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Bookish Breakdown

Bookish Breakdown No 13: January 2020

Hello, lovelies!

Well, 2020 has…started.

Honestly, it hasn’t started off as great as I wanted it to. I dunno what sort of great beckoning changes I expected to happen in the span of 31 days, but life sorta just…kept on moving on as normal. The government is still completely fucked up and corrupt, depression (especially seasonal) continues to rear it’s ugly head and it’s still too damn cold out.

But, despite those things, there was some good this month, too:

  • I started getting into the swing of my new job and I’m really excited about how much I love it and how great it is to have a day job that has a sense of accomplishment!
  • I celebrated four amazing years with the man I love!
  • I got to see some friends after WAY too long!
  • The Chiefs are going to the SuperBowl! *explosions of confetti*
  • I celebrated a high school best friend’s baby shower and it was SO great to see her and celebrate her little one!
  • I met up with my Tolkien Society group after missing some meetings and one of my best college friends came, too!!

So, despite being a little more down this week than I have been in a while, it hasn’t been a horrible month, truth be told. I know I need to be a little more forgiving of myself, a little more accepting of myself and have a little more belief in myself.

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What I Read

A Sea of Broken Glass by Sonya M. Black [RTC]
The Blinding Light by Brent Weeks [RTC]

What I Hauled

ARCS

**Thank you so much to Titan Books and Orbit Books for these ARCs!!**

Light of Impossible Stars by Gareth L. Powell
The Shadow Saint by Gareth Hanrahan

Library Snags:

**Nothing this month**

Purchased:

Arabella of Mars by David D Levine
An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock
The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Received for Review:

**Thank you so much to Mike for a copy of this book! I can’t wait to read this entire series!**

VOTF

Valley of the Free by Michael Sliter

Gifts:

**Thanks a thousand to MARIE, the loveliest human on the planet, for this amazing surprise!!**

TKAK

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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What I Posted

In this section, I like to share posts that I personally wrote this past month that I either really enjoyed writing, am really proud of or wish might have gotten a little more attention.

I Have…Stats?!: a post that breaks down some of my stats, which I thought was really cool and fun to do!

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Reading Challenges Update

A new section I decided to add this year, so I can actually keep track of the challenges I signed up for (so I’ll hopefully actually complete them this time around).

2020 Discussion Challenge: 1/12 Discussion Posts

  • I wrote this post about trying to balance time between all of life’s commitments, including book blogging, reading and writing, and how I’m struggling to figure it all out at the moment!

Year of the Asian Readathon: 0/20

  • Considering I’ve only read two books this month (and one was required reading for a contest and another part of a series reread I’m binging through at a very slow rate currently), I’m not surprised this went nowhere. Next month!

StartonYourShelfathon: 0/143 (0/67 ARCs)

  • I’m not counting either of the two books I read because one of them I don’t own and one of them I do own, but it’s a reread. So…yeah, this is going great.

Goodreads: 2/150

  • *cries*

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Intentions Update

Another new section! To try and hold myself accountable, I’ll be sharing where I’m at on the goals I’ve made for myself this year, all of which I detailed in this post.

(Also, I already forgot I had so many goals, so sorry these update posts are now apparently going to be massive. Oops.)

Write two novels, edit one and write for me ✔️✖️

I mean, I did start outlining a little bit more this month for BLOOD PRICE’s sequel (that I’m still planning on working out, even though I might have to go back and do another round of revision on BLOOD PRICE that I wasn’t originally planning), but I didn’t work on it nearly as much as I hoped I would.

Productive Routine That Promotes Self-Care ✖️

Yeah, we all know how that one went.

Six Clients ✖️

I thought I might have had one, but I didn’t end up hearing back from them. But that’s okay! I’m hoping to continue branching out and finding some more people to work with as the year goes on!

Read More ✖️

*glances up at reading challenges updates and pretends not to notice this goal*

Cook New Recipes ✔️

Though I didn’t make new meals, I did end up attempting grape salad and cooked apples as side dishes (the first turned out okay, but the second was amazing!). I also made Oreo Balls with my boyfriend and they were heavenly, so I’m definitely counting this one as a win!

Cherish Connections and Friendships More ✔️

I started a new penpalship, got lunch with a good friend from work, met up with my best friend from high school to celebrate her baby shower, met friends (including one of my best friends from college who came with me) at the Tolkien Society meeting AND met best friends for lunch and giving Christmas gifts. It was a good month for this. <3

Less Social Media ✔️

This is good, but I still could do better. Hoping to keep this up and continue to improve this, so I can do things I’m more passionate about, like reading and writing!

Finish Home Projects ✖️

This weekend, I think we’re going to put together the weight bench, which was my home project for this month, so I may end up counting it even if it’s two days late of the month. *shrugs*

Wear My Style More ✖️

Completely forgot about this one, to be honest.

Take More Pictures ✖️

Yeah…I didn’t think about this one, either.

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Posts I Enjoyed

Curious what blog posts I really enjoyed around the blogsophere this month? Check them out here:

→ Honestly, I should just link to Chunk Wendig’s blog, TerribleMinds, every month at this point, with how much I link back to his content. This month, he sets a new writing resolution and I am 100% on board and doing this, too. Oh, and advocating for writing more blogs? Yes, please. Oh, and most importantly: apples.

→Okay, this series just sounds way too cool and though it’s meant to go live this week, I’m not sure I’ll have time to read it, so I definitely want to save it so I don’t lose it: the Blogiful 2.0 series, hosted by Kat @ Novels and Waffles and Tracy from Truffle’s Literary WondersIt’s tips and tricks and tutorials on how to (re)design your blog and I’m so excited!

This post is important. You should read it (hosted by Jason @ Off the TBR, written by Author K.S. Villoso).

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And that is the end of a VERY long monthly wrap up. Thanks for reading to the end scene, friends! Here’s hoping that next month brings warmer weather, more productivity, more appreciation for the little things and more dedication to the things I love. I am wishing you whatever you need for next month and hope we get to chat throughout it!

Cheers.post signature

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Bookish Breakdown

Bookish Breakdown No. 6: June 2019

Hello, lovelies!
JUNE IS ALMOST OVER AND I AM HERE FOR THIS.
Nicole, you may ask, startled and confused. But, you love summer. You love to go swimming and get a tan and the warmer weather and getting off work earlier and hot dogs and fireflies and so many other summerish things? Why are you so excited that June is almost over?
Oh loves, it has been a month.
Like:

  1. Moved into a place that wasn’t clean.
  2. Messed up my back so badly after said move I had mobility-inducing muscle spasms for a WEEK.
  3. Used up all of my sick time to cover that.
  4. A week after that, it rained so much that our yard that we were told has “minor flooding issues” got knee-high in water and flooded our living room, so we spent one Saturday evening trying to save it.
  5. Medical bills came in and I can’t afford to pay off my credit card for the first time because of that, so #yaybuildinginterest.
  6. Back to paycheck-to-paycheck.

I wrote about most of it here, in detail, in case you want the more in-depth version. If you don’t want to read about it, though, this is basically how my face throughout most of this month:
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So…yeah, I’m basically ready for June to be over and to start July off fresh. But I am particularly excited for this weekend because:

  1. My sister turns 24 and we’re celebrating on Friday!
  2. My family is coming over Sunday and I get to cook for them for the first time.
  3. Our kitchen table might come in?
  4. I’m living with my amazing boyfriend in a much bigger and nicer place, even if it isn’t as nice as we remembered.
  5. But, I ALSO GET TO PICK UP MY PUPPY ON SATURDAY.

So, in all honestly, I think I win June, right?

What I Read

Image result for there before the chaos
That’s it.
That’s the book.
Singular.
*cries for a long time*

What I Hauled

Also, because this month was such hellfire for half of it, I’m not nearly as on top of things as I usually am and I have no idea what I hauled this month, if anything (plus, some packages are still going to my parents while I updated my address, so I don’t even know what books are waiting for me at their house yet). So, sorry this section is just going to be a mysterious blank for this month!

ARCs:

None? I think?

Library Snags:

**can’t remember and they all got turned back into the library unread anyway, soooo…..**

Received for Review:

None? I think?

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What I Posted

In this section, I like to share posts that I personally wrote this past month that I either really enjoyed writing, am really proud of or wish might have gotten a little more attention. And despite not being here for the entire month, it feels like, there are still a few I’m pretty damn proud of. Including:
→ Interview With Christopher Husberg, Author of the Chaos Queen Quintet
→ Discussion: How Being A Blogger Changes You as a Reader
→ Behind the Blogger: SPFBO 5 Edition
→ Top Ten Tuesday: Iron Tome Readathon Edition and Top Ten Tuesday: The Second Half of 2019 Broke My TBR List

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Posts I Enjoyed

Curious what blog posts I really enjoyed around the blogsophere this month? Even though I feel like I missed everyone’s posts, I still managed to do some frantic blog hopping! Here’s a whole slew of them, for your own reading pleasure:
Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks announced a new readathon for this July and you should totally join it if you’re a fan of fantasy books and want to participate in a fun challenge.
Author Michael Mammy shares an inspiring post about the writing journey and how you shouldn’t always believe what you hear, especially in the publishing industry.
Rain @ BookDragonism discusses reading slumps and offers some tips on how to beat them! And since I’ve been in the longest one ever for…a while now, this post was really nice to read.
→ Want to read more blogs, but don’t know where to start? Nicole @ Feed Your Addiction has great tips to get your started.
→ Struggling to write a book review or want to mix it up a bit? CW @ The Quiet Pond has you covered, sharing 63 prompts to help you do just that!
Kirstie @ Upside Down Books writes about why it is okay to be a slow reader and DAMN if that didn’t resonate with me a lot (especially since it was kinda like a response post to my discussion post from this month, so I was BEYOND FLATTERED?).
→ Want to discover an underrated LGTBQIAP+ novel, but don’t know where to start? Shealea @ Shut up, Shealea has you covered with this list of 16!
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Thanks, as always, for reading everyone! July proves to be a busy month, with the start of SPFBO 5, a few different family gatherings, finishing up editing my novel and getting back into the reading swing of things, various home projects and oh, I dunno, TRAINING MY NEW PUPPY.
Happy The Emperors New Groove GIF
*collapses in a ball of heaping excitement*
Cheers.

Categories
Bookish Breakdown

Bookish Breakdown No. 1: January 2019

Hello, dear readers!
So, I tried to do a new monthly series last year called my Bookish Breakdown: a monthly wrap up of books I’ve read, books I’ve hauled, some posts I’m really proud of writing and posts I really enjoyed from across the blogosphere! I…didn’t do a great job of making that happen. The end of the month always crept up on me and half the time, I forgot to post it at all. One of my main blogging goals this year was to make this post a priority. I love reading these types of posts from other bloggers, so I’ve always wanted to do my own spin on it. Hopefully, it doesn’t turn out to be too unbearable. 😉
That being said, I’ll be working on the formatting, trying to add graphics and whatnot for the first few months as I try to figure this post out, so please feel free to offer any feedback of that sort. I would really appreciate it!

What I Read


Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell [review]
The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss [review]
The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan [review]
Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike [review]

What I Hauled

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Guess how many times it took me to make this tower before it stayed up long enough for me to get a photo? Just guess.

ARCS:

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft: Huge thanks to Orbit for being willing to send me the first book of this series (I know, I know, I am woefully behind, please don’t throw stones).
The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan: Once again, Orbit, you are the best book fairy could I have ever have and you made my second read of the year a pretty dang incredible one.
The Smoke by Simon Ings: Courtesy of Titan Books (and thank you so much!) for this sci-fi drama that seriously has piqued my interest so heavily. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist for very long before I’m buried deep inside this intriguing novel.

Bought:

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks: So, I already owned a paperback version of this (and usually, Mass Markets are my favorite). But I read that one, got the second book from the library, before buying each of the following as they came out, in hardback (I just loved this series that much that I didn’t want to wait for the paperback release or the library holds line). So when Half Price Books had the first two books on a massive sale in hardback, I couldn’t resist.
The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks: Also, the fact that the second book is easily double the size of the first…*massive heart eyes forever*
The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron: Oh, and this beauty was also at that Half Price Books sale. The cover drew me in and even though I don’t normally read omnibuses, I just couldn’t resist that less than $10 price tag.
Chasing Graves by Ben Galley: I don’t normally buy a ton of books, just because the budget doesn’t allow it, but I really wanted to start posting on Amazon, so I had to spent $50 at least in order to do that. I immediately went the self-published route and had no doubt in my mind Galley was one I wanted to check out.
Paternus by Dyrk Ashton: Also another no-brainer. I’ve been wanting to read Ashton for a while now and I’m so glad I finally own one of his books, so I can start doing just that (as I just really avoid eBook reading like the plague, if I can help it).

Gifts:

The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss: This gem almost made me cry when she signed my book and I just love having it on my bookshelf. It’s perfect.
A Threat of Shadows by J.A. Andrews: THIS WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL SURPRISE. I am so excited to read this series and continue to support J.A., who is also just a gem of a person.
Pursuit of Shadows by J.A. Andrews: An.absolute.gem.
Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc: And dear Patrick, believing in your book was easy. I can’t wait to read what happens next.

Library Snags:

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve: After watching the film, I just had to know more about the lore that was missing in the adaptation. I’m a little disappointed already the book is so…short, but still excited for this afternoon read (I honestly think I can read it in less than an hour?).
Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet: ONE OF MY MOST ANTICIPATED READS THIS YEAR and I finally got my hands on it at the library!! I have some ARCs I need to finish reading, but I’m also heavily leaning towards binging through this one and probably causing me to derail utterly into a romance spiral…
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: I know, I know. One day, I won’t jump on bandwagons years late (but give me a little credit, I was number 88 on hold at the library when I first put it in months ago).

Received For Review:

Priestess of Ishana by Judith Starkston: Thank you so much to Starkston for reaching out and asking me if I’d like to write on honest review if she sent me a copy. The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis is so intriguing, so I’m definitely stoked to try this one out!
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What I Posted

Here are a few posts that I either a) really enjoyed writing, b) am really proud of or c) was hoping to get a little more interaction on this past month!

Posts I Liked

And here are a few posts from other bloggers in the book community which I a) really enjoyed, b) really resonated with or c) just want more people to be aware of, because they are just plain awesome.
(Quick caveat that there are definitely more posts that should be on this list, but I was horrible at adding them to the draft I had on WordPress as I was catching up on reading blogs. So I promise to try and do better in future breakdowns!)

  • Dani at Perspective of A Writer talks about blogger love and what that looks like.
  • Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds reminds writers that progress in writing comes in many different forms and shapes (and this is a good thing).
  • Marie at Drizzle and Hurricane Books (who writes some of my all-time favorite discussion posts, let me just say) has an awesome discussion about reading critically as a book blogger.
  • Petrik at Novel Notions hosts an awesome interview with author Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.
  • Shealea at Shut Up, Shealea convinces me to join my first ever reading challenge after announcing the Year of the Asian reading challenge!

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And that, my friends, is the conclusion of my first Bookish Breakdown of this year! *wipes brow* I definitely need to do a little more planning for this post, but I can’t lie and say it wasn’t fun to write. I hope you enjoyed reading it and would love to hear your thoughts on any and all aspects that you have thoughts about in the comments below.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and weekend. Let’s just ignore the fact that January is over, shall we? May your February be filled with met goals, warm blankets and many nights whispering, “Just one more chapter.”
Read on!

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Bookish Breakdown

Bookish Breakdown: Summer Edition

Hello, dear readers!
So, you know I mentioned I was going to do a monthly updates in a series I’m calling my Bookish Breakdownwhere I’ll highlight the books I’ve received or bought over the past month, plus link to any reviews I’ve currently written, back in May? Well, I missed the post for that in June, so I decided that, instead of scrambling and posting it two weeks late, only to have to post for July two weeks after that, that’d I’d do a special summer edition! Which means this post is going to be massive (sorry) but I’m pretty stoked for it!
I’m still working on the format and everything for this post, so if any experience bloggers have any tips or tricks, I’d super appreciate it (especially with spacing and how to keep the covers aligned on one side and the words on the other).
Bookish Breakdown

ARCS
Many thanks to both Orbit and Titan Books for the books sent below and continuing to keep me on your review lists. It means more than I can express.

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Death March by Phil Tucker: Tucker is one of those authors that I haven’t read yet, but I am seriously intrigued to do so. His Chronicles of the Black Gate series seems like it’s going to be really promising/really good. So when he put out a call for people to sign up on his review list, I was all for it (thanks to the author for this review copy!). So, in my email the other day, an online copy of Death March, the first book in his Euphoria Online trilogy, came into my Inbox, I was pretty stoked. I don’t usually read eBooks, though. I try to read print, if I can, because that’s my bread and butter (and I spent enough time on my computer as it is). But I’m definitely going to make an exception for this one, because I’m seriously stoked to read it and see what this LitRPG genre is all about.


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The Synapse Sequence by Daniel Godfrey: This one is a science fiction novel I received from Titan Books. I haven’t read it yet, thanks to all the other books I’ve received (most of which I’ve been itching to read, so it’s taking all my willpower not to take an entire week off work just to read them all). And honestly, I think I may have made a mistake requesting it. The premise still seems intriguing and I’m still curious to read it, but I’m not sure if I’ll be in the mood for this type of book any time soon. Hopefully, I’ll be proved wrong!

 


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The War in the Dark by Nick Setchfield: Also received from Titan Books, where I participated in the blog tour for this novel. You can find my review and thoughts here.
 
 
 
 
 


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Annex by Rich Larson: Received from Orbit, I am super intrigued by this novel. It’ll be interesting to read, considering I didn’t like Lord of the Flies, and this is basically Lord of the Flies, but in space? Even with some of my reservations, I’m still pretty stoked to check out this novel, if only because I completely fell in love with the cover and I hope the story inside does it justice.
 
 
 


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Blood of the Gods by David Mealing: When Orbit had this on this list, there was no way I wasn’t going to request it. Granted, I haven’t read the first one (*hides because she really should be ashamed*) but I’ve just heard so many wonderful things about the first novel that I’m pretty hard pressed to believe I’m not going to become ensnared and fall in love immediately. So I’m excited to read the first one and hopefully fall in love, so then I can tackle this beast!
 
 


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Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames: *continues to hyperventilate because she can’t believe she already has a copy of this in her hands and still hasn’t started it yet because she’s trying to be a good book reviewer and read the books she got in order of release date so she doesn’t fall behind in August as she has the past three months and truly is showing a lot of willpower here because this was her most anticipated read and she knows any book that comes after it is going to pale in comparison and she just feels really bad about that, really…*
 


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Spellslinger by Sebastian de Castell: I received this book from Orbit and, because of a new cover, I didn’t realize it was actually a book I had on my To-Read list already, when I requested a copy of both this one and the sequel. I also didn’t expect to enjoy this one nearly as much as I did, but it was just a genuinely fun read and I’m quite excited to dive into the second one! Review here.
 
 
 


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Shadowblack by Sebastian de Castell: I just received the sequel from Orbit and, like I mentioned just above, I’m itching to read it. And while I liked the original cover for the first book better than the remaster, I positively adore this cover. And with the title and how the first book ended, I am very curious about what is going to happen next!
 
 
 


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King of Assassins by RJ Barker: Oh man, oh man, thanks again to Orbit for sending me some of my most anticipated reads of the summer. This finale, in particular, I was so stoked to receive! And I’m currently about halfway through it now and I’ve been getting really upset I’ve only been able to sneak in a moment to read here and there, instead of getting to devote hours to sit and find out what’s going to happen in this tale. You seriously don’t want to miss this.
 
 
 

Books Received
Thanks to the authors and editors who sent books my way over the summer, whether it was through request or giveaway!

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Dawn Amongst the Stars by Samantha Heuwagen: This book and author were recommended to me by a friend (and another author, R.K. Brainerd) who I hold in the highest respects. The author contacted me and asked if I wanted to check out her book and, since she had Rebekkah’s recommendation, I couldn’t deny! Unfortunately, I have not been nearly as timely as I should be in reading this novel, but that doesn’t mean I’m not ready to dive in as soon as I get my TBR pile a little more manageable!
 
 


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The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith: When the author put out a call for book reviewers to receive copies of this novel, I was all for it. I respect Eric as a professional in the field highly and have enjoyed following his Twitter for years. I haven’t picked up any of his other books yet, but I’m pretty dang stoked to mix up my usual reading mix with this one!
 
 
 


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Soul of the World by David Mealing: So, remember how above, I was like, “Yeah, haven’t read the first book of The Ascension Cycle, but I’m pretty jazzed to check it out”? Well, the lovely Brit Elisabet Hvide Busse, senior editor of Orbit Books, hosted a giveaway for the first book, to celebrate the second one coming out. I rushed to enter, since I didn’t own the first book and I actually won (trust me, I’m just as floored as you are). So I’m hoping to try and tackle this one by the end of the month, potentially, because I’m completely out of excuses in regards to not reading this one, now.
 
 

Books Bought

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Blood Requiem by Christopher Husberg: This might be one of the hardest books I had to search for, before “I” finally resorted to buying it online (thanks, Mom!), but it was worth every minute I speak searching for it. Mixing with feeling like I was coming up to upping the stakes and making me go, “Oh, shit,” more times than I can count, the wait for the fourth installment of this wonderful and underrated series is not going to be any less painful than the previous three. Review can be read here.
 
 
 


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Elantris by Brandon Sanderson: I’ve read most of Sanderson’s works, but actually haven’t read this one yet. But I’m also working on owning all of them, as I read him during a time when I couldn’t afford to buy all of his books, so I just horded my library’s selection by him for a couple of months. So I couldn’t resist buying this mass market paperback when I finally stumbled upon a copy (as mass markets are my favorite size), even if I don’t think I’ll be able to read it any time soon.
 
 
 


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The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare: I still can’t get over how gorgeous this cover is for Dare’s latest. I also am working on building my own romance collection, now that I’ve gotten over that stage (which I’ll blog about over on my personal blog here soon, if you’re curious what I’m referencing) and I just couldn’t resist the less than $10 price tag for a book that I, if it’s like any of Dare’s other works, will read in one sitting.
 
 
 


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The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso: I also caved and bought this one, just because I couldn’t not have a copy on my shelves. While I was lucky enough to read this as beta reader (*insert heart eyes forever*), I definitely can’t wait to reread and touch the physical pages as I slip back into the turmoil as we enter into Vaskandar (even if I know it’s going to hurt my heart to do so, because it’s just so good and I’m just so invested). I also need to write up a proper review, after I reread it, so anyone who hasn’t been lucky enough to fall in love with this series has someone else shouting at them to do so.
 


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Chasing Embers by James Bennett: Won’t lie: the entire reason I bought this book is because it was in the “cheap bin” at Barnes and Noble one day and it was published by Orbit, which has a 99% success rate that I’m going to fall completely in love with it. Don’t even know what it’s about or who the author is, but you really can’t beat five bucks in the bargain bin for a potential new series to obsess over.
 
 
 


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Hounded by Kevin Hearne: Honestly, I’ve been meaning to read Hearne for a while and so I purposefully bought this book so I’d force myself to actually do so. Plus, I haven’t read a quality urban fantasy in a while and I wouldn’t mind doing so as I wait for Peace Talks by Jim Butcher to come out…
 
 
 
 


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A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne: The blurb for this book, back when the first started doing marketing for it, is what first really got Hearne on my radar. I was lucky enough to stumble across a paperback copy of this book at the bookstore the other day for only $7, so I didn’t hesitate to add it to my collection and I’m really hoping it lives up to the hype!
 
 
 

Books Borrowed

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Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne: Ever since I started getting ARCs, I haven’t been using the library as much. But when I say this book was coming out (and I couldn’t afford to buy a hot-of-the-press, brand new copy of my own ((YET)), I immediately requested it be purchased by my library and they delivered, because they are incredible. I am so excited to read this book. I’m hoping it has the humor I am craving right now. It’s currently sitting on my nightstand, waiting for me to finish King of Assassins so I can read it. It might be, um *coughs*, due tomorrow, also. With two holds on it, so I can’t renew it…(I AM SO SORRY BUT I’M GOING TO READ IT ALL DAY SUNDAY AND I PROMISE IT’LL BE BACK MONDAY MORNING).


Okay, yeah, that list was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. And also, this is very, very new for me. I’m not used to obtaining so many new books consistently, as I’m usually a pretty frugal person, so I have to be careful of what I buy when. So thank you again to all the publishers and authors sending books my way, as you’re helping me read books I wanted to read anyway (in most cases), just a little bit sooner.
Do any of these books pique your fancy? Are any of these on your list to read or have you already devoured them? Any books you want to break my TBR pile with even more? Let me know if the comments below!
Read on!

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Bookish Breakdown

Bookish Breakdown

Hello, readers!
I’m still getting the hang of my book review blog and I’m constantly getting inspired by those book bloggers I follow. One of the posts I wanted to do, now that I’m starting to receive ARCs on a regular basis (!!!) and because I’m reading a little bit more consistently (though, of course, not as often as I’d like), is posting my monthly updates in a series I’m calling my Bookish Breakdownwhere I’ll highlight the books I’ve received or bought over the past month, plus link to any reviews I’ve currently written!
So, let’s get this party started, shall we?
Bookish Breakdown
I’m working with both Orbit and Titan now (and let me just repeat that I’m so incredibly grateful to be doing so). As you can see, my stack of books for this month is nice and hefty:

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I’m not sure what to name my little dragon companion, but she was a great help during this shoot.

Below, here’s the glamour shots of all the covers (some of which aren’t finished yet, since they are ARC copies ((which, HOW COOL IS THAT?))), most of which are at awkward angles, since I was using the top of my bookshelf and I’m only five-five, after all. But still, I hope you enjoy them, plus the little snippets beside on either why I’m excited for them or what I’ve thought.
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The Rig by Roger Levy
Published: May 8th, 2018
ARC Given by: Titan Books

I’m pretty dang excited about this book. One, that cover is positively gorgeous. I can’t stop looking at it. Two, I’m always looking for more books to help broaden my sci-fi reading well, which, currently, is usually filled to the brim with fantasy. Reading this blurb makes me both excited and piques my curiosity. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to start this one here sooner rather than later.
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A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
Published (in paperback): May 3rd, 2018
ARC Given By: Orbit

Sorta like The Rig, the historical genre is one that I love, but I don’t dabble in very much. So the chance to read this book–one I hadn’t heard much about before this–is one that I’m glad I have. If there is one thing I’ve learned from working with both of these publishers, it’s that I’m very lucky to discover all of these books that, otherwise, I would never have known to actually exist!
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Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan
Published: May 15th, 2018
Obtained by: ARC, through Orbit

Okay, so first off, the fact that Orbit sent me a gorgeous HARDCOVER of this book made me swoon in so many ways. Secondly, I didn’t think I’d actually get approved for this book, so when I did, I was excited. But also…I actually haven’t read any McClellan yet. He’s always been one of those authors who’s books I see on the shelves and I’m like, “Whoa, those look neat, I totally need to read those.” And then I…didn’t. Well, now I own one and have cleaned out my library’s collection of the rest of his works and currently are hording those, too. Now, just making time to read them is the key.
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A Big Ship At the Edge of the Universe by Alex White
Published: June 26th, 2018
Obtained by: ARC, through Orbit

So, here’s another book that I had positively no idea about, before getting Orbit’s email, yet I am positively so, so excited about this one. Two women on a smuggler’s ship, ready to take on the galaxy, with treasure hunting, murder and a Pan Galactic Racing Federation? Um, yes please. Plus, I love the simplicity of that cover.
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Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski
Published: May 22nd, 2018
Obtained By: ARC, through Orbit

This will be the second novel I’ve read by Sapkowski, having read The Last Wish after beating The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt for the first time and then being desperate for more within that world. So full of vibrant lore and rich details, I’m a sucker for anything Witcher related. This latest title, meant to be a standalone within the universe, is one I can definitely get behind (and a lovely depicted of Geralt is actually on the cover, instead of what my mysterious copy shows here).
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The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides
Published: May 15th, 2018
Obtained By: ARC, through Orbit

I devoured this novel. Another book that, otherwise, wouldn’t have been on my radar, yet I positively, positively, positively loved it. You should just go ahead and read the review here, if you’re interested, so I don’t risk writing another novel explaining all my favorite aspects about it.
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The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith
Published: May 8th, 2018
Obtained By: Author Provided Review Copy

This book is definitely the most out-of-character read for me, as I usually don’t read a ton of YA. But I really respect the author, based on the interactions I’ve had with him on Twitter, and when he put in the call for book reviewers to receive copies of his book, I didn’t hesitate to put my name into that hat. And I’m very grateful for the copy! Leila seems like such an intriguing character (and I’m very intrigued by the environmental aspects of this book) and I’m hoping this book will prove to be a nice change of pace from what I usually read.
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Warlock Holmes: My Grave Ritual by G.S. Denning
Published: May 15th, 2018
Obtained By: Author Provided Personal Copy

I’m in love with this series. I fell in love with it after devouring the first book (I’m pretty sure in one sitting, if memory serves) and I was lucky enough to not only meet the author at a Con after interacting with him on Twitter (read “interacting” as “gushing over his book and freaking out about how good it is”), but connect with his as well. Denning has been kind enough to send me an ARC of each book in the series since and I’m about 1/3 of the way through this one currently. And I’m not disappointed.
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Dawn Among The Stars by Samantha Heuwagen
Published: May 21st, 2018
Obtained by: Author Provided Review Copy

Another book I’m pretty excited about! I connected with the author through a mutual friend/author, R.K. Brainerd, and, after she find out I had a review blog, offered to send me a copy of her book to review! I was pleasantly surprised to get this book in the mail the other day, so I’m excited to read this one, too, and see how it is.
*wipes brow*
I can see why bloggers only do this wrap ups once a month (usually). That took a hot second to put together! But it was also fun to do (especially taking the pictures, as my boyfriend had a lot of fun making fun of me as I whispered to myself, trying to take really great photos and obviously not as artistic as many of the talented bloggers here). Looking back at everything I’ve gotten this month, I’m so excited by the books I’ve received and just wish I had less commitments and more time to read them all. Slowly, but surely, I’ll get through these books. That, if anything, is what summer is for.
See any books that you loved? Any you’re excited to read (or have read and want to talk about)? Hit me up in the comments below!
Read on!
PS: This is just a trial format (as I’m still learning the ins and outs of WordPress, even though I’ve used it for five years), so I’d love to hear what you think of how it’s formatted or have any tips down in the comments below!