#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Ten Of My Many Favorite Books

Day 10

I have SO many favorite books, so this was a hard list for me to make. I tried to pick books that have significance to me.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
More information about this book will come in a post later on during Book Blog Writing Month.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
We actually just got this amazing fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter to add to our collection. We pre-ordered from Amazon because the price was so amazing. By the look of it, it’s still great. JKR will be releasing each book in this format for the next six years. It will be a great way to introduce our son to the series when we start reading it to him in a few years. (This would make an AWESOME holiday gift, as well. Just some suggestions!)

The Sweep series by Cate Tiernan
This series is about witchcraft and completely brought me into this incredible world about magic. I’ve read the series multiple times now and still have an emotional reaction to it.

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
This book was gifted to me by a previous coworker and I’ve been reading it to my son every morning before I drop him off at day care. It has become out little tradition. A review of this book will be coming soon. It is AMAZING. I have officially become a Nancy Tillman fan.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
This is a nostalgia book for me. I read it in high school and became very attached to it. It was my first journey into the world of Nicholas Sparks.

The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G. Miller
This series was my first introduction to Michele’s literature. I steadily fell in love with Xander and there was no turning back once I hopped onto this adventure. When she asked me to edit for her, I definitely couldn’t say no!

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
The perspective and message within these dark novels really struck a cord with me. If you haven’t read these yet, you should hop on board the Hunger Games train. And I don’t mean the one to the Capital. The movies are also incredible; while there are bits missing from the books, they are depicted very well!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
One of the best children’s books to exist. My family had my best friend make me a baby shower cake of The Giving Tree. My guests also signed the inside cover. I will always have a special place for this one.

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
Seriously one of my favorite books of Lindy’s. Also one of my favorite reviews that I’ve written. (Find it here.)

Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
This is the book that the Broadway musical Wicked is based off of. Gregory Maguire is a very talented author with quite a bit to say. His tongue-in-cheek style mixed with his knack for twisting fairy tales and traditional stories makes each of his stories a new experience. You can see my review of Wicked here.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 10

I am thankful for my parents. As I write this, I realize there is no way words can do my thanks justice, however. They’ve been there through thick and thin, raised me “right” and given me the tools I need to succeed. They’ve supported me in all of my passions and my crazy endeavors, and they’ve helped guide me through my new adventure of parenthood. Through my many scraped knees, teary moments, silly laughs, onstage adventures, and everything else – I couldn’t be more grateful. ❤

#BookBlogWriMo Day 15/16 – My Favorite and Least Favorite Things about Blogging [and Thanks]

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 15 and 16!!

So, I was out of pocket all day yesterday, thus you have a two-in-one post!!

My Favorite Book Blogging Things

  • Getting to read – Well, I’d hope this was one of my favorite things about this process, otherwise doing it would be silly!!
  • Meeting new people – I’ve met so many great authors and bloggers through this process. Having the chance to become an editor for one of those authors was even greater and that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have this blog. They’re something great about being a part of this community; we all understand the addiction.
  • Discovering new favorite authors and books – Oh my. My Kindle has SO many great books on it. I’m always finding new great books on BookHub and through book tours and recommendations.
  • Free books – Ah, does this really need explanation? This is a wonderful perk.
  • The opportunity to do what I love – I went to school for English and Journalism, so I’m happy to be able to put that to good use. I enjoy doing this. It’s fun, productive, and educational.
  • Having the chance to read books before release – Another great perk! It’s what I’d imagine going to a movie premier would be like – just without the celebrities and photo ops!

My Least Favorite Book Blogging Things

  • It can get expensive – Oh yes. Once you get hooked on an author or book series, stopping the chain of purchase is very difficult.
  • Over booking – This is so easy when there are so many great opportunities to review so many great books. I’ve recently taken a look at my methods and cut back a bit so I can get my ducks in a row.
  • Not having enough time to read everything – The plight of all major book worms.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 15 and 16

I am thankful for great friends. It’s always wonderful to look forward to fun get togethers with friends [and family.] Friends are the family we get to choose for ourselves.

I am thankful for public transportation. Sure, driving is great – but public transit allows for decompression time!

#BookBlogWriMo Day 12 – Advice for Newbie Bloggers and Thanks

advice and thanks 12

#BookBlogWriMo Day 12 – Advice for Newbie Bloggers

  • Make sure you have the time to dedicate to blogging. It’s such an easy “hobby” to lose track of and forget about.
  • Come up with a theme of some kind. I am a book blogger, but I will begin dabbling in other things at some point. I used to be a writer, so I’m hoping to bring that back out again. Some people have cooking blogs, some have scrapbooking, some have parenting advice… the list goes on and on.
  • Decide if you want to write for an audience or write for yourself. This will give you focus instead of being all over the place.
  • Join Facebook groups that have to do with your theme. I am a part of The Book Blogger’s Resource on Facebook and this page has helped me immensely as I’ve decided the path I want to take this blog.
  • Don’t try to do too much at once. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fun of signing up for blog tours and things (especially as a book blogger), but you are one person. If you are starting your blog with multiple people, plan it out. I do this alone, so my time is far less. Keeping a planner helps keep everything in line.
  • Schedule posts in advance. Or at least try to plan out what you want to post about. This is something I’m working on improving. It’s a work in progress. 🙂
  • Network – there are so many people out there who do what you do, do what you want to do, and can help you grow. There are great friends to be made, as well. I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog that I wouldn’t have originally.
  • Stay true to you. If you don’t want to post about a specific subject or market certain product, you don’t have to! I don’t post certain things on here even though I know it will bring in more of an audience. It’s just not my thing. If you want to gear your blog to only cooking desserts, well power to you! If you only want to do cover reveals on your blog and you will NOT post reviews, go right ahead. 🙂 You do you, kid.
  • For the love of all that is loved, please check your spelling and grammar. There is nothing less sexy than a poorly produced post.
  • Keep a journal – either a real one or in your phone – to plot down ideas for posts. I used to find myself coming up with great ideas, but didn’t have anywhere to put them. Now I have Little Red – my mini journal that I keep track of everything in, from book reviews to blog post topics to story ideas.
  • Try to post at least once a week. This was something I struggled with and that’s why I try to sign up for a blog tour a week. I tend to lag behind a bit or hit a slow patch, but I’ve been adjusting. Looking back, I’d definitely have planned out some more posts in the beginning before I launched. Non-blog life does get in the way, of course. That’s ok. You don’t HAVE to post a certain number of times, but it’s better if you want to have consistent follows.
  • Do what you love so that you love what you do. If not, then what’s the point?

30 Days of Thanks – Day 12

Today I am thankful for journals. I’ve always had one, ever since I was little. I started collecting them a few years ago and haven’t stopped. I’m picky about my journals because I want to make sure they have a purpose in my collection. Sometimes I write in them, sometimes I give them away as gifts, and something they just sit there like something beautiful on my journal shelf. Journals are a wonderful place to jot epiphanies, keep your secrets, water your ideas, and keep the brain juices flowing. They’re a friend to look back on after many years, and they’re an enemy when you don’t want to remember. They’re small enough to tuck away until the time is right, and they’re a lifesaver. They’re that thing your little sister tries to find under your mattress to read your deepest adolescent secrets, and they’re the thing that you can trust when you’re little and don’t know who to turn to. They’re what you tell your first crush to and they’re what you throw across the room when you’re really angry. Journals are pretty awesome. Unless there’s an angry wizard soul hiding in one… then you’re in trouble.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – My Top Ten Posts and Thanks

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – #TopTuesday – My Most Popular Posts of All Time

I have actually never used this feature on my blog before, so it was really interesting to see what posts have accumulated a following and what ones aren’t as popular. Here are my top ten posts so far. My blog has only recently begun gaining more traffic as I’ve been posting more, but I’m excited to see what has been doing well.

#10 C: The Four C’s to a Great Book and a Successful Review From Me – 4/4/2014 – 22 views – This is actually one of my favorite posts on this blog. It pretty much spells it all out – what I review and what it takes to get a good rating from me. I have received some great feedback for this post and it’s a great reference for authors and other bloggers who are looking for ideas on a reviewing system.

#9 Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Inevitable Detour by S.R. Grey – 10/10/2014 – 22 views – Blog tours are always great traffic drivers.

#8 Book Boyfriends and Lady Loves – Updated 2/6/2014 – 23 views – Ah, another one of my favorite posts on this blog. I haven’t updated this in a while, so I’m due for another few lovely fellers and ladies.

#7 #BookBlogWriMo Day 1 – The History of My Blog and Thanks – 11/1/2014 – 26 views – Self explanatory. From just a few days ago!

#6 Book Review: From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller – 7/9/2014 – 29 views – For those who don’t know, I am Michele’s editor. This is awesome. Beyond awesome, really. I met Michele through my blogging, joined her street team, then the rest is history. I started editing for her on the third book in this series – All That Remains. This series is awesome and Michele is a phenomenal author.

#5 A Little Bit About Me and My Love For Books – 3/7/2014 – 32 views – This post has a whole lot of information about me in interview-ish form. Worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more.

#4 Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – 2/27/2014 – 37 views – My first ever book review! Not really a huge fan of the book, though. Ha!

#3 My First Rafflecopter Giveaway – 10/24/2014 – 50 views – Another milestone! Hoping to do a huge giveaway in January when my blog hits one year!

#2 Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – #Nerd by Cambria Hebert – 11/3/2014 – 51 views – Part of a blog tour, #Nerd was a fun read and I’m excited that the next book will be coming out soon. 🙂 If there’s a tour for that one, I will definitely be participating.

#1 Blog Tour – Review – Unlit Star by Lindy Zart – 10/10/2014 – 95 views! – This is one of the most incredible books I have read. When I go into the search stats for my blog (aka, how people found my blog and posts) many of them have been searches for “Unlit Star” and the various characters and plot points within. I’m always on board for Lindy Zart’s book tours, as she’s one of my favorite authors.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 11

I am thankful for all of those military men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line each day.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Memes I Plan To Meme and Thanks

memes i meme thanks 10

 

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Memes I Plan To Meme

Memes are pretty great, and I will admit that I love to take part in them. Personally, I love Teaser Tuesday, Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday. I do plan on having more fun posts like these on my blog, Facebook page, and Twitter soon.

Memes I Want To Meme More

#TeaserTuesday

Authors get to share teasers of the covers, upcoming releases, and other works in progress. This is always fun.

#TakeoverTuesday

Authors or other bloggers get to take over my Facebook page or put up a blog post on my site.

#ThrowbackThursday

Sharing old posts, reviewing books that have been around for a while or were my favorites growing up, old pictures, anything that’s a throwback.

#FreebieFriday

Well, this is exactly as I’ve shared – books that are currently free on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc. I’ve done this in the past and love it. If you belong to sites like BookBub, you can have information like this delivered right to your email!

What are some of your favorite memes?

30 Days of Thanks – Day 10

Today I am thankful for weekends. I love my weekends and I can always count on them at the end of a rough week. I enjoy being able to spend time with my family, my husband, my pets, my books, and even my homework. To move at my own pace is nice every so often. Besides, weekends are the perfect reboot time. Ah, weekends. Too bad they aren’t longer. 🙂

E: Entertainment

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E is for Entertainment

To me, a great book is entertaining. Now let me explain…

I don’t expect the book to always be about twists and turns and crazy adventure… but I want it to keep me inside it’s pages well after I have finished reading.

Reading Doing It Wrong
In a given book, want to have any/all of the following reactions to the story:

~ Laughter
~ Tears
~ Anger
~ Hope
~ Anticipation
~ Curiousity
~ Pride
~ Desire

buy books for happiness
The book can be fiction, non-fiction, classic, modern, drama, comedy, young adult, new adult, adult, sci-fi or realistic – I don’t care. I just expect the world when I read a book. I expect to feel something good about the book I am reading. I want to be so excited to read it, that turning the page is an adventure in and of itself.

Just like a good movie, television show, or stage production – a book needs to entertain me, otherwise… onto the next!

good book coping

B: Book Beaus and Babes

Today’s post for the A to Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter B! What better way to give homage to the letter B than to name of of my Book Beaus/Boyfriends and Book Babes!?

Book BF 3

The Beaus

Hunter Niall – Sweep Series – by Cate Tiernan
Jacob Black – Twilight Series – by Stephanie Meyer
Eric Northman – Sookie Stackhouse Series – by Charlaine Harris
Alcide Herveaux – Sookie Stackhouse Series – by Charlaine Harris
Johnnycake Cade – The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
Xander – The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series – by Michele G. Miller
John Snow – A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R.R. Martin
Peeta Mellark – The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins
Remus Lupin – Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Sirius Black – Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Farid – Inkheart Series – Cornelia Funke
Grayson Lee – Incomplete Series – Lindy Zart
Ryder – Anything But Series – Lindy Zart
Caleb Jacobson – Significance Series – Shelly Crane
Ryan – Writing on the Wall Series – Tracey Ward
Aaron Jamison – Markings – S.B. Roozenboom

Book BF

The Babes

 Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins
Daenerys Targaryen – A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R.R. Martin*
Skye Martin – The Prophecy of Tyalbrook – Michele G. Miller
Honor – Anything But Series – Lindy Zart

Book BF 2

B

Complete by Lindy Zart – Blog Tour – Giveaway In Post

CompleteCoverKeep - CopyComplete (Incomplete Series, Book 2)
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance

Blurb

If the truth sets one free, why does Lily Jacobs feel so trapped?

She’s learned doing the right thing isn’t always best and now she is living the consequences of her greatest sacrifice. Every day since Grayson Lee left is one she wishes he hadn’t. Years have gone by since their friendship turned to more and then was eradicated by Lily alone; enough time for their young love to fade. Only it hasn’t, not for Lily.

Now he is back and seeing him is devastating to her at the same time it is rapture. She tries to accept that they cannot be together, but everything inside her shouts that they should be; that they only fit with each other. And so she has to accept the greatest truth of all: She loves him still. She loves him enough not to let him go this time.

Excerpt

He wordlessly holds out a hand to me. His chest is rising and lowering from jumping around and heat emanates from him as he holds my gaze. As I fit my hand in his, the song changes to ‘Everything Changes’ by Staind. The scent of home wraps around me as he pulls me into his strong arms. His palms span the width of my back as though each finger of his has to be in contact with me.

I vaguely hear Aidan say something about pancakes and then he leaves the room with a grin on his face. My attention is immediately back on Grayson. He is singing to me, bringing me tighter into his arms, his mouth close to my temple. Pinpricks of cold awareness trail up and down my back and arms. I close my eyes, clutching him to me; the front of me pressed to him. It isn’t enough. Overwhelming emotion washes over me like the hands of regret.

“Can I tell you something?” he whispers by my ear as the song ends.

I whisper back, “Do I want you to tell me something?”

His lips smile against my forehead. “Does that ever matter?”

Pulling back, I look into eyes that have loved me and haunted me. “Not usually.” I smile.

Grayson brings his mouth close to mine, never releasing my gaze, and tells me, “You weren’t my first love.” He pauses and my heart cracks at his declaration. “You were my only love.” And it is repaired and whole just as quickly.

My Review

Complete picks up a few years after Grayson and Lily’s story finished in Lindy Zart’s first book in the duo – Incomplete. If you haven’t read that one yet, I highly suggest it. New Adult Romance has quickly become one of my favorite genres, especially when you throw in a great author such as Lindy Zart.

In their first installment, Incomplete, Lily and Grayson were best friends growing up and discovered that maybe there was something bigger for them. [ Fun side bar – my husband and I were best friends in high school. 🙂 ] Complete takes place a few years after the previous story. Lily and Grayson have both graduated and moved on with their lives. It is a beautiful and witty story about two people who were best friends in love and what happens when life gets in the way.

    The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
All of the characters in this story are very well-developed. Of them all, Lily is the most dynamic. She has a beautiful soul and has grown up quite a bit since the last time we met her. Grayson and Lily are still battling their demons, though they’re more complex now.

Lindy Zart does a great job building the history of each of her characters. The struggle with an alcoholic family member continues to be an issue for one character, while another struggles with their identity. One unsung hero in the midst is Stone; he’s ultimately one of my favorites. I love that he loves his grandfather, is a tasteful flirt and isn’t pushy. I’d have loved to see more of him (spin-off, maybe?)

Each character in Complete has a purpose. I’d love to be a part of their circle.

Dialogue – 4.5/5 Stars
The dialogue in Complete is a wonderful mix of playful banter, tragic confession and beautiful romance. I love those books where I can be laughing at one minute and crying at the next – this is definitely one of them. Grayson and Lily may be older now, but they seem to pick up where they left off. Zart used the dialogue in this novel to drive the story; this is fitting, since communication is key in any relationship – romantic, family, friends.

Plot – 4.5/5 Stars
When a story makes me feel like my own life is written in it’s pieces, I can’t help but fall in head first. Perhaps I’m a bit biased since I am always going to root for best friends in love, even if something has pulled them apart. Complete has pretty much everything I want in a romance – friends, family, conflict, music, sex. There are moments here or there that pulled me away from the story, but for the majority I was completely enthralled.

Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
I enjoy when as author gives me just enough detail to have a great foundation for what to see, but leaves space for me to come up with things on my own. Between Grayson’s bad boy style, Lily’s out-of-comfort outfits, a beautiful middle-of-nowhere feel, and everything in between, I had no trouble “seeing” the story. Visually, the story is just as beautiful as the dialogue. There are moments, such as Grayson and Lily’s stolen glances, that draw you in just a much as the conversation.

Ending 4.5/5 Stars
All I will say is – you should read it yourself.

TOTAL: 21/25 Stars

Why read this book?

If you:

like romance
have ever been in love with your best friend
want to make it big in the world
have every settled for anything less than you deserve
or just love to read
You will find something to love about this book. The struggles are all realistic, the love story brings you pain and joy, and you find yourself rooting for someone. Who? Well, that’s for you to decide. Everyone deserves true love, it’s just harder for some to see that. I absolutely love this book.

*I received copy of book for honest review.

Links

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18461474-complete
Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Incomplete-Lindy-Zart-ebook/dp/B00IZRAPKK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395587260&sr=8-1&keywords=Lindy+Zart
Smashwords- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/418916
Nook- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/complete-lindy-zart/1118922206?ean=2940149221042

About the Author

Lindy Zart has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work.

Links-

Twitter- https://twitter.com/lindyzart
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/lindyzart
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/lindyzart
Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/author/lindyzart
Blog- http://lindyzartauthor.blogspot.com
Smashwords Author Page-https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lindyzart

Giveaway Info

Rafflecopter Code-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link- http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjVhMDE3YTEwNjQ1M2Q4YzVlNjEwYmY5ZWQ2ZGE1Ojcw/

A Little Bit About Me And My Love For Books

A Book Survey (written during my lunchbreak)

1. What book are you reading now?  I am currently reading Dead Until Dark from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. For those who are fans of “True Blood” – this is the book series that the show is based off of. I’ve read all but the final book in the series, and I can tell you that the book series and tv series are very different from one another.

2. What are your favorite books/series? It’s so hard for me to answer this question because I have SO many books that I love. Some of my favorite books include: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, Hannibal series by Thomas Harris, The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G Miller and SOOOOO many more.

3. How did you learn to read? I actually learned to read when I was very little. Reading has always been important in my family. When I was little, I was one of those kids who would read every sign that I went by out loud. Come to think of it, I sometimes still do that. Old habits die hard.

4. What foreign languages do you read? I can read a little bit in French, but that’s a bit rusty. This will be vastly improving as I jump into my Rosetta Stone soon.

5. What’s the funniest book you ever read? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first that comes to mind.

6. What books have changed the way you look at the world or the way you live your life? I grew up with the Harry Potter series. I guess I’ve always loved the fantasy world, but this series has stuck with me. It was beautiful and tragic and whimsical all at once. Another book that I remember distinctly is Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years by Misha Defonseca. Despite the fact that this turned out to be a hoax, I read this book when I was in 5th grade, perhaps a bit young for some of the heavier issues inside, but it was impactful, nonetheless. One last series that struck a large chord with me was the Hunger Games series; something about children fighting to their deaths due to politics and power just has that type of effect.

7. About how many books do you own? Oh, hundreds… I really should count. Once I get them all in one place. My collection grows all the time.

8. Do you read in bed? I read before going to bed every night. This can pose for some really interesting or terrifying dreams, pending what I’m reading at the time.

9. Do you ever read while walking or driving? Oh yes… I have been known to have my nose stuck in a book on my way from the train in the morning to work.

10. What was the most difficult book to read? My husband and mother-in-law will be really disappointed… but I have been reading IT by Stephen King for the last 3 years… I’m halfway through. I understand what I’m reading and the subject matter doesn’t bother me… it’s very difficult for me to stay focused on most Stephen King’s work. I love action, live for it… but IT contains a LOT of description, filler, back story, etc. One day I will finish..

11. What books do you intend to read but keep putting off? I plan to read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth

12. Do you buy new or used books, paperbacks or hardcovers, leather or collector’s? I buy them all. I also buy e-books, as I am finally allowing myself to use a Kindle, though I have strict guidelines for doing so. I’d MUCH rather read the real thing versus the e-version, though.

13. How do you feel about writing in books? Writing in books… I’m not a huge fan of doing this myself, though I have purchased books with writing in them.  To each their own.

14. What were your favorite books as a child? Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is one of my favorite books from when I was little. It breaks my heart every time I read it, but I absolutely love it.

15. Do you ever read the ending first? Absolutely not.

What about you? Tell me some of your answers to these questions. 🙂