Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013. . .

I'm not patting myself on my back until I've hit "published" on this post. This is one of many things that I'm hoping to have written up before the stroke of midnight. And, me, I'm the type to be sitting there 30 minutes to midnight rapidly writing what would usually take me twice as long to do.

That is probably the one regret I take from this year, not doing what I said I would. Or would have liked to do.
Of course now that I try to think about it I can not name a new goal from this year that has not carried over from previous years.
Sadly, for this year I think that I could probably break it down into reasons why I didn't do most of them.

I've mentioned that the Summer of 2013 was not my best. What I haven't shared was that it was a pretty dark one for me.
I'll let you come up with your own definition of "dark." Than if you can; go even darker.

A Few More Books Worth Mentioning

While picking my top ten books of the year- technically I ended up picking like 13: "11, 10.5, 2.5"- I saw so many great books I read that kind of slipped under the radar.

And as much as I would have loved to have given them a spotlight or raved about them, they didn't really give me much to work with.
Which is why I guess they "slipped under the radar." They don't have the name power or popularity other books have that get them noticed and talked about.
Basically they're me the high school years.

They're acknowledged, if they're lucky to be found or introduced to someone, they prove that they're something special and it's great fun. But then another book with a shinier cover comes along; and, well, out of sight out of mind.

Which is an expression I  hate, if only because it not only describes me but all my possessions now that I have to have them boxed up.

Top Ten Books I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
 
I've been sharing my top ten books of this year all week, so this is just a quick recap of all those post,

Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge

2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge

I didn't even bother updating any of the challenges I joined for this year because I know that, besides the audiobook challenge and the one on Goodreads, I failed them all. Well I only joined the four, so half isn't too bad. Especially since I went above and beyond with the two I did finish. Which leads me to think I should join the audio challenge again.
Basically this is me doing exactly what I did last year where I said "no challenges next year!" And ended up joining more.

I'm joining this challenge because I have a lot of books waiting to just be read, not reviewed. I'm not complaining about having to review books all I'm saying is I'm going to enjoy my nook (fondly known as Linky) more and not feel like it's only ever running to meet a deadline.

For more info click on the badge above.

#1 of 2013 - The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

 
The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test, #3)The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published February 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen

Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.


During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

#2 of 2013 - Beauty Queens By Libba Bray

 
Beauty Queens (Audio CD)Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published May 24th 2011 by Scholastic Press

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

#3 of 2013 - Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

 
Escape from EdenEscape from Eden by Elisa Nader
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published July 18th 2013 by Merit Press

Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.

But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s fa├žade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?


Friday, December 27, 2013

#4 of 2013 - Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

 
Branded (Sinners, #1)Branded by Abi Ketner &
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published June 27th 2013 by Abi and Missy Books

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years.
At best.

Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

#5 of 2013 - Delirium by Lauren Oliver

 
Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published February 3rd 2011 by HarperTeen

Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost.
But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#6 of 2013 - Edge of Never by J.A Redmerski

 
The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1)The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published November 13th 2012 by J.A. Redmerski

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#7 of 2013 - Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

 
Going VintageGoing Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published March 26th 2013 by Bloomsbury

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars).

The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous


But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.


Tune In Tuesday - Blue and White Christmas


As I write this I have NO idea where I'll be these next two days. Which is why I try to never make plans. They never plan out.

One way or another, wherever I am, Christmas Eve? Longest night of the year for me.
The day goes by in a snap, but sometime around 6; time just slows down. And I think after 9 it starts going backwards.

Monday, December 23, 2013

#8 of 2013 - The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

 
The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published May 5th 2009 by Disney Hyperion Books for Children

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

#9 of 2013 - Vacant by Evelyn R. Baldwin

 
Vacant [Adult version]Vacant [Adult version] by Evelyn R. Baldwin
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Published February 23rd 2013 by Mayhem Erotica

Ethan Parker gets up every day, surviving the only way he knows how—alone. Orphaned as a child and forced into the child welfare system, he knows better than to depend on anyone but himself. He’s learned trust is a word used all too often, but rarely earned. Ethan believes that his best chance for maintaining a simple and solitary existence is to live by a simple mantra: Don’t get involved. Keep things simple. Take care of yourself! When a young woman moves in next door, Ethan is forced to reevaluate his beliefs. He tries to keep his distance, but his new neighbor’s infectious smile and outlook on life leave him struggling with the decision of living the life he knows, or taking a chance on the unexpected. As Ethan develops a relationship with his new neighbor, Emily, he realizes nothing is simple and learns that life is about more than just surviving... it’s about living.

**This version contains sexual content only suitable for adult audiences.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

#10 of 2013 - 11 Birthdays

 
11 Birthdays11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published January 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press

GROUNDHOG DAY meets FLIPPED in this tale of a girl stuck in her birthday.

It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited -- after all, 11 is so different from 10.

But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day.
Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating iself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it? Only time, friendship, and a little luck will tell. . .

Friday, December 20, 2013

Awakening Foster Kelly - Review - #10.5 of 2013

Awakening Foster KellyAwakening Foster Kelly by Cara Rosalie Olsen
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Published June 26th 2013 by CreateSpace

If only a pile of wayward curls and the inability to stay on her feet were seventeen year-old Foster Kelly’s most pressing concerns. Unfortunately, stubborn hair and clumsiness are just the tip of it. At the age of five when Foster is told, “You don’t belong here,” it was only a mistake, but the result is one broken heart. These four carelessly spoken words have shaped and shadowed Foster, and now—a senior at Shorecliffs High-school—she seeks the wallflower’s existence, denying herself the most casual of friendships, much too afraid that someone will see what she believes is certain: she does not belong anywhere—or with anyone.

This reality would continue to suit her just fine; however . . . Love has a long-standing history of undoing broken hearts.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quotable Quotes - Do Something


This week's quote is inspired by last week's To Do post: Actually Do Something. In which I pretty much rambled on saying the exact same thing this quote so nicely- and simply says.

“There’s people who do things and people who never do—who say they will someday, but they just don’t. I want to go on a quest. I’ve always wanted to go on a quest. And now that I have one, I’m not backing down from it. I’m not going home until it’s complete.”
Holly Black, from  Doll Bones

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

I've discovered, and met, so many great authors this year; it's probably been the best year I've had when it comes to connecting with authors.

But my main focus this year was to finish up some series before starting new ones so I only managed to get a top 5.

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


I have no idea when my last It's Monday post went up.
I'm thinking March or April, like I mentioned Friday I've kind of let myself and this blog down in more ways than one this year. And considering it all fell apart sometime after April it kind of makes sense that I can probably count this year's It's Monday! post on one hand.

That, and lately my reading patterns have felt so odd, or slow, that I can't really explain them. Or try to list them.
But I can always try.

Friday, December 13, 2013

To Do #7 - Actually Do Something

This is a list of things to do in my life. I'm making it because I'm big on life experiences. They are things I'd like to experience in my life, however small, although very few actually are.


I haven't written any "to do's" since May of last year. And considering that this is only #7 and I started this back in August 2011 that's kind of bad.
I've really let myself down when it comes to all the plans I had when I started this blog. Although now that I think of it last May was when a lot of things were, well, upheaved for me. Really, it probably wasn't a huge deal, but we all have our comfort zones and we all have to have things a certain way.

But maybe I just lost the list of things I wanted and decided to hold off, seeing as how I can't find the badge I made either. I'm really not too sure. It might be a good thing I lost that list, though it probably needed updating because some things just no longer make too much sense.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tune In Tuesday - Hunter Hayes

I listen to Hunter Hayes all the time, well except when my mom is around and gets bored easily with whatever I'm listening to.
But my decision to feature his songs came when I heard his latest single... about two months ago. I remember hearing it and thinking to myself "the first week when this month's theme is over I will play this."
I don't even remember what that month's theme was.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Read-a-thon


12 hours in and I'm already behind. I won't say what I'll be reading. Which is just another way of saying I don't know.
But I do know that for this month I decided to read at least 40 pages a day.

Of course it's only the 6th and I'm already 60 pages behind, which pretty much means my goal for today is to hit 100.

Reason I've fallen behind on my goal?
I've decided to start sewing and scrapbooking.
Not at the same time of course.

My main plan there was finish up what I needed to sew so I can finally put the sewing machine away but at the bottom of all that I found my scrapbook. The room I'm currently stuck in is so small I can't help but notice the many shiny things that distract me, unlike my own room where the main feature was my book shelf.

The Reaping - Book Blast

reaping The government is on the verge of perfecting its loyalty serum, and Terra knows exactly what that means—the agents will have absolute control. Terra has survived the labor camp, the agents, and the soldiers who hound her as she brings nomads to the water's edge. But now she faces her most daunting challenge yet: she must return to the colony to ask the council—and her father—to help her destroy the loyalty serum. With the aid of old friends and unexpected allies, Terra races toward a confrontation that will decide her fate on the Burn forever.

Buy the ebook: Amazon * Apple * B&N * Smashwords
 
Buy the paperback: Amazon * CreateSpace

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Quotable Quotes

These are a few quotes that I would jokingly put on a Christmas card to a family member.
I won't though.
They wouldn't get it.

And I can't say I'd be surprised that they didn't.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Daughters of the Nile - Book Spotlight

Daughters of the Nile slide
From critically acclaimed historical fantasy author, Stephanie Dray comes the long-awaited new tale based on the true story of Cleopatra's daughter.
After years of abuse as the emperor’s captive in Rome, Cleopatra Selene has found a safe harbor. No longer the pitiful orphaned daughter of the despised Egyptian Whore, the twenty year old is now the most powerful queen in the empire, ruling over the kingdom of Mauretania—an exotic land of enchanting possibility where she intends to revive her dynasty. With her husband, King Juba II and the magic of Isis that is her birthright, Selene brings prosperity and peace to a kingdom thirsty for both. But when Augustus Caesar jealously demands that Selene’s children be given over to him to be fostered in Rome, she’s drawn back into the web of imperial plots and intrigues that she vowed to leave behind. Determined and resourceful, Selene must shield her loved ones from the emperor’s wrath, all while vying with ruthless rivals like King Herod. Can she find a way to overcome the threat to her marriage, her kingdom, her family, and her faith? Or will she be the last of her line?