My #NationalPoetryMonth TBR!

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Every April it’s National Poetry Month. I’ve used Poetry Month to help celebrate NPM on my blog for the last few years. This year’s Poetry Month won’t be a month full of poetry posts. The last one was great, but I didn’t have the time to put as much effort into lining up poets and other posts for a full celebration. It’s getting harder and harder to social on social media and I have a day job. Twitter just isn’t the platform it used to be, which is where I had met dozens of poets over the years. But who knows, maybe one of you reading this is a poet or poetry lover and would like to be featured/do a guest post this month. Just let me know.

Now for the good news: I’m not planning on sitting NPM out this year. While the blog may not be as exciting, I put together a TBR for myself. If you’d like to follow along, the current list as of April 1st is listed below.

I read a record number of poetry collections last year and discovered so many poets through the time I took to put that event together. Part of why it was such a great poetry reading time was that I discovered Button Poetry in late 2017/early 2018. I devoured whatever books I could get my hands on. This month, I plan on doing the same. I have 3 collections sitting in my pile now and two more ordered and hopefully shipping out soon. That alone should make it a great reading month.

Without any more delay, here’s my NPM to be read pile. It will expand, I hope. And maybe you’ll convince me to add one of your favorite collections or one you wrote to the pile. Comment on this post with your suggestions!

It’s a small TBR compared to last year, but it will hopefully be completed and/or expanded thanks to your help.

That’s it. That’s what I have for Poetry Month today. We’ll see what the month holds. Maybe some random things here and there. Just get out there and read some poetry this month! Enjoy it!

New Release: Hard Loving Cowboy, by @AJ_Pine

This cowboy’s handsome, sexy, and definitely off limits . . .

Walker Everett spends his days at the Crossroads Ranch wrangling cattle-and steering clear of anything that would complicate his already too-complicated life. Until Violet Chastain, the ranch’s newest employee, asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for her parents’ anniversary party. She’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever met and needs his help. How can he refuse?

Violet isn’t about to fall for a brooding bad-boy cowboy, no matter how sizzling their chemistry. But she also never expected Walker to go along with the charade. Before long, he’s charming her parents at their weekly dinners and kissing her way more than necessary. Spending so much time together tests the limits of their “just friends” relationship, but what happens when their game of pretend becomes all too real?

Includes the bonus story Rocky Mountain Cowboy by Sara Richardson!

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Grab a copy of Hard Loving Cowboy from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

and don’t forget that this book also includes a Sara Richardson novella about a snowboarding cowboy! I read it last year. It’s great!

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About the Author:

A teen librarian by day and a romance writer by night, A.J. Pine can’t seem to escape the world of fiction, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s the author of the If Only series (Entangled Embrace), the Only You series (Berkley/Intermix), the Kingston Ale House series (Entangled Select), and the upcoming Crossroads Ranch series (Forever Romance). When she finds that 25th hour in the day, she might indulge in a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. She hails from the far off galaxy of the Chicago suburbs.

Find out more:

New Release: Anyone but You, by @Chel_C_Cam

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Things are going great for Sutton Kay, or at least they were. Her yoga studio is doing well, she’s living with her best friend, and she just got two kittens named Mocha and Cappuccino. Sure, she doesn’t have a girlfriend, but her life is full and busy.

Then her building is sold and the new landlord turns out to be the woman putting in a gym downstairs who doesn’t seem to understand the concepts “courtesy” and “don’t be rude to your tenants.” Sutton can’t get a read on Tuesday Grímsdóttir, but she can appreciate her muscles. Seriously, Tuesday is ripped. Not that that has anything to do with anything since she’s too surly to have a conversation with, and won’t stop pissing Sutton off.

Sutton’s life gets interesting after she dares Tuesday to make it through one yoga class, and then Tuesday gives Sutton the same dare. Soon enough they’re spending time working out together and when the sweat starts flowing, the sparks start flying. How is it possible to be so attracted to a person you can barely stand?

But when someone from Tuesday’s past shows up and Sutton sees a whole new side of Tuesday, will she change her mind about her grumpy landlord? Can she?

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Grab your copy from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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Not enough F/F romance? I suggest checking these out too:

Style

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

and

Violet Hill (3 novella series)

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today/Internationally Best-selling author from Maine who now lives and works in Boston. She’s a red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader, and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, getting brunch with her partner, tweeting, and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Find out more:

New Release: California Girls, by @SusanMallery

The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…

Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived.

Find out more:

Themed Book Recommendations: Romance Novellas

Novellas. Why did I make a list of novellas? Who reads them anyway? Well…I real novellas. And short stories. And just about anything. Some people stick to novels, but there are some of us who like to read some shorter works every once in a while. I’ve found some of the best stories in novellas and they have stuck with me longer than some novels have.

For the latest (and long overdue) Themed Recommendations post, I bring to you over a dozen romance novellas from all over the sea of subgenres! Historical? Contemp with some royalty or some bakers? A mechanic? Shifters? This list has you covered and then some. While the novella length definition isn’t a set amount, you’ll find these to be short reads. At most around 150 pages, many well under that.

I couldn’t have made this list without the help of Christine Maria Rose, a long time Twitter friend and source of great recs. Find her @cmhrose and reviewing at All About Romance. Other recs came in from @NanReinhardt and @jessmichaelsbks

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

 

Review: If My Body Could Speak, by @blythe_baird

Title: If My Body Could Speak
Author: Blythe Baird
Rating: 5/5 stars

If My Body Could Speak is about fighting for the space one takes up in a world that would rather they take up none at all. Blythe Baird deftly and uniquely charts a course through various modes of womanhood and women’s bodies. Through love, loss, and the struggles of disordered eating, If My Body Could Speak uses sharp narratives and visceral imagery to get to the heart of a many-layered existence, speaking to many generations at once.” (description from Goodreads)

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Yet another amazing collection that Button Poetry has put out. I bought a copy knowing only that I have yet to be disappointed by the publisher’s previous titles. Now, having read Baird’s poems, I can say that I was blown away and wish I had more from the poet to read.

The poems are filled with honesty and beauty, all while not shying away from heavy subject matter. Baird could easily be my new favorite poet. I’ll be keeping on eye out for anything new from now on!

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Button Poetry | Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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About the Author:

Blythe Baird is a 19-year-old actress, poet, and feminist. In 2014, she represented Chicago as the youngest competitor at the National Poetry Slam. In 2015, she returned to NPS representing the Twin Cities Unified team. 

Her work has been published or featured by The Huffington Post, Ashton Kutcher, A-Plus, Write Bloody, EverydayFeminism, Button Poetry, Chicago Literati, Banango Street, and Wicked Banshee, among others. She is currently studying creative writing, women’s studies, and ASL at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. 

With three nominations at the ICFF including Best Picture, Baird takes on the role of Stephen Baldwin’s daughter in Auslynn Films 2015 indie feature “The UnMiracle.” 

In the past year, Baird’s poetry has gone viral on the internet. Her poem “Girl Code 101” has been utilized in academic lesson plans across the globe, featured in Occidental College’s updated “The Vagina Monologues,” and holds the state title for Poetry Interpretation at Colorado’s national speech tournament.

Find out more:

Cover Reveal: Anyone But You, by @Chel_C_Cam

You can read this F/F Adult Contemporary Rom Com on
March 19, 2019

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Things are going great for Sutton Kay, or at least they were. Her yoga studio is doing well, she’s living with her best friend, and she just got two kittens named Mocha and Cappuccino. Sure, she doesn’t have a girlfriend, but her life is full and busy.

Then her building is sold and the new landlord turns out to be the woman putting in a gym downstairs who doesn’t seem to understand the concepts “courtesy” and “don’t be rude to your tenants.” Sutton can’t get a read on Tuesday Grímsdóttir, but she can appreciate her muscles. Seriously, Tuesday is ripped. Not that that has anything to do with anything since she’s too surly to have a conversation with, and won’t stop pissing Sutton off.

Sutton’s life gets interesting after she dares Tuesday to make it through one yoga class, and then Tuesday gives Sutton the same dare. Soon enough they’re spending time working out together and when the sweat starts flowing, the sparks start flying. How is it possible to be so attracted to a person you can barely stand?

But when someone from Tuesday’s past shows up and Sutton sees a whole new side of Tuesday, will she change her mind about her grumpy landlord? Can she?

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While you wait for this book to be released, here’s a little teaser to sink your teeth into…

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Only one person was in the room. One person for all that noise. They had their back to me, a weight bar rested on their upper back, with huge black weight plates on either end. Slowly, they squatted down and then pressed back to standing.

I forgot about the music for a second while I watched their legs flex. The person was only wearing shorts and a sports bra and their back glistened with sweat in the low light. This place was definitely in need of some more lighting. The dim corners added more to the prison vibe.

The person squatted again, making a little grunting noise as they stood up again. I should probably stop staring, or at least make my presence known. I definitely needed to stop staring at the person’s ass.

“Excuse me,” I said, but they couldn’t hear me over the music, so I stepped closer. “Excuse me!” I yelled, and the person slowly pivoted, weight bar still on their back. Dark hair, tan skin, piercing blue eyes. That was all I saw, and I almost stumbled backwards. I’d never seen someone so intimidating in my life.

“You shouldn’t sneak up behind people when they’re lifting heavy things,” she said, popping the bar off her back and letting it slam into the floor and bounce a few times. She walked over to the sound system and turned the music down. Blessed relief. I could finally hear myself think.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know how else to get your attention. The music was a little loud.”

One dark eyebrow raised.

“Can I help you?” The irritation radiated off her in waves. What if I was a potential customer? Not a very good first impression for this gym.

“Yes, I own the studio upstairs,” I said, pointing upward, “and your music is too loud. It’s messing with my classes.” Her eyes narrowed.

“Is it,” she said, and it wasn’t a question.

“Yes. The base pounds through the floor and it’s distracting. It was hard enough with the construction, but I thought once that was over, things would go back to normal.” I’d never had issues with my downstairs neighbors before. They’d even given me free croissants every time I’d come in, and a few of their baristas had come to class. I wasn’t getting any free croissants now. Just dirty looks and layers of hostility.

“Look, I’m not asking a lot. Just turn it down. Or get some headphones. Are you planning to make it that loud when you open?” I hoped not.

She stepped over the bar and walked closer to me, but it was only to reach for a water bottle that sat on a bench beside where I stood. I took an involuntary step back.

“I’m planning to do whatever I want,” she said, taking a swig of water. “This is my gym.”

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If that wasn’t enough to hold you over, you can read Chelsea’s other F/F romances that have already been released. I suggest:

Style

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

and

Violet Hill (3 novella series)

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today/Internationally Best-selling author from Maine who now lives and works in Boston. She’s a red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader, and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, getting brunch with her partner, tweeting, and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Find out more: