Thursday, December 31, 2015

Blogger Shame Review Challenge

Oh the shame! The sad, sad Blogger Shame!

If you've been blogging for a while chances are you have a few (or more than a few lol) review books that have slipped through the cracks. Eeps! The Blogger Shame Review Challenge - cohosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup and Addicted to Happily Ever After - is all about dusting off all of those forgotten review books and making them happen! (website)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz #BookReview

Ashley Bell by Dean KoontzTitle:  Ashley Bell
Author:  Dean Koontz
Release Date:  December 8, 2015
Publisher:  Bantam
Source:  Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley

At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. 

This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.

Unprecedented in scope, infinite in heart, Ashley Bell is a magnificent achievement that will capture lovers of dark psychological suspense, literary thrillers, and modern classics of mystery and adventure. Beautifully written, at once lyrical and as fast as a bullet, here is the most irresistible novel of the decade. (Goodreads)


My Review:

The first time I rode Space Mountain was in total darkness. Found out later that the stars and other effects were only turned on half the time, but I loved having no idea of the upcoming twists, turns, and dips. It was definitely an adventure!

Reading Ashley Bell reminded me a little of this ride, as I had no idea where it would take me next!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Journals: We have a winner!


My Journals:  We have a winner!

Blank journals are another weakness of mine. Even though I have an entire cabinet full of journals, I can't seem to stop collecting them! Not sure what I'm going to do with them all, but I can't seem to make it out of a bookstore with at least one.


the journal I finally started writing in
This is the journal I impulsively picked up and started writing in. Got it at World Market, and I like the words of wisdom on the front. Also really like the magnetic closure, as I can stick a pen in there so I never have to hunt one down!

inspirational reminders
While most of the book has plain lined pages, there are occasional inspirational reminders scattered throughout! Love it!








Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Journals: Whovian Happiness!



Blank journals are another weakness of mine. Even though I have an entire cabinet full of journals, I can't seem to stop collecting them! Not sure what I'm going to do with them all, but I can't seem to make it out of a bookstore with at least one.

Dr Who journals!!!
As a Dr Who fan, these are two of my favorite journals!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Book Haul 11/21/2015

The latest additions to my book pile:  Knight's Fall by Angela Henry, and The Passenger by Lisa Lutz,

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.

For Review:

Another title that sounded too good to resist! Luckily, I have until February to get it reviewed, but hoping to read it before then!

Knight's Fall by Angela Henry
Knight's Fall by Angela Henry

Xavier Knight was an angel - until Heaven kicked him out. Now he’s a private detective in New Orleans, trying to put his old immortal life behind him while avoiding Lucifer’s bounty hunters. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bookmark Monday: Little Foxes


Bookmark Monday
Since I collect bookmarks, thought it would be fun to join the Guiltless Reader for her Bookmark Monday posts!

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Received this bookmark as a gift. Love the adorable little foxes, but it's a little awkward to actually use and I'm not sure if the pendant part is supposed to stay in the book or hang out the bottom? Think I'll hang it on the wall instead because it's so cute!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Krampus the Yule Lord Book Tour

Krampus the Yule Lord Book Tour

Title:  Krampus the Yule Lord
Author:  Brom
Release Date:  October 27, 2015 (reissue)
Publisher:  Harper Voyager
Source:  Review copy provided by Pump Up Your Book

Santa Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murder, a liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood.

You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming to take your head. I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide… (blurb)


Sunday, November 8, 2015

My Journals: Paris on my mind



Blank journals are another weakness of mine. Even though I have an entire cabinet full of journals, I can't seem to stop collecting them! Not sure what I'm going to do with them all, but I can't seem to make it out of a bookstore with at least one.

Love this Paris journal!
This is one of my newer purchases. I have a soft spot for Paris, so couldn't resist this cover! The border and faded colors give it an antique look, and the Eiffel Tower is the quintessential symbol of the Paris ideal. Love it!

Friday, November 6, 2015

6th Annual Broke & Bookish Santa

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Don't you just love getting surprises in the mail? Has to be one of my favorite things, which is why I love Secret Santa exchanges so much! So happy that the ladies over at The Broke & the Bookish are hosting their Secret Santa again, as this is one of my favorite exchanges!

I've participated in this exchange a few times and love shopping for my fellow book lovers! It's a laid back, fun exchange open to people all over the world!

Sign up by November 12, 2015

You get to choose what type of package you want to exchange:

          a) 1 book and a small gift/candy
          b) 1-2 books and a couple goodies
          c) 2-3 books and goodies

Mail gift no later than December 15, 2015


You can find more details and/or sign up on the Secret Santa Sign Up Page. Hope you'll join me in the fun!






Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October 2015 Wrap Up

monthly wrap up
Can you believe that October is over already? I saw Christmas decorations at the store the other day. Yikes! Why is the year rushing by so fast? Wasn't it summer a second ago? Let's slow down and take a minute to see how things went for me in October.

Books read

In order to meet my Goodreads goal of 100 books, I need to read 8.33 books per month. According to Goodreads, I've read 2 books this month. Not even close:

  1. Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong
  2. Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bookmark Monday: Bloggish bookmarks


Bookmark Monday
Since I collect bookmarks, thought it would be fun to join the Guiltless Reader for her Bookmark Monday posts!


Life's too short to read bad books
I won a contest awhile back from FantasyLiterature.com and these awesome bookmarks were included with my prize! Would love to come up with personalized bookmarks for my blog. Such a clever idea, and much more fun than regular business cards!

Do you have personalized bookmarks? Where did you get them? Are you happy with how they turned out? I like the design on my business cards, but Vistaprint doesn't offer matching bookmarks. Guess I need to come up with a tagline and design first, but how cool would that be?






Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween! My Book Haul 10/31/2015

The newest additions to my towering TBR stacks: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep, Krampus by Brom, Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz, and Witched at Birth by Dakota Cassidy

Happy Halloween!


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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cat Thursday: Happy Halloween!


Cat Thursday
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!


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Happy Halloween!

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Hope you get lots of candy, either from raiding your kids bags or at the after-Halloween clearance sales!






Sunday, October 25, 2015

New Feature: My Journals


Blank journals are another weakness of mine. Even though I have an entire cabinet full of journals, I can't seem to stop collecting them! Not sure what I'm going to do with them all, but I can't make it out of a bookstore without at least one.

two vintage beauties
Got these two vintage beauties from my father. There were actually two of the Records journals, but my husband grabbed one for himself!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness #BookReview

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessTitle:  The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author:  Patrick Ness
Release Date:  October 6, 2015
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Source:  Edelweiss

A new YA novel from novelist Patrick Ness, author of the Carnegie Medal- and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning A Monster Calls and the critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a bold and irreverent novel that powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

What if you aren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you're like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week's end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Scooby Gang? Ever wonder what their classmates thought about all the weird goings-on around town? How they dealt with all the disappearances and monster sightings?  The Rest of Us Just Live Here answers those burning questions!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bookmark Monday: Pride & Prejudice


Bookmark Monday
Since I collect bookmarks, thought it would be fun to join the Guiltless Reader for her Bookmark Monday posts!


Found a wonderful shop on Etsy called Castle on the Hill and she has amazing book related products! I bought a few items from her, including these Pride & Prejudice bookmarks! She's based in London, but I received my items faster than expected. Can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Mr. Darcy and the ladies
Mr. Darcy and the ladies

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Book Haul 10/17/2015

And so my book pile grows....Seize the Night anthology

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.

NetGalley:

I'm a sucker for anthologies, so couldn't resist requesting this collection of vampire short stories. The authors are some of my favorites, so can't wait to read it!

Seize the Night anthology
Seize the Night anthology

A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.


What did you receive this week?







Thursday, October 15, 2015

Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong #BookReview

Led Astray:  The Best of Kelley ArmstrongTitle:  Led Astray:  The Best of Kelley Armstrong
Author:  Kelley Armstrong
Release Date:  September 15, 2015
Publisher:  Tachyon Publications
Source:  NetGalley

Two brand new tales anchor this wide-ranging collection from one of urban fantasy's most successful authors. Here is the first time that best-selling fantasy, YA, and crime author Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from Otherworld and beyond. 

With her signature twists and turns, Armstrong gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies, while also traveling further afield, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even to feudal Japan.

With tales that range from humorous to heart-stopping, these are the stories that showcase Kelley Armstrong at her versatile best. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite writers, so I'm happy that she has a new collection of short stories available! Anthologies are another favorite of mine, so favorite author + favorite genre = a happy reader!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Book Review: llluminae

Book Review: llluminaeTitle:  Illuminae
Author:  Amie Kaufman
Release Date:  October 20, 2015
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source:  ARCs provided by the publisher via NetGalley and BEA

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra - who are barely even talking to each other - are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents - including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more - Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. (Goodreads)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow #BookReview

Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow #BookReviewTitle:  Scorpion Rules
Author:  Erin Bow
Release Date:  October 6, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Source:  NetGalley

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. 

The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Prefectures. 

There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Scorpion Rules has the intriguing premise of a world where the children of world leaders are kept as hostages in order to ensure peace. Should a nation declare war, a child will die. Harsh, but effective. 

While I've never heard of this practice, I'm told that it's actually based on real history. What a fascinating concept! And I thought that the author did a great job bringing this idea to life!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Book Haul 10/3/2015

My newest additions to the old book pile:  Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver, Led Astray:  The Best of Kelley Armstrong, and Dark Heart of Magic 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.

For Review:

This was a welcome surprise in my mailbox! I adore Lauren Oliver and can't wait to read this one!

Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver
Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver

This sensational new series combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H.C. Chester.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

September 2015 Wrap Up

September 2015 monthly wrap up
Seemed to work last year, so hoping that monthly wrap up posts will still keep me on track!

Books read

In order to meet my Goodreads goal of 100 books, I need to read 8.33 books per month. According to Goodreads, I've read 5 books this month:
  1. Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle
  2. Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  3. Small Wars by Lee Child
  4. Not A Drill by Lee Child
  5. Devoted In Death by JD Robb

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle #BookReview

Sisters of Treason book reviewTitle:  Sisters of Treason
Author:  Elizabeth Fremantle
Release Date:  June 30, 2015
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Source:  review copy provided by the publisher

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Katherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. Elizabeth Freemantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Historical fiction is one of those genres that I tend to stay away from, but Sisters of Treason caught my eye and I decided to make an exception. So glad I did, as this was a fascinating story!

Despite my schoolhouse love of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, I have to admit that I don't remember much about Lady Jane Grey. I remember that she was referred to as the Nine Day Queen and was beheaded, but not much beyond that. She had sisters? Live and learn!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blog Ahead Challenge - October 2015

Blog Ahead Challenge - October 2015
Anna over at Herding Cats & Burning Soup is hosting another Blog Ahead Challenge, this one for the entire month of October. I think it's just the thing I need to get back in the blogging rhythm, so am excited to take part! 

I took part in the last mini challenge and having that cushion of scheduled posts was SO nice! Unfortunately, I didn't keep it up. The month-long challenge will probably be a little tougher for me, but I'm looking forward to having that nice cushion again!

The Details:

Build your total number of scheduled posts by 31!

On October 1st, take your number of scheduled posts and add 31.
Whatever that number is...that's your goal for the month.
You'll end the day on Oct 31st with that many scheduled posts.

Example- If you start October with 5 scheduled posts, you end October with 36 scheduled posts.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Bloggiesta Finish Line - Fall 2015


Hard to believe that another Bloggiesta has come and gone already! Wasn't able to get everything done, but that's my own fault for trying to do too much. Love Bloggiesta and already looking forward to the next one!

Let's see how I did:

Original Goals

  • Update book review index - done!
  • Crosspost book reviews to Amazon & Goodreads - done!
  • Catch up on emails - still working on it, but got some great tips from the Clean Up Your Email Challenge 
  • Write one discussion post - done!
  • Take part in at least one Twitter chat - done! Forgot about the first ones, but made the final two!
  • Finish removing dead links from 2009 - didn't even start this one. :(
  • Cheer on other Bloggiesta participants - done! Didn't manage to visit everyone, but will try to swing by everyone's wrap up posts to see how they did.
  • Pin reviews to Pinterest - done!
  • Write pending reviews - didn't do so well with this one and still have 5 pending. 
  • Host mini-challenge - done! Was a little nervous since I've never hosted a challenge before, but I survived!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

My Book Haul 9/19/2015

The newest additions to my towering book piles: Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan, Devoted in Death by JD Robb, and a cute gift from my aunt!

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.

For Review:

This was a surprise in my mailbox, but sounds intriguing!

Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan
Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery. (Goodreads)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pinterest Rich Pins - Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

How to add Pinterest Rich Pins (for Blogspot blogs)

During a Twitter chat back in March, someone had asked for Pinterest tips. I casually mentioned that Pinterest brought me the best social media traffic after I had installed Rich Pins. Several people were interested in learning more, so Suey asked if I'd be interested in hosting a Bloggiesta mini-challenge. So here we are!

Full disclosure:  I'm no expert on Rich Pins or Pinterest, but am willing to share what I learned and, if nothing else, can at least point you in the right direction.


What are Rich Pins?

Rich Pins add extra detail to your pins and make them stand out a little. The easiest way to spot a Rich Pin is that they have a little picture of the pinner and there's a headline in bold type.

Pinterest also seems to give more exposure to Rich Pins over regular pins, and I know that my Pinterest traffic exploded after switching.

There are five types of Rich Pins:  movie, recipe, article, product, and place. I chose article, as that seemed to be the best fit for a book blog.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fall Bloggiesta 2015


It's time for another Bloggiesta! I fell off the blogging wagon recently, so hoping this will help me dust myself off and get back in the game. And to make things even more interesting, I somehow agreed to host one of the mini-challenges! All kidding aside, it should be fun!

What is Bloggiesta?

Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta! (website)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

My Book Haul 9/5/2015

The latest additions to my book pile:  Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan, Noble Intentions Season One by LT Ryan, Against the Dark by Carolyn Crane

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.

For Review:

This was a surprise in my mailbox. Not really my type of read, but I'm on the fence about giving it a try. Think I'll wait and see what others think before deciding. I mean, it's not like I don't have plenty of other books calling my name....ha!

Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan
Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan

From the author of the acclaimed The Curiosity comes a compelling and moving story of compassion, courage, and redemption

Thursday, September 3, 2015

August 2015 Wrap Up

monthly wrap up

Seemed to work last year, so hoping that monthly wrap up posts will still keep me on track!

Books read

In order to meet my Goodreads goal of 100 books, I need to read 8.33 books per month. According to Goodreads, I've read 5 books this month:

  1. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
  2. Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne
  3. A Hot Glue Gun Mess by Mr Kate
  4. For The Love by Jen Hatmaker
  5. Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

August Reviews

  1. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
  2. Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
  3. Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel
  4. Another Day by David Levithan
  5. A Hot Glue Gun Mess by Mr Kate

Overall

August was a slow blogging month for me. Did lousy on writing posts and visiting other blogs. Not sure why, but probably because my interest in blogging seems to ebb and flow. Really need to learn to stockpile posts when my blogging interest is high, just to get me through the low periods. Fingers crossed that I can learn that lesson!

Hope everyone has a great September!


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