Friday, May 13, 2016

Time Out

As the title of this post suggests, I will be taking a brief 
'Time Out' from blogging.

This hasn't been an easy decision for me to make as I enjoy reading, creating posts and sharing comments with all of you.

However, for the next month and a half, my life is going to be crazy busy with full time work, helping my son through his first set of high school exams, completing a small thesis, and life in general. As we all know, there are only so many hours in the day and it is not always easy to keep up with everything.

Fortunately for me though, I know this busy time will pass. Or at least I hope it will. Fingers crossed.

 I will be returning in July and look forward to continuing to share my love and passion for books with you all then.

In the mean time... 

Happy Blogging!!!! 

Stacking the Shelves #138

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s ReviewsIt is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks.

I didn't get around to completing a StS post last week due to time pressures. Hope you all had a great Mother's Day. I did well on the book front, receiving three I couldn't wait to read.

(Talon #3)
Julie Kagawa 

A fighter dedicated to saving humankind from dragons in strictest secrecy.

That was what Garret Xavier Sebastian thought he was part of as a soldier of the Order of St. George. What he learned from a fiery dragon hatchling twisted all he believed in and set him on a collision course with certain death-but not without a chance to put things right.

Betrayed and on the run again, Ember and rogue dragon Riley discover an unthinkable truth about Talon and St. George. They'll need Garret's skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal-and if they fail, there will be no way to stop all-out war.

I read this immediately and you can see my thoughts on my previous post...  Swoon Thursday.

A Court of Mist and Fury
(A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Sarah J. Maas 

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

I'm currently reading ACOTAR to refresh my memory. Will be getting to this one next.


(Ruined #1)
Amy Tintera

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined - completely lacking any magic - she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy's kingdom, posing as the crown prince's betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everyone he holds dear, including his son.

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life - and her family - on the line, love could be Em's deadliest mistake.

Add to Goodreads

So... what goodies did you add to your shelf this week?
Please leave a comment and a link below.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Swoon Thursday # 184 ~ Soldier (Talon #3) by Julie Kagawa

Swoon Thursday was first bought to us by YA Bound.
Since they are no longer with us, Naomi @ Naomi's Reading Palace has kindly created a central meet up point for those of us who wish to continue to share our swoons.
So ladies (and any gents who feel so inclined) please leave a comment below, and then head on over there to link up and spread the love.

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My Swoon for this week comes from:

(Talon #3)
Julie Kagawa

First - The Blurb:

A fighter dedicated to saving humankind from dragons in strictest secrecy.

That was what Garret Xavier Sebastian thought he was part of as a soldier of the Order of St. George. What he learned from a fiery dragon hatchling twisted all he believed in and set him on a collision course with certain death-but not without a chance to put things right.

Betrayed and on the run again, Ember and rogue dragon Riley discover an unthinkable truth about Talon and St. George. They'll need Garret's skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal-and if they fail, there will be no way to stop all-out war.

Second - The Swoon:

"I was wrong," I admitted softly. "Letting you walk out... was the stupidest thing I've ever done. I should have said yes." Garret's hand trembled in mine, and I closed my eyes. "I should have asked you to stay."

For just a heartbeat, we were both frozen. The clock on the wall ticked, a faint sound in the absolute silence.

Then Garret grabbed the hand that still held his own, yanked me to my feet and kissed me.

After the way Rogue ended, I wasn't sure how, or even if Ember and Garret would make it back to each other. But due to certain circumstances, they did. With the two of them reunited and Riley still very much in the picture, there is a definite love triangle going on between the three main characters. At this stage, I'm not sure who I want Ember to choose.

As with the previous two books, Soldier is filled with action as more secrets of the Order and Talon come to light. A few new characters are added - a really liked Jade, an Eastern Dragon who has come to join Ember's little entourage and help fight against those who want them destroyed. There are a few sweet moments and some very heartbreaking ones too.

Again, as the books draws to its end we are left on the edge of our seats. I can't wait for the release of - Legion (Talon #4) in 2017.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

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Okay, so what do you think?

If you liked my Swoon, please leave a comment below!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday # 85 ~ The Empty Jar by M. Leighton

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I'm waiting on:

The Empty Jar
M. Leighton

Expected publication: May 8th 2016 

Three months touring Europe. 
Romantic. Dazzling. Unforgettable. 
The trip of a lifetime.

But some lifetimes are shorter...

We couldn’t have known it would work out this way.
No one could. No one could’ve guessed that something so beautiful could be so tragic.

But it is tragic.

Yet so, so beautiful.

That’s what sacrifice is—beauty and tragedy.
It’s pain and suffering for something or someone you love.

And this is the ultimate sacrifice. 
One stunning act of true love.

This is our story.
Our true love story.

Add to Goodreads

I've seen this one around a lot and it sounds amazing. Just had to add it to my wait pile.

So, what are you waiting for?
Please leave a comment below with your WoW link!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Teaser Tuesday # 189 ~ Talon (Talon #1) & Rogue (Talon #2) by Julie Kagawa

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Soldier (Talon #3) for Mother's Day, so just to help refresh the story in my mind, I quickly skimmed through the first two books. Below are a few teasers to share with you. I'll be posting my thoughts on Soldier on Thursday.

First - The Blurb:

(Talon #1)
by Julie Kagawa

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

(Talon #2)
by Julie Kagawa

Deserter. Traitor. Rogue.

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant. 

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. 

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Second - The Tease(rs):

Kissing her in the ocean and feeling my entire world stop. Wishing I could be normal, if only to be with her. Because she hadn't just taught me how to surf and shoot zombies and to scream while plunging down a roller-coaster drop. She had shown me how to live.

I am in love with a dragon.
Let the Order condemn me, I mused, perhaps my first truly rebellious thought in a lifetime. Let them call me a traitor and hunt me down. For thirteen years, I had followed commands, livid by the rigid code of St. George, become their perfect soldier, only to discover the Order I’d dedicated my life to was wrong. Everything I thought I’d knew was a lie. The only real thing was the girl in my arms.

My Rating for this series so far: 5 out of 5

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Okay, so what do you think?
If you liked my Tease, please leave a comment below.

TBR Tuesday #147 ~ Ignited (Ignited #1) by Desni Dantone

My good friend Sharrice from Reese's Reviews: My Addiction to Fiction came up with the idea of 'TBR Tuesday'

If you want to join in the fun, then just do the following:
From your book shelf or your e-reader, pick a book that you own that is still on your TBR list. Post it however you want to, then leave a link below so others can see what's waiting to be read.

This week for me its:

(Ignited #1)
Desni Dantone

Seventeen year old Kris Young is on the run from a throng of superhuman golden-eyed freaks hell-bent on seeing her dead, and she doesn't know why. Good thing she has her guardian angel to protect her...sort of.

Kris is aided by Nathan, the mysterious man that ends up being anything but angelic when he rescues her for the fourth time in fourteen years. Even if the handsome hero illusion is shattered by his harsh treatment of her, he knows how to fight this strange enemy and is determined to keep her safe at all costs. 

As the body count rises in their wake, Nathan introduces Kris to a world in which not everyone is human and the battle lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Kris's piece in the puzzle is something neither is aware of and, as they uncover the truth, neither is prepared for what they find. Overcoming twists and revelations that shatter both of their lives, they discover that nothing is as it seems and nothing, least of all their hearts, are safe. 

From debut author, Desni Dantone, Ignited is the first novel in a tale of first love, mystery and adventure that will introduce you to an exciting new world as Kris discovers how she fits in it.

Add to Goodreads

So now it's your turn.
Leave a comment and tell me what's waiting on your TBR pile.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Inspiring Fridays #5 ~ Inspired to Self-Publish

Inspiring Fridays is a post I've created to add something a little different to my blog. It's purpose is simple. Each week, it is my intention to feature a book, a song or a movie which inspires me. If you like, you can join in or just leave a comment below. I would love to see your thoughts on whatever is currently spotlighted, or discover what inspires you.

This weeks Inspiring Friday is titled:

Inspired to Self-Publish

When, for the first time, I seriously committed to writing a full blown novel, I gave little thought to how and when my 'baby' would be published. At the time, it wasn't about sharing it with the world, but rather, about proving to myself that I could write. For six months, I happily typed away on the keyboard as Samantha and Shadow's  story unfolded in my head. Some author's say that their characters speak to them. I... am in total agreement with that sentiment. Throughout the duration of Mystery Falls' development, Samantha and Shadow were ever present, guiding me on, guiding me forward.

As Mystery Falls slowly drew to a close, two things became clear to me. One, Samantha and Shadow's tale was only partly told, and therefore, a trilogy was in the making. And two, if for no-one else but my family and me, I wanted desperately to see my creation in print. So came the question... how to make that happen?

After hours and hours of research, I discovered several things:

One - I would need an Agent, and not just any Agent, one that was well known in the publishing industry and respected.

And Two - In order to acquire said Agent, I had to write a Query letter. (Yeah, not as easy as it sounds)

Spending more hours researching, I selected 25 Agents and accomplished #1. Then moving onto #2, I painstakingly drafted and re-drafted my Query letter. And then I took a deep breath and sent it. Long story short, most of my chosen Agents sent me a polite rejection, a few didn't respond at all, and one was interested, but unfortunately, their client list was full.

My hubby told me not to give up hope. And then... he made a suggestion which had not occurred to me. He said, "Why not publish your book yourself?"

At first, I was terrified of the idea. I mean, where did I start with something like that. I didn't have a clue. But my hubby was persistent, and after showing me several articles relating to Smashwords and self-publishing, he finally managed to convince me.

Smashwords is amazing. It provided me with reams and reams of information on how to format and prepare my manuscript for publication. And with the help of Photoshop, I was also able to design my own cover.

The day that Mystery Falls went live was awesome and very surreal.

And my publishing experience didn't stop there. No longer daunted by the idea of self-publishing, I also formatted and prepared my novel for KDP and CreateSpace.

When I finally held a physical copy of my book in my hands, it was one of the best moments of my life, and I owe that to my husband. He never let me give up on my dream, and now it's a reality.