Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Introduction to Baby Boy

Hello Blogging world! I have been absent from this space for...about two weeks now?? And if you've followed along at all, you may have guessed why. Baby Boy was finally born! And what a crazy entrance he made. First, a silly hat picture :)

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Discussion Challenge

2016 Book Blog Discussion Challenge

I'm joining roughly about 80 other bloggers who are dedicating themselves to more discussion posts in 2016. This is something I mentioned as a reading intention for the new year already. Joining up with the challenge is simply a way to help keep me on track.

Our lovely hosts do offer some levels to achieve for this challenge:
1-12 Discussion Dabbler
13-24 Creative Conversationalist
25-36 Chatty Kathy
37-48 Terrifically Talkative
49+ Gift of the Gab.

I am going to shoot for Creative Conversationalist. Again, this is probably a aim low, shoot high kind of goal. And again, I use baby #2 as an excuse :) I'm already brainstorming and hope to share a discussion post/personal life post at least every other week.

Anything you would like me to discuss? Shoot me some pointers, tips, or ideas below!!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Keeper of the Stars {Sneak Peek}

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday!

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:
Keeper of the Stars 
By Robin Lee Hatcher

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ten Thousand Skies Above You {Review}

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2)
Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: November 3, 2015
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents' invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. 

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared. 

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2015 Reading Letdowns

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Thanks Dickens. Alas, it is true. Last week I highlighted my favorite reads from 2015. This week I simply must mention five books that I was looking forward too, but instead I experienced a 'worst of times'. And they all have some great covers!! These five books not only let me down, but I also ended up giving them poor ratings. 

Shall we??

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spinning Starlight {Review}

Spinning Starlight
Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: October 6, 2015
Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.

Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.

Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home—a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?

Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 Library Challenge Wrap Up


In 2015 I knew that I wanted to get myself back into the library. Not only is the library an AWESOME resource, but I loved having grown up in my library. Now I want that for my daughter as well. 

You can find my original post HERE, but by August I had already accomplished the Seasoned goal and was challenging myself for Experienced!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Flights of Fantasy Challenge Wrap Up

You can find my original post HERE from last January. I was aiming for 20 fantasy reads in 2015, including four of the host's favorite fantasy reads. By August however, I had already read 24 fantasy reads! SO I challenged myself to read another ten before the year ended. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Top Books I Read in 2015

According to Goodreads, I read 129 books in 2015. Twenty-seven of these were marked with a five star rating. You can pop over and see my favorite books for the first half of 2015, as those books won't be included here. This list will include books I read from July to December of 2015. ...well, plus one horrible oversight that I simply HAVE to remedy. 

Also, this IS in a 'kind of' order. I tried, but it's so hard friends! Please, add these awesome books to your TBR list stat!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Reading Intentions

Happy 2016 card in vintage style I Free Vector:

I can't even get myself to say 'goals' or 'resolutions'. Coming up with just this list was hard! With the imminent birth of my son, I just don't know what to expect in 2016. I'm loving everyone's posts on resolutions, goals, and challenges, and the planner in me is just DYING to jump in and plan away. But the realistic side of me says "What's the point? You'd be setting yourself up for failure. You're going to have TWO kids now!"

So even though I read about 130 books in 2015, according to Goodreads, I set my new challenge at 50 books for the year. This totally saddens me, but is probably realistic. I'll reevaluate in June of course :)

STILL, I just can't help myself :) So I have come up with a list of simple bookish/bloggish intents that should be do-able even with a newborn. I knew I needed to post them on the blog and not just in my journal. I need accountability and the ability to easily find these intentions when I need motivation or just a quick reminder.

1. Sign up for less tour stops
This one will be the hardest. Seeing those awesome books makes me want to dive in and swim in all the beautifulness. However, I have already went through my favorite publisher's catalogs and written down the books I *need* to read in 2016. My intent is to stick only to this list if and when they come up on tour. Again, I'll reevaluate in June. I would still like to sign up for a few cover reveals and blitzes since I do enjoy promoting authors and their hard work.

2. Request even less from Netgalley
Don't we all say this? I probably said it to myself last year! And honestly? I DID request less from Netgalley in 2015. However, in 2016, my intent is to only request books that I *need* to read that didn't come up on tour. Otherwise, I just need to read, and review, what I have already shelved

3. Catch up on Outstanding Reviews
I have seven or eight reviews in my blogging journal that I need to get up here on the blog. I haven't even been attempting to review books I've gotten from the library, or even Audible books, because I am just trying to stay on top of tours and galleys. I'd like to keep my journal to 3-4 reviews max.

4. Clear out some Kindle books, review books, and Audible listens. 
I think this intention about sums up where the previous three were headed. I've stocked up on books for my Kindle, from Netgalley, and I have several credits available on Audible as well. I am assuming much of my reading will be done on an e-reader while nursing a baby for at least the first six months. With Baby Girl, Hubby would wake in the middle of the night with me and we would watch Netflix while she fed. With Baby Boy, I am thinking that won't be such an option. Instead, I am hoping to turn to Audible and listen to some good books during those late night feedings.

5. Be active in a book club and/or start one.
Sheila at The Deliberate Reader has set up an online book club that I am really intending on participating with starting in February. I'm worried of all my intentions that this will be the one that I let slide first. Because it is online, I will have less accountability than a face to face group. My dream intention would be to start a little book club with my mommy friends in real life....but that does seem more like a dream than an intention :)

6. Share more discussion/personal life posts
This one terrifies me. I always feel silly posting discussion posts. Hasn't it all been said and done before? What could I add to the noise? But I want to show more me, more personality around this ole place. Letting people know I have actual thoughts is a good place to start :) Nothing to do but dive in and make mistakes!

7. Comment more frequently on other posts.
 Little known fact: I read a lot of your blog posts. But I am a lurker. Half the time it is just too difficult to post on your blog while on my phone, the other half the time I am just too lazy. However, I have already started with this intention, clicking through on Bloglovin' or Twitter. I want you to know that your words are being read AND appreciated!

8. Survive the year :)
I am nervous to be a mother of two. I am not sure how I will manage or organize my time, but the best way to find out is to just do it! If I can make it to 2017 with my sanity in tact, I will consider it all a WIN!

Share your 2016 Resolutions/Goals/Intents below! Or send me those links! I would love to see what you have planned for your year :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

December 2015 Recap

Hey, no diseases this month!! Well...Baby Girl just got pink eye yesterday, but I am not going to count that. Still, I'm happy with just that! Now if only I could give birth, all my discomforts would disappear as well. I can't see how I can possibly get any larger. My belly has become an excellent place to hold books and chocolate snacks :D

Saturday, January 2, 2016

When Love Matters Most {Sneak Peek #12}

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday!

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:
When Love Matters Most
Kate James

Friday, January 1, 2016

First Book of the Year 2016

1st a

I'm linking up today with Sheila from Book Journey to share my first book of the new year!

I am reading 'The Merchant's Daughter' by Melanie Dickerson! I recently read 'Huntress of Thornbeck Forest' and really enjoyed it. Now I am working my way through her backlist. This is book two of a loosely related six book series. Each one is vaguely based on a fairy tale set in medieval times, this one being Beauty and the Beast.

I choose this book to be my first book to help set the mood for my whole year. I want to spend 2016 reading cozy books, comfortable books, books that have dreams and romance. I could have picked a book to "hype" about or to "show off", but I have become so uncomfortable lately with the need to have the best and latest that I see so prevalent in the book community. It's not just about reading awesome books anymore, but about showing off the latest ARC and bookish swag. I personally want to avoid that in 2016.

The books I read in 2015 were largely books I knew I would enjoy from some of the best authors around. Baby Boy is due soon and I don't want to waste what precious reading time I will have this year with feeling like I need to "keep up with the Jones". So, I picked 'The Merchant's Daughter' :) An older book, a comfortable book, and I can't wait to just relax and read! :))

PS Its my birthday :) But who wants to celebrate getting OLD while hugely pregnant?! Blech