Reviews and Updates – February 18

Yesterday was a bust, with the little one getting croup and being clingy and needy. I didn’t get anything done. I’d hoped maybe I’d get some reading done, but that was a fail, as well.

So, it was a forced break.

But today, after a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and getting some of my needed errands out of the way early (just in case), I think I can get a bit done today that’s been sitting on my “Finish Me” pile (and tabs)…

~*~

Don’t forget about my Coloring Contest from the popular webcomic, Girl Genius.

ggmain20160208a^^This one wasn’t colored in, but if you’re enjoying the story so far, you can print it out and post your colored version in the comments below to win a prize!^^

If you like this, you can catch up here, or pick up where we left off, here.

~*~

 

Reading Break – Girl Genius – February 16

Stories and books are loved all the world over, and sometimes I get just a little thrill when I get to see one of my favorite stories talking about one of my favorite subjects…

Books!

So, since I decided to do some catching up today while the little one is sick and moaning about dying (don’t know where she got that one…), I’ll post the story arc (up to it’s current location) here…

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^^This one wasn’t colored in, but if you’re enjoying the story so far, you can print it out and post your colored version in the comments below to win a prize!^^

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If you like this, you can catch up here, or pick up where we left off, here.

And don’t forget about the Coloring Contest! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s renditions!

We’ll return to our regularly scheduled posts tomorrow!

Happy Hearts and Hooves Day!

To all of my friends and followers…

Hearts Hooves.ashx

~*~

And for anyone still on the fence needing their last last minute something…

yournovel-logo

Their website says:

In our novels, any couple can play the starring roles as hero or heroine. With 50+ books and ebooks set in exotic locations around the world, there’s something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). Our authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake. Choose “Categories” to narrow in on yours!

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or involved with this product.

~*~

As to my writing projects… I have decided to go with a Day One approach tomorrow. Day One, starting over. Today, I got some stuff to get caught up on to clear my plate. Tomorrow though, first thing. (This is more a pep talk for myself than anything.)

~*~

Reading Updates:

Finished a few books, got a few that need reviewed, and a few current updates.

To start with,

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Pg 102 –

In general, people save their warranties in clear folder files or accordion-style files. The attraction of these files is that the documents can be stored in separate compartments. However, therein lies their pitfall.

 

~*~

Stay tuned, y’all…

Quotes and Updates – February 8

Had a wild weekend… Okay, not really. Got a new planner, started a new diet (medically required), got some coloring books, and finished one of my books while picking up on another.

I also visited the library. Yay! I get there so infrequently anymore, that I’m starting to feel like a stranger.

But I am back on track again today.

~*~

So, you remember those two books that I kept trying to finish last week? Yeah. Both went back to the library, although only one of them got finished.

For reference, those two are:

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Anyone wanna guess which was which? No fear, I’ll be posting a review of the winner later tonight.

As for what I am currently working on, there are two – one is due today, and the other high on that list, too. Any guesses which is which?

For reference, they are…

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One of these will get finished and reviewed today, too. Two reviews in one day??

Yessss…

~*~

And I know you’ve got a whole week to plan, now, but going to keep this up until the day before Valentine’s, because they also do e-books, in case you need a last minute something.

yournovel-logo

Their website says:

In our novels, any couple can play the starring roles as hero or heroine. With 50+ books and ebooks set in exotic locations around the world, there’s something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). Our authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake. Choose “Categories” to narrow in on yours!

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or involved with this product.

~*~

As to my writing projects, I didn’t get anything done. Except planning. I did do some planning. Quite a bit, actually. Now I just need that carrot and stick…

~*~

Reading Updates:

 

~*~

Stay tuned, y’all…

Quotes and Updates – February 4

So yesterday was another set-back day. So I am up early this morning, getting things done, and kicking my sleep habit. We got stuff to do, and sleep is a luxury.

~*~

This morning I am going to try to finish those two books that are weighing so heavily on me. And maybe one or two others. We’ll see.

For reference, those two are:

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10557809

Both good books. And I will finish both today, and turn them in, come Hell or high water (good thing I live on a hill)!

~*~

And I know I mentioned this yesterday, but going to keep this up until the day before Valentine’s, because they also do e-books, in case you need a last minute something.

yournovel-logo

Their website says:

In our novels, any couple can play the starring roles as hero or heroine. With 50+ books and ebooks set in exotic locations around the world, there’s something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). Our authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake. Choose “Categories” to narrow in on yours!

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or involved with this product.

~*~

As to my writing projects, I didn’t get anything done.

I wound up getting visited by out of town relatives. Seems everyone wants to see me lately…

More about what I did accomplish to come…

~*~

Reading Updates:

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Pg 248 –

“Anytime there is a power shift, people rumble. After you kill the first couple of challengers, you’ll be fine.”

Pg 256 –

Jennifer looked at me. “I’ll give you three wolves.”

“Why three?”

“If there is trouble, one will take custody of you and execute a retreat, while the other two will run interference.”

Pg 263 –

“If she decides that you’re not up to snuff, she’ll fix the mistake of your existence. Her words, not mine.”

“She has a high opinion of herself,” Andrea said.

“Oh yes. When she gets into a car, her ego has to ride shotgun.”

Pg 304 –

The shapeshifters didn’t believe in jails. Typical punishments were death or labor. In the rare cases when they did sentence someone to isolation, they exiles them to a remote area.

Pg 312 –

Damn near half of Atlanta must’ve seen the flag and turned out to watch the Order slug it out with the Plaguebringer. Every single one of them could die tonight and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Pg 318 –

She started toward me, bringing her goons in a triangular formation: Beast on the left, Gale on the right, and Darkness in the center.

Pg 328 –

“You’re mine. You can’t let her win. She can’t have you.”

Pg 335 –

“Next we have Clan Heavy, the large predators who don’t fit into the other packs. Wereboars, werebison, werewolverines, even a werebaboon, but most of them are bears and bears hate to be surprised. “

 

~*~

Time to get reading, y’all…

Quotes and Updates – February 3

So yesterday was another set-back day. So I am up early this morning, getting things done, and kicking my sleep habit. We got stuff to do, and sleep is a luxury.

~*~

This morning I am going to try to finish those two books that are weighing so heavily on me. And maybe one or two others. We’ll see.

For reference, those two are:

6479550

10557809

Both good books. And I will finish both today, and turn them in, come Hell or high water (good thing I live on a hill)!

~*~

And I know I mentioned this yesterday, but going to keep this up until the day before Valentine’s, because they also do e-books, in case you need a last minute something.

yournovel-logo

Their website says:

In our novels, any couple can play the starring roles as hero or heroine. With 50+ books and ebooks set in exotic locations around the world, there’s something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). Our authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake. Choose “Categories” to narrow in on yours!

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or involved with this product.

~*~

As to my writing projects, I didn’t get anything done.

I wound up getting visited by not one, but two visitors, and had to watch the new episode of Shannara.

Shannara.ashx

More about what I did accomplish to come…

~*~

Reading Updates:

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Pg 101 –

The notation stated that the parchment was found inside the amulet and it was blank. Whooptidoo.

Pg 132 –

The night was freezing and I took Karmelion, my old, beat-up truck of a bile green color. It was missing the front light assembly and had more dents than a crushed Coke can, but it ran during magic waves and it would keep me warm. It also made enough noise to wake the dead, but I didn’t care. Being warm won.

Pg 163 –

I had to keep Saiman alive. I needed him to help me with my petition, and I had extended the Order’s protection to him when I agreed to this idiotic date.

Pg 170 –

He saw me and changed direction in midleap. That’s right. Come let me kiss you with my fist, baby.

Pg 177 –

I raised myself on the elbow to kick it off and caught sight of my apartment. We’d wrecked the place. “At least the building is still standing.”

“I pride myself on restraint,” he said.

Pg 187 –

“How many women have you slept with?”

“Well, are we counting long-term partners or one-night stands?”

Pg 196 –

The golem shuddered. One huge columnar leg lifted and stepped forward, shaking the floor.

Pg 216 –

“Erra makes plagues. In ancient times, she walked before Roland’s army. She’d pass through the place and the next morning there would be nothing but corpses.”

Pg 224 –

“What were your children like?”

“Impulsive. And violent. I mostly made boys, and they tended toward the simple pleasures in life: drinking, whoring, and fighting, preferably all three at once.”

 

~*~

Time to get reading, y’all…

Quotes and Updates – February 2

So yesterday my good friend, Brendan Johnson reviewed a book that I had been pushing him to read – Dress for Sexcess. It was, as he likes to put it, a snark-fest. As much as I wanted to hear his thoughts, and more or less knew what he was thinking, it was still fun to read, and had me and my consort laughing as we read it.

You can read it too, right here. He refers to my own review that you can find here, or posted in the tabs above under Adult Advisory and GoodReads First Reads. I had gotten this book from the GoodReads First Reads program, and am on a private mission to get this book into the hands of as many daring reviewers as possible.

*Please note, since I got this book from GoodReads, I am only posting the links to the GoodReads reviews of this. You can also find my review on LeafMarks, although it has not been updated yet. More sites to follow, probably today.

~*~

This morning I got an overdue notice for two library books. Ye-ouch. I try not to hang onto library books too long – I know other people want to read them, too. But I hate returning a book partly read. So you will likely see quite a few updates as I read them today.

For reference, they are:

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Both good books, but what I call ‘kitty porn’ or ‘fighter porn’ (privately, of course).

So I will be on a readerly mission to finish both today, and turn them in. Be prepared for updates!

~*~

Speaking of porn, on the radio this morning, I heard about a tantalizing little suggestion for your bookish honey…

yournovel-logo

Their website says:

In our novels, any couple can play the starring roles as hero or heroine. With 50+ books and ebooks set in exotic locations around the world, there’s something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). Our authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake. Choose “Categories” to narrow in on yours!

Too cool, right? I’m thinking of getting one, just to try it out. They’re a bit pricey, but no more so than a nice dinner out.

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or involved with this product.

~*~

As to my writing projects, I didn’t get anything done.

I knew it was an ambitious goal, but got a call, and wound up tied up on the phone yesterday with people calling and being called to let them know about a former neighbor of mine that died suddenly of cancer. It was stunning news for alot of us that didn’t know he had it.

Public service announcement time: if you got something going on that ain’t right, get it checked out. Better safe than sorry. He left behind a year-old baby and young wife. This is the second situation that I have heard of the exact same thing.

I also spent alot of time calling my own doctor to schedule my treatments. The scheduling keeps getting pushed back and falling between the cracks, so I felt that this was a kick in the pants that I needed to stop kicking back and waiting for treatment, and taking a more proactive approach.

Today I will work further on my writing, catching up. This was one of the reasons I refused to add page goals or word counts.

You can follow more of this conversation here.

~*~

Reading Updates:

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Pg 76 –

A thin streak of white smoke curled from the blade. It could be something, or it could be just Slayer reacting to me being pissed off out of my mind.

Pg 85 –

“Things made total sense: the rakshasas had to have gotten Roland’s sword from somewhere, and who better to give it to them than Roland’s Warlord, Hugh?”

~*~

Busy time, y’all…

Quotes and Updates – February 1

So this month I am dedicated to getting back to editing my first novella – The Companion, the first in my new series, Electric Sheep. I planned on getting it done in December, but… yeah.

So this month, for sure.

I am also going to start working on the sequel. This one will be coming from a new direction, but I expect it to be a catalyst to the story.

I will be writing with other writers, to get the first draft written with VBIAM. It is a writing program I have used in the past and is really fun. Feel free to sign up to get daily updates from myself and other writers.

You can read my first message here, dedicating to these new projects (and spoilers as to what is to come!). I encourage you to follow that journey with me.

~*~

I am also working on making it a point to update my books more often. I have found in the past that if I update quotes and such for books, I am more likely to read them faster, less likely to put them aside for something new, and more able to keep up with reading multiple stories all at once.

I am bad about the multiple story thing. I have over a dozen books that I am currently in the middle of. I’m going to work on whittling that number down, but I get easily distracted by the new and shiny…

Shiny.ashx

Today I will be updating as I go, so this post will grow as the day progresses… (this is an experiment, so it may not be a permanent feature).

Starting with this morning’s read:

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Pg 42 –

“As far as I know, the Casino doesn’t stand on hallowed ground.”

The vampire looked down on me with an air of haughty disdain. Whatever faults Ghastek had, his control over the undead was superb. “That is a matter of opinion.”

Pg 57 –

I didn’t know if a power word would stop it, but I was out of options.

Pg 65 –

Even from this distance, his pose telegraphed violence, tightly coiled and reigned in, but ready to explode at the slightest provocation.

~*~

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59% –

“How plump and tasty – she must have been fattened on nuts!” exclaimed the old bandit woman.

~*~

Well, got to busy myself with looking busy now…

New Toys and Gadgets

Yesterday we went window shopping, and wound up with more than expected. Everyone got a little something!

And Best Buy can sometimes be frustrating. Just saying.

But after a very long search, I got a new camera, perfect for my unboxing project (and my stack is slowly growing)… I go and pick it up Wednesday…

Camera

The little one got a new Pony…

Fluttershy and the others got new X-Box games (I’m only slightly jealous).

I also picked up a sample

I am dedicated to this, now! Nothing too exciting, yet… But hopefully I’ll get my updates posted tonight!

So Many Ways to Say “I Love You”

There are so many ways to say “I Love You” to a book, and one of the best is rating them with stars. In fact, this is the most common way for reviewers (such as myself) to rate things – and not just books.

I think this is because Amazon has taught us (or encouraged us) to rely on others’ opinions why being a reviewer is such a popular “job” (and I put it like this because while time and effort is put into this, you do not get paid). But is it really reliable?

Star ratings are subjective. What I think of as earning five stars, someone else may give three or four. What I give a one star for, someone else may give five – for exactly the same reasons!

I have seen many people give a high rating to a crappy product, just to get noticed, saying that the product is absolute crap.

Personally, I have a very strict method of rating –

One = This book completely wasn’t for me.

Either there was something wrong with the subject matter, the delivery, the product, or whatever. There was something seriously wrong, and I cannot recommend this to anyone with a clear conscious or without a warning.

Two = This book was bad, but not terrible.

This is reserved for for things that I don’t like, but there was nothing wrong with, other than I didn’t like it. Something about the book or product rubbed me the wrong way, but I could be convinced to try something similar, or even the same thing again.

Three = This book was okay. Not great, not bad.

This is reserved for things that I only felt ‘eh’ about. I would guess this about the same for everyone. This is a middle of the road option that doesn’t really mean good, bad, great, horrible, or anything. It does what it says, and no more, or the benefits equal the draw-backs.

Four = This was a book worth mentioning!

This is for books and products that are good, really good. I enjoyed it, and may actually get it or read it again if I run across it somewhere. This is one of my favorite ratings, actually, and says that whatever I’m rating, did the job.

Five = This was amazing!

There’s not much more to explain, because all I can do is recommend and brag about the book or product and the fact that I loved  it. I will talk about this until either people are sick of listening to me, or I find my next great thing!

~*~

But you will not see stars on my reviews here.

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Yup. I don’t need to justify my opinions with stars. I justify them with words. Lots and lots of words.

But I do share links to the places where I do post the stars, along with my words. This is because some places, like Amazon or GoodReads want the stars before they’ll post your review. It’s part of the deal, and it’s not a bad thing. I like seeing the handy little stars when I pick out stuff. Don’t you? Even if I get a wonderful little pleasure for picking out the low rated books, or putting up the first starred rating.

~*~

And with that said, I would like to share some of the sites that I do write reviews on.

Smiley360 – I get book samples and products from Smiley, in return for rating and reviewing the things they send. This is great for those with Facepage (my own private slur for Facebook), the social media of choice. The fact that I don’t participate in Facepage is not relevant, because I can still earn badges by completing the ‘missions’ without one.

GoodReads – My original poison. I found that I can get books for free in return for writing a review, and I was hooked. I use this site the most, probably, since I have been there so long, and have built up a collection of followings, followers, and followees (those I follow). I don’t spend nearly as much time there since the updates and the background issue, though.

LeafMarks – This is quickly becoming my new favorite. It is similar to GoodReads in many ways, but without the book giveaways (at least I have not seen them yet, if they are there). I am also a librarian there, so I have a responsibility to ensure that book information is updated. Since this is a relatively new site, there is alot of information to import.

LibraryThing – This is another site that does giveaways (although I haven’t participated yet), rates books, and allows you to give your opinion. The only thing I recommend is to not try importing a large file of books here. I tried, and had to contact support, emailed them my file, and am still waiting to hear back. Unless you only have a few books to start with, I recommend starting from scratch.

Powells – This is a bookseller, but you can also post reviews. If your review is featured, you can earn a $20 gift card to the site. I lucked out, and got featured, and spent my credit on some graphic novels that I had been wanting to read and check out. I spent a few dollars for shipping, but it was worth it! Besides that, they always have something going on…

Amazon – While I don’t rate everything on Amazon, like some people (weird), I do try to rate books and the things I buy there (or are encouraged to rate there, like through Smiley). I have a Kindle, so buying, reading, and rating books there is almost a must. Thanks to frequent sales and offers, I get most of my books for free sent straight to my Kindle.

Barnes & Noble – We have a B&N near where I live, and when I lived in El Paso, it was the only bookstore. On weekends, we frequently haunt the store for a few hours after breakfast and before a nap. My youngest daughter is known by sight there. I also have an account on their site, but due to posting issues, I don’t often post reviews there, but have been known to in the past.

BookLikes – This is one that I am fairly new to, and am still figuring out. I don’t know much about it, so I will probably wind up spending a ton of time there as I figure things out, start writing reviews, figure out how it works, and so on. They also have giveaways for books, links to Amazon sales and free ebooks, and other things I haven’t even tried out yet. Watch for future updates about this one.

NetGalley – This is a site for advanced reviewers. Publishers post books prior to publication and reviewers can request access to these titles. If approved by the publisher (this isn’t a random algorithm) you will be granted access to a digital version of the book. A word of caution – the books are not all equal. Some formats do not render as well as others. Uses Adobe Reader.

YouTube – Soon to come! As I mentioned yesterday, I will soon be offering unboxings of the books and other do-dads that I get. This will be subject to trial as to whether or not I continue doing these or not. That said, I may also start trying show-and-tell type reviews, too (another suggestion I’ve been given). I’m willing to try almost anything once!

~*~

So, ten sites where you can read my reviews, write your own, and even a few where you can get your own goodies! A few words about about star ratings and my take on their meaning to me. And something to look forward to!

And now, to watch television with my family!

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