Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thursday Tracks: S.O.B.
Click on the banner for more details about Thursday Tracks.

There was no way I wasn't going to feature music on my blog.  Problem was I didn't like how my old feature was set up.  So I decided to participate in Gone with the Words Thursday Tracks feature. Without further ado, my first Thursday Tracks of 2016 is dedicated to Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats:

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Releases That Have Me Beside Myself with Anticipation

Entering a brand new year means we'll be getting a slew of new reads to look forward to.  Here are some of the books I'm most excited about for 2016.

How about you guys?  What 2016 books are you most excited about?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Bout of Books 15 Declaration of Intention (@boutofbooks)

Bout of Books

Hello party people!  Since the goal this year is to get back to basics, I figured there was no better way to make that happen than by signing up for one of my favorite events.  Here's the official blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  It is a week long read-a-thon that begins at 12:01am on Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.  There are challenges, giveaways and a grand prize but, all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
- From the Bout of Books Team

Bout of Books 15 Goals:

1. Have fun
2. Read
3. Don't stress it

Books to Read:


Monday (1/4)
Name of Book:  Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Number of Hours Read:  I'd say about 45 minutes give or take.
#TodayInSixWords:  Well now. That was quite interesting. 
Goal Progress:  Managed to get in a solid 2 1/2 chapters. Thought I'd spend a lot more time reading since I had the day off but, alas, the odds were not in my favor.  On a side note, tonight's Bout of Books Twitter Chat was on point.
Total Number of Books Read:  0
Challenge:  Introduce Yourself in Six Words hosted by Bout of Books

Tuesday (1/5)
Name of Book:  Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Number of Hours Read:  About an hour.
#TodayInSixWords:  Hot damn we're on to something.
Goal Progress:  The reading express has just pulled in to Chapter 7.  I always forget what a slow reader I am. *sigh*
Total Number of Books Read:  0
Challenge:  Bookish Would You Rather Challenge hosted by Writing My Own Fairytale

Q:  Lend books to someone who dog-ears pages or to someone who reads with cheesy Cheetos fingers?
This question is PAINFUL considering that both these options are versions of my own personal hell. I guess if I HAVE TO pick one it'd be dog-eared pages.  There's no way to get Cheeto stains off of a page.

Q:  Be able to meet one character of your choice or meet one author of your choice?

A:  Because I've been fortunate enough to meet several of my favorite authors, I'm going to have to go with meeting one character of my choice.

Q:  Never be allowed in a book store again or never be allowed in a library again?

A:  I think my soul would die if I was never allowed to purchase a book again so I'll have to give up the library on this one.

Q:  Have to choose one of your favorite characters to die in their book or have to pick one of your favorite couples to break up in their book?
Seriously? Why do you hate me?!  Since death is a pretty permanent thing, I guess I'll have to go with having one of my favorite couples break up in their book. *grumbles*

Q:  Be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of your life or The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of your life?

A:  Although I appreciate it Twilight for getting me back into reading, there's no way I'm willing to read it once a year.  Sorry Twihards, I'm going with The Scarlet Letter.

Wednesday (1/6)
Name of Book:  Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Number of Hours Read:  Got in a whole 2 hours.  Woot!
#TodayInSixWords:  Rose is driving me slightly crazy.
Goal Progress:  Managed to get through 6 chapters tonight. Not going to lie.  I feel slightly accomplished.
Total Number of Books Read:  0
Challenge:  The Rainbow Challenge hosted by Ranty Runt of a Reader

I present to you my book rainbow:
Ain't it purdy...

Thursday (1/7)
Name of Book:  Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Number of Hours Read:  A solid 3 1/2 hours.  Woot!
#TodayInSixWords:  Shit is getting way to real!
Goal Progress:  I don't want to catch my chickens before they hatch but I think I might manage to finish a book during this read-a-thon.
Total Number of Books Read:  0
Challenge:  Villain Mash Up Challenge hosted by Bingeing on Books

Here's what I came up with for the Villain Mash Up (aka Battle of the Ice Queens) challenge:
Source                                                                                         Source
This isn't so much about who could win in a fist fight.  It's more a battle about who would be more cunning and who's willing to do what it takes to get what they want.   I, for one, think it would be really interesting to see a verbal throwdown between these two.

Friday (1/8)
Name of Book:  Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Number of Hours Read:  Psshh....not enough.  I'd say about 40  minutes max.
#TodayInSixWords:  So much stuff is happening! EEP!
Goal Progress:  Looks like I'm still on track to finish this book before the end of the read-a-thon. *fingers crossed*
Total Number of Books Read:  0
Challenge:  Scavenger Hunt Challenge hosted by The Book Monsters

Here's what I managed to put together:

Saturday (1/9)
Name of Book:  Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Number of Hours Read:  Clocked in 3 hours.
#TodayInSixWords:  I finally finished a damn book!
Goal Progress:  There was NO WAY I wasn't finishing this book today.  I was at a crucial point in the book and hell or high water wasn't going to deter me.
Total Number of Books Read:  1 (that was surprisingly gratifying to type)
Challenge:  Comfy Reading Spot Challenge hosted by Once Upon a Chapter

You managed to see a small snippet of my comfy spot yesterday but, here it is in all its glory:

Sunday (1/10)
Name of Book:  
Number of Hours Read:  
Goal Progress:  
Total Number of Books Read:  

2016 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

 2016 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016 (books read prior to 1/1/2016 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime you want, though the sign up linky will close Nov. 15, 2016. Sign up at Gone with the Words or Love at First Page.
  • The goal is to read as many Contemporary Romance books as you’d like. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down. Remember, the idea is to challenge yourself.
  • Books that qualify for this challenge can be young adult, new adult, or adult. Books can be M/F, M/M, or F/F. Books must be a work of fiction (sorry, nonfiction does not qualify for this challenge).
  • Romances with the following elements do not qualify for this reading challenge: paranormal, historical, time-travel, fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/suspense/thriller.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are 100 pages in length (give or take), as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Use the hashtag #ContRom2016 when posting your reviews/updates/re-caps/monthly topics on social media.
  • To join this challenge, grab the 2016 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. This will be your “update post” when doing the monthly link up.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2016 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge (your designated “update post” for the monthly link up) and your profile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.

Challenge Levels:
  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books

Monthly Link-Up And Giveaway Details:
  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Topics:
  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
  • Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.


2nd Base:  Read 6 - 10 books

2016 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge

Finishing the Series was formerly hosted by Socrates' Book Reviews and is now hosted by Bea's Book Nook. We all start a series or six and then get behind for one reason or another. This challenge will help you catch up.

Reading Challenge Details:
  • All books that are part of a continuing series qualify (i.e. Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, James Patterson's Alex Cross, etc.)
  • It doesn't matter if you have 1 book or 10 books in a series to complete it, it qualifies (i.e. if you only need to read one more Mercy Thompson book to complete the goal, that's fine) The goal is to complete a series from wherever you are up to until the last published book.
  • The qualification period is January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Books must be read during this time frame to count. Sign up is now until December 1, 2016.
  • Take the button above and post about it on your blog. Click on the button above to sign up and make sure you link it directly to your post about this challenge, not to the home page of your blog.
  • If you don't have a blog, that's fine. Just leave a comment to sign up and tell us which series you are reading. Or you can join the Goodreads group for this challenge by clicking here.
  • Each month there will be a post where you can link up your reviews. Write a review, 2 sentences or an essay, whatever works for you, but there is a minimum of 2 sentences. Not sure what to write? How about something like, "The characters were a delight but the story was slow and confusing. It was disappointing."
  • Any format and length of book counts - print, audio, ebook, etc.
  • You should choose the series you want to finish before the challenge begins, but it isn't necessary. It's fine to change series during the year - as long as you complete whichever series it is.
Challenge Levels:
  • Level 1 (Novice series reader):  Complete 1 series
  • Level 2 (Testing the waters):  Complete 2 - 4 series
  • Level 3 (Experienced):  Complete 3 - 6 series
  • Level 4 (Expert series reader):  Complete 7 or more series


Level 2 (Testing the waters): Complete 2 - 4 series

Tentative Reading List

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison

Need to read 3 books to finish the series:

Ever After (Book 11)
The Undead Pool (Book 12)
The Witch with No Name (Book 13)

The Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine

Need to read 3 books to finish the series:

Cape Storm (Book 8)
Total Eclipse (Book 9)
Red Hot Rain (Book 10)

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

Image Source

Good morning party people! I hope you all had an amazing holiday season, as well as, a festive (and safe) New Year's Eve.  I personally still can't believe it's 2016.  2016 folks!  Seems like only yesterday we were ringing in 2015. *sigh* In all frankness, I'm looking forward to it.  As far as the blog, and even on a personal level, 2015 was a rebuilding year for me.  Getting back in to the swing of things has been fun but, a lot harder than I envisioned.  But alas, a new year is upon us and I'm all for a fresh start.  Here's my 2015 recap and the haps for 2016.

Admittedly, 2015 was a bit rough around the edges but, not entirely a lost cause.

I hosted an Alpha & Omega read-a-long in preparation for the release of Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs.

I have to give a special shout out to @ReadingDiaries, @LetyRoxtar and @_Kristin315_ for sticking it out until the end.  Had it not been for them I would have ended up talking to myself on Twitter about this awesome series.  You ladies seriously rock my socks off.

I managed to finish and/or catch up on some of my favorites series:

Kate Daniels series / Mercy Thompson series / Alpha & Omega series / Razorland series

I discovered some new to me authors and/or series:

Sarah Castille / Caisey Quinn / Julie Murphy / Sarah J. Maas / Cora Carmack / Anne Bishop / Vampire Academy series

And I participated in some kick ass online and real life events:

Bout of Books 12 / Bloggiesta / This Shattered World Tour / Fierce Reads Fall Tour / RT Booklovers Convention

On a final note, I made a valiant effort to complete two reading challenges.  Here's how that went:

Socrates' Book Reviews Finishing the Series Challenge / GoodReads Reading Challenge

Now that 2015 is out of the way, here's what you can expect to see around here during the new year:

It happens every year.  I sit down and either create or make changes to my posting schedule.  And every year I work myself up into a frenzy to try and maintain that schedule.  You know what?  Not this year my friends.  I know that goes against what most people do but, that's perfectly okay.  I started blogging to share my love of reading and to meet other people who love the written word as much as I do.  Over time it became less about that and more about reviews, meeting review deadlines and trying to keep up with what everyone else was doing.  I don't like how that makes me feel and it started to take the joy out of one of my favorite hobbies.  So I'm stopping the insanity.  If that works for y'all, great.  If it doesn't, then that's okay too.

The second thing that happens every year is figuring out what regular feature posts I'm going to use.  Quite frankly, it's exhausting.  So this year I'm getting rid of what doesn't work (sayonara Music Mondays and Friday Favorites) and revamping what does (Cinema Saturdays, Question of the Day & Tackling the TBR Jar you survive to see another day).

I've already touched on this briefly above.  The gist of this one is simple.  I plan to catch up on any pending reviews that are laying around and start reading the ridiculous amounts of books currently occupying my shelves.  This helps me in two ways.  First, it'll help my budget.  Second, it takes the stress out of reading.  Saving Money + Less Stress = One Happy Camper.

That means you, lovely readers.  I'd rather host a read-a-long (or some other group event) that gives me the opportunity to meet dope people, such as yourselves, than pretty much anything else.  This means stepping up my Twitter and IG game but, I figure that's a better use of my time if I'll be easing up on the reviewing reins.  Do I have a solid game plan?  Hell to the NO.  Am I okay with keeping it simple, reading more, possibly being more consistent, being less stressed and enjoying the journey?  ABSOFRIGGINLUTELY!