Saturday, August 19, 2017

My Book Haul 8/19/2017

Hawkweed Legacy by Irena Brignull, Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land, Call of Fire by Beth Cato, Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, Buzz Books 2017 YA Fall/Winter sampler, Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of Doom by Brian Olsen, and An American Werewolf in Hoboken by Dakota Cassidy
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 an email offer from Wunderkind PR. Since I had read and enjoyed the first book in the series, I was happy to accept this review offer. Looking forward to seeing how this witch-switched-at-birth story plays out!

Hawkweed Legacy by Irena Brignull
Hawkweed Legacy by Irena Brignull

The Hawkweed Legacy begins after two girls, Poppy Hooper and Ember Hawkweed, discover they were switched at birth because of a centuries old-prophecy that destined one of them to be Queen of the witches. 

 Stunned by their findings, Poppy finds comfort with a boy and his great-grandmother in Africa while Ember settles into a new non-coven life with Leo, the boy that is bound to both of them in ways neither of them can yet understand. When both the young women, Leo and the throne are threatened, they must choose between love and destiny as everything they know and cherish may be destroyed.

***

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Book Review: Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel

This was not the book I was expecting.
Title:  Dead on Arrival
Author:  Matt Richtel
Release Date:  August 1, 2017
Publisher:  William Morrow
Source:  Edelweiss

A mysterious disorder threatens to destroy the world in this high-concept thriller from Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel, which combines medical science, cutting-edge technology, and breathtaking suspense in the vein of Michael Crichton. (Goodreads)

My Review:

While not my usual type of read, the excerpt pulled me in and left me wanting more!

A plane lands in the small town of Steamboat, Colorado to everyone at the airport seems to be dead. Is it a virus? Biological warfare? A gas leak? Good thing that one of the plane passengers is a infectious disease specialist! Coincidence? Or the unfolding of an evil plot?

Things are just getting good with the doctor examining the nearest body when we shift to the past. Could have done without this look back at Dr Martin's trip to Africa to investigate a mysterious outbreak, but maybe that was just my impatience to get back to the good stuff.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Guest Post: How to Enjoy eBooks without Causing Harm to Your Eyes by Anitya Brown

Hi everyone! Today I'm featuring a guest post from Anitya Brown. Anitya did an awesome post about reading more effectively over on Bookworm Brandee's blog and today she's going to talk about how to enjoy ebooks without hurting your eyes. Enjoy!

How to Enjoy eBooks without Causing Harm to Your Eyes


One of the major arguments against reading ebooks is that you need to read them on an electronic screen, and staring at a screen for long hours every day over the long term could cause damage to your eyes.

The concern is reasonable, and Computer Vision Syndrome is a real thing. The symptoms include headaches, eye dryness, blurred vision, eye irritation, excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, among others.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have to be a desktop screen to cause the ailment. In fact, many frequent phone and tablet readers can totally relate to the eye irritations and headaches.

How to Enjoy eBooks without Causing Harms to Your Eyes
Photo Source: Giphy

Saturday, August 5, 2017

My Book Haul 8/5/2017

Strange Weather, Silent Corner, and The Between

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 offered in a recent email from William Morrow. I'm a sucker for short stories and loved the last book by Joe Hill, so happily agreed to a review and downloaded the ebook that afternoon!

Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Strange Weather by Joe Hill

A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill.

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Wrap Up

July 2017 Wrap Up

My month in review. 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 only read 3 books this month and my cushion is quickly disappearing:

  1. MatchUp edited by Lee Child
  2. Goodbye Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
  3. Epiphany Machine by David Burr Gerrald

July Reviews




Blog Goals


Focused on fixing the Photobucket fiasco this month. Slowly working my way through old posts and updating the missing pictures. Once that's done, going to take a look at my old template to see if it can be salvaged. If not, will look into finally buying a custom template. Maybe. Hoping I can salvage the old one as I've had it so long that I'm kinda attached.

Around the Blogosphere


Have noticed quite a few book bloggers mentioning their bullet journals recently. This makes me unbelievably excited for some reason, as I started my bullet journal back in February. It's mainly lists and trackers, but I've started branching out and trying to get more creative. Anyone else have a bullet journal? Do you follow the "official guidelines" or have you made it your own the way I have? Let's compare BuJos!

Read a fun post over at Avalinah's Books about how we sometimes never seem to get around to actually reading the book we've been desperately craving. I'm totally guilty of neglecting my Must Have books, so glad to find out I'm not alone!

Marie over at The Boston Bibliophile is celebrating her upcoming 10 year blogiversary with a Bookish Bucket List. Love this idea!

Speaking of blogiversarys, Ryan at Wordsmithonia is celebrating his 9 year blogiversary! Love his Favorite Fictional Character posts!

Commenting


Started off strong, then life happened. Hoping to do better in August.

Challenges


*sigh* You know what they say about good intentions, right? I still haven't started the Blogger Shame Challenge, which is kind of ironic in a way. Oh, the shame! ha! On the other hand, I'm totally rocking the eBook Challenge!

Blogger Shame Challenge:  0/16

eBook Reading Challenge:  42/25

Goodreads Challenge:  57/100

Overall


Had a strong start and was just getting back into the blogging groove when I had to leave town for a family emergency. Then got surprise visitors once I was home and recovering from the trip.

Gave myself a good talking-to about the importance of blogging ahead so I at least have published posts when life happens, but I'm not 100% sure I was paying attention.

How was your July? Doing well with your challenges? Staying cool during this insanely hot summer? How about a gratuitous doggie picture?

Waffles is helping!
Waffles "helping" her aunt work on a new quilt


Here's to a great August!


Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Book Haul 7/22/2017

Rift Uprising, They Both Die At The End, Best Day Ever, and Animal Dreams
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 an email offer from the publisher. Read an excerpt and was intrigued. Hope it lives up to the sample!

Rift Uprising by Amy S. Foster
Rift Uprising by Amy S. Foster

An alternate reality that feels all-too-real, The Rift Uprising is the explosive start to a new trilogy that combines the fast paced action of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games, the lyrical tone of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and the emotional stakes of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising from acclaimed lyricist and storyteller Amy S. Foster.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

My Journals: Going Down In Flames


So many journals, so little time
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.

Wouldn't this make an awesome tattoo?
Found this beauty on a bookstore bargain rack and had forgotten I had it. Not my usual type of design, but I liked the background color and it reminded me a little of a tattoo. When I was younger, I loved the idea of getting a panther tattoo. Nothing this extreme but hey, a girl can dream!

tried and true
Your basic, lined journal.



Monday, July 10, 2017

Mini Review: Say Goodbye To Survival Mode

Very disappointing.

Synopsis

Packed with straightforward solutions you'll use today and inspirational stories you'll remember for years, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is a must for any woman who's ever longed for the freedom to enjoy life, not just survive it. (Goodreads)

Quick Take

Felt a little betrayed by this book as I wasn't expecting such a large Christian message woven throughout. I don't mind religious talk in a book if I'm expecting it, but felt that this was a little misleading as nowhere on the cover or in the synopsis does this mention that the strategies would have such a large religious slant. I don't like being preached at or lectured, so couldn't get past that aspect of the book.

Also, for someone who runs a blog about saving money, I found it odd that she mentioned sending her husband's clothes to the dry cleaners and not packing him a lunch for work because she doesn't like to cook. Making a sandwich for lunch isn't exactly cooking.

I find it hard to take advice from someone who doesn't practice what they preach (simple frugality), then tries to shove their religion down my throat.

Very disappointing.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

My Book Haul 7/8/2017

American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Epiphany Machine by David Burr Gerrard, Gemina by Amie Kaufman, Only the Truth by Adam Croft, Hemingway Didn't Say That by Garson O'Toole, 30 Minute Meals by Hannie Scott, No Way Back by Rick Mofina, Magic of the Gargoyles by Rebecca Chastain, Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank

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! Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors so I've already read this one, but this is the author's preferred, updated text. Can't wait for a reread!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

First published in 2001, here is the New York Times bestselling novel that became an instant classic and was hailed by USA Today as “a powerful, searing force that makes readers confront what is real and what is not…”

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Bookclub Reads: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This seems to be one of those books that you either love or hate. I loved it!
Title:  A Man Called Ove
Author:  Fredrik Backman
Release Date:  July 15, 2014
Publisher:  Atria Books
Source:  Borrowed

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. 

He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell." But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations. (Goodreads)


My Review:

This was one of my book club reads as I don't think I would have ever picked it up on my own. But thank goodness for book club, because I really enjoyed this book!

I think that everyone has come across an Ove at some point in their lives. Personally, I've known more than a few - the old curmudgeon who is a stickler for rules, but with a heart of gold once you get to know them.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June 2017 Wrap Up

A few books read, some challenges completed, and a panic attack at the end!

My month in review. 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 only read 3 books this month:

  1. About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay
  2. Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
  3. Little French Bistro by Nina George

June Reviews

Blog Goals

I've been trying to improve my NetGalley rating but haven't had much luck. I started the month at 64% because I foolishly requested more titles and dropped a couple of points. Oops! Finished the month at 63% so am going the wrong way! Need to stop requesting new books before I finish reviewing the old ones. Stop tempting me, NetGalley!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Blog down! Initiate panic mode! Mayday! Mayday!

run away! run away!
Checked my blog yesterday to see if there were any new comments and was shocked to find it a hot mess!

My background and header images were gone, replaced with a nasty warning from Photobucket that my account was locked and I'd need to upgrade to release my pictures. Clicked on the upgrade button to see what they were charging....what the???? 

$399 a year? 

Nope! Not gonna happen!

Have to admit that I panicked. I didn't know how to fix the background, so quickly threw up one of the generic blogger templates. I hate it, but at least it's not this ugly ransom note from Photobucket:

Photobucket is blackmailing me!

Photobucket gave no warning, which I resent. They didn't even have the decency to email me until almost 10pm last night, so they struck first and then sent notifications later. Shady!

What's even stranger is that some of my pictures that I couldn't access last night are available again, so I can download them to my laptop to fix old posts.

Because I was tired of the aggressive ads every time I logged into Photobucket, I've been slowly updating my old posts. Guess I need to kick that into high gear. That's going to take time. A lot of time.

Honestly, I was ready to throw in the towel last night and just delete the whole thing. Maybe start over somewhere else? People keep raving about Wordpress, so maybe start a new blog over there? But at the same time, I'd hate to lose eight years worth of work.

Not sure what I'm going to do right now. I don't want to do anything rash that I'll later regret, so going to tinker a bit behind the scenes to see what I can salvage. If it's too much, I can always walk away.

This stinks.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole 1

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole was created by Lisa at Lost In A Story. She's since cleaned up her TBR list (go Lisa!), but has inspired others to work on their TBR lists. I saw this meme over at Lampshade Reader and decided to take the plunge!


How to participate:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order by Ascending Date Added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or let it go?

My Goodreads TBR list is mostly books I own but haven't read yet, so I'm going to use my wishlist instead. Starting off with 113 titles on my wishlist and maybe if I get that cleaned up, I'll move on to my Amazon list next!

The Books:


The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

Date Added: June 5, 2009

One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. 

She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixty-single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries - are sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders.

In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: well-housed, well-fed, and well-attended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful.

But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, and...well, then what?


I had totally forgotten about this one, but the synopsis sounds too intriguing to let go!

VERDICT: Keep

Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Book Haul 6/24/2017

Need to Know, Al Franken Giant of the Senate, Matchup, Little French Bistro, Feeder, Morag the Unhappy Witch, and Doggone Deal of Love

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. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.

NetGalley:

I had requested these weeks ago but was only recently approved. Not sure what took so long, but excited to read these two!

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency - and to her family.

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 (done)
  • complete at least 2 Blog Ahead posts
  • update Pinterest boards for 2009 & 2010 (seriously underestimated how much time this would take! About halfway done with 2009 and that's with working on it all weekend!)
  • update TBR page (done)
  • update Reviews page (done)
  • crosspost reviews on Amazon & Goodreads (done)
  • 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


Pretty Celtic design

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


Found a gorgeous journal based on my mother's favorite song, Amazing Grace

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.