Category Archives: Ramblings

Summer Reading Challenge… Passport Style

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There’s a lot of different reading challenges out there. Some are geared towards certain genres, others are a test to see how many books you can read in a certain time frame, and I’ve even seen some that were strictly to help those of us who have fallen behind on reading all the those ARC’s we get. I used to take part in challenges when I first started blogging and they are a great way to get your rear in gear if you are looking to kick your reading into high gear. I especially like the challenges where you dust off those books that have been sitting patiently on your shelf for a while. However, I haven’t taken part in challenge in a while… until now! My friend included me in her family’s summer reading challenge. You may have remembered last year I was asking for recommendations for a bingo challenge I was doing. Well, this year her family decided to go with a passport theme and I have got to tell you, I AM EXCITED!

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I looked through the passport and filled in a handful of books that I currently have that could fall under the different categories, but there are a bunch that I’m drawing blanks on. So, I am hoping you guys can help me out and recommend some books to help me complete my passport for the summer.

 

  1.  A book published before 1986.
  2.  A book by an author from an African country or a book set somewhere on the continent.
  3.  A book that is set in or was written by an author from South America.
  4.  A book that is set in or was written by an author from Australia.
  5.  A book by a scientist or a nonfiction book that features science.
  6.  A mystery novel.
  7.  A book that has an award. (any award. I was even told it could be one given by a blog 😉 )

I prefer to read new adult, young adult, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and contemporary adult. Basically something with a little bit of romance in it. Obviously #5 is going to be a tough one for me since non-fiction isn’t my preferred genre of choice and science is like a foreign language to me. So I’m hoping there’s a scientist out there who wrote some romance or a shifter book for me to enjoy, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

 

My first RT Convention Experience

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So, I’m back. Technically I’ve been back for almost a week but I sort of needed a little R&R after the convention. I knew it was going to be hectic and chaotic, I just had no idea how bad it truly was. First off, I want to give a huge shout out to my roommates Jen (Not Now, I’m Reading) and Brandy. They took me under their wing and helped me survive the craziness. If it weren’t for them, I’d have probably been in the fetal position in my hotel room after the first day. It took me a day to realize that what they said was true. That I couldn’t do everything I wanted and that I’d have to take “time off” from events in order to recharge and eat. It also helped that I ran into D.T. Dyllin on the first night and she took one look at me and dragged me out to eat. I was running on fumes at that point trying to chug along through my first day. >.< Big mistake. Needless to say, I felt like a helpless kitten living on the streets for the first time. I was so lost and overwhelmed. I had this idea that it would be easy and fun–like all the pictures you see on Twitter and blogs after the event–I had no idea that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. There were lines…

 

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I’ll be at #RT16 next week!

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Mostly everyone in the book blogging world—and also the reading world—has heard about the RT Booklovers Convention. The first time I’d heard about it was when I was stalking… er, I mean visiting one of my favorite author’s websites and saw that they were going to be in Los Angeles that weekend at this RT Convention. I got really excited, told the Mr he was driving the 4 hour trip with me so that I could meet her. Then I realized that I had no flipping idea what day it was and that the convention’s book fair was the previous weekend. Waaah waaaah. Yeeeah. That was a pretty low moment for me. There may have been a glass or two of wine that night. And the RT Convention hasn’t been my way since… until this year! :cue the Rocky theme song:

That’s right! Homegirl has put on her boxing gloves and is finally stepping into the ring to redeem herself. The moment I saw that RT was going to be in Las Vegas—a mere 6.5 hour drive for me—I immediately started pestering the Mister about it. Needless to say, even when I told him the cost to simply attend the event—not including travel/hotel/food expense— he didn’t even bat an eyelash at me. *God, I love that man* So, I’ve been sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for the event to finally come… and it has!

So, this is just a heads up that I will be “out of the office” until next week. 😉 Heck, some of you may have noticed that I’ve been MIA for the past week or two. That’s because I’ve been shopping and pretty much going nuts trying to get ready last minute for the convention. I didn’t actually procrastinate this time but my steampunk costume had to be ordered in pieces online and well nothing worked out for me. I didn’t even have boots for my outfit until two days ago. It has been a stressful to say the least.

Anyways, if you’re going to be at RT this year, be sure to send me a tweet. I don’t have a smart phone (yes, I’m totally old school) so I will only really have access to twitter on my tablet.

Ramblings of a Book Sniffer: Social Media

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All blogs have some form of social media or another. It’s just one of the many ways a person can follow a blog. Considering most people have a social media account of some sort, it’s a lot easier to “like” or “follow” a page than it is to subscribe via email or to bookmark a website to check up on later. So, yeah, social media for blogs is a big deal. However, I’ve noticed everyone does their social media sites differently and it makes me wonder which way is best?

I’ve come across some Twitter and Facebook accounts that only post a link to their latest post and that’s it. There’s blogs that post both their stuff and also post the links to other blog’s posts as well on a daily basis. Then there are some that use Twitter and Facebook as a way to connect with their readers and talk about what’s going on in their personal life as well as linking up to their latest blog posts. I fall under the latter. However, I have to wonder, is that what people want?

Does anyone care that I’m currently sitting down with my cat to read the latest and greatest in an awesome series, or that I’m finally able to stream an episode of Outlander? A lot of the time I feel like I’m talking to myself since no one responds. So it makes me wonder, am I doing it right?

 

Personally, I like following blogs who use their social media as a way to talk to others, not just for promotional purposes. I generally tend to not follow Twitter accounts that just post link after link without any real tweets. Mainly because I’m on Twitter and Facebook to talk to people. However, and I know, I know I shouldn’t look at numbers but let’s be honest here, we all do it at some point, I find myself looking at the blogs that just use social media to post the links to their latest posts and they have a huge following. So, again I ask, would it be better if I just hooked my social media accounts up to a platform that will automatically share my latest post for me without actually interacting with anyone? Is that what people prefer?

I guess this discussion post is both to the readers and bloggers out there.

What do YOU prefer when it comes to following/reading social media updates from a blog?

 

 

Eight long months but we crossed the finish line!

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weebsYou may remember way back when to my post in June when I announced that blogging for me may be a bit sporadic due to the discovery of one of my fur-babies having lymphoma. Her doctor gave her a high chance of of beating the cancer since it was a total fluke that we’d even caught it at such an early stage. After months of treatment, my little girl is finally in remission!

We got really lucky. Not only did the vet catch the cancer before it even fully developed into something more serious, but my little girl took the chemotherapy like a champ. I’m pretty sure I took the trips to her oncologist a lot harder than she did. Thankfully, she didn’t have any of the side-effects from the treatment that some animals experience. Sure, there were days where she just wanted to be by herself and sleep, but that was it. Her side-effects were pretty much cosmetic. She lost all but one whisker and the fur by her ears thinned out a bit.

Needless to say, I’ve kind of been in celebration mode for the last week with her. She’s been getting spoiled even more so than before now. We even got her a ball pit to play in. I’m surprised the Mr. approved that idea.

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I still can’t believe it’s all finally over. Eight long months of wondering if we made the right decision and whether or not the chemotherapy would even work. This news could not have come at a better time since at this same time two years ago, I unexpectedly lost my fur-baby, Snickers, to cancer. So needless to say, I really needed this good news.

I’m just so glad that Weeble’s kicked cancer’s butt and can go back to the care-free lazy days that she’s used to. 🙂

 

 

Series or stand-alone novels?

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One of the things I always look for when I see a new book is whether or not it’s part of a series. There have been a few times where I’ve picked up a book not realizing it’s part of a series or the first book in a series. Sometimes that’s a good thing because if I like it I get more of it, and sometimes that’s not a good thing because sometimes I just want a complete story.

It seems like a lot of books out there are part of a series. Sometimes it seems like a successful story gets turned into a series because it did well in sales. If you think about it, it makes sense. I mean, why write one story when you can create a world that never ends. :cue “The Song that Never Ends”: that’s how I feel sometimes about a series. Now, I’m not saying that’s the only reason why an author writes a series but you have to admit, there are some series out there that have you wondering why they haven’t just moved on.

When it comes to series versus stand-alone novels, they each have strong and weak points. With a series, you know what you’re getting into. It’s essentially the same world, same set of characters, and the same conflict. So, you know what to expect as a whole. Plus, it gives you more time with the characters you’ve started to care for. However, at the same time you can get bored after a while. With stand-alone novels, even though you may like the author, you are taking a risk every time on whether you will enjoy the setting, characters, and how it all pans out. Not to mention if you love the story, your time with it is limited. On the flip side, each book is exciting and new because it’s a story line you have not read before.

My favorite series are the ones that change between characters of the same world. That way, I get something new with following a different set of characters but I’m still in the same world as before and may periodically see the previous characters in the following books. However, there was that one series that I loved and it followed the same character around for the whole 6 books series. You may have heard of it, Vampire Academy? Yeah, that one. So, there is always an exception. 😉

In the end, I’m definitely more of a stand-alone person. I like getting a complete story. Which is why I cannot stand serials. Plus, with a stand-alone I sometimes feel like all the filler has been removed because the author only has “x” amount of words/pages that they can work with. So there is no need to draw out scenes or conflict. Also, I tend to get bored really easily and I usually find that with a series I really only end up liking the first book anyways. I can’t tell you how many series I’ve started only to never pick up the following book, or I have and I wound up not finishing it. I wish I could get into more series. It would be nice to have a reliable world that you love to visit. So, let me know if you have a series that you love.

 

Which do you prefer, series or stand-alone novels?

 

 

Happy Holidays

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Oooweee. I don’t know about you guys but the holidays this year were insane for me and they aren’t even over. I feel like once I came home from my uncle’s wedding at the beginning of November, I hit the ground running at an insane pace and I haven’t stopped since. I mean, there was Thanksgiving where I had to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for two different days (one for the Mister’s work and one for us), and then bake pies for a Friendsgiving we were going to. Right after Thanksgiving was over I had to get my head on straight for gift-giving for Christmas because I had the fun idea to make homemade gifts for everyone this year.

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At least my fingerprints look like frost, right?

Yeah… let’s just say that it was a lot easier looking at the photos on Pinterest than it was actually making them. There may or may not have been a moment where I superglued my hand to a wine glass while trying to turn it into a snow globe. >.<

However, given my hair-pulling tenancies over the last few weeks, I still stand behind giving homemade gifts. I think they are just cooler and mean more to the people involved. Which means I will probably be doing this again next year. 😛

 

Anyways, my bad for not being on much this week. I had a friend visiting from out of town for a couple of days and there was a lot of catching up going on and not a whole heck of a lot of reading/blogging happening. I promise to be back up and running at full force once the holidays are over.  I will still be around but I just may not be posting as often as I normally do.

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a happy and safe new year!

kRISTIN

Tips for a successful giveaway hop

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Tis’ the season for a lot of giveaway hops. Actually, the season has already started. Which is why I’m writing this post. There have been some things I’ve noticed when it comes to blog hop stops. I want everyone to have a successful giveaway stop. Not to mention, when I’m hopping, I want to have a fun time doing so. So, below are just some of my tips for blog hops.

 
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Behind the scenes

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With so many bloggers out there all typing up reviews for the same books, I always find it interesting to get a look behind the scenes. How do the other bloggers operate? How did they come up with their features? And how the heck do they get so many posts in?! Well, I do not have other bloggers helping me out. I am a one woman show and I’m going to take you behind the scenes of what it’s like for me to write my reviews.

 

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My Very First San Diego Comic-Con Experience

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Sorry if this turns out to be complete gibberish, I am exhausted. For the last two days the Mister and I have been down in San Diego for Comic-Con. We had the amazing opportunity to volunteer on Saturday which was interesting. We went from standing in a line to await out fate as volunteers to policing said line. Let me just say that there were some volunteers there who were not happy at all. I got some down right dirty looks from people by simply saying “good morning” to them as they walked into the volunteer registration center. Me personally, I was ecstatic because I was getting into the convention for free by lending a hand for a few hours. I guess some people just didn’t appreciate the awesomeness of volunteering like I did. Anyways, after a few hours of volunteering we were finally able to go into the convention center and partake in the festivities. While we weren’t able to get a slot for the Outlander signing because they handed out the tickets while we were volunteering, we were able to get into the panel.

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