Bout of Books 14 Sign Up!

I’ve been curious about Bout of Books since round 12 when it started showing up in my twitter feed/blog feed, however I missed the sign ups for it. I did the same thing with round 13–BUT I am signing up this time! Here’s some more information about it.

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The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team.

Bout of Books

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I’m adding my link. Are you going to sign up? Let’s be reading buddies!

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August TBR pile!

One of my goals for this month is to really get back into the swing of reading and blogging about what I read. So I figured the best way to start that out is to pick a few books as a pre-assembled to read list and work off of that rather than staring at my overloaded shelves and thinking “I have nothing to read so I’m going to go buy another book”.

This is my list for August (hopefully to be completed by August 31st) and if I read more, I’ll certainly blog about them and bring them up again in my monthly wrap up.

1. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang. I bought this for a swap partner, and then I ended up falling in love with the synopsis–and I received it as book mail as well.

2. The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. I had this on my wishlist for the ninjabook mini summer swap, and I got it and the two companions.

3. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius. I won this off of a blog contest and I’m really excited to read it. The blogger had nothing but great things to say about it.

4. Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. One that was on my wishlist forever and a swap partner got it for me.

5. Countdown City by Ben H. Winters. I bought this and The Last Policeman at the same time, and I loved The Last Policeman—I just hadn’t gotten around to Countdown City.

6. Sweet Home by Tillie Cole. I actually met Tilly at the Emerald City Author Event 2014, and she signed this for me (I’ll show the inscription when I post the review), and I really want to read it. I’m in love with the cover.

7. Gangsta volume 5 by Kohske. I’m a few volumes behind and I need to get caught up because I love this series so much.

8. Dogs Bullets and Carnage vol 9 by Shirow Miwa. I was in B&N last night and saw that volume 10 had finally been released, so I really tossed this on here so I can get caught up.

9. Drug and Drop Vol 1 by Clamp. Again, I saw that volume 2 was out and I really needed to read volume 1.

10. Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly. This is another one that I picked up for a swap partner and ended up on my own wish list.

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That is my TBR list for August. Please share yours with me! I’d love to see it. If you’ve read anything on my list, let me know how you liked it.

Top Ten Authors I’d love to meet (TTT Post)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and Bookish. Each week the bloggers at The Broke and The Bookish put out a topic, and discuss their top ten options for said topic. This week’s Top Ten is: Top Ten Authors You’d Love to Meet.

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clouds10 Kevin Hearne Author of the Iron Druid series. He’s an incredible author with an amazing talent for world shaping, creating characters that stick with you long after the book is finished, and dropping some of the best humor into books. He’s so talented and I’d love to just pick his brain and talk to him for a little while.

clouds09 Tamora Pierce. This woman was so influential in shaping what I read and my introduction to fantasy/high fantasy. I love her books, and I have started to collect them over the years. She’s got great strong, independent female lead characters who are good role models for young adult readers. Her world building is lush and descriptive and she’s so insanely talented.

clouds08 Madeline L’Engle If I had a time machine, I’d go back to when she was alive and again, just say thank you. She’s created characters that stand the test of time–strong female, SCIENCE LOVING female characters who make a mark in their world. Meg isn’t a damsel in distress, she’s a whirlwind of spitfire and sass.

clouds07 C.S. Lewis Again, I’d need a time machine, but I think it would be so worth it to sit down and have a cup of coffee and just talk to this man. His writing has guided me throughout the years, both his fiction and his essays/personal reflection books. I’m in awe of what he created and I’d love to just listen to him talk about the worlds and characters that have inspired so many.

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Sunday Rundown (Also known as things that make me happy)

This week was a little ridiculous with what I had to do, it was super busy and I’m not sure that even after taking it easy today I’ll be recovered and ready for next week. It was mainly a mish-mash of lots of little things that needed to get done. Though, yesterday I spent all day at Emerald City Comicon. It was so much fun, and the group I went with is already talking about next year. We only went for one day, and I think next year we’re going all three days.

I did get my package from the Mug-o-Comfort swap that’s put on by Chaotic Goddess Swaps

And this is what I got!

I’m really excited to try the chai tea. I’ve seen it in stores and have been super curious about it. I might make a cup while I read today.

My swap partner was Kenzie from Life & Lemons I was really excited when I saw that she’s also from Washington. She’s got a really great blog where she talks about life on the farm, and her day to day life. She has some really beautiful posts where she showcases things that make her happy. Her blog is a great read, full of inspiration, beautiful images and just great stories. I highly suggest you check her out.

Back from semi-hiatus.

Hi everyone, I took a semi-unplanned hiatus. I had a few things going on and managed to get myself into a funk that I couldn’t shake. I’m not entirely out of it, but I’m starting to feel better. I thought I’d come on today and talk about what I’ve been up to.

Cookie season has finally wrapped up. I’m a Girl Scout leader, and this year was our troop’s first year selling cookies. I’m really proud of them, they did great, and are excited to do it again. My co-leader and I on the other hand are more than happy to wait for a bit before taking anything on like that again. I spent most of the time after that hiding out, and catching up with friends. Sadly, my reading suffered. I plan on reading a lot this week and getting caught up and getting some great reviews up for you all.

One thing that was a positive this week actually showed up yesterday. I like to do a lot of crafting and trying out new things. I’ve found that I really enjoy making soap. I do melt and pour right now, but soon I’ll start making cold process soap. A couple of months ago, I signed up for Bramble Berry’s soap swap. Bramble Berry is a company that sells tons of soaping supplies. I signed up to create twelve bars of melt and pour soap (I used a Champagne and McIntosh Apple blend), and yesterday I got my return soaps! I ended up with twelve beautiful bars in return, from twelve different soapers. I gave my mom two of the bars because I wasn’t too keen on the scents (one was anise, and the other lavender.) I’m really excited to use them all, and one of them has already been put into my bathroom. The scent on that is cranberry chutney, and it’s such a delicious warm fruity scent.

Here’s my box! I’m super excited. I should be getting another swap box later this week, as I joined up the Chaotic Goddesses Mug-o-comfort swap.

I’ve also become a moderator for a group on Goodreads. The Psychological and Thriller group. Our book of the month for March is Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and I’m loving it so much. I’ll have a review of it up once I’ve finished and wrapped everything up on the goodreads front. I have also been going through manga as though they’re candy. I got hooked on the series Bleach, after putting it down a couple years ago. I’m blown away by the story arcs and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

How was your week?

Top Ten Tuesday!

Welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday! This week I’m talking about the Top Ten Books Resolutions for 2014. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog post hosted by The Broke and Bookish

I’m working on a a couple different resolutions/things I want to get done this year. Some of them are book/blogging related, some are more personal. I really like resolutions and setting goals for myself–I tend to keep on them pretty nicely as well. So, without further ado, I’m going to get right into them. These aren’t in any particular order.

* I want to be more consistent with this blog. I want to put up more reviews, both of books that are trending and more “Shelly focused” books. I’m an eclectic reader, but I’ve been caught up by the YA/NA/dystopian tidal wave, and I want to make it a point this year to get back to the science fiction/fantasy/crime worlds that I love and blog about those too, so I can share books that are more my style. Hopefully talk about them enough to get you guys curious as well.

* This year I’m spending time on myself. Over the past couple of years I’ve bent over backward for people, and forgotten to take care of myself along the way. I’m getting back to eating healthier and cleaner, and going to the gym. I’ve signed up for some pretty exciting (to me at least) classes, and I’m super energized and ready to go.

* I have four manuscripts that I want to finish and self publish this year. I’m working on a NA trilogy and I’m also working on expanding a piece that I’ve previously published through an indie publisher, and putting it back out there. I’ve gotten into the habit of starting something, making a lot of headway and then just leaving it be. This year I fully intend to publish all four, and get some things under my belt. Along the way I’m submitting shorter pieces to anthology calls too, but I want to get my stuff out there.

* This year I’m making it a point to explore the world around me more. In 2013 I did a lot of things that were new to me, and in turn I had some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I stepped outside my comfort zone and challenged myself to do new things, and go new places. I’m carrying that forward this year.

* I want to get my TBR list down to a manageable number. It sounds a little silly and daunting, but I’m going to do it. The sheer mountains of books I have stashed around the house and my bedroom are more than slightly overwhelming. I tend to stress out about them.

* I want to get more organized and have space for everything. I’m starting by doing small things each month. This month I’m tackling my scrap booking supplies and my nail polish collection. I am in the process of swatching and organizing my collection, I may have made a spreadsheet so I know exactly what I have when it comes to nail polish. I’ve also promised myself a ‘no-buy’ year. I’m hoping I can do it. My collection is a little out of hand.

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Secret Santa Unboxing!

I participated in The Broke and The Bookish’s Secret Santa Exchange over the holidays, and I was super surprised at how quickly my box of goodies showed up. It was like only a few days after Thanksgiving. My Secret Santa was Nichole, though I don’t know anything else about her.

Ashes to Ashes by Melissa Walker.

When Callie’s life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.


The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow

Not everyone can take on the things that go bump in the night.

Not everyone tries.

But Jill Kismet is not just anyone.

She’s a Hunter, trained by the best – and in over her head.

Welcome to the night shift…

I also got lots of swag and pins from various series and authors. Some yummy candy that I ate shamelessly while playing MMORPGs, and hot chocolate. Two nail polishes that I didn’t have and I’ve already worn the green shade for Christmas. I was so surprised and I am so thankful to my secret santa. So if by chance you see this….Thank you. 🙂