for everyone · Holiday Stuff · Let's Celebrate!

Inaugural Boo Box Barter

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


Hello and Happy Fall!!

As you may or may not have seen over on twitter I was wishing for someone to host what I’ve been calling a “spooky season” or fall exchange.  After thinking about it for a bit I decided to give it a go myself!  This is truly my favorite time of year and I know so many others enjoy it too so I wanted to see if y’all might want to participate . . . and the majority said yes!  (Cue I’m so excited!! a la Jessie Spano.) So let’s get started on the first (annual?). . .


I’m a sucker for alliteration what can I say?

So do you love Spooky season?  Is Halloween your favorite holiday?  Dress mainly in black (the color of your heart)?  Love skulls, witches, or follow Doth the Doth and wonder how he is so hot?  WELCOME, you are among friends!!

Or maybe that isn’t your scene and you are more into scarves, knee high boots, seasonal Starbucks drinks (Salted caramel FTW!), love football, tailgating, baking, etc?  Love a world where there are Octobers?  WELCOME.  Any and everyone who loves fall and anything that it encompasses are welcome to participate!

Now, for a few rules.  (I know, but there is always at least one bad egg.)


Since this is the inaugural exchange I’m going to keep it US only.  I’m sorry international friends but being as I’m getting this started later than I’d like and I’m not sure how participation will turn out I think that will help us get a base.  If the exchange goes well I will 100% guarantee to offer an international option next pass.  I do have another exchange I was hoping to start in July next year but again the first will be US only to get started if it gets off the ground.  Look at it this way – we can work out all the kinks before you join and make it that much easier for you!

*  Exchange will be US only

* Sign ups will run from NOW (YAY!!!) till Tuesday October 22 at 5:00pm/c.  I’m hoping to have everyone sorted within a day or two after so that way if anyone is more into the spooky side of things everyone has a little time before Halloween items are gone from the shelves.  If the swap goes well I plan on moving up the timeframe next year to give more time for my fellow spooky friends.

*  You must be willing to commit to mailing a package in the group you sign up for.  Failure to do so will result in a ban in any exchange moving forward.  There will be two groups to choose from so please think before signing up.

*  You must be active in the book community on some level.  Whether it twitter, Instagram, or your actual blog you must be active somewhere that we can verify.  Now you do not have to have a blog to participate – just be active among friends!  We will be checking to make sure so please make sure we can see your profiles.  I do not have a facebook so that is not an option for verification.

*  Try and provide a contact.  Obviously this is a loose rule. . .we’d like for you to give someone and I will specify here that the buddy should be someone active on one of these social media options as well so that your giver should feel they can trust to understand if help if needed but if you don’t have someone we won’t deny your participation.  Just know your survey is all they will have to work with and you might be short changing how awesome you are!

*  Failure to answer all questions will result in you being removed from the exchange so please fill out the survey in full!  Please email your completed survey to us at with your group number and “Boo Box Barter” as the subject.  I will do my best to respond that it was received and you have been verified.

*  Tracking will be REQUIRED and you will need to email that number to us once mailed.  I will be keeping all tracking information for reference.  Direct shipments from amazon, etc will not be allowed.  This is supposed to be a box you made specifically with someone else in mind, someone out there is making the same effort for you!

* Follow the deadline to mail.  All packages should be mailed no later than Wednesday November 13th.  I don’t want this exchange to interfere with any Christmas exchange.  This is a fall exchange which for me covers Halloween and Thanksgiving times, not Christmas.  Please do your best to commit to this time frame but I understand things may come up.  Please contact me immediately if you might be a little late and why so that I can let your person know they haven’t been forgotten.

*  Thank your giver.  We are asking that if you want to chat on twitter to use the hashtag #booboxbarter.  As of right now we are not planning a chat since it is a quick turnaround but please use the tag to help each other out, ask more questions, share hints if you want, and to thank your giver!  If doing a post on your blog or a post on Instagram please use the same tag in your post!  It is always nice to share and I’d love to get the word out so we can do this swap again next year.

Ok!  I THINK that is it for the rules so without further ado here is the survey for the BOO BOX BARTER!

Photo by Andrés Gómez on Unsplash


1. Please provide your complete shipping address.  Remember US only this go!

2.  Which do you prefer, Spooky Season or Fall in general?  Maybe a healthy mix of both?  (I will do my best to pair with someone who loves the same things you do to help but no promises!)

3.  Age.  Are you over or under 18?  Both are welcome as long as you can meet all other requirements for cost and time frames.  If you want to provide your exact age I will do my best to match you to someone close that might share more with you but I’d never require they provide their exact age. 🙂

4.  Links to your social media, blog, etc.  What platform do you use the most?

5.  Contact – who is your person?  You can provide a social media link or direct email, whatever they are ok with but again please make sure it is someone in the community on some level and that they are aware you are making them a contact.  If you do not have contact you must clearly state you do not and again understand your person is relying strictly on what was written and what you show online.

6.  Which group would you like to participate in?  We have two to choose from:

  • Group 1 – Price is $15 – $20.  This cost does NOT include shipping and you should have at least one book plus a minimum of one goodie, etc.
  • Group 2 – Price is $25 and up.  This cost does NOT include shipping and should have at least two books plus a minimum of 2-3 goodies, etc.

7.  Wish lists – Please provide a either a link to (must be public!) a wish list dedicated to this swap or a list of titles below.  If you use a shared wish list or a list you purchase from you could end up with doubles and that wouldn’t be fair to your partner.   I’m asking that if you sign up for group one please provide a minimum of five books and if you sign up for group two please provide at least ten titles.  These titles should be books that have already been released.  You can include ARC titles as well but they do not count towards these requirements.  Not everyone has access to ARCs and they should not be expected.  If you certain book preferences please include that here as well (hardback, verses paperback).  Used books are allowed but must be in good condition.

8.  A few of your favorite things.  What are the things you love most about fall/spooky season?  Favorite scents?  Collections?  Favorite authors?  Maybe you have a genre of books you love to read at this time of year?  There are no wrong answers!  The more info you give your person the more chances of you getting the best box possible.

9.  Lagniappe.  Down south we have a word for a little bit extra.  You guessed it – it’s lagniappe. (Lan-yap) So did I forget something that you want to include?  Add it here!


US Only at this time

Sign ups are from the start of this post till Tuesday October 22 at 5:00pm/c

Must provide tracking to the gals at GP by deadline for mailing, end of day Wednesday November 13. EMAIL:

So if you have further questions feel free to email directly or reach out to me (Kristina) on twitter – my DMs are open there.  I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible!

Adult Series · Blog Tour · Brown Chicken Brown Cow · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Giveaway · Holiday Stuff · LOL · Romance · SERIES

I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Lori Wilde Blog Tour and Giveaway


I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Lori Wilde is book 7 in the Twilight, Texas series. I’m in the middle of reading it now and it’s pretty adorable. I love small town romances and this is definitely one small town with some quirky characters. I’ll be reviewing it soon, so stay tuned! (And thanks to HarperCollins for a review copy!)

About the Book

Continue reading “I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Lori Wilde Blog Tour and Giveaway”

Adult Fiction · Adult Series · Brown Chicken Brown Cow · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Holiday Stuff · LOL · Review · Romance · SERIES

It’s a Wonderful Fireman by Jennifer Bernard (Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel #6.5)


Hard-edged fireman Dean Mulligan has never been a big fan of Christmas. Twinkly lights and sparkly tinsel can’t brighten the memories of too many years spent in ramshackle foster homes. Although he’s established himself as one of the top firefighters at San Gabriel Station 1, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for someone like gorgeous Lizzie.

Lizzie Breen is used to fighting—from her alpha male brothers, who try to smother her in the name of safety, to the life-threatening childhood illness she overcame. She knows what she and Mulligan feel for each other is a lot more than a fling, but she can’t get him to see that. The only gift Lizzie wants to give him this season is her love, but he’s not willing to accept it.

When Mulligan is trapped in the burning wreckage of a holiday store, a Christmas angel arrives to open his eyes. But is it too late? This Christmas, it’ll take an angel, a determined woman in love, and the entire Bachelor Firemen crew to make him believe … it is indeed a wonderful life.

Source: egalley from publisher Avon Impulse/Edelweiss (thanks so much!)

Continue reading “It’s a Wonderful Fireman by Jennifer Bernard (Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel #6.5)”

for everyone · Historical · Holiday Stuff · Random Stuff · Romance

Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C Sullivan

austenJane Austen’s six novels are true classics, still immensely popular some 200 years after their first publication. But although the celebrated stories never change, the covers are always different. Jane Austen Cover to Cover compiles two centuries of design, from elegant Victorian hardcovers and the famed 1894 “Peacock” edition to 1950s pulp, movie tie-in editions, graphic novels, foreign-language translations, and many, many others. Filled with beautiful artwork and insightful commentary, this fascinating and visually intriguing collection is a must for Janeites, design geeks, and book lovers of every stripe.

SOURCE:  finished copy for review via publisher (THANK YOU!!)

Continue reading “Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C Sullivan”

Adult Fiction · Adult Series · Brown Chicken Brown Cow · Contemporary · Holiday Stuff · Review · Romance · SERIES

The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #2)


All he wants this Christmas is her.

In the small town of Crystal Lake, Christmas is a time for sledding, hot chocolate, and cozying up to the fire with those you love. For Jake Edwards, it’s also time to come home and face his past. He thought there would never be anything harder than losing his brother. Turns out there is: falling in love with his brother’s widow, Raine.

Ever since they were little, Jesse was the Edwards brother who was always there for her, and Jake was the one who knew just how to push her buttons. Raine can’t imagine a life without them, which is why it was doubly decimating when Jake left town after his brother’s sudden death. Now he’s back and she doesn’t know whether to be mad or thrilled. Maybe both. Maybe it will be the perfect chance for both of them to finally find happiness again.

Source: egalley from Netgalley/Sourcebooks Casablanca for review purposes

Continue reading “The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #2)”

for everyone · Holiday Stuff · Let's Celebrate!

The Selective Collective Secret Santa Gift Exchange

MH900422473 We decided to do two Secret Santa swaps this year.  We are participating in the Broke and the Bookish’s SS but we wanted to do a smaller one with the girls in our Selective Collective group.  So after a bit of trial and error we found a site that would do the picking for us so if could be a secret for everyone involved and with this post we are all learning with you guys who got who and what they got. 🙂

Kristina’s Secret Santas:

Who I picked:

Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide

Brittany is one of my best blogging buddies.   We talk every day whether it be emails, twitter, google chat, texting or any combination.  I was excited to get her because we’ve had several talks about the whole southern use of y’all and how she was jealous that she couldn’t say it so I knew that if I got her I was sending her something with y’all on it.  I found her a coffe mug that says “Honorary Cajun” a decorative towel that says “Merry Christmas Y’all!”, a book off her wishlist, and a couple of bookish items as well.  Now unfortunately I wasn’t thinking and I mailed her gift out before I took a pic but I know you will be able to see it over on her blog. 🙂

Who picked me:

Diana @ Teen Lit Rocks

Diana is our least chatty member of the SC but that is because of her limited email access during the day so it was nice to get something from her because she’s still a bit of a mystery to some of us.  (Obvs not her sister :P) Diana got me a lovely owl journal, a great smelling lavender soap, and a copy of Beautiful Creatures, a book off my wishlist. It’s great that she got me the movie tie in version of the book since it will help me identify with the people cast and I will be ready for when the movie comes out. (It also has a nifty poster!)  Thanks for my lovely gifts Diana!


Daphne’s Secret Santas:

Who I Picked:

Sandie from Teen Lit Rocks

Sandie is a journalist and has interviewed celebrities and gets to watch movies for “work.”  She also travels a lot and seems to me (a little southern girl who’s not been too many places) to be the cosmopolitan woman-about-town.  As a book blogger who’s been doing this for a while, as well as a journalist, she also has a lot of contacts in the publishing industry, so finding a book she wants but doesn’t have?  Darn near impossible.  I ended up sending her a book that I’d read recently, The Lonely Heart’s Club by Elizabeth Eulberg.  Literally the day after, Sandie updated her goodreads noting that she’d already read The Lonely Heart’s Club.  Oh well, you can’t win them all. 🙂 I also sent her some Community Coffee (a local Louisiana coffee company), some homemade soap I found on Etsy, and a notebook for her to take notes for work articles.  I really hope she liked the pressies.  I had fun picking things out for her.  Also, I didn’t take a picture of the presents either.

Who Picked Me:

Candice from The Grown Up YA

Candice is one of the first blogging friends we made.  She started visiting our little blog and commenting and so we started checking her out and discovered how much we have in common and we just became fast friends.  Then came the Selective Collective and now we pretty much talk to Candice nearly every day.  I also feel a little bit a connection to her because she’s another southerner (Alabama, y’all) and a big Crimson Tide fan (like me, unlike Kristina).  Candice went ALL OUT.  My new best friend sent me enough chocolate to choke an elephant.  My youngest son and I had quite a sugar-filled afternoon.  She also sent me two books:  Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes, both of which I had been wanting to read for a while.  Candice also sent me two adorable shades of fingernail polish and two different sets of stationery, which are very nice.  And a great big ole Roll Tide button, which I will be using on game day, ahem. 🙂  Thanks Candice!

not all of the peppermint bark is shown, I don't know what happened to it.
not all of the peppermint bark is shown, I don’t know what happened to it.
this is my son after we opened my secret santa gift
this is my son after we opened and sampled my secret Santa gift

So that’s what we got.  We are so thankful for our SC ladies and love our daily chats.  Thanks to Diana and Candice for our lovely gifts!!!

Check out what the rest of the SC got for Christmas!

Tee @ YA Crush

Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA

Sandie & Diana @ Teen Lit Rocks

Don't let this be you this holiday season. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Don’t let this be you this holiday season. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Adult Fiction · Adult Series · Holiday Stuff · Review · Romance · SERIES

Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor #6.5)

under the mistletoeThere’s no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness. Nick grew up without a family of his own so he’s overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season. Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia’s love for a lifetime.

Spoilers for The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis


Mia, daughter of Ford and Tara from Shalvis’ The Sweetest Thing, is returning to Lucky Harbor for her Aunt Chloe and Sawyer’s Christmas Eve wedding.  When we met Mia, she was this little go-getter, like her mama.  That summer in Lucky Harbor, she met and fell for her first love, Carlos.  Since then, she’s moved on.  She’s now a recent college graduate who just had a fight with her boyfriend, Nick, because he decided he didn’t want to meet her family after she invited him to go with her to the wedding.  And now she’s unsure where they stand.  Are they broken up?  On a break?  Will everything go back to normal when she returns home to New York?

Like Mia,  Nick was given up, but whereas Mia was adopted, Nick was shuffled around his whole life and never really fit in anywhere.  He is unaccustomed to being part of a family and unwilling to ingratiate himself into hers.  He just wants to get on with his new job, helping kids like him who’ve fallen into the cracks of the system and keep everything about his relationship with Mia status quo.


They’re both at a point in their lives where REAL LIFE begins.  They’re both becoming real adults, they’re in an adult relationship that could become THE relationship, and it’s time to put up or shut up, as it were.  When Mia invites Nick to the wedding, it’s more than just to have a date there, despite Mia’s intentions.  It’s also to introduce Nick to her birth parents and her extended family, which is a little much for loner Nick.  After a sleepless night, he realizes that he could lose her and so he follows her home.


It was a cute book.  I loved the idea of Mia getting her own book.  She was such a little spitfire in The Sweetest Thing, it was a treat to get to know her as an adult, as well as seeing Carlos, her first love, again.  She’s grown into such a great woman.  I also really liked seeing the rest of the girls and guys from the original Lucky Harbor series.  I still love you, Sawyer!  I really liked Nick, too.  He grew up pretty fast in the book and went after what he knew he wanted and needed.  He was worthy of our Mia and they made a cute couple.  My only complaint would be that it was too short, but it was cute and sweet and just what I needed.

Pecans:  3.5/5