Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reading Goal Met & Questions for my Readers

For the first time in the last few years I have met my goal of reading 100 books during the year (surpassed it already, actually).  I'm incredibly proud of this, and I'm debating whether or not to increase my goal (and possibly not make it).  I have the kindle app to thank for the last few books, because thanks to the app, I can now have access to books no matter where I'm at.

I guess that I have to get more used to the kindle app, because we recently recieved that bad news that our Barnes and Nobles is closing.  There are rumors of bankruptcy and rumors of the mall owners trying to increase the rent beyond what is fair.  Regardless, it saddens me that I won't have a local book store (I live in a small town) to go to for books.  I like the convenience of the kindle, but I would still much rather turn a page, hold a book, and be able to trade that book in at Bookmans for another book when I'm done with it.

I'm most proud that I made my goal, despite all the harships I've faced recently (which also explains why I haven't been posting as often as I mean to).  My school messed up on my financial aid, so I had to take 12 credit hours (when I normally take 6 to 9) during the same time that the clinic I work at was switching to EMR.  On top of that I had surgery in September, and then my Grandma Betty died at age 91 this month.  Anyway, I don't want to come across as whining - but despite all the challenges life has thrown at me, I still managed to surpass my goal, and I'm happy about that.

So, since I'd like to take off with my blog, make new friends, and post more often, I'd like to ask anyone reading this, what would you like to see more of?  What are your reading goals for the year, and how far along are you?  Some of you have goals up in the 200 and 300 range - how do you make those goals?  It's amazing to me that people can get that many books read in a year.  I'm thinking of doing a follower giveaway, but what number should I put it at?  I want real followers that will stay, not just people that follow for giveaway purposes and then delete what will keep your interest?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooktackular Giveway Blog Hop Oct 24th - 31st

It's Giveaway Hop Time Again!  I am giving away a book of your choice for $15 or less from Amazon (if you're in the United States) or The Book Depository (if you are international).  This giveaway is open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to your country.  If you are not sure, please check their website to see.

I am using Rafflecoptor for this giveaway so please make sure to use it for all entries, and be patient if you don't see it right away (I've noticed on other blogs it sometimes takes an extra minute to load).  You must have Java for Rafflecoptor to work.  If it still won't load, go ahead and enter in the comments section but be sure to leave a name and email so I can manually enter you into Rafflecoptor.

The only mandatory is your name and email address.  Following my blog is optional (an extra entry)  - but I'd prefer if you're going to follow that you stick around after the giveaway (which is why I made the only mandatory entry name and email address).  You can also follow on twitter, tweat, comment on another blog post, and suggest a book for me to read for extra entries.

Check out the other giveaways:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wicked (Celestra #4) by Addison Moore

Wicked by Addison Moore $2.99 for Kindle only (Click photo for link to purchase).

GOOD READS SYNOPSIS:  Seventeen year-old, Skyla Messenger is wishing people would just stay dead.

With Chloe back, Skyla finds it difficult to live under her tyranny and threats.

A seemingly innocent misstep in Skyla’s past comes back to haunt her and could end up costing her relationship with Gage.

The fourth installment in the Celestra series ends with a cliffhanger, and the 5th book isn't out yet.  This book continues in the vein of the first three books - the love triangle (or should I call it a square) between Skyla, Gage, Logan and Dudley, Skyla continues to be accused of acts she doesn't commit.  The only thing different is that Chloe is back in the picture.  I really like the series and Addison's writing style, but I hope she brings something big in the next book.  The status quo is getting old.  Bring on the faction war!
*** 3 Stars out of 5

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On My Wishlist

Duwop has these adorable eyeshadows commemorating Pirates of the Caribbean.  They come in sea shell compacts.  I really want greedy - the purple and green are both colors I'd wear a lot.  $25.00

Zales sells this pink topaz and diamond ring for $179.  I really want a heart ring with a pink stone.  It doesn't matter to me if it's pink sapphire, pink topaz or pink tourmaline.  It doesn't have to be this expensive either, just showing this one as an example.

Made by Sam at Etsy makes customizable necklaces that would make perfect gifts for your bridesmaids or just someone special in your life.  I love this starfish necklace $42.98 because it reminds me of home.

Scrabble is my favorite game, and Amazon has it in Pink.  How cool is that?  $33.65  They also have pink versions of Life, Monopoly, and Uno.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (10/3/2011)

Finished this week:
All four books in the Celestra series (so far) by Addison Moore including Ethereal, Tremble, Burn and Wicked.

Currently Reading: 
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Up Next:
Torment by Lauren Kate
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

12 credit hours plus 50-60 hour work weeks is really cutting into my reading time this last month, but our EMR is finally in and we've been trained so my weeks should go back down to 40 hours.  October should be a better month for reading.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox (10/2/11)

Purchased from Amazon:
Red Hair, Red Hair Too and Red Hair Three by Charlotte St. John
The Fallen Star (Kindle book) by Jessica Sorenson and Ray Villegas
Deep Blue Secret (Kindle book) by Christie Anderson

Ethereal (Celestra #1) by Addison Moore

Ethereal by Addison Moore $0.99 only for Kindle

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS:  Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking.

When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.

Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she’s been looking for, but Logan’s reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own.

Skyla’s bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in.

Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she?
MY THOUGHTS:  I was thrilled to discover that this was an actual full length book, and not just a short story, like my past, disappointing encounters with $0.99 Kindle books.  When I started in on Ethereal I was hooked.  The prose in the preface drew me in and kept me wanting more:

                            "Falling in love is a lot like death.  It chooses you.  It decides the moment and the chain of events that will preclude the precise intersection of life in which it occurs...Love.  My world blooms with its beautiful never-ending ache...It is that time in my life-a time for love and a time for death.  Fate had intertwined the two, bereaved of any mercy.  It is the architecture of my being..."

That being said, I could relate to Skyla's situation, her father died, her mom remarried and moving them far from everything they know.  Rather than hating her new living situation Skyla falls in love with the spooky island of Paragon and it's inhabitatants, especially cousins Gage and Logan.  Logan sounds great, but I'm rooting for Gage.  Skyla finds out that she is one of the Nephilim, a class called Celestra.  Gage and Logan are also Nephilim - Logan is a Celestra like her, and Gage is a Lovatio, who tells Skyla he has seen the future and they are married.  As Skyla finds out more about herself and the different faction of angels (nephilim) including the Counts who want Celestra dead.  Sklya tries to figure out who her enemies are.  The book ended with me wanting more and I immediately bought books 2 and 3.  This has quickly turned into my new favorite YA series.

**** Four out of five stars.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Holiday Lush

Sorry to be posting so much tonight, but I just stopped by the Lush website to see if the Halloween items are out yet since I'll be going there next week, and to my surprise and pleasure the Christmas items are out.  I'm majorly geeking out about that. Here is a sampling of some of my favorites (or what I think will be a favorite):

"Where do we start with the Magic Wand? There are just so many things to love about it. Let's start with the looks, a sweet pink star atop a wand with ribbons and bell. The beloved cotton candy fragrance is borrowed from our seasonal best-seller Snow Fairy. Then, there is the pure genius of being able to use it over and over for many baths. With Helen's invention of the amazing multi-use Bubble Bar mixture, this one can be swirled around in the tub to make mass amounts of bubbles, then put aside to dry for the next bath. Magic! For lovers of all things Snow Fairy! Each Magic Wand creates multiple candy-scented bubble baths. It may not come with whistles, but it certainly comes with bells and ribbons! " (From the Lush site)

 ABOMINABALL "Seeing as The Boog Bath Bomb isn't returning this year, we just had to have another snowman bomb one way or another. Abombinaball it is then! He rattles when you shake him. “What's inside?”, we hear you cry - you'll have to drop him in the tub to find out! We will tell you he's got a stunning vanilla, peppermint and sweet orange oil fragrance, and a bit of a froth in his fizz, making him bob gently around in the tub to comfort and delight you on a cold winter night."

"For an out-of-this-world bathing expedition, pop a Rocketeer Bath Bomb in the tub. The blue rocket pack shoots around your tub, leaving a wake of froth, fizz and the sweet scent of candy sticks. Watch the water change from blue to yellow to green as the yellow “flames” push the rocket around the tub. We made this one to entice our little ones into the tub for an exciting adventure, but it turns out (as usual) we like using it ourselves too!"

"Sprinkle a touch of Stardust over someone's Christmas by presenting them with this fetching parcel of seven limited edition, sugary bath and shower products. This gift is extra special this year as it includes one of our most exciting new inventions, the Magic Wand re-usable Bubble Bar, which shares the cotton-candy scent of Snow Fairy Shower Gel and (as the name suggests), can be used again and again. If you happen to be a fan of all things fruity and sweet, you may want to buy this box for yourself! For those who love all things pink, sparkly and sweet. "
CHRISTMAS STAR GIFT: "Six bathing beauties are to be found inside this gorgeous, re-usable gold box. Christmas Star is a gift we've had for many Christmases here at LUSH, but it's always so popular that we keep bringing it back! This year's incarnation contains three of our returning Christmas favourites, and three of our newest inventions. It's sure to brighten up the holidays for the shining star on your gift list."

Old Favorites like Snowcake and Snowfairy are back this year too!

Saturday Snapshot (10/1/11)

This is my cousin, Valerie's, cat Lola.  She is modeling a sombrero that I bought on a 2008 cross country trip out west with my parents and my neice, Nikki.  I got this and a pink sombrero in New Mexico.  As you can tell, Lola isn't exactly pleased about wearing it.

October Book Giveaways

The Month of October (my favorite month!) has an abundance of book giveaways.  I am hosting one on my blog (see sidebar for info) but I thought I would share all of these other book giveaway hops (meaning there's a whole slew of bloggers giving away books for each of these events) with all of you that get as excited about book giveaways as I do.

October 1st to 31st

October 7th to 10th

October 8th to 14th

October 13th to 15th

October 15th to 19th

October 15th to 31st

October 22nd to 29th

October 24th to 31st

October 26th to 31st

October 28th to 31st

If you know of another big book giveaway going on in October let me know and I'll add it here.

Top 100 Most Popular YA Books

I borrowed this from Pages Turned Lessons Learned.  The books I've read are in pink and the books I have on my shelf waiting to be read are blue.

1. Alex Finn – Beastly
2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3. Ally Carter – Callagher Girls
4. Ally Condie – Matched
5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1-4)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap
8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider
11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1)
12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1)
13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven
14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1-3)
16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth
18. Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1)
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1 & 2)
22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28. Holly Black – Tithe (1-3)
29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1-7)
30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1-5)
32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid
35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
38. John Green – Paper Towns
39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus
40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1-2)
41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1-3)
42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms
43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1)
44. Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1-13)
45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle
46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1-2)
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1-3)
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1)
50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study
52. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope
57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl
58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator
59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries
60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief
63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods
65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1-4)
66. Michael Grant – Gone
67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1-6)
73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1)
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (all so far)
75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1)
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars
85. Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan
86. Scott Westerfeld – Uglies
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry
92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1-4)
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors
96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching
99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl
100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

I have read 34 if you count the pink lines (which include a whole series as one book) and if you count all the books in the series I have read 91.

How many have you read?

October RAK

It's RAK sign up time again.  Unfortunately with my surgery last month, time slipped away from me and I didn't send out any books (or get any) so I will be skipping the September wrap-up post.

Here is a recap of the RAK rules:

1.  Sign up at Book Soulmates if you would like to participate - which means SENDING books as well as receiving.
2.  Show your participation by putting the button on your blog (found at booksoulmates)
3.  Make a wishlist of books that you want and keep it updated as you recieve books.
4.  If you send out a RAK, email the person for their address.
5.  If you receive an RAK send and email to rakbybooksoulmates @ gmail . com letting them know.
6.  At the end of the month post what you've sent and received.

Happy RAK for October!

My main wishlist can be found here and includes bargain books and cheap kindle books as well as other books I'm interested in, and I'm open to new or used hardback or paperbook.
Blog design by Imagination Designs all images from the My Midnight Dreams Danced Among the Stars kit by Tangie