February spotlight: Valentine’s Day!

In honor of this day of romance, and obviously based on my generally high regard for the romance genre, I started doing a little thinking about Valentine’s Day and the meaning behind the cultural significance of the day. There’s a various amount of history behind the day, both involving the original romantic history we are all familiar with and also many other types of events that have happened since.

St. Valentine’s Day has been around since approximately 500 AD. The day has Catholic origins, and Saint Valentine is still considered a saint in the Catholic church to this day. He is the patron saint of lovers, epileptics and beekeepers. Supposedly, he went against the Roman emperor and married couples that were in love. He was condemned and beaten to death and beheaded (which seems like overkill to me). There are a number of theories as to why he was marrying people in secret, seemingly romance is the first thing that comes to mind, but why was it done in secret in the first place? Well, during this time period the emperor Claudius had banned marriages in Rome to try and recruit more soldiers for his numerous wars. People in love don’t want to be kept apart though and so Valentine risked his life to continue to unite people in love.

Due to the original history of the day, with it’s obviously romantic if somewhat gruesome beginnings, it started being commercialized as a romantic celebration in the 19th century. Prior to that, many authors capitalized on the romanticism of the day, including both Chaucer and Shakespeare, but it was really the production of massive amounts of Valentine’s Day cards that pushed this day into becoming what it is today. Hallmark began mass-producing Valentine’s Day cards in 1913 and today there are 190 million Valentine’s Day cards sent each year – not even including those exchanged by kids in school. In the U.S. alone, in 2017 there was a whopping $18.2 Million spent on celebrating this holiday. Some think of this day as Singles Awareness Day just because of how much of a spotlight there is on couples and romantic love. And while many are celebrating in couples, there are so many kinds of love to celebrate that the commercialized aspect of it has expanded to celebration of love within friendship and family also.

One of the more common symbols used on Valentine’s Day cards and decorations is cupid, a familiar cherub with wings and a bow and arrow. Cupid is a figure from classical mythology – he’s the son of the love goddess Venus and war god Mars. He is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, which makes it odd to me that he is often depicted as a baby.

Fun fact too – Valentine’s Day is the most common wedding anniversary in the Philippines! There are many people who share an anniversary date, as this highly romantic holiday is so commonly picked for wedding day celebrations.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day this year, whether you were celebrating with a significant other, with other loved ones, or just celebrating love for your self! If anyone has any fun facts or stories about Valentine’s Day, please feel free to share!

2019 Monthly Status Update: December

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December was BUSY. Work was a struggle for me this month but luckily I had some time off at the end of the month and I was able to catch up with my reading. I wish I could have more vacations like this, where I get to read a book a day and get some things done around the house and not do much else. So anyways, here are some highlights from December for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 10
# pages read this month: 3,437
# books read year-to-date: 102
# pages read year-to-date: 36,251

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison – 4.5 stars
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn – 4.0 stars

Other Posts this month:

Nothing else for this month!

Next Month TBR List:

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  • Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
  • Hunting for a Highlander by Lynsay Sands
  • Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne
  • Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch

It’s Getting Scot in Here BLOG TOUR!!

51WPhzdiAML._SY346_It’s Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch was released this past Tuesday, and to celebrate I am participating in a Blog Tour for the book! I’m hoping to have my review up within the next couple days, so far I’m really enjoying the book! See below for more information about the book, a short author bio, and an excerpt! 

SUMMARY

The first in a wickedly seductive new Scottish historical romance series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch!

“It’s time to fall in love with Suzanne Enoch.” — Lisa Kleypas

HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal—and won’t try to tame her wild heart…

IN THE HIGHLANDS
Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.

JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT HOTTER.
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne Enoch loves movies almost as much as she loves books, with a special place in her heart for anything Star Wars. She has written more than forty Regency novels and historical romances, which are regularly found on the New York Times bestseller list. When she is not busily working on her next book, Suzanne likes to contemplate interesting phenomena, like how the three guppies in her aquarium became 161 guppies in five months.
Some of Suzanne’s books include Barefoot In The Dark, I’ts Getting Scot in Here, Lady Whistledown Stirkes Back and The Legend of Nimway Hall.

BUY IT HERE!

EXCERPT

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2017 Monthly Status Update: May

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Wow so May was a pretty crazy month. I participated in the Bout of Books 19 reading challenge and I also participated in a couple blog tours. I think I got a lot of reading done considering my work schedule, which exploded this month. I tried my best to keep up but there are a few May releases that I missed and will have to catch up with later this year. So anyways, here is my progress for the month of May!

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 9
# pages read this month: 2,945
# books read year-to-date: 48
# pages read year-to-date: 13,673

Favorite Books I Read:

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda – 4.75 stars
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert – 4.5 stars

Other Posts this month:

My gosh this was a crazy month for other posts. I had so many fun things going on this month:

Never Trust a Pirate BLOG TOUR!!
The Bad Luck Bride BLOG TOUR!!
Bout of Books 19 – Sign Up Post
Bout of Books 19 Update – Day 1
Bout of Books 19 Update – Day 2
Bout of Books 19 Update – Day 3
Day 4 Challenge: Character Dating Profile
Bout of Books 19 Update – Day 4
Bout of Books 19 Update – Day 5
Bout of Books 19 Update – Day 6
Bout of Books 19 Update & WRAP UP

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – Haven’t read any since last month so still have 27 to go
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – During May I participated in the Bout of Books challenge, see all my posts listed out in the Other Posts category above. Next one is scheduled for August
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I think I’m doing better at this, this past month I was able to get out a few shorter ones
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I’m doing it, we’ll see how it goes I guess!

Next Month TBR List:

-Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
-Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford
-Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
-The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye
-The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
-Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
-Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach
-The End of Temperance Dane by Wendy Webb
-Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
-The Party by Robyn Harding
-No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan
-Night Circus by Erin Morgensten
-The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
-Here and Gone by Haylen Beck
-Duke With Benefits by Manda Collins

2017 Monthly Status Update: February

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Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 4
# pages read this month: 1,344
# books read year-to-date: 13
# pages read year-to-date: 4,434

Favorite Books I Read:

To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about any of the books I read in February so I am not going to single out any as my “Favorite” or “Least Favorite.”

Other Posts this month:

Didn’t get in any other posts this month either. This has been a busy month for me at my day job! I hope to start catch up in March but definitely by April! So stay tuned

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – No progress on this one yet
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – Scheduled for May and August
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I’m trying!
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I’m doing it, we’ll see how it goes I guess!

Next Month TBR List:

-The Hidden Man by David Ellis (half-way through now)
-Last Night With the Duke by Amelia Grey
-Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
-The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye
-The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
-Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
-The Surgeon by Tess Gerritson
-Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries
-Windswept by Sabrina Jeffries
-Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach
-The River At Night by Erica Ferenick
-The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Happy Reading everyone!