I haven't participated in any reading challenges this year - which was one of my resolutions that I managed to stick to. Now you might question why in the final weeks of the year I am seemingly going back on that resolution. Well, November and December have always been months where I try to not participate in too many blog tours (for review purposes) or other review commitments so that I can use that time to focus on backlogged reviews and books purchased throughout the year. It is sort of my freebie month(s). If you have been following my Mailbox Monday posts you will have noticed that I have been buying Christmas historical novels, short-stories, and collections. I am really excited to get into these books and was planning on trying to read several of them this year before I even knew of this challenge. I have already read one collection which offered a nice change of pace from my regular readings that have made me even more excited about participating.
The 5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge is being hosted at The Christmas Spirit and will run from November 24th to January 6th (which gives me ample time to read and fits in with my "freebie" time).
- The books read must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, or a children's Christmas book and there is a level for films too.
I am going to participate with the Christmas Tree level - which is 5-6 books read. Like I said, I have several short stories, so this should be possible.
I will update here as I go with what entries I count toward this challenge, and reviews will be forthcoming"
- The Advent Bride by Mary Connealy
- The Nutcracker Bride by Margaret Brownley
- The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman
Additionally, Seasons of Reading is hosting the Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon which runs from November 24th through November 30th. I happen to be done with my class this week and on vacation from the afternoon on November 26th through the 30th - so it will give me ample reading time (plus my husband is working on Black Friday so I will have the day to myself to read). I figured with this much time, and the fact I haven't participated in a read-a-thon in FOREVER, this would be a great time to participate in one.
- You do not have to read only Christmas themed books during this read-a-thon but are encouraged to read at least one.
- The Twitter hashtag will be #CSreadathon
I will likely do a new post at the start of my participation in the read-a-thon and update that post with my progress and thoughts throughout the event. I think I might even include some screenshots from various social media I use to sprinkle my thoughts in throughout the day.
**Day 1 Update 11/24/14**
As you can see I decided to just do my posting here for the read-a-thon. Still working on finishing up a review book before I can jump into my Christmas books, probably will finish tomorrow after work. I read for about 3.5 hours and read 152 pages of The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton. Really good book. If I didn't have to work in the morning I could probably finish it tonight, but alas, that's not the case.
**Day 2 Update 11/25/14**
Not such a great reading day - a handful of pages read. I wasn't really in the mood and I was tired. Enough said.
**Day 3 Update 11/26/14**
Well I was able to leave work early today because of the snow that we had so I put in a solid 4 hours of reading today. I managed to finish The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton AND read my first Christmas short story - The Advent Bride by Mary Connealy. Cute little story. It is part of the 12 Brides of Christmas series and I own all that have been released so far, so I'm hoping to get through the rest that I have this week!
**Day 4 Update 11/27/14**
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Hope you all ate well and enjoyed time with your families today! Most of my time was spent with my in-laws today. I did do a little bit of reading in the morning - I read one of the Christmas short stories, The Nutcracker Bride by Margaret Brownley. Very cute story - I loved the German traditions that pervaded here because my heritage is German as well.
**Day 5 Update 11/28/14**
I spent much of my day running errands and making my pumpkin cheesecake as I'm having second Thanksgiving tomorrow with my side of the family. I did manage to get another Christmas short story finished and began reading a little bit of another one. I finished The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman, another of the 12 Brides of Christmas. This is my favorite thus far - the best characters, emotions, and story. I began reading The Gift-Wrapped Bride by Maureen Lang. I have read a full length novel by Lang, so I will be interested to read a short story by her. I also found myself purchasing a few additional Christmas stories and also marking many historical romance collections on my TBR - I have been bit by the historical romance bug!
Great way to kick off the season's energy!
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