Thursday, December 1, 2016

Seventh Annual International Holiday #Readathon - Sign-Up

Seventh Annual International 

DECEMBER 2nd-4th, 2016


I'm Joli, your host and I'm overjoyed that you've joined me here to participate. This #readathon is one of my favorite book events of the year and I was more than happy to takeover when Liza at WhoRuBlog asked me to host in 2015. I've participated in the Holiday #Readathon every year and want to keep the tradition going!

To participate: SIGN UP using Mister Linky below and READ. That's It!! 

You can use your blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts to join.


Everyone who signs up through Mr. Linky below is entered for a chance to win $25.00 (US) in books from The Book Depository.


For every 50 participants to sign-up, an additional giveaway will be offered.

You do not need to participate in the mini-challenges to qualify.

Share the news about the #Readathon
and have a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card
(click Rafflecopter link below)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 If you have any questions or you are an author/blogger who would like to offer a mini-challenge, feel free to contact me (Liza) at - See more at:
 If you have any questions about the #Readathon or if you are an author or blogger who would like to host a mini-challenge, please send an email to: actinupwb (at) gmail (dot) com. 
 If you have any questions or you are an author/blogger who would like to offer a mini-challenge, feel free to contact me (Liza) at - See more at:

(I'll update the mini-challenges as they are confirmed) 

1. My Mini-Challenge - Prize: a $15.00 gift certificate to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or The Book Depository. To enter: GIVE

1. Pledge a penny or two or three (or any amount you want!) per page that you read. Put a minimum number that you will pledge. For example: 100 pages – $1.00. And then donate the amount to your favorite charity.
2. ANY type of donation for the holiday season – a can(s) of food, book to a library, Toy for Tots, gently used books or clothes donated to a shelter, school – qualifies. OR volunteer your time at, for example, a soup kitchen or food bank. Just list it. (Feel free to come up with your own ideas!)
3. Click on comments below and share your pledge/donation. THIS IS ON THE HONOR SYSTEM!
(again, you do not have to participate in this mini-challenge to participate in the readathon)

2. Hosted by Liza Wiemer - author of Hello?

The Hello? Inspired Challenge The Hello? Inspired Challenge (Link to enter mini-challenge (

A holiday tradition in Emerson's family is everyone receives a book. Essentially, that's the only "physical" gift they will get. Their big gift is a family activity, like a road trip to the caves of Kentucky or a trip to Memphis to see the Civil Rights Museum or a trip to Chicago to explore museums.

My mini-challenge is: what book would you give as a holiday gift and why?

Extra entry: If you chose to pass on other holiday gifts and instead decide to take a road trip within reasonable distance of your home (so it's affordable) where would you take a few days off to spend quality time with your loved one(s)?

PRIZES: US- An annotated copy of HELLO?. 

International: A copy of HELLO? from The Book Depository

3. Giveaway Prize provided by Karen Ann Hopkins - author of the Temptation series, Serenity's Plain Secrets series, and The Wings of War Series

Mini-Challenge: Since I have a few series out and my prizes are books from each of these series, I want to know your favorite book series.

Tweet the book title @karenannhopkins #readathon or post a photo of the series on Instagram with #KarenAnnHopkins #Readathon and a winner will be selected.

Prizes: Three Winners!
Prize 1 - Signed copies of Embers, Gaia & Tempest 
Prize 2 -  A signed copy of Rachel's Deception
Prize 3 - A signed copy of Lamb to the Slaughter, along with a free audio experience with Audible for Lamb.

4. Hosted by Joanne Rock
Mini-Challenge -  Just name your favorite holiday movie for a chance to win the Holiday Prize pack with a copy of Whispers Under a Southern Sky by Joanne Rock, plus travel sized coloring book, pencils and notepad. Please give the page a "Like" while you're at it so it's easy for me to tag you when you win! My winner will be announced 12/4 at midnight... no purchase necessary!

Visit Joanne Rock's Facebook Page to enter!
Prize: Holiday Prize pack with a copy of Whispers Under a Southern Sky by Joanne Rock, plus travel sized coloring book, pencils and notepad

5. Hosted by Holly Cromer Photography

The Mini-Challenge: Readathon snacks: When I'm settling in for a day of reading, I like to have a snack handy - usually it's some kind of chocolate and a cup of coffee. For my challenge, I'd like you to share your readathon snacks and the title of the book you are currently reading. You can share on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Make sure to include #readathon and #readathonsnacks. If you share a photo of your snacks and book, you'll receive an extra entry.

Shares beginning 12/2/16 12:00 a.m. - 12/4/16 11:59 EST will count. You CAN submit entries for each day of the readathon. 

Prize: $5.00 Amazon gift card

6. Hosted by Brooke of Brooke Blogs 
Challenge - to be announced 
Prize -  Christmas themed adult coloring book prize package (or
they can choose a $5 Amazon GC).

7.  Giveaway Prize provided by Workman Publishing
Mini- Challenge: Retweet, Share, or Repost about Boss Babes Adult Coloring Book 

Prize - #BossBabes Adult Coloring Book

8. Hosted by Clara Kensie - Author of Aftermath and Run to You
Mini-Challenge -
Take a photo of yourself with the book(s) you're reading for the Holiday Readathon, and share it on your social media with the hashtag #ReadathonSelfie, and tag me: 
Instagram: @clarakensie
Twitter: @ClaraKensie
Facebook: Clara Kensie Author
Prize: A personalized signed hardcover copy of my November 2016 release, Aftermath (US). If the winner is international, the prize is a hardcover copy of AFTERMATH from The Book Depository.

9.  Giveaway Prize provided by Novl
Mini- Challenge: Share a book on your wishlist.
Share in the rafflecopter form (extra entries too!)
Prize - NOVL tote filled with ARCs, hardcovers, and swag


Mini-challenges/giveaways end on Sunday, December 4th at midnight PST. Please note that all the bloggers/authors have their own rules for their challenges.

Please share what you’re reading and your progress during the Readathon on Twitter by including in your tweet – Holiday #Readathon.

Twitter Party

Sunday, December 4th, 8 p.m. - 9 p.m. EST. Follow along using #READATHON. We'll talk about the books we're reading and holiday memories. There will be several giveaways during the party, so make sure to join in the fun!

This readathon is meant to be a fun, no pressure event. Read as much or as little as you want and you can start any time during the weekend. I'll be cheering you on!! 

Sign Up Here with Mister Linky:

Cover Reveal: SHADED WITH LOVE: A Coloring Book for a Cause

It's another fun, author and book inspired coloring book!

Shaded With Love: A Coloring Book for a Cause! 

This coloring book, featuring 75 designs inspired by your favorite authors & bloggers, will release on DECEMBER 14th, just in time for the holidays and all proceeds will benefit FREE2LUV, an anti-bullying non-profit. So get your one-click finger ready! 

Illustrator: Jessica Hildreth

Find out more about Free2Luv here:

Participating Authors and Bloggers:
Jessica Hildreth, Vicki Green, Katharina LeBoeuf, Beantown Bitches Book Page, A.L. Wood, Noelle Bodhaine, Angela Coffey,Amy Briggs, Little Shop of Readers, Gillian Jones, Avelyn Paige, GM Scherbert, Jennifer L. Armentrout, also known as J. Lynn,Charlotte Fallowfield, Geri Glenn, Janine Infante Bosco, Christine Hughes,Cecilia London, T.K. Leigh, Jen Luerssen,Tiffani Lynn, Sister Spot Book Blog, MJ Fields, Jenika Snow, Jennifers Taking A Break, Reading After Dark, J.C. Valentine, Alyvia Paige, Maria DeSouza, Rhonda James, Mary Elizabeth, JL Long, J.L. Beck, Brooke May, Emery Jacobs, Amelia Sue, J.M. Walker, Annelise Reynolds, Harlow Stone, Katie Fox, Mary B Moore, Read and Share Book Reviews, Len Webster, Cat Mason, Elizabeth Tork, HJ Bellus, Stacey Lewis, J. A. O'Donoghue, JL Long, MariaLisa deMora, Alphas Do It Better Book Blog, Evan Grace, Niquel, Xana Jordan, K. Renee, Anna Paige, Elizabeth Princeton, Cory Cyr, N. E. Henderson, L.J. Shen, Kennedy Fox, K.L. Kreig, Ginger Ring, Relentless Book Chics Ramblings & Reviews, Leisa Rayven, Alyson Raynes, Emerson Rose, FG Adams, Stevie J. Cole, Gemma James, M. Robinson, A. Zavarelli, Books and Boys Book Blog, Heather Carver, HEA Bookshelf, Kim Jones, Rachel Robinson, R+M Photography, Angie Brashears

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SOMETHING MORE Review Tour: NORMAL by Danielle Pearl

I am thrilled to share my review of NORMAL, Book 1 of the Something More box set by Danielle Pearl! This box set is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and contains three amazing new adult books that you need to read NOW!


I first met Rory and Sam as secondary characters in Danielle Pearl's new adult spin-off novel, IN RUINS. After reading IN RUINS, I had to read the originating story and find out how it all started. 

I'm glad to have had some background about Rory and Sam and that I read the blurb disclaimer "This is not a flowery romance - not for the faint of heart" because this book will legit wreck you if you're not prepared. It is brutal and parts were difficult to read, but they are so necessary to the story and understanding Rory and the challenges she faces as she starts her new life.

Oh, how I fell in love with Sam and Rory and how they grew together as a couple. He wasn't always perfect, but he came pretty close. And Rory, I wanted her to find the healing that she needed. She went through traumatic experiences that no one should ever have to experience and my heart hurt for her over and over again.

I liked how the story focused on the various ideas of what is NORMAL. And ultimately the realization that there isn't such a thing as NORMAL. There is just BEING. LIVING.

Favorite Quotes:

" . . Relax," he insists, and with his words, I do, I relax, clinging to the sound of Sam's voice calling me beautiful, and the burst of the emotion that feels an awful lot like hope."

" . . his mouth capturing mine in a kiss that promises love and passion, a future glimpse for the first time with earnest hope."

I love that in these moments Rory is able to recognize hope when in the past there didn't appear to be any. 

Even with all of the difficult moments, I really loved this book. I'm excited to know that there are more books in this series AND it's available in a complete set. 



Amazon US | Amazon UK



NORMAL (Book 1)

It's the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That's what I'm counting on. 

A year ago, Aurora "Rory" Pine was just a normal teenage girl - just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after. 

But this isn't a year ago. 

Rory is broken, and suffering from a new debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that's easier said than achieved for the new girl having a panic episode outside of calculus. The worst part? There's a witness - and a gorgeous one at that. 

Sam is a walking trigger for Rory. Incredibly handsome, built like the star athlete he obviously is, and undoubtedly popular, Sam outwardly represents everything Rory despises about high school. But as the fates keep throwing them together, a connection sparks that neither ever expected, and certainly can’t ignore. 

But Sam has issues too, and Rory's past won't just stay in the damned past. When friendship evolves into something deeper, can a girl utterly destroyed by the worst kind of betrayal and a boy battling demons of his own ever have a normal relationship? Is that even what they want? Find out in NORMAL, a gritty story of trust and abuse, heartbreak and salvation, and if they're lucky - love. This is not a flowery romance - not for the faint of heart. 


 ReCAP (Book 1.5) 

Rory and Sam fell in love in NORMAL, and we all fell in love right along with them. Now see it all unfold through Sam's eyes, and learn just how the new girl with anxiety issues stole the heart of the gorgeous heartthrob, and turned his world upside down. 

You already heard the story. The one of how Rory and I fell in love, supposedly, even if she couldn't handle it in the end. You know how it all went. 

Or you think you do. 

You only know her side. But I have my own point of view, and even Rory couldn't know my thoughts in those few months it took for her to go from being a stranger to my whole entire world. 

Every moment is permanently ingrained in my memory. In my goddamned soul. From the moment I stumbled upon the girl panicking outside of calculus - the one with the tight little body, the angelic face, and the fierce attitude - to the night she abandoned me in Miami. It was the sum of those moments that changed me irrevocably. 

Our story isn't over. I won't let it be. But this, this is what happened so far, the way I saw it. 

I'm Cap. Or Sam, to Rory. And this is my story.


OKAY (Book 2)

After the horrors she’s survived over the past year, Rory never expected to find the one thing she certainly wasn’t looking for – love. But after the painful realization that her past has left her a dangerous liability to the person she cares for the most, she finally understands that for her and Sam, love means letting go.

Can two people hopelessly in love with one another ever revert back into just friends? Neither Rory nor Sam know for sure. But the one thing they do know – it’s the only choice they have. 

As Rory recovers from a devastating assault, Sam will do anything to make sure it never happens again. But how far will he go to keep her safe? Their choices will change everything, and they will either bring them back together, or destroy them irrevocably.


About the Author:

Danielle Pearl is the Amazon and iBooks best-selling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who--luckily--doesn't mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult Contemporary Romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.

Follow Danielle:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Instagram

Monday, November 28, 2016


by M.C. Lesh
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Published by Publishing
Pages: 230
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Purchase Amazon


My friends are all strange.

Right now I’m living at Brookside, a place for people like me. I’ve met a kitty girl, a brooding beautiful boy, one who can’t be touched, and others. My new friends. Strange people. People like me.

I’ve always been different, but lately, more so. My hands sometimes don’t seem to be attached to the rest of me. I cut up all of my clothes. I’m hot, so hot, all of the time. If I sleep, a wizard haunts every dream. I don’t sleep. Sometimes I want to run, but where do you run to when you’re trying to escape your own mind? I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I’m smart. I’m nice, sometimes. I just want to be normal(ish). But, right now, my friends are all strange… Like me.

Dark, funny, snarky, seventeen-year-old Becca struggles to cope with mental illness in My Friends Are All Strange, the gripping contemporary young adult companion novel to Normalish.

My Thoughts

The title MY FRIENDS ARE ALL STRANGE grabbed my attention and I just knew this was a book I needed to read. 

MY FRIENDS ARE ALL STRANGE captures Becca's experience - one experience and her relationships with the people she meets. Nothing is simply explained - the doctor's aren't quick to diagnose. She can't be categorized and easily understood and this scares Becca more than anything.  Her wellness is a process - without a quick fix. 

One of the most touching things about this MY FRIENDS ARE ALL STRANGE is Becca's realization that the people she meets are worthy of friendship and of love. Their illnesses aren't easily explained and yes it affects their behavior, but that doesn't make them any less deserving of companionship. And she realizes it doesn't make her any less deserving either. 

I found MY FRIENDS ARE ALL STRANGE to be touching and moving with moments of joy and happiness. When I started reading it, I didn't realize that it was a companion novel to the book Normalish about Becca's younger sister Stacy. I enjoyed this book so much that I'll have to check out Normalish too. 

A great read!

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from XPresso Book Tours for review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


California native Margaret Lesh lives in a narrow canyon populated by herds of wild burro and packs of coyote. The canyon is also populated with her creative, handsome husband, her feisty mother-in-law, her not-brave-at-all Border Collie, Echo, and sometimes her son (who is away at college. And she is not quite sure how that all happened so fast).

She writes books to entertain young and not-so-young readers as well as herself. She believes tacos are magic.

Author links:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Guest Post with TRANSCENDENT Author Katelyn Detweiler

Today I am hosting author Katelyn Detweiler at Actin' Up with Books. Katelyn is the author of IMMACULATE and the recently published TRANSCENDENT. When I host authors, I love asking them to share books that made them fall in love with reading and writing.  I'm always fascinated by the variety of books that open up their world.

Welcome Katelyn!


Who couldn’t love Pippi?! She was weird and wonderful and fun and loving. She made it feel cool and okay to be totally quirky. Pippi walked to her own beat, always. Every book with her was a grand new adventure.

SWEET VALLEY TWINS by Francine Pasal
My very best friends growing up were twins, and I was obsessed with the idea of being a twin, too—I would wish for one every night before bed.  That wish never came true, sadly, but reading about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield was the next best thing. I was totally an Elizabeth, though I secretly wanted to be more of a Jessica.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne Shirley will forever hold a dear, dear place in my heart. Of all the many literary characters I’ve met, Anne is the one I would most want as a best friend. Life would never be boring with her at your side. Her whimsy, her bravery, her big heart –Anne is the girl you want in your corner, always.

MANDY by Julie Andrews
I read this book over and over (and over) again. For those who don’t know, Mandy was a lonely orphan who stumbled across a secret cottage in the woods that she claims as her own. This idea of a secret place, a secret garden, was so magical to me. I felt like I was right there in that garden. It was my happy place, too.

THE SECRET GARDEN by  Frances Hodgson Burnett
Based on these last three picks, I clearly have a soft spot for orphan stories. And gardens. It’s hard to say what I loved more, the book or the spectacular 1993 movie edition. I loved how Mary turned a nightmare new world into a beautiful dream life with friends and family. Ah, makes me weepy just thinking about it!

by Katelyn Detweiler
Published October 4, 2016
Viking Books for Young Readers


A beautiful work of magical realism, a story about a girl in the real world who is called upon to be a hero.
When terrorists bomb Disney World, seventeen-year-old Iris Spero is as horrified as anyone else. Then a stranger shows up on her stoop in Brooklyn, revealing a secret about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Iris’s birth, and throwing her entire identity into question. Everything she thought she knew about her parents, and about herself, is a lie. 
Suddenly, the press is confronting Iris with the wild notion that she might be “special.” More than just special: she could be the miracle the world now so desperately needs. Families all across the grieving nation are pinning their hopes on Iris like she is some kind of saint or savior. She’s no longer sure whom she can trust—except for Zane, a homeless boy who long ago abandoned any kind of hope. She knows she can’t possibly be the glorified person everyone wants her to be… but she also can’t go back to being safe and anonymous. When nobody knows her but they all want a piece of her, who is Iris Spero now? And how can she—one teenage girl—possibly heal a broken world?


“An inspirational story about finding the strength to believe in oneself.” —School Library Journal
"The chilling plausibility of the actions and reactions of an America dealing with the murders of thousands of children... A fascinating answer to the '…but then what?' that lingers at the end of Immaculate." —Kirkus

Transcendent is a beautiful and lovingly-written book about the power of hope. You’ll lose yourself in its pages. And when you emerge, you will see the miracles that surround you, and the ones you can create.”—Francisco X. Stork, author of The Memory of Light
"This uplifting book begins with a terrible tragedy and ends with a blessing. After Detweiler gracefully eases the reader into her astonishing “What if?” she explores the life-affirming power of hope and the soul-healing nature of forgiveness."—Todd Strasser, author of Give a Boy a Gun
"Iris's tale is one of faith, courage, and connection. But the miracle in Transcendent isn't just the miracle of Iris's birth. It's the everyday miracles we are all capable of performing—love, compassion, understanding. Ultimately it's a story about the miracle of humanity."—Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List

Friday, November 18, 2016

Review: BLOW - A Virtuous Paradox Novel by Heidi McLaughlin

Virtuous Paradox #1
by Heidi McLaughlin
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Published by Loveswept
Pages: 209
Source: Publisher |Netgalley


Meet the complicated men behind the sexiest boy band in America! In Blow, the start of an emotionally charged series from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, an insatiable heartthrob gets blinded by the spotlight—and learns to fight for love.
Bodhi McKnight has always had everything handed to him on a silver platter: fame, success, money, girls. The raven-haired, blue-eyed hottie is the son of Hollywood A-listers, and when he’s asked to join the boy band Virtuous Paradox, his star shoots even higher. But so do expectations, leading Bodhi down a destructive path of addiction—until a drop-dead gorgeous guardian angel shows him her sizzling brand of tough love.
When Bodhi ends up in rehab, he doesn’t expect to meet someone as cool and down-to-earth as Kimberly Gordon. Although he’s enjoyed the company of beautiful, charming women before, none of them have tried to get to know the “real” Bodhi. But Kimberly isn’t fazed by his stardom. She’d rather go horseback riding, teach Bodhi to play guitar, or ask him about his feelings. Soon Bodhi realizes he’s fallen head over heels for her. He just hopes that he’s strong enough to protect what they have from all the pressures and temptations of the outside world.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed BLOW the first book in this new series Virtuous Paradox. I've looked forward to this boy band story since it was first announced.

There is a lot of passion in this story. Something that I liked was that they didn't fight their attraction. We weren't tortured with the will they or won't they, should they or shouldn't they get together. Bodhi and Kim just went for it. It was pretty awesome.

I've read BLOW twice and while Bodhi is the one with the issues - the addiction to overcome, the fame to deal with, Kim is the character who I was most interested in. It seemed like she was dealing with something from her past. I wanted to know more about her and her journey working at the rehab center.

I loved it when the other members of Virtuous Paradox made their appearance in the story. It introduced a new energy and we got to know more of Bodhi's personality. It's obvious that the guys care about him, but I did wonder what the other members thought of his drug use and will his struggles be addressed in future books. I'll just have to wait and see.

I liked entering to world of Virtuous Paradox and I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Imagination Designs