Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week is: 
Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me! 

My Guest Blogger, Jamie, and I decided to split this up. She picked five, and I picked five as well! :) 

Travel is fun in general, but it is also a lot of fun in books as well. Books are a way for a lot of people to escape, so if you have travel in your books it will take you to a lot  places you've always wanted to see, but through a different set of eyes. And you don't have to worry about all the negative aspects of travel, either. :) 

1) The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction 

It has been a while since I've read this, but I remember feeling sad, and also feeling a bit of wonderlust from it. The urge to travel hit really hard, so did the urge to cry, but the travel bug was huge in this one. :) 

2) A is for Alpha Male by Laurel Ulen Curtis

I'm Haley Whitfield, and I recently had the ingenious idea to enlist my mother, Allison, as my kick*ss sidekick and set out on a road trip. This road trip wasn't to be just any road trip, but a very special one indeed. An adventure with an acutely specific purpose - to find our other halves. The peanut butter to our jelly. The i to our Phone. The stripper to our pole. 

If our romantic desires were a personal ad, they would read something like this: 
** Two sassy women (Ages twenty-seven and forty-nine respectively - Ouch. Okay, ages twenty-seven and thirty - with nineteen years experience - respectively) seeking Alpha Males to love us with zeal and kiss us with skill. Gorgeous face and sexy, tattooed, hard body a must. If you aren't a dangerous bad*ss with the x-rated skills and virility to match, don't bother. Must be willing to protect us from danger, value our quirkiness, and keep your mouth shut when said quirkiness is what leads to said danger. Momma's boys named Dan Smith need not apply.** 

I know. It's a bit wordy. In fact, it would probably cost a fortune. Luckily, we're not ready for the personal ad. We're not that desperate... yet. This is my story. 

Warning: Some explicit language and sexual content.

This book is hilarious! I thought this book was really good, and it is sort of a tribute to one of my favorite authors, so that makes it even more awesome.  This book has some travel in it, and romance of course, but it also has a bit of mom and daughter stuff going on as well. And that really hits close to home. I adored this book, and I laughed and cried through it. And it made me want to take a road trip with my mom. 

3) Trip & Fall by Kendal Waller

Georgia Lee Marshall has spent the last decade watching her best and closest friends move away and begin their fabulous lives while she has stayed close to home and buried herself beneath her self imposed responsibilities, her work, and a mountain of ‘what if’s’. The truth is Georgia has never believed she could do more. This was her life and she was determined to do the best she could with what she had without spending too much of her time worrying about the ways things could have been different if she’d made other decisions along the way.
When she loses her job, sells her house to the first person who looks at it, and is faced with a summer full of the possibilities. She takes off on what she calls an adventure - hoping to find the answers to why her friends’ lives turned out so much better and more exciting than hers. She jumps into her jeep and out of her comfort zone, searching out the ‘what if’s’, and looking for a new direction for herself.
This is the story of Georgia’s journey and the discovery of the realization that things are not always how they seem. Finding in the end that if she is brave enough to believe in herself, she may find the adventure of her life will lead her to a life she never could have dreamt possible.

Georgia has ended up losing it all, and decides it is time to find her self. She takes off on a road trip that will bring her lots of fun, and a few crazy times as well. 
This book really makes you just want to pack up and take off to see the world and what it has to offer. It also makes you realize that you should be grateful for what you have as well. I really enjoyed this one, and it set off the travel bug in me. 

4) In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her. 

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

I'm starting to notice a trend with all of my "travel bug" books. They are all really sad, well most of them anyway. This is another one that starts off really sad, and stays sad, but it also brings joy and happiness to the reader as well. Oh, and let's not forget it awakes the travel bug, too. 

5) Roadtrip to Redemption by Laurie Larsen

Leslie Malone faces an empty, lonely summer. Her marriage is over. Her daughter is overseas, living her dream. Her students are enjoying a carefree summer break. What's the purpose of her life if she's not a wife, mother and teacher? The idea of a roadtrip beckons her. Aimless wandering? Or inspired discovery? A woman of faith, she asks God for His guidance, then does her best to follow His direction.
Hank Harrison is a quiet man, good with his hands, but short on words. He's paid a heavy price for not forgiving his son for horrible mistakes made years ago, mistakes with vast consequences. Hank recognizes Leslie as an answer to his prayers, and together, they begin to mend their futures.
Neither of them plans to fall in love. Will the worst summer of Leslie's life become the season that redeems them both?
The title of this one sort of says it all. It gives me a huge urge to travel and enjoy life like the heroine decides to do in this one. She also found love along the way as well. 
So, while I would be taking my love with me, I would still have a wonderful time with this one. :) 

That's all from me, be sure to check out Jamie's picks below, and I hope everyone has a good week! 

Five Books That Awaken the Travel Bug in Me

My favorite part of reading is the escape and exploration of a new place. Books open up a whole new world, and I find myself adding more and more destinations to my bucket list. Here I’ve included a few books that always get my travel bug plotting and planning.

1.) Southern Sunset (44 South, #1) by Nicola Claire
I stared out at the majestic vista before me and thought, if God lived anywhere, it'd be here. And then I looked down at the dead body at my feet.

Quirky townspeople?

There’s something strange about Twizel. Maggie Blackmore didn’t come to this sleepy hollow for a mystery, but she sure as heck found one. Being an Aucklander in the South Island doesn’t help either. If they’re not calling her a JAFA (Just Another F**king Aucklander) then they’re telling her to slow down. Twizel Time is real and Maggie has to learn to roll with it.

As if that’s not enough, then there’s the farmers.

Got a thing for ponytails?

Just what the hell Luke Drake is up to is anyone’s guess. But when the station manager of Red Tussock takes an interest in the new girl in town, there’s no stopping him. And Maggie’s not sure that she wants to. But rules are rules and murder complicates matters. Being the only cop in town who can investigate the growing number of crimes puts Maggie in an even deeper quagmire.

And that’s not even considering the past that comes back to haunt her.

This sleepy hollow has just woken up and Twizel doesn’t care if you were born here or born to live here. Sooner or later your secrets will come out.

☆I love Nicola Claire. Her books never fail to entertain me, and I adore the setting. Most of her books are set in New Zealand, so it’s been on my list of places to visit for a very long time. Southern Sunset opened my eyes to the beauty of all of New Zealand, though. After reading this book, I was desperate to visit Mackenzie Country. Look up pictures of Twizel, New Zealand. You’ll have it on your to visit list, too.

2.) Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell, #1) by Kristen Ashley
After making a bad decision when she was very young, Kia Clementine finds herself in hell. Then, suddenly, within the time it takes for a shotgun to blast, her hell changes. Completely. Then out-of-the-blue she sees Sampson Cooper, her celebrity crush. A man the whole world knows is decent. A man the world knows is loyal. A man the world knows is good. All of these very unlike her now dead husband.

He’s sitting at a table right next to hers. And she catches his eye.

Terrified of the interest Sam shows in her, Kia finds the courage to go out with him. Not long after, she shares her dark secrets and Sam shares that he’ll stop at nothing to gain her trust.

As Sam leads Kia to heaven, Kia realizes that Sam is living his own hell. But although he gives her beauty and she gives him everything, he withholds his trust.

Even with all the beauty Sam shows her, Kia wants it all. But Sam forces Kia to make a heartbreaking decision and only she can decide. It’s all or nothing.

☆Kristen Ashley is one of my favorite authors, and she never fails to describe a world that’s hard to resist. Heaven and Hell includes a heroine making her own life changes and using travel to connect back with who she is. I loved it, and found myself wanting to go right along with her to Italy and Greece. Especially Greece. The sights, sounds, and food always make me want to pick up the phone to a travel agent as soon as I’m done reading.

3.) Born in Fire (Born In Trilogy, #1) by Nora Roberts
Passions are about to flare for the Concannon sisters . . .

Maggie and Brianna Concannon are two very different sisters. The calm and gentle Bri seems able to weather any storm, even the constant criticism that rains down on them both from their mother, but Maggie is a passionate and fiery artist whose temper is as bold as her art. Their mother's bitterness is a mystery to Bri and Maggie, until secrets from the past challenge everything they've come to believe.

It's Maggie's skill as a glass blower that brings Rogan Sweeney, the international gallery owner, to her small cottage in County Clare. His interest in her is purely professional, until their personalities clash and sparks begin to fly . . . As her career takes off, how will Maggie cope with the heat of the spotlight and feelings for Rogan that she would rather ignore?

☆As a teen, I remember falling in love with romance books. I’d steal and hide my mom and grandma’s paperbacks so I could secretly read them. Along with harlequin books, I found Nora Roberts. The Born In Trilogy were my very first books by NR and through them, I found my love of Ireland. I have Irish ancestry, so I gobbled up all three books, and promised myself I’d one day visit the rolling green hills and gothic castles.

4.) Baby It’s Cold Outside (Alaskan Nights, #1) by Addison Fox
After a frantic call, Sloan McKinley travels to the heart of the Alaskan wilderness to be there for her best friend, who's just inherited property in the small town of Indigo. The last thing she expects is to be lured by the town's matriarchs into their annual contest to get their grandsons married off.

But Sloan can't deny the appeal of the rugged local men-Walker Montgomery in particular. Soon she finds herself falling in love with the wild outdoors...and with one of Indigo's most beloved residents. There's just one question that remains: is the town's most confirmed bachelor ready to get caught?

☆Winter is my favorite holiday, so books with snow always catch my attention. The Alaskan Nights series is a sweet romance that just happens to take place in the wilds of Alaska. After reading, I probably had a romanticized view of what living there would mean, but I still want to visit. Beautiful, sparkly white as far as the eye can see, and the chance to experience the Northern Lights first-hand.

5.) Running Into Love (Fluke My Life, #1) by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Fawn Reed has kissed one too many toads and has finally decided that Prince Charming doesn’t exist. After countless mishaps, mistakes, and unmitigated disasters on the dating scene, she’s decided to give up and move on with her life…solo.

Everything changes, however, after Fawn runs into Levi Fremont, a homicide detective new to New York City.

Dedication to the job has rendered Levi’s love life nonexistent—until he moves in next door to the free-spirited Fawn. After a series of comedic run-ins push them together, will they finally give in to the inevitable and realize—maybe—they are perfect for each other?

☆Aurora Rose Reynolds is another of my all-time fave authors, and her books always entertain me. While Stumbling Into Love doesn’t contain overwhelming descriptions of the New York setting, it still brings my love of the vibrant city roaring back to life. I had the opportunity to visit New York in my late teens and I adored every bit of the fast-paced environment. Reading books set there, reminds me of that amazing trip and only makes me want to experience it all over again.

by Shooting Stars Reviews 9:35 AM 2 comments


  1. Oh nice picks! I have to say that all of them are new to me ones!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  2. @Jessica, thanks for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to check out some of these books.


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