Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Crazy Challenge Connection discussion on goodreads

Timeframe: 12/1/17 to 11/30/18

For the next year we’re focusing on birthstones, with information gathered from several websites detailing colors, traits, etc. associated with each precious stone. 

(You do NOT need to choose in advance which tasks you intend to use.)

Choose your level:
BAUBLES - Complete 2 tasks per month. My choice
SPARKLER - Complete 4 tasks per month.
BRILLIANT - Complete all 6 tasks per month.


Challenge Rules 
♦ If you want to participate in a challenge, please sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses. 

♦ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long. (See the link here for rules regarding graphic novels.) Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged :) Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not simply skim through it. 

♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title, and indicate the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, please make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item on the cover, include a link to the book cover. If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task. 
* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here: 
Add a link to the book title, book cover and/or author 

♦ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you’ve read :) You may post at the end of each month with your progress, but you will still be asked to post the completed challenge at the end of the year. If you don’t repost your list, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge.

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DECEMBER - Turquoise 
1. Turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones. Its name comes from the 13th century French meaning “Turkish stone," although the gemstone itself was known even before that.
◈ Read a book set in France or with a French character.
2. Its color may be the signature greenish blue (which has come to refer to that color even separate from the stone) through to a sky blue.
◈ Read a book with a turquoise or light blue cover (post the cover).
Sea Change by Karen White Sea Change Karen White 12/4/17

3. Turquoise may contain narrow veins of other materials that are usually black, brown, or yellowish-brown in color. Known as the matrix, these veins of color are sometimes in the form of an intricate pattern, called a spider web.
◈ Read a book with the letter X somewhere in the title or author's name.
Christmas Nights J.H. Croix 12/2/17

4. December's birthstone is regarded as a love charm.
◈ Read a book with ROMANCE on the GR main genre page.
Kisses for Christmas: A Holiday Boxed Set Skye Warren 12/2/17

5. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success.
◈ Read a book with a character you consider lucky (tell us how).
6. This stone has been around for centuries and is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm.
◈ Read a book from your favorite genre (that relaxes you).

JANUARY - Garnet 
1. People think of garnets as only red in color; however, the name “garnet” refers to a group of minerals that is available in a full variety of different colors, in fact found in every color except blue. 
◈ Read a book with a multi-colored cover (post the cover).
2. It is said to prevent nightmares and snakebites and can offer guidance through the dark. 
◈ Read a book you consider to be scary.

3. Wearers may see an increase in their self-image, willpower and energy levels, and nervous people may feel calmer.
◈ Read a book with a main character who keeps physically fit. 
Lilac Lane Sherryl Woods 1/3/18

4. It is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel and has been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. 
◈ Read a book with TRAVEL on the GR main genre page.
5. Garnets are long-lasting and durable gems, with a fiery, ravishing beauty. Therefore, faith, love and constancy are its attributes. 
◈ Read a "long-lasting" book, over 500 pages.

6. It is said to signify eternal friendship and trust. As such it is a popular gift among friends. 
◈ Read a book with two best friends as main characters.
Full Package Lauren Blakely 1/12/18

FEBRUARY - Amethyst 
1. Amethysts are purple quartz. They come in varying shades of purple and can be anywhere from a pale lilac to a deep violet color.
◈ Read a book with a purple cover, any shade (show us the cover).
2. At one time, only royalty could wear this gem.
Closer Than You Think (Romantic Suspense, #16; Cincinnati, #1) by Karen Rose Karen Rose 2/5/18

◈ Read a book with a royal character OR with the words KING, QUEEN, PRINCE, or PRINCESS in the title (can be plural, but no other variations).
3. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning sober.
◈ Read a book with a character who is a teetotaler (doesn't drink alcohol). 
4. Some of the finest amethyst has been found in Russia. Modern amethyst is often sourced in Brazil or Zambia.
◈ Read a book set in Russia, South America, or Africa (tell us where). 

5. The Pope always wears an amethyst ring.
◈ Read a book with a MAIN character who is a religious leader OR a book with a MAIN character whose FIRST name starts with a letter in POPE (tell us the character's name).
Emma Love Unbroken J.H. Croix 2/9/18

6. The amethyst is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage.
◈ Read a book with FAMILY on the GR main genre page.

MARCH - Aquamarine/Bloodstone 
1. The aquamarine is a green-blue variety and has a rich, sparkling look.
◈ Read a book with a green, blue, or teal cover (show us the cover).
Edge of Darkness (Romantic Suspense, #20; Cincinnati, #4) by Karen Rose Edge of Darkness Karen Rose 3/2/18

2. The traditional birthstone for March is the bloodstone, occasionally known as “martyr’s stone” due to the legend that bloodstone was created by drops of Christ’s blood staining jasper at the foot of the cross.
◈ Read a book with RELIGION on the GR main genre page.
3. Pale blue aquamarine gemstones are associated with good health, youth, love and hope.
◈ Read a young adult book.

4. It may also reawaken married love and increase your happiness.
◈ Read a book with a husband and wife as the MAIN characters.
Ghost A. Zavarelli 3/11/18

5. Aquamarine is Latin for “water of the sea."
◈ Read a book with the ocean or sea on the cover (not a swimming pool or brook--show us the cover).
6. Early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans, etched with the likeness of the sea god Neptune, protected them against ocean dangers.
◈ Read a book with a character who is member of the Navy (any country, any year).

APRIL - Diamond 
1. Diamonds are available in just about every color imaginable, from the classic elegance of the clear or white diamond to the startling beauty of black diamonds.
◈ Read a book with a mostly white cover (show us the cover).
The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines The Magnolia Story Chip Gaines 4/2/18

2. These stones are linked to love, eternity and strength. This has contributed towards diamonds being the most popular gems of all time when it comes to romance, such as engagement rings and wedding bands.
◈ Read a book with a circular or ring-shaped object on the cover (show us the cover).
Two Times the Charm (Alpha Doms, #9) by Christin Lovell Two Times the Charm Christin Lovell 4/7/18

3. April has traditionally been associated with diamonds, and this wildly popular gemstone continues to be its sole birthstone. 
◈ Read a book with a one-word title.
Chaser Kylie Scott 4/26/18

4. It was once believed that they could also ward off insanity.
◈ Read a psychological thriller.

5. Formed one hundred miles beneath the Earth’s surface over a billion years ago, diamonds are the hardest gem of all.
◈ Read a book whose author's LAST initial is found in in DIAMOND. 
Unraveling the Pieces Terri DuLong 4/9/18

6. Diamonds have a long history of folklore, some of which say diamonds were created when bolts of lightning struck rocks, and others said the gem possessed healing powers.
◈ Read a book with lightning or another storm-related item on the cover (show us the cover).

MAY - Emerald 
1. The deeper and more vivid the color of green, the more valuable the emerald.
◈ Read a book with a bright green or dark green cover (post the cover).
Until You Loved Me (Silver Springs, #3) by Brenda Novak Until You Loved Me Brenda Novak 5/5/18

2. The emerald was once associated with the ability to see into the future, giving them an almost bewitching, magical reputation.
◈ Read a book where someone predicts something (without giving anything away, tell us how).
3. Ancient Egyptian mummies were often buried with an emerald carved with the symbol of verdure (flourishing greenness) on their necks to symbolize eternal youth.
◈ Read a book with bones or a graveyard on the cover (show us the cover).
4. Ancient Romans dedicated this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
◈ Read a book with a character who is considered beautiful.
Dark Queen Faith Hunter 5/2/18

5. May's birthstone was one of Cleopatra's favorite gems. This tempestuous female monarch from Egypt was as famous for wearing emeralds in her time as Liz Taylor was for wearing diamonds in our time.
◈ Read a book set in Ancient times (earlier than 1200 A.D.).
6. Modern emeralds are commonly sourced in Zambia, Brazil, Colombia, and Afghanistan.
◈ Read a book set in one of these countries OR a book whose author's LAST name starts with Z, B, C, or A.
A Single Thread Marie Bostwick 5/3/18    

JUNE - Pearl/Alexandrite/Moonstone 
1. People born in June are fortunate to have three official options for their birthstone.
◈ Read the third book of a series (tell us which series).
More Than #3 More Than Him Jay McLean 6/1/18

2. The pearl is considered to be June’s primary birthstone. It is unique among gemstones because it is actually formed from living creatures: clams. Since natural pearls are rare and difficult to recover from the ocean, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls. There are four main types of cultured pearls: Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian, and Freshwater.
◈ Read a book set on an island OR on/near the ocean.
A Nantucket Wedding Nancy Thayer 6/4/18

3. Pearls are available in black, gray, chocolate and the familiar creamy-white colors.
◈ Read a book with a black, gray, brown, or cream cover (show us the cover).

4. The pearl has long been a symbol of purity. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
◈ Read a romance of any kind.
Her Big Sky Cowboy Alissa Callen 6/2/18

5. Alexandrite is a relatively recently-discovered gemstone, first discovered in Russia in 1831. It takes its name from Czar Alexander II who was in power at the time of its discovery. One likely reason why Alexandrite was such a late addition to the gemstone roster is that it is extremely rare.
◈ Read a book set in Russia or with a Russian character.
6. Moonstones were named by the Roman historian Pliny who contended that the stone changed in appearance with the phases of the moon.
◈ Read a book with a moon on the cover (show us the cover).

JULY - Ruby 
1. Rubies range in hues from purplish and bluish red to orange-red, but they are most valuable when they are a medium to medium-dark, vivid red or slightly purplish red.
◈ Read a book with a bright red or deep red cover (show us the cover).
2. These gems have a vivid and fiery appearance.
◈ Read a book with a word for “fire” in the title (such as FLAME, BLAZE, INFERNO, HEAT, FLARE, GLOW, EMBER, SPARK, OR HEAT).
3. Rubies are said to signify a variety of very positive traits including wealth, wisdom, health, and success in love.
◈ Read a book with a wealthy character OR a character who is intelligent/wise.
4. The ruby was regarded by ancient Hindus as the "king of gems." It was believed to protect its wearer from evil.
◈ Read a book with an author whose first or last name is KING or contains the word KING (Kingsbury, Kingsley, etc.).

5. Today, the ruby's deep-red color signifies love and passion.
◈ Read an erotica book or a book that inspires you to great passion (tell us how).
JAMISON Olivia Chase 7/6/18

6. Rubies are second only to diamonds in terms of their natural hardness and strength. This makes them extremely durable and ideal for daily wear.
◈ Read a book that is #2 in a series (tell us the series).
Rainy Day Friends Jill Shalvis 7/4/18 (Wildstone #2)

AUGUST - Peridot/Sardonyx 
1. Peridot is available from yellowish green all the way to brown, though lime green and olive green shades are typically the most popular.
◈ Read a book with a light green or light yellow cover (show us the cover).

2. Peridot symbolizes strength. It is sometimes called the evening emerald for its light green color.
◈ Read a book with two words in the title that start with the same letter.
Kiss Me, Kill Me Allison Brennan 8/2/18

3. Peridot is formed deep within the Earth and typically brought to the surface through volcanic eruptions. It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele.
◈ Read a book with a character who cries or a book that makes you cry.
4. When presented as a gift, Peridot is said to bring the wearer magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares.
◈ Read a book with a character who has some type of magical or paranormal powers (tell us who).
5. Sardonyx is the older August birthstone. It is a form of onyx known for its attractive, layered banding, typically in reddish brown and white.
◈ Read a book with stripes on the cover (show us the cover).
The Harder You Fall (The Original Heartbreakers, #3) by Gena Showalter The Harder You Fall Gena Showalter 8/3/18

6. Sardonyx was popularly used by ancient Romans and Greeks in talismans with the images of Roman and Greek heroes engraved into it, often Mars or Hercules. It was believed that these talismans would bring the wearer courage and victory.
◈ Read a book with a strong and forceful character OR a book with gods/goddesses.

SEPTEMBER - Sapphire 
1. Sapphires are available in a variety of delicate colors in addition to the more common blue shades.
◈ Read a book with a deep blue cover (show us the cover).
The Silent Sister (Riley MacPherson, #1) by Diane Chamberlain The Silent Sister Diane Chamberlain 9/12/18

2. The word “Sapphire” is Greek for blue.
◈ Read a book whose title starts with a letter in BLUE.
Boundary Waters William Kent Krueger 9/16/18

3. Sapphires speak of dignity, loyalty, serenity, faith, purity and wisdom.
◈ Read a book with a MAIN character that you would consider to be dignified.
One More Promise Samantha Chase 9/13/18

4. It was thought that the stronger the sparkle of the gem, the more faithful and honest the wearer.
◈ Read a book with something sparkly on the cover (show us the cover).
5. The sapphire was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning. It was believed that a venomous snake would die if placed in a vessel made of sapphire.
◈ Read a book with a snake or other reptile on the cover or somewhere in the story. 
6. During medieval times clergy often wore sapphires to symbolize heaven, whereas commoners often wore sapphires to attract heavenly blessings.
◈ Read a book with the word HEAVEN mentioned somewhere in the title or in the story (if in the text, provide the location).

OCTOBER - Opal/Tourmaline 
1. Opal derives from the Greek meaning “to see a change” of color. Opals change appearance depending on their backgrounds and the base gemstone itself varies widely in color from milky white to black.
◈ Read a book with a mostly black cover (show us the cover).

2. Opals are the older birthstone for October and are extremely popular and well-regarded for their colorful beauty and radiance.
◈ Read a book whose title starts with “O” (disregard A, An, The)
The Obituary Society Jessica L. Randall 10/13/18

3. Each opal is truly one-of-a-kind; as unique as our fingerprints.
◈ Read a book that is a bestseller.
Shelter in Place Nora Roberts 10/7/18

4. The word comes from the Latin opalus, meaning "precious jewel." Necklaces with opals set in them were worn to repel evil and to protect eyesight.
◈ Read a book with HORROR on the main GR page.
5. Tourmaline has become the primary birthstone of October in modern times. It is also a favorite among jewelry collectors and designers because it can be found in such an array of colors that there is something to suit almost anyone’s taste.
◈ Read a book that is a favorite, meaning it has more than 100,000 ratings on Goodreads (tell us how many)
6. Tourmalines are also known for their bi-color and tri-color forms, meaning that 2 or even 3 different colors exist distinctly within the same gemstone.
◈ Read a book with a number in the title.

NOVEMBER - Topaz/Citrine 
1. Topaz gemstones are available in an array of colors, although yellow is the color most commonly associated with the stone.
◈ Read a book with a yellow or gold cover (show us the cover).

2. The ancient Egyptians and Romans associated this golden gem with the sun god giving it the power to protect and heal. Legend says that topaz dispels enchantment.
◈ Read a book with PARANORMAL on the main GR genre page.
Shades of Wicked Jeaniene Frost 11/7/18

3. This stone has even been linked to an ability to make the wearer invisible in dangerous situations.
◈ Read a book whose author's first or last initial starts with I.

4. One of the most valuable colors of topaz is Imperial Topaz, which was named during the reign of the Russian Czars in the 1800s. It is a rich orange with pink hues.
◈ Read a book set in the 1800's.
His Perfect Bride Merry Farmer 11/5/18

5. November's second birthstone is citrine, which ranges in color from a pastel yellow to dark brownish orange. It is often referred to as “the healing quartz” for the belief that it helps support health, hope, energy, and warmth in the wearer.
◈ Read a book with a main character in the healing field (doctor, nurse, caregiver, etc.)

6. Citrine is found plentifully in nature and as such it is one of the least expensive gemstones.
◈ Read a book that didn't cost you anything (library book, ARC, gift, etc.)
A Time to Fall Jess Vonn 11/6/18    

TCF Cities (or Islands) of the World - Christmas Island

The Challenge Factory discussion on goodreads


Christmas Island is a dot in the Indian Ocean, located 2600 km north-west of Perth, Australia. Even though it is an Australian Territory, its closest neighbor is Java, 360 km away.

Christmas Island is one of natures most impressive feats, an island full of natural wonders: from the unique annual red crab migration to rare and unusual birds and glorious deserted beaches. 

the red crab migration on Christmas Island
"Christmas Island" recorded by Kristin Chenoweth

The Red Crab isn't the only unusual Christmas Island species. 
Below is a list of others. 
You can read as many or as few as you want.
You can read one of each or focus on two or three.

No page limit. Re-reads are okay.
Duration: December 1 - 31, 2017
mc = main character

Christmas Island Shrew - read a book with a bad-tempered person
The Christmas Room Catherine Anderson 12/8/17

Maclear’s Rat - read a book where the mc's name starts with 'M'
Christmas on the Last Frontier J.H. Croix 12/3/17

Bulldog Rat - read a book where the mc owns a dog

Christmas Nights J.H. Croix 12/2/17

Christmas Island Pipistrelle - read a book with fruit on the cover *
Christmas Island Flying Fox - read a book where the mc flys

Christmas Island White-eye - read a book with a lot of white on the cover
The Holiday Brides Collection Books 1-4 (Holiday Brides, #1-4) by Ginny Baird
The Holiday Brides Collection: Books 1-4 Ginny Baird 12/7/17

Christmas Swiftlet - read a book within 24 hours
Kisses for Christmas: A Holiday Boxed Set Skye Warren 12/2/17

Abbott’s Booby - read a book with a foolish person in it
An Ex for Christmas Lauren Layne 12/9/17

Christmas Island Frigatebird - read a book set during a war

Christmas Island Blind Snake - read a book by an author new to you
The Designer Aubrey Parker 12/9/17

Lister’s Gecko - read a book where the mc's name starts with 'L'

Levi Getting Wrapped Up: A Sapphire Falls Holiday Bundle Erin Nicholas 12/31/17

Sadleir's Bow-fingered Gecko - read a book where the mc plays music
Merry Random Christmas Julia Kent 12/16/17

Christmas Island Whiptail Skink - read a book with a slender person in it
Holidays at Crescent Cove Shelley Noble 12/20/17

Blue-tailed Snake-eyed Skink - read a book with a hyphen in the title or author's name

Green Dottyback - read a book with a lot of green on it

His Christmas Present by Serenity Woods His Christmas Present Serenity Woods 12/29/17

coralbrotula - read a book with a character's name you can't pronounce easily

Christmas Blenny - read a book where the mc has to be blunt *
Flame in the Dark Faith Hunter 12/7/17

Christmas Dwarfgoby - read a fantasy book

Christmas Island Stick-insect - read a paperback book
Sea Change Karen White 12/4/17

darkling beetle - read a book where it is nighttime on the cover
Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4) by Jill Shalvis
Chasing Christmas Eve Jill Shalvis 12/9/17

planthoppers- read a book where the mc moves somewhere
Holiday Kisses in the Snow Lexi Buchanan 12/10/17

bush cricket - read a book set in a rural location
Any Given Christmas Candis Terry 12/12/17

huntsman spider - read a book where the mc goes hunting

brushed trapdoor spider - read a book where the mc gets trapped
Duke of Pleasure Elizabeth Hoyt 12/11/17

screwpines - read a book with a twisty plot *
Christmas Island Spleenwort - read a book with a rock(s) on the cover *

Ridley's Ground Orchid - read a book where the mc's name starts with 'R'
A Chance This Christmas Joanne Rock 12/10/17

* pip - a small hard seed in a fruit
* a blenny has a blunt head
* a spleenwort is a small fern that grows on rocks and walls
* a screwpine has a twisted stem