“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Biannual Blogathon Bash - June 2017

June 23-26
The Biannual Blogathon Bash is a chance to get to work on all those blogging tasks you need or want to get done but just haven’t found the time for, such as changing your design, writing posts, cleaning out your email, filling in your editorial calendar, write an ebook, and any number of things... (website)

Goals

  • back up blog
  • complete at least 2 Blog Ahead posts
  • update Pinterest boards for 2009 & 2010
  • update TBR page
  • update Reviews page
  • crosspost reviews on Amazon & Goodreads
  • work on removing dead links

I've been working on removing dead links and updating my Pinterest boards off and on for months. Maybe if I keep reminding myself via these type of events, I'll eventually get them done! ha!

Monday, June 19, 2017

I Won a Geekerella Prize Pack!

Geekerella Prize Pack
Look what arrived on my doorstep last week! The Geekerella prize pack I won from Armchair Book Expo! I've been wanting to read this book ever since I finished the excerpt!

Since I love candles almost as much as I love books, words cannot describe how happy I was to receive this special edition candle! Created by Icey Designs, the scent reminds me of pumpkin spice. Fitting, since Elle works at a Magic Pumpkin food truck!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Blog Ahead Mini-Challenge - June 15-30, 2017

Blog Ahead Mini-Challenge - June 15-30, 2017
It's time for another Mini Blog Ahead challenge, hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup!

Details:


Dates: June 15 - 30

Goal: Schedule an additional 15 posts during the challenge.

On Day 1 of the challenge take your number of scheduled posts and add 15 to that. This is the number you need to have at the end of the challenge.

My Goals:

I'm usually bad at challenges and fail 90% of the ones I sign up for, but I do better at this one for some reason. Not always a success, but I do get some posts written and scheduled, so consider that a win. 

Since I currently have only one post already scheduled, I need to come up with an additional 15. Challenge accepted!

Wish me luck!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Book Haul 6/10/2017

Bones of the Earth, A Thousand Cuts, Waste of Space, Nyxia, Things I Should Have Known, Goofy Newfies, Stillhouse Lake, About a Dog
It's been awhile since I've done a book haul, so quite a few new books have been added to my TBR piles. I've included links to Goodreads for more information.

For Review:

These were both surprises in my mailbox. Not sure when I'll be able to read them, but they both look intriguing! Nothing better than books in the mail!

Bones of the Earth by Rachel Dunne
Bones of the Earth by Rachel Dunne

A mismatched band of mortals and their violent, secretive leader must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world in this second volume in Rachel Dunne's breathtaking dark epic fantasy trilogy, The Bound Gods, which began with In the Shadow of the Gods.

***

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Review Buzz Books 2017 Spring/Summer

Book Review Buzz Books 2017 Spring/Summer
Title:  Buzz Books 2017 Spring/Summer
Release Date:  January 13, 2017
Publisher:  Publishers Lunch
Source:  netGalley

The tenth edition of Buzz Books captures the excitement of Winter Institute and takes it much further: start off a year of new reading discoveries excerpts from 40 talked about Buzz Books due to be published in the months ahead. (Goodreads)



Buzz Books are one of my favorite ways to discover new-to-me authors that I might not have been exposed to any other way. This collection is a big one, so here are a few titles that left me wanting more:

The Last Hack by Christopher Brookmyre

Internationally bestselling author Christopher Brookmyre... is renowned for his black humor, remarkably well-drawn characters, and killer twists. His new Jack Parlabane thriller, The Hack, is his most unstoppable novel yet.

I've always been fascinated by hacking, and the sample grabbed my attention immediately by showing how easy it can be. Can't wait to read this one!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 4 (5?) - Wrap Up

It's hard to believe that Armchair Book Expo is already over. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun!

It's hard to believe that Armchair Book Expo is already over. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun!

I've found some lovely new blogs to follow! And since I'm not done visiting my fellow participants, I'm sure I'll find even more.

Had a blast at the Twitter party I attended, but was only able to make it to one. I really wanted to take part in the one about favorite authors but didn't make it home in time. Will definitely check out the wrap up post for that one! So glad that the organizers put these together for us!

And did you know there were prizes? I won prizes! Won one during the Twitter party and another for one of my posts. What a nice surprise!

I didn't do a post yesterday because I didn't have anything ready for a giveaway, but here are my other posts:

Did you take part in the Armchair Book Expo this year? What was your favorite part? Mine is finding new blogging friends and discovering new authors!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 3 - Delving Into Diversity & Dining With Authors

Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 3
Can you believe that it's already day 3 of Armchair Book Expo? Time flies when you're having fun! I missed yesterday's Twitter party as I didn't make it home in time, but hoping to make today's party at 2pm EST.

Decided to tackle both topics today, so let's dive right in!

Delving Into Diversity

Book Expo sparked quite the controversy a couple years ago regarding diversity in books and authors. Where are we now? OR, let's take a different direction and explore the diversity of the format of a book. Do we judge a book by its cover and/or content (e.g.,, audio, digital, graphic, etc.)? Or, combine the two topics and discuss diversity found in alternative content (e.g., representation in graphic novels). Get creative and maybe even controversial!

Going to stick to diversity in book formats as I tend to be a little oblivious when it comes to diversity in books and authors. Remember, I'm the person who always has to be reminded that Zaphod Beeblebrox had two heads! Like I said, I'm not very observant.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 2 - What Do Readers Want?

Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 2 - What Do Readers Want?
Armchair Book Expo is a fun alternative to Book Expo America currently taking place in NYC! Can't make it to New York? Join us! You can find more details at ArmchairBEA.com

Had a blast at last night's Twitter party, so hope to make the one this afternoon! There were two options for today's topic and I chose this one:

What do reader's want?

What Do Readers Want?: What makes or breaks a book? How do we rate the books, or determine if it is good literature or a good story? What do we want from an author event? How does diversity representation fit into all of this?


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017: Day 1 Intro

Armchair Book Expo 2017
It's time once again for the Armchair Book Expo! Armchair BEA is a fun event for those of us who aren't able to make the big Book Expo in New York. Be sure to check out the website for more details!

This year, the organizers came up with writing prompts instead of the usual intro questions. Instead of doing all ten prompts, I'll pick out a few and we'll go from there. It's always good to try new things, so let's jump right in and get started!

I am...

...a reader. My dad was a reader and I've been a reader as long as I can remember. Started out reading comic books, Archie comics in particular. Archie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Josie and the Pussycats were some of my favorites!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Library Haul #1

It only took me four years, but I finally got a library card! Pretty sure I was spoiled by the last two libraries I belonged to, as they were both new & awesome, but my new library isn't bad. Granted, half the shelves are empty, but they have a pretty good young adult section and it looks like they're working on their fantasy section. Have to say that I'm cautiously optimistic!

Here's my very first library haul:

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia, Missing by Kelley Armstrong, Scythe by Neal Shusterman, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in this action-packed paranormal thriller, the first book in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia.

Missing by Kelley Armstrong

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve's End is that soon she'll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There's nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They're better off taking a chance elsewhere.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life - and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist.


I may or may not have gone a little overboard with my hold requests for new titles, but hopefully they won't all come in at the same time and I can catch up on my reading!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Perfect by Cecelia Ahern #BookReview

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine's life has completely fractured - all her freedoms gone.
Title:  Perfect
Author:  Cecelia Ahern
Release Date:  April 4, 2017
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Source:  NetGalley

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine's life has completely fractured - all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick - the only person she can trust.

But Celestine has a secret - one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or to risk her life to save all Flawed people.

And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed? (Goodreads)


Review:

This is the type of story that causes chills to run down your spine. Not because it's particularly horrifying, but because this type of dystopian future is all too easy to imagine.

A world where morality police, called Whistleblowers, will arrest anyone accused of being flawed. Then, like Hester Prynne, the accused are marked once they're found guilty.

Instead of having to wear a scarlet letter on their clothes, the accused are actually branded. On their skin. With a branding iron. Like cattle. Branded with a capital F for Flawed.

Their only crime was making a moral or ethical decision that society didn't agree with. Can you imagine the possible abuses? What an easy way to get rid of a rival! Simply call the Whistleblowers and accuse your rival of some made up offense and viola, no more rival. Wow!


Saturday, April 1, 2017

March 2017 Wrap Up

March: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb
Another month bites the dust! Let's see how I did!

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 38 books so far this year and 10 books this month:

  1.  Purity in Death by JD Robb
  2.  The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb
  3.  Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  4. Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
  5. Liberation by Debra Dunbar
  6. Snared by Jennifer Estep
  7. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
  8. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  9. Scary Dead Things by Rick Gualtieri
  10. The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo


Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Journals: P is for Pretty

It's not hoarding, it's a collection!
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.


browns and golds make the design really pop
Can't remember where or when I picked this one up, but I do remember falling in love with the pretty Celtic design! And while I usually prefer brighter colors, the earth shades work nicely with this design.


plain lined pages
Plain lined pages inside, with a convenient ribbon to hold my place.



Friday, March 24, 2017

March 2017 Write On Review-a-Thon

Create a post on your blog or a social media page with the list of what you’re going to review for the upcoming challenge.
March 24-26

It's been awhile since I last did a review-a-thon, but I'm behind on reviews so maybe this will give me the incentive I need to finally catch up!

How to Participate:


Create a post on your blog or a social media page with the list of what you’re going to review for the upcoming challenge.

The Write On Review-a-Thon is a challenge hosted by Book Bumblings. From Friday through Sunday, we all band together and write as many reviews as possible. It’s a weekend for you to either catch up on reviews or get ahead on upcoming ones. It doesn’t matter if you write one review or 10 - if you write a review, you’re in. 

Join me in this month’s challenge and catch up on your reviews! 

Pending Reviews:

  • Snared by Jennifer Estep
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
  • All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
  • Killing Kate by Alex Lake

Sad to say that my pending list is much, much longer, but this should be enough to get me started. 

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes, in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
Title:  A Simple Favor
Author:  Darcey Bell
Release Date:  March 21, 2017
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Source:  Edelweiss

She’s your best friend. She knows all your secrets. That’s why she’s so dangerous.

A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes, in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. (Goodreads)


Review:

Stephanie and Emily are best friends, so Stephanie doesn't think anything of it when Emily has a work emergency and asks if she can pick up her son from school.

A simple favor that moms do for each other all the time. But then Emily doesn't pick up her son. Doesn't answer her phone. Doesn't reply to Stephanie's increasingly anxious texts. Watching Emily's son for a few hours turns into a few days. Where is Emily?

And so begins an adventure that Stephanie could never have imagined.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Book Haul 3/18/2017

Pretend I'm Not Here, Hit The Ground Running, Pretty Fierce, Norse Mythology, and The Secret
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:

Not my usual type of read, but I'm becoming more interested in politics lately and this sounded intriguing.

Pretend I'm Not Here by Barbara Feinman Todd
Pretend I'm Not Here by Barbara Feinman Todd

An accomplished former ghostwriter and book researcher who worked with Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee, and Hillary Clinton goes behind-the-scenes of the national’s capital to tell the story of how she survived the exciting, but self-important and self-promoting world of the Beltway. (Goodreads)


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Book Review: The Bone Witch

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.
Title:  The Bone Witch
Author:  Rin Chupeco
Release Date:  March 7, 2017
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Source:  NetGalley

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. 

Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. 

But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha -one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice. (Goodreads)


Review:

This story has one of the best openings I've read in a long time:
Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. 

Talk about grabbing your attention on the very first page, with the very first sentence! Too bad the rest of the book didn't live up to that opening sentence.

The chapters alternate between past and present. In the present, a renown Bard has sought Tea out for her story, finding her exiled on a distant beach. I actually preferred the chapters set in the past, watching Tea's journey from child to accomplished Asha.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Journals: Amazing Grace

It's not hoarding, it's a collection!
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.

Couldn't resist picking this up for my mom!
Amazing Grace is my mother's favorite song, so couldn't resist picking this journal up for her!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Book Review: The Mermaid's Daughter

Have you ever wondered if fairy tales were true? Or at least based on truth, even if they were embellished in the telling? That's the fascinating premise of The Mermaid's Daughter
Title:  The Mermaid's Daughter
Author:  Ann Claycomb
Release Date:  March 7, 2017
Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks
Source:  ARC received from the publisher

A modern-day expansion of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, this unforgettable debut novel weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and the power of love as a descendent of the original mermaid fights the terrible price of saving herself from a curse that has affected generations of women in her family.

Kathleen has always been dramatic. She suffers from the bizarre malady of experiencing stabbing pain in her feet. On her sixteenth birthday, she woke screaming from the sensation that her tongue had been cut out. No doctor can find a medical explanation for her pain, and even the most powerful drugs have proven useless. Only the touch of seawater can ease her pain, and just temporarily at that.

Haunting and lyrical, The Mermaid’s Daughter asks - how far we will go for those we love? And can the transformative power of music overcome a magic that has prevailed for generations?
(Goodreads)


Review:

Have you ever wondered if fairy tales might be true? Or at least based on the truth, even if they were embellished in the telling? That's the fascinating premise of The Mermaid's Daughter.

We meet Kathleen, a gifted singer suffering from stabbing pain in both feet and the horrible sensation of a severed tongue. Delusion? Or the result of a family curse?

Kathleen, her father Robin, and her girlfriend Harry take turns narrating the story. Each chapter is clearly labeled so there's no confusion over whose POV we're reading. There's also an unnamed narrator, the originator of the curse, acting as sort of a Greek Chorus while filling in the blanks.


Monday, March 6, 2017

My Bookmarks: San Francisco on my mind

Since I collect bookmarks, thought it would be fun to showcase some of my collection!
(Inspired by Guiltless Reader's Bookmark Monday posts)


nice souvenir from an awesome city!
My brother sent me a bookmark from his recent trip to San Francisco. It's been years since I saw the city, so this was a nice surprise! The paper looks handmade and has a nice texture to it. The picture is pasted on, so there's depth to it as well. It's encased in plastic that I can't remove without scissors, so please forgive any glare. 

Close up



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mini Blog Ahead 2017

Since I have a long history of signing up for challenges and failing miserably, decided to keep my streak alive and sign up for the Mini Blog Ahead Challenge hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup!

Since I have a long history of signing up for challenges and failing miserably, decided to keep my streak alive and sign up for the Mini Blog Ahead Challenge hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup!

Details:

This challenge is all about getting ahead in your blogging by scheduling an additional 15 posts.

Any post counts so long as it's completed and scheduled, but it can't be posted until after the challenge ends.

My Goal:

Since I don't have anything ready for March yet, I'm going to bend the rules a bit and work on getting 15 posts total. If I get my groove on, will try to schedule 15 posts for after the 15th as well.

There are two discussion posts sitting in my draft folder that need to be completed. And I have more journal and bookmarks posts I can schedule. Plus who knows how many unwritten reviews! Honestly, I'm afraid to add them up in case I wind up in a corner somewhere, rocking and weeping in despair. Kidding! (sorta)

Fingers crossed I break my failing streak!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Book Haul 2/25/17

The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day, The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb, and The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
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:

An interesting assortment of titles have found their way to my mailbox this year. Outside my usual genres, but all look intriguing!


The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day
The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day

Anna Winger knows people better than they know themselves with only a glance - at their handwriting. Hired by companies seeking trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real mess of other people’s lives at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a ransom note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime inevitably gets under Anna’s skin.

***

The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb
The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb

A modern-day expansion of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, this unforgettable debut novel weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and the power of love as a descendent of the original mermaid fights the terrible price of saving herself from a curse that has affected generations of women in her family.

***

The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo

When a middle school girl is abducted in broad daylight, a fellow student and witness to the crime copes with the tragedy in an unforgettable way.

What happens to the girl left behind?





What did you receive this week?


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Review Buzz Books 2017 YA Spring/Summer

Buzz Books are one of my favorite ways to discover new authors, so I'm incredibly happy that this edition knocks it out of the ballpark with so many awesome reads!
Title:  Buzz Books 2017 YA Spring/Summer
Release Date:  January 13, 2017
Publisher:  Publishers Lunch
Source:  netGalley


Our sixth edition of Buzz Books: Young Adult provides the special excitement of Winter Institute and takes it even further with samples of the best in forthcoming young adult novels months ahead of their actual publication. (Goodreads)


My Review:

Buzz Books are one of my favorite ways to discover new authors, so I'm incredibly happy that this edition knocks it out of the ballpark with so many awesome reads! Here are some of the samples that really got my attention:

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr reminded me a little of the movie 50 First Dates. Unlike the movie though, Flora's memory erases itself several times a day. Thankfully this didn't happen until she was ten years old so at least she has those long-term memories to help her get through the day. Then everything changes. She remembers something. A kiss. From her best friend's boyfriend. Uh-oh. Can't wait to read more and see what happens to Flora when she sets off to reconnect with the boy who gave her a new memory!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

TBTB Secret Santa Exchange 2016

The Broke and the Bookish host a Secret Santa Exchange every year and it's one of my favorites! I love buying gifts for a fellow book lover and have loved everything I've received from this exchange. That being said, I think that my Secret Santa this year really knocked it out of the ballpark!

Sneak peek of my Secret Santa goodies.
Sneak peek of my Secret Santa goodies.
I was good this year and waited until Christmas
morning to open my gifts. (wasn't easy!)

So many goodies!
So many goodies!

penguins!
Look at this adorable card!
I mentioned that I loved penguins, so my Santa found a penguin card for me. Very cool!


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