Tag Archives: Reading

Book Blitz: Lady of Sherwood

Lady of Sherwood 
Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Meet A New Book

Robin Hood is pretty much an instaread for me. I love that this book is by a publisher that promises clean reads. As they say on their website, “We do not believe in censorship; we believe in the right to know. Every reader, no matter what their age is, has certain boundaries they don’t want to cross.” If you’ve been a reader on my blog you have probably picked up on the fact that I do not enjoy graphic sex scenes in my books. I’m excited to find a publisher that will let me know what I’m getting into before I pick up the book.

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.

After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.

As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.

Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.

Download a bonus scene.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

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Top Ten Tuesday #25

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

May 16, 2017:  Mother’s Day related Freebie: favorite moms in literature, books about motherhood, best mother/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst moms in literature, etc. etc.

I seem to enjoy flipping these topics lately, so here are 10 characters who didn’t celebrate mother’s day this year. Why is it that so many stories are missing mothers? (I know there are conspiracy theories about why Disney does it.) And this entire list could have just been manga, because to be a manga character it’s almost required to be without at least one parent, but most likely both.

Where have all the mom’s gone? 10 Famous Character’s Without Mom’s

  1. Nancy Drew – Nancy Drew
  2. Ariel – The Little Mermaid
  3. Harry Potter – Harry Potter
  4. Peter Pan -Peter Pan
  5. Batman – Batman
  6. Peter Parker – Spiderman
  7. Aang, Katara and Sokka – Avatar the Last Airbender
  8. Ichigo Kurosaki – Bleach
  9. Arwen – The Lord of the Rings
  10. The Tanner Sisters – Full House

Can you think of any characters that I missed? Where do you think all the moms have gone? Leave me a comment below and a link to your Top Ten list.

Top Ten Tuesday #24

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

May 9, 2017: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist (topic originally done January 2014) — things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

This week I’m flipping the topic. I read all sorts of books, and have a TBR that is already impossibly long. What do I want more of, I don’t know. But I can tell you what I want less of, and what I’m really tired of seeing publishers do to make a buck. So if anyone in the publishing industry is listening here’s what I’d do away with in books.

Top 10 7 Things I Want LESS Of in Books

  1. Shirtless men – Seriously stop with this, there are way too many book covers that have guys with airbrushed abs on them. We always talk about objectifying women in ads, magazines and etc, but what about objectifying men in books? I won’t even bother with the book description if it has a shirtless man on the cover.

    Might be a good book, but I’ll never know.
  2. Graphic Sex scenes – Goes along with the one above, but it’s just so unnecessary and often detracts from the story. I just read a book like this with great a great setting, a building mystery, good characters and then the sex… ugh the Golden Spider why did you have to go and do that to me? (And I was so looking forward to reading the Silver Skull, which I had already read an preview for.) Plus in this case it just didn’t fit with the Victorian setting, you can’t pretend that everyone is all prudish and then have your main characters drop their inhibitions (and clothing) at a whim.

    A good story ruined.
  3. Instalove/Triangles – Seriously, time after time other bloggers have pointed out that as readers they are so disgusted by this but yet it’s in pretty much every other book. Even in my most recent read, The Waterfall Traveler, the author had to include a kinda-sorta of love triangle, even though it was played down. But really the story didn’t need it, the characters would have been fine without it, it’s not like there is some law saying you have to include it. Just stop with the love triangles and instalove.

    Really this book didn’t need a love triangle.
  4. Confessions – Just tell your story, stop with all these first person confession fiction pieces. I understand that they are probably easy to write, after all a confession can be just as disjointed as the thoughts of the person confessing. It feels like the Readers Digest ideas of “13 secrets your plumber won’t tell you”, has gotten made into a novel and they expect it to work.

    I really don’t need this in my life.
  5. Straight to Kindle – Nothing bugs me more than getting a book that feels like it’s gone straight to Kindle and skipped the editors desk. When I first got my Kindle I stumbled into this a lot more often. Now I am more selective in the free books I add to my reading list. Really just have your book edited by a professional, at least have someone catch all the times you call characters by the wrong name.

    Sorry, good idea but bad execution. I can’t even find this book on Amazon anymore.
  6. Every Series Needs More BooksNot all sequels are equals. Publishers think that if they keep squeezing more out of the same ideas that those ideas will make good stories. Frankly, I could write a whole blog about this. Too many times what should have been a stand-alone novel or a duelogy gets turned into 3 or 5 or 8 novels, and by the end the books are dry repeat plots. Please publishers just stop doing this.

    The first one was written in 1964, the next in 1985 now there are 17 books (most written after the authors death.)
  7. Pastors Must Write A Book – It seems that in order to be seen as a successful pastor of a large church you have to publish a book. Often these book are HEAVILY padded. One book I read had lots and lots, a ridiculous amount of lists. Others have just gone over the same point time and time again. There may be enough material for a great sermon series, but that doesn’t mean it will be a great book. Sadly, this is why I don’t request Christian non-fiction ARCs any more.

    I hope you like lists, and one word sentences. Lots.

So that’s it, I could only come up with seven this week. What is one thing you’d like to see less of in books? If you could wave your magic wand and make publishers change something what would it be? Let me know in the comments below.

April 2017 Book Pick Ups

For Kindle:
The Deliberate Reader

Atomic Underworld: Part One: Outcast
Why I got it: I’m on the Authors email list, and he offered it for free, plus I seem to be on a huge steampunk kick right now.

Excalibur Rising: Book One of an Arthurian Saga
Why I got it: Again I’m on the authors email list, and it was free, and it’s Arthurian which is pretty much an instaread for me.

The Golden Spider (The Elemental Web Chronicles Book 1)
Why I got it: I had read a preview of book two, The Silver Skull, and so I borrow this from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. However the books graphic sex was really a let down and I won’t be reading the full version of the second book.

Crimes Against a Book Club
Why I got it: My Kindle First selection for April. It sounds like a good summer read.

Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles Book #1)
Why I got it: This one was either from BookBub or another email list, but it looks like a interesting post-apocalyptic story.

Kids Books:

T-Rex And Other Prehistoric Creatures (Discovery 3D Reader) & Favorite Pets (Discovery 3D Reader)
Why I got it: Hollar had it on sale for a dollar. These books are so much fun, we already had one on reptiles, so getting these others helps complete the set. Plus they have stickers, 3D stickers!

Other:

100 Classic Books – Nintendo DS
Why I got it: We go to Cowlitz Gamers for kids every year and I found this there for only $5. I doubt I’ll really ever get into read any of these books, but it’s kinda fun to have.

Martian-American War & Alice Roosevelt and the Tunguska Menace
Why I got it: I also picked up these Steampunk booklets at the Cowlitz show. Last year I got a Steampunk coloring book from the same artist. Both are alternative-history stories with lots of art included. At around 25 pages they aren’t quite a book, and not quite a comic either.

Book Blitz: Ensnared

Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

Meet A New Book

 

 

 

 

 

I seem to be on a Steampunk kick lately. This book had a steampunk look and feel when I read about it in the email from Xpresso Book Tours, so I said “why not?” But it’s really more of a sci-fi story than steampunk. As one of the quotes on Amazon calls it “I, Robot meets Beauty and the Beast”  – Leah’s Bookish Obsession

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

Download an excerpt of Ensnared.

Bottom Line:

I can’t say for sure. The excerpt was interesting, but not quite what I had expected from the blurb. This one will be a wait and see, how other reviews turn out. But the giveaway looks awesome, so I hope you will enter. If you read Ensnared please let me know how it turns out, and if you liked it.

Goodreads / Amazon Pre-order

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Book Blitz: Empty Threat

Book Blitz: Empty ThreatEmpty Threat  
Danny Bell

(The Black Pages, #1)
Publication date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Meet A New Book

 

 

 

 

I don’t know how you can be a book lover and not instantly see the appeal of the book. It went into my Goodread TBR shelf almost instantly. And after reading chapter one (linked to below) I am definitely  to keep read this.

Book one of The Black Pages

Elana Black has the power to make herself fictional. But when she decides to start saving all the people in books and TV shows who die just for the sake of advancing the plot, she quickly learns that she’s not the only one with her powers.

All Elana wants to do is save people. But these others don’t want the stories to change, and they’ll do everything they can to stop her.

If you had the power to change fate… to create a happy ending where there wasn’t one before… would you do it if it meant risking your own?

Download Chapter One of Empty Threat

Bottom Line: 

I can’t wait to read this and I have requested one of the review copies from Xpresso Book Tours, so hopefully I’ll get my hands on it soon. It’s hilarious to me that it is only in paperback on Amazon, but I get that it works for the kind of story it is. But if they had it for kindle unlimited I’d already be reading it. 😉

Goodreads / Amazon

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Top Ten Tuesday #23


toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

May 2, 2015: Cover Theme Freebie: literally anyyyything about covers….top ten covers that scream Spring, ten books with ice cream on the cover, ten books with blue covers, etc. etc.

Thinking about what covers I could cover for this weeks topic ;-), I started to think of Nancy Drew (especially since the 87th anniversary of the Secret of the Old Clock was on April 28th, Happy Birthday Nancy Drew!!!) and all the great cover art done for that series. Thanks to NancyDrew.info and their great list of ALL of the Nancy Drew editions I was able to take a stroll down memory lane and pick out my 10 favorite for this weeks list.

Top 10 Nancy Drew Covers

  1. The Secret of the Old Clock: 80th Anniversary Limited Edition – This one is cool and classic. The iconic girl detective in blue is just about perfect. Plus the fact that it’s the 80th Anniversary Limited Edition makes it even better.
  2. The Mystery At Lilac Inn – This one has always appeared mysterious to me. What could they be signally each other for? The colors also just draw your eyes right to the action.
  3. The Password To Larkspur Lane – This is one of my favorite Nancy Drew stories, and I love the cover too. It makes her look like she’s doing some real sleuthing. And that guy is really angry, I just love it!
  4. The Ghost of Blackwood Hall – Two thing make this great, it has George and Bess and Nancy all on the cover and then just the eerie feel of the picture. It makes me want to go find it and read it again right now.
  5. The Haunted Bridge – Can’t you just feel the danger and tension? I love it. But somehow that look in Nancy’s eyes you just know she’s going to figure this out.
  6. The Hidden Window Mystery – I <3 peacocks! Really I do, I have a huge Pinterest board full of peacock love, and a jewelry box bursting with all sorts of peacock loveliness. And here is one distracting Nancy so somebody can sneak by. How could I not love it?The Hidden Window Mystery
  7. The Clue Of The Whistling Bagpipes – Nancy in a kilt playing the bagpipes! Do I need to say more?
  8. The Hidden Staircase – These new 2014 covers by Sabrina Gabrielli are beautiful. My favorite is this one on the Hidden Staircase. While they don’t really have the same feel as the old ones it is nice to see a fresh take on the Girl Detective.
  9. Mystery Of Crocodile Island – Is Nancy going to stab that croc with her knife? That’s the first thought that came to me when I looked at this cover. I just love how it draws you into the action.Mystery Of Crocodile Island
  10. The Secret Of The Forgotten City – Nancy looks so worried here. YOu have to wonder what’s going on. Plus I’m a nut for Monochromatic art. The colors here are just beautiful.The Secret Of The Forgotten City

So which is you favorite? Did you enjoy Nancy Drew (or the Hardy Boys) when you were younger? Let me know in the comments.

Introducing Small Goals

May Small Goals

Thanks to Newbery and Beyond for introducing me to Small Goals, which is a monthly linkup.

What is it?

Writes like a Girl has a linkup called Small Goals. Each month you post a short list of small goals you intend to work on plus your progress towards your goals from the previous month.

Stay Gold Autumn has another goal linkup with the rules:

Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in staygoldautumn.com's linkup on the first day of the month!

  1. Add your goal posts to the linkup: it could be your goals for the year, 101 in 1001 goals, monthly goals, or just a post that talks about a goal you have completed!
  2. Display the button on your blog or post (button + code is available on my sidebar)
  3. Comment on 3 other blog posts that are linked up!

April Goals

Since I’m just starting I didn’t post April’s goals ahead of time. Part of the reason I am interested in the Small Goals linkups is that we are finally settling into the new house and new routine and I feel like I need to get some more structure back. I also downloaded the Onceaday app this month to help with goal tracking.

Onceaday Goals:

3 Sets of Sit-ups – This was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I only hoped to do 10 sit-ups in each set but found that doing it 3x days was just hard to remember.

Read for 15 Minutes – This is pretty easy for me, but since the move I haven’t had a lot of extra time. So telling myself that I WILL set aside the time has helped me to actually do it.

Other Goals:

Finish one book a week – My normal yearly goal is 50 books, but because life has been so crazy and mixed up the last couple of years I’ve been lucky to get 30 books in. I’m setting out to fix that, even if it means reading more YA titles this year.

May Goals

Continue With:

3 Sets of Sit-ups

Read for 15 Minutes

Finish one book a week

New Goals:

Create one new page in my bullet journal a week.

So that’s it, my small goals. Do you also have a way of tracking your goals? Do you use a goal tracking app? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Top Ten Tuesday #22

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 25, 2017Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

Choosing a book is as much about mood as it is about the topic, setting or genre of the book, but there are some books I just know I won’t be interested in.

Top 10 Topics that Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

  1. Vampires – I have never been into Vampires, especially when they are the “good guys.” The whole idea of them is revolting to me, especially since they are basically cannibals who trade their souls for immortality and then degrade themselves constantly. Just not interested.
  2. Romeo and Juliette – Or “star-crossed lovers” if it’s in a description of a book and that book has not been written by Shakespeare I’m not interested. I think people have vastly misunderstood the message of Romeo and Juliette. “Romeo and Juliet is not a love story. It’s a 3 day relationship between a 13 year old and a 17 year old that caused 6 deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” – Anonymous
  3. Horror – I’m not into things that are gruesome. So much of horror seems to be gruesome from gruesome’s sake and shocking for shock sake. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why people enjoy dismemberment, or torture, or cruelty, or anything like that.
  4. Graphic Sex – For the most part it just doesn’t do anything for the story. Why do we need to have all the details when it’s so much classier to allude to it?
  5. Amish Fiction – I don’t know how this genre got to be such a big thing. I understand wanting to read about different cultures and unfamiliar settings, but it just seems like there are too many books in this category. The Amish lifestyle might be interesting, but it’s weird that we have commercialize their lifestyle in such a way.
  6. Urban Fantasy – I have tried to get into Urban Fantasy. I picked up the City of Bones because so many people raved about it, but through out most of the book I kept thinking, “Buffy did it better.” In a lot of Urban Fantasy it seems like I can’t stay in the story, the world building and the characters don’t work for me.
  7. Harlequin Romance – These books just seem to cheapen real romance. For me I’d rather experience the real thing than read about an unreal type of romance. Plus the way these books are published in bulk makes them formulaic.
  8. Rush Limbaugh – I have family members who think he’s great, so they occasionally give me one of his books. I have no interest in reading his inflammatory perspective. (Note: Just the other day my Grandmother tired to get me to read something by Rush.)
  9. Politics – In general I do not enjoy books on political subjects.
  10. Men without their shirts on – When I see this on the cover I just roll my eyes and pass it by. Beside they are always airbrushed abs anyway.

What kinds of things turn you off from choosing a book? Are there topics you just don’t find interesting? Leave me a comment and let me know.

 

A Sonnet on Reading

©Arwen LeQuieu

Sitting in my comfy chair
A stack of books and a cup of tea
Leaving behind worldly care
In an afternoon where I am totally free.

In my garden hammock laying
Bare feet and face turned towards the sun
Relaxing, for the hour staying
In the pages of a book undone.

My little attic hideaway
Quite the quiet place to be
On the dusty little bed I lay
Dancing black letters of a book to see.

All of my favorite reading place
Are far away from rat races.