Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book Review: Rogue

Rogue by Gina DamicoRogue by Gina Damico

Lex is a teenage Grim Reaper with the power to Damn souls, and it’s getting out of control. She’s a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they’re joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: Fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it. 

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed…but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This book picks up right where book 2, Scorch, left off, and the action rarely stops!

Lex. Uncle Mort, and the gang are on the run. Trying to save the Afterlife isn't going to be easy, especially for a gang of fugitives. And then there's the problem with Lex's boyfriend Driggs. A teenage relationship isn't easy on the best of days, but theirs has entered an whole new dimension!

Really love this series as Lex is a great character, flaws and all. The author has come up with a great story, interesting characters, a great plot, fast-paced action, and an ending that tore my heart right out of my chest! I had to read the ending a few times, as it really took me by surprise. And, you know, because of the tears....

This is one of those series that you need to read in order, as it's one big story arc. Some series can stand alone, but this one would make much more sense as a whole. They're all quick reads, so what are you waiting for?


ARC received via the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Buh-bye Mini Bloggiesta. It's been fun!

mini bloggiesta
Well, another Bloggiesta has come and gone. Did much better than expected, especially because I didn't get as much done on Saturday as I'd hoped! I learned a couple of new things, and had a blast with the Twitter chat Saturday night! Made some new friends, reconnected with some old ones, and am fired up again about blogging!

I did good! :)

Bloggiesta Goals:

  1. backup blog This was really easy, thanks to a past challenge hosted by The Book Vixen! I couldn't get my wordpress blog to import my blogger blog, so had to import from my hard drive. Any ideas what I did wrong?
  2. solve my threaded comments problem once & for all - Fail! I can now reply to comments, but can't figure out why it keeps jumping to the top of the page when I hit the reply button. I may have to start from square one with a new template, which I'm trying to avoid. Oh Blogger, why dost thou forsake me?
  3. write at least 2 reviews Done! 
  4. update my Reviews page Hadn't realized how far behind I'd gotten! Oops!
  5. update my TBR page - Fail! Didn't get to this one yet.
  6. crosspost reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, NetGalley, & Pinterest Done!
  7. visit other Bloggiesta participants Have stopped by about a dozen blogs so far, and hoping to visit more!
  8. organize my Bloglovin folders I lost several of my folders when I imported blogs from Google Reader, so now have everyone in a folder of some sort. Not 100% happy with it, so may start over when I have more time. Hey, it's a start! :)
  9. complete at least one mini-challenge I decided to start with The Basics challenge #2, writing reviews, by Bloggiesta. Then decided to do them all:  The B-Word: Branding Challenge by On a Book Bender, the Edelweiss Challenge by River City Reading, and How To Create an Image Map by A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall. 
  10. take part in the Twitter chat Saturday night, 9pm EST The Twitter chat was lots of fun and the hour went by really fast! I missed several comments, so had to go back and read everything once it was over. Tweetchat didn't really work for me and didn't care for Tweetfall, so guess I need to find something else for my next chat.

Did you take part in the mini Bloggiesta? How did you do?

Dear Mini Bloggiesta, How's it going?

mini bloggiesta
Yesterday was pretty much of a bust for me goal-wise, as life got in the way and I didn't have much time to spend on my list. Sunday is better, and I'm hoping to tackle even more items so I can cross them off my list!

Bloggiesta Goals:


  1. backup blog
  2. solve my threaded comments problem once & for all
  3. write at least 2 reviews
  4. update my Reviews page
  5. update my TBR page
  6. crosspost reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, NetGalley, & Pinterest
  7. visit other Bloggiesta participants Have stopped by about a dozen blogs so far, and hoping to visit more before the day is done!
  8. organize my Bloglovin folders
  9. complete at least one mini-challenge I decided to start with The Basics challenge #2, writing reviews. So far behind that it isn't even funny! I've got several drafts set up, so just need to finish them. Hoping to do a couple of other challenges this afternoon.
  10. take part in the Twitter chat Saturday night, 9pm EST The Twitter chat was lots of fun and the hour went by really fast! I missed several comments, so had to go back and read everything once it was over. Tweetchat didn't really work for me and didn't care for Tweetfall, so guess I need to find something else for my next chat.

Pending Reviews:


  1. Hunted
  2. She's the Boss
  3. TaleSpins
  4. Spider
  5. The Curiosity
  6. Through the Zombie Glass
  7. Pawn
  8. Machine of Death
  9. What Nora Knew
  10. Rogue
  11. Perfect
  12. Grim
How are you doing with your Bloggiesta to-do list?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's mini Bloggiesta time!

mini bloggiesta
The eagerly awaited Mini Bloggiesta is finally here! 
For those of you who haven't heard of Bloggiesta, it's basically time devoted to cleaning up our blogs, tackling those neglected tasks, and learning new tips & tricks from our fellow bloggers.

Here's what I hope to accomplish this weekend:

  1. backup blog
  2. solve my threaded comments problem once & for all
  3. write at least 2 reviews
  4. update my Reviews page
  5. update my TBR page
  6. crosspost reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, NetGalley, & Pinterest
  7. visit other Bloggiesta participants
  8. organize my Bloglovin folders
  9. complete at least one mini-challenge
  10. take part in the Twitter chat Saturday night, 9pm EST


Here are my pending reviews. Want to get at least 2 written, hopefully more!

  1. Hunted
  2. She's the Boss
  3. TaleSpins
  4. Spider
  5. The Curiosity
  6. Through the Zombie Glass
  7. Pawn
  8. Machine of Death
  9. What Nora Knew
  10. Rogue
  11. Perfect
  12. Grim

Are you taking part this weekend? Good luck with your goals! Knowing me, I'll probably be adding to my to-do list more than I'll be crossing things off. Ole! ;)

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Book Haul (38)

Buzz Books 2014 collection, and Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

From NetGalley:

I love these books, as you get a glimpse at what "the professionals" think are going to be the hottest breakout stories! I scan every story, then add the ones that grab me to my wishlist. A great tool to discover great new authors!

Buzz Books 2014 collection
Buzz Books 2014 collection

The fourth edition of Buzz Books includes 40 substantial excerpts from the most buzzed about books to be published spring/summer of 2014. Fiction, nonfiction, and young adult work is represented by all the major publishers. (book blurb)


***


I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Estep and love her Mythos Academy series. Can't wait to read this one!

Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep

I’ve battled the Reapers of Chaos before - and survived. But this time I have a Bad, Bad Feeling it’s going to be a fight to the death … most likely mine. (Goodreads)


What did you receive this week?


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Dark Currents

 photo darkcurrents.jpgDark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload - not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres, and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Pemkowet is a unique place, a small town that just happens to be home to otherworldly creatures (aka the eldritch) as well as humans. Because of this, it's become something of a tourist attraction for curious humans.

Daisy Johanssen is the liaison between the human police department and Hel, the Norse goddess of the underworld who rules the local territory. A half-breed fathered by a minor demon and raised by her mother, Daisy fights a daily battle to resist her father's influence. Giving in to temptation and invoking her demonic birthright would bring about Armageddon, so it's no easy battle.

When a young college student drowns under suspicious circumstances, the negative publicity not only hurts the town's tourist trade, but also threatens the town's otherworldly population. Not all humans are fans, and there's a growing movement to destroy Hel's domain and run all of the eldritch out of town. It's Daisy's job to get to the bottom of this mystery before things get too far out of hand.

Really liked Daisy, as she's doing the best that she can to live up to her position of Hel's enforcer as well as stay on the straight and narrow path to avoid accidentally ending the world. No easy feat, but she's managing to pull it off. While she does fight her personal battle, Daisy still has a sense of humor and doesn't let anything bring her down. I think that a lot of this is due to her strong support system of family and friends. Her mother is a very strong, good woman who is an excellent role model for Daisy. I loved her mother, as parents are either absent or poor role models in most of the books I've read, so yea for Mom Power!

Found this a very promising start to the Agent of Hel series, and looking forward to reading Autumn Bones, the second book!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Mini Bloggiesta is coming!

mini Bloggiesta

Looking forward to this coming weekend, the eagerly awaited Mini Bloggiesta! For those of you who haven't heard of Bloggiesta, it's basically time devoted to cleaning up our blogs, tackling those neglected tasks, and learning new tips & tricks from our fellow bloggers. 

I've taken part in past Bloggiestas and always come away with so many new ideas! It also fires up my blogging enthusiasm, so really looking forward to Saturday!

Here's what I hope to accomplish this weekend:
  1. backup blog
  2. solve my threaded comments problem once & for all
  3. write at least 2 reviews
  4. update my Reviews page
  5. update my TBR page
  6. crosspost reviews on Amazon & Goodreads
  7. visit other Bloggiesta participants
  8. organize my Bloglovin folders
  9. complete at least one mini-challenge
  10. take part in the Twitter chat Saturday night, 9pm EST
Will you be taking part this weekend? Can you think of anything else I should tackle? If you'd like more information, check out the Bloggiesta website for more details!



Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Book Haul (37)

Grim anthology, and The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

Was doing pretty well with avoiding the temptation of NetGalley, but then they started sending me email invitations.... It would be rude not to accept such a nice invitation, right? ha! 

Grim anthology
Grim anthology

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today.

***

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson
The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.


What did you receive this week?


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Technical Difficulties

Help!

For some reason, I've lost my threaded comments. I can no longer reply directly to a comment and it just bounces me to the top of the page. It worked, then it didn't. I didn't change anything, so not sure what happened.

Nothing I've been able to find online has solved the problem, and I'm about ready to throw my laptop out the window in frustration! Will tackle it again tomorrow, but wanted to let everyone know that I wasn't ignoring you and will hopefully solve this problem soon!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

BBNYC Day 14: Blogging Wish List of 2014

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I skipped a few days, but tried to leave comments on other blogs taking part. Can't believe that it's the last day already!

 photo newyearschallenge.png

Day 14: Blogging Wish List of 2014

Since we've already listed our 2014 resolutions, going to assume that this is a real wish list and that the sky's the limit!
  • An all-expense paid trip to BEA
  • Dinner with Neil Gaiman. (His wife can come if she insists, as Amanda is pretty cool too)
  • A fancy, awesome, custom blog design
  • A real, live Time Turner, so that I can finally get caught up with my TBR piles.
  • Increased comments on my blog posts.
  • For the Doctor to finally show up so we can explore the universe together!
Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Tour: EJ Wesley's Winter Thrills and Chills Tour & Giveaway

I'm hosting a stop on  E.J. Wesley's Winter Thrills and Chills Tour for his Moonsongs Series.  This tour is running January 6-17 and consists of reviews, interviews, top tens, guest posts and of course, giveaways!  Be sure to check out the tour page for the full list of stops.

EJ Wesley's Winter Thrills and Chills Tour
I took part in a blog tour for the first two books in the series, so was more than happy to take part in this tour for books 3 & 4! EJ Wesley is a talented author, who has come us with a great character!

 ~Book 3 - Dark Prelude~ 

Dark Prelude by EJ Wesley
Jenny Moonsong recently inherited the title of "monster hunter" and an ancient tribal journal/how-to manual passed down by her Apache ancestors. Unfortunately, a lot of on-the-job training is required to be a monster hunter, and unlike her computer repair business, this gig could literally kill her.

Dark Prelude finds the feisty protagonist, Jenny, searching for her best friend Marshal's missing father in the midst of a freak, West Texas winter storm. To survive the frigid night, she'll have to deal with a hated town rival, face a monstrous creature no Moonsong hunter has ever encountered before, and undo a mysterious curse. Can she keep everyone alive? If not, who will pay the ultimate price?


~Book 4: Dragon's Game~

Dragon's Game by EJ Wesley
Jenny Moonsong recently inherited the title of "monster hunter" and an ancient tribal journal/how-to manual passed down by her Apache ancestors. She has already faced a werewolf, witches, and a troll. But nothing could prepare her for her latest confrontation...

Dragon's Game, Moonsongs Book 4, finds Jenny out of her rural West Texas element, searching for an evil witch in an urban Houston nightclub. After attempting to help a handsome and mysterious stranger out of a jam, she finds herself on the run from a ruthless gang who are even more dangerous than they initially appear.

Forced into a twisted game of life and death, Jenny must navigate the complexity of a budding relationship, and somehow survive a night filled with unexpected horror and paranormal mystery.

Dragon's Game is approximately 14,000 words or 45 pages of humor, horror and paranormal mystery. It is the fourth volume of the Moonsongs Books, an ongoing series of New Adult, urban fantasy novelettes by author E.J. Wesley.

 ~My Thoughts~ 

I really enjoyed catching up with Jenny and her friend Marshal! She's still new at monster hunting and they are still trying to decipher the mysterious journal left to her by Jenny's grandfather. 

When Marshal's father disappears in book 3, Jenny fears the worst. She's afraid that there might be a monster on the loose and that her BFF's father may be one of its victims. When a despised bully heads out with a posse to track down the "animal" after the official search party is called off, Jenny tags along to try to rescue dad. Things do not end well...

Book #4 picks up soon after #3, with Jenny trying to track down an evil witch in Houston. She not only finds trouble, but jumps in with both feet! The girl really should learn to look before she leaps. On the plus side, she meets a hot, new guy. On the negative side, she might not survive the experience!

Really like Jenny, as she's not your typical heroine. She's not really sure what she's doing, she makes mistakes, and she gets hurt. I've always gotten annoyed with heroines who learn that they have powers one day and are uber-ninjas the next! I mean, really? 

Also really like that she's a tall, skinny girl with a purple faux-hawk and a tattoo. Not your typical main character. And her BFF Marshal is proudly gay, another unusual character that we don't see enough of in urban fantasy. Love these two!

This is a fun series if you're looking for original characters and an interesting storyline. I recommend reading them in order, but they're all quick reads so it shouldn't take long to catch up.

~About the Author~

EJ Wesley
Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, there were limits on the amount and types of entertainment at my disposal. Perhaps that’s why I set my imagination free. After collecting degrees in psychology and counseling, life brought me to Missouri, Texas, and Northern California - where I currently read, write, and live. I fill my spare time playing video games, watching movies, planning for the zombie apocalypse, reading graphic novels, and playing with my dogs.

My passion for New Adult literature led me to producing the weekly New Adult Lit Chat on Twitter, and contributing to the NA Alley Blog. I’m also the author of the Moonsongs Books, a series of New Adult, speculative-rural fantasy novelettes.

~Links~

WEBSITE | BLOG | NA ALLEY (contributor) | TWITTERNEW ADULT LIT CHAT
(founder/producer) | 
FACEBOOK | GOOGLE+LINKEDINGOODREADS

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway




This tour was organized and put together by CBB Book Promotions.
CBB Book Promotions



Sunday, January 12, 2014

BBNYC Day 12: How Do You Plan on Getting More Followers This Year?

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I may not be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

 photo newyearschallenge.png

Day 12: How Do You Plan on Getting More Followers This Year?

Honestly, I have no plan. If someone wants to follow me, I'll be thrilled and happy and honored! But I have no idea how to attract new followers. 

I don't want to hold contests where you have to follow me in order to enter, because I don't like having to do that when I enter contests. Plus those aren't really followers IMO, just a contest entry. I know that some publishers are looking for bloggers with certain stats, but that feels dishonest to me. I have no problem with others doing this, but it's just not for me.

Guess I subscribe to the "If you build it, they will come" school of thought. Hopefully, if I keep blogging, my fellow bookaholics will eventually find me. :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

BBNYC Day 11: TBR Shelf: How Many?

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I may not be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

 photo newyearschallenge.png

Day 11: TBR Shelf: How Many?

This is really embarrassing, but I have no idea how many books are in my TBR piles. I was going to just take pictures of the books, but then I realized that they're spread out over 4-5 different bookcases and that was even more embarrassing!

After a certain point, I stopped counting. I think that part of me is afraid that I'll be traumatized by the actual number of books I own but haven't read, so maybe what I don't know won't hurt me. 

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who honestly doesn't know how many books are in her TBR piles!

Friday, January 10, 2014

BBNYC Day 10: New Things You Will Be Doing This Year

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I may not be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

 photo newyearschallenge.png

Day 10: New Things You Will Be Doing This Year

I only have a couple of new things that I'll be trying out on my blog this year:

Inspired by Jaime over at Jaime Loves Stuff, I've decided to start emailing replies to any comments I receive. It only works if your email address is attached to your blogger account, otherwise it's listed as a No-Reply email. Since few people have the time to stop back to see if there's a response to their comments (me included!), sending an email only takes me a few extra minutes. Granted, I just copy & paste the reply I post on my blog, but at least this way they know that I've responded. Is this too pushy, or good idea? I've gotten a few responses that seem to like it, so hopefully no one gets mad and thinks I'm spamming their mailbox!

I've also committed to visiting every blog who leaves me a comment, so that I can return the comment love. I've had a few people I can't find, but most seem to have blogger accounts or are nice enough to leave me their links.

On a personal note, we recently bought a Nutribullet to help us eat more fruits and veggies. It's only day four, but so far so good! I think we've already eaten more spinach in the past 3 days than we've eaten in 3 years, so counting that as a win! *L*

Thursday, January 9, 2014

BBNYC Day 9: Cons or Events You Hope To Attend

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I may not be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

 photo newyearschallenge.png

Day 9: Cons or Events You Hope To Attend

My go-to easy answer is BEA (Book Expo America)! I've been fortunate enough to attend several times in the past, but I've since moved out of the area and it wouldn't be as easy for me to attend. While I've already been offered a place to stay (friends are awesome!), I'd still have to figure out a way to get there. 

Also, there's the issue of whether or not my knee would hold up to the serious workout that is BEA. I remember collapsing on the couch every night, totally wiped out, back when I had two good knees. I have visions of collapsing in the corner of the Javits Center, begging someone to please drag me over to the Penguin booth. Ha! 

There's a YA book festival closer to home called YALL Fest that I've heard good things about, so thinking about going to that one if I can't swing BEA. It's not all-inclusive like BEA, but sounds like fun!

And someday I'd love to attend the big Comic Con in San Diego. After I win the lottery, of course. :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

BBNYC Day 8: Your Favorite Book Blogger Moment

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I may not be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

 photo newyearschallenge.png

Day 8: Your Favorite Book Blogger Moment

This was a tough one, as I have several moments that stand out for me:  the first comment I received, my first follower, the first time I received a review request...so many good memories! But I think that my favorite-favorite moment was the first time I attended BEA (Book Expo America). 

From the moment I applied and wasn't rejected (checked my emails for two weeks!), to actually getting my badge (expected them to say it was a mistake and I couldn't come in), to walking in the door on the first day; it was book heaven! I was giddy, and actually felt like a kid in a candy store! Totally star-struck upon meeting real, live authors! Knowing that I was surrounded by people who loved books as much as I did! Being amazed that yes, people were actually handing me books and the only thing they were asking was that I read and review it. Wowza! Feeling like Dorothy in the Land of Oz is a memory that I'll treasure forever. :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BBNYC Day 7: Top Ten Book Blogger Pet Peeves

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I won't be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

 photo newyearschallenge.png

Day 7: Top Ten Book Blogger Pet Peeves

This is such an interesting topic, and I'm really looking forward to reading everyone's lists! I was originally going to write about my pet peeves in books, then decided to go with the pet peeves I've developed since becoming a blogger. So here, in no particular order, are my Top Ten Blogging Pet Peeves:

  1. CAPTCHA! - I despise this with every fiber of my being! I just recently found out that it's an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart." I can't read half of them, so assumed it was designed by demons just to torment us...

  2. Spam - Don't care for spam either, whether it's a straightforward marketing comment or someone who copies and pastes the same comment on every blog meme. If you leave a comment asking me to follow your blog with nothing to suggest that you even skimmed my post, then I consider that spam as well.

  3. Poor Blog Design Choices - Wasn't sure what to label this one, but I was tempted to stop following a few blogs recently when they changed their design to complimentary background and font color. If I can't read your post without highlighting it, I'm going to move on to the next blog! Same thing with a funky font. Please don't make it painful to read your posts!

  4. Mean Girls Syndrome - It's fine if you don't like a book, but there's no reason to attack the author or readers who liked the book. If I don't like a book, I try to explain what didn't work for me and point out at least a few positive things as well. Why call the authors names? Why attack readers who enjoyed the story? We all have different tastes, so get over yourself already!

  5. Pimpin' Ain't Easy - Sorry, couldn't resist that label! I guess this counts as a pet peeve, as it annoys me and I still struggle with whether or not I should "pimp" my blog. I appreciate it when others leave me a link to their blog so I can return the comment favor, but when it comes time for me to leave a link, I feel weirdly nervous. Am I being too pushy? No one else has left a link, so should I leave one anyway? So I'm oddly inconsistent and leave links sporadically. 

  6. Where's the Comment Love? - Have to admit that I get a little discouraged when I find a great new blog, visit almost daily, comment on every post, but never hear hide nor hair from the blogger. I don't expect every blogger to reply to every comment, especially if they're a popular blog with tons of comments, but a visit or two wouldn't kill them. The end result is that I usually stop leaving comments. 

  7. Book Blasts - I've taken part in a book blast or two, but quickly grew tired of them when they started clogging up my blog feed. I don't mind a handful, but when almost every blogger out there is posting the same content? No thank you!

  8. Crazy Giveaway Requirements - Contests are a wonderful way to attract new followers, but if you require me to follow you, tweet about the giveaway, write a blog post about it, post it on Facebook, create a Pinterest board, write an essay, then jump through several other hoops, well, nothing is worth that and I won't enter. I don't mind if these are extra entries that I can skip, but could you please stop making entries so hard?

  9. Overly Productive Postings - I understand posting once or twice daily if you're a productive writer, but a dozen or so posts in one day? Really? I have a hard enough time keeping up with the blogs I follow, so someone who posts 20 times a day will probably be removed from my feed. The posts may be really fascinating marvels of writing genius, but I just can't keep up with you and won't even try.

  10. Auto-play - Since I usually open several windows at a time, it's very annoying when an ad or music starts playing and I have to hunt the offender down to turn it off. And if I have to play Find The Widget in order to turn it off? Steam comes out of my ears!

Wow! Coming up with ten pet peeves was easier than I thought! Pet peeves are a personal thing and I realize that what annoys me might be perfectly okay with you, and vice versa. Am I being unreasonable? What are some of your pet peeves?

And one just for the road:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter 2014 Mini Bloggiesta!

 photo bloggiestalogo.gif

Very excited to find out that there will be a mini Bloggiesta at the end of this month! Scheduled for January 25 & 26, the last weekend of the month. It's going to be laid back with just a few mini challenges, so will be a good introduction if you haven't taken part in other Bloggiestas.

Basically, this mini event is an organized time where we can all fix up our blogs and talk about it as we go. I've learned SO much from past Bloggiestas, and am really looking forward to this one!

Sign ups will go up about a week before, so start thinking about your to-do lists and link up then if you'd like to join.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 Reading Challenges

My original plan was to focus on the Goodreads Challenge only, as I didn't manage to complete any of my challenges in 2013. Too much pressure all around. But, as a self-diagnosed sufferer of challenge-acceptitis, I simply can't seem to resist! 

Goodreads Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
This is more of a way for me to keep track of my books, but it's labeled as a challenge so I'm counting it! I didn't make my 2013 goal and only read 66 out of 100 books, but I have high hopes for 2014! Shooting for 100 again, but secretly hoping to read more.


What's In A Name 7

 photo challenge_2014whatsinaname2.png
This will be hosted by The Worm Hole this year, and she's come up with some interesting categories!

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets):

  1. A reference to time (Eleven Minutes, Before Ever After)
  2. A position of royalty (The People’s Queen, The Last Empress, The Curse Of The Pharaoh)
  3. A number written in letters (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, A Tale Of Two Cities)
  4. A forename or names (Rebecca, Eleanor & Park, The Unfinished Work Of Elizabeth D.)
  5. A type or element of weather (Gone With The Wind, Red Earth Pouring Rain)
Extra info:
  • Books can be any format (print, audio, ebook).
  • It’s preferred that the books don’t overlap with other challenges, but not a requirement at all.
  • Books cannot overlap categories (for instance my first example, Eleven Minutes, could be used for category 1 or 3 but not both).
  • Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed, it’s encouraged!
  • You don’t have to make your list of books beforehand, you can choose them as you go.
  • You don’t have to read your chosen books in any particular order.



eBook Challenge

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Hosted by Workaday Reads, I decided to do this one again in order to keep track of how many ebooks I manage to read. I love my nook and the convenience of carrying around an entire library with me wherever I go! And being able to accept eGalleys has led to some great review opportunities! My goal on this one will be 25 eBooks.

Challenge Guidelines:

  • This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2014 – Dec 31, 2014.
  • Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, you can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
  • Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
  • You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.
  • When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.
  • Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2014, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.



Good luck to everyone who signed up for challenges this year!



Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Book Haul, full of bookish love! (38)

My Book Haul
Usually this post is about the books I've received over the past week or so, but thought I'd switch things up a little and share some of the non-book items I received over the holidays! Some are actual books, but the rest are bookish-related. All are wonderful!

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I belong to a book club and one of the ladies gave me a bookmark for Christmas. The perfect gift for me, as I collect bookmarks! And it's a map of the world, which fits perfectly in with my love of travel. How the heck does she know me so well already? *L*

***
My friend Tammy over at Bo's Book Nook sent me a box full of goodies! I thought that she was going to send me 1-2 books, so imagine my surprise when I found not only a lovely stack of books, but a treasure trove of wonder inside!

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Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey
The Eyes of Minds by James Dashner
How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks
Inhuman by Kat Falls
Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The Returned by Jason Mott

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As if the stack of books wasn't enough, she also included a tin of tea in a very cool container (I'm a BIG tea fan!), a little Whispering Angel Titans toy from Doctor Who, and the coolest Whispering Angels t-shirt ever! (I tried to terrorize play with the dog with the angel, but she wasn't impressed and blinked anyway.) 

I can never thank you enough, Tammy! You're the best!

***

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Another total surprise from my friends Pallavi and Maureen - the coolest dress ever! They know how much I love books, so found me something with book fabric! I'm not a big dress fan, but tried it on and think I can swing it as a shirt-jacket. I have the best friends ever!!!

***

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Another Whispering Angel surprise for Christmas! My parents surprised me with Doctor Who socks and a River Song journal! Forgot to take a picture of the journal, but it's my new favorite! I collect journals, so just need to decide how I want to use this one.

Based on these gifts, I must talk about Doctor Who an awful lot. *L* Looking forward to seeing how the new Doctor settles into the Who-Universe!


What did you receive this week?


Friday, January 3, 2014

BBNYC Day 3: Books of 2013 You Are Sad You Missed

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I may not be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

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Day 3: Books of 2013 You Are Sad You Missed

Probably should have skipped this, as I can't think of any titles that I'm sad I missed. If I really wanted a book, I bought it. I either convince myself I don't need it, or download a copy onto my nook and read it immediately! Need to work on that self control....

Because of the several reading and reviewing ruts I fell into over the year, I deliberately stayed away from Waiting on Wednesday posts so I wouldn't be tempted. That, plus the towering TBR piles that threaten to fall over on me one day, kept me out of temptation's path!

Of course, now I'm going to go visit everyone's posts and no doubt find awesome titles to add to my ginormous wishlist! I love book blogging. :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

BBNYC Day 2: Pros & Cons of Blogging

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge to start 2014 off on a good note! I may not be able to participate every day, but will do my best to visit everyone else!

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Day 2:  Your Pros & Cons of Blogging List


PROS
  1. Meeting other readers who are as passionate about books as I am! I've found several new friends through blogging!
  2. Discovering new titles and authors
  3. Having the opportunity to attend events like BEA
  4. Meeting some of my favorite authors, live & in person! squee!
  5. Commenting. I love receiving comments as well as leaving them, and love the sense of community that commenting encourages!

CONS
  1. Pressure to post more than I can currently manage (self-imposed, but still...)
  2. Blogging drama llamas (ugh!)
  3. Blogger envy. It's hard sometimes not to get a little bit jealous when another blogger has more followers/more ARCs/a better blog design/etc. I find myself both happy for them, but sad for me. Then I pull up my big girl panties and get over it. 
  4. Burn out. I keep falling into blogging/reading ruts and losing my mojo.
  5. Commenting. It can take up a lot of time, especially when you follow as many blogs as I do. Then there's the pressure to say something unique and interesting. Sometimes I've got nothing beyond "I enjoyed your review" or "great post!", which is pretty lame.


Commenting is a double-edged sword for me, so made both lists. I love it, but it can take up an awful lot of time! Still working on finding a happy medium. Would appreciate any helpful tips!  

Curious to see what everyone else considers a pro or con for blogging!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

Parajunkee is hosting a Book Blogger New Year's Challenge and, while I wasn't going to join initially, thought it might motivate me to get back into the swing of things!

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Day 1:  Your Blogger Resolutions:

1. Blog Comments 
I have good intentions, but haven't been doing a very good job of commenting on blogs. I'm going to keep things do-able and commit to commenting on 5 blogs a day. If that goes well, then I'll up it to 10 per day. 

2. Timeliness 
I need to start writing my reviews as soon as I finish reading instead of immediately starting another book. If I don't, I forget what I wanted to say because I'm a lousy note-taker (as in, I don't take notes. At all). 

3. Email 
Don't let email back up so much. Need to devote at least an hour a day to answering or deleting emails, as when I don't keep on top of it, it becomes unmanageable. I currently have 341 unread emails. Yikes!   

4. Bloglovin 
Finally figure this puppy out! There's GOT to be an easier way to navigate the blogs I transferred over from Google Reader! 


Giving serious consideration to getting one of those kitchen timers to help keep me on track. I tend to lose track of time when I'm playing Facebook games or surfing online, so that might help. Has anyone found a decent timer online? That would probably be easiest.

Here's to a great 2014!

2014 - The Year of Mistakes!

Neil Gaiman posted a lovely New Year's Wish on his blog.
I totally adore this man, and this is just another example why!
I want to make 2014 The Year of Mistakes, as I want to push myself out of my comfort zones and try so many new, different things...

Neil Gaiman
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

~Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
yes please!