate he has inherited. He doesn’t have time to coddle a headstrong heiress who is determined to ditch him over something as silly as “love.” Little does he know that his questions will place her in jeopardy. Now he must do what he must to save them both.
Could it be that in running from danger they might be racing headlong into a truly unexpected fate: falling in love?

About the Book

The Duke That I Marryby Cathy Maxwell
SeriesThe Spinster Heiresses Series
Historical Romance
PublisherAvon Books
Publication Date 
November 27, 2018
Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag (Spoiler: I'm Naughty)

Auburn @ Blunt Book Blog posted this Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag as the Day 5 of her Holiday Advent Calendar, and it looked so fun that I had to do it too. ♥ Be sure to check out Auburn's Holiday Advent Calendar for the rest of the amazing content on the other days!!

We can thank Jenniely for this Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag - thanks Janniely!

Tag & link the person who tagged you
Tag and link Jenniely's Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag
Tick/cross off the ones you’ve done
Tag another 10 people!

If you’ve not been tagged, go ahead and do it anyway!

✔ Received an ARC and not reviewed it
I'm at somewhere over 50 ARCs that are "past due" so I feel like I should get 50 check marks for this...

_ Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley
Despite how many past due ARCs I have, I have a LOT turned in as well, so I'm actually at 77%!! Not quite at that mythical 80%, but close...

 Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)
And they probably never will come... Sometimes you just gotta let it go.

_ Folded down the page of a book
I'm much more the find a scrap of paper or a receipt to stick in there type of person.

✔ Accidentally spilled on a book
If you haven't, then you're probably not optimizing your time and getting the most reading for your buck! Where's the "dropped a book in the bathtub" option? LOL

✔ DNF a book this year
I don't even consider this to be naughty. Life's too short to read bad books.

✔ Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it
Uh, yup. I mean, I collect different editions of Sense & Sensibility but always read the same beat up edition, so I'll never read the ones I buy just for their pretty covers... So does that count?

✔ Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)

✔ Skim read a book
I'm doing this with one of the books I'm currently reading, because I'm trying hard not to DNF it but it's going to end up being a 1 or 2 star read. It's pretty much the only way I'm going to get through it without DNFing...

_ Completely missed your Goodreads goal
Not this year! I actually increased it once already and am on track to meet (or exceed) the increased goal. *superhero pose*

✔ Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library
I mean, it got there EVENTUALLY. But there were a lot of late fees. Like... a lot. (We are just talking THIS YEAR, right?)

_ Broke a book buying ban
Only because I no longer set myself book buying bans...

✔ Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about
See the "Let It Go" response above, LOL

_ Wrote in a book you were reading
Why would you do this? Maybe if it was a textbook or something? ...No, still, whyyyy would you do this?

_ Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads
Not this year! I at least mark it as "Read" and give it a rating (or mark it "DNF"), otherwise I might not remember I read it and will pick it up and read it again and get halfway through and go "Wait a minute... I've been here before..."

✔ Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend
I mean, I'll return it once I've read it... Which just might take me a few years...

_ Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book
You can absolutely borrow a book! ...Just so long as I've already read it first.

_ Broke the spine of someone else’s book
I am a breaker of spines, I will admit, but I am careful with the books of others.

_ Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged
No, I take the jacket off and put it somewhere safe. Somewhere so safe that I never find it again.

✔ Sat on a book accidentally
Can anyone honestly say they haven't? Come on.

Total: 11/20
There's no rating scale, so I'm not sure how naughty that makes me! 55% Naughty?
That seems like Gaston levels of Naughty.

I tag:

Peekaboo @ Bookquarium
AJ @ Read All the Things!
Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books
Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight
Lauren @ Shooting Stars Mag
Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations
Lattes, Lipstick & Literature

COVER REVEAL: Anton by Brenda Rother

Today we are sharing the cover reveal of ANTON by Brenda Rothert. This is a contemporary romance, standalone that will be releasing on January 29th. It kicks off the brand new Chicago Blaze hockey romance series. Pre-order your copy now for only $2.99!

Add the book to your TBR Pile now!

Pre-order on Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books

Follow Brenda's newsletter for exclusive details!

Anton by Brenda Rothert

Releasing January 29
Chicago Blaze, #1
Pre-order on Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books

Book Blurb

He’s known as Father Anton to his teammates—the brooding, sexy captain of the NHL’s Chicago Blaze has a reputation for…not having a reputation. Just like his diet and sleep routines, celibacy is part of Anton Petrov’s on-ice mojo. Or so they say. Anton stays mum on the subject. If the world thinks he chooses to abstain from sex, so be it. Better that than the truth getting out: there is a woman he burns for, but he can never have her. She’s his teammate’s wife, after all. Mia Marceau is finally on her own. Now that she and her husband are living apart, she’s finding the peace she was desperate for. She spends her days in classes and late nights bartending, making her own way in the world at last. After what she’s been through, as long as her husband leaves her alone, she doesn’t plan to rock the boat. He still has the power to hurt those dearest to her, and she can’t demand a divorce with such a high cost. A chance encounter with Mia has Anton hoping for a shot he never thought he’d get. And while she’s drawn to the intense, serious hockey center, Mia’s leery about playing with fire. That’s all Anton has ever known for Mia, though—a living, burning desire that won’t be denied—no matter the cost.

Add the book to Goodreads



Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Wattpad | Amazon

InkSlinger Blogger Final

Discussion: Holiday Romance ~ Books

Happy Holidays! I love this time of year, because it means it's finally time to GLUT MYSELF ON HOLIDAY ROMANCES! Today I want to focus on holiday romances in book form. (Don't worry, I'll do another post in a couple of whiles on holiday romance movies!) 

Here are a few holiday romances I adored. A lot of these are contemporaries because most holiday historicals tend to be novellas, for some reason. *shrug* 

Not Just For Christmas by Annabeth Jacobs
For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable. 

Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man. 

In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.

(Goodreads - and check out my review here.) (Available on KindleUnlimited!)

Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
Meet cute...
Run for the hills—temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.

Make merry...
Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she's gorgeous and a great listener just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

and hope for a miracle.
Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

(Goodreads - and check out my review here.)

The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr
Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve. 

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flakey actor beau.

It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.

(Goodreads - and check out my review here.)

The Decoy Date by Mira Lynn Kelly
Brody O'Donnel doesn't believe in happily-ever-afters—at least, not for himself. But he wants the best for his vivacious, beautiful friend Gwen Danes, and he's tired of watching her pine for a clueless man. Figuring a little bit of jealousy will motivate the guy, Brody proposes a fake relationship. It's an outrageous plan, but Gwen figures there's no harm in it—until they share a passionate kiss she never saw coming.
Suddenly, Gwen's fighting a growing attraction to a man she knows she can't have. After all, he's just faking it...isn't he?
(Goodreads - and check out my review here.)
Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare
A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Outwas a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir--only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.

I've also got a list of Kindle Unlimited Christmas reads a mile long - here's a sneak peak of a few books on it!

And here are some great holiday recommendations from other book bloggers around the web!

A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can't forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him...or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He's been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he's determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss...

A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella (38,000 words) in the Brothers Sinister series. It follows The Duchess War. Each book stands on its own, but those who prefer to read in order might want to read that book first. 

(Goodreads - recommended by Peekaboo @ Bookquarium)

Do you read holiday themed books around this time of year? What are some of your favorites?

2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

OK, OK, I *know* I said I was limiting myself to 3 challenges in 2019, but this one will go hand in hand with #BeatTheBacklist so it's really fiiiiiine. ;)

Hosted by Andi's ABC's

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 (books read prior to 1/1/2019 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime you want, though the sign up linky will close Nov. 15, 2019. 
  • The goal is to read as many Contemporary Romance books as you’d like. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down. Remember, the idea is to challenge yourself.
  • Books that qualify for this challenge can be young adult, new adult, or adult. Books can be M/F, M/M, or F/F. Books must be a work of fiction (sorry, nonfiction does not qualify for this challenge).
  • Romances with the following elements do not qualify for this reading challenge: paranormal, historical, time-travel, fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/suspense/thriller.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are 100 pages in length (give or take), as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Use the hashtag #ContRom2019 when posting your reviews/updates/re-caps/monthly topics on social media.
  • To join this challenge, grab the 2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge button below and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. This will be your “update post” when doing the monthly link up.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge (your designated “update post” for the monthly link up) and your profile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.


  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books

My goal: 21+ books for the GRAND SLAM level
Here's a link to my 2019 Contemporary Romance Challenge shelf on Goodreads.



Discussion Posts & 2019 Discussion Challenge

I've loved participating in the 2018 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at M...